Playa Dorada , Puerto Plata P.O.Box 547, República Dominicana
"great attitude from the staff"
Posted by: carey on Jul 7, 2014
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The Barceló Puerto Plata is located on the north coast, in Playa Dorada, famous for its calm blue waters, beautiful landscapes and fine sand.
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"Every day we would hear about people getting robbed."
Ann, Canada on Feb 1, 2009 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009
360 people found this review helpful
Arrival: Feb 4 - Feb 11
Did not have to wait long for luggage. Found bus and 15 min drive to resort.
Rooms: Not well kept old and worn down. Toilet broke, tv not working until 4th day into stay fixed after talking to guest services, dimly lit no bulbs in lamp , bulb above bed not working but miraculously starting working after talking to guest services without changing bulb. Hot water sporadic at times. No replacements of towels last 2 days of stay. Called guest services 3 times and finally had to go down and speak in person to get towels. Beds made but not changed during entire stay. Safe in room but heard many people in building had safe and rooms broken into, money and electronics stolen. So we did not feel safe leaving passports and money in room. We stayed in building 11. It backed onto the woods with fence behind.
Restaurants and Bars: 1 buffet (jimmy's buffet) and 4 ala carte restarants. Food very bland and very similiar every day. Fruit questionable at times. Especially bananas. Had only 2 good meals during entire stay. Thank god for omelettes at breakfast! Also alot of people used pasta bar. Recommend Japanese and Mexican a la carte but very hard to get into. Serice not great service not too attentive. The best service first day there and went downhill from there. Bar service was pretty good but we tipped well.
Beach/Pools/Grounds: Pool nice but we had only 2 hrs of sun over 7days. It rained alot.... We were surprised to see beach littered with garbage at 1130 am Thought could be better maintained. Red flag every day, swim at own risk. Not a place for small children as undertow. No paddle boats etc none in sight. We were looking forward to walking to beach but it was very short. The best thing was the sound of the ocean.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: Big problem! It rained for 7 days straight only 2 hrs of sun/pool time. You would think animation team would have lots of activities but did nothing most of time. People waiting around for activities. It was very boring during day. Loved the evening show ,the dancers were great. They work really hard and they were compensated with a good tip on our last day. They had a lot of audience participation activities which we enjoyed. Went to Sousa once which we enjoyed but know you will be hassled to buy something and went on jeep safar with Angel. Had a great time going to countryside to see poor. We brought lots of toys,school supplies, hats for children. It was the highlight of our trip. I recommend bringing supplies for these people as they are very poor. Went to nice beach on excursion which was nicer than resort beach.
Other Comments: Safety was a big issue on this resort! Every day we would hear about people getting robbed, safes broken into money stolen. We did not feel safe. It was dimly lit. So don't walk by self if female. We had security guards at our building but they seemed to lurk outside our door on 3rd floor. Always heard security did nothing for people who were robbed even tried to intimidate them. So be careful! Overall we were not happy with our stay at this resort. We are not picky people. This was my first time to a resort and my friend has gone to several. It is a 2-2.5 star not a 4 star spend the extra $200-$300 and go somewhere else. You will be glad you did.
"I would not be afraid to recomend it to my best friends."
France, New brunswick on Feb 1, 2009 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009
361 people found this review helpful
Arrival: February 12 to 26
Flew from Quebec City via Can Jet, plane left 2h late due to bad weather. Verry good service on plane. 30 lugages were left in Quebec and only arrived the next day. We had some thing to change from our travel cloth in carry ons so it was not a problem. Trip to the hotel was fast and plesent. Cool drink upon arrival,and fairly quick to cheek in.
Got our room 30 min later. Were satisfied with it so did not have to change. The room was very clean and every thing worked well. Cleaning lady or ladies, (diferent lady at night when they come to get the room ready for sleep, and change the towels a second time) are very efficient and do a good job always clean, and they leave face cloth. They work very hard to satisfy you.
Restaurants and Bars
Restaurants were good we went to all of the a la carte and the pizeria and were verry satisfied . the buffet is also good especialy at supper time, they change theme every night so the menu changes. In the morning the omelets are verry good. At noon time it is more repetetive but that is ok the choice is quite bigger at the buffet than at the beach or pool restauraunt. The pizeria is an excelent place to have a meal their calzone is the best I have had in the south.The bars are very good and bartenders always have a smile(tips or no tips). My favourite drink was a caipirinha.
The beach is nice wide and endless to walk, booth ways. The water was warm and a nice turquoise color after a few days. When we first arrived it had been raining for the last few days and the water was not very calm and full of sand so it was rather brown. Every morning workers were comming to gather the sea weeds that the sea had left on the beach during the night. Workers woul pick the glasses and straws that vacationers had not have the sense to put in the garbege. The grounds wer juse immaculate, gardners every day would trim the trees and lawns.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We went to the Isabella Mountain by way of the Teleferique, it was breath taking worth every penny, it was my 3rd time in Puerto Plata and I had not yet done that activity, now I am very glad I did you have to do it just for the view from the top of the mountain. If you are afraid of the Teleferique you can go by car.
Was a little septique before going because of the age of the resort... I should not have wasted tome wondering, it is in good shape they are repainting and fixing every thing that is in need. I would not be afraid to recomend it to my best friends. The entertainment is also very good they have the best band consisting of 10 members. I missed the small 3 member bands at the a la carte restauraunts though.
"The entertainment at night was great for kids and adults."
Darlene, Ontario on Jan 1, 2009 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2009
307 people found this review helpful
Trip from Toronto to hotel was very long as we were delayed in Toronto for 4 hours, upon arrival at airport very quickly went through customs no problem, looked for our bus very well organized very informative on the bus ride to the hotel.
As we were late arriving our rooms were ready for us very clean we were in the prestige rooms bathrobe and slippers were there for us, beds were turned down everynight bar was well stocked, had problem with toilet phoned down was fixed in no time
Restaurants and Bars:
Buffet and all of the al la cartes, snack bars, pizza bar were excellent, food was well cooked atmosphere was very nice in all al la cartes...SERVICE WAS OUTSTANDING
They were always cleaning the grounds no garbage was anywhere very efficient in picking up anyy plastic glassses around the pool and even on the beach. You could walk on the beach for miles....it was hard finding chairs but that is at any resort...vendors on the beach not bothersome you said no they did not pressure anyone to buy
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Our kids went on the dune buggy tour for 3 hours in the rain had a fantastic time would do it again in a second
I found this resort to be very entertaining no one got sickwhich is wonderful and says a lot for any hotel in that area as I have been to the Dominican before and always got sick, there was 5 of us no one got sick everyone and a wonderful time, service was fantastic, rooms very clean, security excellent felt very safe when you were even out walking around the complex after dark.
There entertainment at night was great for kids and adults, the staff that entertained with different events during the day were fantastic
"I liked this resort although I wasn't in love with it."
Julie, Regina on Jan 1, 2009 >
1 contribution(s) SOUTH GEORGIA AND THE SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS
Visited on: Jan, 2009
333 people found this review helpful
Arrival: Jan 23 - 29
We left the Regina airport knowing that a long trip awaited, as we had to sto pto pick up Saskatoon passengers before heading out on the 6 1/2 hour flight to Puerto Plata. All we went well on the Skyservice flight, which was booked with Transat Holidays.
We saw on the television screens we were flying over the Dominican Republic -- odd, since Puerto Plata is right on the north coast. We were told it was raining too hard in Puerto Plata for the flight to land, and so we were diverted to La Romana, another tourist destination located in the southeast corner of the island.
We had to stay overnight and wait in the airport the entire next day until being flown to Santo Domingo and bussed 6 hours to Puerto Plata.
Arrival at the Barcelo wasn't as smooth as I assume it usually is. We were all arriving at an unscheduled time, and guests who couldn't leave Puerto Plata on account of rain were staying an extra night. We didn't get the room requested, but it was clean.
We stayed in 10-122 and it didn't have the greatest view (of a fence) but was quite close to everything, which we enjoyed. The room was a little tired overall. Some days we would get snacks (chocolate bar and chips) and other days we wouldn't. Your room wouldn't get cleaned unless you left a sign on the door and sometimes we forgot and had to call for the room to be cleaned later on, and they came promptly. The TV and mini-bar worked fine,but the hot water wasn't great until about the fourth day.
The buffet was pretty good. The best was the individually-made omlettes in the morning or pasta at lunch or supper. Some nights there were different themes to mix things up. The snack bar by the pool was great during the day, with really good burgers and fries. At night food was out at the disco, which was the same sort of food and great to have. The a la carte restaurants were awesome. There are five on the resort, but we only tried three. All had a few courses and brought lots of appetizers until your main course. The Mexican and Italian were great -- the food expected, and the Oriental was amazing. Be sure to book as early as possible to get into the restaurants you want. The Seafood grill was on the beach and supposed to be good, and the Brazilian restaurant we heard was good if you liked meat. Important -- men must wear long pants and closed shoes to the a la cartes. Whichever restaurant we were ate, the service was absolutely excellent and often servers would go the extra mile to make the dinner great for you.
There was a lobby bar all day, a beach bar, a swim up bar, and a bar near the theatre at night.
Beach The beach was nice, although not the white sand found at Punta Cana. The resort is in a bay so the water, while not calm, isn't completely wavy. Because of the resorts stretching each way, it is possible to run or walk along the beach which is awesome. Loungers were easy to find, unless you wanted one in the shade. There are also trees at the back of the beach you can find shade in. Watch out for the vendors -- we found the closer you were to the water, the less they bothered you. Pool The pool atmosphere was great. Lots to do and lots of music -- although it did get a big repetitive after a few days. This is where you wanted to be for lots to do, eat, and drink. If you want quiet, then head to the beach. Grounds The grounds were beautiful and well-maintained and clean. Entertainment on Resort This was really good. During the day there were activities all around the pool, although we didn't find out about beach volleyball and kayaking until our last day there. At night there was a band and singers every night that were awesome and very professional. There were also some fun nights such as Karaoke night. The Disco on the beach was open every night from 11 pm to 2 am. Excursions The Puerto Plata Runners Safari Adventuretour was awesome.We went through Puerto Plata and up the mountain into the countryside. Our jeep safari took us to a true Dominican household, beautiful views, horseback riding, a traditional Dominican lunch, a beautiful beach where we could boogie board, and the tasting of hot chocolate, coffee, coconuts, and cigars. We learned how cigars were rolled and learned even more from our excellent guide, Giovanni. We went on a national holiday so didn't get to tour the school, which is usually part of the day. Some tours include waterfall tours. The tour operator excursions do not include this as part of their tour as it is deemed unsafe by the Canadian government, but the excursions you buy on the beach will take you there. Quads/Dune Buggies If you don't like to get wet or muddy, don't do this tour! But if you don't mind it, then hop in a dune buggy or stay a little cleaner on a quad, and spend three hours through the mud and a Dominican village. You even venture out onto the roads a bit. I heard the Paradise Island tour was very nice. If we had known earlier, we would have booked horseback riding with Cowboy Bill. He sits in front of the lobby bar at the Barcelo -- you'll know him because he is the only one in a cowboy hat. He is a Canadian who lives there now doing horseback riding tours. He has three different tours - a full day, morning, or sunset tour, and we would have loved to gone if we had found out about him earlier. Departure/Check-out Went smoothly, although ther was a long line when we went to check out at the checkout time of one o'clock. Other Many Canadians stay here, and many of them are French Canadians. The staff spoke fairly good English and many spoke French as well. We also got a massage and it was awesome - completely worth the money. If you are in the Prestige class, make sure you get your complimentary bottle of rumn and fruit tray -- we had to ask for ours. Often when we went to the reception, we were sent to guest services, and then sent on to the Prestige Class services and then even sometimes the Transat representative... we just had to be patient as we figured out who to talk to for each. If you're stuck go to the Transat rep first if there isn't a line. Overall, I liked this resort although I wasn't in love with it. I might try somewhere else next time, although I think for what we paid for our vacation, it was great value.