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“An "Easy" Trip” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort

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VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
Ranked #3 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Certificate of Excellence
Goderich, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“An "Easy" Trip”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 April 2012

This was a "girls" trip (4 over 45 and 1 under) from March 18th-25th. We picked the Gran Ventana because of price and reviews. Firstly we had wonderful rooms in the Saona building overlooking the main pool. Perfect. We originally thought we would want near the quiet pool but were glad we changed our request. Buffet food was average at best but not bad. They should either upgrade their menu or dress up the room to make it look less like a feeding hall. A la cartes were good and we had a great time at our dinners. Alcohol was bottom shelf, especially the mixed drinks which had no real fruit juice, but "more rum" always brought a smile and some extra from the bartender. The entertainment crew were friendly and tried very hard. The shows were ok and drew a good crowd every night but not a lot of participation during the day. The resort wasn't full so we didn't have towel/chair problems. Vendors on the beach were persistant but took "no" for an answer. We had some laughs with a few of them. We had some difficulty with our tour rep regarding our excursion but that was not the resort's problem. Mid week a large contingent from Quebec arrived and the noise level definitely went up. On the weekend a big group of Dominicans booked in and really took over the pool. Very noisy and rude but we went home on Sunday anyway. Overall we had a good trip. Tipping here makes a big difference. Possibly would return but our group are interested in trying somewhere new every year.

Room Tip: The Saona building facing the pool. You see everything that is happening during the day and the res...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank janet6365
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,044)
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england
Level Contributor
18 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 April 2012

they call this the quite pool till some burk plonks a stereo on the bar,and the noise from the disco is fine if your in there.now the holiday,well the staff are brill ,the food is very good,the canadians are french and noisey,this is our sixth time and this has been the noiseyest, but overall i think this place is really great.were doing cuba next year hope its quiet.

Room Tip: stay as near to the beach as possile,keep away from the quiet area.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank debois
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 April 2012

My husband, 9 years old son and I travelled to DR on March Break. We met friends at the Gran Ventana that had arrived a day prior. Let me begin by saying that we have travelled on March Break for about the last 6 years and have been to many all inclusive resorts. This one was not at all what I was hoping for or what I expected especially after reading the reviews of this resort. This resort should be rated a 3 star at best.
When we checked in we were put at the back of the resort across from the main hotel complex. Yes there was a quiet pool there and a bar that didn't appear very busy but we were put on the first floor with the view of some shrubs (which made our room so dark) and a street. There was also a path between our balcony and the road for a security guard to walk along (scary). You couldn't even open your blinds because we were right on the road.
We like to be close to the beach and the main pool and this end of the resort is not close - don't pay extra for junior suites like we did - you will likely end up on the other side of the road. That same day we requested a room change and had to wait until the following day to be moved but they did move us - there was many room change requests over the course of the week from many guests. The front desk staff are not friendly and the warm welcome and offer of drink while you wait to check in was non existent.
The grounds around the resort are beautiful and the pool area was cleaned nightly and always kept looking good. The rooms were fine. I did fill out my comment card one evening during dinner and said that the mattresses could be cleaner and the next day the house keeper supervisor came to inspect the mattresses and they were changed immediately. I do commend them for how quickly they changed the mattress when I did complain however I never felt like I was in a very clean hotel room to begin with.
The food - oh the food - we hated the food. The buffet is lacking in every way. My family and the family we travelled with found the food to be substandard. There was just nothing appetizing - it was very disappointing. I should mention that the bread and desserts were good - but you really can't justify spending money on an all inclusive trip to have to eat bread and desserts (oh and $6 bags of chips) all week long. By mid week I became ill and couldn't even stomach the smell of the buffet. The restaurants were no better. The service in the buffet dining room is poor and in the Italian restaurant even when we tipped. There are pockets of friendly staff but overall not very good service. The one young bartender at the beach bar gets the prize for friendliest - he was friendly even though the line ups were long the entire day.
Big jugs of water are provided in your room and water coolers are in the halls of the hotel for you to refill them. I get the whole environmental spin on this but it was an inconvenience.
The beach - sand flies early in the morning and later at night - beware - they bite and it itches for weeks. Chairs were plentiful and shade was also available. However the ventors get on your nerves and the men that spray lacquer on their wood work through the day is an absolute annoyance - the wind just picks it up and it blows in your face (the smell is disgusting).
When I look at our pictures from this trip I realize that we had a great time regardless of all the mishaps and unexpected happenings because we laughed most of it off and drank some average cocktails to take the sting away. My son had fun and there were other children to play with however no kids club - he did enjoy the pool tables and ping pong tables though. This was one of the only vacations that I was actually looking forward to going home - my husband felt the same way. Others at the resort when we asked thought the food was "delightful" and the resort was great - so again to each their own but honestly I will not return to Gran Ventana nor would I recommend it to anyone.
By the way - if you have young children or you are not in terrific shape do not get talked into going on the 7 Falls excursion. My son was scared to death and many people in our group were hurt during the swim, climb to the falls - it is ridiculous and dangerous - just don't do it.

Room Tip: Do not pay extra for Junior Suites unless you absolutely need a bigger room. When you check in be s...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Michelle E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Labrador City, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 April 2012

Just got back from one of our best vacations. We spent one week at the Gran Ventana from Mar 28-Apr 4 2012. With two other friends. Traveled from Quebec City on Sunwing. We had a late departure arriving into DR early at 815pm. From getting luggage to check-in at the hotel was painless and very smooth. Greeted with Welcome drinks. Very pleasant!!

Id have to say that the only thing that went wrong the whole vacation was they wrote down the wront room number. We went to our room and couldnt get in. someone was in there. We called the front desk from our friends room and within 15 mins we were in our proper room.
Our room was HUGE!!! our friends were on the third floor with cathedral ceilings. It was a corner room in the quiet building which is a little futher than the main building. But not far... a little stroll was nice!!

The area around our building was very nice. There was a bar by the quiet pool (very quiet) and kept very nice and clean. They were up early every morning cleaning the pool.

Rooms: Very nice and clean. Never seen a bug. Some things are dated but you can tell that they are trying to bring things up to standards. Nothing happens overnight!! The beds are firm but comfy. Slept well. Bar was stocked daily and the bed always had a little design. We left our maid a couple dollars every day. One thing that we were un aware of is that you have to go to the cashier to get your lock for the room safe. Its 16$ for the week. The air conditioner was surprisingly quiet and worked very well. No issues.

Food: DELICIOUS! There is nothing bad I can say.
Breakfast was great. Sausages were yummy. You can have your eggs fried or done in an omlete with what ever you want in it, We would take bacon from the buffet and crumble it in a bowl and fill it with other stuff at the omlete station. They were delicious. Scrambled were a bit wattery but nothing to complain about.

Lunch: We ate at both buffet and Ocean Grill with was burgers and stuff (for lunch) and it was fantastic. We really enjoyed the Ocean grill (down by the beach) They had chicken wraps, nachos, burgers, pizza, ect.... Very very good. The buffet was good too.

Supper: Buffet again not dissapointing. The A la Cartes were amazing.
We did the Octopus (seafood-mediteranian) was awsome. All four of us has the salmon. so yummy.. No complaints. Great experience.
We also did the Italian A la Carte. Cant remember the name of it but its by the quiet building. SOO delicious. All four of us had absolutly no complaints. Food and service was fantastic.
We had reservations for the Ocean Grill A la carte but didnt make it... (Who ever says the drinks are watered down must not be drinking enough... we got so drunk we couldnt make it to supper. :-0) But that was our last night there. I bet that resturant too was fantastic given how good it was for lunches.

Entertainment: THE HIGHLIGHT!!! We had so much fun with the animation guys!! They are wonderful! Always trying to get you up and doing something. If you didnt want to they didnt make you. We had nicknames from the first day we arrived. And they made time to speak to you every day!! We did water arobics (fun!) and volley ball. We played a few water games too. Bingo, darts, ping pong, and a few others!! Allot of fun!!
The nightly shows were outstanding. Something different everynight and we were always in stitches. My favorite show was `The Ideal Couple`. If you have seen it you know what Im talking about... Never laughed so hard in my life!!
Not only were the animation guys wonderful, all the staff there that work so hard to please you are always pleasant!! Everyone works so hard and dont get enough credit for what they do. We took time at the end of our trip to let each individual how much we apprciate the hard work they do to please us vacationers!!
Hats of too them all :) Especially Jose, Shaggy, Scooby, Alex.

Pool: The pool is great! one big main pool. With a gradual entrance, a semi shallow area and then a deep end. All meets in the middle at the pool bar!! They have daily drink specials and all of them are delicious. I wasnt fussy on the sangria but there were a few that made the hit list.
Yellow bird was a hit for the guys. and of course Pina Colada./Banana Momma. Dominican Love was a good favorite.

Beach: It was amazing how much work they do to keep the beach clean.. My husband went on a deep sea fishing excursion and was on the beach by 730 and it was all raked. So clean he couldnt believe it. Little bits of seaweed was up through out the day but nothing crazy. and cleaned up by the next morning to start your day with a fresh beach. the water was so nice...
The one downfall is there are those who approache you wanting you to look/buy their stuff. Some are a little pushy "its free to look" and some if you politly say "no thank you" they will continue on.
At the entrance to the beach/resort there are people there trying to sell you excursions. They sell them cheaper than the Tour reps but not sure that they are 100% safe. At ones own discretion if they want to book with them. They look legit but dont know for sure. I personally wouldnt.
** TIP: If you plan on a walk on the beach.. be on the look out for the Lifestyle guys that will approach you and ask you if you want a tour of their beautiful resort. We got sucked in not knowing what we were getting into. If you dont tell them your not interested it could lead to a 3-4 hr presentation and 3-4 hrs your losing of your vacation in the sun. They are selling something like timeshares.

Excursions: We didnt really do any, as we have been there before and done excursions before. Most about relaxing and having fun. The guys did go Deep sea fishing and the downfall is that its hit or miss. Unfortunatly it was miss. The girls me and my friend went and took in a massage at the spa at the Casa Calonial. OMG. What a spot. The bell boy takes you there and from the minute you arrive you are like royalty. The resort is heavenly.
We had the deep tissue massage and it was the best I have ever had. Amazing!!
It was $94 for 50 minutes. Little expensive but worth it.
One excursion we have done before was the Outback Safari!! By far worth every penney.

Overall: would recommend this resort in a heartbeat. The majority are ages 40-65 range. Good varierty of perople. Great entertainment and great food. No free Wifi but when your on vacation, you dont need it!!! Your vacation will be what you make of it. Remember that DR is still a third world country. But these people are working hard to please you. Be grateful and show them your appreciation.

Any questions I will be glad to help answer them!!!

Room Tip: Worth the extra to upgrade. We didnt see the standard room but we were very happy with ours and we u...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank labradoriantravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
montreal canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 April 2012

back from 2 weeks at gran ventana nice place beach is good food is also good rooms are clean but not a 4 star but a good 3.5 star do not stay in bulding 3 unless you don't want to sleep ...near buy COCO BONGO bar open till 4am with very loud music.

Room Tip: don't stay in building 3
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank frankie0703
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort

Property: VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
Address: Playa Dorada | PO Box 22, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#3 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price range (per night): $140 - $393
Hotel Class:4 star — VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 506
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Gran Ventana Beach Hotel
Gran Ventana Dominican Republic
Gran Ventana Puerto Plata
Gran Ventana Beach Resort Puerto Plata
Hotel Gran Ventana Beach
Grand Ventana Beach Resort
Gran Ventana Hotel Dominican Republic

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