The Crown Villas at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"WOW CAN'T WAIT TO GO BACK
"We spent 2 weeks with our daughters ages 11 & 14 and we had the best time. We booked through a member, and we were treated like royalty. The staff were always there for our every need and willing to accommodate us as best they could. Our 3 bedroom villa was beautiful, we did have one bug, but where don't we have bugs in this world. It was wonderful to be able to get up in the morning, have your breakfast ready and have your coffee by your own pool. We also spent a fair amount of time at the ocean and in the VIP area by the ocean and the service was excellent. The food was wonderful everywhere we went, and the dominican people were so wonderful to us, we can't wait to go back.
- Travel date: Tue 5th of February 2008
The worst "vacation" experience ever!
"I have just returned from Lifestyle Holidays Resort in Puerto Plata and I am sorry to say that it was the most horrible experience I have ever had in my life. When 2 members of my party first arrived, they were told that the 4 penthouses and 4 bedroom suites that we had reserved through a VIP member had all sprung a leak in unison and were not available. Huh?? When the rest of my party arrived later, we were told the same lie (I know it was a lie as I will explain later) and all put in the Tropical rooms for the night. This is where the horror begins. The Tropical Rooms are basically 2 filthy cots in one tiny room with a tiny bathroom. Along with that, the rooms were filthy, in one of the rooms, there was urine and feces stains on the toilet!!! I have been to various poverty-stricken parts of Africa and stayed in cleaner rooms. The sheets were stained and dirty, the thermostat didn't work; it was like a horrible hostel in Europe. One of my friends who had travelled from Tobago said he couldn't handle the filth and left. Yes, left/turned around/caught the next flight out because it was so disgusting. We were all so tired from fighting that we decided to handle it in the morning when the day manager arrived. We woke up right away in the morning (how can one sleep well in such conditions) and went to the Vacation Club customer service. There we met Jackie who proceeded to continue the lie that all 8 rooms had a leak and thus we could not stay in our reserved rooms. Her solution, let's cram all 8 people in a 3 bedroom villa. I'm sure you're thinking, well a villa's not so bad. WRONG! The villa had bugs everywhere (huge spiders, cockroaches in the bathroom, little bugs that I don't know the terms for, etc.), cracks in the ceiling, toilets that didn't flush, one of the bathrooms started leaking, dirty floors, etc. It was later explained to us that the villa we were in was a non-member villa (hence, the disgusting state) and that the nice, clean villas were the members only villas. Again, huh? I went back up to the customer service lounge and was basically told that if I was dissatisfied, it was something I had to take up with the VIP owner or take a free week in the future as compensation. I'm thinking, are you kidding??? I would never return her again in my life. Then, Jackie was like, "well, what about Sosua; I can see if there is availability at our property in Sosua?" Sosua! I haven't even been anywhere in Puerto Plata b/c I've been fighting with staff all day. I was thoroughly disgusted. I told her that I wanted what I paid for and that a 3 bedroom villa for 8 people is not an even trade for four 2 bedroom penthouses and four one bedroom suites. She insisted that she was going to call Sosua just in case to see what they had, I'm like whatever at this point. She told me to come back later.
I ran into some other people who were having similar horrible experiences and they were the ones who gave me the idea to go check the rooms that they claimed were "flooded". I knocked on the door to all four 2 bedroom penthouses and guess what...someone answered the door at each one (except for one) and said there was no such leak. At this point, I'm outraged b/c I've been blatantly lied to in my face. Another sweet couple from Canada who had a similar experience told me to camp out in the reception area and refuse to leave until I got a resolution to the situation. The issue with that was that we were only there for 4 days and had been fighting for 2 days and had really only one more day to go out and see the city.
I paid for 8 (EIGHT!!!!) separate rooms and got 3 beds instead (in case you're wondering, we fit in there the last night b/c one person slept in a chair and the other on the couch; the rest of us cuddled in the little beds). Maybe if I were back in my college days and had paid $50/night I would figure "hey you get what you pay for"; but considering what we paid the VIP member and the conditions of the property it was completely unacceptable. By the way, the "VIP member" said she would refund part of my money b/c I didn't receive what I paid for and I have yet to see the money and it has been almost a month. After all the stress and arguments I really don't feel like pursuing a legal process with this person (we had a contract, which has clearly been breached) but apparently it's looking like that is where we're headed.
I could go on and on, but suffice it to say, out of my group, 7 of us are attorneys and 1 an engineer. We went to Puerto Plata to get away from the everyday stress of our lives and jobs but instead got more headaches and stress.
I understand that if you get to stay in the villas you will have a much better experience. However, that is a big "if" and the rest of the property is just filthy, unkempt and in need of a complete renovation. I won't gamble again on such a deal b/c it was a waste of precious and rare vacation time."
- Travel date: Tue 5th of February 2008
One of my least favorite!!!
"I went to the Lifestyle Resort with 6 other friends. The person who booked the vacation booked four two-bedroom penthouse suites and four one-bedroom suites through one of the owners, and we saw gorgeous pictures from her of what our rooms would look like. When we arrived at 11:30pm on Thursday, January 17, we were ushered into Lifestyle Tropical Resort (which is the hotel). The rooms looked nothing like the picture and we didn't want to sleep in them or use the bathroom in them. They were horrendous.
Needless to say, me and my friend who booked the vacation woke up around 8:30am the next morning to go talk with someone about our accommodations. When we did talk to Jackie at the VIP Customer Service, we were told we should have put in a Villa. Thinking the villa would be nicer than what we had previously stayed in the night before, we accepted. When we made it to the three-bedroom villa, we were disappointed. We were told that the villa we were staying in was a guest villa, which is code for not as nice as for our members.
The villa had three and one half bathrooms, but only one toilet flushed properly out of the three full bathrooms and the half bath had water coming from under the floor.
When they did the tour of the properties, showing us the suites and villas to sell us on a membership, we were able to see more pristine accommodations. We even asked if we could move back to our original reservation of four two-bedroom penthouse suites and four one-bedroom suites. We were told that our original suites were damaged because of a leak, but when we visited the suite numbers given, we saw other people were staying in them.
All of said there was no way we would purchase a membership at this resort and given the fact that the half the resort looked horrible (Tropical Resort), we felt that if we should buy one, the value would be diminished because the property was not consistently nice overall.
We spent as little time as possible in our villa, visiting the beach and Puerto Plata city. I will not go here again, and I do not recommend anyone else go here because it's a crapshoot as to if you will get a nice villa or suite especially if you are not a member of the resort."
- Travel date: Tue 22nd of January 2008
Vacation in Paradise
"First of all I am so happy to be able to contribute to Trip Advisor because I have used this site many times in deciding where to vacation. It has never let me down!
My husband, 19 year old daughter and I enjoyed a week in a three-bedroom villa. This was the first time we ever experienced a "Villa" vacation and are happy to say that it won't be the last!
The VIP privileges can only be obtained from VIP owners. If you rent a Villa from anyone else, your experience will not be as grandiose. It is confusing to read the reviews because they're so extreme from the other. The answer to this confusion is in whether you have VIP status or not. You can have a two bedroom or penthouse (not just a Villa) and have VIP status only if the owner has VIP status. This is very important to find out.
We thoroughly enjoyed living in the Villa and having the maid and chef make breakfast each morning. The Villa and grounds were extremely clean and comfortable. Our refrigerator was stocked with soft drinks, water and beer; a couple of days the chef dropped off platters of cheese and crackers an another day fruit and crackers.
The VIP beach is glorious. With sun beds, curtains billowing in the breeze, lunch served, we felt extremely pampered.
The spa was wonderful and afforded an outdoor area for relaxation afterwards that beat anything else that I have experienced. A soaking pool in the sun and lounges in the shade.
I would be happy to answer any questions you may have in connection with this resort."
- Travel date: Sat 12th of January 2008
lots of glitter but not much on substance
"Lifestyle vacations, great to look at but not as substantive when you visit. We booked through an owner and had a lifestylesuites, 2 bedroom accomodation. We purchase the all inclusive food and drink package, which luckily for us was $30 per person per day, others at the resort paid twice as much!!!!!
Well the VIP status would of been much better had the resort not been at full capacity. Trying to use the VIP beach, VIP world, and VIP cafe and gourmet restaurant were all but impossible. Over 1300 people had the VIP bands that week and the resort cannot accomodate even half of that number in any of its ammenities. The 5 ala carte restaurants were severely overbooked and most people could not even get into them. The buffet food was average, the drinks inconsistantly mixed.
The Sunday welcome party was cancelled due to a New years eve party which cost an additional $45. This cost covered food, a ok band and a firework show. Lets see 1300 x $ 45... a lot of cash for a soso party. Our room was without power once, water several times and a severe o/h leak in the bathroom. Not to good for VIP status!!!"
- Travel date: Tue 8th of January 2008
Tell it only to your worst enemy
"If youâre an RCI member thinking of exchanging to Lifestyle Crown Villas in Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, think again.
The âall inclusiveâ charge of 799 US dollars per day including VIP services are extortionate for what you receive in return.
We expected quality food and wine and fantastic facilities for that amount of money in the Dominican Republic, especially as the charge excluded accommodation and we were a family, not six adults, which I think would generally be the case for most people exchanging a 3 bed villa.
This is the reality:
â¢ Although we had paid for VIP privileges and drinks, the drinkable wines and branded spirits are only available in the VIP areas (which excludes all but one of the restaurants.) The white wine in the restaurants is virtually undrinkable.
â¢ The VIP restaurant is difficult to book as itâs over-subscribed. Itâs called the Gourmet restaurant but a request for meat cooked rare is anathema to the chef! The service also leaves much to be desired. They do however serve nice wines by the glass but you need to prompt them when your glass is empty (usually after waiting with an empty glass for 10 minutes or more.)
â¢ All the restaurants â apart from the Casa Blanca buffet - are by reservation only in the evening. You have to phone for a reservation the day before â early morning to be sure of getting what you want â but the only phone in the villa is in the guest bedroom, needing to wake sleeping guests or family to get to the phone or walk to one of the bars or receptions to use their phone. Compounding the problem is that thereâs often no one there to answer the phone, especially on the special number you have to phone to reserve the gourmet restaurant.
â¢ The two VIP sunbathing areas â VIP world and VIP beach â feature a limited number of king size/four poster beds (tacky - not VIP - in my view). People get up early to put a personal item on a bed to claim it. If you havenât done that by 9.00am latest during high season youâre limited to the standard sun loungers in the non-VIP areas.
â¢ Water sports â available â but the water was rarely safe enough for free use during the time we were there.
â¢ The beach â dirty sand and dirty water â amongst the worst weâve experienced in the Caribbean.
â¢ Excursions â available at the resort at double the price you pay for the same excursion on the beach.
â¢ We were pleased with the villa but it was spartan and significantly inferior to the pictures featured on the LCV web site despite the fact that we had exchanged a property worth significantly more in timeshare purchase value
If thatâs not enough â hereâs the real issueâ¦
â¢ We were given our personal rep who would âtake care of usâ. This was a subterfuge for selling the Lifestyle Crown Villas proposition
â¢ We were âobligedâ to meet him for a presentation on how to make the most of the resort. (On New Years Eve in our case). He told us nothing about the resort except that as RCI exchangers we were second class citizens, receiving an inferior service and inferior villa to lifestyle VIP members who get:
o Wine and spirits in the villa â RCI members get only beer and soft drinks
o Your own personal golf cart to get around â RCI members have to walk or call a shuttle
o Free helicopter or limousine transfer from the airport as opposed to the beaten up mini van for RCI members which is complimentary only one way
o To pay only $40 per day per head for all inclusive as opposed to $799 per day per villa to receive only partial VIP services as an RCI member
We cut the meeting short! It seemed to us, that we hadnât actually exchanged at all, but been offered a âmarketingâ villa which they could use to sell to us and charge us $799 a day for the privilege.
The positive notesâ¦ the New Yearâs Eve party was superb although it rendered half of the resort unusable during the day for the preparations. The bar staff were extremely friendly and accommodating and the villa maid service â cooking breakfast and cleaning every day was excellent.
As for the Dominican Republic itself : Puerto Plata is to be avoided at all costs, you feel threatened even driving through it. The weather is far from dependable, even in high season - we had torrential rain 4 days out of 8. The mosquitos are rampant and resistant to repellent.
The slogan for Lifestyle VIP at Puerto Plata is âTell it only to your best friendsâ - it should be âTell it only to your worst enemies.â"
- Travel date: Mon 7th of January 2008
Gorgeous resort and Great ambiance
"We went to the Lifestyle Holiday VIP World through a member and we loved it so much that we became members. We stayed in a Villa and it was great. You have to go to the resort through a member so you get the VIP privileges. It is a private resort and can only go through members.
The people that have the bad reviews is because they have stayed in the hotel section which is not part of the VIP World so you don't get the extra privileges, plus the hotel section is in the older section. They have upgraded the resort so much and keep adding more villas and suites and are just making it more beautiful every day.
The food is great. I rather eat at the restaurants, just because I don't like the lines at the buffet section, but the food was decent. The all-inclusive pays for itself just in all the liquor you can have. That alone is worth it.
Also, any problem, I called customer service and they took care of the problem right away, and if it couldn't be fixed right away, then it was later that day.....and this was all before I became a member.
All in all, the resort is great. And I recommend it to everyone."
- Travel date: Sat 20th of October 2007
villas were wonderful
"We just returned form the lifestyle crown villas and they were absolutely wonderful. We were 8 adults(4 couples) traveling without children. I have to say, that after reading reviews from this site, I was a little leary about going here. I don't understand the negative reviews.
The resort was beautiful. We had a 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom villa spread out over 3 levels, with a kitchen, eating area and living room, a few balconies and a veranda overlooking the pool where we ate breakfast every morning. Our breakfast was cooked for us every morning in our villa. Our maid also cleaned the villa and put fresh linens on the beds every day-very impressed with that!
Having our own private pool was a plus. Bring floats!
The resort also had a vip beach for vip members-which is the way to go for this resort. The vip beach had beach beds-both stationary and swinging- which were nice to take naps on in the afternoon. The ocean water is not crystal clear, but it was very warm and some days there was a little surf. There were a few bars and a sushi bar right on the beach.
We tried the Blue Lagoon , Bellini, Casa Blanca and vip gourmet restaurants for dinner. We liked the vip gourmet so much that we ate there 3 nights in a row.
The vip pool had beds, a bar and sand just like at the beach.
There was also a few other pools near the suites and hotel buildings. Those people could not use any of the vip amenities unless they purchased the vip package.
Overall, we had a great time,very relaxing.
I wouldn't recommend for kids-I think they'd be bored- but great for adults who just want a nice relaxing vacation."
- Travel date: Mon 15th of October 2007
Loved it, loved it, loved it
"There were 8 of us staying from Aug 18th through September 1st, 4 adults, 3 teenage girls and a 9 year old boy. We were put in one of the E villas (in fact the one right by the helipad) and loved it right from the start.
My Dad is an owner so we booked it through him. We were picked up at the airport and had champers waiting for us in reception. Contrary to other reports we found the ladies on reception fine. i guess it must be the way you deal with them. Hello to 'Beautiful' and also to the lady from Germany.
We were relieved to have a 4 bed Villa which was beautiful and the pool is awesome. Yes we would have liked to have had a buggy but we weren't going to allow that to spoil the holiday. We used the shuttles quite often (and yes we'd have a sweepstake as to how long it would take!) but most times walked back after the evenings entertainment.
The gala nights on the Sundays were great and not to be missed, The gourmet VIP restaurant is also not to be missed and the others weren't that bad either. I can't understand how someone complained about lack of beds on the VIP beach as we rarely had any probs getting them and that was with 8 of us.
Good quality drinks including Vodka Red Bulls werealways available and the waitresses on the VIP beach were always on hand to refill your glass. It's definitely worth tipping so take small denomination dollars.
For the Brits who are thinking of going, Premiership football is readily available at quite a few locations around the site.
In short we'll def be back and when I've got more time I'll put some pics up. Anyone who wants more info hit me up."
- Travel date: Wed 17th of October 2007
Fabulous vacation â great Villa - Thank you
"Fabulous vacation â great Villa - Thank you
We visited Lifestyle Crown Villas this September and had the best vacation ever. The V.I.P areas are spectacular and our villa was top quality. During our visit we became members of the Vacation Club and at first we were a little concerned regarding our purchase. We eventually spoke to the Villa Manager Fatima regarding our concerns. She asked us if we liked the villa and if we liked the facilities and services and pointed out all the ongoing projects Lifestyle and the future orientation of the company. We had to agree with her and are now convinced that we have made the best decision.
Tell it only to your best friends.
Thank you Fatima â we cannot wait to come back"
- Travel date: Fri 7th of September 2007