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“Expectations met...but barely”

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

I spent a week at the Lifetsyle in Puerto Plata with a group of eight. This all inclusive resort operates on a caste system utilizing wristbands. Access to different areas of the resort and bars/restaurants is dependent upon the color of your wristband (and don't lose your wristband or there is a $100 us charge for replacement). The customer service was very poor at check-in. It took over 2 hours to get checked in due to confusion on our rooms. The Buffet was always a good choice for meals.The reservation process is the worst ever if you want to eat at one of the many specialty reaturants. You don't make reservations. Rather you request a restaurant, and then at 4:00 pm they tell you when and where you are to eat. If you have a group of more than four they will not guarantee that you will be seated at the same table. In our case we did eat at the same table, however our reservations were always at 9:30pm. This was not really acceptable. I suppose you could just show up at a restaurant and try to get seated; we did not try this approach. The beach was great, and we always went early to reserve a bed for the day. The drinks included in the inclusive option were average at best. Presidente was the only beer available and the liquers were barely bottom shelf. The rooms were very nice, and if you requested they would stock the in room fridge with soda, water, and beer. The waiters / waitresses were very attendant. The grounds were kept very clean. Overall we had fun, but decided we would not return for another vacation at this resort. On a side note...we reserved through cheap carribean and had the worst experience ever. When we arrived at the airport, we did not have tickets for two of the travellers due to the travel compnay confusing the names of the travellers. Barely made our flights...but if you fly out early....remember cheap carribean does not open until 5:00am and there is no assistance before then.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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4  Thank jenmormad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,205 - 3,209 of 4,744 reviews

Reviewed 7 April 2012

I have to say this is the worst experience I have had for a vacation. Cheap Caribbean should be ashamed to advertise this resort. Rooms are very old, run down. Mattress spring came through and cut my husbands foot open. Will not replenish frig, said it is not included in Cheap Caribbean room. You have to keep refilling water bottle to drink and brush teeth. Food is horrible. I was sick first few days, dizzy, nauseous, diarrhea. Both my daughters were also sick. My husband thought we were exaggerating until it finally hit him 5 days into it. Severe body aches, chills, diarrhea to the point that he could not make it to the bathroom. Please do not waste your money unless you enjoy being sick! Also, the beach is gross, dead fish, seaweed, fake sand box sand, and oh wait the best part, the SEWAGE running from pipes into the ocean where you are supposed to swim. Can't even describe remotely how unsanitary and scary this is. I do not recommend nor will I ever come back here! We are a family that loves to travel at least twice a year and have been all over the Caribbean and have never experienced anything like this! Be aware, trust negative reviews!

Stayed: April 2012
9  Thank Wink777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2012

My hubby and I purchased a discounted vacation for 6 days and 5 nights hoping to use it in Hawaii this past summer. However, there was no availability in Hawaii at the time and no refund on the package. Therefore, we decided to book the DR for spring break. Once we booked back in November, I started reading up on the reviews. Many of them were good, but shortly before we were to arrive, many of the reviews were bad and mentioned getting sick, food poisoning, stomach viruses, rude staff, etc. I was like OMG! We can't cancel because there is no refund. Well, I praise God that we couldn't cancel because my hubby and I could have missed out on a blessing of a time! We are Christians so prayer is not unusual for us. When I started reading all of the negative reviews, I started praying against those experiences for us. Prayer works! We flew Delta to Santiago and had intended to catch a bus to Puerta Plata. A taxi driver approached us as soon as we walked out of the airport. We negotiated a great rate to ride all the way to the resort and secured a pick-up for our return to the airport. I kept hearing about how poorly yellow bracelets (Cheap Caribbean) were treated. I did not want a yellow bracelet. We didn't get one. Ours was silver. I heard about people saying it took hours to get into their room. It took us minutes. We were booked for two restaurants already. One was Mexican but I wanted Indian instead. That was changed without any issues. We were shown to our room with an ocean view (the view was something else I really desired) and we were on our way to enjoying our vacation. I was so hesitant about drinking the juice since one reviewer mentioned it not being pasturized. I also was shying away from the ice since I thought it was made from their water. It was a good thing I asked and observed because I would have missed out on some refreshing drinks like the virgin Bahama Mama and fresh fruit smoothies at breakfast. I also would have had to drink warm soda. One of the workers in the restaurant explained to me the process and lengths they go through for us guests to consume food and drinks. After she informed me, I saw bags and bags of ice being delivered all over the resort. As far as the meals were concerned, my hubby and I took an herbal supplement called Charcoal when we ate and if I stomach acted like it was about to get queasy or upset. No diarrhea. No full fledged upset stomach. No constipation. I will admit not every staff member at the resort was overly friendly but there were some really nice people there. Everyone at the front desk was pleasant enough as well as the tour desk. Yes, VIP members were entitled to some things that non VIP members weren't but they pay for those privileges. Check-out was very fast for us as well though we checked out at 9:30 in the evening. No one else was checking out at that time. We had some ants in our bathroom. We let them know and they came right away to spray. That was the end of that! Every day we received a refill on our sodas and water for our room. That was another complaint some reviewers had. Also, I think that you might receive better service if you can communicate somewhat in Spanish because it makes them understand easier what you need. Many staff didn't appear to no much English so they seemed to appreciate any Spanish you could speak and any tips you could give. Overall, my hubby and I felt blessed to be there and we enjoyed ourselves immensely.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank SchatzeAtlanta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2012

most horrible company ever!!!!! First of all they suck you in and show you all the wonderful beaches if you upgrade. They show you books and books of resorts that you go to all over the world at no extra cost to you with your membership. They tell you that reservations are as easy as 1 2 3 and that there is never a wait. What a crock of crap!!!!! I have never been able to get any reservations requested. Apparently the Dominican as a country must believe that false advertising and fraudulent contracts are all okay. I have been fighting to get my money back and even with my Bank they are fighting and going to arbitrations. Unbelievable. The facility as a whole is so so. and the food is boring and with get you sick without a doubt.
The beaches were okay, but littered with people trying to make a buck. The diving sucks!!!!!
And the dive operators are unsafe!!!!
Do Not Go!!!! Not worth it at any cost.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank BRCRAZED
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2012

We just got back from our trip from 3-31-12 thru 4-5-12. After reading all the posts, I was quite skeptical on booking this trip, but for the price and value, I took a chance and was glad I did. Was it perfect? Of course not. Was it worth the money? Hell yeah. Would we go again? Yes, but I probably won’t. Not because of the resort, but because I really don’t like visiting the same place twice and would prefer to see new places.

The room: It was adequate. Nothing fancy, but nothing terrible. A bit outdated. We had a couple of minor issues. No instructions for using the phone. The mini fridge froze everything, regardless of what setting it was on. Had an in room coffee pot, but they never left coffee filters to use it. Everything else was there except for the filters. I tried asking our maid for some, but she didn’t understand. Not a big deal or a deal breaker. However, we did have a nice HD flat panel TV in our room.

The Resort: It was just beautiful. The grounds were amazing. It was very green and lush. Everything was spotlessly clean and pristine. Never saw one bug. There were workers everywhere always doing something. It was really a beautiful place. One surprise was how big the resort was. Our group was split up, one room on the Confresi side and one on the Tropical side. At first I was a bit upset, but I think it worked out for the best as we really got to see all the amenities from each side of the resort. However, there was quite a bit of walking involved, much more that I had thought. There were a lot of hills and stairs to contend with. So if you are thinking of bringing just sandals or flip-flops, think again. Bring some good comfortable walking shoes.

The Food: It was better than the comments I read. The buffet on the Confresi side was a bit better than the tropical side. Same food, just a nicer place and a much better presentation in my opinion. Our package had two premium restaurant reservations in it for Bellini and Johnny’s. Both were very good. I had no problem getting a third one at the Asian place for 4 people, I just asked at guest services. It seemed that there weren’t a lot of guests during our stay and that’s probably why we had no problems. My kids didn’t care for the food, but they are very picky. The food is different from what us Americans are used to, but it certainly wasn’t bad, just different.

The Beach: There are many different areas, all offering different activities. There was always something to do like games, water aerobics, music, and entertainment, etc. Took the kids parasailing and they totally loved it. They went up like 500 feet for about 15 minutes each for only $50 each. The crew that took us was a hoot. They had the kids laughing the entire time and I tipped them and extra $20 when we were done. This was probably the best part of the trip along with the Sunday night welcome party. We even did the day pass at Ocean World for $69 each. Well worth it. The dolphin show was probably the best I’ve ever seen. The VIP area and sushi bar was really amazing. We had no problem getting a spot any time of the day. Top shelf liquor and great service. Again, maybe because there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of guests in the resort while we were there. Couldn’t get the free wi-fi to work there, but no big deal.

The Staff: Most were very friendly and helpful. A couple were a bit rude, but a very small percentage. A $5 tip goes a very long way in getting great service. Bartenders were all great and always had a smile on their face. They probably have the most interaction with guests and make quite a bit it tips, so they were very outgoing and friendly. Even the regular bars were good. They have the bottom shelf, local liquor, but the drinks were good and plentiful. Had no problem spending time there, but obviously the VIP bar was much much better. I was there three days before I was approached to take the “Tour” of the property. I told him I already went on Sunday and was never approached again.

Night Life: The evening entertainment was okay. Not a whole lot to do or see, especially if you have a late dinner as most everything closed down at midnight. It was a bit confusing what was going on at which place. There were bulletin boards throughout the resort, but some things just didn’t match up. There was an advertisement for a Michael Jackson tribute on Tuesday night, but we never found it. The night clubs were geared toward the younger crowd, late teens early twenties and they were open till 3am. My daughter enjoyed the ICE club and made a ton of friends there.

Sunday Night Welcome Party: An absolute DON’T MISS. It was totally amazing. Everyone was welcome and they had quite a spread. What a great buffet, show, and they even had fireworks. My kids were up on the stage dancing all night. We tipped our server $10 and she couldn’t do enough for us. She was bringing trays of glasses of champagne every 20 minutes without stopping all night. She brought candy for the kids. She took pictures with us and for us. She even danced with us. She was top notch. We gave her another $10 at the end of the night and she had a smile from ear to ear.

Overall this was a great trip and I would recommend this to anyone. Don’t expect too much, go with the flow, and you will have a great time. This trip, six days and five nights, with airfare, only cost me $540 per person. It was worth double that. I’m not sure how they can do it for that price. Remember to tip and tip well. It will pay off.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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25  Thank Louis B
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: $108 - $308 (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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