We just returned home from our first vacation to the Dominican Republic. We have been to Mexico a number of times and were a little worried to pick a resort in the Dominican without having been there before. In the end, we made a great choice with the Gran Ventana!
We really enjoyed our stay at the Gran Ventana and would definitely go back again. The resort is very well maintained. Nice pool. Awesome beach. No lineups at the bars. Delicious variety of drinks! Great food.
I was really impressed with the food at this resort. We stayed at a 5-star in Mexico last year with an enormous buffet and I thought the Gran Ventana's buffet was a little small when we first arrived; HOWEVER, I changed my mind about that quickly. A lot of the food at the buffet is different each day, which gave us good variety. Of course, the staples remain for each meal such as rice and potatoes, but they're cooked a little differently for some variety. A small variety of pasta at each lunch and dinner (all the pasta sauces were sooooo good)! Smoothie station at breakfast was awesome. One of the people we travelled with is vegetarian and doesn't eat eggs, but she left each meal full and satisfied, as did I.
The rooms are clean and big, and we had comfortable sleeps each night. The bathroom in our room was a bit old looking and could use a renovation, but it was clean and served its purpose.
*There are people selling jewellry on the beach. It can be a bit annoying, but they're very nice. We talked to a couple who told us to offer half the amount quoted for something by the guys on the beach. Once you offer half, you can then move up a bit from there. We bargained a bit for the ring I bought, but overall we didn't mind paying close to the asking price. The people are so poor compared to the way we live here in Canada, so we didn't feel the need to bargain away the seller's commission. We feel these people work so hard and they deserve any tips or extra money we can afford.
**Porters in white shirts will try to take your bags at the airport and then ask for tips after they've rolled your bags 5 feet. Do not give them your suitcases, no matter how pushy they are. I said no thanks, but he insisted and then wouldn't walk away from us until we gave him a tip. It can be a bit confusing because at first I thought they were part of Nolitours. Just remember white shirts which say "Volunteer Porters" on the back, or something like that.
***Bring a larger water bottle/insulated cup so can fill it up with water or drinks and not have to go to the bar for refills so often.
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- Also Known As:
- Gran Ventana Beach Hotel
- Gran Ventana Dominican Republic
- Gran Ventana Puerto Plata
- Gran Ventana Beach Resort Puerto Plata
- Hotel Gran Ventana Beach
- Grand Ventana Beach Resort
- Gran Ventana Hotel Dominican Republic