Debbie's Dominican Old Reviews - Viva Wyndham Playa Dorada
Viva Windham Playa Dorada

April 2008
What can I say, except this resort is very under rated. Our group of nine stayed there for a week and absolutely loved it. The rooms were very clean, sheets and blankets were changed daily, had extra pillows, plenty of towels and face cloths, soap, shampoo and body wash. The mini fridge was stocked every day, the a/c worked amazingly, almost froze me out.:) Not sure if there are smoking and non smoking rooms, but there was no hint of cigarette smoke in our room. The grounds are beautiful, lush greenery and flowers everywhere, my personal favourites are the palm trees and there were alot. The pool was small but beautiful, had a waterfall that is on a couple hours during the day and evening and under the waterfall is a bar and the staff are so kind and polite, everyone always has a smile on their face and a friendly Hola!! The food at the buffet was good, but the beach bar was fantastic, we didn't try the ala cartes but will forsure next time..The beach which is a short stroll down a paved walkway is out of this world, not a speck of seaweed to be found anywhere, you could go out about 3 feet deep and still see the bottom. The animation staff are out of this world, travelling with 4 teenagers, we were a little nervous about them being bored but the animation team kept them involved in every competition offered, and there was plenty of rum to be won! The shows in the evening were exceptional, these young people work 16 hour days, 6 days a week and work very very hard, and it shows. Our favourite show was the Street Dance/Hip Hop show, the dancers Anny, Erika, Rosemary, Mabel, Pablo, Angel, Ambi, Alex and the others are extremely talented and really make this resort what it is..We were unfortunate enough to have to use the medical centre twice and the care you get from the guest services personel (namely Rosangela) was incredible! It just seemed that they couldn't do enough for you. We loved this resort and would recommend it to anyone, we are already planning for 2 weeks next spring.
Viva Windham Playa Dorada

April 2008
My spouse and I stayed at the Viva Windham from April 7th to April 14th. This was our first time vacation expect for Disney. We had booked a Superior Room and when we checked in they upgraded us to a Junior Suite which was great. The staff was very friendly at check-in, we had to wait a couple of hours for our room. That wasn't a problem as we packed swim suits in our carry on, so we enjoyed the beach and had a couple of drinks before returning to check in our room. Room was very big and had everything we needed. Safe worked fine, fridge was stocked with pop and water and lots of towel in the washroom.

The food was good, we are not picky people so we tried a bit of everything. The buffet also had different theme nights, and the a la cartes were very good. The Ibiza for lunch is really good also with more my style food..Pizza, salads, nacho etc. The bartender at the beach "Augusto" is quite a darling. You would have to be a real picky person not to enjoy the food and like someone had mentioned, you could not starve. Nice cat that follows us everyday that lived on the grounds. I called her patches, I feed her 3 meals a day and by the 2nd day she was sleeping on my patio chair and jumping on me to get petted.

It was nice to walk around the complex and see the other hotels and checked out the Plaza. Everyone is trying to sell you something cheapy cheapy. We watched the Stanley Cup Playoffs at Hemingways which was very nice and clean. We did the Jeep Sarari which cost us $45.00US it was OK, but didn't like to see how the children were running after the jeep for candy and they had nothing on there feet. To get to the water falls is quite a walk 20 minutes. Next time I will enjoy the sun on the beach instead of feeling sad for the children and animals. We also went on the Catamaran $55.00US this was awesome and had a great time with the staff and snorkeled with the fishes.

The weather was fantastic and got a great tan. The staff, maids and gardeners were all so nice and made you feel at home, a smile goes along way. I recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a great vacation
Viva Windham Playa Dorada

February 2008
My husband and two friends just came back from a 1 week stay (February 17-25, 2008) at the Viva Wyndham Playa Dorada resort. This is the 4th time in the D.R. for my husband and I, and the first for our friends. We each had Superior rooms which were well maintained daily. We found the food to be very good at the Las Palmas buffet, the Bambu Oriental and Ibiza à la carte restaurants. Although breakfast at the Las Palmas buffet restaurant did not have a large variety mix from day to day, one should not expect to starve as you could order fresh cooked eggs and omelets, oatmeal, cream of wheat, 3 kinds of yoghourts, pastries, buns and breads, cheeses, boiled eggs on alternate days, pancakes or French toast, jams, peanut butter, cream cheese…and maple syrup. As most of our time was spent on the beach, we ate lunch at the Ibiza Restaurant which served hamburgers, hotdogs, pizzas, variety of salads, fresh fruits, sandwiches, nachos, and if you wanted, you could order pasta. The supper buffet at Las Palmas had different themes every night and you could often find chicken, fish, beef or pork, rices, salads, fresh and cooked vegetables, pasta, desserts, fruits and breads. You need to reserve two days in advance for both of the à la carte restaurants, and recommend you do so early in the day as they accept about 25 people per evening per restaurant.

The animation teams around the pool and at the beach were all very dynamic and friendly. These young people start at about 9:00 a.m. and are continually trying to involve you in everything from dart tournaments, crazy games, stretching exercises around the people, water aerobics in the pool, volleyball or soccer tournaments at the beach, etc. They also ensure to let you know throughout the day about the evenings’ entertainment and actively encourage you to attend and at times be part of the fun. On Tuesday night was a theater contest involving audience members to choose a Miss Viva and then a Mr. Viva which was a lot of fun and held much laughter for all. Another evening was Dominican night showcasing Dominican dancing and songs (these evenings also had local Dominican artists on sight selling jewelry, painting, sculptures, and cigars. This was followed by an evening showcasing Haitian dance and music in which local Haitian artists were on site selling their wares. Generally, once the theater piece is done, then you are actively encouraged to join the animation team at the on-site disco until it closed at 1:00 a.m. Then for those who felt they needed to continue on…a short walk to the very popular Coco-Bongo disco which is in the hotel district. Some of the memorable animation team members were Erika, Crazy Rosemarie, Aneudy, Pablo, Jayro (my fave) and Emby who were all fun characters to be around.

For shopping, you could go a short walk to the Plaza in which you could find many trinkets, T-shirts, corner store selling a variety of items, licquor products both local and international brands, cigars, jewelry, clothing, bathing suits, hand and beach bags as well as several tour companies selling excursions. Remember that at the plaza the prices are as marked – no bartering here. There are a few vendors that may stop you as you enter shops to entice you into attending a time share session. We were pleased to see this as we read reviews that indicated that there were time share vendors on-site within the hotel. We also shopped at the Orange Flea Market which is a short walk on the beach (turn left and walk for about 5 minutes). We discovered on the last day there that if you continue on the beach past the Flea Market, you will find another outdoor market which basically sells the same items as the Orange Flea Market. The people on the beach love to barter, so do not be shy. Our tour guide explained that whatever price is quoted to you by the vendor, you should be able to barter down to paying about 25-35% of the original quoted price (just be patient and keep smiling). Ladies beware that the vendors tend to be male, and one that is appreciative of you may give you a free gift, which is often a beaded ankle bracelet which they may immediately stoop down to put on your ankle!

We did one excursion which was the 7 Waterfalls Jeep Safari which we bought from a beach vendor named “Nelson” for $60 per person (we later found out that other people paid different amounts for the same excursion, some as low as $40 per person). Had we known about the type of excursion this one was prior to going, we likely would not have bought it as it is quite physical to do. However, we were not displeased and recommend you give it a try. Not recommended for elderly individuals or children under 10 years of age. You should rent the special shoes for $2 USD per pair as suggested and you will be provided with both a helmet and a life jacket. It takes about 20-25 minutes to get to the first waterfall and then you must climb up each one thereafter which includes short swims in deep water and assistance by three very capable strong guides who may at times bodily lift you to assist you in getting up to the next level. Coming down was fun as there were natural waterslides to go down, with the choice of jumping or water sliding down the last two. We would do this one again.

We found the bar service at the beach and pool bars to be excellent, a smile and at least trying to use Spanish goes a long way. I enjoy my Cuba Libre (Rum and Coke), and as we are in the D.R., they like to refer to it as a Dominicana Libre. The waterfall at the pool usually began when the bar opened at 10:00 a.m., shut down for a couple of hours during the siesta time, and then often re-started after siestas, shut down at 5:00 at restarted around 7:00 p.m. til about 9:30 p.m. The outdoor Jacuzzi on top of the beach bar is not filled with hot water, and as the days were warm, it was found to be refreshing. This hotel is great for all ages. Your holiday is what you make of it, so plan to relax, play and enjoy!
Viva Windham Playa Dorada
February 2008
My husband and I just got back from 2 weeks at the Viva Wyndham and enjoyed our stay immensely. We read a lot of reviews before we left and found that they were helpful in knowing what to expect. The one thing that no on has commented on is accessibility for people with disabilities, so I’ll devote my review to that. As far as food, tipping, helpful employees, and entertainment, they were wonderful and have been touched on more than adequately in previous reviews.

My husband is a C 6/C 7 Quadriplegic, so our comments are based on this type of disability. Specifically, our comments pertain to a manual wheelchair, as we are unable to comment on the specific needs and limitations of guests requiring power chairs. There was however a lady there at the same time who used crutches and had no trouble at all getting around.

To highlight, the areas that we found to be accessible are:
- The parking lot and entryway
- The lobby
- The corridors
- The pool deck
- The Las Palmas Restaurant
- The Bamboo Restaurant
- The Cuevo Pool Bar
- The walk-way to the beach
- The Ibiza Beach Restaurant

The areas we feel could be improved on for better access include: - The guest rooms
- The Theatre / Disco
- The spa
- The gym
- The beach
- The Viva Shop

We found the Viva Wyndham Complex quite accessibly designed. There are virtually no stairs, and the wide winding ramps are pleasant to navigate whether by wheels or on foot. The open-air concept makes for both an aesthetically-pleasing environment as well as a wheel-chair friendly one. Tables and buffets are placed at a reasonable height, with ample distance separating them. Above all, the staff endeavor to make all guests feel welcome, and are always willing to lend a hand.

Specifically, we would like to mention two groups who went above and beyond to make our stay enjoyable. The bell-boys: Francisco, Santos, Emilio and Daladie were patient, understanding and strong. On several occasions, my husband expressed the desire to swim in the beautiful outdoor pool, something he has been unable to do since his accident ten years ago. This wonderful group of men took it upon themselves to lift him in and out of the pool. We will never forget this gesture of kindness. Also, several of the animation team, Aneudy, Jairo, Chayanne, Rafael and Pablo were determined that he would not miss their shows.

Despite the theatre being up two flights of stairs, these men carried him up just before the show, and brought him down afterwards. These wonderful men also lifted my husband onto the beach so he could enjoy the sand and ocean view! This type of courtesy has been unheard of elsewhere in our travels.

Of all the areas we feel need improvement, the guest room presented the greatest challenge. We were advised that there are two rooms specifically designed for the physically disabled. We called ahead to ensure we had one of these rooms, but upon arrival found that despite the room being labeled as accessible, it lacks several key elements that define a room as wheelchair accessible. If you are intending to go, I would recommend getting a junior suite on the ground floor. The ‘accessible room’ has some very narrow turning radiuses around the corner to the washroom and no rooms have a roll-in shower available.

Wyndham has committed itself to “doing everything within our power to meet the special needs and interests of each and every one of our visitors.” This was shown to us by no one more strongly than Rosangela de la Rosa, Wedding Coordinator at the Viva Wyndham. Rosangela went out of her way every day to ensure that we were welcome, comfortable, and enjoying ourselves. It was an honor to have our wedding officiated by this young woman and Wyndham is lucky to have such a committed, hard-working staff member. I would recommend a wedding here for anyone!

Viva Windham Playa Dorada
Lisa and Robert 
Nova Scotia, Canada
February 2008
My husband and I arrived in Puerta Playta,January 26 for a 7 night stay at the viva wyndham,a little shakey in the beginning checking in,the rooms got a lot messed up.The hotel is small but we had a great time there,the animation staff was great and very friendly,not pushey at all like I read in some other reviews.The rooms were very clean and nice,and will looked after,but the view,will just make sure you ask for a nice view.The food was great and a big selection,unlike the other reviews said,also I didn't see one timeshare person.We went with 9 other couples and they all felt pretty well the same,the pool bar was great,really nice when the waterfall is on,they don't keep it on very much,we laid in the sun up where the cold tub is,that was nice up there.Disco was quiet,on Thursday night when we went so didn't stay long.We went on the outback safari book by nelson on the beach for 37u.s a person,it was great,I had the best time.If you are going for the first time the viva is a great place to stay.
Viva Windham Playa Dorada

February 2008
We got a last minute deal at the Viva Wyndham playa Dorada at$680 for a week from the 20th to the 28th of January 08 departing from Ottawa with signature vacations.We flew with skyservice and left an hour late from Ottawa and had a six hour flight delay on the way back home

We arrived at the hotel at 2:00am at the hotel,so we had a quick snack and to bed we went.We were given a superior room on the third floor with king size bed and pool view,the bed was real comfortable and the room very nice and clean,a stock mini fridge,hair dryer,iron,facecloths yes you read right facecloths and towels ,always had hot water

there are 3 restaurants,one is the buffet wich is open 24hrs,one is the oriental wich is next to the buffet and only opens for dinner(8:00pm) and the other one is at the beach wich is like a snack bar during the day servingfries,hamburgers,hotdog,salads and drinks and become an a la carte restaurant at 7:00 pm.I am a very fussy eater and I found the food excellent in every restaurant,there,s a bar at the beach and pool,the one at the pool close at 1:00am

Its only a small stroll to the beach on a paved walkway ,it takes only 3 minutes and the beach is nice.The venders are not arrogant,a simple no and there on there way,if you want to buy souvenirs you turn to the left on the beach and walk for about 5 minutes you will see 3 or 4 orange small buildings go there and its like a flee market,you can buy jewlery,tee-shirts,your excursions wich is mutch cheaper than the hotel,etc

There is a show every night at 9:45pm and I found them entertaining,nice costumes and great dancers,in the evening before the show next to the pool there was either a band or a singer with a guitar (and they were good) every night while we were there .You can also go to the 3 casinos close by they open at 7:00pm or at the 2 discos in the plaza next door,the coco bongo disco is better and opens at 11:00pm,there is another disco at the holliday village hotel called mambo or bambo.At the plaza you can also buy souvenirs and excursions

If you want to go on excursions(safari,catamaran,etc)dont be afread to buy them at the plaza or the little flee market on the beach or even from the guys that approch you on the beach,you will get them for more than half the price they charge at the hotel and dont forget to deal with them because beleive me they will lower there price ,if you plan to go swim with the daulphins at ocean world expect to pay $140US per person,found it to expensive so didnt go

Its my 4th time in the DR and this hotel is probably more a 4 star than 3.5,it is very clean,they have a spa,gym,jaccusi and good fresh food,will probably go back and recommend this hotel to anyone
Viva Wyndham Playa Dorada
Daniel de Gatineau
February 2008
Nous revenons de notre semaine passé au Viva Wyndham Playa Dorada.On a eu un spécial dernière minute à $680 pour une semaine du 20 au 28 Janvier08 départ d'Ottawa sur voyages à rabais avec vacances signature.On est arrivé à 2:00 du matin à l,hotel et après un petit gouter on est aller se coucher,nous avons eu une chambre supérieure avec lit king très comfortable qui avait une vue sur la piscine

Il y a 3 restaurants,le buffet qui est ouvert 24hr et a beaucoup de variété,le restaurant oriental à coté du buffet,le snack bar a la plage qui sert des frites,hamburger,hotdog,salade et boisson le jour et devient un restaurant à la carte pour le souper

IL y a un bar à la piscine,un jacuzzi au dessus du bar,un spa,les shows commencaient à 9:45pm et a chaque soir avant le spectacle il y avait soit un chanteur originaire de Montréal,ou une orchestre Dominicaine ou des gens qui vendaient des choses près de la piscine,On peut faire une réservation avec un photographe pour une heure qui nous engage à rien mais laissé moi vous dire que les poses qu'on prends de nous sur le bords de la mer sont de toutes beautées mais au cout de $8.00 chaque,plus ont en prends moins cher que c,est.

On doit marché pour aller à la plage qui prends environ 3 minutes sur une allée piétonnaire fait en pavé uni qui longe un ruisseau,La plage est belle et on peut marché longtemps,si vous tournée à gauche sur la plage vous aller aperçevoir des batiments oranges qui est un espèce de petit marché qu,on peut acheter bijoux,souvenirs,excurtions,etc,il y a aussi le plaza qui est à coté de l,hotel qui est un petit centre d,achat ou il y a 2 discotèques dont le coco bongo qui est très vivant à partir de 11:pm et un pizza hot,il y a aussi 3 petit casino tout près

Si vous vouler faire des excurtions je vous suggère de faire affaire avec les gens soit sur la plage ou au plaza puisque c,est à moitié prix du prix de l,hotel et surtout n,ayer pas peur de négocier les prix pour n,importe quoi Cet hotel est très bien,bonne bouffe,très propre,bien situé,je lui donne une cote de 4 étoiles et je vous le suggère
Viva Wyndham Playa Dorada

February 2008
My husband and I just got back from 2 weeks at the Viva Wyndham and enjoyed our stay immensely. We read a lot of reviews before we left and found that they were helpful in knowing what to expect. The one thing that no on has commented on is accessibility for people with disabilities, so I’ll devote my review to that. As far as food, tipping, helpful employees, and entertainment, they were wonderful and have been touched on more than adequately in previous reviews.

My husband is a C 6/C 7 Quadriplegic, so our comments are based on this type of disability. Specifically, our comments pertain to a manual wheelchair, as we are unable to comment on the specific needs and limitations of guests requiring power chairs. There was however a lady there at the same time who used crutches and had no trouble at all getting around.

To highlight, the areas that we found to be accessible are:
- The parking lot and entryway
- The lobby
- The corridors
- The pool deck
- The Las Palmas Restaurant
- The Bamboo Restaurant
- The Cuevo Pool Bar
- The walk-way to the beach
- The Ibiza Beach Restaurant

The areas we feel could be improved on for better access include: - The guest rooms
- The Theatre / Disco
- The spa
- The gym
- The beach
- The Viva Shop

We found the Viva Wyndham Complex quite accessibly designed. There are virtually no stairs, and the wide winding ramps are pleasant to navigate whether by wheels or on foot. The open-air concept makes for both an aesthetically-pleasing environment as well as a wheel-chair friendly one. Tables and buffets are placed at a reasonable height, with ample distance separating them. Above all, the staff endeavor to make all guests feel welcome, and are always willing to lend a hand.

Specifically, we would like to mention two groups who went above and beyond to make our stay enjoyable. The bell-boys: Francisco, Santos, Emilio and Daladie were patient, understanding and strong. On several occasions, my husband expressed the desire to swim in the beautiful outdoor pool, something he has been unable to do since his accident ten years ago. This wonderful group of men took it upon themselves to lift him in and out of the pool. We will never forget this gesture of kindness. Also, several of the animation team, Aneudy, Jairo, Chayanne, Rafael and Pablo were determined that he would not miss their shows.

Despite the theatre being up two flights of stairs, these men carried him up just before the show, and brought him down afterwards. These wonderful men also lifted my husband onto the beach so he could enjoy the sand and ocean view! This type of courtesy has been unheard of elsewhere in our travels.

Of all the areas we feel need improvement, the guest room presented the greatest challenge. We were advised that there are two rooms specifically designed for the physically disabled. We called ahead to ensure we had one of these rooms, but upon arrival found that despite the room being labeled as accessible, it lacks several key elements that define a room as wheelchair accessible. If you are intending to go, I would recommend getting a junior suite on the ground floor. The ‘accessible room’ has some very narrow turning radiuses around the corner to the washroom and no rooms have a roll-in shower available.

Wyndham has committed itself to “doing everything within our power to meet the special needs and interests of each and every one of our visitors.” This was shown to us by no one more strongly than Rosangela de la Rosa, Wedding Coordinator at the Viva Wyndham. Rosangela went out of her way every day to ensure that we were welcome, comfortable, and enjoying ourselves. It was an honor to have our wedding officiated by this young woman and Wyndham is lucky to have such a committed, hard-working staff member. I would recommend a wedding here for anyone!

Viva Windham Playa Dorada

March 2007
This resort has many pros as well as a few cons, but most importantly I believe it will be well liked by some but should be avoided by others.

The first impression of the resort upon entering the lobby is very positive. The check in process was handled efficiently and quickly. We gave our room number to the porters and headed off to our room to await our luggage.

We were in a Junior Suite on the 3rd floor. Although some parts of the room were showing age and disrepair (cupboard doors off the hinges), it was very clean and extremely spacious. There was a sitting area with a couch, a small table for 2, coffee maker, fridge and safe. The closet space was somewhat limited (as is the case in most Caribbean resorts) but there were enough shelves for folded clothes. The most dramatic part of the room was the soaring vaulted ceiling which really added to the feeling of spaciousness.

The bed was comfortable enough and there were plenty of pillows. One discomforting part of the room was that we were unable to lock the patio doors. They are very wide and have more than one sliding panel. This was not a huge deal as we were on the top floor overlooking the courtyard, but we were always careful to lock things up before leaving the room.

This resort suffers from interrupted electricity on a fairly regular basis. Often we would return to our room to find the bedside clock flashing 12:00 which meant there had been another power failure. The worst part of this was that it also knocked out our air conditioning each time it happened. This did not happen to others in our group so this should not be taken as a global problem. Unfortunately, it took a long time for a serviceman to arrive and fix the problem. They will not enter your room to repair anything if you are not there waiting for them.

Food and Drink;
The selection of drinks at the Viva Wyndham Playa Dorado is quite limited. We were unable to find a decent glass of wine at the bars (they serve sparkling wine as the house red) but could buy a bottle with dinner at a cost of approx $20US. Name brand liquors were limited, but the local rum is plentiful and very good (albeit a bit sweeter than I am used to). The bartenders are VERY generous with the portions.

The pool bar (behind the waterfall) is open all day and evening and the area around the pool is the gathering spot in the evening.

The beach bar closes in the evening as it becomes one of the a la carte restaurants.

The food in both a la carte restaurants was far superior to the buffet. We liked the fact that you were not limited to one visit in each restaurant per stay. We ate in the Asian restaurant twice as well as 3 times in the Mediterranean (beach) restaurant.

Reservations are required and you can make them at guest services in the lobby up to 2 days in advance.

Portions in the Asian restaurant seem small when you look at them, but on both occasions we were hard pressed to finish. They are very filling and tasty. I think the meals here are the best that the resort offers, but we also enjoyed the Mediterranean meals by the beach. I recommend that you request a table near the beach….we had tables further inside the building and although it is all open, we could not see the ocean. One day for lunch there was a barbeque held at the beachside restaurant and it was VERY good!

We spoke with the animation director one day and he told us that this resort had a philosophy which focuses efforts on the animation staff - ensuring guests had a fun time, as opposed to emphasizing the food or rooms. This is an important point for those who may be seeking a quiet, relaxing vacation. If you want to just chill and be left alone, this is not the resort for you. The animation staff are very outgoing and friendly and they try to get you involved in ALL the daily activities. A number of times we declined, but were literally dragged up to do something. (my wife hates bingo but one day was pulled by the hand to join in the game)

We had our 20 year old daughter and her girlfriend along with us. The guys in the animation team were always around them. Fortunately for us, the girls were quite able to handle the attention but found themselves constantly having to put off advances and say NO to the guys. At one point I felt it necessary to step in and politely tell one of the staff that they should follow their own advice and “looky, looky….but no touchy, touchy”.

Be aware that most young women will be approached by the local staff and will find themselves the subject of several advances. One of the staff members was telling our daughter’s friend that he was in love with her (on the 3rd day of our stay!!)

Having said this, the staff are all very friendly and are not overly aggressive. Although they try their best with the girls, they were never threatening and the situation never got out of control.

The beach is a short stroll from the resort proper along a paved and partially covered path. There is a grove of trees at the back of the beach, but the majority of the sand near the water offers no shade at all. We are sun lovers but found that a full day out near the water was too intense for us and instead we opted for chairs near the trees that would offer some shade later in the day.

The pool area offers much more shade, but those chairs were reserved very early in the day…I suspect by people who sat at the beach but wanted to save a place to retire to in the afternoon.

Each morning a tractor would drive by and all the seaweed would be hauled away. We found however that more would be washed in as the day progressed…you would have to wade through a small patch of seaweed to go swimming.

There are not a lot of options if you stay on the resort, but there is still fun to be had. Everyone seems to gather around the pool before and after dinner. Some evenings, there was a fashion show, vendors with their displays or a band playing to provide entertainment. The nightly show in the theatre would start at 9:00 and most people would attend it. After the show, there was usually more entertainment around the pool. One night was a karaoke night, another was a dance contest, casino, etc.

At 12:00 the animation staff would invite everyone to the resort’s disco. Our daughters would go for a while and then the animation team would invite anyone 18 or older (or anyone that appeared that age) to another disco which was close by and was open to guests of all resorts. If you went there with staff members, there was no cover charge.

Both discos are aimed at a young crowd. We went into the resort disco one night with our daughters but quickly felt like a fish out of water.

The drinks at this off-site disco are not free as you are no longer on resort property. Because Playa Dorado is an enclosed environment, the girls were able to walk safely back to the resort (although they never had to do so unaccompanied).

Getting involved in the night time entertainment made the trip more enjoyable. The staff work very hard at getting people involved and try to ensure that everyone has a good time.

We really like the Viva Wyndham Playa Dorado and would recommend it to others…IF you are not seeking a quiet relaxing, romantic escape. It is a very good 3 ½ star resort. The staff are very friendly and helpful and the rooms and property are well groomed and clean.

The staff are all very friendly and helpful.

It is a smaller resort which makes for a more intimate atmosphere and allows you to meet other guests and possibly make new friends.

Choose this resort to have some fun and maybe meet some new people. It provides good value for the price.

I would be pleased to answer any questions if you like. I can be reached at
Viva Windham Playa Dorada
April 2006
Recently arrived back from our trip to the Viva Wyndham Playa Dorada. We traveled there the week of March 28th - April 4th, 2006. My wife and I along with my brother, sister in law and 2 year old nephew and my parents. We've all traveled to different resorts all inclusive, non-all inclusive, cruises etc. before and this was our first time to the Dominican Republic.

Flight - We flew Sky Service and other then the plane being delayed for take off (and us not knowing all the details) we all felt that the charter "sardine can" does it's job. The flight is direct from Winnipeg and the staff and service on the plane is just fine.

Arrival/Check in - There were no problems at the customs in the airport and after picking up our luggage a Signature rep. pointed us in the direction of our tour bus.

Check in at the resort was actually quite fast considering they are checking in a bus load of guests at a time. It was nice to receive a nice cool fruit drink upon arrival and as soon as you were checked in our bags were brought to our room.

Rooms - Everyone in our group was able to stay in Building number 4. (There are 6 buildings in total). Building 4 is a great location as it's close to the lobby, buffet, entertainment stage area (above buffet restaurant as well as the disco), pool and pool bar. Other then a bit of noise from the courtyard area between building 4 and the buffet building which I mentioned has the entertainment area and disco above it - the building is a great location. All 3 of our rooms were Jr. Suites which all include a balcony, and a quite a fair sized "living" area. As well all rooms include a small fridge stocked with water and pop and free safety deposit boxes.
I've never seen such nice big hotel bathrooms before and it was a nice touch to have an ironing board and iron in the room. Plus a hairdryer in the bathroom. The rooms were nicely appointed and kept very clean. Providing a small tip (bills or small gifts) probably doesn't hurt either.

Resort - We all enjoyed the resort and it's grounds. The place is sparkling. It's not a huge place but that was one of the drawing cards especially for having a little one with us. The pool is a good size but not huge. However the pool area is gorgeous with a big waterfall cascading into it and under the waterfall was the pool bar. Above the waterfall was a large 20 person Jacuzzi. I kind of was hoping that the pool or at least the Jacuzzi would have later hours, but they don't. The pool closes at 6 p.m. and Jacuzzi at 8 p.m. However this wouldn't keep me from coming back. The location of the resort is great. Leaving the lobby it's one left turn and down the road no more then 3-5 minutes and you are at a nice Shopping plaza. Going the plaza to look around made for a neat little evening activity. You'll see the same merchandise in the plaza as the beach but more of it at the plaza. It's also no more then a 10 min. leisurely stroll to the Jack Tar casino. Also at the Jack Tar property is a disco and there is one right behind the plaza. So it's a very nice location for walking to other nearby places. As for the beach - Yes it's a short walk down a nice path to the beach. 3 or 5 min. at most. but it's a nice stroll and most of the path is covered and it's also patrolled in the evening by a security guard. The beach is very nice and kept clean and there are lots of beach loungers, plus you could play volleyball, or boogie board etc. The water conditions were not calm so it wasn't great for our 2 year old but fun for us adults. Just playing in the waves and not being at work - who can't appreciate that ?

Service - The staff at the hotel are all very hardworking and eager to please. Especially the animation staff running around the pool and the beach. They have lots of energy and try to get you involved in games, dance lessons etc. but if you don't want to be involved they will not bother you any more. They do a great job on picking up on people who want to have a little fun etc. and they will not bother those that are looking to relax, burn through a book etc. Franklin from the animation staff was sure one staff member that this resort should keep for as long as they can. He's very friendly and outgoing and just hearing his voice brought smiles to our faces. Traveling with a 2 year old also meant that we had our fair share of attention on us especially from the female animation staff. Towards the end of the vacation our 2 year old was saying "Ola" to any employee who passed by. The Bartenders also work hard and always served us with a smile on their face. Sometimes the drinks you'd order weren't made the same from bartender to bartender or bar to bar - but hey it's all inclusive. Order another one. Jonathan a young man in training who worked the pool bar area was also fantastic and would smile and say hi all the time to everyone. There are also 2 photographers always around taking pictures and by the day's end they'd post their pictures that they would doctor up with Photoshop etc. and you could purchase them if you'd like. They did some very nice work.

Food - I personally found the food to be Great. The buffet changes it's menu each day, and some things are constant. Breakfasts had your typical North American foods omelets, scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage, pancakes, French toast, cereal, yogurts etc. as well as a bread station, juices, fresh made fruit "smoothies" and of course local foods like fried plantains, boiled bananas, etc. as well as cold meats, cheeses and fresh fruits.
Lunches - we usually ate our lunches down at the grill on the beach. Daily features included Pizzas (wood fired oven!), French fries, nachos and cheese sauce, hot dogs/smokies, hamburgers, fruit, salads desserts, sometimes rice/bean dishes etc. and this daily fare always hit the spot as you were in the sun so much any light snack would do but it was nice to have some variation.

Dinners - Our group found the A'la carte's a nice change and I'd recommend it to everyone to try them and do them on different days to break up evenings in the buffet restaurant. I enjoyed a fairly good steak at the Mediterranean restraunt while most of the group raved about the BBQ chicken with an orange sauce. At the Japanese restraunt our family enjoyed Asian food that would rival most Winnipeg restraunts. I had some fantastic caramel glazed Korean pork ribs. The usual dinner buffet had lots to chose from and on one Dominican night it featured a lot of local fare including a neat fruit and veggie display. Another great night was the Oriental buffet night. Again Asian or oriental food that would match or better some Winnipeg oriental buffets. If you are a very picky eater then you might not want to go to an All Inclusive resort ? Some people will say , the foods okay but it's all cooked with the same oil, and that is true - it is. But if you were a first timer to North America and spent a week at a hotel and usually at from their buffets you might say the same thing. Remember you are on vacation. One thing I enjoyed was trying some things that weren't labeled that well, just to see if I liked it or not. Save room for deserts, because each dinner always had ample deserts.

Entertainment - The resort is not a resort with 1000 rooms spread over huge amounts of land. It had 204 rooms and therefore it's staff you will notice and remember and speak with each a lot. During the evening these same animation staff put on entertainment shows. During the week we were there 3 of the evening shows were dance shows that featured excellent lighting and costumes. The other evenings in between there are typical Miss Viva shows or guys v.s girls shows etc. The staff work had all day and still have energy at night to do these shows. Again, you are not in Vegas. If you come expecting to see a Cirque de Soleil show think again. But what they do, they do with all their energy. The shows are always announced in 3 or 4 languages to allow all guests a chance to know what's going on and that's normal. After the nightly shows you could go to the Disco. We didn't go to our disco but I did notice people going and having fun. The disco was air conditioned and had a great DJ and lights and sound as well.

Excursions - We booked one trip through Signature Vacations and decided to book the Outback Jungle Safari through them. Sure you could probably get a similar trip through someone else at a cheaper price , but it was the only excursion we did so we didn't have a problem paying a bit more for a reputable tour. We were picked up on time and enjoyed the day with our tour guide Nico. The tour itself was altered a bit due to the large amounts of rain the area had been receiving each night. But it was still a great way to see the countryside and to get a chance to do some excellent boogie boarding at Caberete (big waves!!!) Plus it's pretty cool to see one tour guide mix rum and Pepsi's with no cups just the bottles while hanging on the back of a huge truck while going about 60 km down a highway, the whole time talking and smiling and joking.

Overall - Being our first trip to the Dominican we all really enjoyed it. The weather was great and the resort and it's service and staff were great too. We enjoyed the smaller more personable feel of this resort and it seemed the employees are very proud to work for this resort. I'd recommend it to other travelers.
Viva Windham Playa Dorada
February 2006
We are from Regina, Saskatchewan and we stayed at the Viva Windham Playa Dorada hotel for one week from February 4-11, 2006. Our review:

Hotel Cleanliness:
Hotel was absolutely beautiful. It was well maintained in the areas of cleanliness and grounds keeping.

Time Share:
We read other reviews of this hotel and one of the main features which upset people was the time share. We were confused by time share representatives because they were located just outside of the main restaurant, wearing hotel uniforms and seem to have the same pleasant disposition as the other hotel staff. Therefore we thought the time share representatives were simply just part of the hotel staff. Every time we walked past the main restaurant, or attempted to go to our room they would flag us down and ask us to come "talk" with someone in the reception. We were under the understanding this "talk" (about other Viva hotels) would be only 1/2 hour. When we sat down the receptionist informed us the talk would take more than an hour and it suddenly clicked that this was possibly a time share. We finally became angry enough that we asked the time share representative what their commission was - a meagre $10.00 US and paid him that price to leave us alone. This didn't last for long until another representative began bothering us. They only really left us alone when we were utterly rude towards them. If we return to the hotel we will know where the time share people are located and put them in their place promptly.

Maid service:
Our first room was located in a secluded part of the hotel but unfortunately had a road just outside of our patio door. We could hear the traffic coming up and down the road, car alarms going off all night and people yelling loudly at one another all night. The upside was that our maid was wonderful and left us a couple of nice decorative treasures in our bathroom. Our second room had a beautiful view, and was also fairly quiet. However, we were lucky if our maid would leave us any wash cloths or water - despite our $4.00 US tips, jewellery and make-up. We were not impressed by our maid in the second room and had to order water from the front desk on several occasions. I now know what someone meant when they said they had to "bribe" their maid for water.

Restaurant quality:
We agree with some other reviews that the buffet restaurant becomes monotonous after only a few days. We were able to break it up by visiting the a la cart restaurants which were absolutely wonderful. The service at the a la cart restaurants was nothing short of spectacular. We were greatly impressed by the beach restaurant. The buffet restaurant had a good balance of beef, chicken and fish but I could not eat any of these items because the meat all tasted different to me, but my husband ate it and was fine. I couldn't drink goats milk or eat the cheese either. I chose to eat a good variety of fruits and vegetables. Vegetarians would be delighted by the many choices offered to them - after our return home - I still cannot eat meat and am beginning to consider myself vegetarian! The beach restaurant also had a nice salad spread but also offered some pasta, pizza (which was to die for) and hamburgers and fries.

Overall views of the hotel: We had taken a tour with Isaira Tours The tour was wonderful - will post a review later. On our tour we requested to see the real depth of poverty in the Dominican. This is likely why the hotel will try to convince you not to take tours with other companies outside the hotel, because they don't want you to see the real Dominican. After our tour we were disappointed that the hotel throws so much food away when many of the children walking the Dominican streets are living in absolute poverty. It would be to the advantage of the hotel to sponsor a food bank or soup kitchen. Life on the resort is very different from that of those living in poverty. It is well worth tourists time to take advantage of sights off the resort and please bring school supplies, hygiene supplies for the school children. I gave the teachers glue, scissors, etc to help with their classes. I also gave one of the teachers an umbrella, something she had never had in her life despite the among of rain afforded to the Dominican region. When I showed the children that I had toothbrushes and toothpaste they all began begging for these supplies. I had no idea when I left Canada that many of the simple things we take for granted are royalty to the people living in the Dominican.

We were also bothered that the beach vendors cannot accept water or food from hotel guests. I offered one of the vendors a glass of water on a hot day to which he refused. I asked him why he refused when he clearly did not have a water bottle and was looking dehydrated. After some probing, he finally confessed that if he was caught drinking or eating anything from any of the hotels, he would be either banned from the beach for two days or thrown in jail. I brought him 4 glasses of water which he gulped down and food he ate eagerly while watching for the security guards. These vendors are very poor and work from sun up until the beaches begin to clear. I gave many of the vendors shampoo, crayons, pencils among other school and personal hygiene supplies.

We were disturbed that some of the security guards at the hotel carried shotguns. This is foreign to us in Saskatchewan - only hunters carry guns around with them in the wilderness during hunting season. We were told the guns are for protection, and show but after we viewed the Dominican we felt that we neither required protection or the perception of protection, especially when you factor that 1/3 of the countries economy is derived from tourism.

The hottub was actually a lukewarm tub. We found the water to be cool with hot bursts through the jets once in a while. This was disappointing but when we consider our overall trip - its not something that would prevent us returning to the hotel. The pool was also well kept but was only about 4 feet deep. It was a lot smaller than we thought it would be and were somewhat disappointed.

Overall the hotel was well kept, the bell boy service, and general staff service was wonderful. We did notice it was difficult to get water in the main restaurant but that was because it was so incredibly busy much of the time. This was offset by the fact that there were cooks ready and willing to prepare you fresh French toast, omelettes, and fresh fruit smoothies.

The shows were alright. The dancers held day jobs at the hotel were given an hour to practice their dance routine and then would perform at night. Much of the performances were based on audience participation. They would have air band dance shows that were pretty good but it was obvious that many of the dancers were tired from such long days. However, they held their heads high and were proud of their performances.
Viva Windham Playa Dorada
M & S 
February 2006
We stayed at the Viva Wyndham Playa Dorada for two weeks.
I am inclined to agree with most of the other reviewers on just about everything that was written. We did, however, travel with our son who is not quite two yet, so I do have a slightly different perspective than some. The resort is very wheelchair/stroller friendly! The path to the beach, as well as all of the restaurants and even one palapa on the beach have ramps and are on ground level, so they are easy to roll on to. We were highly impressed. The only things we could not get to were the theatre, disco, gym and spa, which are upstairs.

I agree that this property barely passes for a four star -- we expected more. We had seen it ranked as a 3-star in some travel brochures and that seems to be a little more accurate. The food was passable, and the theme nights were good, especially Mexican night. The a-la-cartes were delicious. The regular "international" buffet was a little bland, but it was easy to find something that we liked. It wasn't awful or anything. Breakfast did get a little boring and the drink service was TERRIBLE in the diningroom, regardless of whether we tipped well or not at all. We assumed it was because we were with our toddler that they ignored us. It is nice to see from previous reviewers that we weren't alone in this!

Our room was always very clean and usually done by noon-time. We found some small ants in our room several times, but we smooshed them and all was well. It wasn't due to lack of cleanliness, since the rooms were really well tended to. We had a room facing the parking lot on the first floor which ended up being noisy with traffic and drunk people walking back at all hours, but if the a/c was left on, it tended to drown most of this noise out.

The kids' club staff was amazing! Our son is too young to leave there, but we were allowed to use their facilities as long as we stayed with him. It was great to keep him occupied on rainy days. They have a mini-disco at 9:00pm, where one of the animators turns on kids' music, the kids get up on stage and dance. Our son had a blast!

Those time-share guys? They need to BACK OFF! By the end of our first week, we were fed up. By the end of our second week, we were ready to lose it. It was to the point that we'd walk a different route back to our room just to try and dodge them. We figured that if you heard their spiel (which takes over an HOUR and they expect you to drop $20,000 right there, by the way), they'd leave us alone. No such luck. It really ticked us off. We were there to relax, not to be constantly harrassed.

The computers and internet access were wonderful. We were pleasantly surprised.

If you want a beach chair or a chair by the pool, go early. We found most chairs are 'reserved' by about 9:30, which was a real pain considering many of the chairs would sit with a towel on them, unused for a good portion of the day.

There are two photographers on-site who go around through the day taking candid shots, or with parrots and iguanas to take pics. You can view them at the end of the day and buy the prints you like. We ended up purchasing quite a few, since they do GREAT work.

Playa Dorada beach is nice, but the waves were very large. With small kids, it was really dangerous, but our son seemed to enjoy it.

The complex is very nice and the mall has a play area for kids (one for small kids, one for bigger ones). There are tons of horse and buggies around and you'll be constantly asked if you want a ride. We chose to take one through the countryside and had a nice trip, getting a slight glimpse of what life is really like in the very poor areas of Puerto Plata.

We didn't do any organized tours, but preferred to go off on our own and make our own schedules. The snorkelling tour that you can book through the dive shop at the resort has a daily snorkel trip into Sosua and you can pay $15 per person to tag along and take their bus ride to/from Sosua and then do your own thing for a half day once you arrive. Beware that the bus takes you to the dive shop first, where you sit and wait a good 30-45 mins for them to get organized.
Once in Sosua, we took a glass-bottom boat tour (walk to the end of the beachfront marketplace, there is a booth in the middle of the roadway where you can book this). It was amazing and our son absolutely loved it! A good alternative for kids too young to snorkel.

We found it cheaper to hire a taxi and guide to take us into the city for a few hours than to do the organized tour. This way, we could see what we wanted and go at our own pace. We don't regret our decision as it familiarized us with the area and we weren't afraid to leave the resort and walk off on our own afterwards.

We won't return to this resort, but not for any one specific reason. We had a good time and enjoyed our stay. We would recommend it to someone looking to head down that way. However, I found it to be overpriced for what it offered and think that there might be some very comparable resorts within the same complex that offer similar amenities at lower prices.
Viva Windham Playa Dorada

The resort was rated as a 4 star and just barely made the grade in my opinion. The front desk staff was actually very helpful; having travelled to Mexico and Cuba, and read a million reviews, we expected otherwise. The resort is okay, but I am not sure it qualifies as a 4 star. The food was actually pretty good but the buffet room was the smallest I've seen for an all inclusive. It was hard to find a seat, those that were empty were usually still not cleared so you had to be fast to find a clean empty table. The service in the dining room (cocktails, beer, coffee, water etc) was extremely poor. They typically had one or two staff for a room of about 200 people. The breakfast was the worst. The coffee cups were only brought out and used by the "drink staff" and you had to wait 15 minutes to get a coffee. A few times we took matters into our own hands and stole some cups etc so we wouldn't have to wait. The variety in the buffet was good. We had italian, french and mexican and of course dominican "theme" nights. The animation crew was around the pool most of the day. They would bring out fruit from the kitchen and go around feeding people. We also saw them dance and hug with people spontaneously throughout the day. The beach facilities were pretty good and the service at the beach bar was fast.
The room and the maid service left ALOT to be desired. The room was dark and dingy, very poorly lit and had sand flies. We actually had a fair size room but it had almost no furniture in it, save one small amenity table for your suitcase. No chairs etc. The maid service was really slow, sometimes we came back at 4PM to discover the room hadn't been made up yet (despite leaving generous tips). The disco started at 9:45PM and was LOUD. The Internet service in the lobby was really good. You paid $3 for 30 minutes and the computers were brand new Dells with webcams and a good fast connection. The one thing that I wish someone would told us about... was the TIMESHARE guys. We read reviews that mentioned them, but... we didn't know where/when they would be. They are right in the Lobby and at the entrance to the Buffet. The problem is that they are dressed in official Viva Wyndham uniforms so you they look like the rest of the staff. They approach you and are very friendly and sound like they are the manager or something trying to make your stay more comfortable. They do this a couple of times during your first few days while not revealing who they really are. Then, when you aren't expecting it they put their BITE on you because your guard is down! We were really upset because once they made their "pitch" they would INSTANTLY jump on you the moment they saw you again as you approached the buffet or entered the lobby. We wouldn't have been so friendly to them at first had we known at the beginning who they "really were". It eventually became a real nuisance as we had to dodge them constantly. We learned that they are only allowed in the lobby and the entrace to the buffet, so if you are fast or go in singles (not as a couple) you can get past them.

Tours: We did the Outback Jungle Safari Horseback riding and Cats Catamaran. All were excellent. The Outback Safari isn't as amazing as everyone says but it was still a great day. Cabarete boogy boarding was the highlight. The horseback riding was a blast and the Catamaran was just okay (alot of people got sea sick). This is a lush country just overgrowing with Palm trees, very beautiful.

Beach/Playa Dorada:
The beach was beautiful, I can see why people come back again and again. It looks as nice as the Kannapali beach in Maui. Playa Dorada resort area is also very clean and safe. We walked in the resort area at night frequently and had no problems. Things change though as we drove through the back countryside on our tours. There is very little infrastructure and the regular people are dirt poor. The rural areas are just big garbage heaps with people living shanty-town style. The towns aren't much better. It doesn't look like there is regular garbage pickup anywhere so there are big piles of it everywhere you go. It made staying at the resort feel very surreal. It was a downer because the beach is just picture-perfect paradise style but the people live in total squalor.

I don't think we'll ever return to the Dominican. We had a great time and enjoyed the beauty of the resort area. However, our feelings are tempered with the abject poverty in the rural countryside. The Viva Wyndham was "okay" but does not compare to the Mayan Riveria 4 Star resorts. Considering the long flight and the expense... a trip to Mexico is probably a better idea.
Viva Windham Playa Dorada

January 2006
We just returned from the above resort Saturday Jan 28/06 and have a review to add to your list. We are Mike and Michele from Ayr, Ontario

This is a nice, small resort which offered decent value for money spent. The room we had (a Jr. Suite) was large, clean and well stocked daily. We were facing the front of the hotel which gave a beautiful view but if there were people out front could be quite noisy until early morning although it wasn't generally an issue.

This resort is very compact- the pool, jacuzzi, bar and main restaurant were all very centrally located. There was a short walk to the beach and beach bar (which was a nice specialty restaurant in the evenings) which wound around beside a natural pond with lots of unique vegetation and birds- smell was not an issue- it was a very earthy natural scent which made a pleasant walk each way. The beach section was lovely here- after walking along the huge expanse of beach from all the resorts this beach section was the cleanest and most swimmable of all- the water was clean and clear of debris at all times.

This resort was kept impecably clean on the grounds- they were always sweeping, hosing down or cleaning up something.

During the day there was always some activity to do or not do both at the pool and at the beach. You were encouraged to join in but not hounded. There was always something nice going on at tea time each day (4pm) at the pool- free facials, massages etc which were a nice way to end the day. The entertainment staff were young and tried very hard to make everyone feel welcome and involved in activities. The nightly show was a bit amateurish compared to others we have seen but like I said they all seemed to be under 21!

Food was acceptable- there was always lots of choice- several meat dishes, fish, lots of veggies and rice, nice desserts and rolls, with pizza a staple at each meal. Some things were great and others were fine but nothing special. We did not go hungry- the specialty restaurants were very good and offered a complete change from the usual fare. Drinks were okay, wine did leave a lot to be desired but hey, they aren't known for their wine are they! The only real negatives we had were the language barrier- English was not spoken or understood very well by any staff including those at the front desk of the hotel but you can get by (since most in the resort were European those languages were catered to). and the fact that after 8 pm there wasn't really anything to do or places to sit and have a drink. The pool area had the loungers but the bar area, which was outside, had seating for about 20 people maximum so when it rained there was no real room to be outside having a drink. We would get a drink and take it back to the room and sit on our balcony.

If you are looking for a quiet, lounge on the beach and get caught up on your reading vacation this is a nice spot to go to. If you are looking for a lot of activity and a night life then this is not the resort to go to.
Viva Windham Playa Dorada
New York
December 2005
we just got back last weekend. first of all - i've been to puerto plata before where i stayed at a delightful pensione. i absolutely do NOT recommend the viva wyndham - it was awful and i suggest spending a lil more money for a better quality facility. it might be a good place for a family vacation on the cheap with young kids bc the meals are all included, there's babysitting and parents can just sit on the beach and doing nothing.

the hotel was clean & generic. the food was beyond awful. since this was a wyndham hotel, we expected a higher level of service & facilities. the cafeteria food was virtually inedible. there is no way to even brush your teeth with the water in the DR without getting ill, so we avoided it with no problem (and no warnings from anyone) - but we still had to bribe our maid for extra bottles of water and extra towels at this very low end all-inclusive hotel. this hotel is supposed to be high quality, but often there were not items available on the menus at the reserved dinners, and up to 4 wines (the less $) were not available on the supplementary menus. the grape juice wine and cheap liquer made us feel an ill malaise that did not dissipate until we stopped drinking it for 24 hrs. we had to go out and buy food stuffs at the over priced local mall (1 bag doritos=$6 USD, cheap five dollar wine was priced at $20) to get by on the carb diet we were supplied with of overcooked pasta, bread and unrecognizable vegtables and "ethnic" themed foods like chinese dumplings a la dominicana. everything had the same taste of nothing & oil, including the "lowfat" table consisting of boiled meat and more boiled vegetables. one day we had califlower, the next day we had fried califlower. the staff tried very hard but they were young and inexperienced and they were dealt with trying to please travellers who are used to a diet beyond their culinery & economic means. the one good thing i did eat in the cafeteria was rotisserie marinated chicken - which is a local specialty. it's unfortunate that they did not include more local well cooked food in their menu. if they did, maybe this would have been a more enjoyable and culturally pleasing experience, which i have definately had during my previous visit to the DR. there were also affordable and good massages available for a supplementary fee on the premises ($50).

our room faced the parking lot and even though the hotel was obviously not full, they would not give us a room that did not face the lot. therefore, we listened to car park alarms all night as w

a couple other unfortunate things: they included mysterious "cargo" charges on our bill when we left and there was dead dog in the road on our way out of the hotel to the airport as well. we were only there for a few days, but we were very happy to leave and did not feel well rested when we got back bc the food made us feel sick the whole time.

one other thing i wanted to mention... while we were eating at the reserved restaurant, a rat climbed up the tree right next to our table.

overall, this hotel is not recommended for the well travelled...
Viva Windham Playa Dorada
December 2005
I just returned today (DEC 4) after spending a week at the Wyndham Playa Dorada, and I am going to keep it short and sweet.This place is definitely worth the money we spent, the nightly shows were awesome, the food was good and the staff is fantastic.

This is the second time I travelled to DR with some friends (ages 25, 22, 22), the first to Viva Wyndham and we found there were always things to do during the day including people our age to hang out with and fun activities. The night life was great also, since most days we didn't get home till at least 4am.

Don't go here expecting a 5 star resort like you would find in NA or Europe but if you go with an open mind you will find yourself having a great time.

By the way, I read some of the reviews by the previous posters and some of the things they said I found to be totally untrue. The bar on the beach opened at 10 and stayed open to past 6pm and there were always 1 person if not 2 people there to serve you.

The animation team made our trip very enjoyable and the shows the performed were funny and entertaining as stated above. The bar by the pool isn't the largest but is not small by any means and there was plenty of seats available and since it is located beside the pool and under the waterfall it would only be reasonable to assume there would be water on the ground.

There were fresh jugs of water available by all the bars, and you could request for extra water to be left in your room when it was restocked. The staff we encountered was great, they were extremely friendly, nice and helpful with any problem we had.
Viva Windham Playa Dorada
Bev and Nicole 
July 2005
July 2005 - We have just spent a week at the Viva Wyndham Playa Dorada Resort ? (1 July ? 8 July 2005). Firstly, and I am not usually a moaner, but the hotel is not a 4 star (as stated by Signature Vacations) (and I have travelled quite a bit) and at most, a 2.5 star, so we were very disappointed. The ordinary hotel room is small and dingy (lack of dressing table), there is no adult pool and there are major swimming rules and regs, the bars open late in the day, and water drinking fountains are few and far between ? not been to a resort where I cannot drink the water. We only received 2 bottles of water per day in our room so had to constantly re-fill ? the bars do not carry bottled water either. The staff were generally speaking under-trained and not very helpful when confronted with problems.

There was no place to sit and relax when it rained i.e. the foyer, and there was no bar in the foyer either. The bar at the pool was constantly wet (puddles of water on the floor) due to the waterfall behind the pool (which is pretty), and there were not enough chairs to sit on. The bar at the beach was only open from 10.00 a.m. (sometimes later) to early afternoon, so even to get a glass of water became a problem, as was the towel place, which was supposed to open at 9.00 a.m., but usually opened at around 10.15 (if you were lucky).

The buffet was fair, we certainly did not go hungry, and on some days, the meals were good ? but again, not 4 star food ? the orange juice in the morning was nothing more than Fanta Orange. The a la carte Beach Restaurant was excellent (when it was open) ? but bookings are taken two days in advance so we only ate there twice and it was closed on one occasion.

The beach is small, a nice swimming beach with lovely sand ? we spent a lot of time in the ocean ? shade on the beach can be a problem. We did lots of long walks along the beach, not many shells around. The lounging chairs are all grouped closely together, which is not great and we were haggled by local vendors on the beach all the time to buy their wares. We had an excellent trip to Paradise Island ? amazing snorkelling (good reef and fishes), but the bus trip there and back is a nightmare ? so be warned (not recommended for pregnant women or for people or have bad hearts - believe me!). We did a tour to Puerta Plata (very nice) and I strongly suggest that single women do not hire a taxi to go on their own to Puerta Plata.

As for the animation team ? well we attended two evening shows, ? sorry, but a bit of a waste of time ? and left early. We did manage to see a show at the Occidental resort down the road, absolutely fantastic with a 7 piece live band.

All in all, we had a good holiday, lovely weather and made the most of it. The grounds are kept in excellent condition and the flowers and trees are lovely ? quite a few mozzies from the lagoon though so if they like your blood, take with insect repellent.

I would strongly recommend that you check with your travel agent with respect to the rating of this resort before booking if you are used to a more up-scale bigger resort. It is not a 'new' resort either, but one which has had some up-grades as Wyndham bought this resort several months ago - as I say, disappointing, but then again, you get what you pay for not so? - a lesson well learned, pay more and make sure its a 4 - 5 star resort!
Viva Windham Playa Dorada
Bahama Jody 

June 2005
Stayed at viva playa dorada from 5/13 to 5/20. Resort was kept spotless at all times. I have traveled to the DR for 15 years (both north and south coasts) and this was the first time I have not had a stomach problem. (I take pepto every day-whether need it or not) Resort is small, which I liked because I travel alone and it was much easier to meet people at a resort of this size.

Drinks were excellent, and service was good for the most part. About a 3 minute walk to the beach, but it is lancscaped and pretty. Puerto Plata Village is on the left, Playa Naco on the right. Beach was beautiful, and never overly crowded. As I have read previously, the resort gets a little crowded and noisy on the week ends, when the locals come in with their very large families! My only complaint was the lack of a dresser or any drawer space for clothes. It was fine with just one person, but would be a real problem with more people in the room. The maid kept the room very clean (left her 1$ everyday) and one day found my hand towel on the bed in the shape of a heart with flower petals in it. Nice! I would go back to this resort, but would request the superior room in the hopes it would have a dresser! Animation staff asked me to eat with them several times, or joined me at my table if I was alone. Nice touch. If anyone has questions, you can e mail me at
Viva Windham Playa Dorada
Glen & Michelle 
Truro Nova Scotia
June 2005
We just arrived back from our trip to the D.R. We traveled there the week of April 30, 2005 – May 07, 2005. My wife and I were travelling on our honeymoon and this was our first time to the D.R.

The Flight:
We flew West Jet. The flight was great. The flight staff going down were terrific and very entertaining. The return flight was a bit more subdued, but we were also travelling on a late night flight. We had no flight delays and our flight home actually arrived back in Halifax an hour early.

Arrival/Check In:
We had no major problems with customs at the D.R. airport. Our travel representative was waiting for us right outside the door at the airport and directed us to our bus. It was very fast and efficient and we were on our way to the resort in less than 20 minutes. We didn’t find the porters at the airport that bad at all, if you told them no, they didn’t bother you.

Check in at the resort went very smoothly. We arrived at the resort around 11:00 it was not that busy at the front desk. When we booked our tour, we told the travel company we would be travelling on our honeymoon, and when we checked in, the resort had already upgraded our room from a standard to a superior room. They had a bottle of champange on ice, fresh fruit and cheese and crackers, a letter welcoming us with a few other small gifts, including a A-La Carte already booked for us. Definitely, a very nice touch.

We stayed in building number 5 and were on the ground floor. Our room had a patio, that faced the pool. It was very nice to have the patio to sit on in the late afternoon shade. Our room was very clean and the maid did an excellent job of cleaning it and keeping us supplied with bottled water and pop each day. We tipped our maid everyday with USD and some small gifts. The room was very basic, but it did have a small fridge and the bed was comfortable and the AC worked great. What more can you ask for. You really don’t spend that much time your room anyway.

We really enjoyed the resort. The grounds were immaculate. The guys working on the grounds never stopped from very early in the morning until early in the evening. The beach was very nice, clean and not overcrowded. It was not a problem to get a chair at the beach, no matter what time we went down there.
Yes, there is a bit of a walk to get to the beach, but it’s only about a three minute walk. The pool was very nice and was a great place to sit back and relax, except on the weekends. The resort became very crowded, especially around the pool area. I was told this was from locals staying at the resort for the weekend. We truly enjoyed the smaller size of the resort. It gave you a chance to very quickly meet the other guests and forge fast friendships.

All we can say about the service is that it was awesome. The staff is all very friendly and will do just about anything they can to help you.

We found the food very good. Neither of us got sick. The buffet was great and there was always something you could find to eat. Some of the food tasted a bit different than we were used to, but it all still very tasty. The A-La-Carte restaurants were especially nice. We found the food at the Mediterranean a bit better than at the Oriental restaurant.

The entire Animation Team was great. They really do try hard to entertain you. It’s hard to believe the long day they put in. We had breakfast one morning with one of team, and that was at 7:30am…at eleven that night, he was still working, singing and dancing up on the stage. There is a different show each night in the theatre and they really try hard to get everyone involved. There is lots to do if you want to.

This was probably one of the few disappointments we had with the resort. We booked a time at night to have our pictures taken and he forgot to show up. When we found him, his camera would not work, so we rescheduled for the next day. Again, he failed to show up, so we decided that we would not have any pictures done by him. Too bad, because from the pictures we did see, he did nice work. Maybe a quick lesson in customer service might help him a bit.

Overall –
One word of caution, if your flight does not leave until later in the day or night, you do have to check out of your room at 1pm. Our tour operator told us that the resort would give us a hospitality room to have a shower in before we left and a room to lock our valuables and luggage in. This didn’t’ happen. The resort was overbooked the weekend we were leaving and they told us that they could not help us out. This meant our luggage would have had to sit out front in the lobby all day, and if we wanted a shower, we had to use the gym. Luckily, we made some nice friends and they let us use their room, as they were not leaving on the same day.

This was our first trip to the Dominican, and we really enjoyed it. We would recommend this resort to anyone that is planning on travelling to th
Viva Windham Playa Dorada
Vitaliy and Marisol 
New York
May 2005
Hello! We booked by ourself at the Viva Whydham Playa Dorada from May 17th until 21th, my boyfriend and I we really had a great staying over there...We found a lot of positive thing in this resort. After our arrival at the resort they offered to us a nice fruit juice drink..we had a very quick check in without any problem..The bellboy bruoght our laggages into the room we stayed in builtding 4....very close to the pool, restaurants, disco and buffet, the beach is 5 minutes by walking from the resort but it was ok. because we really need some exercises..Our room was a superior one.very comfortable and spacious, with a nice balcony and like a living room where we have a lot space to share, cable, small freegie, and some plastic furniture at the balcony....The staffs from this resort is very nice, they made a very hard effort in order to make our staying very enjoylable and comfortable..and they really made it...We want to give a special thanks to Annie,Vicky, Cristina,and the boys for their friendship and help.....The food at the Oriental restaurant was delicious and the waiters were very polite with us, the mediterran restaurant close to the beach was really great the food was excellent and we didn´t have to wait long time for it...people over there were very king with us..we really give our highly thanks to all of them...the buffet even when my boyfriend was so interesed about the food over there I can say that I really enjoyed it, because was very delicious and they make different type of food everyday........Ok. I have visited more resorts during my vacation,but I can say my stay over there was my favorite one.

Negative things we found was in our room...after we got into it....we found the floor in the bathroom completely wet a lot of water was coming from the ceiling..we called to guest services inmediately and they sent someone to fix the problem...the guy did, at night when we returned again to our room we found the same problem and we waited until next morning for them to send someone again to solve the problem...we had to called them like 3 times..but finally the maintenence guy solved that problem....Another thing is the breakfast at the buffet was not so varied and my boyfriend never found something interesting to eat, only fruit and juice ok. the juices weren´t so good in compared with other resorts we had was not an inconvinience for us..because thanks God my boyrfriend doesn´t eat too much....We really got annoyed because the guy on the blue and orange shirt they always bothered to us trying to seld us a package from the membership of this hotel..! .it was really annoying for us because we went on vacation to escape the high pressures of the city and ended up dreading the those guys that they pass off...I think this hotel should not do that because this is a very negative thing for them.....About the disco it was not so exicted as we expect, but it was maybe because the people over there most of them were old and didn´t know how to dance...but on Friday the disco was great because a lot of dominican people arrived over there it was like a dominican party hundreds of them were every where it was really funy thing.....Ok.I think we didn´t found more negative things over there...

But we definitely recommend this resort for value for your money. If you're looking for a quiet resort at a great price, Viva Wyndham Playa Dorada is for you. We wouldn't hesitate to go back.

If you want more information don´t hesitate to contac us here are our and
Viva Windham Playa Dorada
Toronto, Ontario
May 2005
I will start off by saying this was my favorite Trip ever. I have traveled to many different places but nothing compares to this resort. It rained 4 days straight while I was there but it had no impact to on my trip. The staff was great and the food was excellent. I highly recommend this resort to anyone of all ages. I must say I give all the credit to the "We are the sun staff" they where incredible. Agustin and Franklin kept everyone entertained. I will defiantly go back to this resort and tell all my family and friends about it. You won't be sorry!!!!
Viva Windham Playa Dorada
Moncton, NB
May 2005
We've been going to the Playa Dorada complex for the past 10 years and while we never stayed at this hotel, we did visit it on two occasions in April. The rooms manager (Alejandro Feliz) is a friend of ours and he invited us to come for a day to visit the hotel. We had also been in the hotel years ago when it was the Rumba Heavens. Anyhow, Alejandro was very gracious and escorted us and 5 other couples that we brought with us on the tour. The reviews that are already posted are correct. Everyone who writes a review has their own slant or take but in general this is a lovely place. The beach area being right next to that of the Playa Naco on the right and that used by Puerto Plata Village on the left(as you face the ocean) is wide and the swimming is good. As stated the hotel has been completely renovated and has a new feel. It's hard to beat new, no matter what. After visiting this hotel we are torn on whether to continue going to the one we normally do, the Dorado Club, or to this one. The Dorado Club does not have the NEW feel by any stretch of the imagination but we like it. Anyhow, this is just for info to readers that this seems to be a good quality hotel. Alejandro will help you should you ever need assistance.
Viva Windham Playa Dorada
St. John's, NL
March 2005
We just arrived back from our vacation in the D.R. We were there for the period of March 16 to 23, 2005 - We were a group of 6 female family members. For four (4) of us it was our first time traveling to the Dominican.

The Flight: We flew Air Transat. The flight was good but the seating seemed crowded. Not much leg room. But that's the same for the majority of domestic flights anywhere you go now days!

Arrival/Check In: Airport departure procedures went by very quickly without any problems. We found our Travel Representative without much trouble and were quickly directed to the correct bus.

We were greeted upon our arrival at the hotel as soon as we disembarked from the bus. We were each given a nice cool fruit drink. We proceeded to the front desk to check in only to be advised that check in wouldn't be until 3:00 pm. We had been advised by our travel agent that check in would be around 1:00 p.m. This extended wait to check in was very upsetting as we had already been awake for more than 24 hours and just wanted to sit down and relax for a while. We then had to leave our luggage and wander around the resort until 3:00 p.m. We had requested adjoining rooms and as a minimum wanted to all stay on the same floor. However, when we check in we found that we had been given 1 room on each floor. After some discussion with the hotel clerk we got 2 rooms on the same floor and 1 on the level below us. This was a small disappoint for us.

Rooms: We stayed in Building No. 2 - and were also disappointed to find out that there were no dressers, mini-fridges or tables & chairs in either of our rooms. When we booked these tickets we had been told that the Standard Rooms came with all of the above. We had 3 rooms booked & neither had a balcony. We had to live out of suitcases for the entire week. If we had our time back we would have booked either 2 Junior Suites or 1 premier suite for all six of us. However, we ended up not spending much time in the rooms and therefore it really didn't matter to us once we got into our routine. It would also have been nice had there been screens on the hotel windows. That way we could have left the windows open all day & night!

Resort: We've been told that the resort is small but being that 4 of us had never been there before we couldn't make a comparison. We actually liked that it was small. It made us feel safer. The cleanliness of the hotel and grounds was outstanding. Some comments were made regarding how small the beach area was; however, when we walked up & down we found that the area for our resort was the best. It was the cleanest and best maintained. We never had any problems finding a chair on the beach no matter what time we went down there. The short walk to the beach is enjoyable. We didn't think of the "pond" as a swamp but as a "lagoon". I guess it's in how you view things. We also enjoyed bargaining with the local vendors at the Orange Market.

Service: The service at this hotel was good. All staff were eager to please you.

Food: We found all of the food excellent. There was always something on the Buffet that we enjoyed whether it was turkey, boneless chicken breast, pork or steak. The desserts were delicious as well. Nobody got sick and I'm sure we all actually gained some weight. The Mediterranean Restaurant (beach side) was beautiful. The food was excellent was well. We had booked but cancelled the Oriental Restaurant when we found out that they were have roast turkey at the buffet that evening.

Entertainment: The entire Animation Team was fantastic. Each & everyone of them deserve nothing but the highest of praise. They really worked hard to ensure that you had a good time. When you think about it, they put in a really long day. Each day they offered different things to do from water aerobics, darts, horseshoes, dance lessons, Spanish lessons etc. There was no way you could be bored if you got involved in the various activities that were offered. We also enjoyed the night shows. This hotel is very lucky to have this group of individuals working for them. Even my sister-in-law, who was with us and has been to the Dominican a number of times before, agreed that this was a great group of individuals. From the time we got up until the time you left to retire for the evening, they were there to entertain you and assist you with anything you needed. They are all truly amazing & they made our stay really enjoyable. Both of my daughters can't wait to go back again. They are currently planning a return trip for the very near future.

Pool: We found the pool and surrounding area was beautiful during the day as well as during the evening. The lanterns in the trees at night and the candles on the tables made it a beautiful area to just sit back and relax.

Photographer: I have yet to see any reviews mention Andre (I'm not sure if I've spelled his name correctly) the photographer at the resort. You'll see either him or one of his staff taking pictures by the pool or down at the beach. He is a wonderful photographer. They take the pictures during the day and then you can view them in the evening just outside of the buffet area. You can purchase these pictures from him. I bought some as well as my sister in law. They are really beautiful. I would have like to have a business card from him though. It would be nice to be able to get in touch with him to inquire about purchasing more of the pictures. So if anyone has an email or other address for him, please let me know.

Overall - This was my first trip to the Dominican and I enjoyed it. I would recommend this resort to other travelers as well. You will feel very welcome and safe.
Viva Windham Playa Dorada
Bob & Pats Gang 

March 2005
Jan 25/Feb 8, We also stayed at the wyndham, and had the nicest R&R vacation that we expected. The resort previous was called the Rhumba Heavens, that management let it run down, the Viva chain is doing a great job of restoring it ,we stayed in building 6 and everything was perfect. Right from the check in personnel, maid service,waiters ,service by the staff in all eating areas, and even the grounds workers, there wasn't one that wouldn't go out of there way to help,if you wanted something all you had to do was ask.The Beach seemed to have lots of room for the ones that wanted to enjoy resting in their lounge and enjoy the sun. It was great not haveing a Ball or a Frisbie comeing right at you, no problems in finding Lounges befor 10a,m, only complaint i have was people putting books on chairs at the pool and putting Towels on Lounges at the Beach. these people very unconsiderate, that they have to take areas away from others. Our group of six was very happy to have booked the Wyndham and will no doubt in the future stay here again, we have stayed several times at 4&5star resorts that coulden,t even match this place, for friendlyness, cleanlyness,and service . We had a great time at Wyndham..
Viva Windham Playa Dorada
March 2005
Our vacation was between Feb 21 and March 06 2005. We were 3 families (6 peoples) who booked this trip through Sunseekers vacation first time for 2 weeks. We have been previously in Punta Cana and few times in Cuba.

The flight: Not very bad, in fact we had the back seats in the plain where there was lots of empties and we didn’t feel very crowded. The meal and the drinks were acceptable.

Arrival / Check In: Airport formalities were done rapidly and we identified the bus by asking different other travel representatives (Sunquest rep. was not quite visible for a while). We were a little disappointed because we have to wait on the bus in the airport almost 45min because apparently all busses were leaving almost in the same time – ours was completed much earlier however for no reasons we have to wait for the others. When the buss moved , in the last minute the Sunquest Rep showed up and he made a brief introduction and presentation relative where everybody should get of the bus.

Upon hotel arrival they greet us with cool drinks and the cheek in took just few minutes

Next day another Sunquest rep. gave us a presentation with valuable information. He was there every day available for support (Eugene)

Rooms: We have been accommodate in building 2 (there are 6 buildings)- the bellboy carry our luggage. The room was not very spacious and relatively poorly furnished (no chairs or any shelves in the closed to organize our clothing – in fact not even enough hangers were found) – the bathroom was relatively crowded with sink, toilet and tub all together – no balcony and the view towards a service road where all the utility vehicles were stopping every half an hour to discard their supplies to the resort. This was our first disappointment. After the first night all of us realized the increased level of noise coming either from the heavy traffic in the street (day and especially night). Next day we asked for another room and we have been told that rooms in other buildings (facing quiet areas) will be available only after one week. NOTE: from Winnipeg our travel agent mentioned that booking was done on “hotel room” which leave a relative confusion because at the hotel the categories were clear with clear differences: Our initial room was Standard (no balcony, no mini-bar, and no extra furniture). We were surprised to see after when we moved into the new rooms that “standard” has also sub levels (the initial was the most inferior). Here the closed was more spacious with extra hangers and some exterior shelves on the wall. The bathroom had separation door from the toiled and shower and the space, flooring and fixtures were better quality. This building was quiet; however we still couldn’t slip with window open because of the mosquitoes.

Resort: relatively small, most of the facilities remodeled although some of the places still under construction (the piscine showers were building while we were there, second rows of stairs rails were installed in the same time etc). The beach is 5 min walking on a nice path, however this path is by a swamp (“pond”), a great habitat for birds but also for mosquitoes (in the first 4 days I have got such nasty bites which last almost until the last day. I’ve seen some peoples spraying and cleaning around the swamp but too un-effectively.

The beach at the first sight is small, however we realized is large enough to accommodate the amount of people for this hotel without been exaggeratedly crowded. It was well serviced, clean with enough chairs and “shady palapas”. Beach towels always fresh enough for everybody. Near by there is a little mall where our wifes liked to go almost every afternoon for shopping. Don’t forget also the group of boutiques at the end of the beach where is a pleasure to bargain with local vendors for souvenirs.

Service: Generally speaking very well. All the staff very friendly and nice. However we noticed a slight difference between building 2 (all rooms done until 2-3), and building 5 where in some days we have to chase the maid to have at least the towels changed (not talking about cleaning). This didn’t stop my wife to share generously few items what she brought specially for this purpose. The reception staff was great as well as the maintenance guys who came to fix our air-conditioning. The bars had enough personnel for fast and friendly service.

Food: Buffet – Comparing with my previous places (Punta Cana or Cuba) relatively small but then we realized the size was OK and the food, service and air-conditioning were excellent. We appreciate the efforts made once a week (on Friday) to organize a Dominican style evening with nice food arrangements a festive presentation.

Oriental Restaurant - we have been three times because we laved their sushi. The furniture and the interior is nice, however the air-conditioning and ventilation is a bad mark for this restaurant (is either too cold or too warm and the smell coming from the kitchen some times very noticeable doe to the traffic door kept permanently opened).

Mediterranean Restaurant– Best mark for everything: Juan with his team and the two Asian chefs always strived for best service and great food and atmosphere. The beef and the fish greatly recommended.

I want to emphasize once again that everything was clean, safe and well prepared and none of us had ever any stomach problems (in fact everybody gained at least 5lbs )

Entertainment: The beach – All the girls, “Bomba” and the rest of the crew was working hard to keep everybody happy with games or merenegue lessons. We also played volleyball and we had a wonderful time.

The pool: although small, nice and cozy, especially the area towards the old trees – my wife laved the terracotta lanterns and the evening candles on the tables. I was relatively disappointed when one day I tried to play table tennis and by mistake we stepped on the ball and the staff in charge gave us anther creaked ball telling us that there are no other balls available. I was surprised and I noticed that they have only 2 balls /day available for play. We never spent time by the pool during the day. We liked to come in the evening for a drink at the bar; however my friend enjoyed one day the “facial” session offered by the staff girls.

Night show: Although the staff tried hard there was some evenings when the scenes were more embarrassing than entertaining (and believe me we have a good sense of humor). There were couples of evenings when some outside performers were invited with some traditional Dominican dance and music – this should be done on consistent basis

Tours: We didn’t buy any, however when we had couple of days with clouds we hire a minivan taxi and we went to Puerto Plata, Sosua and Cabarete – cheaper and efficient especially when the driver speaks a little English. We liked more Sosua cleaner, less polluted, less crowded and with nice private beaches with nice views. In Puerto Plata a good objective is the fort and the Rum factory (best place to buy rum).

Overall we have a good time during this vacation at this resort; however it still needs work to qualify for 4 stars (the way was sold to us). Once again we thank to all Dominican staff for their efforts and their friendliness.
Viva Windham Playa Dorada
Marianne Robinson 
Ingersoll, Ont.
March 2005
ust arrived back from Viva Wyndam on March 7, 2005. We were there for 1 week. Flew from London, Ontario which is only 25 minutes from our house.

After reading numerous reports, reviews (of other resorts not this one) I was very nervous about the illness that was affecting people travelling to the Dominican Republic. We were originally to travel on Jan. 24, however, due to the fact that we were travelling with our 21/2 year old daughter, we were able to get our trip post-poned to February 28. We had originally tried to get the destination changed, but were only able to post-pone. Check-in - arrival at the Puerto Plata airport went very fast. Couldn't help but notice the smell of bleach in the airport - seemed very clean. We were through customs, had our luggage and were on the bus to the resort in record time. At the hotel, a bit of a different story. Our room wasn't ready so we had to wait. Our only complaint was the gentleman who checked my husband in had a terrible cold. I asked my husband if he washed his hands thoroughly after the check in and he did, however, later in the week he developed a cold as well. Guess where he got that from! Room - the room was very basic, however, large and we had two double beds for the three of us. I was impressed at how incredibly clean everything was. I saw the maids cleaning the rooms. We have travelled extensively before and after our daughter was born and I've never seen such thorough cleaning. It made me feel much better about our choice of coming. The beds were also very comfortable. We had lots of towels most of the time too. Cable TV even included kids cartoon channel which kept our little one occupied first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Food - my husband is horribly bothered by fish. He hates it and the mere smell of it can send him flying for the bathroom. The first night we were there, they were cooking fish in the dining room and he went running out. The other nights, we did not have too much of a problem. I found the food quite good actually. I think you have to remember that food in a developing country is just not like at home, so you have to keep that in mind. They had variety every night and again the dining room was very clean and well kept. Service - again quite good. We never waited very long for a drink at the bar. Beach - quite small, but a nice children's play area, which our little one enjoyed. There was also an open air grill/restaurant at the beach which was pleasant (french fries, hamburgers, sandwiches, etc.) Pool - lovely with a waterfall at the back and a bar in behind. The waterfall could be a little loud, but was very pleasant. Again, very clean.

Weather - we had four good days - sunny and hot and three rainy days (you can't do anything about the weather). Our goal was to relax and we certainly accomplished that.

I have to express my opinion regarding the Illness outbreak. I had bottles of hand sanitizer with us and we used it frequently - even our little one. I guess I did go a little overboard. We didn't see any sick people anywhere. As a matter of fact a young man with a very bad sunburn was boarding the flight when we left. He was bandaged almost all over. He was being interviewed by some sort of an official and he wasn't allowed to board unless he had a doctor's note to travel, which he did have with him no problem. It appears to me that all safeguards are being taken to protect peoples' health and I certainly appreciated it. I give this trip, Sunquest and the Viva Wyndam high marks. My personal opinion is that illness is the fault of sick people who travel anyway. If you have Norwalk or have been sick and are still contagious, you should not travel, board a ship or an airplane where people are confined together. I think it's partially the fault of the travel operators - people who are ill and can prove it should be able to travel at another time or get their money back. That would protect them and others. It only takes one infected person to sicken hundreds on a cruise ship and who knows what started this whole thing in the Dominican. I've read on many websites about gastronintestinal illness - if you are sick, stay home. Again, high points to the Viva Wyndam - a very enjoyable holiday. I wouldn't hesitate to go back.
Viva Windham Playa Dorada
Winnipeg, Manitoba
February 2005
A group of six of us traveled from Feb 6- Feb 13 to the Viva Wyhdham Playa Dorada resort in Puerto Plata. Some of us had been to the DR before, but for me and my boyfriend it was our first time here. We had previously been to an all-inclusive in Cuba.

Getting there: We flew Skyservice and it was actually not as bad as we expected it to be. We got to the airport early to request the exit aisle (for extra leg room) and were told that yes we could have it! We were very excited until we realized that the agent made a mistake, and we were actually in the row before the exit aisle, which meant that not only did we have very little leg room but we could not recline our seats back. Luckily, it being a 6am flight, we were tired enough that we slept for most of the flight anyways, but we definitely weren't comfortable. Definitely bring water with you as beverages are only offered twice during the flight.

Check In: After we arrived we were greeted by a Signature rep and quickly got our luggage and were shown to our bus. The process was extremely quick compared to my previous experience in Cuba. It was about a 20 minute bus ride to the hotel during which the Signature rep told us useful info such as where to exchange money, etc. At the hotel, we were greeted with drink and check in took all of 5 minutes. Very speedy. Our rooms weren't ready (we had to wait an hour) and our luggage was stacked by the wall with everyone else's while we ate and wandered the resort. I was a bit nervous about leaving my luggage lying around in the open but it all turned out okay in the end.

Rooms: Our rooms were ready when they promised and the bellboy carried our luggage up for us. Our room was very spacious with a king size bed, mini-fridge, balcony, tv, bathroom with separate sink area and hairdryer. There was a large closet in the room, but very few hangers and no dresser to put your clothes. Most of my clothes stayed in my suitcase for the week as a result. We were in building five with a third floor room that overlooked the pool area. We didn't see any bugs (at least I didn't, perhaps my boyfriend just didn't tell me about them!) in the rooms and most of the time our balcony door was open. The pool area was kind of loud, and at night, you could hear the disco/piano bar until about 1230 or so. But it didn't interfere with our sleep at all.

Hotel: The resort itself is small, and not directly on the beach. It is about a 5 minute walk along a path which is beside a lagoon to get to the beach. I didn't find this to be any inconvienience at all. Once you get to the beach you really don't have to leave again as there is food/drink and bathrooms nearby. I found the resort to be very clean. The staff could always be seen working hard to keep things tidy. There is some landscaping that it still in the works, but nothing that was any inconvenience to us in any way. The hotel is in the Playa Dorada complex which consists of a group of resorts that are situated together on this fenced in complex. It is close to Puerto Plata (about 10 minutes) but further away from Sosua and Cabarete. The complex has its own little shopping centre called the Plaza where you can exchange money and buy rum, coffee, cigars, clothes and other souvnirs. This Plaza is right next door to the Viva Wyhdham.

Service: I found the service to be great. All the staff were very friendly and nice. The maids were nice but I think they had a large workload as sometimes your room would not get cleaned until 5 or 6 at night. Once it did get cleaned though, it was spotless. There seemed to be some issue with towels though, perhaps the resort does not have enough for everyone? Often our maid would come in to our room just to pick up one or two towels and then leave the rest. Once, when we asked her for another towel (we had only gotten one) she simply went to the room next door and took one from them. It was quite amusing. The entertainment staff were good, not too pushy. Edwin, the staff member at the beach where you get boogie boards, etc. was really great. He was very friendly and always provided a good laugh. The staff at the reception desk were great. Our airconditioning broke one night and within 3 minutes of calling the desk, we had four maintenance staff up in our room and they fixed it immediately. Staff at the buffet restaraunt were good, but very sporadic in offering drinks etc. Sometimes they ask you what you wanted, and other times you would never see them. Staff members would often sit and eat with the guests and chat with them during supper. I think I waited at the bar for a drink once my entire time there. I found the bar service to be very quick, and there was more than enough rum in the drinks!

Food: I found the food in the buffet to be excellent. I agree it could be a bit repetitive at times but I didn't mind because I thought it was great! Lots of potatoes, vegetables, pasta and pizza. The bread was always super fresh and the ice cream was really good. Lots of foods were deep fried though (including my hot dog one day!). I thought the breakfast was great..french toast, omeletes made fresh and pancakes. The coffee was amazing! Compared to the resort we stayed at in Cuba I would say the food here was 1000 times better! The snack bar at the beach was good too, lots of burgers, fries, and pizza. This turned into the Meditarranean a la carte restaraunt at night which was also good, but I still preferred the buffet. Although some in our group were sick of the food by the end of the week, I wasn't, I could have stayed another week and been fine with the buffet. One in our group got food posioning, possibly from oysters she ate....a couple others had minor tummy troubles but I think we all tolerated the food pretty well.

The Beach: I was dissapointed in the beach at first. It is quite small and crowded. Once everyone has their lounger pulled out and positioned, there isn't much room to move around or walk. There are some small palm trees here and there. The sand is fine and gold in color, not white. The water is a nice turqouise blue and very rough. Lots of waves all the time. Once I realized that the waves are great for boogie boarding the beach became my favorite place! Its much more fun to play in waves than swim in calm waters that you find at other places. After the first day you get used to the crowded conditions on the beach. There is a volleyball net set up and there are other activities such as aerobics, merengue lessons and horseshoes to keep you occupied if you want. You can walk for a long while in both directions down the beach and the view is very nice (lots of hills and greenery). We didn't have any problems getting loungers for the six of us but we were always there by 10 or 1030. It was also quite windy on the beach. If the sun was hidden behind the clouds it could actually get chilly.

The Pool: The pool area is also quite small but very nice. There is a bar with a waterfall and a hot tub on top. Lots of plants make it look really nice. We didn't spend much time here and it seemed to be a bit more difficult to get a lounger at the pool than on the beach.

Entertainment: The nighly show was only entertaining for a short period of time. The staff tried hard but the shows weren't very exciting. Lots of people always showed up to watch them though. The disco was very sparsely attended. Other discos on the complex were more popular. I personally think that karaoke would have livened things up a bit!

The Tours: We went on the Outback Jungle Safari tour which was excellent. I would highly recommend it to anyone. You tour a typical Dominican house, Dominican school, a fruit plantation, swim in a river, go for lunch, take a jungle boat tour and then finish with Boogie Boarding on Cabarete beach (really big waves!). You also stop at a market where you can buy coffee, rum and cigars and vanilla. It is very interesting and educational as well, Its really neat to see the "real" Dominican Republic as you tend to be quite secluded on your resort. Jesse was our tour guide and was great.

Overall I was very pleased with our trip and this resort. It is always difficult to avoid comparison with other places you have been before (ie: for us, Cuba) and for this resort I would say the beach was the biggest disapointment being that it didn't look as pretty and exotic as we expected. I can't really think of anything negative to say, we had a really good experience, and I would recommend this resort to others.
Viva Windham Playa Dorada
February 2005
We just returned from a week at the Viva Wyndham Playa Dorado. There were 6 of us in our group and in total we have travelled to about 10 all inclusives. All are in our mid to late 20's. First trip to Peurto Plata but second for myself to the Dominican.

Booking - Done online through Very easy but because we booked within two weeks of departure we did not receive any info on the trip, tickets and what not until we got to the airport. Worried us a little but worked out just fine and would book online again.

Flight - Skyservice. The flight was not full so we got to space out and my boyfriend and I had three seats between us. On the way back we got the exit row so we had added space. Had the flight been full it would have been a painful 5 hour flight. The movies shown were ok but the headsets were not working so they blasted the sound over the intercom. Ticked me off because about two minutes before they told us this they sold us all earphones. We were completly parched as they offered drinks twice in 5 hours. Take water!!!

Hotel/Room - We had a superiour room which was VERY spacious, felt like two rooms. Very large marble bathroom, Comfy beds, uncomfortable couch, table with chairs, balcony had plastic chairs. The room, we thought, was supposed to have a wet bar but it didn't. Did have a fridge that had water and pop stocked daily. Cleaning staff were slow to make up the room, they came by while we were napping at 5:00 one day and we just exchanged towells and didn't have the room cleaned that day but that was our choice. They are still working on the hotel yes, but I wouldn't say its under construction. They would paint a building one day, pour some cement for a walk way but it was nothing major, Just little things here and there. The grounds were lovely, had a HUGE pool area, a really neat waterfall with a bar under neath. a jacuzzi above the bar.

Beach - The beach and ocean is really what I look forward to on these trips. I would have to say at first I was not impressed. The beach was very crowded, there was not a lot of space and the water seemed very rough. It was easier to get lounge chairs by the beach possibly because it was cooler with the breeze then by the pool. We also found out that those waves were awesome for boogie boarding. You could walk a long way in both directions. To the left a bit there is a market, to the right more resorts. It is a bit of a walk to the beach from the hotel but there is food, booze and banos(bathrooms) down by the beach so you don't have to leave once you get down there. I got over my first impression and we ended up spending all our time down there. The sun was not too hot it was mostly mixed clouds during the day, which meant we got sun but not too much.

Staff - Not as friendly as in other resorts or more like they are not as talkative which isn't always a bad thing. The animation team was interesting and not as pushy as other resorts I've been to. If you didn't want to participate they were ok and didn't force you. The night entertainment was poor, Lipsynching to J.Lo., magic shows, the night they had a live band play traditional music and dancers was interesting but too loud. We only caught the show a few times and always left after about 30 minutes. There were always people up there and watching it so it may be that it was just not our taste. We preferred to sit by the pool and play cards. Lots of tables, candles on the tables, one or two bug bites and too much rum. One staff member I will point out that really made our trip was Edwin down at the beach, he was very friendly, funny, took us for a catamaran ride, really fit in with our group and told us a lot about his life and the area and its people. Because we had a group of 6 we made our own fun and weren't really concerned with the staff entertaining us.

Food - Great at first...but as the week went on the food did not change, same breakfast, same lunch, supper did change. One person in our group did get food poisoning, we suspect it was from a raw oyster. Most of our group stayed clear of the seafood. One thing I found very disappointing was there was no shrimp, Calimari was deep fried when we did get it but there was fish everyday. Lots of deep fried food, burgers and fries and pizza, the dessert table had lots of choices and there was pasta made on the spot. I always found something to eat. We made it to the Al la Carte on the beach one night and the food was good. I recommend the Honey Chicken. We couldn't get in to the Oriental la carte but our friends did and they said it was very good.

Excursions - Yuk Yuk's - $25 USD got you into the casino, free drinks and two Canadian Comedians at the Jack Tar Resort next door. It was good but they told us they would tell us when to go to the show and in the mean time start gambling, well they didn't exactly let us know. We wondered around the corner and found that we had missed the first half of the first comedian. We weren't to impressed with that as we didn't get good seats and we figured this was done on purpose to have us spend more money at the tables. So if you do go do not listen to the staff and go directly into the bar area and get yourself a good seat. ALso part of the $25 was to get you into the club afterwards but it never opened.

Outback Jungle Safari - What can I say this trip is great and well worth the money. It was my second time on the tour and I would go again. Our tour guide was Jesse he constantly gave us info about the island, its history, the people, he was very knowledgable on world events, and there were some pretty interesting discussions. The end of the tour was boogie boarding and that was a blast. A definate must if you are in the dominican.

Peurto Plata city tour. - We arranged this ourselves with a tourguide out front of the hotel. for 6 of us it was $10 USD each. We went on tours of a Larimar museum, an Amber Museum, saw the Fort, shops, and the main beach area. It was a good way to spend a rainy morning. We were supposed to go to the rum factory but it was closed that day. I think if you book this kind of tour with a regular tour company it would have been better, and you would have gotten more information. our guide basically dropped us off at these places but he didn't really know too much about them.

The negative

- not too much really, we were generally in good health for the trip except for one friend who got the food poisoning then once she recovered from that she got a nasty eye infection. We didn't hear anything from people at the hotel or on the plane that anyone got the dreaded "tourista". The time share people weren't that bad, just don't make eye contact and ignore them. The one time they did get me into a conversation I just acted like I didn't understand what he was talking about and when another couple walked by he started on them. The disco on site wasn't very exciting but I think thats because the majority of the guests were older and not interested n dancing the night away. I'd say there was more positive then negative. Having a market and the Plaza nearby was very handy for exchanging money and shopping. Please feel free to email if you have any questions.
Viva Windham Playa Dorada
Oakbank, Mb.,Canada
February 2005
We spent the week of Jan.30-Feb.6th at Viva Wyndham Playa Dorada. We had a great time. The weather could have been better but no one has control over that.

The resort is quite small but they offer a wide variety of good food, clean accommodations, and friendly, helpful staff. It's not a new resort, but the $10M. in renovations has spruced it up. Renovations are still ongoing with the construction of huts around the pool area and some landscaping. A nature trail leads to the beach. Although it's rather small, it's large enough to accommodate the relatively small numbers of guests. I was told that the standard rooms are very small and without balconies. We stayed in a junior suite which was very roomy.

The only negative comment is they lack in entertainment compared to larger resorts. Interaction of guests around the pool consisted of board games & bingo rather than water volleyball, water polo, or other fun activities. They had a piano bar set up 2 nights for a short period after the show. The shows were very low budget but staff did their best. The disco catered to the very young with booming music. A variety would have attracted more people. It often closed early due to sparce attendance. A sports bar, karaoke bar, or something to bring guests together at night, would definitely be an asset.

I would definitely recommend this resort for value for your dollar. If you're looking for a quiet resort at a great price, Viva Wyndham is for you.
Viva Windham Playa Dorada
Sask. Canada
February 2005
Stayed at this resort Jan. 18-Feb. 1 2005. Resort and rooms insect infested, my legs had numerous bites for 15 days, still have some bites. On the way to the beach is a swamp that is not sprayed for insects or smell. Viva Wyndham (Neon Orange) people selling Vacation Points (Timeshares) aprox. 30 of them, very high pressure. All hotel staff (except maids) were rude and very slow. Very POOR service. Hotel and Beach bars both small and understaffed. Disco Bar-POOR. Beach and pool activities both POOR. Meals below average, small portions and poor quality. Breakfast was OK. Only received 2 of 5 wake-up calls. No entertainment in evening. Drinks and pop watered down. Very poor quality of alcohol. Tours overpriced at hotel, had to book at Plaza, prices fair. Best tour was Monster Truck Safari. White and Black 6 wheelers.

Departed from Saskatoon, SkyService: our plane was very comfortable as they had removed 7 rows from last years flights. Flight crews and flights both OK. I highly recommend not to vacation in the Dominican Republic. I have vacationed aprox. 20 others places and this is the worst I have experienced
Viva Windham Playa Dorada
Brad and Jackie 

January 2005
Before booking our vacation, my girlfriend and I did a lot of research (just like you are probably doing now!) and couldn’t find much on Viva Wyndham Playa Dorada since it opened in January 2005, so we took a chance (we attended January 16-23). I think we made a good decision in hindsight for a 3 star + resort, and will be as honest as possible to help others out. Believe me, it would have been extremely helpful in picking a resort beforehand.

From the beginning of our trip, we have to comment on the airline. Skyservice has reached a new low of packing people on aircraft to maximize sales. Granted, I haven’t flown in a couple of years, but at 5’10”, I had no room to move. When lowering the tray, it rested on my lap. There is no first class; it is 180 sardines waiting for saltwater, so to speak. 4-6 hours of that, and one tends to get painfully restless. There wasn’t much complimentary, and while the flight crew was doing their best, both flights were unpleasant. Maximizing profits is uncomfortable for those creating their profits. Flyer beware.

The resort itself was decent. I agree with Shaun from Saskatewan that the staff was amazing, respectful and polite. Our biggest complaint is the leeches ( read bloodsuckers) who try to trap you with trying to sell you on the corporation or timeshares (we realized we were lied to and didn’t stick around to hear the pitch). One time would have been annoying, but when the same salespeople keep harassing you, it becomes reprehensible. Their intent of drumming up business has us deciding to not patronize the Viva resorts again. Yes, it is that bad. We went on vacation to escape the high pressures of our society, and ended up dreading the neon orange shirted viruses that they pass off as the concierges.

Ok, back to the positive. We booked a standard room, and it was standard. A bed, cable, desk and bathroom. For the extra $100 or so, the junior rooms looked nicer, and we didn’t get to peer in the superior. A balcony would have been nice too. But you don’t spend a lot of time in your room, so take that into account. The beach is a 5 minute walk, all within the hotel. It would have been nice to be closer, but acceptable.

The food was decent, and they really try to make each meal different, with the staples included. We didn’t get sick at all, other than some late night pizza that I had one night in the buffet. We also ate at the 2 exclusive restaurants that you are allowed to eat at 1 time each with reservations per week (guys need pants). The portions were smaller and limited, but somewhat exotic. Like Shaun says, the beach is small due to positioning with the other 2 hotels and seating can be limited, but there always seemed to be chairs by the pool if the beach was full.

I guess the other complaints would be lack of shopping in the hotel, and the bar service is slow. As a professional high volume bartender, I went down with the expectation that I would tip well, but it doesn’t really matter. Despite generosity, they still serve based on the line-up method and take their time. Therefore by the second day, we just didn’t bother tipping anymore. Regarding shopping, the plaza is a short walk away, has internet ($$), and most everything that the city (Puerta Plata) has. I would recommend taking the $20 USD shopping tour to the city; they take you to the rum plant and you can buy rum for ½ price after the tour is over ($4-5 USD for 750ml bottle). As for the plaza, we spent most of our money at “God is Love” on the second floor. They were respectful, gave 30% off and still bartered a bit. Some of the stores barter, some do not.

I can’t give any advice on the excursions as we went down to rest and unwind, so didn’t take any of the big tours, but hopefully the other reviews can give you some insight. Apologies.

The bugs in the room were minimal- I only witnessed one cockroach at night, and didn’t dare tell my girlfriend until the morning we were leaving. Other than that, there were only a few mosquitoes, and small flying bugs in the room.

Overall, if you can get a great deal and not fly on Skysardine (oops, Skyservice), then we would recommend the Viva Wyndham Playa Dorada. Just don’t fall for the high pressure sales pitch of the fluorescent orange shirts that wait in the center of the complex. And when you return, complain to the corporation- maybe that will end the annoyance that had a big negative impact on our vacation!

I hope this helps and that more people will post their experiences soon regarding this hotel!
Viva Windham Playa Dorada
Sask, Canada
January 2005
A group of 4 of us stayed at this resort and had a great time. We picked it because it was the cheapest we could find with a decent star rating and close to town. I have stayed at higher class resorts but also spent more money. For me, pound for pound this was the best bang for my buck yet. The resort is very nice and the people that work there are unbelievably great. While we were there they were still doing a few small landscaping things, but it was absolutely no inconvenience. The pool is nice with a water fall and it has a giant hut tube on top of the pool bar. The beach was kind of small because there were 2 other resorts right beside it (at the beach) and the one day it was a little tough getting a lounger but we waited a bit and got one. The beach is a small walk through the resort but no farther then some other places I stayed at. Its a smaller resort so it really doesn't matter where your room is, your not to far from the pool or the restaurants. The rooms were always kept clean and nice.

The resort is in the Playa Dorada complex so your real close to Paurta Plata and Sasoua. We went into Sousa one day and took a cab from the resort. It was a little expensive and I don't know how much the driver see's of that money. If you wanted to save some money just walk out of the complex and grab a cab. The entertainment at night was good, of what I seen of it. The disco at night was fun and the staff stay in the disco at night and try to teach you to dance. The only tourist bar we went to was the crazy moon (its in the complex). It was quite expensive and we didn't stay that long. We became friends with one of the guys that works there and he took us out a few times at night to the bars in town that are not touristy. We had a great time.

The food was good. This is the 3rd time I've been to the DR and it usually takes me a couple of days to get used to the food. After that, all systems are go!

I can't say enough good things about the staff. We made alot of friends there that we plan on staying in touch with. They work really hard to try and make your stay the best that it can be. Its the workers that really made this resort for me. I would definitely go back. If a person is thinking that he is going to get a 4 star resort for the price of a 3 star by going here your going to be mistaken. I have stayed at places were there were more bars and bigger pools and beaches, but I also paid $300 - $400 more. Like I said, in my experience this was the best bang for my buck yet. My only complaint was that I had to come home. It was real tough not to stay for another week.