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The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Ranked #11 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Reviewed 20 April 2012

This was the worst vacation ever! First we were brought to a room which was already occupied, then after trekking back to the desk we were offered a small dingy room off in "left field" of the resort. Finally, a nice desk clerk got us into a decent room, whew! The "Vacation Club" (aka Time Share) representatives were like vultures, finally my husband said ok, show us your stuff. After quite a few top shelf drinks hubby decided to sign up for a $5,000 trial membership. The sales pitch was a total mis-representation! Within a day or so of annoying issues and members telling us how they had gotten trapped into the program and you are lucky to get any of the benefits we tried to opt out but were told the only thing we could do was possibly write to corporate and maybe they would redeem a portion of our money, if they agreed with our complaint. Luckily our credit card company sided with us and refunded the entire amount. I have been so embarassed about being suckered in that this is the first time I have admitted to anyone that we were so stupid.
P.S. the food was also as bad as every one said!

Room Tip: dont go there!
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Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
7  Thank websta'
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jenny H, Public Relations Manager at The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 22 April 2012

Dear Mrs.Websta,

Thank you for taking the time to communicate to us why our Hotel did not meet your expectations.

The inconvenience you experienced of being allocate into an occupied room is
Unacceptable, please accept my sincerest apologies, and know that I will be discussing your comments with our Rooms Division Manager. In addition, we will further evaluate how we can prevent this problem from occurring again in the future.

We regret to hear that the food offerings at the hotel were not to your liking.

Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort& Spa highly appreciate your feedback as it will assist us in becoming better at what we do. As with any business like ours, the greatest advertising we can have is word of mouth from a satisfied customer.

Kindest Regards

Jenny C. Hernandez
E-Commerce Concierge

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3,224 - 3,230 of 4,779 reviews

Reviewed 19 April 2012

Just got back from staying here for 6 nights from 4/9/12-4/15/12. I booked this vacation on a whim in January - I did no research and booked quickly on Cheap Caribbean because their "sale" was ending (false advertising, but little did I know). After months of reading reviews, I got more and more nervous about the trip because there were so many terrible reviews. I even tried calling Cheap Caribbean to change the resort but they wanted $700 more since I only paid $250 (yes, you read it right) for 6 nights at this resort. Considering how much I paid, this resort was more than worth it. From check-in to check-out, I experienced none of the problems other reviewers had. Maybe I came during a non-busy time? I'm not sure, but my trip was excellent.

Olympus Tours was easy to find - they transported us to our resort in good time. BRING YOUR CHEAP CARIBBEAN DOCUMENTS! This allowed us to get on the bus even though they did not have our names down on the list. And even though we waited over an hour to leave because two people were missing, I didn't mind. If I were in those people's shoes, I would not want the bus to leave me, especially in a country where I couldn't use my cell phone.

Check in was a breeze - maybe because I ran to the front desk right when I got off the bus, but it literally took less than 3 minutes. I'm sure the people behind me didn't wait long because the front-desk staff was very efficient. I got the room I requested (Building 6, 3rd floor). It looked exactly like the pictures - 4 poster bed, sliding mirror closets, balcony, bathroom with open shower (European style?). The bed was very comfortable - I slept easily each night. The fridge kept our drinks really cold. The things said about the shower are true - it DOES spray water outside but if you put a towel there, it's not a problem. We had a problem figuring out the hot water (we accidentally turned it towards cold because it had no label) but we figured out how to get hot water a day later and it was always hot. The tile floor does get sticky, but if you wear your flip-flops this is not a problem. We did not clean our room everyday but when we did get it cleaned, I left a message for the maid in Spanish asking for water and 7-up and she gave us all that we needed. It was also easy to find maids and other workers around the building so I always managed to keep my fridge stocked with soda or water. They are very nice, and even though they do not speak English, it is easy to say, "Agua por favor." Several times people asked me if I wanted any drinks when I walked by because they were restocking rooms.

Raul, Danny, and Alejandro at the VIP Beach were amazing! So friendly and courteous! They made us special drinks (ask for a Mama Juana sour - it's delicious!). They did have top shelf liquor there and all the juices and add-ons came from a bottle (no worries about sickness). The food on the VIP beach is decent - we ate the Turkey club and paninis mostly. The sushi bar is really good as well - get the fried fish sushi! I never did the "Running of the Beds" and always found a spot on the VIP beach at any time of day. Some beds are not super clean but just lay on your towel and stop complaining! I did get annoyed that people would reserve the shaded beds for the entire day and not show up, or show up for 30 minutes and then leave. However, the staff were always super helpful and accommodating. I saw a lot of people not tip and they were still friendly - I did tip every time however because these people work really hard!

The buffet is as bad as people have said however - my boyfriend and I lived on a carb diet. We ate mainly pasta and bread for dinner (sometimes soup) and fresh-made omelettes for breakfast. I also ate the fruit since it was fresh cut but steered clear of the meats. The food did get boring fast, but there is a lot of it. The Casablanca buffet on the Tropical side is open air so you will see birds fly in and out, as well as some flies hovering around. The buffet on the Cofresi side was nicer (we did eat there one night) but it has relatively the same food. I was careful about what I ate and am happy to say that neither of us got sick. You can prevent sickness by taking Pepto Bismo 2 tablets 4 times a day (it has antimicrobial properties and prevents diarrhea). This probably helped as well since we did this regimen everyday. I got three reservations - one for Johnny's (however, on the day of my reservation it was closed - I was kind of annoyed by this but oh well), another for Indochine (really terrible Chinese food - we barely touched our food, boxed it, and threw it away), and Bellini (we missed our reservation for this because of too much Mama Juana...). Even though the dining was lacking, I did not come on vacation to eat, more to relax and do excursions.

Speaking of excursions, I did my research and did not book through the hotel (they will charge you outrageous amounts). I booked with Francisco of Marysol Tours. He is extremely professional and helpful! His excursions are excellently priced. Lifestyle does not allow other tour companies on (I contacted Mel Tours as well and they refused me). However, Francisco meets you right outside the Presidential Suites gate to collect a deposit. We did the Jeep Safari, which was amazing. You go on the countryside, see where the make statues, coffee, hot chocolate, and climb 7 of the 27 waterfalls at Damajaqua. We also snorkeled at Paradise Island. There was some minor confusion because the tour guide Elvis told us to meet at the PS gate for the Paradise Island tour but Francisco said we would get picked up from our lobby. I waited 30 minutes at the gate outside before panicking and going back to the lobby to make a phone call - luckily the tour bus saw me and grabbed me. I'm sure they were waiting for me as well - but this is what I like - the tour buses do not leave you here! When I booked tours in Hawaii, if I was 5 minutes late, they left me!

Overall, the resort is lovely. We got to use both resorts, the Tropical and the Cofresi. The pools at the Cofresi are a lot better (Cave Bar - an underwater bar! and waterfalls!) but the beach at the Tropical is better. The water isn't crystal clear but is very warm and inviting. I believe the Tropical's beach is better - there were no sewer smells or pipes that I could see. And the resort is not as hilly as people claim (or perhaps I enjoy hiking so I did not notice). It is very large so my boyfriend and I enjoyed late night walks to explore, as the resort is enclosed and very safe. There is another VIP area next to the lobby that has an outdoor coliseum with nightly shows. There was also a nightclub there that looked really nice (we peeked inside but did not go). I was also able to attend the Bravissimo show (Thursday night). The shuttle picks you up at 8:30pm. The show was a lot of fun - Ocean World is actually really beautiful as well. They serve you complimentary drinks and snacks. The casino is small (what can I say, I've been to Vegas numerous times) but adequate if you enjoy gambling.

I felt that my worries about the trip were unnecessary. Doing research and going with an open-mind and not caring too much about food, as well as remembering what a great deal I got, really made the trip amazing. All of the people were really friendly and the resort met my expectations (besides the food but hey, it's a 3rd world country and I didn't come to eat!).

Room Tip: Building 5 or 6 are quieter
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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17  Thank Liz V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2012

I would like to extend my deepest appreciation for an outstanding work performed by Maria Brabo. I was in a Suite 41308 and Maia Brabo did an remarkable work fixing our room in a such time manner. She also went out of her way to please us. She is a very oustanding individual in all of her ways. Extremely courteous, very educated, very friendly and a professional in all her ways. She ought to be commended by higher ups for such an outstandig individual. Please it is imperative that this letter be routed to all individuals that works with her to follow as an example. I would like for her Supervisor to be aware of this recommendation of this oustanding individual. We want to thank you again Maria Brabo for an excellent work. Keep up the excellent work. Because of your service and other we will miss the Cafressi Hotel. Thank you!

Room Tip: I sugest that people sould choose the suites as well as the other room. We don't know which sid...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank aida r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2012

Camping on a construction site would have been better!
Nasty staff, don't speak english, the beach is a disaster with lots of rocks and dirt all over the place.
I lost 10lbs, all I ate was toast and eggs, everything else look and smell like cat food !

What a disaster and I did speak to a manager about the room and the food, she told me to go back to the US !

Its very simple, they want you to buy for $70000.00 plus maintenance... Then you get a gold bracelet, a golf cart to go to the new area, otherwise you have to stay in the trailer park section with the buffet animal food !

NEVER AGAIN EVEN FOR FREE !!!

STAY AWAY

Room Tip: Pay $70000.00 then you get to stay on the good side with the clean beach !!!
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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6  Thank BKLYNCANADIAN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jenny H, Public Relations Manager at The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 24 April 2012

Dear Guest:

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience at Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort & Spa. We are sorry to hear that our resort did not meet your expectations.

Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort & Spa is committed to providing our guests with the highest quality services and facilities. Please know that yours was not a typical experience at our hotel.

Our operational staff speaks fluent English and is trained to be helpful, even under stress they usually perform very well. Please accept our apologies for any staff member who did not display those qualities.

We supervise that the cleaning at the beach & pool is daily made, our housekeeping staff constantly browses around the beach area of the property in order to keep the facilities of the hotel clean.

Our food and beverage team strives to offer a variety of quality menu items to provide something for all types of guests visiting our resort from around the world; in fact we constantly receive compliments about the food.

You willingness to share your thoughts is appreciated. I hope you will allow us the opportunity in the future make your experience at our property an unforgettable one.


Warmest Regards

Jenny Hernández
E-Commerce Concierge

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2012

We stayed here from January through March, in both the Presidential suites and in villas and had an awesome time. The resort was full, and yes, there were some problems with overbooking among other things. The food in the specialty restaurants ranged from OK to excellent (Azul). The buffet restaurants, The Pearl at Cofresi, and Casa Blanca at The Tropical were good, due more to their offering more variety than anything else, especially for lunch, when you are not as fussy. The beaches were crowded due to the resort being full. After many complaints, they have now have a new rule that security will remove the personal contents (towels, books, bags, etc.) from any unoccupied beach beds, chairs, etc., and put them on the ground nearby. This really is only fair. We got to one beach a 1/2 hour before they even opened, and saw that people probably got up early and before breakfast came and put books, etc. on the beds. We watched, and some rude people showed up 4 hours later to lie on one bed which they had "reserved", for 10 minutes, and left again for the rest of the day! They probably did this at all the beaches just to cover the bases. Please don't ask and tip the staff to do this for you - they could very well lose their jobs for this.

The service is very friendly and attentive. A few dollars goes a log way to help ensure this! The resort is very clean, and the grounds are well maintained.

In full disclosure, I am a member of Lifestyle. Members pay up to 6 figures to become members and get the most benefits. We members pay from $50 per person per day up to $75 per person per day for the all-inclusive alone, PLUS we pay for our accommodations on top of that. What really gripes me (Bob) is that people paying next to nothing (not talking about airfare, taxis, etc. here) expect the same treatment and accommodations as higher level members. It ain't gonna happen here, or at any other resort, folks. The resort LOSES money on every Cheap Caribbean guest. Members actually subsidize the shortfall! The reason that Cheap Caribbean (and other low end, discount travel companies) can offer these promotional, below cost rates, is simply that this marvelous resort is growing very rapidly and looking for a source of new members who will participate in its growth. It's a loss leader

Quite honestly I, (Bob again), get so ticked off, is that CC and others seem to make people feel that they will get the very best for paying the very least. People need to realize this before making a reservation with CC or anyone else promising you the moon for next to nothing.

If you are looking for the very best for next to nothing, do NOT come here. Save your money, pay more, come here through a member, or go to another resort.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank BobandEllen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2012

most excenllent and wonderful experience my wife and i have experienced, we love the staff or should i say our second family at the residence suites, my special family , mayeline contrera ,roza garcia, juan luis cid, yoscarly, juan carlos and veronika and our love to ramona.. i will be returning with more of my family and hopefully a little longer.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Otha G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2012

Upon arrival in Feb 2012, my boyfriend and I laid eyes on the beautiful, idyllic scenery that was the Lifestyles “resort.” The idyllic views were quickly shattered when we tried to check in. After waiting on front lobby line for 30 mins, we were told that our reservation was changed to Cofresi, a neighboring resort, and had to wait another 30 mins for shuttle to take us there. All in all, the total time from arriving at the resort to finally settling in took us THREE hours. Why? The Cofresi front lobby sent us on a wild good chase back and forth, back and forth from the lobby to room- resulting from the room key card not working to the room still unclean from prior guests, etc etc! I lost count how many times we went back around! I also noticed that everyone at the lobby were all complaining about experienced similar check in problems! To make matters worse, we missed our first day tour because of all this. When I asked if I could make a quick local phone call to the tour company to cancel (due to their incompetence!), the front lobby denied my request for a simple call!!!

Basically, unless you’re a time share member, don’t expect to get any freedom or real service. The resort ads say that there are NINE inclusive restaurants, but what they don’t say is that most are unavailable to you if you’re just a regular visitor. And the limited available ones can only cater to you during certain times. If you miss the time, your shoot out of luck and you can starve for all they care. And whatever you do, do NOT lose your reservation receipt (a small 2x2 inch piece of paper) because if you do, the reservation will be lost and there’s no way for customer service to provide a replacement. We lost our receipt and the restaurant REFUSED to service us even though the place was EMPTY (although I can see why now). But of course, when we were leaving, we saw "special" time share members come without a receipt (they literally said, “We don’t have reservations”), but the waiters JUMPED over themselves to service them. And after we told the resort that we were not interested in becoming time share members, the service just got worse.

After all this ridiculousness, we finally decided to take a nice day at the famous VIP beach to relax. It would’ve been nice if it wasn’t for the fact that our camera got stolen from the sunbeds. We went to security, but they did nothing to help us and even gave us a really bad attitude. We found our own way to the Lost and Found, freezing in our swim suits, and waited 30 mins for the attendant to finish talking on her personal call, only for her to tell us that there was no camera found.

I also want to add that be prepared to pay through the nose for any of the resort taxis. They are all in cahoots with each other and unionized to jack up prices to jip tourists. We walked outside and got a ride there.

Room Tip: Just don't stay here. Go elsewhere!
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank julie w
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

Address: Columbus Torre 1 | Playa Cofresi, Puerto Plata 57000, Dominican Republic (Formerly Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort & Spa)
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
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range: $114 - $341 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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