Trip report March 12th - 19th 2003


New member
Mar 31, 2003
This report really isn't anything compared to some that we've been reading but I thought we'd contribute summat.

Although we didn't get off the resort much this time ( this is probably because of the sheer numbers of us, it was like mobilizing an army "12" of us in total) we did however manage last year when we were down on the south coast in March and July at an AI called Casa Del Mar and we spent a lot of our time in Bayahibe which was about a 5 to 10 minute walk down the beach into that Village.

Anyway here's the trip that we just returned from.....

We just returned from a very enjoyable vacation at Puerto Plata Village March 12th ? 19th 2003. There was 12 of us traveling together, my wife and I with six kids (Two 15yr olds, Two 14yr olds, One 10yr old and One 8yr Old plus one of their friends (15yr Old) and another couple and their 16yr old son.

The drive to Toronto Pearson International was in ?25 Celsius and in a snowstorm, what a great day to get out of Ontario.

<b>Toronto Airport and Sky Service flight</b><br>
On our tickets we were supposed to leave at 6:10am we had no problems with checking in and getting through security, everything went smoothly. The flight with Sky Service was on time, we apparently were the first plane off that morning, I guess they have noise restrictions at Pearson International and 6:30am is the first time they can take off. (I have no idea why they schedule for 6:10am) The flight was quite uneventful and cramped I guess unless you are under 5 feet tall you aren?t going to have a comfortable flight, but the service was great. <br>
<b>Puerto Plata Airport</b><br>
We de-planed got through customs and got our luggage very quickly and onto the awaiting bus for the resort and there was one bus for each resort. The drive to Puerto Plata Village was a very short one 15 / 20 minutes. <br>
<b>The Resort </b><br>
After arriving at the resort we were checked in very quickly after receiving a welcome cocktail or Beer. We were all given Villas (six in total). We just had to change one room due to the fact they had housed Janis and myself too far away from all the kids. This was remedied very quickly after informing the front desk with the assistance of the concierge ?Johnny?. <br>
<b>The Grounds</b><br>
The grounds are immaculate and you can very easily see why, the grounds keepers are busy all day everyday pruning, trimming and raking to keep the place beautiful (please don?t forget these folk if you are giving tips or gifts).<br>
The rooms are very basic but extremely clean, each room had two double beds and air conditioning that ran independent of your room key. So you always had a cool room at all times. The staff did a great job of keeping the rooms clean with fresh towels everyday and fresh flowers in the room also. <br>
<b>Food </b><br>
The food was adequate in the main buffet, the breakfast was my personal favourite, I visited the omelet station every morning. We only had lunch in the main buffet once during our stay. We did however really enjoy our lunches down at the beach. Everyday they had fresh fish, pork chops, chicken, rice potatoes hotdogs hamburgers (kids faves) Salads and fresh fruit etc?. The Al a carte restaurants were very good (Italian, international and the Mexican) we had dinner at those all week because we had six rooms so we could book every night at one or the other. <br>

The pool is very large and is well looked after, always clean. They also supplied those doughnut blowup things?. The kids really enjoyed those. My personal favourite was the swim up bar, Say Hi to Ramirez he?s a great bartender and he kept everyone?s drink fresh all the time. Also everyday there was either water polo or volleyball in the pool which we all took part in. <br>
We didn?t see too much of this as we were up early most mornings and after a day on the beach and a few cocktails we didn?t have too many late nights. But what we did see it seems like the entertainment crew really put their hearts and souls into their job.One of the crew that really stands out is Johnny Black Banana , he also did most of the poolside competitions throughout the day. <br>
<b>The Beach</b><br>
As you must have read, this resort isn?t situated right on the beach and a shuttle takes people down every ten minutes or so. Now I have to be honest the fact that it wasn?t right on the beach did put us off slightly when looking for a place for our vacation. We have in the past stayed at the Grand Ventana which is also in the Playa Dorado complex but on the beach and we have stayed at the ?Casa Del mar? twice before which is on the south coast and also right on the beach. But we figured that we?d give this place a try as we were taking all the kids and ?The price was right? for March break.
Well we can tell you that we made the right decision. The hotel owns their own beach area which is where you will find the restaurant grill, a bar, a patio and lots of loungers and to be quite honest it?s the best looked after stretch of beach in that area. To the left is the Jack Tar Village and to the right is the Playa Naco resort but right at the Puerto Plata Village beach club the area is spotless. If you go say Hi to Elvis (he organizes the games etc and plays the music) and Santo he is the supervisor down in the beach area. The shuttle is only a five-minute ride from the resort or you can walk it almost just as fast. So don?t let that put you off going.<br>
We only did one excursion this trip and that was the jeep safari tour. We booked it through Ramone (who represented ?Jones tours?) on the beach. It was half of the price that the tour operators were charging and just as good. (We had done a similar one last year from the Casa Del Mar resort and paid twice as much for the same thing. We had booked it through the signature rep, so I guess they take their share of the pie also probably around $25 U.S. per person commission. Anyway the jeep safari was great; they also brought along someone to do a video for you of the day. We didn?t at first think we would buy the video but changed our minds and paid the $25 U.S. for it.
It was good for our kids to see life outside the ?All inclusive resort? where they are being spoiled rotten, waited on hand and foot. And to see what life is like for the Dominican people everyday.<br>
Would we go to this resort again??
I?d say yes, if the price is right, otherwise there are lots of other places on that Island that we would love to visit.<br><br>Tony,Jann and family. </html>


New member
Apr 13, 2002
This report really isn't anything compared to some that we've been reading but I thought we'd contribute
Every trip report that I have ever read contained useful information and yours was no exception. Thank you for taking the time to write and post it. I enjoyed reading it!