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A TripAdvisor Member
Regina Sask Canada
12
Reviewed 19 February 2004

Well, looking at people comments we were sure this hotel is great, unfortunately we were disappointed. This is our 8 trip to Caribbean so I think we have a good point of reference. First of all this is not 4-star hotel. The facilities maybe but food and entertainment a big NO. I would rate this hotel a 3 star. Let's start with the hotel. The buildings are very nice and rooms are big. I will pay more attention booking next time, there are over 500 rooms witch makes the resort busy. There were just too many people around pool area. Just couldn't relax. To busy, noisy no really place to escape. Beach is narrow at the entrance and quite busy, you could fine a spot without people but about 30min walk away. We stayed close to the resort our 6 year old daughter liked to snorkel. It was a good beach for kids, no big waves and a lot of fish to see. Entertainment- what entertainment most of the time silly games. Food- o Boy. I have to say it was tasty. Chicken, pork really tasted great, but no variety! Same foods over and over again. You could do a lot of different things with the ingredients the only thing missing was imagination! Buffet was very basic not up to a 4 star hotel. Desserts all too sweet! We know sugar is cheep there, but common? Same with drinks too much sugar in them. I love Pina Colada and it tasted like there was soap in it. They don't even have a mixer! I have to say I was very dissapoitnet with drink situation so we decided to venture into other resorts to see if there was a difference. We went to Sun Village (4-star) and what a big surprise. There drinks were great. The wine in the resort was very poor quality, tasted like wine mixed with water. Every time we went to a la carte we ordered a bottle of good wine (we had to pay for it of course) The a la carte restaurance- we went there just for a change of scenery food was a big disappointment. Once we sent a dry fish back and they made us a really good the waiter even apologized (wow) Kids Club -- sorry to say our 6 year old after one day sad the place is boring and she's not coming back. I was very unhappy because last year she didn't want leave kids club for few minutes. They have a young guy taking care of a bunch of kids. They have no specific activities planned. They just follow him around the pool area. Thank God the weather was great! The location of the hotel I think was one of the best. There were some stores, golf course, diving etc. You have to take Safari trip. There are 2 different ones one with river ride and boogie boarding the other jumping of waterfalls. We went on the first one with our 6 year old and it was great. Just to see country side was awesome. Make sure you take water bottle you can refill it with fresh water all the time. If you forget your sun screen you can always buy it there. I would suggest taking wine opener if you like to drink good wine. There is a liquor store very close by. We bought our rum on the Safari trip it was much cheaper. Well if you already booked your trip don't expect too much if not pick another place Sun Village was great. We are already planning to come back to Mayan Riviera, my favorite next year. I have some pictures of the property go to webshots.com and search gran ventana. Good Luck

2  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
new york, ny
14
Reviewed 17 February 2004

I've been to many all inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, so know what to expect and not to expect. I was very disappointed but what I found at Gran Ventana. I can say that the weather was fabulous. At this point, if you wish to hear anything positive, turn away. Other than the weather, I have nothing but negative things to comment about Gran Ventana, and would advise you go to one of the dozens of all inclusive resorts elsewhere. Unless of course you want to stuff yourself with crappy food that is exactly the same each meal, every day. Or if you wish to ply yourself with very poor quality rum, beer or wine. The main pool area is loud, crowded, and filled with drunks. Getting drunk seems to be the goal of the majority of the guests there!! The entertainment is cheesy at best, and makes Club Med entertainment seem like Hollywood! The room I had was large, but not really great, and certainly felt more like Holiday-inn than a location in the Caribbean.
One day, while shaving, a light fixture feel out of the bathroom ceiling and almost hit me. I left it on the counter, figuring it would be replaced, but when I got back to my room, the fixture was gone, but not replaced in the ceiling. Oh well!! The beach was so-so; fairly narrow, lots of coral and seaweed in the water making it not very hospitable to swim in, and the sand wasn't so great either. I've found nicer sand in many other locations.

4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2004

We stayed at the Gran Ventana Resort and loved it. It is a very clean place, and we liked the idea that everything was easily accessible. The pool , restaurants, and beach were all in a short walking distance from our room. The staff were friendly, and eager to please. We enjoyed the food at the a la carte restaurants , the main buffet restaurant and as well as the beach grill. A variety of food could be found!! The salsa is extremely addictive!!!There is a choice of drinks, my favourite being the Gran Venatan speciality! They pour a good shot, if you don't want it so strong you have to tell them just a little bit of rum!! The main pool has activities going on to keep you active, the fun team is always up to something!!! We had joined in on karoke around the swim up bar , volleyball, water polo, and water aerobics. The beach is great for snorkelling, you just have to go out a little bit to the reef to see all sorts of fish. There is kayaking and windsurfing available at the beach also. The vendors on the beach are polite and will just keep going if you are not interested in their items. The outback jeep safari trip is a must---an interesting, fun day out! We had a wonderful stay at the Gran Ventana and would gladly return!!!

1  Thank Gor2n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2004

What can I say, we had a wonderful time at the Grand Ventana.
Dominicans are so friendly and willing to help in any way possible, if you can communicate what you want :-) Although most speak and understand english very well. Our room was cozy and simple. It overlooked the pool area so we could always see what was going on. The beach was pretty windy in the afternoon, but I met a lot of very friendly vendors and got my hair braided for a very good price.
Although make sure you lather on the sunscreen, my brother got a very bad burn for being so stubborn. The food was great and the a la carte restaurants are a must! My favourite being the Octopus... beautiful and very intimate. Didn't enjoy the Italian one very much because it was very very busy. The beach side resturant was very nice for diner as well and provided good size portions. Make sure you take a tour or two into the Dominican culture. The Jeep Safari was great, say hi to Angel for us. The tour guides speak excellent english and really explain a lot about the Domincan way of life. Although there is no Disco on site there is a small mimi mall close by and the Crazy Moon disco which we really enjoyed. All in all there are so many things to do here (golf, casino, discos, snorkeling, boating, ect) that even though it rained for 2 days we always found something to do. Enjoy your vacation and if you don't mind paying a little extra I reccomend venturing out of the resort a little as well.

1  Thank TravelAddict23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2004

Just arrived back from a week at the Gran Ventana (February 7-14th) which is rated 4+. I have been to all-inclusives in St. Martin, Mexico and Panama which have also been rated as 4 star or better so my expectations were based on these experiences.

I reviewed this site prior to our trip and felt I had a good sense of
both the positive and negative features of this resort. However, I was
surprised by the additional 'down sides' I discovered during our stay
and would not have expected given the expense for this holiday to stay
at the resort.

The advantages of this resort were: (1) the FUN team, (2) the maid service and (3) the staff, service and food at the 'a la carte' restaurants.

The disadvantages:

The Buffet: Service was not well organized as drink orders (i.e. wine,
coffee) were rarely taken and when they were, our order was remembered
only once. Luckily there was pop, juice, coffee and tea available so we
just went up ourselves.

The food was edible, but not very appealing. I was surprised that at breakfast they did not have Bran, dates or prunes and their fruit selection was minimal. Needless to say, my stomach didn't take too well to the food.

The Alcohol: House wine (red and white - both very sweet) was
available. All other wines (0-3 in number) including rose or blush
wine, had list prices and could only be purchased by the bottle (not
glass). These wines ranged from 450 pesos to 1200 peso (approximately
$10 - 30 U.S.).

The mix drinks served at the bars were very strong, so you needed to specify if you wanted only a small amount of alcohol in your drink.

Lounge Chairs: The first two days during our stay we managed to find
two single lounge chairs that we moved next to each other (at 9:00 am),
but after that we were not so lucky. By 7:30 - 8:00am ALL chairs were
taken as people would leave towels, shoes, shirts and even sunscreen to
stake their chair. We spoke to people that had set their alarms
purposely before 6:30 to 'save chairs'.

The disappointing fact was that over half of these chairs (at ANY given time) were not actually occupied by bodies. We met two guests who one morning placed towels on two chairs at 5:30am, went back to bed until 8:00am, left the resort to go shopping for the morning and did not return to the resort until after lunch. They didn't return to the pool to occupy these 'saved' chairs until after 2:00pm.

Overall opinion: Each person will rate their stay at this resort
differently. If I was to return to this resort again I would have to
join the race to 'save a chair' before sunrise, bring lots of medicine
for digestion and upset stomach and I would need to bring money to
treat ourselves one night to a nice glass of dry red or white wine with
our dinner. Considering the cost of this holiday already, it seems
foolish to have these additional things to worry about during a holiday
at a resort.

Overall, I did not find this resort to be a 4 plus and would not recommend a holiday at the Gran Ventana to family or friends.

4  Thank Laurie2012_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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