Gran Ventana Beach Resort Reviews

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Gran Ventana Beach Resort  

PLaya Dorada, Puerto Plata. Rep├║blica Dominicana

"Quite disappointing"
Posted by: Jill  on Feb 1, 2016
see all reviews

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

of 17 Hotels in Playa Dorada

User rating 3.9

Based on 31 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: 3.9 of 5 31 reviews
Very good
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1 - 10 of 31

"The grand ventana is the best!"

Gran Ventana Beach Resort
User Rating:  Gran Ventana Beach Resort Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Glen & Lisa  on Jan 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2009
498 people found this review helpful

Arrival: January 2009
we only stayed at this hotel for 4 night, after being paid to leave the bahia principe because they were overbooked. we were paid $330/room plus tickets to ocean world and a jeep safari. the check in was great and fast our rooms were ready for us when we arrived.

room were very nice, seemed newer than the bahia. we asked for rooms next to each othe and recieved them. we were travelling with our two teenagers.

Restaurants and Bars:
the food was great, best food i ever tasted in an all inclusive. bars were not busy and bartenders very friendly

nice pool vry nice beach with lots of chairs

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
went to ocean world its a must see, great dolphin show and we swam with sea lions. the jeep safari was great we climbed a waterfall. the guides that took us up there were excellent they had to help an older lady up and down the falls and never got frustrated. good food and rum on the tour also.

Other Comments:
of the two resorts the grand ventana had better food nicer rooms and was close to the playa dorada shopping centre. very nice resort, email me with questions if you want i will try to answer them.

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"Haggle with the beach vendors--it's expected and fun!"

Gran Ventana Beach Resort
User Rating:  Gran Ventana Beach Resort Review: 4.50 of 5

Posted by:  Cheryl & Stephen from Halifax, NS  on Feb 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009
518 people found this review helpful

Our direct flight was out of Halifax in the evening, so we arrived at the resort around 11pm. Trip was with Sunquest and the charter was Canjet. Food and movies on the plane, good service. Since we arrived late, the airport was pretty quiet and we didn't have long to wait until we were on our way to the resorts. Fast and easy check in process at the hotel and the welcome drinks were a nice touch.

We were in the Beata building, facing the quiet pool. Two double beds, nice size room and balcony. Room was clean, comfortable and as we faced the pool, it was quiet. We did notice some evenings the activity at the Tiki bar was loud, but overall we were very pleased with our room. Never had any water pressure or heat issues and we were on the third floor. Minibar was always refreshed with beer, pop and water, except for one day when they forgot the water. We went to Guest Services around 5, but still no water appeared. Asked at reception around 10 and there was water there in an instant. It wouldn't have been an issue, but they had taken our empty jug away! There were lots of water coolers around the buildings to refill jugs as well as ice machines on each floor.

Restaurants and Bars:
Ate at all the a la carte, enjoyed them all. Our favorite was the Octopus, the most intimate of the three. Make sure you go as soon as possible to book your reservations, as it seems they fill up quickly (particularly the earlier sittings). Buffet was great, always lots of variety, I loved the waffle station each morning and there was also a omelet and smoothie station too. We ate at the Ocean Grill for most of our lunches, as I could take food down to the beach. The fresh salsa and nacho chips there are fantastic!

Ground were spotless, always being cared for well. Beach was lovely, no shortage of loungers, and lots of shade up along the shoreline if you couldn't get a hut. We wandered down the beach and I was amazed at how little shade the other resorts had for their guests. There was always a breeze, particularly in the afternoon, but I enjoyed it. Water was warm, seagrass was raked off the beach each day. The GV seem to take better care of their beach than some of the other resorts, particularly with regards to garbage. Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: We didn't do any specific tours as we had a friend take us around PP. We did do the cable car with him, and I would suggest this as a nice way to view PP from the mountain. Go in the morning, as by afternoon, the top of the mountain gets clouded over. It costs $10 US and there are walking trails and gift shops up at the top.

Other Comments::
Change your money at the bank or in town if you can, as the rate of exchange is much better. We got 35 or 34 pesos to the US dollar (the hotel offered 31). The Plaza is an okay place to spend a little time, all the same kinds of stuff though. It is about a 2 minute walk from the GV. There is also the Orange Market on the beach which is about a 15 minute walk. The beach vendors are gracious and really not pushy. A simple No, gracias and they'll move on. They do offer lots of things-jewelery, tours, massages, pedicures, hair braiding, t-shirts, paintings & carvings. Haggle with them--it's expected and fun!

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"This hotel is past it's prime. Would rate it a 3 star"

Gran Ventana Beach Resort
User Rating:  Gran Ventana Beach Resort Review: 3.00 of 5

Posted by:  Heather  on Feb 1, 2009  >  11 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009
495 people found this review helpful

Good. Fast, courteous and accommodating.

Very large but dated. No iron. Not much storge. Lots of wasted space on corner units. Our air conditioner was very noisy and did not always work. We did not need it so we did not complain.

Restaurants and Bars
Busy buffets. Always lined up at omlette station. A la cartes are very nice. Food and service definately better than buffets. No lime juice so no margaritas!

Nice beach. Best in the area. Lots of chairs but lots that are old and broken. Quiet pool was dirty and not always quiet as other guests don't understand this concept. Don't bring your kids here and don't play football!Bar can get noisy at times. Big pool busy and crowded.

Other Comments
This hotel is past it's prime. Would rate it a 3 star. The awards on the wall are old; from 2000-2005. Latest one was for golf course from 2006. Friendly staff. Never had to pay for a room safe at any other resort but here you do.

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"I just love this hotel that we are looking to go back"

Gran Ventana Beach Resort
User Rating:  Gran Ventana Beach Resort Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Bianca  on Mar 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2009
506 people found this review helpful

This review is just an update from the one I posted in october 2008. Reception was awaiting for us, and at the moment we got into the hotel they saw us and had the papers ready, we did not have to go in line but had an additional check in. Suitcase was already in our room at the time we arrived there. Airco and lights where switched on, we had fresh fruit, biscuits and a bottle of rum in our room. It is lovely how they treat repeaters, at the end I did not even wear my bracelet anymore as it was irritating me, but nobody had any remarks on that. We had a few times diner with one of the managers, it is always nice to hear their story. The hotel was fully booked in February and a little bit to crowded in my opinion. We always had breakfast at 7.00am but even then there was sometimes already a line with the omelet or fresh fruit shakes. We never eat in the evening in the buffet, but always a la carte, but I noticed it was very crowded. Last of February is definitely not the best period to go, it was to crowded and we had 6 days full of rain out of the 15 days. There is a new animation manager and shows are improving a little, still some work to do there. Outside the hotel, coco bongo was still crowded althought nightlife starts around 1.00am, before it is empty on weekdays.

I just love this hotel that we are looking to go back this year in May (but only for 1 week) august and november. My next stay will be my 10th visit to this hotel and the manager told me we would have a special surprise by then. Can not wait to go again.

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"No more Gran Ventana and no Sunwing."

Gran Ventana Beach Resort
User Rating:  Gran Ventana Beach Resort Review: 1.00 of 5

Posted by:  Blake  on Mar 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2009
516 people found this review helpful

Arrival: Feb 4 - 18
Quick check in and in room quickly with bags

First room checked into on first floor, no view and quickly were changed to another on 2nd floor overlooking party pool. Woke up with stiff back, beds were hard as a rock, attended lobby to inquire about a mattress covering that I heard was available, I was quickly advised that was not possible by front desk and clerk walked away. I told him that I was told by the "signature rep" I was actually with "Sunwing but couldn't find him" that covers were available. The clerk replied you go and get that rep and tell him to come here and in a very unfriendly voice. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Eventually the "Signature" rep, that I can't thank enough took us personally to the "Quiet" area of the complex and we got a great room. Not impressed with the mini bar, one bottle of cheap beer, and constantly had to request for more drinking water. This room also did not have the key plug in to activate the air conditioner which was great. In our second room that had this feature I asked for a second key in order to keep the air on, when front desk asked me where key ring was I advised him it was in the room plugged in, the clerk said I was not allowed to do that in a stern voice. Without doing that each time you reentered the room it was stinking hot.

Restaurants and Bars
I was only impressed with the Italian restaurant, staff there were great as well as the food. You have to meet "Jackie" at the quiet pool bar, she is a lot of fun.

Probably one of the better beaches around, cleaned daily and raked. Some other nearby resorts beaches were disgusting with garbage. Too may vendors on the beach.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Enjoyed the nearby Playa Dorada mall. The bar near there Texas Roadhouse had some scary prices for a steak and beer. I have done just about everything over the years we have been in DR, the cable car, Ocean World and catamaran trips are the best. The best bang for your buck is the cataraman, and I get my trips off of the resort, cheaper and just as good.

Other Comments
I believe this hotel is a 4 star rating, I don't know how they got that. I am used to staying at the RIU hotels and what a difference there is for the same amount or close differnce in cost. This hotel needs a facelift, and there front desk staff need some people skill training. I was also not impressed with having to fly to Punta Canta on return home. This was not pointed out by our travel agency. No more Gran Ventana and no Sunwing.

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"The Gran Ventana is a very nice resort but we will not be returning."

Gran Ventana Beach Resort
User Rating:  Gran Ventana Beach Resort Review: 3.00 of 5

Posted by:  Eldon ~ Smiths  on Mar 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2009
509 people found this review helpful

Arrival: March 07 - 14
This was our fouth vacation to the Dominican Republic. Our four-some travelled from Montreal with Sunwing. The flight was great and Sunwing service was excellent. A bus with a Sunwing Rep. was waiting for us at the Puerto Plata airport. He gave the usual welcoming speech and the need-to-know info. At least that is what we assume he was doing. Although he was advised that we spoke only English, he delivered the whole communication in French. I understand a very small amount of French and he did get a laugh we he pointed at us and said something about English and then stated that the "whole world spoke French". From that point on we were completely ignored.

We arrived at Gran Ventana in the late afternoon. Sign-in was quick and easy. each couple was given a room on the second floor of building three. This is approximately a three minute walk from the front entrance of the main lobby. The rooms are a nice size and clean with one king bed, but they are quite dated.
The room my wife and I had was located at the rear of the building. The air conditioner was not working and the ceiling fan had only one speed. Through the night there was a lot of noisey activity on the road that ran along the back. I went to the front desk the next morning and we were immediately transferred to the second floor of building two. This room was much fresher and quieter.
The maid service was good. Depending on the gift of children's clothing or school supplies, we also left either a 50 or 100 peso tip. We were very well looked after and personal tyouches made it obvious the maid was very grateful.

Restaurants and Bars
We ate all but two meals at the main buffet. There was always a good selection which was well prepared. There were some items that were not as good as others, but that was probably only an issue of personal preferance. One problem we did encounter was that if any us didn't have wine or beer with our lunch or dinner, we were not offered any alternatives. Most of the time, the hot water from the urn in the buffet area was barely warm enough to steep the tea.

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"Would we go back? Most certainly."

Gran Ventana Beach Resort
User Rating:  Gran Ventana Beach Resort Review: 3.00 of 5

Posted by:  John  on Mar 1, 2009  >  20 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2009
501 people found this review helpful

My wife and I just returned from a weeks stay at the Gran Ventana. This is our 3rd time to Puerto Plata but the first to this resort. It rained most of our trip but we still had a blast.

We traveled with Signature Vacations and our Rep. Guy was the best Rep. I have ever dealt with. Extremely knowledgeable, funny, helpful and most of all available. I have seen too many reps in the past that went missing the day after you arrived.

We chose this resort because of the value and the great reviews. We were not disappointed. The staff at the resort was second to none. They were always accommodating, friendly and helpful. We had no problems with our room and we had a great location overlooking the central area and the beach. I thought our check in might take some time since we were a full bus loan of vacationers but it was fast.

This resort serves Brugal rum not watered down stuff. The other liquor is the usual stuff you find at the resorts in the Dominican. The bartenders are a great bunch that get to know you quickly especially Pablo.

We found the food to be excellent here in fact we pretty much ate 4 meals a day and enjoyed every bite. I especially loved the wings at the beach and think they were the best I have ever had. We only ate at the Ocean Grill ala cart and enjoyed it. People we spoke with that ate at the other restaurants found them to be excellent.

The other reviews are correct in that the Animation team at the resort fall a little short of expectations. It would be nice to here more upbeat music around the pool and at the beach. I was a little tired of Kenny G's sleeping tunes.

The beach at Playa Dorada is great we have always enjoyed it there.

Would we go back? Most certainly.

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"Overall we enjoyed the Gran Ventana"

Gran Ventana Beach Resort
User Rating:  Gran Ventana Beach Resort Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Jim  on Apr 1, 2009  >  12 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2009
494 people found this review helpful

Arrival: March 27 to April 3
We arrived on schedule in the late evening and were greeted with a welcome drink at check in. Check in went well and we were directed to our rooms and informed that our luggage would be delivered shortly. We had requested the Catilina building and our request had been accomodated. The porter was quick to arrive and was friendly and gave us the run down on the room. This was our 8th Dominican vacation and our first stay at the Gran Ventana.

The room was very clean and tidy and the decor was pleasant. Bathroom was spotless. The beds were comfortable, the air conditioner worked good and the ceiling fan was a great bonus. There was always lots of water pressure and hot water - probbaly the best we have had at any resort. No irons in the room so pack your clothes neatly. The room was cleaned spotless every day and the bar fridge was always restocked. The resort is large and there seems to be a lot of houskeeping staff that work very hard. They are all very pleasant and friendly.

Restaurants and Bars
On arrival the main buffet was closed as it was 10:30 p.m., so we had a bite at the snack wagon that runs each night and is located outside the main buffet entrance. We had hotdogs and though we were starved after our flight we found them to be less than appealing. The snack wagon definitely needs an upgrade.
We found the first 2 days that the food at the main buffet was always only warm - later in the week it seemed that the heat was turned up and the food was served hotter. The main buffet for breakfast each day was good with a wide selection and good food presentation. Lunch and dinner buffets were good and there always was something for everyone. Be sure to try lunch at the beach restaurant - great wings, burgers, fish, nachos and chicken. Table staff do a reasonable job as it is a large area to cover and they do serve a lot of people. Sometimes it is necessary to catch their attention to get that extra coffee or clear a spot if you are waitng to sit at a table. Some are friendlier than others and some are more attentive but overall good. Some discrepancies as to how many a-la- cartes you can book - some guest got only one while others had 2 or all 3 - not sure what the reson was. We ate at the 3 a-la-cartes and found them to be very good. The steak at the Octopus was fantastic. Staff at all 3 were very professional, attentive and polished - great job. The bars and bartenders were all very good. Premium drinks were all inclusive also for the most part. The house table wine was good and supplies stood up to our demands - probably too well some days...

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"We hope to go back next year."

Gran Ventana Beach Resort
User Rating:  Gran Ventana Beach Resort Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Laurence  on Apr 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2009
512 people found this review helpful

Arrival: April 12 - 19
Flight was delayed about 1/2 hour, so we got to GV after 9 p.m. I checked in while my wife looked after luggage, so we were first in (no welcome drink!) but urged to get a move on so we could get something to eat before the buffet closed at 10. We did and we did!

Room was not as requested but too good to complain about. Back of Saosa building, overlooking service lane, silent at night with some noise from kitchen/laundry n the day (who cares?). Room was non-smoking, a real plus. Spotlessly clean, Beds hard but not bad as pillows were good. AC noisy on high speed, but we didn't complain as we rarely ran it on high. Sleep with earplugs when traveling anyway. Bathroom huge, new, but poorly-lit. Mini-fridge always stocked (left a tip every day.

Restaurants and Bars
Bars inconsistent, by location and bartender. Some drinks stronger than others, often depending on time of day. Some follow the recipe for the mixed drinks (3 ingredients or more) and some don't. Bartenders at "swim-up" always enthusiastic. A tip goes a long way. Lobby bar too smoky most nights. Wish beach bar was open later, to catch some quiet and a breeze at night. Pool bar most comfortable fit for us. Didn't try Tiki Bar. BUFFET- always something good and fresh to eat. Pork and chicken more reliable than beef. Fish inconsistent. Variety tops. Table service attentive. BEACH GRILL FOR LUNCH - Great, freshly-grilled chicken and fish. Burgers incnsistent. Wings great, but need some sauce. ITALIAN A LA CARTE - Pasta great. Other dishes inconsistent (E.g. mushroom sauce on grouper made with salty canned mushrooms). Great atmosphere and service, though outside hard to avoid smoke from Tiki Bar at quiet pool. OCEAN GRILL A LA CARTE - Great, especially the grouper and chicken. OCTOPUS - Best of all. Try the lamb, though it's cut off the leg or loin, not chops. Wish I could have eaten there more. Had no problem getting reservations the morning after our night arrival. Got 7 p.m., 6:30, and 6:30 times. Maybe a little early, but that was fine with us.

This is the cleanest, best-serviced location I've seen. Beach isn't as large as the neighbouring resorts, but cleaned and raked daily. The other beaches didn't compare-- dirty, fewer shelters or none. GV is more open and vulnerable to waves, but less likely to be clogged with seaweed than Barcelo, Blue Bay, or Ocidental next door. Gets a little windy late afternoon, but Nova Scotians are used to windy beaches. Fair trade off when the air can be so still and super-heated at the pool. Grounds immaculate. Getup crack of dawn and reserve loungers, esp the shelters on the beach. Sunrise on the beach is beautiful. Sand fleas most active in the morning damp. One morning as I headed to the beach almost every employee was scrubbing the pool area and pathways. The rest were on the beach raking.

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"The staff are great."

Gran Ventana Beach Resort
User Rating:  Gran Ventana Beach Resort Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Sara  on Apr 1, 2009  >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2009
513 people found this review helpful

Arrival: Mar 26 - April 2
Although the flight and airport have no baring on the hotel, going through the airport was very quick. they are doing construction so the walk is a bit longer but our baggage was on the carousel when we got there. My dad needed assistance and was brought through in a wheelchair right from the plane to the bus. Sure wish that would happen at Pearson - we were given next to no assistance there.

Arrival at the hotel was smooth, we expected to wait at least until 3 for our room but one of the porters took care of us and we were in our rooms by 1:30ish. A little confusion with my dad's room as he needed 1st floor, this was cleared up in a matter of minutes.

Rooms were very clean, we did have some fridge stocking issues but nothing that wasn't cleared up in a hurry. We emailed specific room requests about a week before leaving. Although they were unable to give us the exact room we requested, the view from our room was even better - full ocean view (well through the trees). If you wanted to find something wrong with the room, I'm sure you could but it was perfect for us. My dad's room as also perfect for his needs. Always cleaned, fresh linen and towels when requested - they have a new practice where if you want fresh towels you put the old ones in the tub and they replace them, if you want new linens you place a card on the bed and when they make the bed the put down new linens. This cuts down on wasted laundering - who has new sheets everyday at home.

Restaurants and Bars
Luis at the pool bar is amazing. The service at all the bars is good. All bartenders always have a smile on their faces and are happy to serve whatever you're drinking.

The Buffet was good, there was something for everyone at every meal, you just had to look. We did the Octopus Restaurant - food and service was good - no complaints there. We had a slight scare when the lights went out - completely - only to be re-assured to hear "happy birthday' being sung buy the staff and the lights came back on after the candle was blown out. This happened twice during our meal. It was nice for the birthday people. As 'repeaters' we were entitled to use the restaurants the the Victoria down the road. Don't waste your time the food and service at the Gran Ventana is MUCH better.

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