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“Honeymoon at Iberostar, Hotel fantastic! Guests mainly Chavs!!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Iberostar Costa Dorada

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Iberostar Costa Dorada
Ranked #2 of 44 Hotels in Puerto Plata
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Penistone South Yorkshire
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Honeymoon at Iberostar, Hotel fantastic! Guests mainly Chavs!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 June 2009

We stayed at this hotel for 2 weeks from 18th May 2009, for our honeymoon, and booked through Thomas Cook, paid a bargain price of £1700 for the 2 of us.
First of all I will just apologise for the length of this review, but it should cover all aspects of this hotel, and resort.

We flew from Gatwick, and we were concerned about baggage allowance, which for us was a very measely 15kg hold luggage and 5kg hand luggage, and apparently they are really strict now on hand luggage sizes, but to be honest, nobody sticks to these rules as we saw loads of travellers with oversized hand luggage, and most getting away with about 17-18kg hold luggage. Our hand luggage wasn't even weighed, but whether this is the norm i'm not sure?
Any Smoker's now is the best time to buy cigs in the duty free shops as they are about 25% more expensive in Dominican, they are £35 for 400 on the plane.
Anyway after our 9 hour flight from Gatwick to Puerto Plata, which by the way was a decent flight, decent legroom, good movies and entertainment to choose from and even more if you pay the extra £5 for an upgrade as you can play games etc, by the way all earphones / headphones work on the plane without any adaptors, so don't pay the £2.50 for the rubbish ones they try and get you to buy!
When we landed at the airport it was the usual affair, queing up to pay the tourist tax of $10 each, and you also need $20 each for when you depart!, some people don't read thier booking details and so were complaining and didn't have the correct money, Then you need to be carefull when you collect your luggage, and leave the terminal, as the usual baggage porters try to take your luggage and take it usually about 20 yards to the bus or taxi for your transfer and expect $2 per case!
Upon getting onto our transfer coach to Iberostar Costa Dorada, we were given a nice ice cold bottle of water each, and onto an air conditioned bus, the checking in was done on the coach, you were given your all inclusive bracelet, your room keycard, and 2 towel cards that you exchange for towels by the pool. 30 minutes later we were at the hotel, greeted with a cocktail, and a porter took our room number and arrived at our room 5 mins later, a tip of $2 is welcomed.

On first apperances, the hotel is definately a 5 star hotel, and after seeing other hotels on the transfer stops, it is certainly one of the best in the Dominican.

Rooms:
Our room was fantastic ( No. 1110), a very large room, with a massive (American style) comfy bed, air conditioned, ceiling fan, a nice balcony with stunning sea view, and very quiet, A fully stocked (Free) mini bar, with beer, branded soft drinks and water,
A decent sized tv, with satelite, a few American channels / German but mainly Spanish.
Bathroom was a decent size with fantastic hot showers, full size bath, the toilets are really low though.
Safety deposit box is located in the wardrobe, and is FREE, which was a suprise!
The decor is not the most upto date, and yes, was a little tired in some parts, but it is bright, very clean and to a good standard.

Hotel:

This hotel in my opinion, is one of the best i've stayed at, given the price we paid. I've stayed at the Belagio in Las Vegas which yes is very luxurious, but i paid the same there for a weekend, as i did for a fortnight here! so it's all relative.
But really, this hotel should suit the majority of people, It is a large hotel with large grounds, that are immaculatly kept, loads of lovely palm trees, fountains, ponds etc. but the icing on the cake are the Flamingo's / Turtles and Peacocks that live in the hotel grounds.
The hotel, has loads of comfy seating throughout, and if you want a quiet place to sit with a drink, you will always be able to find one,

Service:

On the whole, very very good. The waiters in the buffet areas are lightning quick to clear away dishes, fill up your water, or get you drinks. The bar staff, again very quick and efficient, albeit one time when my wife went to the bar and was ignored by barman, probably because he was to busy to serve an American who was tipping him with every drink he ordered. He was repremanded by the manager who saw him ignore my wife and he went off in a huff?

The Maids, were fantastic, our room was imacculate, and you are greeted each day with a towel arrangement in the form of an elephant one day, swan another, really clever, and decorated with fresh flowers. also our mini bar was restocked everyday, with fresh towels. We left the maid a tip of $1 each day.

Pool / Beach:

The pool is a very good size, not too big, but big enough to not get crowded, it is well laid out and suitable for kids, swimmers and those playing games.
It was always lovely and warm, even at 8:00 in the morning, Yes it was in need of a repaint in some areas but the water was clean and the pool was constantly being cleaned and maintained by staff. The only downside i would say is that it's quite hard to get in and out of with high steps which could be tricky for the elderly.
The loungers around the pool, are plenyfull but they get grabbed up quickly, and even though there are signs saying do not reserve the loungers, it seems that the selfish ones go down at 7am and earlier and put towels on them, then go to breakfast!

The beach is lovely, and is kind of split in two, with one side having loads of parasols and the other is just open allowing you to put the lounger where you want.
The sand is very nice, but be warned it gets red hot!, the seaweed is not an issue and is cleaned up all the time.
The sea, being on the atlantic side, can be choppy at times, but still safe to swim, and you can walk out for miles before it gets too deep, just watch out for the few reefs that are dotted about, but the water is clear enough to see coral quite clearly without standing on it. It's great for snorkelers!
Come mid day the wind can be an issue near the beach, whipping up sand, but to be honest, we stuck near the beach as it was nice to have the breeze.
You do get loads of touts / vendors trying to sell you hats made out of palm leaves / photographers / and loads of women trying to sell hair braiding. They are all friendly and don't hassle you that much, but there are loads of them.

Watersports:
The watersports for the Hotel are a bit sparce, you can either use the kayaks, single or double or the hobby catarmarangs, however you need to sign your life away for them to let you go on them, but I suppose they have to.
There are no powered watersports such as jetski's or bananna boats, but just at the next hotel, directly on the same beach, you can do all of them, parasailing, jetski, donuts ( Which was lethal, when we went on, and not for the feint hearted!!) also prices are not cheap around $50 for 15mins Jetski

Food :

The food at this hotel is top notch, and certainly deserve it's 5 star rating. If anyone complains about the food at this hotel, then I would love to hear of any better for the price. It really does cater for everyone.
There are 2 main buffet restaurant, the main one where you can have breakfast, lunch, and dinner if you wanted, and then one by the pool, which is smaller and is part of the pool bar, and most use this for late breakfasts and lunch. Both have loads to offer, from fresh fish, salads, carvery, soups, loads of local dishes, down to simple pizza and chips and burgers, and the desserts are amazing, all fresh and cooked to perfection.
Then you have three al-a-carte restaraunts, which you book in the morning near the reception area, these include Brazilian, which is I think the best one, offering loads of skewered meats served at your table, then theres a Mexican, with tortillas, fajitas etc, and then a seafood one with you've guessed it seafood. These al-a-carte offer something a bit more special and romantic, with candelite and they have a 3 piece mariachi band come round and you can request songs, which is really nice.
I would reccomend booking at all these al-a-cartes, and again could not fault them one bit.
If you want a quick snack during the day, the main place to go is the pool bar/ buffet which has self service ice cream , pop corn, also in an evening by the bar in the main lobby, you can get sandwiches and deserts, and at the pool bar burgers and kebabs.

Drinks:

All drinks were top quality, all soft drinks are famous brands, self service at pool bars / buffets, Beer was a local brand called President and was good and was the main thing i drank . As for spirits, which i don't drink much of, so couldn't really comment on, but they had local brands and international such as smirnoff, grants, gordon's, etc and you just had to request these brands to get them at no extra cost, the only thing they didn't do was Red Bull, even though they sold it in the shop at about £2.50 a can!
Oh and cocktails were very good as well including margaritas // tequilla sunrises the usual and champagne aswell.

Entertainment:

This depends on really what your cup of tea is?
In the daytime, the entertainment team ( star friends ) do try their very hardest to keep people entertained if you want to be, and those such as ourselves who just wanted to chill out, they left well alone, it's not like an 18-30's where you are badgered into doing stupid games.
The daytime activities are: water polo, volleyball, beach football, archery, shooting, horse shoes, darts, tennis, water aerobics, beach aerobics / pilates, salsa / mirenge dancing classes, bingo.
There are also 2 table tennis tables near the pool, 2 american sized pool tables near the reception, and some tennis courts.

Every evening, they have themed nights,which range from movies, theater, musicals, Mr & Mrs, and the usual karaoke.
These events take place in the auditorium, which is part of the main hotel, its open aired, but not air conditioned so it still gets hot! There are plenty of seats and a huge bar.
The waiters / waitresses will serve you at your seat, but they are far and few, and its quicker to go to the bar.
The entertainment usually starts about 8:30pm starting with a kids show, and disco, then its dancing time, where you can show off your merenge skills with the proffessional dancers who will teach you. Then it's time to award all the people who have won the days activities, which is the same everynight and can be a bit repetative, and is usually the same people who won stuff the day before!
Then it's showtime at about 9:30pm, this is when it can start to get busy. The shows are quite professional, in my opinion with good sets and lighting. The actors / dancers are very good, and overall very entertaining, Its not West End but its100 times better than Butlins!!

There's also a small disco called Route 66, which plays a mix of Chart music and merenge, but is air conditioned which is good, and by all accounts stays open till 6am!

Shops / services

There are a few small shops within the hotel, one selling general holiday stuff, such as beach wear, bags, solveniers and you can get photos developed, another which mainly sold food/drinks crisps, chocolate, newspapers ( expensive!! the Sun cost about £4.50 )
Then one that sold stuff like towels, and shirts, a jewelers with some lovely gold and diamond jewelery.
There is an internet room, with about 6 computers in it, Its $5.00 per half hour, and if you dont use the full half hour you just keep your ticket and can get the remainder back next time you visit.
There are 2 spa / treatment rooms, near the pool area. One specialises in massages, which are quite reasonable about $30 for 30mins session, for a full back massage.
The other speciallises in beauty treatments such as manicures, hair dressing etc and again quite reasonable prices.
A nice touch is the shower rooms, which are really handy when you are to depart, we had 5 hours wait from, leaving our room at 12:00 to 5:00 when the bus came, so a change of clothes and a shower was great, with fresh clean towels to use, and you are still all inclusive upto getting on the bus home.

Attractions / Out and About

First of all, we were on our honeymoon, so we were there to chill out and relax, but as is the case with most all inclusive you feel a bit confined to the hotel. We went to the welcome reception on the first day, and was met by Bev our Thomas Cook tour rep, who was very good, and sat through the usual do's and don'ts, and then were being sold the numerous trips that were on offer.
It soon becomes apparent that he trips are in my opinion very expensive, considering simalar trips in say Greece or Turkey.
We had budgeted for such trips and for a fortnight I would reccomend that unless you really are a sun worshiper, or love getting involved with every activity within the hotel, then at least 3-4 trips is recommended.
IMPORTANT, you can get all the trips a lot cheaper (maybe half price) if you book outside of the hotel. You are told by the rep that you take your chances as some companies don't exist, I would say thats true and DO NOT book with vendors selling trips on the beach, but if you take a stroll LEFT out the hotel, you soon see some shops offering all the trips you want, I would recommend going about a mile up the road to a place called The PLAZA, which is a very big gated complex housing loads of hotels and villas, but it has the nearest shopping type center, it's mainly just soulvenier shops, an few bars including a propper british pub, and a few shops selling trips, I just wish we had visited before we booked, and I would have saved about £150, but thats sods law!!
The trips we went on were:

Monster Truck Safari:
This was our favorite trip, its a full day affair, picking up about 8:30ish you get on board a huge ex-military open roofed truck, which takes you firstly to a ranch, of which you then get the chance to go horseriding, for about 45 mins which was good. You then get back on the truck and it takes you through the jungle, you get to visit all the locals who live in tiny wooden huts and seem to have nothing, it's a real eyeopener, you also get to visit a school funded by the monster truck company, i felt a bit of an intruder at times, and it is all very touristy, but i suppose it is their major income and their livleyhoods depend on tourism. We then went to a place that did stone carved ornaments, which of course you can buy, and were actually very reasonable, and than onto a coffee making hut, then to a cigar making hut. Then onto a secluded beach for some swimming. All in all a very good trip, which included as much drink as you wanted, a nice hot buffet lunch included.

Catamaran Trip

The catamaran trip was ok, but not worth the price paid ( about £50 each ) generally its just a large catamaran you board about 9ish and spend all day on it, and it makes about 3 stops so you can go snorkelling (included) Fantastic snorkelling and loads of great fish and coral. Very simple cold buffet lunch, unlimited drinks included, but nothing special really.

Paradise Island

Again, very expensive for what it is (paid about £65 each ) very early start about 7:00 start drives you to a beach which takes around 2 hours!! then onto a speedboat for another 45mins to a so called island! It is in fact a fairly small sand bank with about 4 wooden huts on it! A bit dissapointed, but the sea was deadly calm and crystal clear, perfect for snorkelling of which you get a guided swim around the island (sand bank!) amazing coral and fish, then you have a sandwich, and an obligitory photo taken. You are here for about 2 hours but it gets crowded very quickly, not the paradise we were expecting! You then get back on the speedboat, go see some mangroves and then to another beach to have a very nice hot buffet lunch, here you can buy more trinkets and your photo £15 if wanted? Then you get back onto bus to be taken yet again to more tourist shops, another cigar factory! A very long day, and to be honest only worth it if you like snorkelling.

So on the whole the trips are ok, not fantastic value for money, but it does break up the fortnight from your hotel, and you do get to see a bit of the local countryside and the culture. It is obviously all geared towards parting you with your money, even though you have paid a fortune on the trip in the first place, but again you can't blame them!

Out of the Hotel:

Not a lot really, on our 3rd day, we ventured Left along the beach, there were no other hotels at all, and we kept walking for about 45mins, thinking there must be civilisation somewhere ahead, we carried on and came to some beach cafe's which to be honest didn't seem to be aimed at tourists as the shop owner spoke no English, we carried on walking and in the end grabbed a taxi, and asked to go to the town. We were taken to the middle of Peurta Plata where we were the only tourist around, and felt very uncomfortable. We were like fish out of water, It wasn't like any other holiday town, yes there were loads of soulvienier shops, but thats it, no supermarkets, bars, restaurants, nothing. We were then luckilly approached by one of the security guards from our hotel who's day off it was, and was out with his partner, and quite catagorically told us that, this was not a good place to be out wondering alone, without a guide! and he told us to remove the gold jewelery that we were nievely showing off, as he said loads of tourists get mugged usually by the local mafia. By this point we were terrified, and the security guard got us a taxi and we went back to the hotel.
So to be honest i would really try and stick to the hotel, if you want to take a stroll then i would, if going along the beach take a right turn from the hotel, or left if going along the road from the hotel, and the only real place to visit is the Plaza shopping centre.

Advice:
If you are wondering what currency to use, and what form to take, I would recommend just taking about £100 of US Dollars, and £100 of Dominican Pasos to start with, and if you can just use your credit / debit card to get money when you are there, or just use your card for purchases. If getting cash out the rate in the hotel is ok, but if you want better then just walk upto the Plaza as mentioned earlier, alternitavely, you can go to the cash machine (ATM) next door to the hotel, it's just behind the Casino. If using Cash Machines, take out as much as possible in one go, as you get charged £3.50ish each transaction, you can always keep it in your safe!
The majority of places accept US Dollar$ or Dom Pasos, However stupidly, the Thomas cook trips are priced in US Dollars but are then converted and charged in Euro's?
Don't make costly mistake we did, and get a pre paid Visa card from the Post Office in US Dollars, we did this primarily to pay for trips, but found out Thomas Cook couldn't accept it? and so was useless, We ended up not using it and so had to get stung with high conversion rate back home so ended up loosing about £80 in cashing it back into Pounds.

Don't bother bringing towels, they give you them at the hotel by the pool, and you get plenty in your rooms, and you can take them out if going on trips. They will only give you less room in your case and weigh more.

Haggle with everyone, especially jewellery, paintings and cigars, i usually got stuff 50% less than the starting price.

Take loads of suncream, its not cheap here, a cheap underwater camera is a must if you are going snorkelling, and insect repelent especially at night.

Tips, I would tip the maids by leaving $1 a day for them, i think this is why our mini bar was restocked daily, and tip hotel porters. Also on trips such as bus driver etc. and anyone else you feel gives you great service, but it's not really expected and i never felt a cheapskate for not tipping barmen or waitressess who didn't expect it anyway.

My only gripe during our stay, which was unavoidable, was that on our second week we we're inundated with loads of mainly British tourists who had, had there holiday canceled as they were supposed to be going to Mexico! and were given this hotel and resort as an alternative.
Now i'm not a snob i'm born and bread from Barnsley Yorkshire, but it seemed that a large number of these people who had brought along their darling kids, had barely learned how to eat with knives and forks! They were loud mouthed, drunken, smoking tattooed chavs.

They were the ones who would reserve the loungers with towels in the morning so they could get as sunburnt as possible, spend most of the day eating and drinking, whilst jumping onto the ever growing number of inflatables in the pool.
Then at night not bothering to adhere to any dress code in the dinning room, turning up in the same clothes worn by the pool, so all you could see is a mass of swim shorts, vest tops and flip flops, whilst the civilised ones looked vey over dressed.

I can't believe some people though, i saw many times people picking buffet food up with their fingers and not with the tongs provided, and once someone dropped the tongs on the floor and she just put them back in the dish of food for everyone else to use! Unbelievable! no wonder Mexico has swine flu!!!

But what really got my back up was, that I overheared loads of them saying, that it was a rubbish hotel and not half as good as the one they should be staying at in Cancun, saying that in cancun you get served drinks at your sun lounger by waiters! well if thats the only thing, and they can't be bothered to get there lazy behinds up to get a drink from the numerous bars around well god help them. And by the sounds of it they had all only paid about £600 for a fortnight!!!

I can't believe such people can complain, it must be paradise for them, being able to eat and drink as much as they like, smoke where they like, and let there darling offspring (who should be at school) run around like idiots and let someone else look after them or not as the case usually is!

Well that's my rant over and has nothing to do with the Hotel, it just makes me embarrassed sometimes to be a tourist from the same country.

So overall, The Hotel, was fantastic, very clean, great food and drink, decent entertainment, lovely rooms, great beach, and very good service. The trips were good, but overpriced, however found out later could have got a lot cheaper! (live & learn) The resort itself is very limited, personally i wouldn't venture off track without a guide, however all staff and local people met were extreamly friendly, the weather was great even with a few thunderstorms thrown in which only last 30mins but then its glorious sunshine again! But in all honesty this hotel does deserves its 5 star award, I would recommend it to anyone apart from Chavs!

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
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    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
28 Thank donnylad75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Leeds
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 June 2009

Stayed at this hotel 29th May-12th June, this was my second visit to this hotel (first time 2002) and it was better than i remembered. Rooms are big and clean, food is fab, staff are very friendly, entertainment good, grounds are lovely, i will most definately visit this hotel again in the future. If there is anything you would like to know please feel free to email me.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
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    • 4 of 5 bubbles
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    • 5 of 5 bubbles
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    • 5 of 5 bubbles
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    • 5 of 5 bubbles
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4 Thank Susan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 June 2009

Stayed at this hotel from May 12th to May 26th and it was an absolutely great holiday.
I wasnt going to post a review until I read back some of the others and found someone had rated it 1/5 simply because of problems they had with their travel agent/trip organiser. This has nothing to do with the hotel, and totally out of their control.
As for some comments about not knowing they had to wear long trousers for the alacarte restaurants, surely a quick check of the brochure or actually ASKING QUESTIONS before you go, would have made them aware.
Anyway now to the review of the hotel.

Arrived after a painless trip from the airport (roughly 15-20mins). We were greated with a frozen fruit punch drink which was great as it was absolutely roasting. Bags got tagged at the reception and after around 5-10 mins were delivered to the room.
We were originally given block 1 (I think - next to the show area) with a ground floor room, but as we wanted to be nearer the pool, and on either first or second floor, we asked to move. This was done the next day with no problems by the reception staff.

We missed the first 2 days of shows due to being tired from the flights/travelling, but did manage to catch the Lion King show - well worth seeing. As for the rest of the shows, would deffinately recommend anything in which the crowd gets involved - Mr Iberostar, Guys Vs Girls, Karoake etc. Much preferred these to the dancing shows, but thats just me.
Entertainment team were great, played Water Polo just about every day and it was a great laugh with Cheeky Monkey, Spiderman etc. Great way to meet new people as well.
Food in all restaurants that we went to was great (never went to the seafood one - not for any other reason than my girlfriend doesnt like seafood).
Toss up between the Mexican and Brazilian for the best - opinions vary. The times for these were a little awkward - 6:30 or 8:30 but we were usually out for 9:15 if we went for 8:30, just in time for the show at 9:30.
Staff in all areas were also great with almost everyone replying with "Your Welcome" if you thanked them for something. Rooms were kept spotless and minibar stocked every day.
Drinks were great, and more often than not I had to ask for a small vodka, as the drinks were just too strong with the standard measures - however this might just be me.
Pool could do with a little work - paint is peeling and leaves/grass does fall in from the plants around the pool, but we seen staff trimming these bushes at least every 2/3 days
The nightclub that is in the hotel is also good - great size for being in a hotel, and a great atmosphere. Prepare yourself for the bass before you go in though, as you can feel it shaking your skin.
Everything else is just as all the good reviews say so I wont bother repeating them.
Flight home was uneventful except for some bumpy bits - again NOT the hotels fault.
Overall an absolutely great holiday. Picked this hotel as I had stayed at an Iberostar over in Bulgaria last year, and the standards between them are much the same.

If you are going then I'm sure you will love it, and if you haven't then I would thoroughly recommend it!

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 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?
8 Thank dr_wooo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 June 2009

Having been to Punta Cana before I can compare this hotel to others and can say that it is a great hotel, so much so that I would look for this hotel chain at other destinations. We were there 3-17 May and, as Mexico had been closed to tourists, it meant that a lot more people were holidaying in Dom Rep. To that end the hotel was probably busier than normal but as the hotel is big you didn't really notice it.

The food was superb, infact it was so good that my husband and I never went to any a la carte restaurants the whole two weeks we were there. Yes we were that happy with the buffet ,and as my husband is a chef, he can be quite fussy about his food.

The staff were very friendly and helpful. In fact I only came across one staff member who didn't seem happy.

The rooms were serviced everyday and we never ran out of anything.

There are plenty of activities if you want to be active otherwise you can just lie back and enjoy the sun.

I felt that the pool area was overcrowded with loungers and would have prefered to have more space around the pool and the beach isn't as nice as the one at Punta Cana, but that's as bad as it gets.

If you've booked to go to this hotel in the future, lucky you, you're going to have a great holiday.

Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
6 Thank Dya9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wixford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 June 2009

I'll make this short and sweet , good points to start !
Check-in was a breeze .
The grounds are amazing, well looked after and very beautiful.
Reception area very nice.
Room was very clean , the maid was spot on, clean towells every day and she decorated the bed with flower petals every day too.
Lovely quiete clean beach with no hassle from "lucky lucky men" as the hotel security wouldnt allow them on the beach or to approach sun loungers.
The entertainment staff were really energetic and some of them really talented.
The food was "ok" and plenty of it too , you wont go hungry.
We did a trip , it was the cable-car trip with a few stops thrown in, museums , the rum factory ect.....GREAT DAY OUT !!!!!!!! Its only half day really so you still have time to catch some rays. Leave at 0800 and back by 1330 . The cable-car was definately the best , 25,000 feeet up a lovey lush green mountain with a bar at the top. Great photos to be taken here and the views ar out of this world.

AND NOW FOR THE NEGATIVE POINTS !

First off my wife and I like a drink on holiday , could I get drunk ? I tried as best i could , trust me. All the cocktails are really watered down to a point where it just tastes of water but looks pretty , the frozen cocktails (Margerhitas ect.....) are pre-made in the kitchen in a slushy maker and when they come out of the kitchen the bar staff add an alcoholic liquer . I like to see my cocktails being made , cocktails are supposed to be fun and alcoholic. The soft drinks are all warm and flat so a spirit and a mixer is a no-no , really disgusting.
The pool was nice to look at , but you had to get up early in the morning to find a lounger, We also found the pool area very over crowded and very noisy, often the loungers were 3 deep . It felt like you were ontop of each other.
I think the worst thing for us was the smoking !!!!!!!!!! We dont smoke and guarantee that where ever you go, beach, pool, all the restaurants, bar areas, beach basically everywhere smoking was allowed. This was really annoying. You're really enjoying your breakfast and all of a sudden someone on the next table "lights -up" !!! YUKKKKKK disgusting.
I found the bar / restaurant staff to be unfriendly and were only nice to you for "tip money" !
Now I am English but found my fellow English holiday makers really let the side down , the word "chavs" sprang to mind ! Families with "no manners" , "swearing" by the pool , Look I'll put this another way and make this a final note...........................
IF YOU'RE AN ENGLISH SMOKING FAMILY WITH NO MANNERS AND DRESS LIKE A FOOL DAY AND NIGHT IN 3 QUARTER TROUSERS WITH VESTS AND COVERED IN TACKY TATTOOS AND HAVE YOUR HEAD SHAVED , LIKE QUEING UP FOR ONLY ENGLISH FOOD (when there is a lot of other alternatives to eat) THEN THIS HOLIDAY IS FOR YOU. Personally we travelled half way round the world to be in a foriegn country and still ended up with the people we were trying to get away from in the first place !!!
Overall we gave this holiday 7/10 .
Its a cheap Caribbean holiday. There are better places to stay in the dominican, You pays yer money..............
oh and dont eat the food at the airport on the way back !!!!! I'm just getting over food poisoning , the doctor diagnosed me with "Campolybactor" very nasty, you dont want it , trust me.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank naylor04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bournemouth
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 June 2009

I visited this hotel with my girlfriend for a two week break. The entrance lobby has a large Turtle pool and Flamingos by the entertainment area. Peacocks also walk through the hotel. The service was first class and most staff spoke english and german to a good level. The food was of a very good standard and there was a good selection. At breakfast they would make you fresh omlets as you wait, cooked right in front of you. The waiters will do anything to help you and every time you take a sip of water they jump out and top it up! Deserts were always being rotated and were freshly cooked including varieties of cream filled cakes, biscuits and ice creams. The all inclusive bars are very good and well staffed and the beer they serve is Presidente, which is one of the more expensive beers on the island, as aposed to the cheaper beer most all inclusives tend to serve. The cocktails are good and you get table service during evening entertainment so the lazier people do not even have to leave their seats to get a beer!! The hotel was a mix of Uk, U.s, Canadians and germen. other nationalities seemed to be the minority. The Hotel shop is very expensive. Outside the shop you can book all your excursions which are good but a bit over priced, although the experience of the real poverty you see is something you never forget. In some places the middle class use car batteries to power their T.v at night.(if they have one) they have no lights unless they live in the rich area. The lucky Dominicans have electric and running water but even that isn't 24 hrs.

For men, to dine at the three speciality restaurants long trousers are mandatory so bring a pair of jeans, the main restaurant smarter shorts are ok. The beach is built onto the hotel and included in your stay is an hour a day of kayaking, sailing and canoeing. A free scuba lesson is held daily in the pool which is can be booked at the dive centre, which also holds daily scuba trips.

The rooms are good, a/c and balcony, a free electronic safe. you also get beer and fizzy drinks free in your mini bar which is topped up daily.

The bed is huge so if you and your partner have an argument during your stay you have potentially enough space between you to fit a baby elephant in!

Security guards roam the hotel and beach front at night.
Met some really nice people on our trip who helped make the two weeks more enjoyable.
There is so much more to write but i'm going to finish here!
overall a very nice hotel and I would go back tomorrow if I had the chance.

Tony Tiger, Kellie Koala, England

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank tyronerobinson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia
Level Contributor
58 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 June 2009

My wife and I were worried becasue of some of the negative reviews. When we got to the resort we were greeted with smiles and drinks. The staff was very friendly and as helpful as they could be. The food was very good and the evening fare changed daily in the buffet. The resort offers many adventures (my wife and I did the horse back riding and ATVs) The only excursion that we did not like was the Paradise Island. It is a 2.5 hr drive to the other side of town then they take you out to a small island for 15min of snorkeling then you sit in the sun for the next 2 hrs then drive back to the resort. Other wise it was a very pleasant experience and I would definately return.

Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank wiggum77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Iberostar Costa Dorada

Property: Iberostar Costa Dorada
Address: Carretera Luperon km 2.5 | Marapica, Costa Dorada, Puerto Plata 57000, Dominican Republic
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#2 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#2 Spa Hotel in Puerto Plata
#2 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Plata
#3 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Business Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Iberostar Costa Dorada 4*
Number of rooms: 516
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The IBEROSTAR Costa Dorada hotel is located in front of the large golden sand beach of Costa Dorada, 10 minutes from the city of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic's north coast. This wonderful 5-star All Inclusive resort is a wonderful haven for aquatic sports lovers. Renovated in 2011, the IBEROSTAR Costa Dorada hotel has 498 Double Rooms and 18 spacious Junior Suites. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Iberostar Costa Dorado
Iberostar Puerto Plata
Iberostar Costa Dorada Dominican Republic
Iberostar Costa Dorada Puerto Plata
Iberostar Hotel Costa Dorada
Iberostar Costa Dorada Hotel
Costa Dorado
Puerto Plata Iberostar
Iberostar Hotel Puerto Plata

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