Occidental Allegro Playa Grande
Travel Blogs from Puerto Plata
... Annalise who watches birds eat bugs for fun. She and Tori were both up, and agreed to help me. They came up you our room and masterfully chased down the bugs while Miss Morgan and I stood in the hallway watching (and possibly screaming) in fear. I owe these girls everything I have. They killed and disposed of the cucarachas. In going through our clothes, Jamie found a third one in her swimsuit. Annalise and Tori to the rescue again.
Once we were able to put that ...
... headed to the public school to spend 3 hours painting classrooms. It was hot and exhausting, and tricky to do without water or rags. Once again, however, the kids stepped up with such eagerness, and worked till it was done.
Exhausted, we returned for a simple dinner and a quiet evening. I think I played hearts-- yes, with Adonis. Teaching a new game with lots of rules in another language seemed like 'doing the most' but seņor was able to explain it and we played till lights ...
... that and other important teenage vernacular from Aline and his other instructors (#swag, #tagsforlikes, #myB (that may be from the early 90's), #r/t (he doesn't actually understand that one yet))
The heat is quite grueling to us ('you gringos sure drink a lot of water' was over heard), but there's rarely a complaint even while working.
We've been outside or in open air classrooms from 9-3 each day ( with a 2 hour break to walk ...
... and pulled Camden out of PSEO and both he and Meg out of Kenston all together. Thanks to God's grace and a godly boss, my employer basically refused my resignation and is keeping my job till I return. I booked, cancelled and rebooked the tickets. I made the reservations with the organization and started preparation. One and a half weeks before we were scheduled to leave, I stumbled across some information on the organization that we were to stay and volunteer ...
Another night of no electricity but that didn't stop the kids. We played card games and catch phrase while others played and talked with the local children. I'm not sure how they are communicating with each other, but they are making out just fine. We went to go to the special needs orphanage today; unfortunately, ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Occidental Allegro Playa Grande Puerto Plata
A small mountain provides a backdrop to this resort which is quite lovely. The surrounding golf course is well-groomed and challenging.
Resort is isolated, no other hotels in sight. Staff are friendly and rather relaxed. The evening shows are pretty lame. The a la carte restaurants are mediocre. The bartenders need to learn better customer service. Rooms are basic but clean. The beach activities are minimal --we struck up our own games of volleyball. The walk to the beach is long, but pretty -- the stairs meander along the cliffside and palm trees. Beach lounge chairs are a hot commodity (witnessed one fight between guests!). Water was clear and blue but always too rough to swim in. The beach grill provides good, simple fare - the BBQ chef ensures meat is well-cooked. There was a shortage of bottled water. The pool is not inviting. The resort didn't disappoint, but it did not impress us either.
WOW! We were not sure what to expect, because when we left there where minimal reviews and the most recent claimed the resort to be terrible.
I think we all have to keep in mind, we are traveling to a third world country and things may not be like they are at the Hilton!
First of all the stairs to the beach....previous reviewers have said there are 90 steps, while at the resort we heard from someone there where 45 another elderly man told me there was 77. Personally, I was on vacation and was not concerned with counting steps!! You would walk down a few steps and then there would be a landing, not a big deal no matter what your physical condition. There was a couple down at the beach with there baby stroller every day!
The beach was beautiful! The waves where however a bit strong on the first few days, but towards the end on our vacation calmed down considerably and once you got over the break you could float on your back. Paradise! It is a private beach, so it is very safe and you are not hassled by peddlers.
The only downside to this resort is the 1 1/2 to 2 hour drive from the airport. After a 6 hour flight, you just want to get to your resort.
The tour operator however made the trip enjoyable and even stopped for us to purchase a beer or two! The upside is that you are not stuck in the middle of tourism, which for some, may be a downside. We went to relax and loved the fact that we were away from all the commotion of most tourist resort towns.
The food was fabulous and the buffet menu changed daily. Water was available in your room and bottled water at the beach. I personally always carry a water bottle with me just in case.
Hotel stall where all extremely friendly and accommodating. Our room the first night was quite loud and they had no problem with moving us the following day, although we had to wait until 1 pm. Just remember it is Dominican time, so if they say 1 pm it may be 1:30.
All in all, we had a fantastic vacation soaking up the sun. Your vacation is what you make it! Enjoy.
Some comments on Playa Grande
We read the reviews prior to visiting this resort (our first visit to DR), and we were uncertain quite what to expect (although most were very positive at that time). The resort is some distance from the airport, which is not a concern because the tour operator had a direct bus to the resort. (Be prepared for a different set of "rules" of the road, if you have not been to the Dominican Republic - and don't plan to rent a vehicle of any type for on-road use.) The resort was very clean, with lots of staff constantly maintaining the facility. The food was quite good and varied (including the excellent Italian restaurant - the Brazilian was good also), with lots of waiters and waitresses always looking to assist. Some items remained the same but every day included lots of new choices. (We did, however, contract mild food poisoning from - we think - the delicious seafood casserole, but the onsite medical services were very good.) The beach is great (don't worry about the comments about it being several steps away from the main part of the resort - a good excuse to wear off some of that food), but not for windsurfing or snorkelling, because the waves are much too big. The noise from the bandshell can be excessive (especially if you overlook the pool) but it generally quits at 10:00 p.m. The Moonlight Bar is not found by many people but is a really nice quiet place for a drink in the evening. The English language skills of many of the staff are developing, so keep it simple. When things go well, the staff are very friendly, but don't expect immediate assistance with a problem (e.g., the leaking cistern on our toilet took 3 complaints and 4 days to fix). The tour into Puerto Plata is not really worth it ($35US) unless you are looking for amazing deals on rum and jewelry (don't forget to negotiate a better price on the jewelry and other items - at least 20% off!). The El Limon tour is great but wear suitable clothing for riding horses and don't expect to ever get the smell of the mud out of your clothing and shoes. The people are quite friendly but don't expect North American standards on many things: It is a different culture.
Not for kids!
This resort is not for kids! The beach is beautiful,it's a five minute walk from the hotel,and it's difficult to swim the waves were too high and the under tow too strong, the week we stayed at the resort, it was yellow and red flags all week. This hotel is not ready for people, kid's club no one there all week, activities for kids was minimal, water bottles were hard to come by and ants were crawling all over in one of the rooms we had. Our room was situated behind the resort snackbar a foul smell of hamburger grease is what we would smell on our balcony. Meal time was always interesting, we were always on a hunt for cutlery,or napkins,chairs, even a table sometimes,though one evening it almost tragic while eating dessert one evening in the Brazilian restaurant my mother ate a piece of glass, so beware! The nightly entertainment was not family oriented and at times was rude, like some of the bartenders, as you had to wait sometimes 20 to 30 minutes to get served drinks. This was not our first choice, and we know in the future it would definitely be our last choice. Very disappointed customers.
You'd better golf or surf
Our holiday package was overbooked and we got bumped here. If you play golf, it's terrific, otherwise you're hanging at the pool if its sunny.
The beach (beautiful) has a dangerous undertow. 2 people rescued while we were there, the kids could only walk the edge of the surf. Too rough for catamarans, snorkeling... The kids club was ill-equipped and never staffed. Any available water activity was 1-1 1/2 away by bus. Food seemed fine, except for the 1/2 dozen people we knew who were ill...
Wouldn't book again.
Awesome resort for all!
My boyfriend and I (ages 25 & 22) just got back from Playa Grande on Saturday night. We had an amazing time! The food was excellent and they had a different theme every night, plus 2 different restaurants (Italian & Brazilian). The beach was beautiful even though it is about a 5 minute walk along a path and then about a 90 stair descent. Once down there though, there are little huts for shade (get out there early if you want one), louge chairs, a bar, grill and washrooms. The waves get pretty high and the undertow is strong. There are lifeguards though and they don't let you get out too far. You have to be a pretty strong swimmer to be able to swim here though. Otherwise, there is the pool to use. The rooms were ok. They are basic and clean. We didn't spend much time in it anyways. When booking your trip here, know that if you request an ocean view room, it is only that....a request. We tried to switch ours because our balcony overlooked the dive club hut but with no luck, as they were booked and overbooked! The animation team is awesome! They are so friendly and will try and get you involved in all of the activities. The rest of the staff is so friendly too as well as the locals. If you are doing any day trips provided by the hotel, we heard the Jeep Safari is the best. The only one we did is a trip into Puerto Plata where we visited the rum factory, the amber museum and San Filipe Fort. We also ate lunch at a Swiss restaurant which was very good. This trip cost $35US. We didn't have a chance to golf as it was quite expensive. The day before we were leaving though, we found out that after 3pm it is only $30US a round (includes cart and caddy) instead of $80. We heard from some people though that the golf course is fantastic and comparable to Pebble Beach. The hotel is quite a ways from the airport (about an hour and a half) but it is worth it. Once you are there it is great!!! We loved it and will definitely go back!
i cannot beleive the reviews that people wrote here! this was by far the worst hotel i have stayed at in all of my life! We had no water for a1 day and no hot water on several occasions. the rooms are filthy, the housekeeping service does an awful job of maintaining the cleanliness of the rooms. my comforter was disgusting, not to mention the blanket which was old, discolored and torn. The management of the hotel was nowhere to be found and offered no assistence what so ever. I must say that the beach was magnificent, however, it is a bout a 10 minute walk from the hotel and then you have to descend aprroximately 90 steps to get to it. When you finally get there, the water is so rough that 2 people had to be saved from the undertow. the flooring throughout the hotel is extremely slippery causing many near accidents. i watched everyone from little kids to older people nearly break their neck from falling on these floors. the Hotel has 3 tennis courts, one of which has no net. i will not write anymore becuase if you still wish to go there after reading what i wrote here, then you are one brave soul.
find another hotel.
have a wonderful time at this resort - very clean fabulous pool beach - not your typical turquoise water as on atlantic side but very nice all the same, good food
Planning on going to the Dominican Republic? Look no further than here!!!! This top notch resort had everything you could ask for in an all inclusive!!! No scams like other places everything including all alcohol was included. The food was incredible and what an unbelievable selection everynight!! And the restaurants were fantastic! The resort was spotless! The golfcourse the nicest I have everseen hanging over the ocean!! I played tennis under the lights. In the first two to three nights I had easily eaten and drank enough to pay for the entire vacation. A casino down the road. Great excursions and the most beautiful private beach i have ever walked. Anyone that is planning a trip and wants some info be free to email me I will tell you all you need to know. This is also the best part of the island and the people are very nice with no tourist traps and pressured sales from locals. I have been all over the carribean and this is the place!!!
Recommend it highly
An absolutely awesome time. I took a group of 32 people from my company for an off-site in the Dominican Republic. I chose the Caribbean Village primarily for the wonderful golf facility. Come try the golf course, I implore you, a must do!!! Much to my surprise the grounds and rooms were a pleasant surprise. Spacious, clean, and everything worked. Most surprising was the staff and service they provided. I thought with a group of 32 something had to go wrong. Boy was I wrong!!! I could not have asked for a better off-site. My co-workers are still clamouring about the trip today. I'd like to especially thank Debbie the on-site manager and Janet. They were both instrumental in making our experience a lasting and favorable one. Food was rated from good to very good. I highly recommned the Brazilian restaurant. Staff was very friendly and go out of their way to help. I must say that in terms of value for your money this place is hard to beat anywhere in the world!!