Gran Ventana Beach Resort Reviews

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Gran Ventana Beach Resort  

PLaya Dorada, Puerto Plata. República Dominicana

"Very nice hotel - best of the AI resorts in the Playa Dorada area"
Posted by: Tom on Sep 9, 2013
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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 29 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 29 reviews
Very good
By Occasion...
Leisure (16)
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Family and Kids (4)
With friend (3)
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With Spouse/Partner (8)
11 - 20 of 29

"Gran Ventana Rocks. Will go back. Manny and Eddie rule. "

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

Posted by:  Brian  on May 7, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: May, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
722 people found this review helpful

I went with my wife and 2 kids. Everyone enjoyed ourselves and would definitely go back. My kids are 14 and 7, they met other kids to play and hang out with. There were activities through out the day and never a boring moment.

The people working at the resort were very friendly and make sure your stay is a good one.

The nightly entertainment was funny. The people at the resort get other people involved. I was on stage at least 3 times.

Your Arrival:
Upon arrival it was only 20 minutes from the airport. Didn't wait long to get our room key. Have to pay for a safe ($15). Showed up at 5pm. Wanted to get something to eat but nothing was open. My only complaint.

They give you an appointment to go to the next day to meet your representative. He explains all about the excursions and activities around the resort.

Rooms where very clean and the maids where great. You have a big jug of water in the fridge for drinking or brushing your teeth. They also have pop and beer in the fridge. Didn't watch much tv just a bit before going to bed. Our view out of the room wasn't the best but i don't go to a resort to hang out in my room. Overall the rooms where great. Air conditioning worked great. They do have regular wall plug outlets that we use in Canada and USA.

Restaurants and Bars:
I hear the a la carte dinners are good but didn't go only cause the kids didn't want to. Which didn't bug me at all cause the buffet was really good. I've been to DR before, Mexico, Jamaica and this was the best food. My son a very fussy kid and he ate great.

They have a main buffet and a beach side buffet. Beach side buffet is open from 12 noon to 5pm. The main buffet hours are 7am till 10:30am, 12pm till 2:45pm, 6:30pm till 10pm. The main buffet had different food all the time. They did have pizza and french fries all the time which is good for the kids. The beach buffet had nachos, hamburgers, hotdogs, french fries, etc. Bars open at 10am and no complaints on them.

At about 10pm they have a guy in the middle of the resort with cold sandwiches and hotdogs. Good for a late snack.

My only complaint is the hours the buffet was open. Every where else i ever went to they always had something open during the day. Once you get use to the hours it's all good.

The beach was nice. Not white sands but not totally dark brown. They have people cleaning the beach all the time. There are people selling stuff on the beach but if you don't want to buy just say "No thanks". Also people trying to get you to look at other resorts. Timeshares of course. So say NO unless you want to be bothered.

The pool was great especially for my 7 year old. Almost half the pool is about less than waist deep. So he can stand up if he wants. There is walk in entrance which was cool. A swim up bar for drinks and stools to sit on.

The grounds are kept up very nice. Always people cleaning around the resort.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Activities around the resort good. They have activities during the days and at night. Arobics in the pool, pool volley ball, bingo, darts, pineapple bowling, mini putt tournament, pool table tournament, ping pong tournament and so on. We also played tennis one day. Never played before but had a great time with the family.

At night the entertainment is great. They had a magic show one night, Micheal Jaskson show, live band, dancing, and just a good time.

We only left the resort to go to Ocean World. We did the dolphin encounter. Not the dolphin swim. I enjoyed it. We got to hug the dolphin and kiss them. We pet them and took pictures together. They have a bird place to go into where all the birds land on you. It was fun. Kids really enjoyed that. Just thought that there wasn't enough activities to do there to be there from 9am till 4pm. But good to take the kids.

Other Comments:
This place is a big compound with about 5 or 6 resorts on the grounds. There is a shopping mall right there. Not a far walk. Golf right on the compound. You can take a horse and buggy ride. There are also Pizza Hut and other restaurants on the grounds.

I recommend you get the travel insurance. In 3 days my son got pink eye. Then 2 days later him and my wife got ear aches. Didn't have to pay a cent. Very worth it.

Overall a very good place and am looking to go back in Feburary with our parents. I recommend this place to anyone. Maybe not the young kids looking to party.

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"Great Vacation Spot"

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

Posted by:  Mark  on Apr 21, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
677 people found this review helpful

Over all, just a great place to kick back and relax, remembering that it is 4 star. Our experiences on the resort were all very positive and could find no faults to complain about at all.

Your Arrival:
Flew Air Transat from Toronto. Arrival uneventful. Cleared immigrations without incident.

Clean, neat and tidy. Perhaps smallish.

Restaurants and Bars:
We have travelled numerous times to the Carribean, Mexico, Cuba and D.R. Food here was about the best we have encountered. Buffet restaurants did not repeat their menu while there, and had no problems getting well and truly fed while a guest here.

All appeared to be very well kept and well groomed and cleaned.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Went on a day trip on Catamaran. Had a great day. Went horse back riding, big mistake. Poor horses were obliged to cart us for two hours over rocky rough terrain. I am not a horse type person but it appeared to me that the footing for most of the ride was treacherous.

Other Comments:
My main concern was our departure from the airport. I had seized a tiny umrella from my carry on luggage. Inside the departure lounge, "duty free" shopping was rediculous (expensive). Even a bottle of cervesa was US$5.50 ea.

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"Great as usual"

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

Posted by:  Alec  on Apr 11, 2010  >  5 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
639 people found this review helpful

Booked through itravel2000, price was fair to good. Flight was with Nolitour / Skyservice. They changed our flight from Fri 06:20 AM to Sat 3:40 PM, I was given the option to cancel with refund, I did and a good thing as Skyservice went under. I had re booked with Air Canada, flight was good, however, nothing free on the flight except a glass of juice.

Your Arrival:
Arrived at 8:30 PM, check in was fast and rooms were ready.

No problem with rooms. Maid service was good and room cleaned daily. Everything in the room worked. Water is in large bottles so bring a smaller one to top as required.

Restaurants and Bars:
Food has to be the best I've tasted in 8 trips to the D.R. All the A la Carte's are good;

Octopus - Caribbean
Ocean Grill - Everything on the grill
Sapore di mare - Italian


Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Night Entertainment is good, however, I've seen better.
Snorkeling very good in front of the resort.
Lots of Tour's and plenty to choose from.

Other Comments:
Great all around resort. Very good experince and will recommend to others and will return.

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"Never again!!!!!! As long as I live and breath"

Gran Ventana Beach Resort
User Rating:  Gran Ventana Beach Resort Review: 1.0 of 5

Posted by:  SAIN  on Apr 4, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) United Kingdom
Visited on: Mar, 2010 | Leisure | With friend
423 people found this review helpful

Hotel is dirty, old broken furnishings and is only a 1* hotel , whoever graded it as a 4* needs to be fired.If you want a relaxing holiday or even just to sleep at night then this is NOT the hotel for you. The service from staff leaves an awful lot to be desired. The food is disgusting the worst I have ever experienced. I wouldn't give as pig swill, even the staff who worked there sent out for pizza. If you need to lose weight then come here, it truly is not fit for any aninmal let alone the fact you have paid for it. Seek out Pizza Hut in the mall. I have travelled to many places over the world and have been to the Dom. Rep 10 times and believe me this is the worst hotel in the Carribean. Stay here at your peril!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Your Arrival:
Smooth usual airline service. Transfer to hotel quick

Bed bugs, Beds are like concrete, tv is a dinosaur, mini bars dont work, the windows are not double glazed and most are ill fitting, The maids need to be retrained or just trained, they used 1 mop and 1 cloth to clean all rooms TAKE YOUR OWN CLEANING STUFF

Restaurants and Bars:
EAT ELSEWHERE if you want to live

The only good thing apart from the vendors they get on your nerves. The pool is full of sport jocks playing polo all day every day

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Entertainment is poor same old thing michael jackson night, kareoke please we need more than this

Other Comments:

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"Fantastic vacation"

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

Posted by:  B.  on Jan 22, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
509 people found this review helpful

I am hesitant to write a review because I don't want the hotel to be booked up when I go next year!! To sum it up my husband and I, sons 17 and 18 and son's girlfriend 17 all had a blast and can't wait to go back. There is nothing negative that I can say. The people were just amazing.

Your Arrival:
We were met at the airport and shuttled to the hotel by very nice people.

Rooms were great. Clean - no smells - great maids. We left a couple of dollars and some pencils and crayons every day. Beds and pillows were fine - I had read reviews of hard beds or whatever....not sure what they were talking about.

Restaurants and Bars:
The a la cartes were fantastic - if you like fish ask for the sea bass at the Ocean Grill because it is delicious (but it is not on the menu). I loved the buffet - my husband and two sons always found something to try out. Bartenders - awesome. We learned tons just sitting around talking to our bartenders, Ramiro, Jackie and Jonathan. They all had a "special drink" and we really enjoyed getting to know them.

We were only in the pools a couple of times as we love the beach-but they were very nice and clean. Got to know some of the vendors on the beach - #39 Joseph has great necklaces and bracelets - gave us lots of info about the people etc. - super nice guy. He advised that if you want to bring stuff for the kids, they really need school supplies. I really can't understand how people get annoyed with the vendors - you simply say no thanks or just avoid looking at them and they leave you alone. One girl, Lily, asked me if I wanted a manicure-she asked me a couple of times and everyday I would see her and say Hi Lily and sometimes she would stop and see how my day was going - but she never asked me if I wanted a manuicure again.

Grounds were immaculate - I was up by 6am everyday and there would be people everywhere singing while they were cleaning floors, tables, chairs, you name it-they were cleaning it. Some of them would ask my name and then use it every time they said Ola to me in the morning - unfortunately I have a bad memory for names and only remembered a few of them!!

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We did the dune buggies with Signature - loads of fun - lots of people we met paid alot less through the vendors on the beach or in the market which I would do next time.

Other Comments:
We had friends that had stayed at this resort twice and it was everything they said it was. The week we were there was pretty cloudy - only two days of full sun the last two days but it made absolutely no difference to us - we made the most of everyday and loved every minute of it!!

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"The room situation bothered us"

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

Posted by:  Dirk and Henny  on Jan 8, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Dec, 2009 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
303 people found this review helpful

When we booked 3 months before, we requested two rooms, next to each other with king beds as we were traveling with another couple. When we arrived we received adjoining rooms but no king beds. They informed us we would have to wait two days, but that we would certainly move to new rooms with king beds, ocean view and in the same building. What we eventually ended up with was rooms in different buildings, no ocean view, but king beds. The room that we received was next to washrooms, a lobby, a laneway used by delivery vehicles and had a poorly working shower. It seemed to be the poorest and noisiest location they could have given us. We tolerate a fair bit and do not complain quickly but we had put in our request early so expected better than this.

Restaurants and Bars::
The food was well above average with buffet and a la cartes being almost excellent. Good service at any of the bars.

The pools were nice, clean and large.
The beach was the best on the entire strip.
There were lots of chairs in both locations.
The grounds were well kept.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel::
The nightly entertainment dragged out, was very repetitive and boring.
Activities during the day were poor to none existant. We like Carribean music but heard very little of it(or of any music for that matter). We had three rainy days which we made the best of but games, music and activities should have been presented more under the circumstances but it didn't happen! There were few places to comfortably play cards--we ended up setting up our own makeshift table.

Other Comments::
The room situation bothered us enough that we would probably not return to this resort.

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"Very nice resort"

Gran Ventana Beach Resort
User Rating:  Gran Ventana Beach Resort Review: 4.5 of 5

Posted by:  Glen & Lisa from Saskatchewan  on Nov 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2009
223 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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"Would recommend the resort to others"

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

Posted by:  Lianne ~ GTA  on Jul 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jul, 2009
212 people found this review helpful

Arrival: July 06-13th, 2009
We arrived at 9:30 PM, with two very tired and excited boys, ages 3 & 6. We flew with Sunwing and had no difficulties, aside from the "normal" entertaining of the boys. We were glad that we packed some of their familiar treats and small toys, and a new book each to occupy them. They loved the costumed girls at the airport and the drive through the night to the hotel. They enjoyed exploring the lobby and listening to music while my husband was effeciently checked in.

We loved our room - ground floor, corner room, non-smoking, mini-fridge, close to the pool but with a garden view and steps to the restaurant and minutes from the beach. Clean, bright, comfy and cool. Cleaned daily. The boys were able to relax and have some down-time playing quietly or watching familiar kids shows - in Spanish - they didn't mind at all. In fact they knew a lot of Spanish from shows they watch anyway - Sesame Street, Dora and Diego!

Restaurants and Bars:
We enjoyed the cheerful service and convenience of the restaurants. We all enjoyed the food and tried different things when available. No one in our family was ill or felt uncomfortable about the food the entire vacation. The Beach restaurant was the favourite, and Mark and I enjoyed the grilled chicken. Our oldest son tried octopus and calamari, while the youngest lived on peanut butter pancakes, cereal, fish, french fries and pineapple. We ate out at two of the other restaurants with reservations and found them very family friendly and service prompt. Our wine glasses were always refilled!

Brisk cool beach and gorgeous views - snorkeling was a hit, searching for shells and seeing "pirate ships" it was shallow for a way out, and colourful fish were visible close to shore. When calm in the morning it felt quite safe. We put the oldest son, and Mom in a PFD for snorkeling and that was reassuring. The kids loved the pool because they played with new friends and had the novelty of the swim-up bar. We parents found it hot, noisy and crowded - but that's because we are more introverted and the privacy of the beach suits us better. But we recognized that the boys were having a blast! The kids liked the play area and we had several walks through the complex itself. Just be assertive with the staff who solicit for hair braiding, and souvenirs on the beach - we bought stuff early on and then our privacy was respected. It was a treat to pick out stuff on the beach the first day.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel::
Let's see - the horse carriage ride in the evening was peaceful and cool - our 3 year old fell asleep in my arms. (The oldest was fascinated by the horse body functions - but hey - he's all boy...)We went to Ocean World and LOVED IT!!! Just felt a pang of social justice that the local people can't afford it. The dolphins sure seemed to love their "people" interactions. It was a long day for the kids, (we had one tantrum in the store...) but they fell asleep on the shuttle back to the hotel so we had a quiet evening with them in bed. Hiring a taxi driver and guide was also a good call - we went up the cable car to the mountain and around some markets in the city. Now - Mark and I have travelled to Malaysia and Taiwan, and I have lived in Indonesia and Bangladesh - we have adventurous spirits. So, be aware that the cable car has open windows, and is a tad crowded,but the boys loved it because it was like Diego! Be sure you are comfortable with beggars & shoe shine boys etc . and are willing to explore and try new things. We saw the old Spanish Fort and the port. The boys had a donkey ride and drank from coconuts on the side of the road! Memories! If the kids were older, or we were on our own we would have explored the island more. Our boys didn't want to stay at the daycare,because they wanted to be with us, but they played there the last day after check out. The staff had arranged a birthday party for another little girl, and they were excited and friendly people. The kids evening games on the stage were fun as well, to watch or participate.

Other Comments::
Take lots of sunscreen because it is expensive there and the dates may have expired. Our boys also wore swim shirts. Also we took "fishy" crackers and snacks and meds, like polysporan, tylenol, bandaids and cortesone cream - useful for heat rash. It was a busy vacation, since our boys are "BUSY", and Mom and Dad need a trip alone next time! However - we had wonderful, quality time together and would recommend the resort to others, for certain.

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"We would definitely recommend it to our friends."

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

Posted by:  Darrell & Brenda~  on May 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: May, 2009
204 people found this review helpful

My husband and I have just returned from our vacation in Puerta Plata. We stayed at the Gran Ventana April 22-29/09. This was our fourth trip to Puerta Plata, first to this resort. Would we go back to the Gran Ventana? Yes we would. This is our fifth trip to the Dominican Republic; we have also been to Cuba and Mexico.

Our trip was with Air Canada Vacations. We were battling a head wind most of the way down so we had a fair amount of turbulence, the return flight was pretty smooth, no turbulence at all. Because of the headwind we were also a little late arriving. No problem with seats, plenty of legroom. Bring your own food or be prepared to buy on board. They do still give out free water, coffee, tea, juice and soft drinks.

The weather was pretty good for us. The first day and a half was sunny and hot. On the third day and every day after that we had a morning downpour and an evening downpour that lasted about ½ an hour. The rest of the day was sunny with some scattered clouds. We did have a couple of 10 minute sun showers. Yep, the sun was shining and there were raindrops, actually it was kind of refreshing. I did see a lot of sunburned people. I also got a little too much sun on the 2nd day.

Check in was quick and we found the front desk staff to be very friendly and professional; our room was ready when we arrived around 2:30. You can leave your luggage with the bell boys and they will deliver it to your room. We opted to take it ourselves so we didn't have to wait on it. We were given room 1242 in the Soana Building. The room was large and well kept. We had a king-sized bed. The mattress was firm, just the way we like it, we both slept very comfortably. The room was clean, no mold, no bugs, no bad smells, no worries, plenty of hot water and the shower pressure was perfect. Our room faced the beach. The room next to ours was vacant all week so we basically had no neighbours. The resort is designed so everything is only steps apart and everything is easily accessible. There is an in room safe $16 US/wk (key), double closet, hairdryer, phone, table with two chairs, long desk with three drawers the fridge was in this unit, TV and bedside tables, no clock, great air conditioning plus a ceiling fan over the bed. The furniture was very nice and all was in good shape. We did not need our converter for the plugs. There are several English TV channels, including movies. The fridge contained a 4 lt bottle of water, two beers and two pop. The bathroom was a good size, with tub and shower. Get your beach towels at the hut next to the pool. VIP guests get a gift of a bottle of Brugal Rum and a very nice fruit plate!

The workers kept the beach very clean. There are spots where you can enter the water pretty easily. Watch for a couple of rocks. We took water shoes but didn’t need them in the water. The snorkeling is OK immediately in front of the resort. There are enough fish to keep you entertained but nothing like I have seen in the Mayan Rivieria. There might have been more fish further out, but I stayed within a hundred feet of the beach or so. The beach is protected by a reef. Not a lot of wave action right on the beach itself. No worries of being knocked off your feet getting in or out of the water.

There are a lot of beach vendors and they arrive early in the day. They are selling everything from hair braiding to newspapers. Jewellery, cover-up, bathing suits, shirts, toys, flip flops, crocks (knock-offs), coconuts, wood carvings, paintings, massage, pedicure, manicure, excursions, etc. A simple no thanks will do fine. If you are not interested they do not harass you. The Orange Market is another story. If you are brave enough to enter, there are bargains to be had. But, be warned it is like a feeding frenzy. Everyone wants you to “come look in my shop”.

There are three pools; the pool by the Beata building is the “quiet” pool, it is a pretty good size. The larger pool has a swim up bar. There was music by the pool daily. The third pool is a tot pool is it beside the main pool. I can’t remember if there were any Jacuzzis. The entertainment staff was active around the main pool during the day. They played Bingo in the afternoon other than that I don’t know what else they did in the afternoons because we were usually by the beach around the palapa area. They do have a playground and I think a children's club.

Bars – Lobby Bar, Pool Bar and Swim up Bar, Beach Bar and Quiet Pool Bar. Good selection of drinks.
Nightly entertainment – Is pretty well standard AI shows. Ms Gran Ventana, Karaoke, Michael Jackson, Dance night, etc. They were supposed to have a beach party one night but the evening shower changed that.

Food - we had no problem finding food. Breakfast was good, lots to choose from. Bacon, sausages, egg station, smoothie station, pastries, fruit, yogurt, cereal, etc etc. Lunch was good also. There was always something in chicken, pork and fish, vegetables, rice, salads, fruit, deserts, breads and rolls. Great deserts. If you did not want to eat at the buffet, you had other choices. At lunch there was a menu you could order from in the beach grill. They also had self serve, pizza, fruit, chicken wings (no sauce), French fries, salads, nacho chips, cheese, soup and a type of chilli. We were booked as VIP so we could also use the Victoria Resort’s beach grill and resort facilities. We ate at their beach grill twice and enjoyed it very much. We also ate at the GV’s Italian (over by the Beata Bldg) and beach side restaurants. Great food and plenty of it.

There are four computers located by the main lobby, up the stairs from the guest services desk ($3US 30 minutes).

We’ve been to this area before so we only took one excursion off the resort which was a morning horse back ride. We booked this on the beach from Gregory. It was great, it had rained a couple of times that week so there was some puddles and mud on the ride. Still was fun. Make sure you take bug repellent. The rain showers tend to bring out the bugs. I have seen it worse in other places, but if the bugs like you then you better take spray. Overall, we had a great vacation. The Gran Ventana is a great place and we have no complaints about the resort. We would definitely recommend it to our friends.

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"We hope to go back next year."

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

Posted by:  Laurence  on Apr 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2009
220 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.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Didn't go on any tours. Activation staff not the most motivated, but not as intrusive as at some places. Activities were not well-run. Evening entertainment mostly very amateurish. Someone should unplug the karaoke machine! Two nights there were bands who played sets. That was worth listening to!

Other Comments
We hope to go back next year. Two weeks if possible. Would do some excursions in second week. We went this time planning to do nothing, and the beach was the place for that. I brought a cold from Nova Scotia and felt like death the first three days. Sun and rum drove the plague away. Even someone in as bad a mood as I was in can enjoy GV.

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