Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata
"Terrible!!! Dirty resort, would not go back to again, even if free!!!"
Posted by: private on Feb 27, 2015
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The Grand Paradise Playa Dorada has everything you could want in a tropical vacation. The resort lies on a beautiful beach on the Dominican Republic's scenic northern coast.
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"Best hotel experience"
VALYNDA on Jun 23, 2011 >
1 contribution(s) United Kingdom
Visited on: Jun, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
989 people found this review helpful
After an initial mix-up where they did not have our bookings through Thomson, we were given a suite instead of a room and a bowl of fruit with their apologies. The quality of rooms and service can not be beaten. Best hotel holiday experience i have ever had.
Food very good, but great care must be taken by all us euros, as bad tummies are very common. Do not drink or clean teeth in their water... And you might have to stay away from salads and fruit.
The beach cannot be nearer, just a few minutes stroll away with lovely sandand calm sea.
My husband has difficulty in walking and i was able to "borrow" the hotel wheelchair for the whole two weeks at no extra charge, thats service...
MIX UP, THEY DID NOT KNOW WE WERE COMING AS WE WERE NOT GIVEN A HOTEL VOUCHER. BUT IT ALL GOT SORTED AND THEY GAVE US ROOMS, BUT AFTER THOMSON GOT INVOLVED THE NEXT MORNING WE WERE GIVEN A SUITE AS AN APOLOGY.
EXCELLENT, NO COMPLAINTS, CLEANED EVERY DAY AND CLEAN LINEN EVERY DAY
Restaurants and Bars:
ALL VERY GOOD, NOT OVER IMPRESSED WITH THE MICHAEL ANEGELO.
PERFECT, BEACH A STONES THROW AWAY.
Eileen on Apr 15, 2011 >
2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
815 people found this review helpful
We are seniors, ages 70 and 80. We were very happy with everything we needed. The only problem was the arrival in the dark and an exhausting time finding our room. A bell boy leading the way would have been wonderful. If we travel again, would certainly come back. After 25 years of vacation, this would be the first return trip.
"A great week at Grand Paradise"
Posted by: Larry
on Jan 24, 2011 >
3 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
734 people found this review helpful
We travelled by Air Transat out of Toronto. Because my wife is seriously overweight, she would not go unless I upgraded to Cabin Class. This cost an extra $221 Cdn apiece roundtrip. It included extra luggage capacity (88 lb. instead of 44), champagne on arrival at your seat, an open bar, blankets, ear phones and the like. It was much nicer than travelling in cattle class, but the jury is still out on whether or not it was worth the extra cost
Check in (close to midnight) was quite fast and pleasant. There was enough staff on hand to handle the bus load of us that arrived within a reasonable time. No complaints there, or on checkout a week later. The only quibble I had with reception is that they would not give us a second room key even when I went back the next morning as instructed on arrival.
I had been corresponding for some days before we left with one of the senior members on Debbies’s, and it turned out that he knew the manager, Osiris Cid, and e-mailed him on our behalf (thanks, Bob!), getting a reply saying that he would “look after your friends.” And he did! On arrival, we found that we had been upgraded to a beachfront, ground floor, suite, no. 9101, which was absolutely lovely. I cannot comment on what other rooms are like because I was not in any others, but ours was very pleasant, and tidied and cleaned daily. The aircon was a bit odd, in that it needed a card, like a room key except that it wouldn’t open the door, and if it was removed, the power went off in the room. The maid seemed to remove the card when she cleaned the room. No problem as we didn’t really use the aircon anyway. The only oddity was that when the card was removed, the temperature reset to 70 so you had to remember to resent it to 76 or you would freeze at night
Restaurants and Bars:
The main buffet was Hibiscus, which is directly on the beach. The views were great and the food was typical Dominican buffet style– something for everyone and lots of it. There was a grill which did omelettes at breakfast and meats at supper. There was always a line, so we never bothered with it as the rest of the buffet was great anyway. We ate breakfast there every day, some lunches and most dinners.
Eden’s is next door and has a smaller buffet at lunch and is an à la carte restaurant at dinner. We reserved for it once and had a nice meal. The soup was excellent and so was the entré, although my kabobs were a bit underdone for my taste– my own fault for not specifying. Service was friendly. We did not eat at the other à la carte.
There is a swim up bar in the pool, but it is shaded and closes early (4:00 I think) so we never tried it, but there is another, Extasis, by the pool which is open until 11:00. They had live music there most nights, which was quite good, and we spent most evenings there. At 11:00, we moved down to the main bar, Sinners, which is at the beach between Eden’s and Hibiscus. It was open until 1:00. Bar service in general was good. Sometimes there was a rush on the bar and patience was needed, but often there was no one else around an service was quick. The bartenders did well under all circumstances. Beer was Presidente on tap, and the rum was Barceló. I prefer Brugal, but nothing wrong with what they had. Some of the other liquors were Classic, which is a cheaper brand. Every day there was a drink special of the day. My wife tried them all and liked them all.
The beach is great, probably the nicest in Playa Dorada, and certainly with the best snorkelling. There is a reef/rock formation a hundred yards or so off shore in about six feet of water at high tide where there are scores of fish. I even saw a lionfish one day. I did a couple of dives with Sea Pro at Sosua one day, and the fish were about as nice at Grand Paradise without the cost and travel. A twenty minute walk along the beach to the west brings you to a couple of markets. The usual game of reserving loungers with towels begins each morning, and many are often empty except for the towel for hours, but we never had a problem getting one.
The pool is quite large, but shallow, not over four feet or so, and has a net strung over part of it. It is not meant for swimming lengths, but is a good spot to cool off in fresh water. It was not heated and not heavily chlorinated so quite pleasant on a hot day.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We did no excursions, although friends did and quite enjoyed them. I did a couple of dives with Sea Pro one day, but they now bus you to Sosua for them, and it ended up being a commitment of five and a half hours for two thirty-five minute dives. The dives were nice, but it was just as pleasant snorkelling at the beach with mainly the same fish to see.
All in all, a great week, and I’d certainly go back there again, but for longer the next time.
"fantastic see you all next year"
Posted by: lionel
on Dec 11, 2010 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Oct, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
516 people found this review helpful
this our 4th time to the dominican,we are repeaters at grand paradise,this year we brought a group of 12,everyone that went cant wait go go back next year,with their friends, what makes the whole trip is the people and staff,from the bosses,entertainers, maids,kitchen staff,bar tenders,waiters,the people at the front desk,everyone treats you like family,you could not feel more welcome,see you all in april
"sit back and have fun!!!"
rhonda on Dec 3, 2010 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
505 people found this review helpful
This was a first visit to this resort, have also been to Punta Cana twice and Samana once, and I was not disappointed. Rooms were very clean and comfortable, water pressure in the shower not great but nothing to get excited about. Food excellent, beach clean , staff friendly and willing to help when needed. There was stuff to do if you wanted to participate and nothing to do if you just wanted to soak up the sun and drink tropical beverages. A good holiday is just what you make it....you are in a different country, experiencing a calm, easy culture ... so enjoy. And that is just what I did!!!
"Fantastic!!!! WARNING THOUGH"
Posted by: Ann II
on Nov 27, 2010 >
3 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
515 people found this review helpful
This hotel is wonderful, friendly, clean, beautiful and great food. I would stay there in a heart beat with many repeaters that make it fell like home. As well would recommend this as a great first time resort, you would not be dissappointed.
Have one Warning though there are sales reps for Royal Vacations that will try to take up much of your time to purchase. Well if you can avoid them by being firm at all cost would be to your benefit at least at this resort. I cant say anything from any other place just my experience. We purchased and now regret it to no end. Lets say they are not the most honest or informed sales reps. Try to get any straight answers you will get the run around, try to book and get prices you get the run around. My advice stay clear and DON'T buy. I am welcoming anyone who wants to contact me, I will be happy to share my experience regarding the issues. Don't say I did not warn you I have the proof. If your hassled constantly just go up to the office and be firm that you want to be left alone then they will get the hint, they just waste your time on your vacation. They state only take an hour HEEEHEEE think again.
"A True Paradise"
Posted by: Allison
on Sep 16, 2010 >
1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Sep, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
532 people found this review helpful
Arrival was so simple. We booked a van to pick us up at the airport through Viator (Coco tours). He was on time and friendly. We were checked in within minutes when we arrived even though it was a few hours before check in time.
Beautiful design. I loved the blue and turquoise color scheme. Bed was a little firmer than I prefer but certainly not hard. Had a balcony with a view of the beach which was wonderful. AC worked great. Nice bathrooms. Always had hot water and good water pressure. HAd a kitchenette that the maid kept stocked with Coca Cola Sprite and water.
Restaurants and Bars:
Buffet: EXCELLENT. Great variety and good hot food. They THOROUGHLY clean the buffet between meals.
Edens: I prefered Eden's over Michaelangelos but we only went once. I had the kabobs. Mine were delicious. My husbands were undercooked.
Michealangelos: My husband preferred this restaurant over Edens. I thought it was good but I wasn't a fan at the sauce.
Service is excellent at all of these restaurants. Tipping a dollar or two at each meal basically guarantees you are treated like gold.
the beach was breathtaking. Yes vendors will try and get you to buy things but tell them no thanks and they give up quick. HOwever, many have great items which are worth bargaining for.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Whatever you do DO NOT BOOK EXCURSIONS FROM HOTEL STAFF WITH BLUE SHIRTS!!! These guys are only at the hotel to try and get you to buy time shares. They convince you they are your consierge and befriend you. They are selling trips to make extra money on the side. Their trip quality isn't nearly as high as with Carlos (from the beach). Carlos is a great person who my husband and I befriended. He gave us the best deal and is just all around a really nice guy. We made sure to get a pic with him before we left. We booked the waterfall excursion with him and it was WELL worth it. Most unforgettable adventure of my life!!!! If you see him PLEASE tell him Allison and Bruce say hello!!!
All around a great experience. The perfect destination for my honeymoon!!!
"At the base of a mountain, overlooking the lovely bay of Playa Dorada Beach."
Debbie on Apr 1, 2010 >
Visited on: Apr, 2010
2215 people found this review helpful
The trip from Santo Domingo took us 4 hours including a stop allowing for a coffee and a piece of fried chicken. I travel with my chauffer Miguel who, as some kind of father, drops me off at the entrance of Grand Paradise Playa Dorada. La Reina (the queen) has arrived in Puerto Plata for a 3-night stay.
Upon arrival I am being courteous greeted by bellboy Sandy who takes my suitcase and sets it aside. I walk to the front desk to hand over my reservation, passport and business card. After some undefined “behind the counter” action I am handed my documents and being accompanied, by a friendly female member of staff, to an office behind a glass wall. I am kindly offered a seat and a drink. A different lady, who looks more likes a “jefe”, asks me for my documents and leaves. I feel that something is up. It does not take long before the lady returns with some kind of fill-in form and a silver wristband, which I surely will need to eat, drink and enjoy the other All-inclusive services.
It is only 2.15 in the afternoon, meaning that I arrived early. My room will be available in about an hour and the first lady takes me to the restaurants, which are located near the beach and where, according to her knowledge, free Wi-Fi internet access is being offered. Not so! More about this later.
While walking back to the reception to see if my room is ready, I notice that most of the guest are walking around with a red wristband and not a silver one like mine! At the reception I quietly ask what the difference might be between the two. It turns out that silver means VIP. Now I realized why the first part of the check-in procedure felt so different.
Sandy, the friendly and laughing bellboy, accompanies me to my room# 9201 and tells me that it is excellent. He is right!
The white/beige/turquoise-decorated room on the first floor with an ocean view turns out to be more like an apartment. A living area, a dining table for two persons, a kitchenette and a refrigerator below the kitchens counter, which is stocked with a Coke, Sprite, a large bottle of water and holds an ice cube tray. A door connects this room with the one next door, a really nice feature for parents traveling with kids.
The separate bedroom has a huge king-size bed and as usual I conduct my “how clean is this room test” and conclude that the maid also cleans underneath the bed.
The balcony looks out over the beach and the turquoise sea, has an area with a table and two chairs and is also super clean. Too bad: the balcony door cannot be locked. I will mention this to the reception.
Bathrooms always are prone to problems and I wonder myself: “who is actually taking a bath while on vacation?” The modern walk-in showers, which take up less space give the bathrooms a much cleaner look and make them look less dated. Anyway, this bathroom has a tub with a shower curtain that hangs slightly uneasy over the edge. The camarera found a creative solution by folding the shower curtain in a way she also does occasionally with the toilet paper or towels. Although this should not be necessary in the year 2010, I do appreciate the effort.
The hose of the shower itself is kind of short and the water flow is being hampered once you take the shower of the wall in order to use it by hand.
All in all the most important thing is that the bathroom is clean and large enough for one person.
Soon after checking out my room and taking some pictures, someone knocks on the door. It turns out to be a visit by the room service department. A lady carries an extra large plate with a variety of fresh fruits while the gentleman holds two plates and silverware. She put the surprise on the table and whispers to her colleague that I am here by myself and therefore just need one plate. As soon as the friendly people leave the room I “attack” the succulent precut pieces of melon. Delicious! This should not come as a big surprise knowing that every seed you drop in the fertile tropical soil of the DR will grow into a tree.
I walk to the reception to tell them my balcony door does not closes. The door has been fixed during my stay.
Always a challenge …
It is too bad that in nearly every resort I visit, I have to search for a quiet spot WITH a Wi-Fi Internet connection, let alone a power outlet for recharging my laptop battery. In this regard there is a lot left to be done for the hotel chains anno 2010, the year where everyone, young and old, walks around with Iphones and blackberries.
In contradiction to what the lady at the reception desk told me, it seems to me that guests at the Grand Paradise Playa Dorada do need to pay for Internet, which I believe is a bad thing. A self-respecting hotel should offer Internet as a free service.
A Colombian staff member who sees me getting irritate while walking around trying to find Wi-Fi, tells me that normally the costs for Internet are 3 USD for 30 minutes. I say normally because it turns out that there are two available WiFi connections named GPSD and GParadise. The latest you can find near the lobby and shop and…. surprise, surprise, this connection is free and super fast! It did cost me two hours to be able to get to work. Unfortunately the next day the Internet in the whole region was down.
The hotel rooms are located in one of approximately 15 white buildings, all with four floors and positioned around the pool. They are connected by perfectly maintained walkways cutting through beautiful gardens. The beach, or rather the two beaches of Grand Paradise Playa Dorada are gorgeous, overlooking a bay with again abundant vegetation. I spot various type of birds, even a hummingbird!
Paradise Playa Dorada also waters down the white wine, which is being confirmed by various staff members after I make a joke about it. Watering down wine is becoming a trend in all-inclusive resorts. You are better off drinking vino tinto, which is not bad at all. The choice of national brand drinks is sufficient. The resort only has one bar on the beach, Sinners, if you want a coffee you need to go to the restaurant.
I have been able to discover three restaurants in Grand Paradise Playa Dorada. The buffet restaurant, the grill restaurant on the beach and the Italian restaurant with air co near the pool. During my stay only one of the two restaurants opened. One day the grill, the other day the Italian restaurant. The available choices at the buffet restaurant are ample. Everything looks fresh and both breakfast and dinner tasted fine.
It is a shame that the buffet staff does not change the table clothes more often. I have to put my plate on top of the food stains of my predecessors.
The best prices on excursions you will find with Carlos, on the Grand Paradise Playa Dorada beach. Carlos is being mentioned in various reviews and I have met some of his very satisfied customers. For more “tailor-made” tours and transfers I recommend Asaira Tours operated by the very dependable Martin Espinal: www.isairatours.com
An excellent hotel with a very friendly and accommodating staff. I can recommend it!
"Finest, finest in all Puerto Plata, friendly family oriented."
Posted by: Ann II
on Mar 1, 2010 >
3 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
517 people found this review helpful
EXCURSIONS: OK regarding this one thing I don't agree is the scare tactics of the tour operators. They tell everyone upon arrival to go to the info meeting. Great go and get much of the information.BUT!!! They tell you that you should not buy anything from the the sales people on the beach regarding excursions. BULL!! the excursions are the same and at the half of the cost if not even less. If you do not go on the excursion due to weather you do get your money back. They are telliing you that they take a deposit and then disappear. Well if this is the case these sales people would never be there think about it. You check it out for yourself.There are many people who stay at the resort for long periods of time as the sales person who is selling the excursion if you can speak to another person who had gone.
Re: Insurance well all the excursions are on government property so all these other places have to pay insurance as well. Think also you have your own insurance I'm sure so no matter what your covered. They tell you this to put fear in you.
The best excursion for your buck and the most exciting one that the hotel does not sell because they say it is dangerous is the falls. You see the country side way of life, mama's kitchen, how petrafied wood carviing done, have lunch in the mountain, walk through the streams to the cave of falls, climb the waterfalls with the help of perfessional guides, taste sugar cane and much more for as little as 45-50 US if you have a group even cheaper. Or book more then one excursion. You are supplied with a life jacket helmet and the cost of $2 water shoes. So if your planning to go bring your own water shoes and you don't have to rent theirs. If you go the guide will put markings on his face this is from a clay that is formed byt the natural walls of the falls. This is like a clay mask (ladies pick a pice up and ask them and bring a piece home) it is worth a mint here if you have it done in a spa.
Also if your going they will tell you to buy candy but it is better if you bring pencils, pens, crayons, balls etc to give to the children. As you go through the towns in the mountains children run after the trucks for these items candy is ok but they get to much from all the trucks going to the falls. Dentist are expensive. More things needed even such as little toothpaste or brushes even clothing anything you think of besides candy even the raincoats from the dollar store. Just for your info.
Vendors anyone not knowing how it works there offer 1/3 of what they are asking they will try to get the most out of you as they can. Yes there are scammers (anywhere) you go. Go with your gut or talk to people first some will recommend some who have been honest to them. When you offer walk away ans say that is all your offering they will call you back. If you don't want to bargain give them your last price and walk away. It gets to be to much for som
Staff very friendly and if you have a problem they are more then happy to help you out. Though many people use the angry approach because yes they are tired from there journey. Although the staff will help out the best they can remember not everyone knows the circumstances for different issues but your vacation is what you make of it as well. If the problem is not able to be resolved right at that moment it does get taken care of by the following day.
I feel they do there best and that it is acceptable.
If anyone is not sure of anything make sure you check with you travel agency for anything even if you think it is so minor it could make a big difference how you vacation starts out, before arriving and then blaming the hotel or staff. Re-upgrades etc. Ask what kind of room your getting not all views are the same.
Very clean and comfortable. Has a iron borad, iron mini fridge with some pop and water refreshed daily if you need more just ask. They will supply it. Has a blow dryer, TV, coffee maker and a balcony so you can have your coffee in the morning enjoying the beauiful weather even if raining at times.
Restaurants and Bars:
Restaurants: Food is plentiful if not liking something there is always something else. Food is very good especially the Eden that is my most favorite if you want to be waited on and served with perfection. Very friendly and the atmosphere is just breathtaking like sitting right on the beach in the open air listening to the waves of the beach, watching the stars.
Micheal Angelos: This has not been my most favorite but is good and located indoors surrounded by the pool. Another nice choice for a change of the buffet again being waited on to perfection.
Buffet again has much assortment.
Downfall of the Eden and Buffet if it is raining and raining hard you may get a bit wet it is open to the outdoors. They need to have some sort of barrier to open and close if this is to happen. But is sure makes it interesting at times. Again no place is perfect so make it what you want. Under different circumstances the staff did their best to make it comfortable for you and serve you the best they can. Sure once again you may get a waiter or waitress having a bad day as well all do. Just give them a smile and they will respond back.
Food temperature in the 2 al la cartes you get hot plates and food in the buffet sometimes the food is not as hot as you may like it the steamers are hot but sometimes being outside prevents the food from staying hot. Again much assortment of everything. Awesome!!!!
IT IS SAD TO SEE SO MUCH WASTE. You see people take so much food on their plates and leave more then half. This is an embarassment to any of our cultures and countries never mind the way it makes the staff feel when they may not even had much to eat themselves and have to remove a full plate of food to throw it in the garbage. It it not much of a deal to take a little and go back to get more if still hungry. YES WE PAID ALL INCLUSIVE BUT IT DOES NOT INTITLE PEOPLE TO ABUSE THE BENEFITS. Maybe if people thought twice about it it may not cost as much as it does to travel all inclusive. If you think it is ok to do this and not think twice you have NO! compassion for people in general. Just my feeling and comment as this trip I had seen so much of it.
All 3 bars staff very friendly and 1 of the bars has expresso, cappachino machine but needs one more at the sinners bar.
I never used the pool but the surroundings of the pool are beautiful, clean and a swim up bar. The grounds of the hotel well kept very clean just be careful when the ground is wet tiles get slippery. You always see them cleaning and looking after the grounds. The beach is cleaned every morning. At
Well as everyone knows there are people who like to make a vacation a little difficult for other vacationers in regards to stealing towels off beach chairs. If you are going to save your lounger on the beach you should bring an old towel to put on it. Reason if you lose your towel or if someone steals it due to them losing their own eg: miss placing it after getting so drunk you are the one who will have to pay for it. They do tell you upon arrival if you lose it you pay.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Kids Club: Well let me tell you this is soooo much fun for the kids. You will be able to trust Sweety with all the needs of the children. She is TERRIFIC!!! with kids. They are kept busy and even put a talent show on Sat nights at the beach party.
Sweety is also part of the entertainment in the evening getting people up to dance.
Now also Cheeky they spelt his name differently (Chiky)He also was an outstanding part of the activity group. He included everyone and made it fun.
Over all the activity group needs improvement but you still had some fun with them.
Entertainment in the evening was good an assortment also had music at the front entrance as well at the pool bar. Then had different shows, magic show, kareokee.
Would like to see the gym open it's NOT!
The water sports and staff are great. Always friendly and helpful. The water sports are included but good to give them tips if you go on the catermeran as they do not get paid much and live mostly on tips. See Frank and El great guys!!
Casino is open
Regarding tipping it is not necessary but remember even here waiters/waitress make less money due to tips well it is the same in the Dominican.You get good service then tip if you want to wait to see who serves you without tipping first then tip at the end of your vacation. Or if you don't want to tip give them a gift. Take things to give instead of giving money like kids clothing, shoes, toothpaste, school stuff deordarant etc expensive for them and is appreciated.
Even cooks you can see they work hard sweating behind the bbq grill or open fire.
Don't take the taxi's in front of the hotel go in front of the plaza they will 200-250 peso's max 9$-10$to take you to puerto plata instead of 40$US they are scammers.
Christine on Feb 6, 2010 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Oct, 2009 | Leisure | Family and Kids
525 people found this review helpful
I have been to this resort 2 times. This trip was my second visit. I was travelling with my sister, mother and aunt. I wanted to go back to this resort because my travel partners have never been out of Canada, so I wanted to go somewhere where I at least felt comfortable and knew what to expect. The resort was newly renovated when I went the first time Dec 2008. So I knew the rooms were at least updated.
Arrival went smoothly, no problems with our check in. We were given our rooms right away.
We had no problems with our room. The last couple of days we did notice quite a few ants in the bathroom. They did leave a notice in each of the rooms saying that they would be spraying all the rooms and grounds on our last day. Apparently, whatever they were using to spray was not harmful to you.?? It really didnt matter as we were leaving on that day.
Restaurants and Bars:
We did not go to the a la cartes. I can not say for sure but we looked at the menus and nothing really looked that great so we just didnt go. We only went to the buffet. The food is not the greatest here. I found the same thing the first time I went. Luckily, there is a Pizza Hut and a couple of sports bars at the mall down the street. We only ate at the mall 2 times during our stay. Its really not that the food is not good it is just really repetative. After a couple of days, just the smell of the buffet kinda made me feel sick. The breakfast was the best meal of the day. Really enjoyed that. Lunches we ate at the small buffet, cause we could just stay in our bathing suits. Lunches were not great. We did go in off season and the resort was not even close to being full, so I guess they dont offer a full menu. Lunches on our first trip were ok. actually only because they had fries. Other than that still the same, not that great.
The pool is ok and they have a small pool bar. They also have a jacuzzi pool which was nice. The beach was okay and you get the usual guys trying to sell you crappy jewellery. How much beaded jewellery does one person need. We did most of our shopping at the mall down the street. The grounds were very well kept.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Entertainment staff really try to get people involved with all the activites. Generally, lots of things to do if you want to get involved. We booked a couple of tours with Carlo on the beach. He usually stands right at the edge of the property near the beach bar. All the staff know him and he is great, I would totally recommend using him to book your tours. He booked us our trip to the Ocean World trip. He actually took our deposit and booked the trip for us and then the next day had one of the staff come and get me at the pool to go and see him. He wanted to re-write the booking because the company he worked for got a reduction in prices and he wanted to make sure I got the discounted price. Great guy really.
I have been here twice and I wouldnt go back again. I prefer to go to Punta Cana. The beaches are way better. The Food at this resort is the only reason I wouldnt go back. I am a picky eater, so if you have no issues with food, then go to this resort. The staff are very friendly and the rooms and grounds are clean.