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“This was our second trip. We love it!!!!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Crown Villas at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort

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The Crown Villas at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Ranked #14 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
new York
1 review
“This was our second trip. We love it!!!!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 July 2009

This was our second vacation at lifestyle crown villas. We three couples knew what to expect and looked forward to lounging by the private pool. A visit to the VIP pool area daily was a must. Premium liquor is served there, and they make just about any drink you could want, the way you want it. The VIP staff are great. The welcome party was awesome. We've booked each trip through owner Mark Austin. He takes care of everything. The VIP staff knows him by name. He offers a golf cart guarantee which we took advantage of. The three women in our group loved riding around in it. The guys walked. We will be booking again for 2010 with Mr. Austin.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank twingate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (149)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
pittsburgh pa
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 June 2009

From the moment of arrival at the airport till the moment we had to depart, the staff saw to our every need. "G", that's his American nickname, at villa reception was the most helpful staff member. But then there was Bruno at the VIP Welcome Party, the bottles of champagne never stop coming, even sent one to go with us to take back to the villa. The ladies in the morning cooking breakfast and taking care of the villa were most helpful. The villa interiors were kept spotless. All though the curtains and furnishings were a little out dated, they have been well cared for and was not a factor for us. Pool staff really did do a fantastic job. And yes these staff members have a job to do for you, they will be around but are never invading and always cheerful and courteous at all times.
VIP Pool: Incredible and relaxing, food and staff exceptional here also.
VIP BEACH: Also fantastic service, food and staff. HOWEVER, being a beach fanatic, I was disappointed. I did know it was going to be a little rough, being on the north coast Atlantic Ocean side, this beach and water was absolutely terrible. Huge rocks in water close to the beach, NEVER leave children unattended here, way to dangerous.
Now the Food: And all the resort may be 5 star the food is maybe a 3. Being a chef myself, my husband also agreed the food was a little disappointing. I found the menu descriptions not matching the cuts of meat you actually get, and also some of the side dishes did not match descriptions. I do have to say the food that is available form VIP Lounge, the VIP Pool, And VIP Beach very good. On the day of our arrival we had the Mexican Restaurant, food tasted very good but it may have been bad. Hard to really say because I did eat also at the Miami airport that day, and the next day i experienced a bit of food poisoning. Blue Lagoon, was just okay. Missed the Indo China Restaurant. Bellini's was very good. Now for the disappointment of the VIP Gourmet. We saved this for our 25th wedding anniversary dinner, what a disappointment. The service was very slow, could not even get a glass of water for 10 mins. Food was not that good and hidden in non flavorful sauces. VIP Welcome party I do have to say was a grand occasion and the food was exceptional that night, a party not to miss!
For the affordability of the resort, from renting from an owner,[--] (Pattie and Dennis Borghese), they were great in answering all my questions!!! We truly loved our vacation. Would I return? There is a lot of world to see, and this being our first trip out of the USA, It might be a while before we return,. but yes I would go back. One other note to make, we never once were approached or "hounded" by sales pitches all week. Enjoy to all that go!

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank slrudolph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
74 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 June 2009

Husband and I went with another couple. We are late 20's, travel frequently and professionals. We rented a 3bd villa from a VIP owner off a vacation rental website. Arrival and check in was easy and fast--customer service was great usually very good during our day. The villa was really nice although in dire need of an update! But the pool was great and having your own very large space was nice. The beach and water are clean, and the VIP beach with its sun beds was quite nice.

Overall I enjoyed my stay, but there was one very very bad thing about the resort. So bad it will keep me from ever going back...the food! I have been to a lot of all inclusives and I know that they are not known for their food, but I have always been satisfied. The food at Lifestyle is almost inedible. At best it is sustenance, at worst it will make everyone in your group sick. I got the worst of it after eating at Indochine (two weeks later I am still feeling the affects). One of the resort managers thought I got sick due to my metabolism (what???), I think I got sick due to their obviously lax sanitary conditions. Buffet is swarming with flies, thing are not properly cool or hot. I spent the rest of my "VIP" vacation eating Cup O Noodles purchased from the on-site convenience store. I didn't eat a full meal again until I returned back to the states. Food isn't everything but this place calls themselves VIP and yet the food is horrific. You should enjoy your food on vacation not be afraid of it and hungry most the time...

Stayed May 2009, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Cinnam0n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bergen County, NJ
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 June 2009

This had to be the most wonderful vacation we have ever had. We decided this year to make a "family reunion" type vacation out of our trip. When we pulled up in front of our villa, our whole family was in awe!!! They could not stop saying how incredible the place was and we had just gotten there!!! It seemed everyday it got better and better. The customer service was well above expectations! (not that I have had any complaints to begin with EVER!!!) but this was magical. The entire staff made this a vacation to remember, not only for my husband and myself, but for our entire family. Kristina in Customer service, was just incredible!! She made booking this trip a success. Jeffrey in customer service, fantastic!!! He took care of all of our needs at the resort. And Josefina, our chambermaid, was terrific! She didnt even mind the Playdoh!!! Everyone at the resort made such an impression on our family. We wil be coming back again and again because we love the people and the commitment to service that everyone there has made. Great job to all the employees of Lifestyle from management all the way down to the maintenance department. Together, you make vacationiing with you a dream come true for all of us!!!

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank llg110763
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlotte, NC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 June 2009

We just returned (5/23 - 5/30/09) from a trip to the Lifestyle Resort. We went with Platinum VIP members and stayed in a beautiful 4 bedroom 4 bath villa. The Villa exceeded our expectations and all 6 of us loved it, we spent more time there then at the pool or beach! The rooms were nicely furnished and the housekeeping staff kept the place exceptionally clean. Loved the Villa. I was really worried about what we were getting into after reading several reviews about the villas being worn down, having to make reservations for dinners, not getting what you wanted on time, etc. I have to say we had NO problems with any of that. They have changed how you make reservations for dinner. You make them when you arrive and can change them at any time, you don't have to be someplace at 12:45 to make the reservations. All the restaurants now have 2 seatings, 6:30 and 8:30. We at at the VIP Gourmet, the new Mexican restaurant, and Blue Lagoon. The rest of the time we ate at the Buffet or ordered in.

I do have pluses and minuses though and will go each. I was really worried about what we were going to get ito

Pluses: Very easy to get around. We had a golf cart but even when someone in our group had it walking to the beach, restaurants and the pool is no problem.

Security, not once did I feel unsafe, there were security guards everywhere and the entrance and exits to the resort were gated.

The staff that cleaned the house, took care of the yard, stocking the frig, etc were all VERY VERY courteous, they never just entered, they always rang the bell or knocked, if no one answered they would call out to let you know they were there. We used the safe for valuable but never felt the need to lock the door.

Surroundings were beautiful. Granted, we were in the villa (#42) right next to the Show House, but from what we saw, and we rode the cart around the whole resort was kept clean and manicured.

Being a platinum VIP member we got all the top shelf liquor we wanted, that was just completely unbelievable to me.

Beach beds are a great idea, the staff at the VIP beach was great, drinks were OK, if you didn't like it or wanted more liquor they added it without any questions. If you tipped you got a GREAT drink there after. I would suggest they either add some seating to the front of the beach area so you don't always have to stay in the bed OR have the beds able to sit up some instead of being flat all the time.

Minuses:

Biggest minus is the food with the exception of the VIP Gourmet. The Mexican Restaurant has a menu posted which looked like it was going to be really good. When we went on the night it was open for VIP members the menu was different and the food was, well, pretty bad. The seating is uncomfortable. The wait staff was OK but all in all I wouldn't go back to eat there.

VIP Gourmet was great, food was delicious, though my partner ordered filet mignon and that's not what he got, I'm pretty sure it was a rib eye and it was a little fatty and over done. My friend and I had Beef Wellington, I would HIGHLY recommend that. We went to the 8:30 seating and there wasn't an empty table.

Blue Lagoon was awful, there isn't anything about the restaurant I can say was positive, avoid it.

The Buffet. I'm not a buffet fan but I have to say the food wasn't nearly as bad as people said it would be, it wasn't gourmet but what buffet is when you have to plan for several hundred people

The beach: Not what I was expecting, it's not big and the water was a bit murky. When you left the VIP area and went down to the beach you get accosted by locals trying to sell you stuff. A polite No didn't always work. Food at the VIP beach, except the sushi, was terrible.

All in all it was a very nice place and I would definitely go again. Now I know what places to stay away from and what to eat and what not to eat. As for pushy salesmen, we never saw them.

I would encourage all of you who are planning to go here, and have concerns, to go, have a good time and just remember it's a vacation and you are in a 3rd world country. The food will not be like it is at home, and no place is perfect. Even though it appears I have more negative to say than positive, what I felt was positive far outweighed the negative.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank mcchltnc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Connecticut
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 May 2009

We booked this resort as an RCI Extra Vacation. We were assigned a 3BR villa that we later found out was one of several generally reserved for RCI guests. It was one of the older less luxurious villas and needed some updating, but reasonably nice just the same. Because of it's age, the beds were a little problematic for two of the couples, but I found it fine for me.

The maid service was a nice touch. She came in the morning to make breakfast and saw to it that we received whatever we needed in quick order. The same is true when calling for service. The refrigerator stayed stocked with beer, soft drinks, and water. There was also a bottled water cooler in the villa.

The VIP all-inclusive is amazing. Access to the VIP portions of the resort is a can't miss feature. There was premium liquors, food & drink wait service, cigars, access to VIP restaurants and bars, and beds on the beach area and VIP pool. The villa was $450 and the all-inclusive worked out to $100 per person per day - worth it for a splurge! There was also a VIP welcome party that you can't ignore. There was live entertainment, a great high-end buffet that included pig roasts, fresh tuna sliced from a carcass on ice, and many other delicious hot and cold offerings - in addition to wait service for premium drinks and wine.

We participated in the resort presentation - expect to be wooed. In anticipation of our tour, the resort provided bottle of alcohol in our villa - normally reserved for their platinum members. Two couples attended. It was a soft sell and they accepted a polite no. However, I was interested in possible exchanging one of my other timeshares, so my wife and I stayed. We were then presented with actual numbers.

The platinum villa offering was above our means, but we listened to an other choice which removed some top end amenities that would be great, but not entirely necessary to get the VIP treatment. In the end, we brought back the offer to the other couple and partnered with them and we can't wait to use the resort or one of its affiliates as often as we can. We talked with many members and no one had anything negative to say and none regreted their decision.

After we signed on, they bumped us to one of the higher level villas and provided us with some of the platinum perks we normally won't receive in the future - a private gourmet BBQ, alcohol in the room, and golf cart.

The buffet restaurant is average, the ala carte restaurants are above average, but the VIP Gourmet restaurant is top notch fine dining and included with the all inclusive. I estimate that the meal we had there alone would be $100 per person.

This was one of the best vacations all three couples ever had and from now on, the all inclusive rate will be $40 per day or $47.50 if in a villa. Tremendous!

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MrVacationMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 April 2009

I read plenty about this resort in preparation for my vacation. I was prepared to take the good with the bad, and have a good time. It turns out there was a lot more to be happy about than I expected. To be sure, our villas (we stayed in side by side villas 9A and 9B) were a little rough around the edges, but the custom made breakfast, private pool and patios, and fully stocked frig made me forget all my troubles. Our group of 13 rented through owner Mark Austin, and it was a seamless transaction from beginning to end. In fact, when an issue arose that we couldn’t resolve with the resort staff, I dropped Mark an email from the VIP café wifi, and he contacted the resort on our behalf within a few hours.

Our group lived at the VIP beach from 10 to 6 everyday. The bubble tubs and the beds allowed for sunning, napping, chatting, reading, and overall relaxing. I was quite full each time I left the buffet, and out of 13 of us, someone always loved their meal at each restaurant, and someone always hated theirs. Isn’t that how life is?

We returned to work today sad to be home and missing this resort a lot. We’ve already talked about returning.

  • Stayed April 2009
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank wcuguy01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Crown Villas at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort

Property: The Crown Villas at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Address: Columbus Torre 1 | Playa Confesi, Puerto Plata 57000, Dominican Republic
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#9 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Plata
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — The Crown Villas at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 90
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Crown Villas are the ultimate in luxury and exclusivity, as each is a small estate home with sumptuous, private three and four bedrooms that offer guests a unique and exclusive vacation experience. All of these villas are a classical Spanish Mediterranean style architecture, with red tile roofs, stucco plastered archways and distinguished stone columns with generous tropical gardens where hibiscus, bougainvilleas and other magnificent tropical plants abound. All have a private swimming pool, shaded terrace, veranda, kitchen, and a full private bath leading directly off each bedroom. The villas are furnished with rattan, elephant bamboo and a natural Caribbean wattle work and are equipped with air conditioning, overhead fans, and cable television. The Crown Villas are part of the all-inclusive Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort and guests have access to all the facilities of the Resort (excluding the V.I.P areas). A personal maid and an exclusive menu in each of the seven Resort restaurants complete these perfect accommodations. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lifestyle Crown Villas Hotel Puerto Plata
The Crown Villas At Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort Dominican Republic/Puerto Plata

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