Barcelo Puerto Plata
Travel Blogs from Puerto Plata
... Our last school day started with a pelota tournament. Last year the big sport on campus was basketball. Somehow this year the shift was made to playing baseball. It's hard for me to believe because these kids seem like they've been playing since they've been walking. They are very skilled, and their natural fitness with the ball is amazing to watch. So of the rules in the playing field were different than what were used to: we play on the basketball court, bases are a pile ...
... and rest as we digest). The resting has mostly been playing cards or walking next door to la centro de dulce for snacks. On our first day there the owner invited us behind the counter, and next to the snack food I saw she was prepping a dead chicken on the top of a cardboard box!
After lunch we went back for a quick change then off to the beach, for a bonus excursion.
Sucking up that part of the culture felt so lucky. The kids were such ...
... is doing well apart from a few sunburnt people :(
It's been a great trip! The students will be posting individual summary blogs in the next few days (no free Internet at the hotel).
Thanks for following our journey...it has truly been transformational!
... spend a penny there. The amount of premium food, was crazy, the activities from bingo, to Spanish lessons, to water sports, to dancing lessons, to VIP events, and so on left me with something to do every second of the day.
However, I think the most meaningful experience I had there, was when a friend of mine took me to a local restaurant called Parada Jhoan. Here I got to pick out my personally seasoned fresh ...
... day. Everything is cheap. We can do whatever we want at any moment. There are several local restaurants to choose from, and about three gringo establishments.
On one of the first days Grady made friends with a stray dog, and coincidentally now the boat is somewhat infested with either bedbugs or lice. Due to our Spanish as a second language status, he named the dog Perro, which means dog, but is somehow witty, we think, maybe. We now only can sleep ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Barcelo Puerto Plata
Big let down
Stayed at the flamenco august 2002. Accomadation was never 4*plus as described. Pool was dirty with patio areas never hosed down in the two weeks we were there. You should not have to hunt for cutlrey in the dinning room in a 4*hotel but we did on numerous occasions. the plus sides well there were a few, the staff were fantastic allways smiling and cheerful, gardens very well kept but avoid the timeshare touts in reception. some rooms were of a very poor standard, shame really because must have been very high standard once. Overall only that we met some great people from US Canada and the UK,couldn't recomend to anyone!oh yes don't buy from the hotel shops! £5 for a roll on deoderant and£12 for hair spray rip off
Had A Great Time!
I, along with 3 other friends went to the Flamenco Jan.2 - Jan.9/2003. This was my first all-inclusive vacation, and first vacation in 13 years. It was, to say the least very memorable. The Dominican people are very friendly and outgoing, but not pushy. If you wanted to be left alone, no problem.
First, I guess I'll start with our room. We were booked into Building 2. This building is close to the front desk area and pool closest to the lobby area. Nice balcony view of very lush grounds.(as is throughout the resort) A very nice room, clean, but we wanted a kind size bed. After a brief stop at reception we were moved to another Building(#12) which had our King size bed. This building is closest to the beach, and Disco, and a short walk to the main pool. Very happy with this room as well. I would recommend Building #11 or Building #10 just because it is close to everything. Although Building #10 is right next to the Entertainment stage. If you can handle loud music until 11:30 you'll be fine.
The food was fantastic, I am a very picky eater and I ate like a King. I highly recommend paying extra money($25 US)for the Gourmet Restaurant. The lobster was amazing! Also had dinner at the Steakhouse, which was very good(the service was unreal). We did have most of our meals in the Buffet Restaurant and we were not dissapointed. You must have the Pasta. You choose your ingredients and they make it there right in front of you. same goes for the omelettes for breakfast. There is a nice mix of North American food and local fare. The cheese is a different taste, but ok. Also, the Pizza is very very tasty.
There are bars scattered around the resort , so drinks are very easy to come by. holding out 10 or 20 pesos always got me served first. A Can$ dollar was worth 10.35 pesos and an US$ dollar 19.65. Unless you plan on going on alot of outside excursions or buying lots of souvenirs, stick with the Canadaian money. Tip, but not too much. It really only helps at the bars for quicker service. Don't count on buying things like soap, sunscreen, aspirin, or even chips(60 pesos for Lays) they are expensive there. Bring it yourself. You must buy a bottle of Brugal dark Rum. It is the best rum I have ever tasted!
The Disco at the resort was quiet when we went(usually every night). But the DJ would play whatever we wanted if he had it. A mix of spanish and american music. We actually gave him 2 mixed CD's we had brought along, and he played those all the time. If you want to go to the Crazy Moon, it is a short walk from the Flamenco, if you go on Saturday, men must wear long pants. Also, Hemingway's was fun too.
The only excursion we went on was the Jeep Safari Tour (see Oriol in the lobby). If was different, but alot of fun. Have an open mind, you will see things you have never seen before. There lifestyle is much different than ours, yet, seem almost happier. Hopefully you will have David as your guide. Be prepared for swimming, hiking and climbing(sounds worse than it is)We had a BLAST!
We bought the video from the "paparazzi" Luis. You can make a deal with him for a cheaper price than the $25 US he wanted for it. It's worth having for the memories, but tapes are not the greatest quality.(they tape over other excursions that people do not buy)
All in all, it was a great week of rest, relaxation, fun and good times. Looking forward to going back again very soon.
I was at Puerto Plata over Christmas break, I went with 4 of my girlfriends. We booked our trip for two weeks, we felt it might be too long, but at the end we wanted to stay another week. The food is awesome compared to other resorts I've been too, there is many restaurants to choose from, the service is great and very friendly. The hotel is beautiful and very clean. The entertainment staff "fun club" were very friendly, always had activities (especially the kids), the shows at night were great. The beach wasn't too nice or clean. For the nightclubs, the one in the hotel isn't happening, we went to Crazy Moon (next door), it was one of the two clubs they had near by. If you are someone that likes clubbing, this place isn't right for you. The nightclub was good, but that was the only one, they played half spanish and half american. There wasn't many teenagers there, more couples and family. But we had an awesome time, lots of memories.
Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
A Good Time, with Caveats
We are a family with children ranging from age 5 to 15, and all had a good time at the Flamenco. The beach is the best of any resort on Playa Dorada, and the pool area is large and attractive. The grounds are clean and nicely landscaped. My wife and I were content with just the beach, pool, and sun.
My 15- and 12- year-olds enjoyed just "hanging out" at the beach or pool, also, and took advantage of some additional-cost activities like para-sailing and jet-skiing. My wife and 5-year-old enjoyed a complimentary 1-hour horseback ride at a nearby ranch. We took our tennis raquets to use on one of the 2 available courts, but never got around to reserving a court time. My 5-year old liked the "Fun Club," two 1.5-hour periods of supervised activities daily for kids 4-9.
The food options were varied, with a choice of 6 restaurants for dinner (including one with a surcharge over the all-inclusive price); we ate in all but the premium restaurant, and liked each one. Lunch is available in 3 different places, and there are numerous bars sprinkled around the grounds, so food and drink are never far away.
The rooms were, from what I could tell, all identical except for location. They were fairly spacious, with 2 double beds, tile floors and balcony, and TV with 50 channels.
The staff were generally friendly, if not terribly efficient.
Those things having been said, here are the caveats. First, as a family with a strong non-smoking preference and health concerns, the resort (and probably most others on the island) was too smoking-friendly. In keeping with the general Caribbean "no problem" attitude, we were told that all rooms were non-smoking, yet they all had ashtrays and matches in them. The non-smoking areas of the restaurants consisted of a handful of tables in the center of the room, so it did little good. Even on the beach, we always seemed to be downwind of a smoker.
In addition, we were there at holiday time (New Year's), and the crowd was excessive. The grounds squeeze in as many building units as possible, so when the place is full, it becomes a challenge to find spaces at the beach, pool, and restaurant unless you are willing to get there very early (or, in the case of the restaurant, very late).
Our one other major gripe is that a central fixture on the grounds was a covered outdoor stage/theater in which there was some entertainment each night. The problem there was that the shows started at 9pm and lasted until at least 11:30pm, and were so loud that it was virtually impossible to go to sleep until that time, no matter where your room was located.
We managed to adapt our behavior to all these conditions, and enjoy our vacation; however, ideally, we would not have had to.
I cannot believe that this hotel was given 4 stars! Our trip was absolutely awful! The food was vile, the smells were worse, the pools dirty, the rooms filthy and the service, the worst I have ever had.
I would never recommend this hotel to anyone....do not go there unless you are used to substandard accomodations.
Lots of fun!
My family and I stayed at the occidental flamenco resort and it was great. The one thing that everyone will find most enjoyable was the staff and their entertainement "the fun club". There is never a dull moment, they try to keep u as involved as possible in the daily activities. As for the hotel itself, the rooms are immaculate and spacious, two huge pools and lots of restauraunts. My only problem was the food, It is not that great however was better than some other places I've been to. Stay away from "La Hacienda" restauraunt. Other than that, the atmosphere was great, the beach well... not the best I have seen but decent. The entertainment is awsome and I would without a doubt recommend this palce to anyone!
me and my parents and brother stayed at the occidental flamenco this year, between 4th august and 20th. i loved it! the pools were excellent, really big and not too deep. the food was ok but it became a bit samey or not very nice so i jus stuck to eating pizzas at night and chips in the day. the barmen were great! they served you alcohol!! HI TO JERRY THE POOL BARMAN! in the hotel i made a lot of friends, mostly from america or canada and england. it is packed with french people! the beach was ok but its more for older people as its quieter. the nightly entertainment was ok but a bit minging when the big show girls danced in thongs! yuk. if your blonde like me then you will be loved as the dominican men stop you everywhere around the hotel and tell you can stay there forever! i wish. anyway, if your going-take me with you! if you was there when i was, then e-mail me!!!!! laura xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Great family resort
We holidayed at the Flamenco approx 12 months ago, for our honeymoon. We had a great time, its a lovely place; though I left feeling somewhat dissapointed.....Of course, you expect your honeymoon to be the holiday of your dreams; it wasn't really my dream to spend two weeks watching and listening to dozens of kids playing everday!; most of whom didn't even appear to go to bed before we did! Don't get me wrong, as I said we had a great time, but I really think this resort is more geared to families with children, not particularly young couples or singles. I should also mention the food: often barely warm and with some very strange combinations such as cauliflower and sprouts on the breakfast selection??? The food and room standards left something to be desired....for an alledgedly 4*+ hotel, on this basis, my personal rating would be only about 3. Hats off to all the entertainment staff though, they were always hard working, trying to make sure everyone was having a good time. I would say this is a very safe resort as it is part of the Playa Dorada complex, with nearby shopping mall, nightclubs, casino. The trips booked through our tour rep were a rip of, they are better booked through the sellers on the beach....they are exactly the same trips!
Just got back from Puerto Plata. It was absolutley wonderful!! The resort was great beyond our expectations!! so much to do, many activities, clean, fun, great food, beautiful beach, pool, the nightly shows were great!! I would definately recommend this place to everyone!!
Close but no Cigar
The hotel accommodation was not worthy of the four star plus rating. During the July and August period monday to friday was excellent and very peaceful with capacity at 50%. However during the weekend the hotel was 'filled' with Dominican families who more than took advantage of the hotel pool and facilities and also received 'preferential' treatment. Top tip is if you hate the food that much there's a great Chinese Restaurant 200yds away from the entrance. We lost half a stone each in 2 weeks. Close but no cigar !!! Wouldn't go again. GO TO THE IBEROSTAR IN COSTA DORADA INSTEAD.