About Sunscape Puerto Plata Dominican Republic

  • high speed internet in room
  • swimming pool
  • restaurant
  • free internet
  • fitness center
  • bar lounge
  • free parking
  • spa
  • wifi
  • business services
  • suites
  • public wifi
  • wheelchair access
  • room service
  • air conditioning
  • dry cleaning
  • refrigerator
  • meeting room
  • non smoking rooms
  • laundry service
  • concierge desk
  • flatscreen tv
  • family rooms
  • banquet room
  • multilingual staff
  • airport transportation
  • breakfast buffet
  • outdoor pool
  • paid wifi
  • conference facilities
  • parking
  • housekeeping
  • free breakfast
  • minibar
  • private balcony
  • breakfast available
  • beach
  • reduced mobility rooms
  • sauna
  • hot tub
  • facilities for disabled guests
  • kids activities
  • tennis court
  • swimup bar
  • poolside bar
  • kids club
  • babysitting
  • butler service
  • adult pool

Reviews summary

4
Good
( 3089 reviews)
Brilliant
1830
Good
818
Average
289
Poor
89
Awful
63
 

20 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog

I visited this hotel with my fiancé and...

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed Tue 27th of February 2007

"I visited this hotel with my fiancé and two of our friends and we had a brilliant time.

Some of the previous reviews I have read, I cannot understand as it seems like a different hotel to the one we stayed in.

On arrival there was a slight wait to be checked in but we were taken to our rooms quickly by golf buggy.

The rooms could have been updated a bit but they were clean enough, our mini fridge was stocked with soft drinks. Because we were getting married during our holiday, there was a fruit platter and a maid arrived with two t shirts for us.

The resort itself was very clean, although the main pool was sometimes quite dirty. The food was excellent and always a lot to choose from. The animation staff were lots of fun.

When we arrived in was American labour day weekend so the resort was overrun with people from new York obviously there for a wild time.

They took over most of the pool and swim up bar and were probably quite intimidating to some people, but luckily they left after a few days.

There were always plenty of sunloungers around the pool.

The resort itself was quite remote with only the plaza shopping centre near.

Our wedding here was amazing and our wedding co-ordinator Paula did a great job; the bouquets were much nicer than anything you would get in the UK. My bridesmaid’s bouquet cost less that $20!!

The photographer and hairdresser spoke little English so was quite hard to communicate with them, but my hair and the photos turned out perfect.

I would definitely return to this hotel, we are hoping to come back to the DR this year but will probably stay in another area.

This resort is definitely not a place for young people wanting to have a wild time unless you are willing to pay for overpriced drinks at the nearby clubs."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 27th of February 2007

When we arrived to the hotel we were sho...

2
Poor
by
Reviewed Tue 21st of November 2006

"When we arrived to the hotel we were shocked!!! The hotel is suppose to be 4 star but when we went to out room we would not even give one.

The room was smelly, dirty, with very old furniture and mold in the bathroom. We were moved to another room the next day, it was slightly better but not up to a standard. Check the hair dryers before you use them.

The food was OK, but if you want to go to one of the four restaurants you have to book it in advance which takes about one hour minimum and for some of the them you have to book on the same day.

The beach was OK. Although you get all this locals selling you everything they can possibly find. I will go to DR again but not to this hotel.
"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 21st of November 2006

Went for 2 weeks in March to the Grand F...

3
Average
by
Reviewed Thu 5th of October 2006

"Went for 2 weeks in March to the Grand Flamenco and initially very disappointed. We booked an allocated on arrival guaranteed four star so when we got this hotel we thought great a 4 plus! Our room looked shabby and in need of decorating and the television looked like the 1st television ever made. The pool was kept really tidy but it seemed to be very cramped with the lack of space. The advertised activities were very poor. The food in the buffet was average but I could always find something to eat as I will eat anything. The a la carte restaurants were really excellent though especially the Brazilian I must have ate a pig, a cow, a sheep, a chicken and a few fish washed down with a flaming sambuca! Needless to say I had to retire to bed after that feast. In order to book these restaurants you had to waste an hour of your day queuing up in reception which was annoying.

Having bin to Egypt and Mexico in all inclusive hotels of a similar standard I felt this hotel was of alot lesser standard. However, although I wouldn't return to the North of the Dominican it was a good holiday and I mustn’t grumble too much. I would rather be at the Grand Flamenco drinking beer in the sun than stuck at work any day!
"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 5th of October 2006

After a 27 hour delay we arrived at gran...

2
Poor
by
Reviewed Mon 4th of September 2006

"After a 27 hour delay we arrived at grand flamenco where we had to queue to check in for 45minutes, then another 45 for porters to collect our bags! I had requested when booking (six months previous) for a ground floor (as we have three children) with pool or garden view.

When we eventually arrived at our room (9316) we were on the third floor overlooking a building site and staff entrance!! The room was smelly and damp, the lights didn't work and the air conditioning was faulty. After complaining to reception we were told to come back at 11am the next morning.

After being kept up all night by the local disco we reported back to reception only to be told to come back later. We then went to report this to our rep who told us to come back at 12 and he would sort it out. At 12 we went back and was told to come back at 1pm then at 2pm. This was now the third day of our holiday and we still hadn't unpacked!! We were then told to come back at 3pm!

After demanding that our rep came with us to reception to sort this out he finally (half heartedly) did so. We were given keys (which weigh a ton) to block 3. These rooms had just been refused by other people that were on our flight! On demanding that we be given new rooms our rep pleaded with us to at least look at them, which we did.

We decided to take the rooms as we had no strength left to fight for better ones! The new rooms still left a lot to be desired but at least now we could unpack! The shower didn't work and the bathroom was home to cockroaches and ants. There were patches of enamel missing on the bath and mould and mildew around the bath and sink.

The beds are far smaller than stated and we had to have another put in - which left hardly any room at all. The mini bar which was stated in our brochure didn't exist and we were told by our rep that no rooms had these. Other guests had mini bars and some had fridges, so we couldn't even keep our bottled water cold - which we had to buy!

At the end of our first week we arrived back to our room one night to find a leaflet posted under our door stating that the block was to be fumigated and not to worry?
The food was varied in the restaurant with lots of fresh fruit/salad and pastas/pizzas as well as a selection of cooked dishes, although they did make use of the previous nights left overs for the next day! We liked the Brazilian - but only ate there once.

Meat eaters will love it. The Mexican was ok, but the Italian was the best. We couldn't eat in the Oriental as our children were not over 16! The pizza restaurant was our favourite as it was cooked fresh to order and in front of you. Be warned - if it rains it closes as its outside.

We did suffer from stomach cramps and sickness. Other guests had suffered this as well. The entertainment was disappointing - a lot of screaming and shouting down the mic. Not any entertainment during the day - the reps might dance by the pool once or twice and play a game, but that’s about it on the entertainment front! The kids club was not a hit with my children - it’s very basic and limited and is only open for a couple of hours in the morning and afternoon.

It made us wonder what people would do if it rained all day (which it had done previously) as the only real thing to do was swim and sunbathe. The only thing you could do was go back to your room - for what - the TV!

The drinks were local and watered down but ok. The only downside is the lack of staff in the bar area - I queued for 30 minutes one night. But if you tip you will be given preference. Maria the bar waitress was lovely and polite - watch out for her.
The pools and garden areas are well kept and we did witness that someone had had a rather large accident in the large pool!

The beach was ok, quite breezy and sometimes messy. The food in the beach restaurant was horrible so we steered clear! You do get a lot of sellers on the beach as well - but if you don't mind then there's no problem.

We went on the quad bikes - fantastic - you get to see the real DP. The tour guides were friendly and caring, it was a real fun 3 hours! Monster trucks is a must - the scenery is breathtaking! You visit a school, church and various other places - we took loads of sweets for the local children and it was heart-warming to see their gratitude! - it makes you realise how lucky you are!

There is a lot of getting on and off the truck so it's quite a strenuous day - but an unforgettable one! Paradise island was a good trip - the boat to the island was escorted by a family of dolphins which was fantastic to witness! The speed boat ride to the island is bumpy but fun - the coral reef and the fish are beautiful.

Be warned - we did the vip trip $140 per adult & $70 per child which means you don’t have the 3 hour coach ride each way, you get a yacht to the speed boats instead - what they don't tell you is that it's only one way and you have to get the coach back anyway!

The night before we checked out we gave Maria (bar waitress) all our sun creams, repellents, deodorants & shampoo etc. My children gave her their colouring pens, pencils and books for her children. She was overwhelmed with this and couldn't thank us enough. The staff are paid only minimum wages and tips and gifts are very much appreciated.

Overall We thought the Dominican Republic is a beautiful place. The poverty you witness and the disrepair of the streets and roads and how people live makes you realise that the county we live in isn't such a bad place after all!

I’m no snob - but I wouldn’t go back to this hotel at all. If you are teenagers and looking for a good time and a place just to eat and sleep then this is the place for you. But when you have three small children then it's a different matter!
"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 4th of September 2006

We arrived at about 1:30pm to be told th...

3
Average
by
Reviewed Sat 19th of August 2006

"We arrived at about 1:30pm to be told that we could not check in until 3pm, even then it ended up being more like 4pm. The kids were hot & sweaty and just wanted to get in the pool but we ended up sitting in reception waiting. I felt like crying when I saw the first room (1.108) it was diabolical and was certainly not 4*.

The room was tiny with 3 4FT beds crammed in so that we could not open the wardrobes, our view was an overgrown tree with a pair of underpants hanging off it and there was hardly any enamel left on the bath. The furniture was shabby with a TV from the 70's and no mini bar. We complained and got our rep in who promptly offered to put another bed in - where he was going to put I do not know as there was no floor space as it was. He told us to sleep on it and he'd see what he could do in the morning.

After being told the rooms were all the same standard and that if we didn't like the next one any better we could move into the only alternative (a 3* hotel) we found out that there was a massive difference. Blocks 1 - 9 are all un-renovated, the new ones have newer TVs, mini bars (empty), Irons and Ironing boards and better bathrooms (if only slightly). Even then this room (12.111) still only had 3 4ft beds. We said we would take this room on the understanding that we would move to a room with a King-size bed when one came available in 3 days. Meanwhile the Air conditioning broke and the room flooded.

3 days later we were told the room we were to have was flooded and we were shown 3 other rooms all un-renovated and which needed maintaining, it turned out that after speaking with the maid in our block the room next to ours was empty and had a King-size bed, by this time I was angry and upset. We moved to (12.109) but had to swap fridges because the one in the new room was broke, had maintenance come and re-attach taps on sink and mend the toilet so that it would flush - and get another bed so the kids could have one each. After wasting the first 4/5 days we eventually had a good time.

The restaurants were good and there is plenty to keep the kids entertained. Please note locals do come en mass on weekends - book trips and a 'la carte restaurants for Fri, Sat & Suns as you will not get near the pool, the bar or the buffet on these days; as locals take president and will not wait!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 19th of August 2006

On arrival we were taken to our room by...

2
Poor
by
Reviewed Sun 30th of July 2006

"On arrival we were taken to our room by buggy, great. The humidity was something else. The room was air conditioned, clean and spacious. (I wouldn't agree that it was 4 star.) 2 plastic chairs on balcony with plastic table, facing a row of trees. 1 king size bed, wooden table, 2 chairs, 2 bedside cabinets, wardrobe (with enough space for clothes for 2), dressing table with drawers and mini fridge. (not stocked with anything) a TV which was older than my mother's. We were in block 11 room 11224 (on a corner). Large bathroom with bath and shower over bath. Don't have a conversation in the bathroom as your neighbours will hear everything through the vents. The main restaurant was large with plenty of seating, but the weekends were very busy with locals!!!! The 2nd weekend of our holiday we had to dine before 7.30p.m. to ensure that we could get seats and a varied choice of food. There were four 'A la carte' restaurants, Mexican (we could never get a booking) Oriental (you can only book on the day) Brazilian (don't bother) and Italian (this was probably the best). You are entitled to one booking per person per week. That's a joke unless you're in the queue to book at 2.30 p.m. The booking times are daily between 3.00pm and 10.00pm. The Oriental only opens on certain days and locals get priority because they are members of some club! The pool restaurant only serves burgers, hot dogs, salads and runny ice cream every day. Breakfast is the same every day, left over vegetable dishes from the evening before, runny scrambled eggs, fried eggs, bacon every other day, sausages (fried, boiled and grilled) and fresh fruit. Toast takes at least 12 minutes to cook. The pool was not the cleanest, staff were constantly scooping leaves out of it, hair would clog up in the pump areas and it constantly had a film of scum around the sides. I did feel it was a little better than the beach though. The pool was closed for one full day without notice and we were forced to return to the beach (which we were bitterly disappointed with). We found the beach full of seaweed, (this was cleaned up daily to a degree) fag butts were stubbed out in the sand, plastic cups were lying around and blowing about (it's a fairly breezy beach). When we went snorkelling we were amazed to find an engine from a car in the water, the coral was dead and there were plastic bags in the water. The water is not very clear. The swimming space was limited because the catamarans and other water vessels use this part of the beach. You could smell the fumes from the boats and this was very unpleasant. Two hotels either side of us were closed for refurbishment and this caused havoc in our hotel. It was very over crowded and understaffed, especially in the evening in the bar areas. If you didn't tip you had to queue longer. One particular evening there was a wedding party and they closed the bar and the entertainment area, this left just one main bar in the reception area very over crowded or you could go to the beach bar (no thank you). This was our 1st time in the Dominican Republic and we will not be going back to Playa Dorada. There are nicer beaches in Blackpool and the sand is softer and cleaner on Southport sand dunes. My husband and I have been to some beautiful and exotic places in the world and we thought that this would rank amongst the top 3, unfortunately not. It doesn't rank in our top ten. "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 30th of July 2006

Our 2-week stay in Hotel Occidental Gran...

4
Good
by
Reviewed Mon 26th of December 2005

"Our 2-week stay in Hotel Occidental Grand Flamenco (December 8 – 22, 2005) in Puerto Plata, on Playa Dorada, convinced us that all-inclusive was the way for us to go – it was wonderful to be able to eat and drink anything you wanted any time you wanted, without dealing with money! And it definitely saves you money (eating – and drinking - out every day gets expensive), unless you’re one of those types who like to go off exploring every day and only sleeps at their hotel. Even if you did go out of the resort area (which has pretty much everything you’d need and want!) a lot, you’d still be able to have breakfast and dinner at the hotel most of the time.

Here’s our take on Hotel Occidental Grand Flamenco:

THE HOTEL AND ROOMS: The hotel area was very clean, beautiful, and well laid-out. But the rooms (at least our room, in building 4, ground floor, room 4102), although spacious, were very modest in their furnishings (they may have more updated rooms in other units). The furniture was old and worn out, as was also the TV, which didn’t get very good reception (although had a nice variety of channels, including some USA ones). The beds were so-so: not very big, and according to Tepa, a little too hard (Riia was OK with hers). The balcony, or in our case, a balcony-terrace on the ground, was medium size and fine to sit around in, but only had a plastic table and a chair - but you could move 2 wooden chairs and a table out from inside the room. The bathroom was spacious. Our phone didn’t work and the faucet in our bathtub/shower combo dripped, but these things didn’t bother us so we never asked them to be fixed. The air conditioning worked well, and the closet was a nice size (the room also had a desk/chest combo with 4 large drawers, so plenty of space for our clothes and stuff). Unlike many all-inclusive hotels that have small refrigerators in the rooms (some even with a complimentary mini bar which gets filled every day!), this one unfortunately didn’t have a fridge – this was the one feature we really wished was included, because it would have been nice to keep cold drinks in the room. There were no bugs or insects in the room, EXCEPT when we once left a sweet soft drink in the room for several hours: then tiny ants appeared (they were so little you could barely see them with the naked eye), but they disappeared as soon as we threw the drink away, so we learned not to leave any food or sweet drinks around. All in all, we were OK with our room, although for a 4-star hotel, we’d rate the room as only 2 stars.

RESTAURANTS, FOOD and DRINK: La Giralda, the main restaurant (buffet-style), serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and you can wander in any time they are open – we always found a table with no problem. We found the food here quite good with much variety at all times. The only bad things were too runny scrambled eggs during breakfasts (but you can have your own omelette made, and there are fine fried eggs), and the beef, whenever served at lunch or dinner, was always too hard to chew (we stuck to chicken dishes which were the best, and some pork). Overall, we were happy with La Giralda, and one can always find something or things to their liking there. Although they vary their offerings each day to some degree (and have some theme nights, like a Chinese night), you may start getting tired of it in 2 weeks if you eat nowhere else.

There are also four a la carte restaurants which are included in the all-inclusive packet but for these you have to make reservations (while we were there, the reservation desk was open daily 3-10 pm, and there was always a line by 3 pm). Seating for these restaurants are at 7 pm and 9 pm. By far the best of these is D’ Oriental, for which you can only make reservations the same day you want to go there – this restaurant is very popular, so be sure to line up by 3 pm for it or you won’t get a table. We also liked Las Reses, a Brazilian-style meat restaurant in which you didn’t actually order from a menu: they kept bringing all types of meats to your table (chicken, fish, pork, beef….) and they were good. The third one is an Italian restaurant, which we didn’t try (Riia cooks a lot of Italian at home, and the buffet at La Giralda always had some pasta dishes), and the forth one is out-doors Mexican (El Lago bar turned into a restaurant in the evenings), which we didn’t much care for (very average food). As we mentioned, during the day you could also eat in Las Marismas at the beach, and in the afternoons, El Lago also served hot dogs, hamburgers, and salad. Other than for some 4 hours in the wee hours of the morning, you could ALWAYS find some place to get something to eat at this hotel, which was great.

Soft drinks and local alcoholic drinks are included in the all-inclusive packet, and served at the restaurants and bars of the hotel. We had our share of Bahamas Mamas, Tequila Sunrises, Rum Sours, Bloody Mary’s, etc!

Water from the faucet is not drinkable in Dominican Republic. All buildings had drinking water available in the hallway.

THE BEACH and THE POOLS: The hotel is on Playa Dorada, which is a very nice and quite clean beach. There are other hotels using the beach, too, adjacent to this one. We went to see the beach a few times but didn’t spend much time there only because we are not sun-worshippers (don’t like to lie out in the sun). Each time we went, the beach wasn’t very crowded, which is nice. The hotel has a snack bar (also serves alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks) called Las Marismas on the beach, which serves a small lunch buffet with grilled stuff. You can get a massage or your hair braided on the beach, and there are some locals (but we didn’t see very many) selling stuff like souvenirs, jewellery, oil paintings and t-shirts, but fortunately they are not TOO pushy, and leave you alone if you tell them firmly ‘no gracias’ (no thank you).

The pools were wonderful, kept very clean, and easy to get in and out of. You can walk into the main pool, and play volleyball etc. in a smaller pool near the reception. There’s a kid’s pool too, but we saw kids mostly in the main pool with adults. There are showers by the pools (and also near the beach). Lots of sunning beds by the main pool and on the beach; it seemed to us that you could always find one to use.

You can get beach towels at the hotel in return of a deposit (which you get back), so you don’t need to bring your own. You leave a deposit on the first day, and at the end of the day you bring the towel back and get a receipt for a fresh one on the next day, and so on, until your last day when you receive the deposit back as you return the towel for the last time.

ACTIVITIES: There are lots of activities, some (e.g., ping pong, basketball, mini golf, snorkelling, Spanish and dance lessons, shows) included in the all-inclusive packet, and others (motor sports, golf, etc.) available for extra cost. See the hotel’s web site for more info: http://www.occidental-hoteles.com/ (search internally for this particular hotel).

SERVICE: The service we found very good and friendly, and most of the time quite fast in all areas (reception, bars, restaurants). The staff speaks English. Although tips are included in the all-inclusive packet, it’s a nice touch for you to sometimes tip in the a la carte restaurants and in the bar you use the most at the hotel – the locals work long hours for very little pay.

The only thing we were disappointed at was that our food packets were not made for the day we left early for an all-day tour (our guide said the hotel only ‘remembers’ to make them 50% of the time). You can make a request for such a packet at the 24-hour reception desk the day before your tour (before 6 pm), if your tour leaves before breakfast (i.e., before 7 am).

SHOPPING: The hotel has a small shopping arcade inside it, where you find souvenirs, art, cigars, booze etc. to buy – but the prices are of course higher than in the towns! There’s also a shopping plaza next door with more stores and some restaurants, but because this is located in the tourist area in Playa Dorada, the prices are often higher here too. Puerto Plata has shops and a bazaar-style market, which we recommend. Everywhere you go (inside or outside the tourist area), remember to haggle! You can get what you want to buy for HALF the asking price or even less, if you haggle! Things to buy: Brugal rum (good and cheap, 4 to 6 USD per bottle); cigars (buy from a real cigar store to get the real stuff, not some hand-rolled crap individuals sell on the beaches and streets); colourful Dominican oil paintings; amber or larimar jewellery (be sure you get the real stuff, not fake). Cigarettes are cheaper than in most places in Europe and the USA: only about 13 USD per carton.

TRANSPORTATION: Playa Dorada is an exclusive tourist area with lots of hotels, and you will most likely want to visit other parts to see more, and do some shopping. Your trip provider probably has tours you can take (we were with Aurinkomatkat, a Finnish travel agency, and did 3 trips with them: one to the capital Santo Domingo, one around Puerto Plata, and one Jeep Safari which took us to the country side and small Dominican villages – this last one was by far our favourite!), and there are local tour providers at the hotel as well as at Playa Dorada Plaza. But if you want to go somewhere on your own (we went to Sosua Beach), you can either take a local bus from the main road (very cheap, would have been only 20 or 30 pesos per person one way to Sosua Beach, which is about/less than a dollar), or a taxi (very expensive!). You can haggle over taxi costs, too, but they are still quite high (although it’s not too bad if you share with others, e.g., have at least 4 people go together). We wanted to go to Sosua and right as we walked out of our hotel area, guys were always going ‘Taxi? Taxi?’. We asked how much it was, and it sounded to us (the conversation was in English) like the guy said ‘fifteen dollars’ for a round trip (they’ll wait for you and bring you back after you’re done where ever you go, or you can ask for a one-way price). This was of course too good to be true: on arrival back at the hotel, we found out it was FIFTY dollars (the guy and one of the hotel staff showed us the sign by the hotel, which we had not noticed before leaving). After some arguing, we ended up paying the 50 dollars, but had we understood that that was the price, we would NOT have taken the cab (we probably would have been able to haggle a lower price at the taxi station located at the plaza). So if you DO take a cab, make sure you and the taxi driver both are saying the same thing: write the price down for the driver to check your agreement, or say the price in Spanish (we kicked ourselves for not doing that, as we knew 15 is diez y cinco).

THINGS WE RECOMMEND YOU BRING WITH YOU (regardless which hotel you choose):
- Mostly US dollars, which you can change locally to Dominican pesos as needed (pesos are hard to change back, so only keep changing as you need them). Pretty much every place and every person takes US dollars for payment. Bring/keep one dollar bills (and/or 20 and 50 pesos bills) with you for occasions where you want to tip someone.
- Sun tan lotion and a hat! Tropical climate, so even during the coolest months, it’s mostly hot, around 30 degrees Celsius/over 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
- An umbrella. Tropical showers can unexpectedly come down hard, and if you’re at a resort like this one where you need to walk outside to go anywhere, this comes handy and keeps you from getting soaking wet, e.g. on your way to dinner!
- Large cups and/or large plastic glasses or bottles. The cups/glasses you get at the restaurants and the bars are small, and you may want to take a big drink with you to your room or somewhere else, so you can ask your own cup/glass/bottle to be filled up with a drink of your choice. The plastic bottles (e.g., empty 20-ounce soft drink bottles) come handy for tours: we always had these filled up with mineral water or soft drinks at one of the bars before we left the hotel area. If you don’t bring them from home, you can of course purchase such soft drink bottles from some stores there, and keep filling them up.
- If you plan to go on some safari or see small towns on your own, a great thing to bring for the Dominican kids would be some notebooks and pencils.

This was our first time in an all-inclusive resort, but definitely won’t be the last! We would recommend Hotel Occidental Grand Flamenco to all those not too fussy about their rooms, and who do not mind not having a fridge in the room.
"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 26th of December 2005

Just got back from 21 days at the Flamen...

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed Sun 31st of July 2005

"Just got back from 21 days at the Flamenco, we had a fantastic time. We were in block 7 and was transported there with our bags in a golf buggy, cannot see what people are whingeing about, if you cannot walk a couple of hundred yards, to the hotel/pool area there is something wrong with you.

Most people spent the holiday just sitting around the pool when there is a fantastic beach with bar and snack bar a short walk away and so much to see outside the complex.

Puerto Plata can be a bit of a pain as people pester you to be your guide or take you around certain shops but if you are firm you should be OK but be prepared for this. Taxis cost around $20 to get there which I thought was a lot, but they will carry up to 6people, but the buses for a short walk is about 50cents each way. (Big difference)

My wife and I also went out into the countryside to some of the small villages and even though it can be a saddening seeing the poor conditions, we never felt unsafe and found the locals friendly. Of course be sensible and do not carry large amounts of cash/ credit cards and it could be as bad as London UK. (There only seems to be petty crime out there, see foreign office web site).

The Staff were so friendly and hard working. The hotel grounds are continually cleaned and the food was great. Yes the rooms are a bit dated, but it’s only somewhere to sleep. The beach was good with all inclusive activities including Wind surfing, sailing, Kayaking etc. If you are looking for a top rate luxurious hotel, you will have to pay much more and go somewhere else, but for the price I paid £2,318 for 21 days all inclusive, for 2 of us which was flights, transfers and accommodations, you cannot go wrong. I would go there again if visiting that area.

To keep it short remember:- IT IS NOT THE UK OR AMERICA and things are slower and very different. They do not put the importance on coaches turning up exactly on time or trips going exactly to plan. Things happen, it’s a poor country, but a friendlier, hard working people you will not find and I must stress again “It is not the same as your home country” but that makes it different. If you want Necklaces, shirts, Cigars etc, do not buy on the beach before you try the “God is love” (Strange name) Souvenir shop which is upstairs near the cinema in the local shopping complex just across the road, outside the hotel. Necklaces are as cheap as 120 pasoes as opposed to 400 for the same thing on the beach/hotel shops. Well I have tried to give a review that truly reflects the hotel. Go and enjoy."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 31st of July 2005

The place was beautiful. It was so clean...

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed Mon 1st of November 2004

"The place was beautiful. It was so clean. Their people were so friendly especially Showtime one of the reps. the food in the buffet was out of this world, and the rooms were clean and freshly painted. There weren’t one thing there that I would change and id definitely got back there again. I can’t believe that people moan over the slightest things. I’m not quite sure where they found the bad points"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 1st of November 2004

The Hotel has very nice grounds and look...

3
Average
by
Reviewed Tue 31st of August 2004

"The Hotel has very nice grounds and looks very clean and tidy. BUT... The buffet restaurant was ok! Breakfast was a little off putting, veg and left over’s from the night before were put out.

If you want to try the A’la carte restaurants get up early as you have to book @09.00, and people start queuing about 08.00.

The Pizza place is nice and the only staff that we came across that were friendly, staff weren’t very friendly in the main bar near reception, unless you tip them, then they make a point of serving you before anyone else!

After all, All Inclusive should mean just that, the whole idea is that you don’t have to carry money around with you!

Only National drinks are served....International drinks are extra....

The Pool is very nice & clean, and warm! Get up early for a parasol at the beach, they are all gone by 07.00!!

The beach at this hotel is worse than Blackpool! We were their just after the hurricane, admittedly, a feeble attempt to tidy the beach was made, but the water was dirty & muggy, and millions of what looked like tree debris was scattered all over the sand. The small stream beneath the bridge that you cross to get to the beach smelt and looked vile. Oh and beware of the Timeshare people!

The excursions are good, we enjoyed The Dominican Discovery tour and Ocean World, well worth going on.

I wouldn’t go back to Puerta Plata area, but would go east to Punta Cana where the staff are very friendly and the beach is real Caribbean style, white powder like sand etc, etc :)"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 31st of August 2004

Don't go there find another place to go

1
Awful
by
Reviewed Tue 27th of November 2012

"Just a brutal vacation. This is no 4+ star resort. It would be hard to rate this a 3 star. The first Room they put us was in a dead end portion of the complex, it smelled, all the furniture fixtures were broken, and the washroom was in horrible conditions. We immediately went back to the front desk and asked for a new room. They gave us a bit of a run around, be we told them we would not leave until they changed our room. They gave us another room in better location and it did not smell. However, as we found out it was infested with bugs and ants which ultimately made their way into the bedding. The rooms were not cleaned very well. The furniture in this room was also unusable. We lived out of our suitcase for the week.

The food was horrible. Making reservations to eat at one of the 4 or 5 a la carte restaurants was a night mare. I personally do not go on vacation to stand in line each day for a couple of hours to ensure that I can eat at night. On many occasions the restaurants booked qucikly, yet when we went by to see them they were half full. Even one night when we managed to get into the Italian restaurant it was half empty.

Staff and service was non existant. This was not an all inclusive resort. It's the only way that we have ever travelled and it was really disappointing and frustrating.

The beach was disgusting. Trash and garbage all over the place.
Plastics, glass, feces, condoms...you name it..you could see it. And the pool although pleasant to the eyes was cloudy. They needed to use more chlorine and chemicals with the number of people in there everyday. It was not clean.

Be prepared for lineups everywhere and very little help from the staff.
They seemed more intent on talking with each other than providing any kind of service. We watched screeming matches evey day during breakfast lunch and dinner due to the inneficianes of the staff. They were slow, unprepared and unconcerned.

If we could give this place a zero rating we would. We complained to our travel agent immediately after we got home. This place had no redeeming qulaities except for perhaps it Vegas type entertainment. Now if they could put some of that effort into taking care of their clientele then maybe something could become of this place.

We spent a week there over the Christmas holiday 2003. My wife had gone to the Dominican Punta Cana Sunscape two months earlier and could not say enough good things about the place. We were eager to go back but could not get into Sunscape over the same period. With the Flamenco rated a 4+ we thought it would be safe. Wrong!!!

P.S. Our luggage and knapsacks were infested with ants and insects..we saw all these little bugs coming out during our plane flight home and at home. We will never go back there again and have told all our friends to stay away."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 11th of January 2004

Great Resort

4
Good
by
Reviewed Wed 7th of November 2012

"We just returned from one week at the Grand Flamenco in Puerto Plata and were very pleasantly surprised with the resort after reading some negative reviews on this and other sites. Most negative reviews mentioned the refurbishing of the main buffet, but the restaurant construction is now complete and the buffet and all a-la-carte restaurants are up and running. We saw several airline flight crews at the resort, which tells me it is probably the best in the area.CHECK IN:I ve encountered the same problem with the last three resorts I ve visited in the DR; rooms are assigned as they become vacant and you re keys will be waiting with your check-in form. This sounds like it would make for more convenience but if you ve done your research (like you re doing now) and know which buildings are best, you may find yourself disappointed in your building location. We were given a room in the building furthest from the beach, pool and restaurants (this is not a sprawling resort but we still wanted to have a good location). The gentleman who checked me in insisted the only way to change rooms was to go to the room and return later in the day to ask for another room assignment; I m a little more on the ball than that, so I figured out who the desk manager was and asked her for a room change. Within a couple of minutes I was on the way to the building I had been hoping for. The key is to remain calm and respectful, but to politely insist that you would rather be in building X. Two years ago at another resort, I had to have the tour rep get our room changed, so that works as well. Many of these reviews mention e-mailing requests for rooms; I tried four different addresses for this resort (including the one from their website) and got no replies.THE ROOMS AND BUILDINGS: The best buildings are 11 and 12. Very close to the pool and the beach, and much quieter than the ones near the stage. All seemed to be in good repair. Building 10 is overlooking the entertainment area, so can be quite noisy until about 1130 PM. I didn t go into Club Miguel, but the pool doesn t seem much bigger than a large hot tub. The room was very nice; good size and well kept. The bathroom was huge!! Like every other DR resort; the beds were two doubles, facecloths were rare, there s no alarm clock, and the air conditioning will drip if you run it 24/7.THE POOL:Huge! There is no true deep end, only 1.2 meters at the deepest point so safe for kids and easy to carry drinks across. But: the pool bar does not serve liquor in their drinks; only juice, virgin coladas and beer! I assume that is to discourage the folks who sit at the bar all day without bathroom breaks, if you know what I mean. The resort was very busy for three days of our stay and they actually had a lifeguard by the pool for a bit of safety and control. There s also a smaller pool near the lobby, which seemed to be a little less busy.THE BEACH:Best in the Playa Dorada complex. About 75 meters wide from the trees to the water and stretches the beyond the length of the resort. In fact, you can walk 20 minutes along the beach in both directions from the resort. Being on the North coast, the sand is brown. The beach is raked every day and is fairly clean except immediately after high tide. The water drops off fairly slowly and is not rocky at all, so is good for kids and adults. Because the beach is sandy, you will have to go somewhere else if you want to snorkel. The catamaran excursions leave from this beach (69$ US if booked with your tour rep) so you don t have to sit on a bus for hours to get to the starting point. There are the usual all-inclusive watersports (snorkels, windsurfers, and sailboats) as well as pay-as-you-go scuba, parasailing and jet-skis. There are lots of Europeans on the beach, so you will see some topless sunbathing; if that offends you, there is much less by the pool.RESTAURANTS: Every restaurant requires men to wear long pants for dinner! This is not a huge inconvenience, but I witnessed many men harassing the staff to let them eat in shorts. The meat at all the a-la-cartes was salty. The food at the main buffet (700-1030AM, 100-300 PM, and 700-1030 PM) has lots of variety and is cooked right there so it doesn t get cold sitting around. Lots of food choices and great desserts. Because you re waiting for the food to be cooked, however, there are short line-ups at the meat grills. The seating area has lots of room. Unfortunately, the actual food line is very poorly laid out and is in the form of two concentric circles. So to get your salad, you must go through the folks waiting for hot food. A bit too chaotic for me. The Pool restaurant (11AM-5PM) has burgers, hot dogs, and usually one other meat choice (like ribs) as well as fries and ice cream. In fact, ice cream is available almost everywhere. It also has a full bar, but please don t stand there in your speedo while I m trying to eat. At night it becomes the a-la-carte Mexican restaurant, not great or too disappointing. The beach restaurant (1230-300 PM) has a bit more variety and another bar as well. Very casual, many diners in their swimsuits. Le Fontana is an open-air pizza restaurant (630-1100 PM) with bar service as well. The Oriental a-la-carte has very good food, but with a bit too much salt. No kids are allowed and reservations can only be made the day you intend to dine. The other a-la-cartes allow reservations three days in advance. All have 7 and 9 PM sittings. Las Reses is the Steak restaurant. The room is beautiful (as is the Italian next door) and the food tastes great. But, both times we ate there were followed by a case of the runs. Via Veneto (Italian) was quite good as well. BARS: They re everywhere (and usually co-located with bathrooms which is very well thought out). They use local brands at all bars, but the lobby bar has premium if you ask for it. The drinks are Holy S*#^ strong; which isn t a bad thing if you re a responsible drinker, but I saw a few patrons who may not have utilized all their self-control. As with every DR resort, the slushy drinks only have alcohol if you ask for it (ie with your pina colada). I didn t check out the disco (beach bar), but apparently the drinks cost extra. The house wine is quite good as well.ACTIVITIES:They seemed to have fewer daytime guest participation activities than other resorts, which was fine with me as I usually find them noisy and intrusive. There were the standard pool aerobics and dance lessons. Apparently the kids club is quite good. There is a free horseback ride once per week, but it seems underutilized so I suspect you may be able to go more frequently if you re the cowboy type. There is a shopping mall just outside with 20-25 stores and several companies where you can book excursions. Never pay the advertised price for any of the artwork in the stores there!! In fact, never pay more than 1/3 the asking price to the beach vendors. You can actually rent cell phones at the Mall for a day or week; I plan to do this the next time I m there. There is a small massage hut on the way to the beach and you can get one hour for 25$ US. There s also a Tennis academy run by one-time world tennis champion Guillermo Villas if you want to take lessons from a former champ.NIGHTLY ENTERTAINMENT:Sucked. What would pass for pre-show warm-up at other resorts (ie audience participation) had to suffice as the main show for five of the seven nights we were there. The show was adequate for the two nights there were actual presentations, but the expert choreographer has the dancers doing awkward and often embarrassing dance moves and positions. I have always enjoyed the amateurish nature of these shows at other resorts, but here they are just not entertaining. That being said, the house band and the singers do an incredible job and deserve much more credit than the hosts and dancers.Canadian Sunquest Visitors; The two Sunquest reps seem to be based out of the Flamenco, they are in the tour rep office most of the time. Just nice to know."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 10th of January 2004

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