VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
Travel Blogs from Puerto Plata
... factors. I also am sick of the bugs and showers and heat and sweat. ( bikram, you've got nothing on the DR). It's been unstoppable heat, with not a drop of rain this week. The kids have come to rely on my motherliness, hitting me up for advice on earaches, rashes, soreness, female issues, communicating with parents, and other little difficulties that feel big after being a way so long. I'm so glad to fulfill that role, but ironically, despite that I'm the only one around ...
We're getting into the routine here. The teens have been magnificent. I've never done a service trip before, but I cannot imagine one going any better.
For those of you who may be over 17 allow me to explain the entry title. Salty means mad. It's how your skin gets when something ruffles your feathers. It's how you feel when someone leaves a taste in your mouth. If you'd like more info, please see señor Braun, who has gained a full ...
... able to 'immerse' her in the culture or fully 'engulf' her in it. Then they grabbed her by the ankles and whoosh--she was immersed!!
Otto and I had arranged for music, dancing, and cake as well. Then señor Bro told us the traditional parts of a real quincianera, and the kids decided to enact it the next day.
I'm sure it was her most memorable ...
Today, for the first time, we took the initiative and went to a school and did a craft with
the preschool class without anyone holding our hands! Considering that the kids
and the teachers all speak Creole and only broken Spanish and almost no English,
this was a big step. We were all very nervous because the teachers did not even
know we were coming and so it felt funny to burst in on their class, but the
teacher was actually very glad to have us and a huge ...
Today we visited a center called children with Hope. It's a center for children to play and learn safely as an alternative to scavenging through the landfill for scraps. The poverty in this area is profound. Our students played ball and shared stories, songs and the play with the children. It's amazing how these children crave the love and embrace of the Americans. I overheard one student saying that this was his best day ...
How has this resort rated in the past?
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Historical Traveler Reviews VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort Puerto Plata
Ive had the time of my life
Pure paradise, can't fully explain the true excellence of this place. We went in a group of 8 and met a couple there and not one single person can make a single complaint. The food is fantastic with an amazing amount of choice, the rooms are spacious, spotless and very comfortable the weather is fantastic, and the staff truly made our holiday, Derek, Junior and Puba are such great fun, I really miss them guys, the there is Mr Felix, gorg body girls, and Cheeta is destined to get the blokes going! Entertainment is what you make it, we got in there and had a really good time, learning various dance moves that will stick in my head forever! I can't personally imagine a holiday ever being any better, I would go back tomorrow!
I would certainly advise to go on the Jeep Safari, it's a reality shock and it proove's that you can be happy with your life without money, I have a whole different view on life.
Anyone who has a problem with this hotel must have overly high standards, it is a 4 star, I would give it a 5!
Dive School in Hotel !
I have visited Gran Ventana and I recommend to everybody to do their PADI diving license with the Pool-Instructor of the Hotel. You will find him close to the towel desk at the big pool, and he will guide you from the pool to the underwaterworld of Sosua. It is amazing !
Not worth the stay.
Thinking this was a 4 stars hotel, I stayed at Gran Ventana all last week. It did not meet those expectations at all!
The rooms were damp and humid. It looked like they had some sort of a filtration problems with the rooms. Mine was located on the 3rd floor and the building had no elevators. The beach area had small piles of sand, so every time the wind blew, it got into my face and eyes. I resigned to be by the pool most of the time. The water at the beach was cold, and it had a what appeared to be a sewer nearby. I saw some of the staff from the hotel making a small tunnel in the sand which helped to move these muddy waters from sewer,unto the beach.
Food was mediocre, and the dining room staff seem to be under stress. They did had time to stop and chat for a few moments. Entertaiment was even less than mediocre. Lots of audience contests, but not a real show. The only plus for this hotel, is it cleanliness. But I did not pay $1000 plus dollars just for a clean place. For that, I could had hired a maid.
Could have been better.
Our room was musty wen we first arrived. I attribute this to our arriving during the off-season and that the room
was closed and vacant for a period of time. The mustiness soon was eliminated by the air conditioning. The
thermostat for the air conditioning was broken, so the room temperature could only be controlled by the fan
settings. Also, our balcony door did not lock. Since we did not spend much time in the room, these problems
were not important. The room was very clean. The service was very good. We had everything we needed, plenty of towels, etc. We did leave sundries on the pillow for the cleaning staff and they seemed grateful. All of the employees greeted guests with a "Buenos dias" or "Hola". There were distilled water coolers on every floor, so we kept re-filling our plastic bottles.
We (my girlfriend and i) went to this place for a friends wedding. 9 hours from uk, is a long time but hey, i've been to australia, so no problem. after the all travelling, ariving in the room was very nice. fully air conditioned. very spacious, nicly decorated. then it was meal time, well, the most gorgeous food and loads of it. after 11 hours traveling a feast of 3 plates full was needed. and went down well. then i'm afraid it was bed time, the travveling had took it's toll.
Next day, down to the pool, well it's wonderful, there's a swim up bar that is a strange experience, the beach is only 1 min walk, but that's when the trouble starts. when you get on the beach, the salespersons start and they don't leave you alone. my girlfriend got her hair breaded after 3 days of anoyence. It cost around £40 or $100 and it was a complete mess. it was glued in, and was a different colour. My advice is stay away from all the traders on the beach.
anyway that's not the hotels fault, so buy summing up this review i would say, so it's great
One Great Family Resort
This is the best resort in Puerto Plata we just got back from our 9th visit and once again we had the time of our lives, We traveled with a group of 27 this year who were family and friends and proud to say that there was not one complaint.
The management and Staff at this resort are the most enjoyable people in the world and they are there for anything and everything that you may need to make your vacation one full of memories.
The resort itself is very clean and surrounded by Fresh Flowers and cheerfull Dominicans. The pool are very clean. If fact you cannot walk anywhere without seeing Staff cleaning something.
The food is excellant with lots of choices from both sit down and buffet style, The beach Grill is one of my favorates where one dosn't have to change their clothes to sit down and have a meal.
This resort is a family resort and it is just that the lights go out at 12 midnight, but don't worry if your the type who wants to Rock, Roll and get down. Just 2 mins outside the gate you can Dance all night at the local Disco or Gamble at their casino.
I could go on forever about this resort it's truely Haven Us.
Whe had a great time!
Hi!whe went to gran ventana on july 97,for our honeymoon,whe had a super time,the hotel was great,the food was okay for me but my husband loved it,the beach was okay,y expected more from it,the staff from the hotel they where great,the cleaning lady was very kind never accepted tips,whe had to leave it on the bed the day whe left,the shopping mall was fun to go,it was so very hot,in 7 days whe got like 10 minutes of rain,and it was at night,compare,to all the other peoples,that's talking about the ventana,whe had the chance to go,to the restaurant a la carte,whe didn't had to wait,y think whe had the reservation for the next day,but my husband dind't really like his supper,but y did,y really enjoyed my staying at the gran ventana and my husband to,now whe decided to go for hour 5th anniversary,to cayo coco in cuba whe gonna stay at the el senador,whe heard it was a very excellent hotel,whe really can't wait,where going in june,for sure im gonna come back here,to let you know how it went,but for the gran ventana,if you ever go,your not gone regretted believe me.
Gran Ventana, 2/2002
We stayed at Gran Ventana for a week in Feb 2002 and have the following insights:
There are 3 buildings in the hotel: Saona, Catalina, and Beata. Beata is by the "quiet" pool.
The other two are by the pool with the "fun team". We stayed in Saona. Our room was a junior suite and we highly recommend getting one if possible. The terrace of our room faced out to the ocean and had a nice breeze coming through so there was not much of that "musty" smell that others' reviews spoke of. There is no breeze by the pool but if you walk for two minutes to the ocean, the breeze can get quite stiff. I'm betting the people who complained about the musty smell had rooms facing the pool which don't have much air circulation.
Yes, the electricity is turned on by sliding your key tag in the slot by the door. If you can't deal with your room having no electricity when you're not there, take the key off the ring and leave your tag in the slot. It's that simple.
There was a problem with the hot water while we were there. Sometimes it would be cold, and one afternoon there was no water at all. After promising several times that it would soon get turned back on, the desk sent us to the
building next door so we could shower off the day's sunscreen. (Bring plenty of sunscreen, by the way)
There is satelite TV but half the channels are in spanish and the signal cuts in and out frequently.
We were chanrged $16 US for the TV remote and safe key. It's not much money and for the piece of mind to know you
will have your passport when you're ready to leave the country, it's well worth it.
Otherwise our room was clean and the maid service was pretty good.
The Facilities and Staff
The grounds and pool are also kept very clean. Be prepared to stake out a lounge early because they are usually
taken by late morning. The staff is also very friendly and generally English is spoken pretty well. Our intent
for this trip was to relax, which we did, so we didn;t go on any excursions. However, I did use the "gym" which had a non-ergonomically-friendly universal weight machine. The sauna seats about 4 or 6 but it was turned off when I went to use it and no one was around to explain. I didn't pursue the issue.
Although the place purportedly offers snorkeling, wind surfing, sailing, etc., the gear is located at one of the other hotels in the Dorada complex, so if you want to do that stuff, be prepared to go find it.
The "fun team" spends the day yammering into a PA and trying to rally people to play games. If you want to be left alone they generally will after a couple of refusals.
The "entertainment" was surely lame. Half of what we bothered to witness seemed to consist of dragging people out of the audience and using them as the entertainment.
We got his & hers massages. They cost 200 pesos which ends up as $14 US for a half hour. You get what you pay for. Any trained massage therapist would cringe. They try to crack your fingers and toes and generally it wasn't as strenuous as I prefer, however my wife was satisfied with hers.
Food and Drink
We've stayed at other all-inclusive resorts and I'd say board here is pretty standard. If you're from New York, like us, or some other urban center of culture, you probably won't be that impressed by the food. Those of you from more rural spaces where Italian food in considered ethnic cuisine will probably like it better. We're strict vegetarians and were generally able to do ok but continue to marvel at how the chefs felt compelled to add ham to rice, beans, and "vegetable" selections. I don't know what it is about resort alcohol but it doesn't seem to work.
The weather was great! We went in February 2002 and it was always in the 80s (F). A couple of days it was rainy with sunny periods and some days were partly cloudy which was a welcome break from the hot sun. Bring plenty of sunscreen and re-oil often - we saw plenty of scorched Canadians.
Hotel Gran Ventana
Lovely accomodation, backing on to the beach. Friendly staff, plenty of places to walk to and a shopping arcade within 10 minutes gentle stroll. Excellent food and drink (all inclusive).
My two weeks of Paradise
I just need to say that when you go to a country such as Puerto Plata, you realize just how we take things for granted. We, as Canadians are spoiled. This trip made me realize this. I would recommend anyone visiting this area. It is quite the culture shock, ladies, the men will love you.
I spent the most fabulous two weeks here. It would also be a great learning experience for anyone. I would not recommend bringing children. It is sometimes a sad reality, and at times was hard for me to take.
I keep telling myself if I ever win alot of money, this is where I will go and live. Hopefully make a difference in some of the peoples lives.
I would also like to say that the Dominicans are a very happy and beautiful pepople.
I could go on and on, but, I will just say, given the chance I would most certainly go back.