Gran Ventana Beach Resort Reviews

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Gran Ventana Beach Resort  

PLaya Dorada, Puerto Plata. República Dominicana

"Wonderful Resort, Great Value! "
Posted by: Tammy  on Jan 1, 2014
see all reviews

Gran Ventana Beach Resort Reviews
Gran Ventana Beach Resort Pictures and Information
Gran Ventana Beach Resort Playa Dorada Dominican Republic

#2
of 17 Hotels in Playa Dorada

User rating 4.0

Based on 30 reviews

Gran Ventana Beach Resort Information


This delightful beachfront complex is a perennial tourists´ favourite! Warmly recommended.

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Gran Ventana Beach Resort Reviews

Gran Ventana Beach Resort Review: 4.0 of 5 30 reviews
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"Wonderful Resort, Great Value! "

Gran Ventana Beach Resort
User Rating:  Gran Ventana Beach Resort Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Tammy  on Jan 1, 2014  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Dec, 2013 | Leisure | With friend
15 people found this review helpful

Second year we stayed at La Gran Ventana for a week of sun and sand. This is a kid friendy resort, small but cozy and comfortable. The staff go out of their way, above and beyond, to make your stay perfect. We love the food, especially the buffet. There are several specialty restaurants that you can make a reservation at when you arrive. The beach is beautiful, lots of chairs and palapas but if you want s beach hut, get up early in the morning to reserve one. The vendors on the beach are everywhere trying to sell you local items, they are friendly and just say 'no thank you' and they will leave you alone. The pool is large and in the afternoon they have a lot of activities. The entertainment staff are awesome, working hard to make your vacation the most fun! Rooms are clean! Minibar is stocked daily. We love this resort especially now that they remember us each year and treat us like family! We would highly recommend this resort!

Room Number:
2641

Room Block:
Sonoma

Arrival:
Room was ready upon check in! Love the cold towel and fresh mango cocktail upon arrival to welcome us1

Rooms:
Room was adequate, nothing fanc,y but we hardly spent time in the room. Minibar stocked with water and beer.....could use a bureau or something to put your clothes in other than the shelves in the closet. Can rent a lock for the safe. A/C worked great!

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Awesome! Love the beach! Spend every day on the beach until about 3-4pm and then moved to the pool due to the wind. Lots of activities at the pool area.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Visited Sosua - a small fishing village about 30 min. from this resort. My new favorite town in the DR. Beautiful beach, locals were very friendly, felt safe.

Other Comments:
HIghly recommend this resort for the value. We love the Dominican, the people and the country!

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"Very nice hotel - best of the AI resorts in the Playa Dorada area"

Gran Ventana Beach Resort
User Rating:  Gran Ventana Beach Resort Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Tom  on Sep 9, 2013  >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Aug, 2013 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
264 people found this review helpful

We just returned from a week trip to the Gran Ventana - our first time to Puerto Plata. We choose to go there on a good friend's recommendation: he lives in town several months each year and knows the resorts fairly well. Overall we were thrilled by our experience there.

Overall - gorgeous beach and grounds, real nice people, excellent food, campy shows and not the best drinks. And probably by far the best 4-star resort in the area. If we return to that area and go the AI route again, we'd definitely choose the same place again - and that is not our usual style.

Service. Very nice and efficient people - no complaints at all. Given that local wages are pretty low, we gave out alot of $1 and 100 peso bills during our stay there, as the service was real good.

Internet: free in the main lobby (wifi), 3 real slow and old PCs available for guests beside the lobby, and at a price wifi available in your room. Your room also has a safe deposit box, but you need to pay for a key (in our room it was not one of the newer electric programmable safes).

Arrival:
Very easy - got on the AI resort bus 10 minutes after exiting the airport, and 20 minutes later we'd arrived.

Rooms:
The Gran Ventana has been kept up real well and rooms are being gradually renovated.

Rooms directly overlooking the main pool may be somewhat noisy especially in the evening when the shows are on. Rooms at the back of those two buildings towards the ocean are quiet and nice. Try to get a top third floor room that comes with a much higher ceiling (but there are no elevators for those with mobility issues...). Essentially no rooms are ocean view - even those overlooking the ocean will have their views largely blocked by the large trees. They have an adjoining complex around the quiet adult pool where the rooms were closed in the summer. There, I'd think rooms overlooking that pool would be nice in the high season. However, other rooms in that building on the outside might overlook a service road with at times buses - not the best location.

Restaurants and Bars:
Food. It the best we've had at any 4 star resort so far. If you aren't vegetarian, in our experience the Iberostar Bavaro Beach and the Cancun Club Med had probably better food, but they would be rated on the order of 5 stars. Compared to a Bahia Principe, in Puerto Vallarta the Marival, Fiesta Americana and the Holiday Inn, and to Club Meds we visited in Australia and Brazil, the Gran Ventana is IMHO much better. And for vegetarians, all specialty restaurants had at least 2 vegetarian main dishes and also hors d'oeuvres. That said, like essentially all those other places, the house wine was just barely drinkable.

Cocktails. Essentially based on locally produced alcohols - good rum but beyond that, not the best. We overdid the Pina Colladas and a few other fruity drinks, but were not thrilled by some of the other choices in some bars (not always great fruit juices...). They should break down and at least pay for decent whiskey and tequila, from the UK and Mexico...

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Most of the resorts in the area were built around 25 years ago. As a result, unlike some other resort areas, the buildings aren't the most up-to-date in style (e.g., our bathroom was abit dated); on the other hand the greenery is much lush compared to more recent resorts and, by staying in a somewhat older resort, you aren't paying for recent damage to the local environment (important to us).

They have a very large and gorgeous beach, though the wind there is often pretty strong, making it hard to read books at times. Their beach was much larger than all the other resorts we saw walking far in both directions, and it was always easy to get lounge chairs in the shade at the swimming pool and along the beach. I spoke to people at the Barcelo next door and was definitely happy we had chosen the GV instead.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Evening shows - pretty lame and campy, but we were there in the slow season - they might be better in the winter. And they were fun and well attended.
They have a limited variety of organized activities during the day (water aerobics...), plus pool volleyball.

Most people there are on these AI deals including airfare, and the local representatives really push people to buy their own local tours which are invariably real overpriced - the AI tour operators have a large desk beside the main lobby. The nearby Plaza Dorada has several independent tour companies where you can buy excursions for much less (James there has a good reputation). If you go downtown you need to be abit careful - don't flaunt expensive jewels, watches, etc. or wander about aimlessly at night- but otherwise the area is not really dangerous. The tour people at the hotel clearly go out of the way to scare people to make them pay more for their own services, and it is a shame - unfairly hurts the town. We went downtown twice to visit the area (also easy to do with the the half day town tour offered by everyone), and had a day at the Jasmine spa (www.jasmine-spa-wellness.com) - excellent hour-long massage in the morning and, in the afternoon, either a facial, pedicure or manicure... depending on your taste. They also has a simple but outstandingly good lunch, a walk through their property (tasting interesting fresh fruit), the possibility of taking a mud bath (the spring-fed rince pool can be cold!), etc. They are real involved in helping the local rural town community which is an additional plus, and they don't sell through tour companies (you need to e-mail them or call them up). It was somewhat expensive but we thought it much nicer than the usual tourist rum-and-fast-boat sort of day outing. And for those on their last day with an evening flight out, they will pick you up at your resort, give you a full day of relaxation, and then drop you off at the airport.

Finally, the Plaza Dorada (about 50 yards up from the Gran Ventana or Barcelo) has a variety of shops - pharmacy, tourist junk, tee shirts, rum and other liquors, etc. Prices can vary alot from store to store (liquor was cheaper and there was a better selection on the second floor), and some are negotiable (tourist babbles especially). They also have various banks with well guarded ATM machines - easy to withdraw money. They also had a bar and a couple restaurants/discos (which were mostly closed in the slow summer months) for those itching to get out of the resorts. They also have taxis and you can negotiate their prices too, especially if you want them to wait for you for a couple hours and bring you back.

Other Comments:
We'd return (and returning to AI resorts is not really our style...).

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"Can't Wait To Go Back"

Gran Ventana Beach Resort
User Rating:  Gran Ventana Beach Resort Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Jennifer  on May 20, 2013  >  2 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: May, 2013 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
296 people found this review helpful

I LOVE this place. Everything about the Gran Ventana makes you feel relaxed. The pool area is perfect size, never have a problem getting a chair. Beach area is gorgeous with a reef to snorkel in right in front. We have seen many different types of fish and creatures there. The buffet has plenty of choices and you can switch from there and the beach snack buffet which has the best hamburger I've ever had! The a la cartes are amazing the octopus ribs are a favorite as is the Italian lasagna . The drinks are great and plentiful. The entertainment is not Las Vegas style but then again, you aren't in Vegas! Its perfect for a fun night and they try really hard to make you have fun and laugh. With the Playa Dorada complex right next door its nice to be able to walk over a pick up a few souvenirs, have lunch, get a presidente, or run to the ATM. The staff are amazing and always try to make you feel at home, the size of the resort allows them to remember you throughout your trip which I love. Can't wait to go back in December!!

Photos: http://www.granventanahotel.com/gallery.html

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"Nice place to stay."

Gran Ventana Beach Resort
User Rating:  Gran Ventana Beach Resort Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  Shawn  on Nov 21, 2012  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2012 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
347 people found this review helpful

It was a nice place to stay, to just relaxe. Second trip to the DR. This was just to relaxe and it was the perfect week to do so. We got to the resort, they had given us the wrong room (two doubles as we had book a king) they fixed that quickly. There was not many people on the resort (maybe 50) for most of the week. The down part to that is the choice of food was less then when there would have been more people there. The staff is very friendly and fun to be around. The beach is very nice and the sunset are very beautiful. When on the beach though there are venders trying to sell you things as soon as you walk onto the beach. You say no thank you they leave you alone which was a good thing or it would have made for a not so good vacation. The a la carts were ok. Three to pick from during the week. Over all very nice place to stay. As we walked around noticed and were informed that the complex where all the hotels are located there is 14 of them only 6 or 8 are still in operation because they are hurting for people to come to there hotels so some look run down but once that are open are very nice.

Room Number:
1131

Arrival:
October 28, 2012
Left november 4, 2012

Rooms:
clean and alright.
a/c worked, but was controlled by door to patio if the sensor was not locked in the a/c would shout off.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Clean and mantained

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
on go as the day went along, not many people so hard to do many on the resort.

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"Amazing resort."

Gran Ventana Beach Resort
User Rating:  Gran Ventana Beach Resort Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Yvette  on Mar 1, 2012  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2012 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
607 people found this review helpful

We enjoyed 2 wonderful weeks at this resort. We were in the Beata building but got moved to the Catalina building which is far more superior. The Beata is in need of updating so request Catalina or Saona if you want to be more centrally located and have a little more peace & quiet. The food served at the buffet was the best we've had at an all inclusive - lots of variety. The 3 a la carte restaurants also offer very good choices. Our favorite was Surf & Turf at the Ocean Grill, also opened for lunch and right next to the beach. There's a coral reef right off the beach, very good snorkeling. Instead of bread, try using pieces of banana, the fish love them. You have to guard your chair, people will drag them away - just follow the tracks to recover them. As for the vendors on the beach, they can be very entertaining and if you tell them you're not interested, they leave you alone. Most of the shows were some of the best we've seen, especially the Michael Jackson show. The staff always try hard to please. We used Taxi Confressi for our excursion to the Rum Factory and cable car up the mountain, way cheaper than using the tour offered by Turissimo. We used GM Tours for our excursion to Paradise Island which cost us $55 instead of $93 pp. Neury from GM is usually on the beach and he will follow up to find out how it went. His cell# is 809-889-2188. We did notice that there are a lot of Quebecers going there and some of them can be quite obnoxious and rude at times. However, it is a great resort and we would definitely recommend it.

Room Number:
2335

Room Block:
Catalina

Arrival:
Short distance from airport. After a bit of confusion, we were moved from Beata Building to Catalina.

Rooms:
Very clean and it was cleaned every day, always got fresh towels.

Restaurants and Bars:
Best we've had at an all inclusive.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beach is outstanding. Coral reef right off the beach was a big plus as I'm a first time snorkeller.
The grounds are kept quite clean. I would have loved to see more flowers but lots of trees and plants.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
As mentioned, we went to Paradise Island which is amazing, Brugal Rum Factory,
Cable Car up the mountain and a small tour of Puerto Plata. My husband went deep sea fishing.

Other Comments:
I would give it a 4.5 star rating.

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"Loved the Gran Ventana"

Gran Ventana Beach Resort
User Rating:  Gran Ventana Beach Resort Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Sara  on Feb 10, 2012  >  2 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Feb, 2012 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
577 people found this review helpful

Last year, I stayed at the Gran Ventana in the Dominican Republic for a couple of days and I have been wanting to go back ever since!
I stayed in the Catalina building and found it to be very clean and the room was spacious and homey. The beach and pool are very well kept as well which made it a pleasure to dive into the beautiful blue water!
Since it is an A.I. the food selection is extensive and very good. You can even have a romantic dinner on the beach at the Ocean Grill.
If you are feeling lazy you can lounge out by the beach but if your in the mood for adventure you can have scuba diving lessons, play pool volleyball even go horse back riding!
The Gran Ventana really caters to all of your vacation needs and dreams!

Arrival:
May 2011

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"absolutely amazing and fun"

Gran Ventana Beach Resort
User Rating:  Gran Ventana Beach Resort Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  landra  on Feb 18, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2011 | Leisure | With friend
859 people found this review helpful

My girlfriend and I went away for a 40th birthday celebration and we had nothing but a wonderful experience. This was my first time out of North America and was leery leaving and going somewhere I didn't know. But the entire experience is something I will never forget. The entire staff was amazing, the food was wonderful. The pool was very refreshing and the entertainment was hilarious. The entire animation staff was so kind and caring. They made sure everyone was involved or at least entertained. Definitely a place I want to go back. Half way through the trip we were already trying to plan to come back the following year because of the wonderful experience we had the our new friends we made.

Arrival:
Very pleasant. Well accommodating in the front lobby and very welcoming.

Rooms:
The rooms were great! Very clean.

Restaurants and Bars:
The buffet was wonderful. Definitely a wide variety even for picky eaters.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Very clean and the pool was refreshing

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The animation staff was amazing. Very entertaining and helpful. Always made sure everyone was involved and had fun.

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"amazing"

Gran Ventana Beach Resort
User Rating:  Gran Ventana Beach Resort Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  kirsty  on Sep 23, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) United Kingdom
Visited on: Jul, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
866 people found this review helpful

my first holiday in the dominican republic was in july 2008 me and me family loved it the foods great the staff are really friendly and the interior is really nice . we retured to dominican gran ventana in july this year to be greeted once again by the friendly staff i would recommend you ask to stay in the catilina or saona block the bueta block is right next to the plaza mall and the bars with meens it's quite noisey at night . but i would go back again any day.

Arrival:
very friendly greeting

Rooms:
perfect cool rooms nice to cool down after the heat

Restaurants and Bars:
great range of food

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
pool and grounds are clean and safe

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
ok

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"Yearly Vacation in DR"

Gran Ventana Beach Resort
User Rating:  Gran Ventana Beach Resort Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Gary & Norma  on Sep 5, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
922 people found this review helpful

We have vacationed in Puerto Plata 6 times, 5 of them at the Gran Ventana. There isn't one negative thing that we can say about this resort, from greeting and check-in on arrival to the pool and/or beach facilities, to the food at the buffett and a-la-carte's, the bartenders are more than accommodating and will try their best to make whatever type of drink your little desires. The evening entertainment is excellent 90% of the time. The staff are excellent, friendly, accommodating and very hard working. The workers, male and female, work from 6 am until well into the evening. The guys who clean the beach at 6 am are still on the resort doing other chores late into the afternoon and are always pleasant. Many of the staff have learned to speak English, although limited, but can understand what you would like for the most part.
All in all, our vacations are the high light of our year and we can't wait until April 2011 to go back. Gran Ventana, we love you!!!!!!!

Arrival:
Air Canada, excellent.

Rooms:
Rooms are very good, clean and maids are excellent

Restaurants and Bars:
Excellent food and lots to drink. 151 is great for fly bites. We were given this advise by another guest and decided to try it and it worked great. So if you forget your afterbite, just hit the bar.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Great beach and super clean grounds, workers do a great job.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Small mall 5 minute walk. If you like to eat off the resort the food here is great in any of the eating places in the mall.

Other Comments:
Would recommend this resort to anyone. Have been there 5 times and currently booked for our 6th visit. That should speak for itself.

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"Pretty good for the money"

Gran Ventana Beach Resort
User Rating:  Gran Ventana Beach Resort Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  Justin  on Aug 15, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Aug, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
915 people found this review helpful

The rooms were a bit outdated, but the problems encountered were fixed almost right away. one problem never fixed was with the plumbing in two of the three rooms we had, we put towels pon the floor, that was never fixed.
The maids were really nice, gave you double of everything if you asked.
The pools were great, we found out right away to put your towel in a shady spot early on, its mostly taken by 10 am. The floor gets really hot, i saw a child burned with blisters in his feet due to the hot floor by the pool.
The restaurants are better than the buffet for dinner, so make those reservations.
the beach was nice, if you find a gazebo, the sun is really a killer.
The staff was amazing, everyone from the entertaining staff to the workers, always greeted you with a smile. No attitudes.
I don't think i would go back to any Playa Dorada resort but if you want to try something different (from punta Cana0 which is what we did, you'll soon realize that there is nothing better that those resorts there.
All and all we had a good time.

Arrival:
quick and painless

Rooms:
average-could get remodeled, outdated.

Restaurants and Bars:
pretty good

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
pools and beach are good

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
good

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