Arrival: Mar 3 – Mar 17
Arrival went fine, a bit of wait at the airport for people to board the bus, but that was ok as it gave us a chance to drink our first Presidente…lol. The trip to the resort was quick, and we only had one stop, before we reached the Paradise. Greated with a fruit slushie, while we waited to check in. We arrived around 11:30 a.m. and were pleasantly surprised that we were able to get our room right away. We have been used to having to wait untill 3 p.m. to get it.
This is where we had some issues. The first room that they wanted to give us was facing the field/helicopter landing pad. We were not to thrilled about that, so asked to be moved. So they moved us to another building facing the pool on the second floor. Everything looked good, so we un-packed. That was when hubby noticed that the balcony door didn’t lock. Shouldn’t be too big of a problem, as we were on the second floor. But then we discovered that when they replace the old door during the renovations, the new door was smaller. But instead of filling in the larger opening, they just put in the new door. So above our door was a two inch gap. We weren’t afraid of rain coming in, but we didn’t want to be feeding the mosquitoes all night. That is also when we discovered that the bathroom door would not close, as it was about one inch too big for the frame. So we packed up our luggage, and headed back to the front desk. Room number three on the ground floor in the 800 block seems to be the ticket. Balcony door locks, bathroom door closes, no gaping holes in the wall, so we un-pack again. Now we are going to head to the bar, but need a tinkle first…….toilet won’t flush…..arrrrrr!!! This time one of the managers comes to our room to check it out. He brings a maintance man with him. Maintance man takes a plunger and and has a go at it. But that is not the problem, the toilet isn’t plugged, it just doesen’t have enough water to flush. So Maintance guy grabs the garbage can, fills it with water, and pours it in, presto, the toilet flushes. The manager decides to show us another room. The next one that he takes us to is right near the Pool bar. We look at it, and decided that we have had enough moving for one day, so we told him that we would stay in the other room for the night, and move in the morning. The next morning we decided that we didn’t want to move again, everything else in the room worked well, and we could pour water in the toilet to flush it. So that is what we did for the next 2 weeks. No problem. Now I did say that our balcony door locked. It did for about the first 8 days, then all of the sudden, it wouldn’t lock any more. Not quite sure what happened there. We decided it wasen’t a huge issue, as someone would be seen, if they tried to climb over the railing to get in. On our last full day at the resort, we came back to our room to find that maintance had been in and installed one of those pin locks that goes through the frame.
Restaurants and Bars: We found the buffet to be very good. Hubby isn’t a big fan of buffets, but he enjoyed this one. Good selection of food, and quite tastie. We always had a good breakfast, but would have liked to see bacon on the menu more often. They had it maybe 3 times a week. For lunch, we usually went to the pizza station. First time I have ever seen tuna on a pizza…..lol. We went to Michelangelo’s on the second night that we were there. Our reservation was at 8:30, and that might have been a mistake. The anti-pasto bar had nothing left on it, and that is one of the things that hubby really likes. We had no sooner sat back down after getting our salad, and the main course showed up. We both had a chicken dish, and we were not impressed with it. A dried out chicken breast, on tomato sauce, with a baby potato, and one carrot, cut in half. With the chicken being as dry as it was, we can only guess that they nuked it. We decided that we would leave, and go to the buffet.
We went to Edens twice and really enjoyed it both times. We had the beef tenderloin, and it was wonderful. Not regular dominican beef, you could actually chew it…lol We didn’t go to the bars too much at night, as we are not really night people. They pool bar is where the entertainment was. We did listen to the music one night, and it was good. They also had kereoke that night, but we didn’t stay for it. The beach bar is where Allan works, and he is alot of fun. All of the other bartenders did a great job too.
Beach/Pools/Grounds: The beach is great, perfect for long walks. We usually stay in Cofresi, and as much as we like it there, you can’t compare the two beaches.
The Pool, what can I say, it was cold. Very seldom did you see any one in it, even the spring breakers avoided going in. When we finally discovered where the "hot tub" was, we spent a fair bit of time there, as it was a couple of degrees warmer than the pool. The ground are kept very clean. Can’t really call it beautiful, as it mostly consists of walkways between the buildings.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: We didn’t get involved with any of the activites on the resort, as we spent most of our time off of the resort. We did watch a few pool games though, and I guess people were having fun. Hard to tell though, through all of the shivering. We went on the Freestyle Catamaran. We go every year, and it is always alot of fun, for us any way. It was very rough that day, and there were alot of people who got sick. Four people got off in Sosua, they weren’t going back on the boat. I offered people my motion sickness pills, but by the time you are feeling sick, it is already too late. All I can say about that is, if you are going out in a boat, take a pill 30 mins before you go, even if you think you won’t get sick. A rolling ocean in a small boat, is alot different than going fishing out on the lake. We did spend alot of time off of the resort, as we have friends that we like to go and visit. We did make it to Cofresi a couple of times to visit Chris and Mady’s. One of our favorite stops is at our friend Rafi’s bar. She is on the Malacon, near Long Beach Park. We would just hop on one of the "buses" at the front gate, and get let off at the stadium, and walk down to the malacon. Only cost 15 paseos each.
We lucked out, the Independance Day parade, that is usually on Feb 27th, was on Mar 15th this year. Not quite sure why. So we sat at Rafi’s and watched it. Front row seats.
This was our first trip to the Grand Paradise, or Playa Dorada for that matter. We did have a very good time, and would probably go back, if we don’t go back to Cofresi that is…