As I have stayed here more than 33 weeks i total you would be correct in thinking I love this hotel, it’s staff. location, everything. But for those of you who haven’t yet visited my corner of paradise I will try to explain why I and many other people return year after year, sometimes two or more times in a year. (Don’t we Ruth!!)
Check-in is always easy with your rooms all ready and information given at check-in regarding the hotel facilities. While you are waiting you are given the ‘welcome drink’ which is a lovely non-alcoholic drink which after my 8-9 hour flight is most welcome.You get your room key and labels to put on your bags, then it’s only a quick trip on the golf buggy to your room where the bellboy will explain how the room is laid out and how to use the air conditioning. (A word to the wise here there are sensors on the patio/balcony doors and if they are not lined up the air-con doesn’t work, the idea is that if you want the door open you don’t need the air-con trying to cool all of Playa Dorada!!)Your bags if not brought on the buggy with you will be brought to your room very quickly. The ‘fridge has pepsi, seven up, water and two beers inside, restocked to this amount every day. If you prefer diet pepsi it is available, just leave a note on the ‘fridge.
As a self professed idle bum I always ask for a room in either the first or second building and Marlyn Mendosa guest services has always managed to oblige so far!! That said even the furthest rooms are not that far from the main building. I have had a room with two doubles and another with a queen sized bed, both are lovely, for me an extra bed to spread all my ‘stuff’ on is wonderful.All rooms are cleaned daily and towels are changed when requested, if you want clean ones put the old one in the bath, if you don’t mind using them another day just hang them up. Fridge as I’ve said restocked daily and room to keep any chocolate you may have brought with you.
Restaurants and Bars: Pizzeria is wonderful and open five or six evenings a week. There is a set menu but you can mix and match any ingredients you want and garlic is available but not put on unless you specifically ask for it. The Buffet is the main eating area. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. A wide choice of food at each meal with something for just about everyone. At breakfast the chef will cook omlettes, fried eggs, pancakes and waffles at your request as well as the many other buffet items, fruit, cheese, breads/toast,yogurts, milkshakes…you get the point. Lunch has soup, salads,burgers and again a variety of other choices.Dinner is often themed so you may have Italian, Oriental and Dominican different nights, with other foods available. The beach bar is open every lunch time and has a Mexican theme with Chilli on chips/fries, fried chicken, fish all available.The A’la Carte is open most night but has to be booked in advance, nice for special occasions but I will confess I don’t always go, no problem, just my choice.
There is also the option of eating at any of the Grand Ventana’s many eating places, main buffet, three A’la Cartes and a beach bar/restaurant. I have eaten at all the various restaurants and have no complaints about any of them.
Beach/Pools/Grounds: The hotel is not on the beach but so close that it isn’t a reason not to go here. Beach is lovely, if there has been rainy weather the sea does dump rubbish but there is always a work party cleaning it all up as soon as possible. Normally no problem getting a lounger but if you want a shelter they are popular and you may end up towards the back of the beach under the trees, away from the sea but nearer to the bar! The pools are always clean which is a bit of a task as there is a lovely tree over the main pool which provides some shade but it does drop it leaves into the pool so some-one is normally cleaning the leaves out two or three times a day. Both pool bars open at ten, the quiet pool bar is open until six and is normally run by Anna, the main pool bar stays open until midnight.
The grounds are so well groomed they are beautiful, every day someone is doing something in the grounds, trimming, weeding or replanting.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The resort is now quite low key with only a little live music three or four nightsa week but if you want shows you can go over to the Gran Ventana. Regarding trips they are many and varied, I have done just about all of them except fishing trips(my stomach doesn’t like boats!)I feel you need to decide what sort of trips would suit you, they can be booked through your rep, in the plaza, on the beach(not recommended) or through a local tour operator Martin Espinal of Isaira Tours, I have used Martin many times and never had any cause for worry or complaint, Martin tries very hard to make sure the trips are what YOU want to do and will adjust to suit you if it is possible
Other Comments: This is a lovely quiet hotel that does not have any facilities for children so if you want to bring children I would suggest the sister hotel the Grand Ventana, likewise if you are party animals the Victoria is not for you. If on the otherhand you want a little peace and quiet, R & R and maybe some golf then the Victoria is just the place.You will find at least 50% of the guests are repeaters, ie. they are staying there for thier second,third or more time. That to me speaks volumes if people want to keep coming back time and time again. If like me you tend to be there at the same time each year you bump into others who are doing the same and you meet friends year after year.
Any questions feel free to join us on the travel forum and ask them, I’m amandalou.