Occidental Gran Hotel Playa Dorada
10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
The dogs b****cks
"Arrived back on the 22nd oct and was ready to fly out again on the 23rd,it was that good..Forget the reports from the clowns who say,'the beach is the wrong colour' or 'there is no coke available just pepsi'.Everything was perfect,only problem was that two weeks was not long enough."
- Travel date: Tue 28th of October 2003
"Just returned from my 6th trip to the Occidental Gran Flamenco Playa Dorada and it was as wonderful as ever. The people are so nice and always willing to assist you. The beach at this hotel is the best one around. Waves are not big due to a coral reef. The resort is an all inclusive. You can snorkel there or at the Gran Ventana next door. If you are really into snorkeling you can take a trip to Paradise Island or a sail to Sosua Beach. I did a dive at Sosua and it was outstanding. The fish eat bananas and bread right out of your hands!!!! You can get some good buys from the vendors on the beach. Bargain a bit. I book all my excursions from them and do a lot of shopping on the beach. I can't wait to return again in May."
- Travel date: Sat 25th of October 2003
"went to d.m early september, very impressed with hotel apart from building work going on in one of the resteraunts. Our first room(block8)smelt musty and when we had a heavy rainstorm we knew why!
But the staff had us packed and in another room before you could blink,and what lovely rooms they were. food plentiful never repeated a menu for 2 weeks we were there .shows at night kids thought were brilliant again not repeated for whole 2 weeks we were there.staff great lovely with our two boys 9& 13 years old. rooms spotless, laundry changed every day couldnt fault it apart from our jmc rep who was neither use nor ornament! would go again cant understand people complaining about here luxury at a great price"
- Travel date: Tue 30th of September 2003
It is what it is
"Just got back this morning and sat down this afternoon to write this review, having read so many prior to going to the resort. As far as beach holidays go, this was great. The hotel is well maintained and the staff are extremely friendly and professional, as youd expect. Those of you who are expecting a caribbean paradise may be disappointed (largely because we're not on the caribbean coast !!) The beach is nice, the water is clear and the drinks are chilled, hell what more do you want.
The pools are decent sized, although on a weekend you may find them filling up with islanders moving out to the coast for the weekend. The food is of a good standard, however may well become slightly repetitive, slightly repetitive after a week or so. That being the case, try Hemingways in the Plaza for a nice meal out away from the hotel. For the money paid for this hotel I would say it meets expectations and ensured I had a great time. You want the ritzy powder sands go to cancun or a sandals resort, this place is what it is - a laid back friendly place in the sun with absolutely no pretentions. You get a comfy bed, a well stocked bar, a beach and a beaming sun - problem with that??? Woz, UK"
- Travel date: Tue 5th of August 2003
Great for kids!
"We just got back from this resort on Sunday July 6th, 2003. We went with our 15 month old daughter and we all had a great time. I would say that this is a great resort for families and older couples but I think that younger adults would get bored (there is no club at the resort).
The pools (there were two) and grounds were very well maintained. The beach wasn't bad but had a lot of seaweed during certain times of the day. The beach had all kinds of water sports and activities. There was also a strong breeze during the day which made the heat and humidity tolerable.
The buffet restaurant had a lot of variety and the food quality was good. The "a la carte" restaurants were not bad and it was nice to get served for a change instead of getting your own meal. The food quality was on par with the buffet restaurant and since the buffet had so much variety, the three a la carte restaurants didn't offer much more. A/C was lacking in all three and they were uncomfortable at times. My biggest complaint would be about the drinks. There was no real orange juice. All cocktails were pre-mixed from machines. The hotel only serves Pepsi (I'm a big Coke drinker) and the soft drinks were often flat.
The room was decent. We had a t.v. (remote control available upon request only), two double beds, bathroom and in-room safe ($10 US per week). There was never a shortage of hot water and the air conditioning in the room was quite strong.
Location is very nice. Close to the airport and the Playa Dorada plaza which is convenient for last minute shopping and staple items.
I would recommend this hotel for couples and families that are looking for a relaxing vacation."
- Travel date: Mon 7th of July 2003
It was a good time but the beach was a major Disappointment!!
"My boyfriend and I stayed at the Occidental Playa Dorado in March of 2001 for 8 days and 7 nights. The weather was gorgeous although it had rained one day we were there for about 15 minutes and it had stopped. The rest of our time spent there the weather was VERY nice. The ONLY disappointment about this resort is that the beach didn't have that caribbean feel to it. It was as though we were in Miami....the beach is nothing to brag about. The sand for one was a "golden" color NOT powdery white and the water was dark (couldn't see your feet when standing in the ocean). The resort was very well kept (clean) and I loved the idea that we were driven to our room in a golf car!!. That was pretty cool. The grounds of the resort were very nice. The nightlife was pretty boring (not much to do). This resort did not have a nightclub although there are several other resorts in the complex that had nightclubs. We were able to go to them with no problem. The food was OK not the greatest. They pretty much served the same food evey day. The restaurants were OK as well. The BEST drinks were the banana papa and the bahama mama!!!! The staff were very pleasant. I had a good time but I wouldn't go back. For those of you who are looking for a caribbean paradise I wouldn't suggest this place. If your planning to go to the Dominican Republic stay away from the Atlantic side of the island the beach is NOT that nice. If you already booked your trip than I hope you enjoy it!!!"
- Travel date: Fri 20th of June 2003
Occidental Playa Dorada
"Not as good as it used to be. Read back in the reviews and see repeated "Staff was wonderful", Always Smiling, etc. That is how it used to be. And to be precise, the Native Staff are always polite, always happy, always courteous, and always smiling. This is our 4th visit and something is wrong at this hotel. We wouldn't even have considered another hotel until this past visit, and now we're open to looking elsewhere. They obviously are in cost cutting mode. And it shows. They've hired a Company called 1-2 Fly to handle all of their recreation. They are not native, not polite, never smile, seem determined to make Olympic athletes out of their water aerobic class, step classes, etc. Personally, I found the body postulations and gestures resembling more of a lap top dancer than an aerobic class. I used to really enjoy getting into the water aerobics, the water volley ball, all the silly games the native staff used to do. Now they are all gone, not gone.......just pushed to the background. What a shame. I say on behalf of all of the original staff, We Want You Back!!!!! Your wonderful, your polite, your always smiling and you've brought us back to the Play Dorada over and over. You always drew us out and made us laugh. The front desk staff are pleasant and helpful if they can be, the door man, the wait staff, the housekeeping staff, the maintenance and security staff, all wonderful native people. The girl on the Allegro Desk needs to be replaced. Period. The girl on the Occidental Desk is stoney cold and stoney polite and not helpful at all. The atmosphere has changed and it shows to repeat visitors. We used to go out every night until 11 PM and sit and chat and dance and play silly nonsense games. And laugh and laugh. Now that is all gone. We went to bed at 9 PM every night. The rooms are clean, adequate and cared for. Nothing particularly luxerious but very adequate. We prefer the dining room to any of the three restaurants, experience we gleaned from our last visit. The dining room is OK. areas both sea side and the back pool are excellent. Always clean, always maintained. Great for little kids too. We are always happy to see young families here. We are happy to see lots of college students or young folk here too. Very happy indeed. We loved the beach. We are good walkers and enjoy both beach and pool. The locals make their living selling trinkets on the beach, we are polite but firm. They are always polite. There are 12 ceiling fans in the main lobby area. During the hot season (June 1-7) that we were there, we noticed over and over that at most 3 to 4 fans were on. The dining room was so hot, I got sick on one occasion, and we never lingered, mostly because of the heat. We did in all fairness notice some work being done, just on the day we where due to leave. Hopefully some air conditioning or fans in the dining room. Please! The side tours are up for everybodies opinion. We took one or two and were happy enough. But we're experienced enough now not to take the hotel tours, but just hire a cab if we want for the day. We noticed during high season everything was very expensive, things you can bring from home, Sun Tan Lotions, toiletries, things you forget.....make a list and check it twice because these things are way to much $$$$$ down there. During off season everything seems to revert to off season prices. A distinct difference. The Casino in the hotel is a joke. but it is nice and cool in there, very distinctively cool and the air conditioning works just fine in there. Just fine. I'll certainly give an adequate rating for a good clean relaxing place to go but don't expect much anymore. The fun is all gone. We're open to looking elsewhere."
- Travel date: Sun 8th of June 2003
SECOND TIME NOW
"we have been to the hotel gran playa dorada twice now and w think it is excellent. all the people in the dominican are so friendly and chilled out. for me the best thing about this hotel is that you are right on the beach. nice food everywhere you turn all day long. there are loads of activities to do all day then you can chill out in the jacuzzi or have an hour in the swim up bar having a couple of presidentes (local beer) or 151 rum (rocket fuel). the rooms are nice and the hotel is very clean. restaurants are good and varied. we just love the dominican that is why we have been to playa dorada 5 times now. its just a little bit warmer than it is in rotherham!"
- Travel date: Sat 3rd of May 2003
a little bit of everything
"My friend and I just got back on March 26th. We enjoyed our stay. The staff was very friendly except the towel boy. The shows at night were pretty good. It was a nice way to relax in the evening. My friend and I were determined not to do anything except to relax so we didn't take part in the activities. If you want to go on a safari, go see the town, go on a snokeling trip, there are plenty of options to do it. There are vendors on the beach which could get a little annoying but they are friendly. The food was very good. They had different theme nights. We didn't have any problems getting a reservation at the resturants but I do suggest that you do make reservations as soon as you check in. The room was cleaned everyday. Parents seemed happy by the fact that there was a fun club for their kids so they could leave them there and relax. There were a TON of Canadians. They were so much fun! The others were French, German, and a few Americans. It seemed that the staff each spoke 4 languages which was pretty impressive. I absolutely recommend this hotel to anyone. It is in a good location (golf, beach, pools, walking distance from clubs) and the staff is very friendly."
- Travel date: Fri 28th of March 2003
The Best Bang for Your Buck in the Carribean
"December/2002 was our 20th visit to the Playa Dorada Hotel and the following are our reasons:It is approximately 4 hours away from Toronto. Canadian Holidays used to fly there when we started going there and Air Transat took over from them in the 90's. The hotel has everything to offer. It is the only hotel "directly on the beach" in PP. The hotel has an excellent lobby as you disembark from the bus. The friendly reception staff have everything pre-arranged for you and take just a few minutes to hand your key to you. Your luggage is delivered to your room. The hotel management has always given us a room facing the ocean and when you pull the curtains open - there it is in front of you- the beach and beyond it the glimmering ocean. They welcome us (now) with a fruit/flower basket and a bottle of Brugal rum - table cloth and napkins well arranged. Later on, the manager of the hotel sends us a bottle of Mums champagne in an ice bucket with another basket of flowers. The room is clean, and the airconditioner works well. There is plenty of hot water for your showers and the rooms are cleaned daily with fresh linen and towels everyday. All three meals and drinks are included and there are snacks in the late afternoon and night time. The beach is "golden" and not white - but once you put your dark glasses on, everything is the same. The hotel staff is very friendly, and smilingly assist you in whatever you ask them. There are two lovely pools and one of them has a swim-up bar. The other one has a roofed area nearby where you can get your drinks. The beach is long and is cleaned everyday and the hotel provides beach towels and lounge chairs. There are plenty of activities you can participate in all day long for every age group - from todlers to older folk. Shops and a bank is locacted in the hotel and in the nearby shopping centre within walking distance. The complex even has a casino for gamblers. Within a 2 minute walk is a golf course. The daily evening show is well presented and the manager told us that they are negotiating with a company to put on even better show. We have been all over the Carribean and this is the hotel we have chosen as the best value for our money - and this is why we go back over and over again to this hotel. We recommend it to everone for some super R& R."
- Travel date: Thu 20th of March 2003