We were a group of 12, 6 teenagers and 6 adults, and we had a great time, no one was sick, as you always worry will happen especially as we took our sons(13 and 17) and they had never been before. We all had a great time and would defintely return. I had read in previous reviews that if you had a problem go see Ramone or Julio(front end managers), that was true and they were very helpful,also speak very good english. Julio who we dealt with the most called me the lawyer(as I am the mouthy one of the group).Staff were all good with the teenagers and would carry on with them and joke around, my oldest son is tall(6feet and quite skinny) so they nicknamed him spaghetto and they all called him that. We booked excursions(dune buggies, cable cars and ocean world)thru the resort with Edwin however don’t do that, as the dune buggies were $100.00 more than at the plaza, so I went back and told him if he didn’t give us some money back that we would not do Ocean World(we hadn’t paid for that yet)he did take $80.00 off the price of Ocean World. Watch out for him.
Arrived on March 29,2010 at 11:30am, there were 12 of us travelling together, 6 adults and 6 teenagers, check in was quick and easy. I asked for a two bedroom suite for my husband and I and our two teenaged sons(13 and 17). They gave us all suites which was fine until we saw them. They awere serving fruit punch to us during the process which was nice.
Our suites were located in building 14 which was right next to the beach(they did have beautiful views) however the rooms were totally unacceptable, they were old and very musty smelling(we think that the room had been closed up and hadn’t been used as they were opening the windows for us)Julio (a front end manager) and Art(the bell hop-who was a sweetie) took us there and I immediately told them the we would not staying in those rooms, as I was the spokesperson for the group, probably because I am the mouthy one and also because I have been to the Puerto Plata area six times. Julio told me that he would see what he could do, we left our bags there and went for lunch at the buffet and then to the beach. Later I got to see Ramone(the front end manager who was on duty) they asked me to go into his office to see him, I was not sure what to expect, he was either going to give me another room or ask me to leave, he graciously gave us other rooms in building 11-great choice, newly renovated, spacious rooms, with fridges and hairdryers, lots of hot water.
Restaurants and Bars:
We ate at the buffet daily, no lack of food, food was good , not a big selection of food but none of us ever went hungry. Waitresses got to know us and would have our tables set up and waiting for us, especially Modesta and Benedicto, remember there were 12 of us. We ate at the Caribbean Grill one evening which was good, we also nibbled daily at the beach grill, the teenagers especially liked that. My only disappointment was that there was no ice cream at the buffet(you could buy it at the little store in the lobby), always in the past the buffets always had ice cream. Bars were good, we even got our drinks delivered to us on the beach, bartenders are amazing, they have excellent memories.
Beach was beautiful, waves were quite forceful and could knock you down very easily, as they did to us a few times, be careful if travelling with little ones.Beach vendors were there daily but did not bother us, we got to know them all and would get them drinks and snacks(which we were not suppose to do but you can,do not hand them to them, just sit them down and they will pick them up.)Pool was nice however most days we were at the beach.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
If you are planning on doing any excursions, book them at the Plaza which is a 5 minute walk away, cheaper and they will barter more. We did the dune buggies, cable cars and ocean world. Take lots of cash as we thought that we could book those on a credit card but we couldn’t, they wanted cash so I had to take a cash advance. There is shopping near by at the plaza however there is a big Orange Flea Market at the end of the beach(which is a 10 minute walk) with a greater selection of things with better prices. Barter with them, whatever price they give you, you can get if for half or less.
We had a great time and would not hestitate to return, remember it is not a 5 star, we were not looking for a 5 star, we wanted a decent resort with a decent price and we got it.I had read all the reviews and most were good. Buildings 11 and 18(that one is right on the beach) are the newly renovated ones and Julio told me that those are the buildings everyone wants. Maids were wonderful and rooms were made up quickly, remember to tip them they work very hard. If interested you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.