Debbie's Dominican Old Reviews - Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada
Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada
Brockville, Ontario
December 2008
Arrival: December 3-December 10
Our friends luggage broken into at the Puerto Plata airport upon arrival.

Rooms OK. No hot water until the day we left.

Restaurants and Bars:
The three A la Carte restaurants closed all week. Basically the same food all week. The bars ran out of Beer, Amaretto, Vodka, Orange Juice and Tomato Juice.

Beach OK. Didn't go into pool, looked OK. Swim up bar closed.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Catamaran tour, absolutely wonderful.

Other Comments:
We were a party of 32-47, some from Ontario, others from Quebec City. I believe there were 16 thefts that week from our party. We attended a wedding celebration that week and the money and the card for the bride and groom was stolen right off the wedding table. Poor lighting at night, we were constantaly walking in the dark, including the hallways of our units. The hotel was not running at full capicity, we should have been informed that all amenities advertised would not be available. Wery disappointed in the Celuisma and will never stay there again.
Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada
December 2008
Arrival: Dec.03/08 to Dec.10/08
Upom our arrival several suitcases were broke into and things stolen.
There 38 of us going to a Wedding.Very unorganized. We took a taxi to the Resort. We had emailed prior to our trip to ask for ground floor rooms for some of us ,we didn't get them.

Rooms were OK patio doors didn't lock, the key cards never worked we were always going to front desk to get new ones.Several rooms were broke into and over 2000 dollars was stolen clothing ,passports and identifications. They could have cared less .

Restaurants and Bars:
Not Friendly at all food same all week, just gave it another name.

Beach was nice,but all the Beach in that complex is nice.Was only at the pool once.They shut the lights off at 11:00pm and your in the Dark.we complained they didn't care.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Didn't do any activities were off Resort alot.

Other Comments:
I've been going to the DR since 1994 and have never been treated so horrible in my life.We will never go to that Resort again.Or never fly with Sunwing Tours Again.It was the trip fromm Hell
Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada
Ottawa, Ontario
December 2008
This was the best part of our trip. We took a taxi from the airport to the hotel to beat the rush of those who took the tour company's (Sunwing)bus. We were checked in efficiently and driven to our room in an extended golf cart.

The first room we were in was a ground floor room, rather small, but then we didn't expect to spend a great amount of time in it. The second room we were in (see Other Comments) had no air conditioning, but was on the second floor. The third room, in 3 days, was extremely clean, but the A/C sounded like an abused lawn mower.

Restaurants and Bars:
The 4 a la carte restaurants were not open. We ate at the buffet,for breakfast & supper, and split between the beach and buffet for lunch. The food was of fairly good quality, though the selection was limited and "special" nighhts such as Italian night offered basically one specialty dish along with standard fare.

Beach/Pools/Grounds: The beach was clean, we didn't use the pool, though it looked clean and was cleaned every morning. The grounds were well kept.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
There were only 200 people, at most, in the resort when we were there and the animation team worked very hard to get people up and into several activities such as aerobics, beach volleyball, bachi ball, etc. The evening entertainment was resort staff, again working very hard, trying to put on some sort of show - very high school amateurish, but kudos for the effort.

Other Comments:
STAY AWAY FROM THIS HOTEL. There were 16 robberies in one night, very little sign of security, intruders on second floor balconies. A private wedding was held on the beach and the money envelope meant for the bride and groom was stolen. They ran out of beer, vodka, amaretto, there was no orange juice or tomato juice, and very little sign of security. Several (read many) people had no hot water and/or little water pressure, no phone service, all the A/C units were noisy. The gift shops were open sporadically, if at all, and we were constantly pestered on the beach by vendors. For the most part, the staff were friendly and helpful, though the amount of bilingualism (English at least) was very lacking and distressing - when you get robbed it is very difficult to try to explain to someone exactly what is going on when all they do is grin and nod, especially when it is front desk staff. Members of our party had been to the resort previously and they were disgusted by the decline in the resort. We also tried for 5 days to get some diet drinks, other than diet coke, in the bar or restaurant so that my wife, who is diabetic, could have some small choice of beverage. This resort and vacation (I was never happier to see snow and freezing temperatures) was a disaster and has left a very bad taste in our mouths - so much that we have grave reservations about ever visiting the Dominican Republic again.
Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada
Pembroke, Ontario
April 2008
CELUISMA (formerly the Playa Naco) PUERTO PLATA

We stayed at the Celuisma March 25-31. This was my 5th time to this resort. Each time I go, I read the reviews on your website and tripadvisor. It is a shame that when people enjoy their vacation and the resort ,that they do not comment more often. We read over and over bad reviews, but when people enjoy they dont seem to be as quick to use the site and comment. There are many, many people who use both these sites, so if you have good comments send your review. I was a little afraid to return to this hotel given the reviews that I read. However, I should have known better because I have been to this hotel so many times and was not disapointed in the past nor was I this time. The hotel is a great hotel. I have travelled each year for the past 15 years and I enjoy this hotel. In February of this year I stayed in Cancun Mexico at a 4+ hotel, and people had bad things to say about it.

There is a need for a new paint job in the rooms, and the rooms do smell musty, but so did my 4+ hotel in Cancun, nothing a glade oil fan wont fix. The hotel is undergoing some up-grades and it seems that they have started with the rooms closer to the ocean. They are large two floor rooms and judging by other reviews these seem to be the rooms that are undergoing the changes. I stayed in a room with two queen beds, our bathroom had been re-tiled, it was always very clean, NO BUGS.
People go to these third world countries and expect the same things that are found in Canada. DON'T SET YOUR SIGHTS SO HIGH. The way I look at it, if my room is clean and there is good food I can eat and the sun shines bright, what more can one ask for.

The grounds at this hotel are lovely. There are tropical flowering bushes, banana trees, avocado trees and if you look for it you will find the lime tree. There are paved pathways that you can stroll on that all take you to the ocean.

Despite all the negative reviews about the food, the food is fine. I do not know what more they can have. There was roast turkey, roast beef, chicken, shrimp,fish, they roasted three pigs while there, bar-b-q steak and ribs, pasta, potatoes, veggies, stews, hamburg, hot dogs, fries, great pizza, fresh breads and desserts. That seems to be a lot of choice to me, and of course there was always fresh salad. Desserts do have a similar taste and that is due to the vanilla. We also ate at the Carribean a-la-carte, one of us had steak and the others the chicken, the food was great and we enjoyed it. I think one mistake that some people make that say they get sick, is to not eat any food that is sold by the vendors on the beach and dont eat anything that sits out in the sun. I watch a lot of people do this, and I think unless your stomach is made of steel you are sure to get sick. Another thing that some dont seem to realize it that Pina Coladas are made of coconut milk (which is a natural laxative), the combination of that and too much sun is sure to get you.

The entertainment is the usual which is provided by hotel. One night we did have a live band at a beach party.You can have a great time at the hotel if you want, if not you can go to other hotels in the Playa Dorado complex. It is very safe.

In the past I have taken the Jeep Safari to the waterfalls BEWARE, that excursion is not safe, if you get injured on this one, your only way back is to slide down the rocks in the water.

The dune buggies are great fun, they take you to a town, with little kids just waiting for you, this is where I gave away dolls, toys and money. The trip up the mountain in the cable car is also a must, the view from the top is spectacular. This year we took in the TROPICALLISIMO dance review, which is held at Oceanworld.This was booked through your travel rep., in the hotel, it cost $35.00 u.s., and was wonderful. It is like a Vegas show with continuous dancing and music for one hour. There were 23 dancers and 120 costumes, that is a must to see. Bring extra money with you as the evening starts at 9:00 and you are not brought back till 12:00. There is a casino at Oceanworld, restaurants and a bar.

Do not hesitate to go to this hotel, it is great value for your money, you will love the beach, the hotel, the food. the people and the sun, and dont forget to send your " good" reviews. "ENJOY!!!
Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada

April 2008
We just returned (April 2, 08) from our 2 week family holiday and can hardly wait to go back.

We read all the reviews prior to booking which most reviews sounded very good, but once we booked we read more, and most were "beware". I can tell you I was scared prior to arriving, but there was nothing to be afraid of it was great.

ROOM - I was pleasantly surprised. We were located on the 3rd floor of Building 20. Our room was very large, had 2 queen beds, fridge and a large balcony. We had great cleaning staff, and we looked forward to seeing what kind of things were made with our bathroom towels (my favorite was the swan). Airconditioner was a bit loud but we got use to it. We had hot showers and high pressure but again it depended on the time of day. During our first week the resort was full (Good Friday and Easter vacation time) and if you didn't have your shower before 5:30 the water was cooler and the pressure was very low. Our second week - we always had hot water and high pressure.

MEALS - Food was plentiful - a bit bland - but something for everyone. My daughter is a very picky eater, but there was something even for her. Breakfast - we ate all our breakfasts at the buffet - I looked forward to my morning omelet, and enjoyed trying out the special banana or fried pineapples. Lunch - we ate most of our meals at the beach - which has great pizza and the burger and fries were great. We also did go up and had a few lunch buffets - which you even can make a grilled sandwich. Dinner - We tried each of the 4 al la carte restaurants and some even twice. I am not sure which one was my favorite, but enjoyed each one just a much.

SWIMMING - The first few days we could not swim in the ocean as the waves were to unpredictable. Once these days passed - the ocean was so warm , and it was fun to play in the waves. The beach was awesome - and the lounges were comfortable. The ever blowing wind kept you cool. We did play at the pool a few time which was clean and enjoyable. My husband and daughter joined in on the water volleyball.

EXCURSIONS - we took two different excursions - we went to the plaza and booked there. You can negotiate if you have more than 3 people. It is almost $20.00 per person cheaper than at the hotel.

MONEY CONVERSION - better at the plaza - we used the exchange directly beside the Maryisol Excursions.

MISC. - Bring large thermal cups - they are great for the beach - and before you leave you can use them as a bargaining tool with one of the beach vendors for something you want.

Enjoy your time and Have a wonderful vacation.
Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
March 2008

My wife and I went to Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada resort from February 2 - 9, 2008.
We weren't expecting very much in a hotel based on several reviews, but they were also older reviews so deep down we were hoping things had improved. First impressions were great in appearance in the lobby and area. Our check-in was fairly quick once we were finally tended to. We were at the counter and staff didn't appear to being doing anything, other than visiting with other staff, no one was in a rush to serve us. The actual check-in was quick.

They only gave us one room key but I immediately asked for a second, which is a must. The room key is used to activate the lights and air conditioning in the room. No need to be concerned about room being too hot when you get in, as the air-conditioning works very well and cools the room down in literally minutes. The room décor was out-dated and the general construction/appearance seemed much older than the age of the resort. We were a little disappointed, but consoled ourselves we didn't come to RD to spend any more time in our room than we needed to. There were tiny red ants in our room, but they stayed mainly near the door and sink area. We had a small kitchenette (mini fridge, stove, sink, toaster and dishes), but the area looked dirty/old and we only used the fridge to keep water available to drink and a 2L of soft drink from the cafeteria. We were told there'd be bottled water in the room but there was none. There was a water cooler on the main floor in our unit, so that wasn't too bad.

The staff generally were friendly and helpful. The young man in the internet room was very helpful for giving us directions on which buses to take into Puerto Plata. Taking a regular 'bus' into Puerto Plata is pretty simple and only 20 pesos a person and the trip back 30 pesos a person. Although it wasn't too bad, be prepared to have your "personal space" entered. Our bus back (just a mini van), had 16 people in it, we heard one other couple had 17 or 18 in their's. The buses can be taken by walking out of the Playa Dorada complex to the highway and waiting at the stop. You will have to fend off many locals wanting to be your tour guide for the day. If you don't want them, be polite but firm (more than once). Don't believe everything people say. The bus driver, after asking us where we were going said yes, hop on (more or less). When we were in Puerto Plata, he told us when to get off, and another gentleman got off with us and said the driver lied to us as the bus didn't go where he said it went, but this gentleman said he'd take us. It was a few minute walk, and all was well.

Our unit was right up against the beach, which we really enjoyed. Lots of loungers available and you didn't have to go down early to grab one. You did if you wanted one of the limited cabanas. The beach was kept clean by the staff, in spite of tourists just tossing their empty cups/straws in the sand. Beach vendors were constantly walking up and down the beach. If you didn't want anything, don't pay them any attention or just say no "thank you". The prices are often more expensive from these vendors than you pay for the same thing at the Orange Market just down the beach a short 10-15 minute leisurely walk, or from the downtown Puerto Plata markets, or even in the mall right in the Playa Dorada complex. Again, shop with skepticism. We saw a shelf full of silver necklaces with 925 stamped on the clasps, but the vendor obviously didn't read English as the manufacturer's paper tag still attached said silver plated.

Food - We read very critical reviews of the food before going down, but my wife and I didn't mind it at all. It's not top notch food, but very edible and enjoyable, with decent variety. We tried the al carte restaurants, but actually enjoyed the main cafeteria more with the variety. The desserts are one thing that is definitely lacking. They tasted all the same and I'd rather have a second helping or a bun than dessert, which is really too bad as I love my desserts. A major disappointment was there was no ice cream to be seen anywhere on the menu. The cafeteria opened for breakfast at 7am and went to about 10am. Lunch was from 11:30am - 2:30pm, and dinner from 6 - 9:30pm. The beach snack bar was open from 2:30 - 5:00pm. The snack bar serves fries, chicken, fish, hamburgers, hot dogs, and pizza, along with lots of fruit (pineapple and mango). There is also a very light snack (sandwiches, cheese and fruit) at the bar area by the pool at 10:30pm on a first-come first-serve basis.

We were content to go into Puerto Plata 2 of the mornings right after breakfast and back by 2:15pm to have a quiet lunch in the cafeteria. The rest of the time we walked the Playa Dorada complex, or spent most of the day on loungers reading books. There's usually beach volleyball happening too, which I participated in one of the days with 12 others from France. I'm a runner too and I couldn't have a week go by without exercising, so 4 of the days I had early morning jogs along the beach and once took the cart paths around the golf course (I probably wasn't a welcomed addition).

My wife and I felt very safe within the Playa Dorada complex and along the beach. While jogging, it was only after going past all the resorts and beyond civilization where I felt uneasy and turned around.

We had a great time, but the weather wasn't as consistent as we were told it would be. We had some rain all but 2 days for the week. The first couple of days were the worst, but my wife and I were determined to stay on our loungers (contrary to what everyone else who ran for cover did) as cool rain is much better than snow. It never rained for more than maybe 5 minutes at a time.
Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada
Karl & Tammy 

March 2008
This was our 3rd stay @ this resort . So we basically knew what to expect . This resort was bought by Celuisma Chain 2 yrs ago & many changes were taking place & we were not disapointed this visit by the refurbishing being done . Check -In , was ok we arrived around noon & had to wait to check in to our room till 3:30 or so , but not a problem as we had our bracelets & were able to use the pool & buffets . I had e-mailed the resort in advance & asked for placement in 1 or 2 certain buildings . We were pleasantly surprised to be asked to look @ Building #18 as an option , being that it had been completely renovated. NO Problema , we liked what we saw . Fresh clean everything, paint on the walls & ceilings , new tiled floors , nice new cushions in bright colors on the furniture. . Also a TV upstairs & downstairs (made our son happy) We did have a problem with our AC cutting out on us for the 1st few days but the staff were very prompt when we called & did eventually fix the problem permenantly . Always had plenty of water pressure, Hot water was very seldom a problem ,out of a 2 week stay we only ever had the water go luke warm twice . The Shower was very nice, no tubs anymore but the large rain head type shower head made up for it .

The Food was fine , We always found something to eat , The theme nights were very nice as well , lots of variety . Breakfast was 1 of our faves , always lots to choose from fruits were plentiful , yogurt, eggs , usually always bacon , I loved the chicken wings for breakfast ! I know chicken for breakfast ? but very tasty. Lunch @ the beach was fine , the usual burgers & fries , chicken & Pizza! our family fave . We doont do the Ala Cartes as the menu has not changed in the times we have been staying there.

The Nightlife was on the whole , mediocre ? The childrens evening shows were fun , but after that not much went on . We were with a large group & always made our own fun . That said , a lil bit of Music to dance to or even as back ground ? There were 2 evening shows that were very well done , the 1st week we arrived was carnival , so they had costumed dancers on stage & then mingle with us for a bit after the show made for some excellent photo opps . The beach party on Mon nights was also excellent , buffet on the beach , all decorated , clowns & clowns on stilts , donkey man, cocnnut man , coffee lady , fire breather , bonfire on the beach , fun stage show , & fire works !

Over all we have always felt that it is the Staff that make this resort . They truly do go above & beyond to make your stay enjoyable . The front desk were excellent & took care of us like family , Even when sunquest didnt. Our return flight was delayed due to mechanical problems & so a wed 11:05 pm flight was changed to a thurs 7:00am flight & Our Resort put us up for an extra night @ no charge , we were 3 families , 6 adults & 4 children . The other resorts we stopped @ that morning had grumbling passengers complaining about sleeping on loungers by the pool or on lobby couches . Once again we have had another Wonderful visit to the DR , & the Staff & Management @ the Celuisma Tropical PLaya Dorada were a very big part of it !
Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada

January 2008
This was the first time me or my boyfriend (both 25) have ever left the country for vacation. We were there from January 9 – January 16, 2008. Playa Dorada is a little resort community inside or Puerto Plata. They have about 15 resorts in it. So you are ok if you want to go off the resort and walk around. It’s like a little gated community. Got to the hotel around 3:30 Dominican time. (Time difference is one hour ahead of Ontario). Check in was smooth. They have a stand to the side with cold fruit punch. Checked in and got our wrist band and was helped to our room which was Building 10 on the 3rd floor. The room was huge, it echoed. There was 2 queen size beds, we only need one. Not much furniture to fill the room. A small table with a chair, a dresser, nightstand, a desk built into the wall, and a table with a big mirror on it. TV was maybe a 25” TV. Room and bathroom were clean and had somewhere to sleep so we were happy.

The air conditioner worked GREAT. You have to use your hotel key card to activate the electricity in your room, but the AC cooled the room down within minutes. After about 30 mins we would have to turn it off because it was too cold. Once you took your card out of the little wall thing, you had 30 secs till all the power is cut from your room. The only thing that sucked was if my boyfriend wanted to go out while I watched tv, he couldn’t have the room key. If this is going to be a big deal for you, maybe ask for an extra key or two when checking in. But don’t worry about your room not being cold when you get back, it cools down in minutes.

We went for a walk to find out where everything was so we could find our way around over the week. The beach is really close to the resort. About 2 or 3 mins from our building. The resort is small. You could walk around it all in about 10-15 mins. They have one large pool. Very nice and clean. Not many people in it, so you’ll have no problem trying to get in. The have a Jacuzzi, mini putt course and tennis courts, all free for patrons. They have 2 bars. One by the pool and another on the beach. BEWARE OF BEES. There are a lot of bees around the bars and the pool area. They fly around you and get in your cups. I would strongly suggest bringing a cup with a lid on it. They bartenders have no problems filling them up for you. If your allergic to bees I would suggest having someone else getting your drinks for you. I didn’t hear of anyone getting stung, but they are annoying. On the beach there is no problem. It just the sweet drinks that attract them. And people leaving their drinks by the pool or spilling them on the ground. On the second floor of the resort they have pool tables, a little gym, the VIP lounge, a games room with a ping pong table and fooze ball table in it. They have some shops too. Jewellery, cigars, photos, a little corner store and a little clothing shop. They have one buffet restaurant which is also right by the pool. They have a little snack area on the beach, but closes around 6ish. They have 3 a la carte restaurants, Italian, Mexican and Caribbean. On the beach they have a volley ball net and a place that you get your towels. You are given these cards when you check in, and you give them to the towel boy to get your towel. When you bring back your towel you get the card back. Make sure you don’t loose it because you’ll get charged at checkout if you don’t return them. They also have a place where you can rent water equipment too on the beach. In the main lobby they have some tour operator booths. And tucked away in a corner just before the kids pool is a booth that has all types of tours. I would recommend checking out one of the Jeep Safari tours. It was really fun. Also, go to the waterfalls, you get to jump off them.

The food was alright. They have themed nights for supper, so the food wasn’t always the same. French, Italian, Caribbean, Mexican and a mixture of them all one night. They always have a special station for the main themed dish at the end of the restaurant. They had a pasta bar one night, a roast pig another, nacho station another and seafood galore the other. They have 3 other stations all in a row down the middle of the restaurant. The first station has fruits, salads, meats and cheese. The middle station has your fresh bread and desserts. All different kinds of bread and buns, all fresh. They have little blue packets of butter in a bowl in ice. Don’t stock up on them thinking they are those mint chocolates like I did. My boyfriend said their butter was delicious. The third station is where your main meal is. They have 8 different types of food every night. The have meats, potatoes and veggie all the time. They have a coffee station to the side and soup on right when you walk in. You will always find something to eat. It’s not gourmet food, but I think they did a great job. We never got sick while we were there and we ate a lot of fruit. I didn’t eat the seafood, but my boyfriend did and he had no problems. We chose the Caribbean a la carte restaurant. Not much choice, three choices for a appetizer, some seafood salad, soup of the day or make your own salad. For the main dish we had 4 choices. One chicken and 3 seafood. Chicken was great. And for dessert we had coconut cake. It was really good. We were kind of disappointed in the food. It was good, but we were expecting more flavour. Maybe the take it easy on the spice for the average patron. The service isn’t the best. There are 3 people working the whole restaurant. For booking, don’t worry about it. They don’t let you book more then 2 days in advance. We had no problem getting in, and it wasn’t packed when we were there. The food at the beach was ok. They had pizza (hard to get) fries, hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken and rice. The hotdogs were not good and the buns were hard as rock. The fries and pizza were the best thing there. These also have some fruit and desserts to the side.

The only thing that we would have to complain about is the night life, or lack there of. They had a “showtime” every night, but that consisted of the employees going on stage and dancing. They have a mini disco for all the kids for about 45 mins before the main show. The kids seemed to love it. They play the same songs every night, so it gets irritating after a few days. After that, a few employees get up on stage and do a dance. Then they ask people to come up on stage and they will teach you to dance the salsa or some other type of dance. It was very hard for them to get people up ion stage, usually only 6-8 people went up. Then after that they would try and keep them on stage to play a game. Like a dance competition or sexiest guy competition. It was funny to watch, and was even better if you knew someone in it. The employees tried their best to get the audience into it, but never seemed to work. I think it would be a lot better if the audience got into it and clapped when they were asked and so forth. One night we played BINGO! That was the show for that night. On Saturday they had a “beach party” they basically do the same thing, but on the stage at the beach. They had a live band and got people up to dance. The employees would come around and try and get you to dance, and you and your partner could join too. Then they had a bon fire after. A bar was made on the beach so you didn’t have to walk al the way back to the pool to get a drink. There is a disco of the plaza down the street called Coco Bongo. I would recommend going there a few nights, but don’t go before 11:30 or it will be dead.

They have 3 casino’s in Playa Dorada. Two American Casino’s and one Dominican. We went to the Domincian one. They had about 30-40 slot machines and about 6-10 tables for cards and other games. Free drinks for players. Some guy on the street will give you some coupons that will exchange $40 American into $50 American. It’s true! We ended up spending the money, but I’m not sure if you could go in, pretend to play for a bit and cash out and make $10. Not too many people in there, but we went early (8pm). When you leave the resort and walk to the main road, turn left and there is a little plaza with a bunch of shops in it. It’s pretty big actually. This is where you can do most of your souvenir shopping. I would go to the bank and get some pesos because the shop people don’t give you the current exchange rate. We bought 33 pesos for $1 and the shops gave us 30 pesos for $1. They will accept American money but will give you pesos in return, so if aren’t good with conversion, you could easily get ripped off. We took a horse and buggy tour around Playa Dorada for $20. They show you around and show you places to go and go into most of the resorts so you can look around. You get to see how your hotel compares to the others. It was really nice ride.

If you would like to know anything else, you can contact me through e-mail I found it very useful to read these postings, so that’s why I tried to be as detailed as I could. Oh ya, don’t forget to save $20 American each for the departure tax at the airport.
Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada
January 2008
I went to the Celuisma from dec 29th to Jan 5th. Last Feb I was at Blue Bay Getaway, a 4 star resort on the same beach and it was easy to compare the difference between a 3.5 star and a 4 star.

- The food was repetitive, veggie soup one day, the next day the same veggie soup but with meatballs, then chicken, then pork then back to plain veggie soup. The salad bar was the same in the buffet every lunch and supper as well as in the "à la carte restaurants". The breakfast was decent, only because they had omelettes. The tomatoes were green, the meat was always hard and the chicken had bones in it. Enough about the food...

- The rooms were ok, but the toilet overflowed. As well as in our friend's room their toilet and shower overflowed more than once. There were no fridges in the rooms.

- The entertainement was ok half the time but they had a bingo night were you had to pay for a bingo card, I thought it would have been all inclusive but I guess not.

- So other than the differences than a 4 star, the beach was very nice, large and clean, there's always chairs available, there's a lot of things to do if you can find them, and the drinks are good. Although it's not 24 bar or food which was disapointing especially when you arrive from the airport at 3am and there's no food or booze.

In short, the beach is nice, the food was bad, the activities were plentifull, the non 24 hour bar and food sucked but all in all I still have fun because I was down south while it was -30 at home.

Do yourself a favor and always get a 4 star and up. It's worth the extra money.
Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada
Boston USA
October 2007
Really like the hotel, staff friendly, climate great. Only major problem was that there was no free wi-fi. Given the size of the complex and the other amenities this was a real lack. I understand the neighboring Hotel Dorado does offer it as well as some others. Today not giving people wi-fi -- or charging an exorbiant amount for a possibly virus infected computer usage -- is like not having a TV or hot water in the rooms. Celuisma needs to move into the modern age.
Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada

May 2007
The resort itself was ok. A 3-star. The food was sufficient, nothing wowed me, but I could always find something to eat. Our room was acceptable, though when we checked-in, we noticed that the TV plug had been ripped from the wall. We had front desk fix this, so what did they do? They unplugged the fridge, wrapped the open wire around the fridge plug and plugged it back in. Not exactly CSA approved, but it worked. The beach was beautiful. Having been to the DR 5 times, we didn’t need or want to do the excursions, we just wanted to go shopping in Puerto Plata. There were 6 in our party to go shopping, so rather than paying $30+ US each, we found a taxi driver at the Playa Dorada mall. You’ll save a lot of money traveling this way! I cannot recommend him enough. His name is Favio Chevalier (809-607-2113, 809-320-0779), and we were charged $25 US for our entire group for a full day of touring & shopping. A savings of almost $200 US. He took us where we wanted to go, and when we wanted to head back to the resort, he promptly returned us. We tipped him $15 US since his rate was so good, and he was such a great guy. I will say one thing to the resort management, and to warn guests; the timeshare salesmen are relentless. They congregate outside the buffet restaurant, and won’t stop pestering you. You can say “no thanks” to them a dozen times, and they’ll still ask you, they’re worse than the beach vendors. It made going to dinner and departing the buffet quite a royal pain. I do think this resort is good for an economical traveler, but be warned that if you want nightlife, there is no disco on the resort itself. You have to go to the Playa Dorada mall and pay for your drinks at one of the night clubs there. There is a tiny sports bar on the side, if you go there, the drinks are about half the price you’ll pay in the discos, and since everyone is walking around with a drink in-hand, no one ever asks if you bought it there.
Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada
April 2007
I (and 5 friends) have just returned from a week (March 24th-April 1st) at the Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada and although it wasn’t a 5 star resort and is rated as a 3 star, I was quite impressed! This was my third time to Puerto Plata and first time staying in a resort that was less than a 4.5 star. I must say that although I was quite skeptical on my way there, I was quite pleased with what was presented. When visiting the Dominican Republic people need to keep in mind that we are traveling to a third world country and standards are very different than the luxuries offered here in North America.

Check-In: We arrived at the resort around 2 a.m. and there were a lot of people checking in at the same time. The front desk had packages with room keys and necessary information all ready to go so this was a breeze. Getting a bellboy to help us to our room however took quite a while…. But what do you expect when there are around 100 people checking in all at the same time.

Resort grounds: The grounds were gorgeous with lots of plants, flowers, trees. The grounds were very well kept and you would always find someone making them look even nicer. The buildings were a little old but the resort was built in 1997 and the years are starting to show. Inside the buildings were nice and simple and always clean!

Beach: The beach was gorgeous! I can’t believe people would say that it was dirty and not well kept. We always saw people cleaning up the beach and getting rid of all the seaweed. Furthermore, the Playa Dorada beach was renovated recently making it wider and adding more sand. The ocean water was dirty however, after 6 days of rain what do you expect?! Rain and thundershowers often cause the ocean to bring up lots of seaweed and sand along with the tide which was the case during my week there.

Rooms: The rooms were simple and didn’t have much to them however were just enough for what we needed… after all how much time do you spend in there?
We found the beds to be very comfortable and always clean. The room was always well kept very clean. Our toilet had a little bit of a leaking problem but we dealt with it! Otherwise, the bathroom was very clean as well. Sketchy bathrooms worry me but I was very content with this bathroom.

Restaurants/Food: I can’t say enough about the food at this resort. I was always very impressed with the buffet and frequently went back for seconds or thirds. There was always something amazing to eat and always a great variety. The a-la-carte restaurants were AMAZING!!!! I enjoyed my food at all three!!! As for cockroaches scurrying across the floor…. Can’t say that I even saw one!!!

Staff/Animation: I can’t say enough about these individuals. Everyone on this resort was always friendly and wanting to help. I always got a friendly “Hola” while walking around the grounds. There were some individuals that worked in the buffet that were questionable but I think it was a communication barrier! The Animation staff was also a lot of fun.
They were always kind and genuine individuals that truly cared about making sure guests have a good time. They have an incredible amount of energy considering these individuals start working at 8 a.m and work right until 11 p.m, and continue the night only to be responsible to take guests out to the disco afterwards! Thanks to them and a big GRACIAS to Junior, Mini, Maria, Alvaro, Emanuelle and the many others that made our trip a memorable one!

The only negative thing about our entire trip was that it rained for almost 6 days out of our 7 there!!!! Luckily this was a free trip!!!! The weather was upsetting but the experience made up for that!!! The resort has been recently taken over by a new company and many new changes have begun. There are areas of improvement needed but I’m sure that this resort will rise to the occasion!
Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada
Cindy and Rocky 
New Brunswick, Canada
March 2007
we just returned from our 8th trip to the d.r., and always stay at the same resort. it was just taken over by a new company, and we are told that they have big plans. when we arrived we noticed that there were changes already in place. he pool bar is open to 2am,a slight change in staff, the v.i.p. bar is open again for time share owners and the beach has been revamped.the beach area in my opinon has always been the best on this coast in the playa doroda complex, and it has been expanded and is beautiful. when we first arrive as a group of 13, we found beach chairs hard to find. in a matter of days we noticed new chairs coming in and old coverings being replaced. another indication that changes are underway!

we also found some inprovements in the resturants...the yaht club, which is the main dinning area had theme nights as in the past, however there did seem to be a larger assortment of foods to choose from, including a diet station..although this was small it is new and a graet idea. there was an increase in sea food including lobster and sushi.

the a la cartes are still the same and the carribian grill is still my favorite by far, the food is great and the staff are great fun.

entertainment was better this year than the last 2 or 3 years. they have hired some outside groups to perform, and the activity group does their best on thr in between nights. the house band plays early every evening and also at the end of the evening after the entertainment has finished. i enjoy them alot, and alex the lead singer has learned more english and is much improved vocally over last year.

thia resort is a great place to spend your vacation, lots to do on site, and lots to do through tours if you wish. this is a very beautiful country with beautiful, and happy people. i am alredy planning our next get away.
Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada
Ontario, Canada
March 2007
I stayed at Tropical for the Valentine's week of 2007, with wife and mom. Operator was Sunwing, booked through CAA agent. Paid $1,039 Canadian per person for a week, got VIP suite. Buildings #14 through #18 are right on the beach. If you get a room number ending in 1 or 2 in these buildings, you'll have a stunning view of the beach, with palm trees and all.

Being in the Caribbean for the first time, overall we enjoyed it very much and we're looking forward to going back. We travelled with a gentleman who returned after two weeks!!

- The beach is very beautiful, albeit not very large. There's lots of sun, but you can find shade from the palm trees if you're wise enough to avoid the "red lobster effect". Mount Isabela on the background provides a dramatic view, especially at sunset.
- The food is very tasty and hearty, trays promptly replenished and the hours of operation very convenient
- The staff and Dominicans in general are hard working people, very nice and helpful. Most speak or understand English but at the same time they're glad if you make a minimal effort to learn a few basic words in Spanish. If they have downtime they sing, which makes me believe that most are quite content with their lives despite the repeated remarks heard that Dominicans are very poor. Money's not everything in life and I bet that the locals wouldn't change places with the wealthy, sun hungry tourists!
- I found the hotel's architecture quite interesting, especially the main building. This is real "open concept": all the common spaces (with the exception of the rooms themselves) are open to the outdoors, with lots of trees, plants and quality landscaping
- Rooms are large and, in our case, had a view of the beach
- The animation team was very good, tried to involve everybody. Some evening shows were excellent, others just OK. They even have their own professional singer; if you like latino music this must be heaven. They had various activities almost all the time, from morning stretch and/or aerobic, to Spanish lessons, beach volley, all sorts of contests, dance lessons etc.
- Celuisma has rented the Roadway Bar & Club for night entertainment, located off site in the nearby Plaza. Good looking place but people are smoking and the music is mainly rap, sometimes of the Spanish variety.
- We had two room maids, one was OK but the other was excellent - her name is Consuela Delgado. She really went to great lengths to clean and decorate the room for us. We talked to her, praised her work and left a modest tip every day. I think that talking to people and showing them respect did more than just a tip no matter how generous
- Took the Safari tour on the back of the truck, with guide Ruddy. Even though the tour itself was so-so, Ruddy is a great entertainer, very interesting guy
- Couldn't stop admiring the palm trees, the luxuriant plants, the incredible exotic flowers
- Tropical is very well organized and the new management (Spanish company took over in January 07) has ambitious plans to make this a real 5 star hotel in the next year or so
- No bugs in the rooms whatsoever, which is quite amazing. The secret is that they fumigate all the rooms/buildings every week; hopefully they're right in that the chemicals used are harmless
- Ice cool airconditioner, though a bit noisy
- We had hot water all the time, unlike as reported by others
- Power supply is 110V/60Hz so we could use our own hair dryers and battery chargers
- Ocean water is warm, clean and calm
- The Caribbean a la carte restaurant was very good: again, very good food, prompt and polite service, you can't ask for more

- Hotel sales people, extremely pushy, are hunting for newcomers to sell "right of use", a form of time share. They pick you up at the buffet, usually after breakfast or lunch, and take you to the "member's lounge" supposidely to offer you a "welcome package". Once there, another group of experienced sales guys convince you that they have an offer that it's too good to turn down. As negotiations go on, they slip in a charge for this, a charge for that, so in the end you end up with a deal that's not great, and you pay now for 30, 50 or 75 future vacations! While in normal circumstances I would have never signed up, their hard sale techniques worked with me, but now I look back and I see how stupid I was, so BEWARE.
- The furniture in the room is very, very old and room amaneties are in need of repair: leaky faucets, stained bathroom ceiling etc.
- There were a couple of brief power shortages but mostly during the day
- Diet food for my diabetic mom was very limited, if at all
- Sometimes the sanitary conditions at the buffet were lacking. Specifically there was an instance when a worker dropped a napkin on the floor, picked it up and nicely laid it on a table. In another incident, there was a shortage of clean glasses at the bar, and the bartender barely rinsed a used glass and then filled it up for the next person in line. I will stress that these were isolated incidents and not the norm.
- The ocean becomes deep at less than 10m (30 ft) from the shore and there are no lifeguards ! To make it even more dangerous, there are buoys marking an area far into deep water: while in other parts of the world the buoys mark the safe limits for bathers, here they merely mark entrance points for boats. If you try to walk toward the buoys by mistake, you better be a good swimmer
- Beach lounge chairs were in short supply, some in poor condition, however according to another reviewer the management has brought in new ones right after we left. This means that there will be other changes following, for the better
- Smoking is allowed anywhere. Even if you're basically outdoors at the buffet restaurant, it's still annoying to get all that second hand smoke
- My wife bought sunscreen from a local store and ended up with an ugly rash on her body. It turns out the sunscreen was expired; we're not 100% sure it's from that, but it's likely

- Beach sales people walk by. They obviously want to sell their wares, but if you're not interested they walk away so we didn't find them to be obnoxious. It seems like they're part of a union or professional association, since they all wear identical T-shirts, so I'm guessing that it's in their code of conduct not to bother tourists too much
- Safari tour was OK but not as good as I expected, safe for the guide who was quite a character- Drinks were plentiful but quite diluted and not of high quality. This didn't bother me too much as I'm not a drinker but it may bother others who consider drinks an important part of their vacation.
- The Mexican restaurant. It was OK, but not outstanding - I may be subjective as I'm not crazy for Mexican food
- The Sunwing representative, Chantal, was only available the first day after arrival. Good thing we didn't need her.

- Go there with US cash, a portion of it in smaller bills for tips. This avoids impulse buying and allows budgeting, i.e. you only spend as much as you planned for. While you can withdraw Dominican pesos from the bank in the nearby plaza with your banking or credit card, locals prefer US currency due to inflation. Inflation seems to be very high: another reviewer reported 26 pesos for a US dollar only two months ago, while I was able to get 31 and 32 pesos. This explains why, for the same value, you're making a Dominican happier if you give them the allmighty US dollar rather than the peso that will be worth less tomorrow. I don't recommend using credit cards anywhere except at the bank
- Tips are not required or expected, but are welcomed as most locals make less than $200 a month. However, don't show arrogance when tipping: sometimes a nice word or a praise is better received than just a tip
- Don't drink tap water, however you can safely brush your teeth with it. There's no bottled water in the fridge, but that's not a problem. Each building has a cooler, and there are also coolers at the restaurants.
- You need semi-formal clothes for the a la carte restaurants, if you want to try them. Women need a dress or decent long pants, men need long pants and a dress shirt (short sleeves OK). You risk being turned away if you come in shorts, flip-flops etc. On the other hand the buffet food is so good and there's so much variety that you're not missing much if you don't go to the a la carte restaurants
- Bring SPF45 sunscreen with you, DON'T buy local. Same with Immodium and other pills you anticipate that you may need while there


I took about 300 pictures. If you have a genuine interest in going tho this and knowing how it is, send me an e-mail to and I'll send you a link where you can see them all.

In conclusion, this resort is an excellent all-inclusive value for the money, I highly recommend it. Not everything is absolutely perfect, but it's darn close to paradise.
Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada
Jeff and Sue 
February 2007
Photos #2
My wife and I and four friends all over 40 traveled to Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada from Feb 10th to Feb 25th. We paid 1399.00 CDN p/p with taxes included. This was my wife and I 5th time to the DR and 3rd time to this resort. The resort has been purchased by a Spanish company Celuisma Hotels and changes are happened as I write this.

Four of us traveled out of Montreal via Go Travel Direct and Zoom Airlines and took a late flight which put us in Puerto Plata at 3am. Flight was uneventful but as always totally satisfactory, the other 2 traveled out of Ottawa.

Wow, basically walked through customs just saying “Hola” and after waiting 5min for luggage and a few minutes for everyone to get to the bus we were on our way. Dropped of some vacationers at one hotel and then were arrived.
Normally when new guests arrive the animation staff and other hotel staff greet the guests with song and cold drinks but due to the hour, 4am no song but cold drinks, that was not a problem, I don’t think singing at that hour was not what we needed, lol.
Check in was a breeze, again probably the hour and due to knowing the resort we declined the provided ride to our room and walked maybe two minutes to our building.

This hotel provides three types of rooms;
Standard-No balcony/patio and no fridge
Superior- Balcony/patio and fridge
One bedroom- all the above and separate room to sleep, some loft and some same floor.
We received a standard on the second floor building 21, room 2132 as this is what we paid for and requested we were very happy, very large and 2 queen beds sitting area with 4 chairs and table and bathroom with excellent water pressure, unfortunately I heard this was an issue in some rooms. The next time though we will pay the extra and get a balcony as the room seemed damp without having the balcony door to open to create a cross breeze.
The other 2 couples received a superior room.

The hotel gives a feel of a small resort but is quite large as well. There is a nice lobby to grab a seat to get out of the mid day heat. The grounds are beautiful and always being manicured. The resort layout is done well basically only a minute or two walk either to the lobby or the beach from wherever you are.

There are 5 restaurants 1 buffet, 3 a la cartes and a beach restaurant. The buffet does a different theme night every night, Asian, Spanish, International, Dominican, French, BBQ, and Seafood which was done at the beach with an after dinner show. We found the buffet quite good on most nights, we did do Pizza Hut and Hemingway’s on three nights but breakfast was the best meal of the day eggs anyway you want nearly everything you could want on the buffet bacon and sausages every other day ham, pancakes, French toast, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, fresh fruits and juices, cold cheeses, cold cereals basically everything to suit everyone palate, over all buffet was great.

Our group only did the Italian a la carte and we found it ok overall some really liked it others did not, one thing we did agree on the food was bland for Italian, to spice it up though try the chili peppers, that should do the trick, very hot.

The beach restaurant is where we had most lunches buffet does a lunch as well. There were hamburgers hotdogs great fries always a different type of chicken and fish, salad and fruit and desert. Not bad and you did not have to leave the beach area. Remember do not take your plates to the beach as they are glass, the staff had a hard time getting this across to the guests. They also provide Birthday cakes, as one person in our group celebrated her B’day down there, the staff brought in the cake with a candle and sang Happy Birthday; cost is 400 peso and will be served in any restaurant you will be attending. Nice touch.

The bars are located at the beach opened from 10am to5pm, pool bar opened from 10am to 2am and Café Francis 6:30pm to midnight.

This was the most visible change. There was a beach restoration project done on the whole stretch of beach even into Playa Costa Dorada (next beach to the left) and the other beach to the right, sorry do not remember that name. The beach is huge the depth from tree line to water has been extend to about 75 feet a lot of room for all. The sand for the shell seeker is a treasure trove, my wife found all kinds of shells 4kgs worth and I found a shark tooth and no matter your age who doesn’t like digging in the sand. This beach has it vendors but again a simple no gracias they will go away. If you want to try your bartering skills take a walk left on the beach and go the large orange hut, “Dominican Wal-Mart”.
Beware beach chairs are plentiful but they go quickly so get there very early if you want some lounges for your day at the beach.

The pool is a good size, a lot of room to sit/lie in the sun or shade nice pool bar but unfortunately the swim up bar is gone but the pool bar has been extended to include a covered area. There is a children’s pool and a separate area for volleyball. Pool never seemed busy as everyone seemed to be at the beach!

The overall the staff was great, most can speak English or at least some but we all brushed up on our Spanish survivor language skills and had a great time interacting. There was a couple of staff that seemed disinterested at times but who can say we’ve never been disinterested with our own jobs right?

We did not do any organized tours via beach vendors or our tour rep. We made our own, we spoke to the hotel staff about traveling by guaga and they gave us the prices the locals would pay to certain places Like Parque Centrale in Puerto Plata 10 pesos p/p each way or 30 pesos p/p each way to Sosua, we decided to visit Puerto Plata on our own. First and foremost your tour rep will say not to travel this way, it is dangerous because of the rules or should I say lack of road rules. Well this is how all those Dominicans travel to and fro everyday and it was great. The driver dropped us of a little north of the actual Parque Centrale and we asked a kid where to go ands he just pointed down the street then he said he would show the group, he then asked if we wanted to see things where to Dominicans go we said sure and he said he would do it for free. As we left the Parque he took us to a cemetery which look very much like a New Orleans cemetery even showed us the Brugal family crypt, this was amazing. Next we went to an authentic Dominican market this was a sight to see, all open huts where anything from spices to meat to vegetables were purchased even a dice game going on. It was nice to see how the locales shop. Next we went to a factory where the raw amber and Laramar was made into jewelry very fascinating process and they showed you how real amber floats in sea water and fake sinks. Then off to a very nice colonial style restaurant for a light lunch and then back to the park. Total cost including the 500.00 peso we gave to the kid 22.30 CDN for 4 people return, the next day we went off to the Fort, the Museum of Angels and touring the Maleacon and stopping for cold drinks and we did not have a “tour guide” this time and total cost for 6 including 8 large Pestidentes was 45.23 CDN, considering we meet people at the fort who took an excursion to the Rum factory the Amber Museum the Parque Centrale and shopping for 25.00 USD p/p. I would say make your our excursion and really get a feel for the Dominicans. Just remember to exercise caution like you would in your home country. Another thing we noticed is since we wear those ID bracelets the hotels give us we seem to be very noticeable to the locales. We seen a few travelers without the bracelets and locales paid no attention to them. Next year we are wearing those rubber wristbands and having the bracelet attached there so when leaving the resort we are not “targeted”.

New Management
The Celuisma Hotel management was in full view most of the time and always checking the services out in regards to bars, wait staff, cleaners, different setups like pool, buffet ect.
Due to being there two weeks the second week things changed amazingly overnight, they replaced all the old tables and chairs, added self service dispensers for coladas and juices both at the pool bar and buffet and removed the old pool tables from upstairs near Café Francis and added a stage for the nightly jazz band and put new table in the pool bar area. Another major change we noticed from the first week to the second was the wait staff at the bars and buffet someone must have light a fire under you know what because their level of attention to the guests and their needs went up dramatically. We noticed that they were at the new seated guests table getting drink orders, serving coffee and milk either as soon as you got in for breakfast or as soon as you were done lunch or dinner and they also came back during your meals not much getting up to replenish your liquids. The bar staff if there was not a lineup at the bar they were cleaning tables asking guest if they needed another drink. Nice change. Also heard that the beach and pool loungers will be replaced and some renovations to the room will take place. Also Guest service director Abel WILL resolve any problems that may arise like our A/C failing within 1 hour fixed and room cooled right down for our return.

This is the one area of improvement that all 6 of us can agree one that must be addressed, due to taking a late flight there we also received a late and I mean late flight home 5:05am which meant we had to check out of our rooms at 1pm and really have no “home base” for 13 hours, out pickup time was 2:30am. Due to hotel rules and they are clearly posted check out time is 1pm and with the hotel being full and yes it was full we could not even purchase one room for the day, Abel I must say worked really hard to help but it was not possible. Maybe GTD or any tour company and the hotel can make different arrangements. We did survive this, lol, flight left on time and we arrived safe and on time in Montreal.

I would go back to this hotel in a heart beat, seeing the improvements which are done already this hotel will truly be a 3.5 to 4 star hotel, We would also choose Go Travel Direct for the 7th consecutive year next year.

If there are any questions please email me;
Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada
November 2006
I have stayed at Playa Naco since 1999. Year after year, I have been very happy with this hotel. The food selection is abundant and is different every day. This hotel has 5 restaurants, Italian, Mexican, steak house, beach restaurant and the buffet restaurant. The choice is yours. The food is excellent. I found the staff very pleasant and very hospitable. There is nightly entertainement and daily activities. I found the beach clean and the water safe to swim. The rooms are clean and of course the hotel has been around for some time and is now under renovations. There is everything to keep yourself busy aside from the outdoors. There is a gymnasium, spa, jacuzzi, pool, ping pong and foos ball tables, tennis courts, mini golf and volleyball and bicycles for you to enjoy. The resort is a beach front and across from it is an 18 hole golf course. The shopping mall is within walking distance. My family, friends and I have been very satisfied. I have travelled around the world and I am very happy with the Dominican Republic. I have been travelling here since 1987 and I recommend the D.R. and this hotel highy and I am returning in a couple of months.!!!....
Playa Naco - Playa Dorado

October 2006
After just returning from what should have been a great two week vacation in the Dominican Republic I just had to write a review.

Let me start by saying that I am not a particularly fussy traveler. I like to camp, I am used to bugs, and don't usually find much to complain about when I have a bed and a shower.

However, Playa Naco is the exception. The accomodations were actually rather pleasant, compaired to the previous week in Samana. A/C worked, shower worked, linen was clean, bed was OK. However, the staff, especially the wait staff was rude at best; indifferent and totally ignored us at worst. There were a few who were the exception and unfortunately I can not recall their names. The meal fare was the usual buffet/all inclusive selections. That wasn't even bad until the meals were coming from the kitchen cold when you could get sit-down meals. There were ants crawling over most of the buffet items, and the birds were making pigs of themselves at the open-air buffet on more than one occasion. When my traveling companion spoke with some of the other guests and organized them to speak as a group with the manager of the hotel to inform him of the problems he flat out refused to speak to any of the guests, and made some of the other staff be the ones to take in the anger and disgust of the guests. To make matters worse, there was virtually no entertainment of any sort for the first three or four days that we were there. The children's programs and most of any type of programs had been cancelled as the "resort" was more than half empty and there seemed to be a general feeling that the staff was doing us a favor by just being there rather than making us feel like we were welcome guests at the hotel. The one activities person who was around was Luis. He is a very dedicated man who enjoys his job and makes the most of the very little that he has to work with.

All in all the two weeks that we spent on the island really was not terribly pleasant. I certainly DO NOT intend to return. While the island itself is absolutely beautiful despite the abject poverty, the aggravation of constantly having to be on guard to assure that you are not taken advantage of, or made to feel like an intruder, or totally ignored just was not something that I care to repeat..
Playa Naco - Playa Dorado
Nova Scotia, Canada
May 2006
I am 21 years old from NS, Canada. 3 Friends and I went to the Playa Naco Tennis and Golf Resort in Peurta Plata, Dominican Republic at the end of April 2006. It was difficult finding a review of this resort before we left so I thought I would write about our experience.

The resort was amazing, this was my first trip so I don't have anything to compare it to, but we had a great time. The gardens and buildings in the resort were beautiful, and we were lucky enough to be in the building closest to the beach. My boyfriend and I had a suite and our balcony was steps from the beach. I've heard the sand in Peurta Plata isn't as nice as the other side of the island or Cuba, but I didn't mind it at all. It may not have been white but the water was still beautiful. We walked up the beach quite a ways and noticed that alot of the other resorts had a huge seaweed problem, it just wasn't cleaned up. We didn't see alot of people swimming at the resorts nearby. There was a tractor (not that I ever head or seen it) that goes up and down the beach in the eraly morning at playa naco to clean up all the seaweed.

The Pool was also very nice and refreshing. There isn't nearly as much wind by the pool as there was at the beach however, and it got really hot up there really quick. We enjoyed the breaze on the beach, it made suntanning much more comfortable. The weather was great for nearly the entire week. We were afraid about going in the Spring, but it only rained one night, the rest of the trip was sunny and about 30-35 degrees all the time. The nights are so warm, we often layed out on the loungers after supper, even when the sun was gone.

The Food at the resort was pretty repetative, but I am a very fussy eater and I never had a problem finding something I liked. The breakfeast buffet was great, we had pancakes and bacon and sausage every morning, it tasted just like home. Tons of fresh fruit at every meal was also great. at lunch you have two options, the regular buffet, or the beach buffet. We prefered the beach buffet because they served pizza, french fries, hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos and chicken. Same thing everyday, but it was all very good. At supper time the buffet had lots of choices, but as I'm a fussy eater I had spegetti most nights. We at at all three A la Carte restaurants.
(Although the all inclusive is only supposed to include 1 trip to the restaurant we were told we could go 2 or 3 times). The resort has an italian, a tex-mex and a carribean restaurant. I suprisingly enjoyed all three very much, the mexican was my friends and my favorite. The Italian wasn't much different than the stuff you could get in the buffet (just nice to sit and be served, good wine too). The Carribean served steaks, chicken (which I had, it was fabulous), and alot of seafood dishes. The Tex-Mex served burritos, fahitas, quasidillas, all of which were great.

The entertainment was just okay. During the day there was stuff like canoeing and sailing which we all did, but you only have an hour or 30 minutes with most stuff. There was minigolf and basketball which kept the boys busy most of the week. At night the shows were quite repetative. They were great about involving the kids and were very energetic, but after seeing it once or twice, it's really rather boring. One night there was a big beach party (every monday night) where they lined the beach with tables and the buffet was outside, the show that night was great, much different than the other nights. At 11pm most of the discos opened, they play american music, which is nice, and they were really fun. Alot of the staff from the hotel go to the disco as well. the only problem we had was finding somehting to do after supper before going to the disco. The show usually lasted from about 8:30-11pm, there wasn't anything else going on during that time.

Playa Naco is in the Playa Dorada Complex which makes shopping and going to discos/casinos very easy. There is a shopping mall and a disco about a 3-4 minute walk from the resort (there is also a pizza hut in there if you really need some american tasting food). Everything you will want to buy for souveniers will be at the mall, and will also be much cheaper than buying things from the little shops at the resort.

We went on the Catamaran (party boat) day trip. This was definatly the highlight of our week. We got to snorkle in a coral reef and swim in the beautiful sousa bay. There was also a diving platform and a waterslide on the boat which were lots of fun. The guys who ran the tour were great too, and kareoke was alot of fun on the way home.

All in all the trip was great, very relaxing and lots of fun. I reccomend the playa naco resort and would go back there again. Hope this review is helpful to those deciding where to go.
Playa Naco - Playa Dorado
Lynn & Heather 
May 2006
Spent 1 wk at Playa Naco Resort, Apr21/06 & had a great time. This was yr 9 for us in last 11yrs but had never been in April, must admit like early Feb better but we went to Varadero,Cuba at that time. The DR is soooo much better, more to do, nice people!!! We met a great taxi driver, Geronimo # 125 at the local shopping center on Playa Dorado compound, good english & excellent knowledge of the area. We did some tours with him, exactly what we wanted & much less cost than tour operators. Took load of school supplies to small convent school in Puerto Plata which has a great need. They have about 25 live-in kids from country & not much to work with...what a great cause.
Playa Naco - Playa Dorado
Darrell and Brenda 
Halifax, Nova Scotia
May 2006
Our 6 a.m. flight with Go Travel Direct left on time and thanks to a tail wind arrived 20 minutes early. Breakfast on board was an egg omelet, hash brown, fruit salad, juice and roll. Coffee, Tea, soft drinks and a snack were also offered. Return flight arrived back in Halifax early also. We were offered drinks, chicken or pastromi sandwich, cookies and snack. We had no problem at the Puerto Plata airport on arrival or departure.

The Room: I had emailed the resort to request a room on the 2nd floor. Upon check-in we were given room 1010, building #10, bottom floor. The room was in the back of the building, had a nasty odor and the view was a brick wall. We mentioned to the bellboy that we were going back to reception to request a different room, he told up to just leave the luggage there. We took our carry on luggage, left the rest and headed back to reception. The front desk clerk checked the computer and asked us to wait a minute. The bellboy came back to reception and told us he had a key for a room that we could go look at. He took us to room 1245, Bldg. 12, 3rd floor. The room had two levels. Lower level had a table with four chairs, mini fridge, couch and two chairs, balcony overlooking a garden, side table and telephone. A spiral staircase led us to the upper level where there was a king size bed, armoire with TV, a bedside table with lamps, armchair, walk-in closet and bathroom. There was a window in the bedroom that overlooked the lower level and the second window overlooked the garden. No smell at all, the A/C worked perfectly but was a little on the noisy side so we turned it off at night.

I've read reviews about this resort where people complained about the food, I have a comment about that, those people must be very hard to please or super picky and should probably either stay home or bring their own food. There were all kinds of food, plenty of variety. The hot food was hot and the cold food was cold.

Food: There were three restaurants, we didn't eat at any we were quite happy with the buffet. The buffet had a different theme each night. There was a microwave in the buffet at the bread station. Breakfast: Hot and cold cereals, jams, yogurt, fresh fruit, sliced meat, cheese, rolls, sweet rolls, banana bread, etc. Coffee, tea, fresh squeezed juice. Boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, pancakes, French toast, syrup, bacon (every other day), sausages, potatoes, etc. Egg grill where you could get fresh cooked eggs or omelets. Breakfast food pretty well covered anything you could want. Lunch: Bread and rolls, Pasta station, fresh grill (different meat daily). Salads, pasta salads, potato salads, cheese, cubed ham, tomatoes, cucumbers, soup, rice, veggies, chicken, fish, beef and pork. Hamburgers, French-fries, sandwich grill. Lots of desserts, ice cram and fruit. Dinner: Monday night all restaurants and buffet are closed and tables are set up by the beach for the Beach Party. The resort does a fantastic job on the beach banquet. Lots of different seafood. Theme nights were Mexican, Italian, French, Dominican, Spanish (can't remember the other one). Same stations as lunch, lots to choose from. Salads, fresh fruit, breads and rolls, soup, cheese and cold meat. Something made with fish, port, chicken and beef. Usually two kinds of rice and two different kinds potatoes and veggies. I've seen stuffed peppers, eggplant, plantain, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, corn, peas, etc. There was always something at the grill. On Friday night they BBQ pig and had whole BBQ chicken. Another day they were carving from a large fish, you might see them grilling fresh fish, chicken, pork, etc. One day at lunch they were carving large hams. There was also quite a selection of desserts, mini puff pastries, cookies, cakes, squares, fresh fruit and ice cream. Some nights there were puddings and fruit in sauce.

The Beach Club served alcohol from 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m., food from 12:00 noon to 3 p.m. Beach buffet offered French fries, rice, chicken, veggies, tortilla chips and cheese, hamburgers, hot dogs and pizza. Cold salads, tomatoes, fresh fruit and some kind of dessert. Usually the pizza was still available at 5 p.m. As long as there were people eating it, they were making it.

There was one large pool with an adjacent small round pool. We didn't spend a whole lot of time around the pool, there were activities during the day. There was a Jacuzzi on one of the paths to the beach. We counted three bars, beach bar, pool bar and a bar on the top level of the main building by the pool tables. There were also bars in the restaurants and buffet. The resort also had four tennis courts, games room, gym, spa, mini golf, bicycles, shops, an art school. By the beach there was a basketball court, entertainment stage, water sports hut. Water sports, included snorkeling, boogie boards, kayaks and wind surfers. We also had a free horseback ride. This was an introductory ride offered by Lorilar Fine Horses. The beach was nice and long; you cold walk forever in either direction. We were a 15-minute walk to the orange market and about ½ hour to the blue market. Never a problem finding a sun lounger no matter what time you got to the beach. Lots of shade from the trees and a few palapas. There were a few people that felt entitled to keep a spot under a palapa and also take up a chair in the sun. Not much shade at the pool in the afternoon.

We booked a ½ day horse ride and also the Banana Republic Party Catamaran operated by Cats Catamaran. The horse back riding was about three plus hours with a break in the middle. Beautiful scenery, well behaved horses. We had a great time. We also loved the catamaran. The crew is a fun loving bunch of guys with a female bartender to look after you. We were on our way by 9 a.m. and returned around 3:30 p.m. We cruised to Sosua Bay where we snorkeled and had lunch. There is a waterslide and diving platform on the catamaran. When we left Sosua Bay we headed out to sea a little way where they raised the sail for our return to Playa Dorada. On the way back there was Karoke and a sexy man contest (quite funny). We had a great time and would consider doing both of these excursions again.

We have been to Cuba, Mexico and the DR. We have stayed in 4, 4+ and 5* resorts. We could find no complaints with this resort and would return in a minute. We also liked the layout of this resort. It is easy to navigate. It is big enough that you don't bump into people, but small enough to be friendly. This resort has a lot to offer. We have a limited knowledge of Spanish but had no problem communicating with the resort staff. We found them to be pleasant and very helpful. Can't wait to return.
Playa Naco - Playa Dorado
April 2006
We went to Playa Naco Resort April 1 to 8, 2006, me and my husband (we are in our late 30s).

RESORT: We really liked it. We took a superior room, with a terrasse. It was a huge room, it felt like an apartment. Even if it's old, it was well maintained and it was well cleaned everyday. We thought about changing to a balcony room, as it would have been the same price, but since everything was working perfectly in ours, we decided we might as well stay there, anyway, you're barely in your room. I would suggest you take the 15$ fees key for the safe, it was well worth it. As I put what was priceless in it and didn't really had to be nervous about something may be taken. If you can, bring a small flashlight, just because soom rooms (ours was like that), the way it is set up, it's very dark in the closet where the safe is, and you couldn't see in it, so you had to grab everything out and then chose whatever you need. We were in bldg 17, room 1704. We were right on the beach, within 1 minute walk! If you don't ask for faceclothes, you may won't get any, so either you'll have to ask each time, or you may chose to bring some along.

FOOD: I'm not a very picky person for food, but I don't like to eat what I don't really know what's in there. So, I stick to whatever I knew I'd like, and the variety was so huge, that anyone can find something they like. If a person doesn't find something he likes there, that person is probably someone who can never be satisfied. My husband though, really likes to try different things in food, he tried a lot of various things, and most of them, he enjoyed. We didn't tried the 'A la carte' restaurants, even if it was included in our packages, as we had so many variety from the buffet and the restaurant at the beach, that we didn't bother to reserve to go there.

TOUR: I find they are very expensive. One had a very good price though, which was the Half A Day Pueto Plata Tour, at $35 US per person. We left at 9:00 in the morning, and came back at the resort at 4:00 in the afternoon. We went to 2 different little stores one containing history of a Larimar stone/mine with a little tour guide (it was very expensive there though), visited a church, a fort, the Brugal Rum factory, a tour of where the 2% rich people of Puerto Plata leaves, and 2 hours at Sosua beach, where there are about 150 huts to buy souvenirs. And, too, we stopped around noon at a restaurant and had a buffet included. So, that was a really good deal.

VENDORS: They really are annoying, most of them, some are like pest! Gees! But, still, we are in their country, they know we have money to spend, and they are trying to sell their stuff, so, even if it wasn't fun, I knew it'll be like that, and I was patient and kept saying no when I had no intentions to buy, and I was dealing with it ok. My husband chose to stay outside the huts most of the time as he hated too much being assle to buy all the time. So, it's up to you to chose to get in the vendors huts or not. They can go very lower with their prices, you stick with what you want to pay for the item. If that vendor doesn't want to agree, then, you can be sure that in another store or hut, you'll find the exact same thing. There's the Orange Huts on the beach, and past that, if you take a nice long walk (which we did), you'll see other huts. But we didn't bother to go check them, as we had bought what we wanted allready.

MARKET: Within 3-5 minutes walk, you can go to the Playa Dorada Market, it's a mall with a few stores. It's considered big there, it was nice. I had found a site in the Internet for that Market, and it describes the mall and the stores in it.

ENTERTAINMENT: I have to say that it was like a 2 on 10 for us. There wasn't that much going on as far as entertaining. The people doing shows were the ones working there, so they are not professionnal. I watch some a bit, my husband didn't really care for it. Before midnight, everything was about shut down there. But, in the Playa Dorada Market, we've heard there was disco, karaoke, casino. We didn't go, some did and some enjoyed it. There are people working at the resort who go after their shift and they can walk with you so you'll feel more secure. They used to have a disco in the resort, would have been nice to still have it.

WORKERS AT THE RESORT: The big majority is really nice, some are sweeties!

POOL: We didn't tried it as we were always at the beach. I would have like that there would still be a bar inside the pool (heard it was taken off not too long ago).

TIPS: We brought many american dollars for tips. On our first day, everytime we would get a drink or a service, we'd give a dollar, so they were going fast, and when we look around, we realized that everybody there was not giving any (which we wouldn't) or were giving every let's say 3-4 times, so that's what we went with, as you are there for 8 days. Plus, every morning, before leaving the room, we would leave a dollar plus 2-3 things on the pillow for the maid.

LOCATION OF THE RESORT ON THE BEACH: What made us decide to go there was the reviews that said it was the best location on the beach, and for that, we had no regrets. It was by far, the best location on the beach. We walk long walks both sides of the resort, and ours was the best spot on the beach.

HAIR: If you want to have your hair done, negociate and deal a lot, as there are so many of them doing them and you'll be surprised at how much the price varies from one to another. I had just made half my head, the front part, and it was very nice, for $25 US, some were charging more. Turned out that at the Orange Huts, could have had the same thing for $15.

PHONE CALLS: We are from Canada, and having two little girls, we wanted to call home every second night. We thought maybe a phone card would be the cheapest way, but we were told that you simply use the phone in the room to call home and then, this charges at the Resort itself and before leaving, when you check out, you just pay whatever you owe (in pesos or US). It cost us less than $20 that way, and we had made about 4 or 5 calls, and some were kinda long, so it was a really good price. If you chose to go this way, make sure you check to see if it's still the cheapest way. What we did, is we call the first night, that way, just talked about 3-5 minutes and then, went to the reception and asked how much it was, so we knew and had an idea of the price.

REMOTE: We took one, as most of human, we cannot watch TV without it haha! Just make sure you return it when you check out.

CHECK IN AND OUT: Was done very fast, not at all a long wait. And as well, the drive from the airport to the resort was just about 20 minutes. As I'm the kind of person who is very organized and hate to forget things, I kept a little notebook with notes of what to do, what not to forget, and so, I forgot nothing.

RESUME: We really enjoyed our stay at the Playa Naco Resort, and wouldn't mind to go back again at all. And if you decide to go, make sure you try the Bananamama at the beach, MMMMMM!!!! It was my favorite drink! (They do it as well at the pool, but it's not the same.) Go, relax, and just enjoy every single minute of your trip!
Playa Naco - Playa Dorado
April 2006
We spent 7 wonderful days in playa naco. All in all everything was great. Lots of food, lots of drinks, great company , what else could you ask for? There were 4 of us in our party, two parents and two 16 year olds. Everyone had a great experience with the resort. The food was typical resort food, some good and some just ok.

We really enjoyed the "beach party" when all the buffet was taken down to the beach for dinner that night. There was a lot of preparation and work to get it all going as well as it did.

Everyone we met was experiencing the same welcoming feeling as we all did. I would definitely recommend this resort.
Playa Naco - Playa Dorado
Quispamsis N.B
April 2006
Just returned,not the first time in Dominican as we support children down there through Compassion Canada( a great organization by the way where your money actually goes there) We have gone to the village and visited them.This year five of us rented motorcycles and toured the mountains. I am only going to say this re the resort Playo Naco. The rooms are tired, my home is 10 times as nice . The beach is great, staff like Bobby makes it. The food is OK but every time I went in to eat I ate so I wouldn't starve to death in the Dominican and I might end up on the menu. Some of the food you wondered what you were eating or who it was, or what kind of animal that actually was that gave up its life to keep you from starving. I DO NOT enjoy the food in the Dominican. My way of thinking is that if I am going to go on vacation I want to enjoy every aspect of my resort. If it rains for two days my room better be an enjoyable place to hang out and the food better be incredibly delicious. Not much to ask if I am going to spend $2000 plus for a week. To say its value for your money!! Sucks Give your head a shake YOUR ON VACATION! Spend the extra get a 5 star and party down Dudes!!!And why not re do 30 year old rooms? You cant believe how seedy these old rooms are.they are like a $30 Bangor motel you rented to do a drug deal. Do I sound negative? Sorry! Some tips for you when you go. Do tip the help,but watch out, they do expect it. Watch the guys at the airport when they take you there to fly home.I knew this but this year the tour dude on the bus told us to sit still for a minute after the bus stops. Reason was so the little con dudes could get in place to grab your luggage before you could run back to the trailor,you have to then chase them and your luggage the few yards to the check in counter. By the time you catch them they are standing there with their hand out!. I only had 5 Bucks and I gave it to them so I could get out of the country. I almost punched him but I thought that may hinder my.chances for my first meal in a week back on my native soil. Then they now charge a $20 per person head tax to get on the plane (doubled since last year). I was hungry so I paid that too. I forgot I had put my shaving kit in my carry on and he found a little pliers knife tool kit my friend had brought to give away, and he was so happy when I said I didn't want it and I BROUGHT IT TO GIVE IT TO HIM!1 (as if they don't take it home anyway).Hey the warm weather was nice and the beach is a great place to go to burn your pink carcass off.,something us white folk seem to have a sadistic desire to do. Well got to go I'm starving1 If you go book a good one ,you will enjoy
Playa Naco - Playa Dorado
Pembroke, Ontario
March 2006
We travelled to the Playa Naco from Mar 03-10 2006. We booked with Go-Travel as we have several times in the past. We have had no problems with this company, and the Zoom plane in a large roomy plane.

There were 18 in our party, ranging from ages 13-57. Everyone had a wonderful time and enjoyed the resort except for two. We found the food very good, there was lots to choose from. They roasted a pig twice during our stay. There was pork, beef, chicken, salmon, fish ,hamburg, hot dogs etc...what is left. The breakfasts were great, with freshly made omelets, smoothies, bacon, sauceges etc.. Each evening along with the normal buffet items they had a different theme adding foods for the theme. ie. chineese, dominican, mexican etc.. There was always lots of salad items, breads,and pastas.

I had been to this resort two years ago and enjoyed it very much then but I was a little afraid after reading some of the reviews, however the hotel was just as good now as then. We were in building 22, with four of our rooms beside each other, one girl with us had a single room and we had requested she be in the same building with us but was put in building 17, we requested a change and got it within an hour. Some of our rooms did smell musty but one of your reviews suggested a glade oil fan, and that did the trick, I would like to suggest you bring two as some of the rooms are quite large. The one and only thing that was not so good was that we only had hot water once a day, sometime that being 10:30 at night, but we got along just fine.

They have removed the swim up bar from the pool, which did not affect us too much as we spent all our time at the beach, as there is a bar and food availabe at the beach, no need to stay at the hot pool. The disco is no longer at the hotel, but they do provide free transportation to a disco with two free drinks.

I suggest going on the dune buggies. They were 25.00 u.s per person ( two per buggie), they were lots of fun, I suggest you go after a rain (only) and bring a pair of shorts and t-shirt you can throw out, as you will not get the clothes clean. This is a great time to bring dolls, pencils, toys they take you to a village (with kids just waiting for you). This was a three hour ride, and the best time we had. Some also went on the jeep safari with the boogie boarding at the end and they had a great time.

This was the only time I have travelled to the Dominican and brought u.s. money, I would not do that again as I received my change many times is pesos and got ripped off.

This trip was great and I would return again deal or no deal....
Playa Naco - Playa Dorado
Ottawa valley
February 2006
The beach was beautiful,much nicer than the one we went to at Sousa,on our tour.the food was fine,the service was good,Go Travel direct was an excellent tour company.

The airconditioner leaked but was fixed,the room was very large in building#21,a bit musty at first ,they sprayed the rooms every2 weeks for bugs which we neer saw any.,the pool was large but cool.bartenders and maids were fine,,reaaly no complaints and would return
Playa Naco - Playa Dorado
December 2005
The resort was a good deal for the money--but if we had of paid full price we would have been disappointed.

The resort recently opened after being closed for 2 months so that likely contributed so some of our frustrations.

Check-In--Smooth and quick, got our keys right away and our room was ready (1pm).

Room-- HUGE!!! It consisted of a huge first floor with a living room area and a dinning area and an empty mini fridge. Up the spiral staircase was our bedroom where we had a king-sized bed another TV, a small sitting area and full bathroom. The room also overlooked the beach and was literally a 45 second walk to the water and the beach bar/restaurant. Now, the room was not without its problems--the blankets and sheets were very musty--I asked to get new sheets and blankets and they were either changed with new ones that were equally musty or they were never changed. The room also had old stinky carpet and the chambermaid did not have a vacuum so I can only imagine how dirty it really was. Despite the room's problems we did not want a room change as the location and size were a real bonus.

Food--It was excellent some days and just ok on other days. All the a la cartes were not running as the hotel was at a low capacity--but also due to the low occupancy they were able to have some buffet meals on the beach which was nice. Breakfast was always good with a lot of variety, fresh juice and omelette station. Lunch you could eat at the beach restaurant--this was the same food everyday, hamburgers, pizza and hotdogs OR you could eat at the buffet which had a decent variety. For dinner we ate at the beach buffet twice, the regular buffet twice, Caribbean grill twice and the Italian once. We could not get into the Mexican as the power was out the only night it was open. In our opinion the Caribbean and the Seafood beach buffet were the best, the worst was the Italian and the other dinner meals were just ok.

Bars-- Excellent fast service, always had what we requested and you could get red and white wine at all of them.


Staff--We were quite impressed with most staff. For the most part they were fast friendly and very accommodating. We found that the Italian restaurant was a little disorganized so it didn't have the best service and we found that for the first time in all of my Caribbean travels the chambermaid was not great. She never took dirty cups, never swept the tile floors nor cleaned any of the carpet floors.

Weather--Now I know that weather can't be controlled but how weather effects the guests can be. It rained quite a bit at night, one day it rained all night and off and on during the day. The paths and walkways were so covered in water that the water came up over my ankles and I was wearing 2 inch heals. My husband tried walking around the paths and the grass was soaked as well. I am not sure if they could put in some sort of drainage system but it would be a big help.

Overall I would have to say that we were happy with this resort. If the price was right we would return but most likely we would pick a different sell-off.
Playa Naco - Playa Dorado
Calgary, Alberta
November 2005
The Resort
I don’t like knocking places down and I am not that fussy, but this place needs some improvement!! But hey, if you really don’t care about the resort and only care about the beach, then come on down!!

We went with a group of 8 and all of use had a problem with our rooms, either it was no hot water, no pressure or no water at all!! One of our friends had problems with the air conditioner (which you really do need!!) and when we got there they were already out of safes which is told that you get in their resort write up. Some of us had the basic rooms and some of us had suites with a fridge (which are not stocked). Anyway, enough about the rooms.

The staff were really friendly, I only had problems with the bartender near the pool…He wasn’t very nice unless you were a girl and you got what you wanted. But my boyfriend and other guy friend thought he was a jerk (which I saw and he was!!). They could put more people working at the bar, and things would have been a lot better…It was a nice long line to get things. It was only him that gave me the bad vibe, everyone else was really nice and sweet!

We all loved the Mexican restaurant, skip the Italian one if you know what is best!! The beach and main buffet were okay too, but I never expect a lot out of the food.

The pool area is really small but nicely kept, because the area is so small I found that they did not have enough chairs out. The beach was beautiful, and you could always find a spot. Staying on Playa Dorado is the best, because the beach goes on forever. One end you can shop at the orange market and the other just keeps on going. LOVED IT! They kept the beaches very clean and I am pretty sure we had the best beach out of the resorts in Playa Dorado.

Things to do
Oh my goodness, there is so much for you to do here. I think we did something almost everyday! We took a taxi to Sosua (about 30-45mins away) and told the driver when to come get us and he did, this is with any taxi rides that we did…They will come back for you!! Anyway, Sosua was gorgeous it was like we were in Punta Cana with the very blue green water and the sandy white beaches. They had a huge market there that goes down the whole beach (about 100 huts), this is also a GREAT place to go snorkeling! Bring a piece of bananas while you go out and the fish come flocking to you. At first you have no idea where to snorkel, but then you can see heads bopping a little out there, looks far but isn’t that bad of a swim. AMAZING. They also have a glass bottom boat for the people who are not really into snorkeling. The only thing here, it is a local beach and it you want a chair you pay for it. But if you happy with just using your towel all is good.

We also took a taxi to MT. Isabella, just do the taxi here…It cost about $7 to get up and down the mountain. On a nice day you can see everything…It is so beautiful up there. You can walk around and explore the top yourself.

Next, we did some sort of Jungle Safari. They picked us up in a back of a truck where they have benches for us to seat on. Great way to see Puerto Plata (which is not worth going to). They take you everywhere…They took us to a typical Dominican house and though out the country side…Then we went to this place where they showed us how they made coffee and other fun stuff, had lunch and then the best part….We went on this hike and climbed the waterfalls and then slid down them. It was so fun. If this is what your interested in, make sure you are booking the right tour…Some only bring you boogie boarding, so be sure you know what your getting into.

Last thing and the best…>Ocean World Adventure Park. This place was so clean and the staff was amazing. We swam with the dolphins which was so much fun and got our pictures taken with them. Then we had the whole day walk through out the part. Lunch was provided, so you didn’t have to worry about paying extra for that. This was a great place, and I would highly recommend doing it. Other than that...I really love the DR, just find the right resort and it will be the best time ever! Have fun!!
Playa Naco - Playa Dorado

July 2005
This was our first trip to the Dominican Republic. We stayed in the Playa Naco on a timeshare exchange. On arrival at the airport we had to queue for sometime to pay the $10 USD tax to get into the country. I definitely recommend that this is done before leaving home. We had to get a taxi to the resort and was glad to see that all taxis have a fixed price which is displayed so you cant get ripped off.

When we booked, we could only get a studio but on arrival we discovered that we had been put into a one bedroom apartment. The room was clean but did look very worn and definitely needed alot of TLC. The towels in the room had been folded into swans with flowers which was a really nice touch, but this only lasted a few days. Their website says that all rooms have a kitchen, but our's only consisted of empty cupboards and a fridge. There was not even a kettle to make a drink with. The air con worked excellent but was very noisy. We had no problem with the room or bedding smelling musky. We had some rain while we were there and in the evening we were infested with bugs coming into the room from under the door so we had to block it off with a towel. We shared the room with a small lizard a couple of days. We did have a few other problems during our stay but these were resolved quickly by the staff. We stayed in building 14, and most of the lighting down the path didnt work which made it dangerous when walking to and from the restaurants at night, although we reported this nothing was done to replace the bulbs. The rooms were cleaned daily and towels seemed to be changed every day. The staff were always friendly and willing to help. We tipped the room maid $2 USD every day.

Although there were several restaurants only the Carribean was open which doubled up as the mexican. The food in the Yacht Club wasnt very good. Although they have theme nights,the food was more or less the same every night. There was a problem with birds pecking at the food at breakfast and lunch times which was abit off putting. My mum found hair in her food a couple of times. After the first 2 days we had to ask for drinking water in the room when we needed it which was provided free.

The beach and pool areas were great and kept very clean. You do get hounded by the beach vendors all the time but if u say no gracias they normally keep on walking. Just dont ask how much unless you really want to buy as you wont get rid of them. Dont forget to barter with them too!!

Unknown to us, June is their low season so it was fairly quiet which we didnt really mind during the day as there was never a problem getting beds at the beach. There wasnt much to do in the evening after dinner though as they didnt put on much entertainment so normally went back to the room after a quick drink at the bar. The locals take over at the weekend who werent very friendly and dont make you free welcome in their country. Funnily enough as soon as they arrived the staff put on some entertainment.

Overall I would say that once we had settled into things we had a great holiday spending most of our time on the beach. We went to Oceanworld and swan with the dolphins. Although it is fairly expensive ($145 USD) it was definitely worth it and I would recommend it to anyone. We did try twice to go on an excursion to Santiago but it was cancelled both times due to lack of interest.

I think this could be a really nice resort with alot of TLC, decent food and better entertainment in the evening. I read alot of bad reviews before going and I am glad to say that it was alot better than I had expected.
Playa Naco - Playa Dorado
June 2005
My 13th visit to the DR was a good one even though I wanted to go to Panama instead. The weather in Puerto Plata is always better than most destinations in June and the best on the island in June, Strange but PP gets less rain in June than in Jan -March

It is low season so it can get quiet which is what I like and the sell off for $ 300 CDN plus tax doesn't hurt either. Of course there are cutbacks as only one of three restaurants were open and the pool bar opened one day.

I will go over the good and then the bad for the resort. I can't complain but some did and if you pay full price I can see why.

The Good
The food was good for a 3 star resort. Some nights were excellent and others were good, mexican buffet sucked but the chimichangas at the a la carte were great.We booked the al carte 5 out of 7 nights and no line up to book( low season bonus) Tons of fresh fruit and milkshake and juice stand were excellent. The omlettes were excellent) no alceite means no oil as they will drop a ladel of oil on the grill and your eggs on top of that if you don't tell them not to.

The rooms can be warn and tattered a bit but our standard room with no balcony was quite large. The 1st room in building 10 faced the buffet and french cafe so the noise was too much, the ac also rattled loudly so we changed rooms. The room we got was in unit 21 and was great and was on the second floor.

The playa is average but clean and right in front of the water sports area the water is clear and the slope gradual, the bottom is also clean and clear unlike other parts of the playa.

Off season the staff is reduced so service was slow in the buffet or non-existent but if you asked for it they would serve you right away. The service in the a la carte was excellent Front desk was great too.

All around the staff were friendly and if you talked to them they were the nicest people around. Some are a little stand offish but that is the nature of many Domiincans and compared to the Cubans and Mexicans always hustling you I prefer it/

The rooms were musty but we all know that air conditioners get rid of that. But the pillows and Comforters smelled musty all the time.

Some things like steps, lounge chairs, etc were broken but for the most part things were good, Some rooms have cracks in the wall, floor but who cares, it is a 3 star.

They fired the dancers so there were no shows but the staff played drinking games with the Brits who seemed to like it.

1 al la carte open only but who can blame them as it was only half full.

You had to ask for water in your fridge or no refill.

Overall the place is not what it used to be but is good value for a sell off.
The disco is dead but Jack Tar Mangu disco is full and it is $5 cdn for as beer.
Playa Naco - Playa Dorado
May 2005
Hi. My son and I stayed at Play Naco from May 2 - 9. We had a blast. Thought maybe it would be a little boring just the two of us but the second day there we were takin in by a group of people from the UK. They were wonderful. We laughed, joke, carried on and partied with them everynight.

This was the second time my son and I stayed in the Dorado complex. In January my husband, daughter, son and I stayed at the VIllas Dorados. Nice resort but Playa Naco is much better.

The food was pretty much the same as on all the other resorts we have stayed at in the Dominican. Good but after 4 or 5 days you miss the tastes of home. Thats alright though because there is a Pizza Hut down the road in the Plaza. My son ate there twice near the end of our vacation. Also, he ate more at the Beach Bar then at the buffet. From noon until three they serve hotdogs, hamburgers, salads, and pizza and from 3 - 5 just pizza. Usually he'd eat lunch there and just before 5 have his supper too. The morning omlets are great and made right in front of you with the ingrediants that you choose.

The rooms are clean and the air conditioner works wonderfully. Thank god, because in May it is a lot hotter then in January.

The beach was beautiful and the pool was great. In the afternoon though the best place is the beach. It is much cooler and there is a breeze most days whereas at the pool it is muggier and no breeze. But be careful when walking the beach. My son was offered, by a local teeneager, what looked like his 13 year old sister, then a 14 year old sister and then after saying no to both he was offered both at once for "cheapy, cheapy". Being 15 he grinned but said, "ah, no!"

The staff are wonderful and friendly. When looking to purchase any thing that you may have left behind or if you are craving junk food walk down to the plaza. Everything is cheaper there then in the market on the resort but note that the farther you get into the plaza the cheaper things get. Don't buy at the first store. Look around and you can get things much cheaper. Also, buying nic nacs and souviners are cheaper in the plaza then from the vendors on the beach.

All and all we had a great time and still communicate with the people we met from the UK via MSN Messenger. Good friends and good times. Almost hated coming back to Nova Scotia.

Will definately go again next year.
Tropical Playa Dorada
February 2005
Avec Nolitour départ Mtl.

Vol de nuit. Arrivée a l'aéroport check in tres rapide, 15 min pour se rendre a l'hotel. Arrivée check in 5 min wow!

Nous avion le building 13. Chambre avec balcon premier plancher, premier constat, la porte patio ne se verrouille pas et la lumiere de la salle de bain brulée... Je le fait savoir a la réception et 2 heures plus tard on viens réparé le tout. Un petit frigo dans la chambre, le controle est brisé donc tout gele dedans... air climatisé fonctionne bien mais on ne l'a pas ouvert souvent. Pour l'eau chaude entre 4-6 pm oublié ca!!! La chambre était faite avant 2pm.Il n'y avait pas de mauvaise odeur. Tres gentille femme de chambre.

Température la moitié du temps qu'on y était c'était nuageux, soleil le matin et vers midi les nuages. Mais je suis revenue avec un bon tan.
Au déjeuner heureusement qu'il y avait des crepes et du bon jus frais... des fois du bacon, ceux qui aime les omelettes seront choiyé.
Le buffet c'était moyen, nous allions toujours au casse croute de la plage, frite, hamburger, poulet, salade ect.

Souper le buffet était toujours bon on pouvais ce régaler... Resto grill carabeeans tres bon mais 1hr avant de recevoir son assiete... Le Italien tres bon, lasagne tres bonne et les pates aussi. Resto a la carte disponible comme vous le voullez. Pizza servi en apres midi au café francais, pizza genre dellisio.

Il y a de petite boutique a l'hotel mais tres dispendieux et un petit dépaneur aussi une boite stax Lays a 4.75$ US alors pensez a vous en apporter si vous aimé des chips.

Achat: un petit marché au puce a 5 min de marche a gauche sur la plage. On peut y trouver de tout, négocier faites descendre les prix, au kiosque # 9 demander Marco Polo, il fait les meilleurs prix, mais encore la négocier.

Les vendeurs sur la plage négocier aussi, ils finissent par accepter notre prix.

Pour les tresses, c'est assez cher entre 40$ et 50$, j'ai trouver ca trop cher a cuba on me les a fait pour 20$Us.

A la plaza assez dispendieux au 2ieme ils négocis un peu leur prix.

Ca ne vaut pas la peine de changer nos $ US pour des Peso, ils prennnent tous les $ Us et c'est moin mélangeant pour nous.

Excursions, n'acheter pas de l'hotel ou de notre représantante (turrisimo)nolitour. Exemple avec eu une randonnée de vtt en campagne pour pour 3 personnes nous coutais170$, dans la plaza Marisol tour, l'offre a 64$ et il sont assuré 100% et c'est la meme excursion, tout pour faire de l'argent avec nous, soyez sur vos garde. Je n'acheterais pas d'excursion sur la plage par contre...
Mini putt
tres ordinaire, location de vélo gratuite. salle de jeux au 2ieme étage.
J'ai marcher la plage sur 2 km a droite et a gauche de l'hotel, la plage du Playa Naco est nettement la plus belle et plus propre, puerto plata village c'était tres sale , plein de vidange et d'algue, dans le coin du paradise beach club, y a pas grand chose que de la roche, ce n'est pas tres beau. Tandis qu'a notre hotel c'était propre.
Un bémol, ils essaient avec ce qu'ils ont, mais ne vous attendez pas a las vegas, tres amateur et parfois monotone, ca vien long, et y en a 2 qui passais leur temps a crier wicky wicky, apres une semaine tu en as assez, y en avait un (animateur) toujour Hyper a tomber sur les nerfs, mon mari l'a vu dans la salle de bain se tirer une ligne, j'en n,en revenais pas!! Une seule animatrice est francaise, Mélanie.
Kids club
Ouvert 6 jours semaine, une charmante dame que j'ai oublier le nom s'occupe des jeune, elle ne parle pas francais par contre. Bon pour un petit répit pour les parents.

Le site était très propre beaucoup d'endroits pour prendre de joli photo, la végétation est tres belle.

Il y a plus de 300 employés sur ce resort. L'endroit est tres sécuritaire pour les enfants et pour nous meme. Il y a des gardien qui surveille tout les entrée du site.

Je donnerais en général un 8/10 pour un 3*1/2 et pour le prix.