My fiance and I booked our second trip here after staying for two fantastic weeks in 2005. We booked the holiday as a "pre-nymoon" as we got married as soon as we got home. From the moment we arrived, we were made to feel really welcome.
Check in was really efficient, then straight to our room. We stayed in the Beata block as requested as we wanted to be by the quiet pool. We found a fruit basket and bottle of rum awaited us as we had emailed the hotel to say we were returning and it would be a special holiday for us. We were given white bands which either meant you were in a suite or part of the hotel "fidelity club" (aww!) we were invited to two cocktail parties for return guests during our two week stay, in the Octopus resturant. We also found that as the hotel was having a block renovated it wasnt very busy (there was no real disturbance to guests as it was all going on behind the scenes) and we were welcomed to eat at the al a catre restuants pretty much as often as we liked.
We really enjoyed our nights at the Italian (excellent friendly service and way too much excellent food! The Waiter would say "I tell you what, you try some of my special pasta as well, es excellente!" and we'd end up with a 5 course meal!
We also enjoyed the Mexican, which was part of another hotel next to the Blue Bay villas. This was to replace the Ocean Grill at GV as it was being modernised. However, I enjoyed the Mexican much more! the staff see you coming (or hear you, if you are stumbling along the dark beach) and they all start waving and jumping up and down! They were hugging us on our last night and we both felt so sad to be leaving!!
Dining out at the Victoria hotel was also a really nice evening, you catch a golf buggy at reception to take you right up to the bridge at the Victoria. The resturant is very chic, the two times we ate there it was less than half full,but we experienced excellent food and service . Both my (now) husband and I speak conversational spanish and really enjoyed chatting away with the staff, they really light up and you can get a good banter going in half english, half spanish!
During our stay we made some really nice friends, I have to say the family we spent most of our time with did not have as great a holiday as us. One couple had to change rooms 3 times due to leaks through the ceiling, coming through the bathroom light. By the 3rd move they were upgraded into a suite.
The room we had was spotless, the fridge was restocked daily (sometimes we left a tip, sometimes we did'nt...on the days we did'nt we didn't get beer haha)
If you are coming to gran Ventana and staying near the quiet pool beware! There is nothing quiet about Jackie! She runs the Tikki bar in the day and will have you in stitches. If you are a regular at her bar and she notices you are in your room she will phone you up and ask you why you are not downstairs drinking with her.
The nightlife in playa Dorada is varied, we went to hemingways a few tmes but it was practically empty. In 2005 it was a really lively place! many of the staff and animation team go to Coco Bongo (the resort club) after hours and it goes on there till 3, 4 and 5am! We got used to the disco noise and it didn't disturb us much, most nights we were having late ones ourselves, but if you are btravelling with children I would not recommend the Beata block as it is not quiet at night!
We went on the Bravissimo night out at Ocean World which was very entertaining and well worth the money, can also recommend paradise Island but it is such a long coachtrip and the snorkelling in Sosua from the catamaran is just as good. However, if you are prone to seasickness DO NOT do the catamaran, you will feel the after effects for days! Oh well lol it was an experience...
One thing I would suggest is to tip your maid, a little goes along way. our maid was called melinde and she was a real sweetie, constantly leaving posies of flowers everywhere and turning towels into swans and crocodiles! On the last day i wrapped her up a package of toiletries, a top and a little handbag. She had to get me to sign to say they were for her or she wouldn ot have been allowed to take them from the premises. She was really overjoyed, she never asked for anything and was always so pleasant.
Likewise if you go to visit the schools while in Dominican take practical things likes pencils and paper. Give them to the teachers thoough, as they children are likely to sell them or trade for sweets..
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Playa Dorada, a gated oceanfront community on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, is home to Gran Ventana Beach Resort, one of the country’s friendliest, most welcoming hotels. Located directly on the beach, our Puerto Plata beach resort boasts three pools, a kids club and an airy, cool and fresh lobby. We also offer a superb, all-inclusive value for families, couples and group vacations. ... more less
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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