Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort & Spa
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Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort & Spa Puerto Plata Reviews
TimeShare stalkers /Not for the disabled Mar 12, 2010
Vacationed at Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort and Spa in Cofresi Beach, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic from Thursday, 1/7/10 through Thursday, 1/14/10. Cheap Caribbean.Com was used to book the trip, opted for the VIP package that included a Superior Ocean View Room, Thursday Ocean World Party, Access to the VIP Beach Area, Sunday Welcome Party, and Ocean World as well are round-trip ground transportation from airport-to-hotel and hotel-to-airport.
The 7:25 am American Airline flight from NYC-JFK with a connection in Miami, Fl. (to pick-up my friend) arrived in Puerto Plata at 4:25 pm. Our suitcases arrived intact. Upon arrival, paid $10US each for a Tourist Pass and exited the airport. The 30-minute drive via a minibus from the Puerto Plata Airport to Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort and Spa was amusing, with Dioby Sanchez (Cheap Caribbean’s Destination Manager in Puerto Plata) playing tour guide. The view from the minibus of the shanty towns/villages, cane field, cows and other livestock grazing on the hillsides, downtown shops and restaurants was an eye opening experience.
Booked our Puerto Plata trip through Cheap Caribbean, requested an ADA accessible room with 2-Queen size beds and not in Building 1, (read the reviews on the various web sites) about the pool parties with LOUD music and daily children’s activities are held right outside the balcony. The individual travelling with me has a visible disability that required the individual to rely on a walking cane and it is very difficult to go up-and-down steps. Tony the Cheap Caribbean Rep (ext: 7136) told us not to worry, that Building 1 does not have any Superior Ocean View Rooms and that he was placing us in the different building. Sure enough when we checked-in at Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort and Spa on Thursday, 1/7/10, we were placed in Room 1115 (located in Building 1). Both Juana and Poreirie (Lifestyle’s front desk check-in staff) insisted that Room 1115 was a Superior Ocean View Room when we asked them on several occasions to move us. The balcony to Room 1115 faces the main pool area where every morning and well into the night loud music can be heard into the room, even if the balcony door is closed. You CANNOT see the ocean from the first floor of Building 1/Room 1115, since they are trees and a restaurant (Blue Lagoon) blocking the view. Room 1115 did not include a bathtub in which a physically disabled person can properly wash himself or herself. The room only had a shower, with NO DOOR to prevent the water from running all over the bathroom floor and making the floor slippery – very hazardous for someone using a cane.
Dioby Sanchez (Cheap Caribbean’s Destination Manager in Puerto Plata) was not helpful in getting us moved into the Superior Ocean View room (that we paid EXTRA money f0r) even after explaining the matter to him in front the Juana. The condition of the room and my discussion with the Juana and Poreirie (Lifestyle’s front desk check-in staff) and Dioby (Cheap Caribbean’s Destination Manager in Puerto Plata) left a bitter taste in my mouth to start my vacation.
About the food that we’ve read so many comments about: Casa Blanca Restaurant is the main restaurant where no reservation is required and serves a different variety of breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner (theme nights) items daily. With such a wide selection of food items to pick from you are bound to find something to eat. The other restaurants (Blue Lagoon: Seafood, Bellini: Italian, El Zorro: Mexican and Indochine) require that you make a reservation for dinner one day prior. To make a reservation you must go to the concierge desk in the lobby at 1 pm to sign up for dinner for the following night. There is always a line, so get there early.
Do remember to pack an umbrella and a rain jacket with a hood (it rained three consecutive days where we were there) and you will need it if you are planning to take part in the bar hopping excursions. Pack mosquito stray/repellant you will need it while you’re at the bar drinking or relaxing outside in the evenings, and citronella candles for the room (once the balcony door or bathroom window opens the insects invade). Everything (sunscreen, toothpaste, etc.) costs triple the price at the mini-market.
Look for the mini-market outside of Lifestyle main facility (close to the Vacation Club building) for better prices, just in case you forgot something to really need.
Check the Activity Board located in the lobby to learn about the different happenings around the resort. The daily activities are FREE for all to join in or simple sit back, watch and enjoy.
Here goes my spiel on The Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort and Spa in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
Please keep in mind that while you paid for ALL–INCLUSIVE vacation, tipping is welcomed and greatly appreciated.
Bring LOTS of $1.00 US bills for tipping.
Chef Marino Gustavo, at the Blue Lagoon Restaurant, who prepared steam lobster with an avocado salad along with shrimp in a scrumptious sauce (to die for) and fried plantains. This was the best meal of our trip.
The VIP Beach
The Queen and King size canopy sun beds on the beach were magnificent.
Get to the VIP Beach EARLY (around 7am) to get a sun bed with covering from the sun.
Place your beach towel, a book, or something on a bed to reserve your spot.
Juan Carlos Batista, the Server on VIP Beach who kept the Kailua with Vodka drinks flowing.
Eating lunch while relaxing on the sun beds was refreshing. Ask Jaun for a menu and try the Organic Veggie Burger, or Salad, Buffalo wings or Nachos and Salsa. Try sticking with on server, and s/he will treat you like a King or Queen while you’re on the VIP Beach.
Sushi Masters Jose Lorenzo and Carlos, who served up a tasty and fresh plate of sushi (crab, salmon or avocado) items Sunday through Friday starting at 12 noon (get there early is always a line) at the Sushi house.
Free Wi-Fi on the VIP Beach and Sushi house.
Security at the VIP Beach – Edison and Adrobel for always keeping an eye out and making sure noone interferes with you or your stuff on the sun bed.
The VIP Beach is a segmented area on the Lifestyle Resort property. Cofresi Beach is a PUBLIC Beach, were locals and non-locals swim, you have to leave the enclosed area and walk down to the ocean in order to swim in the ocean.
Thursday Night Ocean World Party – Get to Ocean World (take a free shuttle bus from the hotel lobby) around 7pm to enjoy the buffet dinner, free drinks, and pre-show entertainment on the first floor. At 8:45pm make sure you are standing by the elevator that will take you up to the third floor to see the Bravissimo show. Don’t expect a NYC Broadway production, it is simply an eye opening experience – cover the kids’ eyes). There is also a casino and disco you can stay and enjoy after the show.
Check out the liquor store at Ocean World that sells every brand of liquor and beer just in case you are looking for something special.
Sunday Welcome Party – GO FOR THE FOOD, a large selection of every type of food you can imagine and think of eating served buffet style and top shelf liquor. The entertainment with the dancers and singers is also refreshing. Stay for the live band, fireworks and disco that last well into the night.
Housekeeper for Room 1115 (Katiana Almonte) who did her best to make our stay a bit more comfortable in a far less than Superior Ocean View Room.
Katiana (always smiling and with a joyful personality) made sure we had extra towels, lots of beer, and water during our stay.
Bar hopping – Five-bars to meet and mingle with other guests. The VIP Beach Bar and Pool Bar starts poring at 9am, while the Beach Club Bar (at the Blue Lagoon Restaurants) stops pouring at 6am. Only the VIP Beach Bar and Pool Bar have the GOOD liquor while the other non-VIP bars serves the local Brugal Rum.
The Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort and Spa facility is not meant for anyone with a physical disability. If you have problems walking, going up-and-down steps or use a cane to navigate, this is NOT the place for you:
When it rains the tiles (that are all over the facility) become slippers and very difficult to walk-on with a cane without holding onto another human body for stability.
Lots of walking to get to the different restaurants, beach area, spa, gym and pool areas all located in different areas in the resort. Lots of steps (no elevator up to the third floor and if you have lots of bags, back of knee problems) to get around the resort.
The bathroom was NOT handicapped accessible. The bathroom room only had a shower with NO DOOR, which allowed the water from the shower head to spray all over the bathroom floor making it slippery and UNSAFE to walk on without putting a towels on the floor.
Presidente is the ONLY beer served at this resort (including at VIP Beach and Pool Bars). At the Thursday Ocean World Party you can choose from a variety of beers and liquors.
Dinner reservations (a prior reservation is required for the Blue Lagoon: Seafood, Bellini: Italian, El Zorro: Mexican and Indochine restaurants), you must get to the concierge desk in the lobby by 1 pm to sign up for dinner for the following night. There is always a line, so get there early.
The timeshare share stokers that stand outside your room door and pounces on you the minute you room door is opened. Or, approaches you with a sales pitch while you having your morning breakfast (how inappropriate), every after telling him NO, on several instances and in a civil manner, Rolando continued his harassing behavior.
The pimps pushing vacation club memberships and timeshare products for a commission and not knowing what they are selling.
Please keep in mind there is no such thing as a free gift or a free ride.
A gym with one elliptical machine working and simple weights is unsatisfactory.
The front desk check-in staff that lie to you face when asked a questioned. Better hospitality traning is needed. The front desk staff needs to be professionally trained on how to handle customers complaints. If you are in business to provide a service and changing a fee, its not nice to ignore and lie to customers.
Overall, I’m giving the resort **½ stars. First impressions always leave their mark. There are several things that the management at Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort and Spa can do better, especially guest relations (how the front desk/check-in staff handles guests/visitors with a problem) especially when they (Lifestyle Management) want you to invest your money and purchase a vacation home/timeshare.
While I do understand that this is a third-world country. The behavior that was displayed after taking hard earned American dollars was less that hospitable.
4 / 4 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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Typical tourist trap Jul 17, 2010
While planning the trip I reviewed pictures posted on the hotel's website. All of the pictures except for the VIP beach area were from the VIP area for members only. We were lead to believe the rooms would look like one of those but our rental rooms were far from. There was just a queen bed, dresser with a small TV and a chair. The bathroom was very primitive and the ceiling leaked.
As for service, you don't get much unless you tip. It took us 2 days to realize this fact since we were told it is all-inclusive. Once we tipped the service was great!
The food was good but it is dificult to get a reservation at the a-la-cart restaurants.
The time share people were very very pushy!
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
so-so all-inclusive Nov 07, 2010
I found a $10/night deal on travelzoo for this place, and couldn't resist. The food was ok. There was plenty of food, but none of it was good, and the staff doesn't really know or care.
The resort staff also made D.R. out to be dangerous and you shouldn't leave the resort. If you do, only do it with their travel guides. Of course, its all about money.
They had this DJ blaring all day. You could hear him no matter where we were in the resort, there really wasn't any place to get away from it, not at the pools or the beach. It was very annoying.
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort & Spa Overview
The room category is Superior. The resort is located right on Cofresi Beach, 10 minutes from downtown Puerto Plata city and 30 minutes from the Puerto Plata International Airport.
Fantastic food, unlimited drinks, an exciting disco and bars, and best of all, the friendliest service in the world. NOTE: Drinks in the Disco are not included in the All-Inclusive plan, and will need to be paid separately. Relax and enjoy this lovely beach resort - the perfect setting for a tropical vacation.
The buildings are low-rise, Mediterranean-style, amidst Caribbean thatched roofs and cobblestone walkways, comfortably blending with the surrounding mountain ranges and the sparkling silvery hues of the Atlantic Ocean.
All meals (buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner), A la Carte dining at 4 specialty restaurants, (reservation required),
Daytime and late snacks, Domestic brand alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, including beer, spirits, cocktails, wine with meals, juices and soft drinks available from 4 bars, Daily activities program, Introductory scuba lesson in pool, Non-motorized watersports, Kid?s Club, Fitness facilities, Tennis daytime, Night entertainment, Admission to Disco (drinks not included) and Bicycles.
Medium-size lobby, open-air, decorated on elegant pastel colors. Lobby opens to hotel lobby bar.
There are 282 spacious guest rooms divided into 229 Tropical Rooms, most with Ocean Views, and 53 Junior Suites. All rooms feature: Air Conditioning, ceiling fan, direct dial, Telephone, Cable TV, Safe rental, balcony or terrace, coffee maker, iron/ironing board, Radio-Alarm clock, Private bathroom, Hair dryer, Mini-fridge, two Queen size beds or one King size bed.
There is one restaurant that offers a buffet for breakfast, lunch & dinner. Four a-la-carte restaurants (reservations required) Blue Lagoon-seafood; Indochine-Asian fusion; Bellini-Italian Pizza & Pasta and El Zorro-Tex-Mex. All restaurants are part of the All Inclusive plan.
1 km to the nearest fair site (ocean world), 35 kms to the airport (la union), 5 kms to city centre, 70 kms to the airport (municipal), Close to the beach.
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort & Spa Amenities