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The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Ranked #10 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Pawcatuck, Connecticut
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Well worth the money”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 February 2012

We just returned from our first visit to the Dominican Republic. We can't wait to return. Everthing was beautiful. We spent a week at the Lifestyle Tropical Resort and had fun every day. The beaches were beautiful and so was the service. All of the people were so friendly and courteous to us. They all went out of their way to make us comfortable. We are planning on going back in Feb. next year if not later this year. The party they throw every Sunday night was outstanding. It was quite a show.
Before we left on our trip I read many negative reviews and was a little leary about even going. Don't let negative reviews sway you, a lot of people will complain about the smallest things that they find wrong with a great place. I'm basically a negative type person and I couldn't be happier with the way things went and the way we were treated.

Room Tip: Ask for Building one, even numbered rooms if possible. They overlook the pool area.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Chet S
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
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Coral Springs, Florida
Level Contributor
26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 February 2012

We stayed at the resort the second week of February. Our room was really nice, our maid was awesome, the beach was also lovely. We were harassed constantly by the time share reps. They could not take no for an answer. Even when we told them that we had food poisioning they only wanted to know when we wanted to go on a tour so that they could get their commission. The bartenders at the VIP beach were so self absorbed good luck getting a drink. The service was so inconsistent there seemed to be some kind disconnect in what was offered/expected and what was delivered. We ate at two different restaurants the brazilian Chiuscaria and Johnny's (You could use the steak to resole a flip flop). We had to go to the Medical Center on site to get medication because of the food poisioning. Spend a few more bucks and go elsewhere!

Room Tip: I would have preferred closer to beach.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank 2sunseekers33065
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Springfield,VA
Level Contributor
23 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2012

Not really sure why this is considered a resort. The rooms were very ordinary and the bathrooms were tiny. We had to ask everyday to have the fridge restocked with water and for extra towels. The food was very bland and the wine was terrible. The staff is very nice and friendly but much too pushy by the pool when they wanted you to join in their "fun activities". One woman actually told us to stop being so lazy. I would not return to this resort.

Room Tip: You do not want to be on the first floor, the only view is other buildings.
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank RAK_Springfield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wahsington, DC
Level Contributor
48 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 February 2012

Visited this resort in January 2011 and January 2012. I'm sad to say that it has declined, rather than improved. Booked through CheapCaribbean each time. Yes, the caste system by bracelets is rather tiresome, but the CheapCaribbean bracelets still provide access to the VIP beach, which alone is enough to visit Lifestyles.

ARRIVAL

Took a cab to/from the airport - fare was $35 each way, and it's important to note that the quality of vehicles really varies. On the way to the resort, we found ourselves in a very old van without proper ventilation or seat belts, but we returned to the airport in a modern car.

CHECK-IN

Check-in was a bit erratic - they could really stand to improve front desk operations (seemed to be short-staffed, front desk attendees kept going back and forth between desk and staff room; we ended up working with 3 different people). We requested a second story room in Building 5 and received it, but neglected to request a room with 2 beds instead of a king. Eventually, we got it fixed (involved another 30 minutes or so), and were moved to Building 3 (fine, but a bit noisier).

ROOMS:

If you're staying at the Tropical (through CheapCaribbean) expect a basic, but clean room. Our room had two problems upon arrival: a balcony door that wouldn't lock, and a broken shower head that resulted in water being sprayed all over the bathroom. After making a few phone calls, both problems were promptly fixed. They may want to consider promoting the handyman - he did a great job but seemed thoroughly under-appreciated.

The room's refrigerator was not stocked. While I could care less about the beer and soda, having access to bottled water is a MUST. After our third call to the front desk, we finally got some water. Be sure to use bottled water to brush your teeth.

VIP BEACH:

Best part of the visit. Yes, you have to get there a bit before 8, but you're likely to still get a bed (just not your ideal one, perhaps) later in the day. Servers and attendants at the VIP Beach work hard and are some of the most pleasant people you'll encounter at the resort; be sure to tip them generously. Enjoyed mimosas and Bloody Marys (tip: ask for them "spicy" otherwise it's tomato juice) on the beach. The VIP beach food/sushi is nothing special, but probably more edible than the buffet food.

FOOD:

The buffet is fine for breakfast but didn't eat any other meals there, except for one lunch. The pizza was probably the safest/most edible option. Omelets were great for breakfast. While none of the a la carte restaurants are amazing, the food is good at all of them and certainly preferable to the buffet. Ate at Indochine and Trapiche this time around.

Dinner on Sunday night is at the welcome party - it's really impressive and not to be missed. Fireworks, dancers, live musicians, performers, "premium" (non-domestic liquor) open bar. Plenty of food options, but be careful about the food that's sitting out... more on that later.

We wandered over to the Cofresi Beach buffet for the final night. It was certainly more peaceful than the Tropical buffet, much less hectic, with significantly better service. Food was okay.

ENTERTAINMENT:

They try very hard, but it's lackluster. Still worth going to, but some of the audience participation shows got old. The dancers try very hard, but the show seems to be more revolved around the multiple elaborate costume changes than the music/dancing. Bring bug spray if you plan on sitting out in the open-air Colosseum style theater.

HEALTH WARNING:

Food-borne illness is widespread in the Dominican Republic. I have a pretty strong stomach and rarely ever get sick, but in 2011, I got sick on my final day at Lifestyles (vomiting, diarrhea). It lingered for a few more days upon returning home, but wasn't severe. Despite that, I enjoyed the resort enough to return, but came prepared: plenty of Purrell, plus Pepto-Bismol and an antibiotic prescribed by my doctor (Cipro), just in case. Unfortunately, I needed all three of them. I took precautions in what I ate (avoided uncooked/unpeeled fruits/vegetables, leafy greens, seafood), washed my hands regularly, and used bottled water to brush my teeth. Despite that, on Day 3, a few hours after the welcome party buffet in the very early morning, I got the same illness as the year before. I took the antibiotics and was fine the next day, but had very little appetite the day of getting sick. I've since read that there has been research showing the efficacy of taking Pepto in advance of and during travel to prevent traveler's illness. I'd recommend starting a regiment before you travel.

OVERALL:

If getting a low rate on CheapCaribbean, it's worth it for the VIP beach alone. The resort could improve exponentially if they could provide better customer service at the front desk/information center. Most attendants were rude, unhelpful, and completely unwelcoming. But most of the servers, housekeepers, and attendants are extremely kind, helpful, and accessible. The resort might consider how they fully utilize and appreciate these employees.

If the goal is to convert vacationers into "Vacation Club" members, they're not doing a very good job. As a return guest, I obviously enjoyed the property and my visit the first time around. But they tend to treat non-owners rather poorly, which renders their vacation club recruiting pointless. Again, the poor treatment is only evident when you're at the front desk, visiting the "information desk," or trying to make a reservation or request. The resort employees you'll interact with throughout the day (once your room and reservations are settled) are mostly outstanding.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank MD811
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yonkers, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 February 2012

I really enjoyed this place! I am not sure why there are many complains but I had a blast all the way! The people there are super friendly, the service was great (although a bit slow at the VIP beach but when you are relaxing, there is no rush) and there is plenty of morning, afternoon, and night entertainment. The nightclub Vibe was a bit slow and not many people went there, but I think that may be because there were not many young people. I went with 3 girlfriends (all in our early 20s) and we found the place to be populated by mostly couples and families, and not enough younger people, which may be because they are still in school and the time was not during any school breaks. The food was also great--buffet had variety during dinner with different themed nights, and lunch had plenty of variety as well. Only breakfast was pretty much the same but still good. The entertainment staff has contests during which you can win rum bottle and coffee. It was all great fun and relaxation! :)

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Janet A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fairview, TN
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 February 2012

We just returned from Lifestyles Tropicale in Puerta Plata. I was a bit apprehensive due to the reviews I'd read but we knew we would have a good time wherever we went.

Checking was a breeze, no wait at all. We requested a ground floor room in bod 4 near the pool and that's exactly what we got. The room was adequate but nothing fancy, clean (which is most important to me) but not as nice as the pictures would indicate. Housekeeping was spotty on restocking the frig and we had toast a couple of times for water.

I found the property a bit confusing and really spread out, the maps they gave us at checking were completely unreadable but we hiked around the first few days and figured out most of it. We spent our first day on the VIP beach (it is part of the upgrade, right?) but didn't go back after that. It's very cramped and crowded and doesn't feel like being on the beach. It is, however, the only place you can get wifi on the resort without paying for it,

As we read on the reviews, at checkin, we were given two restaurant reservations (1 at 9pm and 1 at 8:30pm, late for us). We tried several times to change them to a different time or get reservations at a different restaurant but no way were they even interested in helping us.

The resort in general is very low energy, not a lot of organized activities. That was ok with me as I just needed to relax but was a little disappointing for my husband. The water was too rough and cloudy for any snorkeling or scuba activites, there was no ga,e room that we could find or gym that was available to us.

I was also very turned off by the classism between timeshare owners and regular guests. Even the folks that owned spoke to us about how much better they were treated after they purchased as opposed to before. It just caused us to feel like a lesser class of guest. Also, what everyone says about the white shirt guys us absolutely right, they surround the buffet like a pack of wolves and you absolutely cannot get past them without being accosted, no matter how many times you say no, they keep on coming,

On the same line, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, they allow vendors in the. Pool area. These guys set up right in front of the folks who are trying to relax around the pool and they also accost you every time you try to go through the area.

The buffet is pretty standard fare and was ooh for us. We ate at the Indochine and it was terriblle, the Blue Lagon was better but not awesome. It was difficult to get the bartenders to serve us, there are only a couple of bars in our area and they are packed all the time.

We enjoyed our time off, the weather was outstanding, the pools were great, and we had a couple of fun offsite trips but on the whole, we would not return.

Room Tip: We were in 4107, it is near the buffet, the pool, and has a beach view, 4105 or 4103 would be even b...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank TennesseeLynne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ticonderoga, NY
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 February 2012

If your like me, you have read tons of reviews, I will do my best to give you the ins and outs with important things to remember. At 28 yrs old, my family and I have been going to All-Inclusive resorts for 8 years now, typically traveling with 6-8 people. The Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort is a large resort with its flaws. We traveled from Feb. 9th - Feb 14th. There are several different bracelets the resort(s) offer. Most people booking through CheapCarribean.com will receive yellow bracelets while the VIPs get Gold bracelets and have all the freedoms. The weather is great, except when it rains, it stays around for a while. The food is not great, it is the same day after day in the buffet. It is very hard to get reservations in the restaurants but they do give you two reservations in check in. Quick run down:The Italian place is very good, Blue Lagoon is good for dinner and terrible for lunch, did not try the Asian place, Twilight is ok (located next door), the Mexican and Brazilian places were good while Johnny's is terrible. I cant say enough about the people there, they are helpful and super nice. If you were promised something by the company you booked through, demand that you get what you payed for. Just be the bell men are awesome and so are most of the wait staff and bartenders. The front desk contains a bunch of idiots, be aware! We spoke to the assissant manager (Jwana) who might be the greatest person in all the property!! I have read before that you get what you pay for and thats very true. I WOULD NOT stay longer than one week here, to much monotonous with music, food, activities....If you do have an extra day to spare, check out Ocean World and get there at 9am for the shows...well worth the $55. Ok im sure there is more but thats it for me! Good Luck

Room Tip: Book buildings 5 or 6 or 2nd floor of building 4.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Shakee67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort

Property: The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Address: Columbus Torre 1 | Playa Cofresi, Puerto Plata 57000, Dominican Republic (Formerly Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort & Spa)
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 282
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set within the sprawling Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort, The Tropical offers a classic hotel vacation experience set within quaint, two- and threestory, Mediterranean-style buildings. The mood is laid-back and distinctively Caribbean. Guest enjoy all resort facilities and amenities (excluding the V.I.P areas) including swimming pools, a choice of excellent restaurants, exercise rooms, tennis courts, windsurfing and so much more. The Lifestyle Tropical is Ideal for couples seeking a private island hide-away with all the advantages of a world-class resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort And Spa
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Hotel Puerto Plata
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort Spa
Hacienda Tropical
Hotel Lifestyle Tropical Beach

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