Fun Tropicale Beach Resort
Travel Blogs from Puerto Plata
John met us today, thanked us for all of our work, and said "today is all about you relaxing and enjoying the beauty of the Dominican."
It was exactly what I needed to hear after a terrible start to the morning. Most days, I'm getting only 6 hours of sleep, and am totally fine with that; staying up late sharing life stories with Jamie, waking up early to fit in some yoga on my beach facing balcony.
But this mornings yoga started with a glimpse of a blob ...
I'm so tired today that I cAn barely write. After a week filled with back to back work and extra excursions, it all culminated today. Beginning last night we were all admitting to feeling like we missed home, it's comforts, and were weary, uncomfortable, tired, or maybe a bit sick from/ of some aspect of our trip. For me it was a few things. The difficulty in communicating with my family was tough. The inconvenience of the internet and desire to fully experience the trip ...
... country is full of friendly gestures.
After dinner at the hotel, the kids enacted the quincianos ceremony. Which is basically a fake wedding ceremony to celebrate her coming of age. Kayleys fathers, Natalie and Annalore, toasted her and helped her choose her court. They danced ( her pretend husband Caleb promises he'll work on perfecting her waltz soon) and celebrated and then we spent hours preparing items for our group for the last day ...
... we've been since our arrival one week ago. Some were able to take a few pictures with waterproof cameras but we'll have to wait until we return to see them. Sorry! We stopped by the market for just an hour where the kids were able to buy some goodies. The boys are making dinner tonight: pancakes, bacon and ...
... So what did we do? Moved rocks, carried rocks up the mountain, moved more rocks, mixed concrete by hand (Thanks El Salvador for the practice!!) and moved said concrete bucket by bucket to fill in the rocks. It was a lot of work, but we were able to finish the project in just a day! We even found time to eat lunch, hold puppies that were so little they couldn't open their eyes, and have Lilja feed us Pringles when our hands were too dirty. We were very eager to get ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Fun Tropicale Beach Resort Puerto Plata
First time to DR had a great time, staff was excellent, food was great and lots of different things each day to eat. Shows were great. Disco right there open til 2. Things you find out after you get there: all swimming ends at 6pm but that is okayyou are busy and don't notice - you take a tractor with a wagon to the beach this is nice seems like you are going some where else for a while you can get the driver to stop at the corner so you can walk to the shopping Plaza. - you have to get up early to book for the extra restauants, or horseback riding (great fun and you get to see a bit of the poor section of town) - when you are driving there take a taxi and keep your eyes closed biggest has the right of way no lines on the roads free for all. Don't drink the water in the rooms bring your own to brush your teeth. If you go say hi to Safee, Alex, Angelo, and Hector for us they are the great entertantment staff
Fun Tropicale/Fun Royale
What a great trip we just had to Puerto Plata!
We travelled from Baltimore via Newark on Continental. The trip was smooth and the service on Continental great.
Upon arrival we got hustled a bit by the locals at the airport (bring lots of $1 to hand out as needed) but the folks are nice but poor so we didn't mind too much. We never felt threatened or oppressed by them and only saw this type of behavior when arriving not departing. The cab fare for a "mini-bus" for our party of 6 was only $20.
Our check-in at Fun Tropical (they have two hotels joined together on one big property) was easy and hastle free. The ladies Jennifer and Sophie gave us great tips and we decided to order the all-inclusive meal plan despite having a kitchen. But were we glad we did..see the review on their awesome food further down.
Our rooms were small but very nice and clean. We overlooked the tennis courts and were very close to the kid's pool and their Brazilian Restaurant. We have a patio, mini kitchen, futon couch, tv and a bedroom with a queen bed. The crib they provided was fine.
The hotel is not beach front so we'd catch the tractor-pulled wagon every 15 minutes to the beach. That was easier than we had thought and even fun. Never a problem. The beach is lovely (not Caribbean mind you as the island is Atlantic Ocean) and has green and blue mixed with a smaller surf. Not as placid as the Caribbean beaches but wonderful just the same and a nice break from the norm. Tropical offers a free banana boat ride on MWF for the kids and you get to ride with yours if they are small.
As for food, the meals were TERRIFIC (and all places and everything prepaid)! The buffet meals were at a lovely open air restaurant with ceiling fans that keep the breeze going and bugs away. The view is fantastic of the open grassy areas, the adult quiet pool and the lagoon. So peaceful. The food was behind archways indoors so it was easy to access but not in the same area as you eat. What a smart way to make the place not feel like a glorified cafeteria. The staff at the buffet was very kind and helpful on every shift.
It would take too long to describe the food, but they had a huge spread at breakfast with everything from eggs (an omlette station), bacon, fresh breads, pancakes, yogurts etc. to fruit, cold cuts (you could make a sandwich to take for a day outing if needed), coffee and tea. The coffee is to die for and always served with HOT milk which is traditional in the Dominican Republic. Lunch was so many entrees, sandwich makings, salad and more.
Every night at dinner there was a different theme such as Spanish night or Dominican night. A huge spread but always more traditional choices too and a kids' buffet with kid friendly food at both lunch and dinner. The dessert room (yes it is a whole refridgerated room!) is unbelievable.
There are also Brazilian and Italian restuarants on the property which were charming and we enjoyed them very much too. But the buffet always worked best as everyone got what they liked best and if you didn't like something you could go back for something else.
When at the beach you can eat at the cafe which is beach front with rotisserie chickens, hot dogs, salad and fruit bar etc. At the main pool, they have a pizza bar called Popeye's with the nicest guy making fresh dough pizzas. All you can eat of course and included in the prepaid.
As for bars, they have them at the beach and the main and adult only pool. I don't drink so I can't say much about that.
The only negatives which are easily avoidable:
The main pool with swim up bar is noisy. We spent most of our pool time at the kids' pool where there were hardly ever any kids and it had a tree covered side for shade and was like a sanctuary. Rarely a soul there since no bar. I hear the adult pool was like that too but I don't know first hand.
Don't even think of leaving anything special in the room not even rum (one small bottle we bought just disapppeared from my mom's room). The folks are poor so don't tempt them. Use the safe for any and all money etc.
Never allow a cab/carraige to take you to special places they recommend for good deals. We did this on a horse drawn carraige and got a minor scare but he brought us straight back when we insisted.
The beach sellers bug you a bit but it's all open beach anyway. The best swim area is down the shore from Tropicale's area so you have to walk about 100 yards to swim. Their beach is sloped but offers lots of tree shade and sun so it works out fine. The beach cafe, showers and tractor are right there so it's convenient.
Things to do in Puerto Plata? So much for a fmily like ours:
Don't miss Ocean World. Pricey buy a once in a lifetime and our kids loved it. Check out their website. Our kids kissed dolphins and were in the water touching them too. Everything at this place is first class!!!!!!! Great gift shop too.
Go to the top of the mountain in Puerto Plata on the lift (Teleferico it's called in Spanish). It's unbelievle and cheap. The top is chilly compared to below and the view is stupendous even if there is a mist.
See the Catholic Church in town. The bishop is great! The fort ruins on the coast are nice too.
We had a great cabbie we found at Tropical (mr. Gabriel-ask for him) who drove us around town all morning and even walked with my mom and me which kept any would be hustlers away from us i think. He even insisted on carryibg our groceries when we went to the supermarket for food gifts (good place to buy coffee and cocoa and vanilla too).
My mom went to a plantation and loved the outing. Ask about it at the hotel activity desk. You can book trips like Ocean World there. Everything we did included transportation and lunch.
One more tip: learn a bit of Spanish before you go if you don't know the language. Everyone speaks English but people take you more seriosuly when they know you undertsand. We met some very spoiled cocky American kids at the airport going home who complaind out loud about everything. A Dominican girl on our same flight was so hurt by their comments. I'm surpised they weren't treated badly at the airport by the airline staff and security. That behavior in Baltimore would not get such a response by our locals. I asked if they had tried simply talking to people.
The folks down there move a little more slowly and are less educated but they are nice and honest. Most would never steal from you but they do try so hard to sell things and drive a hard bargain (street and beach sellers). If you treat them with respect that remember that they are just trying to feed their families they tend to back off.
Going back for the 6th time. Says something?
Accomodation, food, facilities, staff - all excellent and always have been, in my experience. There's no point in dashing to the pool or the beach to grab a spot - there's plenty of room, time and sun. Relax and enjoy the experience. Isn't that what a vacation is about?
I had the best holiday ever and I am so glad that I went. The country is beautiful and everyone is so friendly. The room was basic but clean and had everything we needed except a fridge. The food was varied and I really enjoyed trying all the local dishes, although they do food for all tastes. We went on several of the trips, the best two of which was the quad bikes and the horse riding day. The quad bike tour took us out through sugar cane plantations and then to see some of the more rural areas were we saw some of the real life of the island - it was good to experience, the staff guiding the bikes are really helpful, I was very nervous at first but by the end I had the best time ever!. The horse riding took us up the mountain and we swam in a lagoon which was just so beautiful. We also swam with dolphins which was good but in my opinion not really worth the high price they charged. At the complex I spent a lot of time by the main pool. The reps all do games and they really made a difference to the time there. They were really friendly and constantly encourged me to join in with the games and shows - I think I was getting prettty good at merengue by the time I left! As long as you want to join in, let your hair down and really enjoy yourself, this is the place to do it.
Welcome to Adult Summer Camp
Of course, visiting a 3rd world country can be somewhat intimidating. We definitely felt safe from harm withing the Playa Dorada complex. We bought the all-inclusive plan for convenience and safety from unsanitary food off-campus. However, I am an adventurous type, so laying around the pool all day is not my thing, and two weeks of eating in the same three places got old. If the food had been better, we would have enjoyed it more. Most of the time, the meat was overcooked or chewy. My favorite was the french toast, but it was hit and miss with that. It was often burnt or dryed out and impossible to cut. The food at the Italian restaurant was great, but you had to get up before 7 am to get reservations for the 6:30 sitting. One morning, I went to make a reservation and there was a line forming before the reservation lady was even there! Someone needs to take a recipie for good old fashioned chocolate-chip cookies and chocolate cake to the chefs...we never had either while we were there. I was very disappointed in the dessert selection. The staff was very friendly and willing to serve. The animation team was great fun. There are some really talented dancers in the shows. The room was nice, but the walls are paper thin! We could hear the conversation of our neighbors as if they were in the room with us! BEWARE AMERICAN PARENTS!! This may be considered a family resort, but there is topless sunbathing everywhere! Even at the kiddie pool! I had to answer a few uncomfortable questions from my kids in the beginning. Some of the ladies should've stayed covered...hopefully my kids aren't scarred for life!
Great family resort
We stayed at the Fun Tropicale from March 6-13, 2004. What a great spot! Our rooms (my family of five and two mother-in-laws in the adjacent room) were large and bright - one had a kitchenette that we rarely used, but was nice to have with three children (1, 4 and 7). We stayed in villa 27, which was perfectly placed between the main reception building/activity pool and the playground, kids pool. It was perfect!When we arrived we received at fruit basket and bottle of rum from the manager - that was after only sending an email requesting adjoining rooms! There were not enough cribs, unfortunately, which was frustrating when my baby had been up since 3 am the previous morning and it was after 9 pm. The manager on duty, Jose, tried his best however, and after some time he managed to repair one and make a mattress. The next day, this makeshift crib was replaced with another one.The food was great - both the Brazilian and Italian restaurants were worth the trip. The only thing they should get are proper high chairs for babies in the buffet and restaurants. They had booster seats, which are fine for toddlers, but these had no belts or anything which made mealtimes interesting.Overall, we had a wonderful time. The weather was amazing and everyone was very friendly. I would definitely recommend this resort to friends and family. I am sure we will return.
Loved the locals
Overall the hotel was OK, where it is situated is good because you have shops nearby, nightclubs and the beach. The food was ok and always available until midnight as were the drinks. The staff are lovely and really friendly. However, the hotel was not the cleanest I have been to, put it this way we saw a couple of mice during our stay! As well as that my friend and I had to move rooms because it was infested by wasps! I wouldnt really recommend it to anyone as I have been to a much nicer hotel in the Dominican.
OK I did go quite a while ago with two friends but we had a great time the swim up bar was the best, and the golf cart to the beach every day whilst sucking back a beer was fun, they had a snack bar on the beach for guests of the hotel where you could eat and drink all you want all day.I would say this is one of the best times I ever had on vacation, a few bugs and roaches in room once in a while but look where you are, your on a hot island and we were p##### most of the time so who cares, I would love to go back. the volleyball in the pool is fun.food was always very good, bbq by the pool late at night when you come out the club hungry. 10 out of 10 from me, for 3 guys in their early 20's this place was perfect.
The hotel was terrible. I do not understand how it has a 3*+ rating. On the first night we had to change rooms as it sprung 3 leaks and it took 6 call to Guest Services for someone to come out and look. We were then moved into a room where the hot water tap in the shower actually came away from the wall. The plumbing in the toilet cistern had to be changed as the toilet did not flush. The following day after coming back from a relaxing day by the pool, we were greeted with a flooded bathroom. After it was fixed, the plumbers then told us we had to clean it up.There was no water for appoximately 12 hours on once occasion.Foodwise - diabolical.We had planned to visit the Dominican Republic for our honeymoon, but cancelled (as it was around the time of the health scares) - so I was really looking forward to the trip.Unfortunately I don't think I will visit the island again.
Just got back from the Dom. Rep. Like everyone else prior to going we read all the reviews and were worried about what to expect. How wrong we were - from the moment we got there we loved it! Everyone is just so friendly. We went to Jamaica in June and the Dom Rep people are so much friendlier and just love to talk without wanting your money. The Fun Club Tropicale Hotel in Costa Dorada was excellent, food, entertainment, staff - everything. We went on the Outback Safari and this was well worth it - had a great day out. We loved it so much that we are planning to go back as we were only there for 5 nights. If you are thinking of going I would say go for it you will have an absolutely excellent time.