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“noise” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort

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VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
Ranked #3 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Certificate of Excellence
england
Level Contributor
18 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“noise”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 April 2012

they call this the quite pool till some burk plonks a stereo on the bar,and the noise from the disco is fine if your in there.now the holiday,well the staff are brill ,the food is very good,the canadians are french and noisey,this is our sixth time and this has been the noiseyest, but overall i think this place is really great.were doing cuba next year hope its quiet.

Room Tip: stay as near to the beach as possile,keep away from the quiet area.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank debois
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 April 2012

My husband, 9 years old son and I travelled to DR on March Break. We met friends at the Gran Ventana that had arrived a day prior. Let me begin by saying that we have travelled on March Break for about the last 6 years and have been to many all inclusive resorts. This one was not at all what I was hoping for or what I expected especially after reading the reviews of this resort. This resort should be rated a 3 star at best.
When we checked in we were put at the back of the resort across from the main hotel complex. Yes there was a quiet pool there and a bar that didn't appear very busy but we were put on the first floor with the view of some shrubs (which made our room so dark) and a street. There was also a path between our balcony and the road for a security guard to walk along (scary). You couldn't even open your blinds because we were right on the road.
We like to be close to the beach and the main pool and this end of the resort is not close - don't pay extra for junior suites like we did - you will likely end up on the other side of the road. That same day we requested a room change and had to wait until the following day to be moved but they did move us - there was many room change requests over the course of the week from many guests. The front desk staff are not friendly and the warm welcome and offer of drink while you wait to check in was non existent.
The grounds around the resort are beautiful and the pool area was cleaned nightly and always kept looking good. The rooms were fine. I did fill out my comment card one evening during dinner and said that the mattresses could be cleaner and the next day the house keeper supervisor came to inspect the mattresses and they were changed immediately. I do commend them for how quickly they changed the mattress when I did complain however I never felt like I was in a very clean hotel room to begin with.
The food - oh the food - we hated the food. The buffet is lacking in every way. My family and the family we travelled with found the food to be substandard. There was just nothing appetizing - it was very disappointing. I should mention that the bread and desserts were good - but you really can't justify spending money on an all inclusive trip to have to eat bread and desserts (oh and $6 bags of chips) all week long. By mid week I became ill and couldn't even stomach the smell of the buffet. The restaurants were no better. The service in the buffet dining room is poor and in the Italian restaurant even when we tipped. There are pockets of friendly staff but overall not very good service. The one young bartender at the beach bar gets the prize for friendliest - he was friendly even though the line ups were long the entire day.
Big jugs of water are provided in your room and water coolers are in the halls of the hotel for you to refill them. I get the whole environmental spin on this but it was an inconvenience.
The beach - sand flies early in the morning and later at night - beware - they bite and it itches for weeks. Chairs were plentiful and shade was also available. However the ventors get on your nerves and the men that spray lacquer on their wood work through the day is an absolute annoyance - the wind just picks it up and it blows in your face (the smell is disgusting).
When I look at our pictures from this trip I realize that we had a great time regardless of all the mishaps and unexpected happenings because we laughed most of it off and drank some average cocktails to take the sting away. My son had fun and there were other children to play with however no kids club - he did enjoy the pool tables and ping pong tables though. This was one of the only vacations that I was actually looking forward to going home - my husband felt the same way. Others at the resort when we asked thought the food was "delightful" and the resort was great - so again to each their own but honestly I will not return to Gran Ventana nor would I recommend it to anyone.
By the way - if you have young children or you are not in terrific shape do not get talked into going on the 7 Falls excursion. My son was scared to death and many people in our group were hurt during the swim, climb to the falls - it is ridiculous and dangerous - just don't do it.

Room Tip: Do not pay extra for Junior Suites unless you absolutely need a bigger room. When you check in be s...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Michelle E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Labrador City, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 April 2012

Just got back from one of our best vacations. We spent one week at the Gran Ventana from Mar 28-Apr 4 2012. With two other friends. Traveled from Quebec City on Sunwing. We had a late departure arriving into DR early at 815pm. From getting luggage to check-in at the hotel was painless and very smooth. Greeted with Welcome drinks. Very pleasant!!

Id have to say that the only thing that went wrong the whole vacation was they wrote down the wront room number. We went to our room and couldnt get in. someone was in there. We called the front desk from our friends room and within 15 mins we were in our proper room.
Our room was HUGE!!! our friends were on the third floor with cathedral ceilings. It was a corner room in the quiet building which is a little futher than the main building. But not far... a little stroll was nice!!

The area around our building was very nice. There was a bar by the quiet pool (very quiet) and kept very nice and clean. They were up early every morning cleaning the pool.

Rooms: Very nice and clean. Never seen a bug. Some things are dated but you can tell that they are trying to bring things up to standards. Nothing happens overnight!! The beds are firm but comfy. Slept well. Bar was stocked daily and the bed always had a little design. We left our maid a couple dollars every day. One thing that we were un aware of is that you have to go to the cashier to get your lock for the room safe. Its 16$ for the week. The air conditioner was surprisingly quiet and worked very well. No issues.

Food: DELICIOUS! There is nothing bad I can say.
Breakfast was great. Sausages were yummy. You can have your eggs fried or done in an omlete with what ever you want in it, We would take bacon from the buffet and crumble it in a bowl and fill it with other stuff at the omlete station. They were delicious. Scrambled were a bit wattery but nothing to complain about.

Lunch: We ate at both buffet and Ocean Grill with was burgers and stuff (for lunch) and it was fantastic. We really enjoyed the Ocean grill (down by the beach) They had chicken wraps, nachos, burgers, pizza, ect.... Very very good. The buffet was good too.

Supper: Buffet again not dissapointing. The A la Cartes were amazing.
We did the Octopus (seafood-mediteranian) was awsome. All four of us has the salmon. so yummy.. No complaints. Great experience.
We also did the Italian A la Carte. Cant remember the name of it but its by the quiet building. SOO delicious. All four of us had absolutly no complaints. Food and service was fantastic.
We had reservations for the Ocean Grill A la carte but didnt make it... (Who ever says the drinks are watered down must not be drinking enough... we got so drunk we couldnt make it to supper. :-0) But that was our last night there. I bet that resturant too was fantastic given how good it was for lunches.

Entertainment: THE HIGHLIGHT!!! We had so much fun with the animation guys!! They are wonderful! Always trying to get you up and doing something. If you didnt want to they didnt make you. We had nicknames from the first day we arrived. And they made time to speak to you every day!! We did water arobics (fun!) and volley ball. We played a few water games too. Bingo, darts, ping pong, and a few others!! Allot of fun!!
The nightly shows were outstanding. Something different everynight and we were always in stitches. My favorite show was `The Ideal Couple`. If you have seen it you know what Im talking about... Never laughed so hard in my life!!
Not only were the animation guys wonderful, all the staff there that work so hard to please you are always pleasant!! Everyone works so hard and dont get enough credit for what they do. We took time at the end of our trip to let each individual how much we apprciate the hard work they do to please us vacationers!!
Hats of too them all :) Especially Jose, Shaggy, Scooby, Alex.

Pool: The pool is great! one big main pool. With a gradual entrance, a semi shallow area and then a deep end. All meets in the middle at the pool bar!! They have daily drink specials and all of them are delicious. I wasnt fussy on the sangria but there were a few that made the hit list.
Yellow bird was a hit for the guys. and of course Pina Colada./Banana Momma. Dominican Love was a good favorite.

Beach: It was amazing how much work they do to keep the beach clean.. My husband went on a deep sea fishing excursion and was on the beach by 730 and it was all raked. So clean he couldnt believe it. Little bits of seaweed was up through out the day but nothing crazy. and cleaned up by the next morning to start your day with a fresh beach. the water was so nice...
The one downfall is there are those who approache you wanting you to look/buy their stuff. Some are a little pushy "its free to look" and some if you politly say "no thank you" they will continue on.
At the entrance to the beach/resort there are people there trying to sell you excursions. They sell them cheaper than the Tour reps but not sure that they are 100% safe. At ones own discretion if they want to book with them. They look legit but dont know for sure. I personally wouldnt.
** TIP: If you plan on a walk on the beach.. be on the look out for the Lifestyle guys that will approach you and ask you if you want a tour of their beautiful resort. We got sucked in not knowing what we were getting into. If you dont tell them your not interested it could lead to a 3-4 hr presentation and 3-4 hrs your losing of your vacation in the sun. They are selling something like timeshares.

Excursions: We didnt really do any, as we have been there before and done excursions before. Most about relaxing and having fun. The guys did go Deep sea fishing and the downfall is that its hit or miss. Unfortunatly it was miss. The girls me and my friend went and took in a massage at the spa at the Casa Calonial. OMG. What a spot. The bell boy takes you there and from the minute you arrive you are like royalty. The resort is heavenly.
We had the deep tissue massage and it was the best I have ever had. Amazing!!
It was $94 for 50 minutes. Little expensive but worth it.
One excursion we have done before was the Outback Safari!! By far worth every penney.

Overall: would recommend this resort in a heartbeat. The majority are ages 40-65 range. Good varierty of perople. Great entertainment and great food. No free Wifi but when your on vacation, you dont need it!!! Your vacation will be what you make of it. Remember that DR is still a third world country. But these people are working hard to please you. Be grateful and show them your appreciation.

Any questions I will be glad to help answer them!!!

Room Tip: Worth the extra to upgrade. We didnt see the standard room but we were very happy with ours and we u...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank labradoriantravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
montreal canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2012

back from 2 weeks at gran ventana nice place beach is good food is also good rooms are clean but not a 4 star but a good 3.5 star do not stay in bulding 3 unless you don't want to sleep ...near buy COCO BONGO bar open till 4am with very loud music.

Room Tip: don't stay in building 3
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank frankie0703
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kamloops, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2012

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!

Overall:

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.

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.

Rooms:

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.

Additional information:

*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.

Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank TasteSeeker1981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2012

Was torn between giving the resort a 3 or 4 but going with the 3. Do a similar trip annually and have to say this resort was nice but doesn’t stand out or compare to other ones we’ve recently gone to in Punta Cana or Jamaica.
Hotel is about 20 min from the airport. Taxis to/from are $35. Not sure how much shuttles would have been but was nice to just jump right in to a taxi and not have to wait for anyone else or make any stops. Taxi back to the airport was easy as they have cab stand in the front of the complex so they can get you cab in 2 min. Porters at the airport were annoying as they will grab your bag to get you a short distance and then expect a tip. Hang on to your bags tight or just go with it.
Check in is at 3 and they rarely get you in before. So have your bathing suit ready if you get there early so you can grab a bite or sit by the pool while you wait for your room. The bellhop was nice and will hold your bags both on arrival and the day of checkout. They also brought some welcome drinks once we arrived.
Hotel is fairly small. We stayed in Sueno, 3rd floor facing a nice courtyard/ocean (most rooms aren’t ocean view as you have trees blocking the view between rooms and the ocean) We actually liked the beds as they were on the firm side but the pillows could’ve been nicer. Rooms were nice, updated with flat screen tv, strong ac. (water pressure is low but not a big deal at all)
Pool was just ok, very small but had a swim up bar which is nice. There was a volley ball court in the center of the pool which was nice but as the pool was already small it took up quite a bit of the area. (also be prepared for stray balls coming at you). It is a family hotel so there were a lot of kids and teenagers jumping in/splashing strangers/yelling/etc. so it was not a relaxing scene at all. But this may just be due to the time of year we went. They did have a quiet pool but it was a little walk away and we didn’t check out other then when we 1st checked in and it was 3 very old couples with no music. Would’ve been nice to have a happy middle.
Beach was also ok. But we already went in expecting the beach to not be as nice as Punta Canas. Best to spend the first half of the day at the beach & the 2nd half by the pool. They clean up the seaweed 1st thing in the morning so the water is nice but by the afternoon the seaweed gathers up quite a bit plus it gets very windy. Be prepared to play the chair game which if frustrating especially as we liked to be the 1st people actually lying out on the beach but still had to go out earlier to get an umbrella. But if you don’t want an umbrella then you won’t have a problem getting chairs by the beach or the pool.
Food was really good. Buffet offered good selection and we never seemed to get lines that you get at the larger resorts. Breakfast omelet bar was nice and moved quickly and they had good selection of meats to go on the side. Lunch also had something tasty as the meat seemed to be fresh, moist and soft (be sure and try the bbq ribs and roasted chick). Dinner was also nice with some good selections and great desserts. As far as the specialty restaurants would put them in order of excellent of Seafood and then Italian and the Dominican as Very Good. Dress code for men is long pants, collared shirt (polos are ok) and shoes although nice leather sandals were allowed.
People mentioned bringing drink mugs. Did come in handy in the morning if you wanted to take coffee to go but drinks from the bar were standard size so didn’t see the need to bring this around all day unless you’re looking to do some serious drinking. Never waiting more than a min for a drink. Each bartender poors differently and they usually go on the light side but if you wanted a stronger drink you only have to ask.
There weren’t many activities. Have been to other resorts where they have lots of activities planned throughout the day to keep you entertained and go out of their way to post scheds. Only saw 2 or 3 scheduled activities. They have a couple of pool tables and a ping pong table. Gym seemed ok, small but there didn’t seem to be anyone in there. And you can get snorkel/goggles by the beach.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank nyccowboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 April 2012

I just returned from the VH Gran Ventana Resort and had a wonderful time. The resort is smaller than some other resorts that we have stayed at but the rooms and grounds were very well kept. Beach was nice and I found the food to be great with lots of variety. Booking the ala carte restaurants was not a problem even for a large group of us. The service in the restaurants was excellant. The nightly entertainment was a little boring and not very good. The bar shuts down at midnight but there is a nightclub called Coco Bongo and a sports bar down the road for those who want to stay up a little later. Overall this was a great spot for the price.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KimLoader
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort

Property: VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
Address: Playa Dorada | PO Box 22, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#3 Best Value Hotel in Puerto Plata
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#3 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 506
Reservation Options:
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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

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