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The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Ranked #11 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Reviewed 26 February 2012

In feb we stayed a week at this resort with a other couple. There where a number of things that did not work and after going daily to the front desk where told that they would fix it
The day it was fixed was the day we checked out.
stepping out of our room the was a sewage smell and futher done the walk way.
On the beach side there was some stream draining in the ocean that also had sewage smell
Would I go there again? definitenly not. They push for VIP and Lifestyle and are in your face,
with clipboard daily!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank totravel518
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,274 - 3,278 of 4,742 reviews

Reviewed 26 February 2012

Just getting back from a trip to Lifestyle's Tropical Beach Resort (Feb 11-18) with my girlfriend. Booked on cheap caribbean and got a great deal for 8 day stay. Overall the resort is very average. There are some very good aspects of it such as the VIP beach and bar and a limited number of restaurants and some very bad aspects such as all of the other bars that serve the cheapest liquor you never want to drink (Classic brand). Here is the good - VIP beach and bar with good liquor selections (Johnnie Red, Jack, Jim, Stoli, Bacardi, etc). Bartenders Danny, Hector & Raul were awesome. They make a great caprihanna with good Brazilian rum. The spa (Metamorphis) was very nice and accomodating. If you decide to get a treatment see Armando who is floating around the resort and will offer you some good specials. Also good was the italian (Bellini) and the Brazilian restaurants. The buffet for breakfast was good with many varieties - made to order eggs, smoothies, fresh fruit. Forget about any meats such as sausage and bacon - very greasy and not too tasty. Rooms were ok - no major issue other than noisy when others walked by or shut their doors. The maids did a nice job of cleaning. We had a fund day playing drinking games with the entertainment staff one rainy day and the overall resort is well kept. So what is not to like....
1. Reservation system - each morning at 9 AM you need to make a reservation for dinner or you will be stuck eating at the buffet. Tip - the later you eat the better chance of getting your restaurant. One evening I didn't have a reservation and decided to go to the Brazilan place and was seated after we convinced the manager that he had no shows for the 8:30 PM seating. It was a bit of a hassle but they did accommodate us and the food was great.
2. Do not drink water in room - you will get sick.
3. Class system - many beaches, bars and restaurants are reserved for "gold banded" guests. These guests are typically owners of the vacation club and get access to all VIP bars, restaurants, beaches, pools, etc...If you book through Cheap Caribbean as we did, you only have access to one VIP beach and bar. Americans don't like being told they can't enter a certain area so I found this class system to be a real turn-off.
4. Location - sorry but Dominican Republic is still a very underdeveloped, poor country and you will not feel safe exploring on your own - so if you are ok staying at one place and not exploring on your own then you should be ok. There are guided tours, golf, and Marine World that are good diversions.
5. Food / Bars - very average but edible at most places. Some places we thought would be good were quite disappointing such as Blue Lagoon and don't bother going to Johnny's - it was the worst place, food was bad, service poor and it was in a renovated multi-purpose room that had a terrible odor. Don't bother drinking anything other than beer (Presidente) or the domincan rum (Brugal) at the non-Vip bars - it will save you a major headache or stomach illness.
6. Beach / Snorkeling- Puerto Plata is on the Atlantic and the their were numerous storms the week we were there which made the visibility about as good as the NJ shore. The sand is brown also so you don't have the same tropical feel as if you are in Grand Cayman or Aruba.
87. Health - on our last couple of days there the staff was making everyone use hand sanitizer as they stated there was a flu going around. We managed to stay pretty healthy all week but consider ourselves lucky. Others we met were not as lucky and ended up missing several days.

Overall, we had a nice time, managed not to get sick (other than one day), but probably won't be going back to DR, too many nicer places to visit and EXPLORE.

Room Tip: Bldgs 4 & 5 are good choices - they are in a quieter area of the resort away from the main activ...
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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4  Thank udabomdad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2012

My husband and I just got back from a week at Tropical which we booked through Cheap Caribbean. We read many reviews and they were so mixed that we decided to give it a try and go with very low expectations. We were presently surprised as we paid very little for our trip. We paid $1961 in total. We checked the breakdown and airfare alone for the two of us was $1248. Then we paid $152 for cancellation insurance (which we always do) and $56 for airport transfers. Basically we were paying $500 for 7 nights, 6 days including all meals. I don't know how they do it. Check in was fast and efficient. After reading the reviews we wanted to stay in building 5 because it was supposed to be quiet and closer to the beach than others. Our Cheap Caribbean agent added to our reservation the request of a quiet area on an upper floor and that is what we got. Our room was clean and well appointed with a balcony facing an open lovely maintained grassy area with trees and flowers. We didn't have an ocean view but the rooms that do have one are facing the pool area which can be noisy and the ocean is far beyond that. There are no rooms in the whole resort ( that we saw) that are directly on the beach. It is a huge resort with lots of beaches and pool areas and lots of walking uphill or steps!!! We did pay the $3 a night for the safe but we had to do that at other resorts so it wasn't a shock. (We bring money for the casino and want a place for our passports and electronic "valuables." Then we don't have to worry about the honesty of the help.) The grounds are beautiful and well maintained. The bathrooms by the beach and pools are constantly cleaned. Before you enter the buffet area you need to use the "purell station" to wash your hands. It shows effort to maintain sanitary food areas. The food at the buffet is adequate to good.There are lots of guests and they constantly refilled the food so we think it was fresh most of the time. They try to vary their food selections and we always found something to eat. ( You should know that you can walk on the beach to the Cofresi Palm and have the buffets there. We went to the one on the beach for breakfast a few times as well as for lunch. We took the shuttle to the main entrance of the Cofresi Palm to try the Pearl, their main buffet area. It is a beautiful modern restaurant but the food is the same so we oly went once. We ate at three restaurants: Bellini: Italian: adequate. Indochine: Asian: very good: try the sesame grouper: it was my favorite dish of the trip. Blue Lagoon: seafood: good. They give you two reservations when you arrive: you have no choice in time or restaurant. We waited on line (which was short) a little before 9 am and we got a reservation one day and nothing the next. It is really a poor system but that's what it is. We did not like the VIP beach as it looks to me like cages and very close together and crowded but we were very happy at Lifestyle Beach. We got a bed everyday but I am an early riser. I was there by 7:30. Some of the beds were still available at 8:30 and there were always lounge chaises available. We heard about the guys in white shirts with clipboards. Yes, they are there and it is their job to coax you into going on a tour of the vacation club. We said no thank you the first day and from then on, when approached to we lied and said we did it already and they left us alone. Don't engage in conversations with them: be polite and keep walking. Be firm.
There are places that are only open to members. Don't be jealous: get over it. What is available to you is enough if you don't want to spend lots of dollars to be an owner!!! Here are a few more tips that made our stay very good. From other reviews we decided to leave $3 a day by the frig and requested *quisiera dos grande agua para beber" two large bottles of drinking water as you CANNOT drink from the tap. Brush your teeth with bottled water as well!!! We also asked for soda(although they are very undersupplied in Pepsi Light) but we got whatever else we asked for. We also wrote down the towels we wanted. Whether we would have gotten the same treatment without the $3 a day we don't know but we were going to leave the same tip in the end so why not make the most with it. The staff: front desk, waiters, waitresses always were friendly and helpful. No one was ever rude or untimely in their service. The airport transfers were very early considering the time of the flight but what can you do. We did get to the Casino at Ocean World a few times. The hotel has a free shuttle or they will call the casino and send a cab for you which the casino pays for. The casino calls a taxi to take you back and they also pay for it. it is a quiet casino. Saturday night had the most people. We play Texas Hold'em and that was the best night for a full table. Table stakes are high: $3/6 no limit game. We did go to the Sunday night welcoming party. They have shuttles that get you there. It is an elaborate setup. Yes, it is their night to "tout" their horn about the place but there was an international buffet where they served oysters, crab legs, lobster tail, steak plus lots more and of course all you can drink. We went to one show: the Dominican folklore show. It was okay. They try!
All in all we had a lovely time. Be careful with the food as overeating (and drinking which is not our thing) can cause problems. We did not get sick during our stay at the resort but the next day both my husband and I had some stomach issues. We can't say it was from the hotel or the local Chinese dinner we had the night we returned. For the value, Lifesyles is worth it if you want to get away cheaply.

Room Tip: choose building 5 which is away from the restaurants.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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8  Thank acfan3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2012

I stayed at this property in 2011 and was treated like royalty, so this year I and my boyfriend decided to spend a week there in February. WOW!—what a difference a year makes. We were basically treated like crap. Do not waste your time on this property. Registration is a farce, at best. Upon arrival we were told we had a room upgrade from our original registration; however, it was a huge downgrade. We could not get our original reservation back, and spent a lot of our vacation time trying to get the compensation we were told we would receive, but never did. From the time you arrive, you are hounded by representatives who, on the premise of giving you a tour of the facility for ease of finding restaurants, etc., take you to a building where they insist they must talk to you about buying into their organization. You are told that they receive $20 for everyone they talk to, and if you refuse to listen to the talk, the representatives are rude to you for the rest of your stay. And I mean rude. Two of them literally put their noses in the air whenever we walked past them. Some activities offered don’t exist, the reefs are mostly dead, dinner reservations in certain restaurants (food at “The VIP Gourmet was awful…food at Johnnys and Rodezio was great) are difficult to get. If you have any kind of problem, you can find no one to help you with it. Their grounds are beautiful and well-kept, the beach is nice, the food is acceptable, and the employees on the grounds, in the restaurants, and housekeeping are great. However, the way this organization is run leaves much to be desired. There are more inconsistencies than one can imagine—no two people are treated the same, or told the same things. If you still decide to go here, I suggest that you bring documentation from Lifestyle of your room reservation and if they try to give you a room other than your reservation, insist, insist, insist, on seeing the room first to be sure it is as nice as, or better than, your original reservation. We also found out that if you buy into the organization, you don’t get what you think you have purchased--each year your privileges become fewer and fewer. So... if you go, GOOD LUCK!—we, and many of the guests we spoke with, will never go to Lifestyle again.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank William C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2012

This the the second time visiting Lifestyles(also went in March of 2011), and unless you are really negative and jaded...this resort vacation is the absolut best when it comes to value It is a true all inclusive and all the bases are covered...food , drink, chairs and towels, sports, there is really nothing bad to say about this resort.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Bob514
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort

Address: Columbus Torre 1 | Playa Cofresi, Puerto Plata 57000, Dominican Republic (Formerly Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort & Spa)
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range: $106 - $306 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 282
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set within the sprawling Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort, The Tropical offers a classic hotel vacation experience set within quaint, two- and threestory, Mediterranean-style buildings. The mood is laid-back and distinctively Caribbean. Guest enjoy all resort facilities and amenities (excluding the V.I.P areas) including swimming pools, a choice of excellent restaurants, exercise rooms, tennis courts, windsurfing and so much more. The Lifestyle Tropical is Ideal for couples seeking a private island hide-away with all the advantages of a world-class resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort And Spa
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Hotel Puerto Plata
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort Spa
Hacienda Tropical
Hotel Lifestyle Tropical Beach

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