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“Lifestyles Crown Villas- the good and the bad...” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Crown Villas at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort

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The Crown Villas at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Ranked #14 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Green Bay, WI
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Lifestyles Crown Villas- the good and the bad...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 January 2012

We went to Lifestyles for a week on 1/3/12 - 1/10/12. We were a group of 12 staying with owners. (my aunt and uncle have owned there for 3 years) We had Gold VIP bracelets and stayed in two villas next to each other. I have stayed at all-inclusives in Cancun, Riviera Maya, and Puerto Vallarta in the past.

Property- The property itself is very large. We had a golf cart with the villa, which was really necessary to get around the large property. There are also villa shuttles that you can call to bring you places. The property is very pretty and nicely maintained. It is nice to see the lush mountain views and flowers all over the resort.

Villa- Our group had requested one large six-bedroom villa, but we did not get it. We got two three-bedroom villas that were next to each other. The houses were very nice- each bedroom had it's own full bathroom. We had a few glitches with the a/c in some rooms, some plumbing issues, and some wear and tear, but overall the houses are very nice. Every day, the pool is cleaned, and you have a housekeeper come in to cook breakfast for you and clean the house. I would say that the cleaning standards are not that of the U.S. but that is common when you travel. The house was stocked daily with booze that we had ordered the first day we arrived, and soda, beer, and water. We requested diet soda and didn't get that until the end of the week, so there is some miscommunication. (again, when you travel to a different country, that is understandable with the language barrier) Our housekeepers were great- Ellgracia and Maria- kind, hardworking, and did a great job!

Dining- There are many restaurants at the resort and we had no problem getting reservations at the VIP establishments for dinner- those were all above average in menu, service, and quality. Our faves were Jazz and Simply Gourmet. The buffet Casablanca was not good at all. The bars all had lunch menus that were similar to each other- burgers, sandwiches, etc. They were good. The ice cream shop was pretty good. You can't get room service delivery after 5 p.m. which is odd to me. (especially since you have to pay a delivery fee for it, and it is a small menu) The weekly VIP party had great food- but unfortunately it was raining out so hard that put a damper on it as people were huddling under the food tent and were pushing and shoving.

Beaches- Beaches were okay. Serenity beach is by far the nicest. Sand is full of crushed shells, which isn't optimal but it was okay. The water color was nice, but not the gorgeous teal blue of the Caribbean like you get in Cancun. (also- the water was churned up from the weather/storms that we had) There were workers constantly raking the beach for sea weed, so they do try to make it very nice. There are shops at the regular beach, which were kind of cute, and they didn't pester us too badly.
The beds at Serenity were great- they will dust the sand off for you, move them, and give you food/drink service.

Weather- We had bad weather the entire week we were there. It rained every day. We had a few hours of sun here and there and one decent day, but the rain kind of overshadowed everything. It down poured every night which made you not want to go out in the evenings!

Sickness- Most everyone in our group got a belly ache at one point or another. (this is another thing that I think is common with travel to other countries as food is prepared differently, etc.) 4 people in our group got severe diarrhea and stomach cramps while we were there and my 9 year old daughter got so sick with constant vomiting and fever that she had to go to the onsite doctor two days in a row. The first day they gave her stomach cramp meds and nausea meds. 24 hours later she was back in the office as she was even worse. They gave her an iv for dehydration, gastroenteritis, and a bacterial infection from something that she ate there. They kept her at the clinic a few hours, then transported her back to the villa with the iv. The doctor came back to check on her at bedtime and the next morning, when she was starting to feel better, and he removed the iv. The doctor was very nice to our daughter and helpful. He gave us a bill, medical report, and other info to send to our insurance at home. (not sure yet if we will have coverage for this or not) We did have to pay the clinic upfront. I think that we got sick from the food or water at the resort. We were very cautious in what we ordered, but did get sick. Also, one person in our group got a skin rash and another got an eye infection. I think our group supported the financing of that onsite clinic while we were there! (maybe they will name an addition to the clinic in our names ;)

Ocean World- 10 of us went to Ocean World. It is a nice, small park with lots to do. My kids did the Sea Lion encounter- they got to feed, pet, kiss the Sea Lions. Adorable!
Also- one night a group of us went to their casino. It is small, but had a great time.

Zip line tour- 5 in our group did the zip line tour and had a GREAT time! Highly recommended! This was booked right through the resort.

Private bbq party- we had a party at the villa on our last night. This was the BEST meal by far. A chef and waiter came to the house and served and cooked. We had fish, steak, pork chops, chicken, salads, potatoes, veggies. They also brought a cake to celebrate my grandmother's birthday. If you have a chance to have this, you won't be disappointed!

Shops- there are quite a few shops on the property that have everything you could need from souveniers, swim wear, inflatables, candy, magazines, sunscreen, medicine, etc. Prices are decent.

Overall, I don't think that I would return to this resort or to Puerto Plata again. For my preferences, I like the resorts and activities in Mexico more. If you do go, make sure you have the VIP bracelets! Without those, the restaurant/dining choices would be terrible. At all location on the property, the service seems to be hit or miss. Drinks are good, food is okay, service so-so. I am also leery that almost 1/2 of us did get sick. My aunt and uncle who are owners seemed let down- food/service was better in years past. I think possibly this resort has grown too large too fast to keep up with what they promise.

Room Tip: If staying in a villa, try to get one off the main street so you don't have as much traffic nois...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank seadootraveler
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
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (149)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Long Island City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 January 2012

It took two days after returning to get over being violently ill from the food. A refrigerator that didn't cool down past 60 degrees, loss of water and power a few times a day, and food you wouldn't feed a goat are my standout complaints. The Customer Service Reps couldn't be any more rude. Unless you get suckered into a membership, you are treated like unwanted guests. I wouldn't take a vacation there if they paid me to go. Stay as far away as possible and tell your best friends to do the same.

Room Tip: Choose one in another resort or country.
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Itsucked
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 January 2012

When I went to Lifestyle resort, Sammy Sosa (sales person) told me that he would add a clause to the contract giving me 3 days to review the contract as long as I signed it. He never added the clause despite of my several requests and kept avoiding me. The next day I went to the sales office with a letter asking to cancel the contract. The letter was signed and dated by one of ther representatives. Immediately our VIP gold bracelets were removed and we were moved back to the oldest Blg. were blue bracelet guests stay.and everything is falling apart.. We were not able to enjoy any of the VIP amenities. To my surprise upon my return home, Bank of America Credit Card Services called indicating that a charge of 28,000.00 dollars was made and no credit was ever processed. This credit card was opened by the resort for a 3 bedroom villa vacation club for 35 years. As part of the purchase Lifestyle included 3 weeks, however when I decided to use the first week they refused indicating that I needed to pay for it ($599.00) I was dragged into this contract against my will. I disputed the charges with Bank of America and the resort in writing with no results. Lifestyle advertises the use of all amenites to non members. This is not true. If you are not a member they give you a room in a old blg.where the bathrooms floods when you shower. If you want to eat in one of the better restaurants you have to get up early to put your name on the list just to be told that the restaurant is full. However if you walk to the restaurants these only have few guests but you will not be able to eat there unless your name shows up in the reservation list that you tried to get on before. You are not entitle to have premium drinks or use The VIP areas such as the pools or the beach. Its all a monopoly...The water is not treated and just by brushing your teeth or ordering frozen drinks will give you a stomach virus. They have many power outages throughout the day.The beach is terrible, full of rocks and residents bathing in their underwear. The sales people will not leave you alone when you are eating in the non members restaurant that serves the crappy food. I was under the impression that non members were the only ones to complain but Lifestyle has proven me wrong. .If you complain they dont do anything and will ignore you. It is a monopoly.and a cover up.They target foreigners because they are out of their jurisdiction and the laws can't protect them. I AM A MEMBER AND I DONT RECOMMEND THIS PLACE .

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
13 Thank Janet R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Long Island New York
Level Contributor
44 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 December 2011

We were at this resort before and booked through a local member. This time, because we gave no notice of dates, they were unable to book us a villa. We took a chance and tried booking through someone we found online. Last time we had blue bracelettes and this time we had gold. The blue bracelet was fine last time since VIP Beach was for members, guests and VIP only. This time VIP Beach is also used by Cheap Carribean clients, who payed $15 per day through a special promotion. Because of this the beach beds were always full there. We were not able to get a bed at all at VIP Beach during our 8 night stay. With our gold bracelet we were able to use both Serenity and Harmony beaches. Harmony is next to VIP. It has its own menu including drinks and snacks as well as a private ice cream shop where there was never a line. We were always able to get beds with shade there. We don't go on vacation to get up extra early and wait in line for beach beds, so VIP Beach would not have worked for us. With that said, at Harmony you have to leave the area to get to the water itself. It's a very small walk, but I like to go right from the bed to the water. VIP is a great swimming beach, so if you get a bed in the shade at Harmony you can swim in VIP, which is part of the same area when you're at the water. Serenity Beach is amazing. It is beautiful there. We walked down the water with a frozen drink and the waiter noticed it was empty. He brought us fresh drinks at the water's edge and took the empties away. Amazing. This beach always had beds and chairs in the shade and in the sun. The bar staff and drinks were perfect and they were always asking if there was anything at all they we wanted. Chicken sandwiches there were very good as well. The water is warm and inviting at all of the beaches, but there is something magical about Serenity Beach that the others don't have.

Villa 2c.
Our villa, like all the others, had a private pool in the backyard. This villa was closer to everything at the resort than our last one but it was not as nice. The pool was smaller and so was the villa. It was still wonderful to have our own private pool in the backyard, but since we had a golf cart it would have been nice to be a bit further away and have the amazing villa we had the last time. Next time I will request a newer villa-and there WILL be a next time! The villa had 3 beds and 3 1/2 baths like all 3 bedroom villas. It was more than enough space for 2 people and would have been fine for a family of 4, but not 6 adults. There was a king bed in the master and queen beds in the other 2 bedrooms. Like the last villa, there was no bath tub, but the shower had lots plenty of hot water and it was very clean.
Our housekeeper made omelettes with onions, peppers, potatoes and bacon in the mornings along with fresh toast and coffee. She brought French toast and pancakes as well as orange and pineapple juice each morning as well. She prepared, served and cleaned every morning and always brought extra towels. We rented a villa (just 2 of us) because we loved having the private pool and this morning breakfast service.

We used the VIP pool many times as well. VIP Pool has coverings over the areas with the beds for when it rains. We read at the pool in the pouring rain and had lunch there. This too is a very nice feature. It rained quite a bit in December, but never all day long. There was only 1 day that we could not swim in Serenity Beach because of rain and clouds, and that was spent at VIP Pool.

The Sunday welcome party, as so many have stated, is a great party. It rained through most of it and it was still so much fun. Lots of good food and drink, dancing, fireworks, and even a very good U2 cover band. It had something for every age group. On Sundays the only restaurant open for dinner is Casablanca. I think everyone is welcome at this party and it really should not be missed.

Restaurants:

Simply Gourmet-This was our favorite restaurant last time and this time was no different. We ate there 3 times this stay and were quite happy every time. There was nothing we did not like about this place.

Jazz-We at here once. We were going to have dinner there twice, but we did not like it enough to return. Like Gourmet, it is air conditioned, which is nice. We are not big fans of Creole, so perhaps the fault lies with my husband and I. I had steak, which I did not like. They brought out chicken instead, which was good, but not good enough to return.

Mexican-We both liked this restaurant. The soup and salad bar is very nice and our dinners were quite good. Ice cream is good at this resort in all of the places where it is served, but other desserts are not so good. If you like American sweets stick with the ice cream and forget the cakes. They look great but don't taste so good.

Blues-We had lunch there once. It was fine. It wasn't great and it wasn't bad. Like Jazz, it wasn't good enough to go back a second time. There are lots of places for lunch, so you can eat somewhere different every day.

Casablanca-We ate there once for lunch as well. Pasta bar was very good, but there was nothing else there that I wanted. We did not try Casablanca for dinner this time, so I can not tell you about that.

Serenity, Harmony, VIP Pool-We had lunch at each of these places and each was good. I did not like the hamburgers, but the grilled chicken was quite good. Husband did not like hot dogs, but liked other lunch foods. A step or so above snack bar sandwiches.

New resort opening at Playa Dorado (Golden Sands I think)-We went there for a day to see the beach and do some shopping. The resort is not open for guests yet, but the beach there is quite beautiful and their pool is very nice as well. It does not compare to Serenity Beach and the service, although good, does not compare to Lifestyle Crown Villas. The lunch we had there was horrible.

BBQ-Because the resort would not let us eat at Gourmet 3 times in 1 week, and we didn't like our other options, we had a BBQ in our villa. This is a very nice service, but a bit decadent for 2 people. It would be great with a group of friends or a family. They brought the BBQ and set it up. Because our villa was older, it didn't have a full table on the patio. They offered to bring the one from under the gazebo over and set that up, but we chose to eat inside instead, which was just fine. The food at the BBQ was fantastic. They made steak, chicken and a large variety of side dishes. They offered pork and fish with our meal as well, but we chose steak and chicken. They also made corn on the cob, baked potatoes, salads, etc. They brought desserts as well. It was a very nice treat. I'm not sure that everyone is entitled to this even with the gold bracelet. I think it's determined by the level of the person you rent from.

We Payed $1245 for 8 nights in the villa ($1000 per week),
$57.50 per person, per night for the all inclusive since the people we rented from booked before the prices went up and we used miles for the flights. They cost $97 per person for taxes and $10 each to enter the Domincan Republic.
We took the helicopter to and from the resort (included in the price). I think the only thing we couldn't do was eat at Azul.

This was truly an amazing trip. Make sure to bring $5 to tip the housekeeper each day and lots of singles and a couple of fives to tip others. About $100-$150 for 8 days is more than enough. This is the most decadent place I can think of. I can't wait to go back.

Room Tip: Ask for a newer or renovated villa.
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
13 Thank LongIslandMom3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
El Dorado Hills, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 November 2011

We booked our trip to the Lifestyle Crown Villas through [---] and the service between the two was second to none!

From the beginning of the planning process to our depart from the DR, our trip coordinated seemlessly. VIP was so knowledgeable of the resort and was able to answer all of my questions. I felt VIP Vacationing cared about our vacation as if it were their own!

And the resort... lets just say, "you have to see it to believe it". If you want to be treated like royalty, Lifestyle Crown Villas is the way to go, and you have to get the VIP guest pass. Each villa is charming with it's white walls and red roofs, private pool, private house attendant, breakfast every morning, a freshly stocked fridge everyday, access to many 5 star restaurants, buffets, and even a place to go for a midnight snack! There are enough pools to visit a different one each day. The beaches are breathtaking and each one seemed to have it's own vibe; some were for relaxing, some were for playing in the water (I've never felt ocean water so warm) and some were for partying. The grounds of the resort are clean and well manicured and the greens are so lush.

We have the greatest memories and our time at the Lifestyle resort will forever be etched in our hearts. This was a life-changing experience!

Thank you to both Lifestyle Resort and VIP Vacationing. We had the time of our lives!

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jessica A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 November 2011

First, starting with the airport pick up the service is first class, and it only got better from there, every amenity was thought of and I didn’t need to do anything I didn't want to. The fresh fruit and breakfast every morning was the perfect start to the day and the variety of restaurants is excellent, also the beaches and pools with canopy and drink service were exactly what you need to have a great vacation, finally the limo ride with drinks back to the airport made leaving almost bearable. I can’t wait to go back!

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank thirsty247
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Discovery Bay
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 November 2011

This was our third trip in as many years. 1st trip there was only 6 of us, 2nd trip there were 12 of us. This time we had 34 people. We all booked through vipvacationing.com and are very glad we booked with a Platinum Supreme member. Because we booked with a Supreme member we were given a lot of extra benefits that most other guest did not receive.
The BBQ in our 6 bed Villa for all 34 of us was amazing! It was done so nice my kids said "It looks like a wedding!" The welcome party was still just as great as we remembered it last time. All the food you could eat with so much variety.
We were glad to see all the new areas that the resort has added since our last visit. The resort that they bought next door is now open and is part of this resort. The resort is so big that a week is almost not enough time to do it all. Outside the resort, some of our group went Scuba Diving, some did the waterfall excursion, and some went zip-lining, swam with Dolphins. So much still to do, see you next year!

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank jjtamayo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Crown Villas at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort

Property: The Crown Villas at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Address: Columbus Torre 1 | Playa Confesi, Puerto Plata 57000, Dominican Republic
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#9 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Plata
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Crown Villas at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 90
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Crown Villas are the ultimate in luxury and exclusivity, as each is a small estate home with sumptuous, private three and four bedrooms that offer guests a unique and exclusive vacation experience. All of these villas are a classical Spanish Mediterranean style architecture, with red tile roofs, stucco plastered archways and distinguished stone columns with generous tropical gardens where hibiscus, bougainvilleas and other magnificent tropical plants abound. All have a private swimming pool, shaded terrace, veranda, kitchen, and a full private bath leading directly off each bedroom. The villas are furnished with rattan, elephant bamboo and a natural Caribbean wattle work and are equipped with air conditioning, overhead fans, and cable television. The Crown Villas are part of the all-inclusive Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort and guests have access to all the facilities of the Resort (excluding the V.I.P areas). A personal maid and an exclusive menu in each of the seven Resort restaurants complete these perfect accommodations. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lifestyle Crown Villas Hotel Puerto Plata

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