Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort & Spa
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Travel Blogs from Puerto Plata
They days in port are already running together, but it's refreshing to know that we'll be here for a little bit. After so much go-go-go, staying still for a hot second is a welcome treat. We're having a really nice time exploring the town of Luperon and have become acquainted with some fun new people. A lot of cruisers park it here for a while, so …
A photo album, of sorts. Check back as I get more photos from friends here.
We arrived in the Dominican Republic via the Cibao International Airport (STI) in Santiago, which is about a one-hour drive away from Puerto Plata. After being hounded by several pushy taxi drivers, we happened upon a local driver in a Tourismo van that was already on his way to our resort with other passengers, so we hopped aboard (which turned …
I´m not sure all-inclusive resorts are really our thing. Life is almost easy to the point of boredom. Our big accomplishment of the last three hours is dragging ourselves off the shaded swinging bed on the beach and away from our Mai Tais to check our email. But Steve and Maya found us a ridiculous rate, so here we are.
It´s actually more …
... one of the most beautiful beaches in the world
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TravelPod Member ReviewsLifestyle Tropical Beach Resort & Spa Puerto Plata
LTBR was exactly what I imagined it would be -- a decent resort with very friendly staff and nice beaches... AND ridiculously mediocre food (that's what you get when it's all inclusive), watered down beverages, and terribly obnoxious, snobby, inconsiderate, and downright moronic tourists. I've never been so disgusted with other tourists in my life. I suppose all inclusive resort living attracts greedy sloth-like people, but good lord!
Also, the one thing that did upset me about the LTB resort was the outrageously priced excursions. We paid $300 for two people to go on a "yacht" (their idea of a catamaran is just a boat) to Paradise Island (a quick 1 hr stop at a not-at-all interesting snorkeling spot), to drink "champagne" (I'm fairly positive it was sparkling apple juice), and eat a "lobster" (really just rockfish) lunch. The tour also included a quick stop to a cigar factory, but overall, so NOT worth the money. After this major mistake, we spent the next two days touring the city and waterfalls with a private tour guide whom we luckily happened upon at the airport upon our arrival. Instead of paying ridiculous amounts of money to the resort to be herded along with 30 other tourist sheep on a lousy tour, we spent less than half what the resort asked, had our own tour guide, saw much more of the city, and didn't have to deal with crowds at all. This is the way to go!
Note: upon check-out, don't take off your resort bracelet yourself. They don't tell you this of course, so just prior to check out when someone took off his own bracelet and didn't have it to give to the staff, they flipped out and tried to charge us an extra 100$ (bracelet replacement fee), then made us run around like mad men until we found it, all the while almost making us late for our flight. Really, LTBR?!? Are you that worried that we'd pass the bracelet on to someone else so they can eat your crappy buffet food for free?
Lastly, I also got eaten alive by bugs of some sort. I KNOW it was the hotel because on our last day we got a notice that our room was going to be sprayed by pest control. I have over 20 bites on my legs and hip. And they hurt. And they are huge. And ugly.
Love your country. Hate your resort. Unfortunately, I won't be returning. And I plan on telling everyone I know to do the same.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Luxury resort at an economical price ! Enjoy anything from hotel suites all the way up to private villas. Book at http://www.viptravelresorts.com
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort & Spa Puerto Plata
Fantastic sunshine and warm beeches!! Good food!! Good company!! Lots to do!! The ambience was terrific golf course next door, palm trees galore. The staff made a real effort to involve guests in the activities around the pool and on the beech. A very good buffet was served daily. There was a good variety in the menues. As well there were two specialty retraunts on site. Lunchs were served in a beech restaurant. We would certainly reccommend this resort to our friends. Dave and Joyce
More like a 2** a good time though
I have just returned from a one week vacation at the Hacienda Resort. I stayed at the Hacienda Garden which consists of 40 villas each containing four separate units. On arrival to my room there was no running water, the air conditioning unit was not working, the TV also did not work. Also there was no telephone in the room (on my handout from the hotel it stated there was a direct dial phone in each room). I made the front desk aware and the water was running in 3-4 hours time and the television was changed although there are only four english channels it was nice to watch when taking a rest. The air conditioner was not an issue for me as it cools down at night for sleeping. Each of the rooms have a ceiling fan but you can not adjust the speed or shut it off as I wanted done. The telephone did become an issue as I did needed to make one call to Canada just to stay I arrived OK. There are no pay phones on the grounds. I asked at the desk and after two days there was a telephone in the room. The same day I had already made my way to the shopping plaza up the road as the have a call center. My 6 year old son accompanied me on this trip so I did ensure there was a kids club. The kids club was only on five of the days and was not from 9-5. Usually by lunch until 4-4:30 pm. The kids club is in the hub, Hacienda Tropical the 4* section of the resort which is also the way to the beach. When he did go to the kids club he had a great time and never wanted to leave. With all of the sunshine and the beach we had a great time. Next time I will be back at Playa Dorada though.
Great place questionable food
Review of Puerto Plata & Hacienda Tropical. This cheap getaway is exactly what it is.. It's purely a good place for relaxing, sleeping in the sun, & eating less than mediocre food. My best friend & I, being from New York, were a bit surprised by the scarcity of young cool people (we are both 30) & were faced with the reality of the obese & unattractive. So don't bet on meeting that cute guy by the pool, or the cute guys by the bar, because more than likely it wont happen. Habit of over packing? Don't. Just not worth it. Bring 1outfit to go out in, some jeans & black tanks w some mules. Matching purses? Not necessary. You can live everyday with a bikini & light cover-up. Beware of ants. They are everywhere. Bugs in the food, edible at best, but I would say bring some granola bars ( especially for the excursions). There's no Diet Coke! Very upsetting (but that's the least of your problems, speaking relatively). They will spot the naive (at the buffet hut thing) & tell you that there is an orientation about what to do & what to expect in terms of prices, excursions, etc. We got Moses, a very friendly nice guy doing his job. We got the info we needed & he saved us a couple of bucks & made 35.00 reservations for Punta Rusia ..Making reservations from the hotel would have cost us 79.00 each!... So definately do any planning of excursions through the " meeting point". You might have to sit through a long presentation though.. We gave him an hour and a ½ (the time share trap!! but seems like a good deal if your interested..the "boss" from Florida is a sad gold chained car salesman catastrophe.. yuck!).. & the last thing you want to do is waste your vacation time hearing all that blah blah(which usually lasts 5 hours..). End result? It's useful, just know what to expect. Shopping is non-existent in Puerto Plata. Amber.. Trinkets you can get in China Town for 50 cents.. We literally spent nothing there.. But tipped a lot. That was VERY be
y do appreciate it). Also do bring Diarrhea medicine. We got there Monday & by Friday we were not in good shape. If it weren't for the medicine my best friend brought I probably would have been really ill. Also that Italian & Chinese restaurant thing? Its nicer atmosphere, yes, but the foods not so different from the buffet. Mosquitos! Questionable shrimp in lobster sauce w fettuccine ..OY! Also any manicure pedicure services, .. whoa. I would say bring your own stuff. Weird part is they want to charge you 20 bucks & do it in the sand on the beach! Who knows how many cuticles theyve cut wo sterilization!Yuck Yuck. Yuck.
Good Points: There has to be some. First the weather is amazing. The sun is great. Water aerobics was fun. Bring tons of Sun block. Bring some packets of conditioning treatments for hair & loofah to get rid of the layers of sun block gunk. Antibactierial Soap is a must. Punta Rusia was one of the coolest things I've ever done in my life. It was very third world (the whole excursion itself.ie. dirt roads, cow herds to slow us down, really questionable food BRING GRANOLA BARS..), for those who have never expierienced the poor villages moment, but what it lacks in matierial more than makes up for it with the warmth & sincerity of the people. They don't have a lot, but so sweet & good & not slimy gross guys trying to come on to you & touch you in questionable places just because you don't know how to snorkel . My best friend & I had Emiliano & Modesto as guides & they were incredible. In the middle of snorkeling they serenaded us repeatedly. amazing. My Spanish made the whole experience way better though (in general). They were truly amazing sincere good people. Honorary mention to Sexy Black Banana who was hilarious! The bartenders at the hotel were also fantastic & made cool tropical drinks for us. But please don't take advantage of their goodness. Tip WELL. We saw some guy toss coins at the bartender.. come on.. that's just not cool. Calculator a must btw.
If I can do it again? I would go to Playa Dorada. A Closeby resort that seemed nicer. We heard the animation staff was better too. They supposedly have better clubs & bars, but we couldn't go due to us being ill from the food. I would do Punta Rusia again definately. It's amazing. Like a dream. That's pretty much it.
NOT!!!!! Would not ever go to the Hacienda Tropical. We stayed at a different resort but friends of ours stayed at the Hacienda. They were so terribly dissappointed. They changed rooms 4 or 5 times. First they had no working AC, next the rooms smelled so musty and damp you couldn't stand it etc, finally the room they stayed in had working AC but the ceiling fan was so rickety that they wouldn't turn it on for fear they would lose their head. They had no hot water at all. One night the power went out and their generators weren't capable of keeping the resort with hydro. That was a pretty dreary night to say the least. There second last day there they had absolutely no water at all in their room.
They found the food not to be great.
The grounds looked like they had seen better days. Not very well kept at all.
The staff not overly friendly.
All in all this resort is extremely overated and should sooner be a 2* than a 4*.
Never to Return
It went from Bad to Worse as the week went on!
1st no air conditioning, then no hot water, then no cold water, then no water! Food was not good! The Dominican was great but the Haceinda Tropical was NOT.
Just a 2 star dressed up as a 4
My wife and I recently got back from a week's stay (Jan 3 - 10/03) at the Hacienda Tropical and were not at all impressed. We booked through Signature Vacations whose brochure advertised that the rooms were air conditioned(a/c has been out since Dec 24th) and that they have ceiling fans(wrong again). Also, the picture of the room in the brochure is totally misleading - no picture on walls, no extra furniture(1 balcony chair), no fan in some rooms, 5 closet hangers for 2 people - very plain and austere.
A couple of other things that you should know if you plan to stay there - many rooms do not have hot water. Also, you will be issued to 20 oz bottles of drinking water. When you have used them up, you must re-fill them at a water cooler in the hall. the cooler is filled once a day and serves the 28 rooms on your floor. Another thing - no ice machines. in fact, no ice period, even at the store on the resort.
Those were some of the major problems. You'll also find that there are few towels in your room, no face cloths, no bath mat, no facial tissue, no hand soap, toilet papaer scarce, no TV remote, no coffee maker or alarm.
Basically, the resort is absolutely beautiful, the staff are friendly but the amenities suck. The resort was sold as of Jan 1st to the Marriott Hotel chain so hopefully by next year some improvements will be made.
The Hacienda Tropical was amazing. Our Signature vacations Rep. was great! The food was some of the best food I have ever tasted! And they have amazing bread. The only problem (which wasn't really a problem) was that the fan in the bedroom was a little bit rusty. The staff is extremely helpful, and they can never do too much for you! I would recommend it in a second!
A great Hotel
I organised a party of 12 to this hotel may 2000, it was a fabulous hotel, we found no faults everything was excellent and we are considering going again for xmas 2003
Excellant but with minor hiccups
we stayed at the hacienda in July 2001 the grounds and pools at the hotel are wonderful, (although you had to be up early to get a sunbed without a towel already vacating it left overnight by other guests)the food was excellant and plentyful,the rooms were spotless but not quite as luxurious as in the brochure.But our overall opinion is a lovely hotel with polite and friendly staff favoured by the europeans.
Review of the Hacienda Tropical
My week long vacation at the Hacienda Tropical was absolutely fabulous. The hotel and its grounds were beautiful. The accomodations were pretty good.(Bed was a little hard, shower left water on the floor) The food was really good and they provided a variety of food. All water sports were available on the gorgeous beach and last but not least, the staff was very helpful and accomodating. Overall, my week break from the fast paced life in NYC was fantastic and I would definitely do it again.