Gran Ventana Resort, Puerto Plata

Old Jan 28th, 2000, 09:15 PM
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Gran Ventana Resort, Puerto Plata

My fiancee and I are planning to spend our honeymoon at the Gran Ventana resort in Puerto Plata in May 2000. Has anyone been there before? If so, is it as nice as the guidebooks say that it is? Also, is a junior suite worth the extra charge that goes along with it? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Old Jan 31st, 2000, 12:16 PM
carib traveler
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We visited the Gran Ventana Last April. It was described as a 5 star resort to us as well. I suppose that by Dominican standards it met that rating but to mid-western Americans such as our group, who have traveled the caribbean extensively, it was closer to a 3. Brush up on your Spanish-little English is spoken or understood. We felt that the hotel staff was rude. For example, when we arrived and checked in, we had arranged adjoining rooms with others in our group through the travel agent. The clerk, in a very hostile manner told us that she did see the request but rooms were already assigned in the computer and it was too late. She then told us very harshly to "move aside-you are taking too much time." The food on the resort was awful, bland, low quality and unimaginative. If you want to eat at any of the a la carte restaurants you have to get up at 6:30 am (seriously!) and stand in a line that wraps around the pool--oh, and while you are up make sure to save yourselves chairs by the pool--by 8:00 there will be none. In my opinion, the restaurants were not worth the wait as they were not much better than the buffet. Also, remember, the tap water is not safe for drinking. Our agent neglected to inform us and the hotel does not let you know either. They provide 2 small free bottles of water. You then must purchase more or fill it up from the awful looking, brown jug sitting in the blazing sun near the pool area. As far as the rooms go-we had the standard room, it is small, comparable to any lower end American hotel chain. We had a flood on our bathroom floor every morning, did not know where it came from, called repeatedly to have it remedied but no one ever came to look at it. We did have a problem with service people entering the room at all hours of the day and night (one time we found a maid laying on the bed and the other time a man and woman entering together). Our experience was quite negative and we would not return-have experienced a much friendlier atmosphere and higher level of service and quality of food in other Caribbean islands. On a positive note, the resort is very pretty .
Old Feb 1st, 2000, 03:47 AM
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We visited the Gran Ventana for 2 weeks in June 99 and, compared to the last reply, had a great holiday! Our very spacious room was in a separate block from the main hotel which did involve short walks but was very quiet and had its own pool. We never found queues for meals or for reserving meals in the la carte restaurants and there were never any problems with finding sun loungers by the pool. The food in the main restaurant was fine, if a touch repetetive but the food in the la carte restaurants was excellent. We found the staff to be friendly and helpful and we do not speak Spanish! The animation team was friendly and imaginative and not as imposing as we have found in other resorts and the evening entertainment was varied and of a reasonable level. The guests were a great mix of British, American, Canadian and Dutch and we found it very easy to make friends. Given the size of our room, I would not have thought that it would be necessary to pay extra for a junior suite. Next door to the hotel is a shopping mall which we found very expensive but also there are various tour companies which sell excursions for far less than the official reps charge.

On the whole, I would definitely recommend the place and am happy to answer any more questions you have!

Have a great honeymoon!

PS - if you like casinos, go to Jack Tar's - a 10 minute walk, rather than the one in the next door hotel. Minimum stakes at blackjack are much lower at Jack Tar's!
Old Feb 5th, 2000, 10:31 AM
bj in canada
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My husband and I went to the Puerta Plata area twice last year. In March we went with another couple to Gran Ventana.We also thought this was a very nice resort.There were 3 or weddings while we were there. Very nice.My neice who has been to 3 hotels in that complex, was very impressed with this hotel.As for the food ,we were very satisfied and didn't have to book a reservation at 6 in the morning.As a matter of fact, we ate a la cart more often than the hotel stated that you were allowed.Overall, we loved it there.
Old Feb 24th, 2000, 07:46 PM
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I stayed at Gran Ventana last year. I can easily say its the only all inclusive resort we could stay in this area. Very classy. good food, friendly staff, good service and the best beach.
Very specious rooms, awesome architecture and if you can get a n oceanwiev room it's perfect( try to get one,its worthed) Good Luck

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