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Reviewed 3 March 2019

Our week’s stay in Puerta Plata was a nice get away from the cold and snow where we live. The highlights were the excursions we went on and at the resort my favorite aspect was the comfy beach beds at the VIP Beach where we were waited on and had a shaded breezy snooze. The actual beach was below this area but accessible by steps and a gate. We booked via Interval International as an exchange for our timeshare week; we exchanged our 2 bed/2 bath with kitchen and living room for a similar unit and had to buy the all inclusive wrist bands for food and alcohol but at a discounted $40/person rate. We were allowed 3 dinner reservations at various specialty restaurants that had to be booked on day 2 of our stay-more available as people cancel. The buffet was where we had the majority of our meals and had plenty of food and variety. The tap water here is not potable and yet it is used for washing fruits and veggies so I’m sure that was the source of my traveler’s diarrhea-I needed ten Imodium during this trip! Hopefully if you only eat cooked veggies and fruit you will be ok. Of our group I suffered the most. I’d suggest bringing probiotics and my own Imodium too as it cost $18 to buy 12 pills in the resort’s shop. Despite non potable tap water, we had to call for replenish menu of our bottled water twice. Filtration in the unit would have been a better solution in my opinion. The hot water ran out in our building frequently and brief power outages occurred frequently too-pitch black and no water pressure in the shower when this happened. Toilet paper cannot be flushed anywhere on the island so daily housekeeping was definitely appreciated for removing the “toilet paper trash” from the bathrooms. Do not take the timeshare tour!!! Yes, we saw the luxury villas, got free drinks and seviche plus free rum/mamajuana but it took up hours of our day and we were promised that they would buy our current timeshare but don’t fall for it; many reviews said the buyouts never happen and the promises that seemed too good to be true never came to fruition ie “buy this jr suite and you can always upgrade to a villa each time you need it.” The excursions made the trip worthwhile. 1) We did an all day horseback riding, zip lining, hiking, and waterfall tour. At the 7 waterfalls we jumped from the top or slid on natural rock slides into the cool water below. This was run by Mega Adventures and was $125/person. Very safe equipment and staff. Still, the waterfall slides can beat you up a bit. Lunch and return trip beer/rum drinks were included. 2) Snorkeling 1/2 day trip for $50 by WildPlay involves over an hour long diesel truck ride to Sosua Bay with other resort stops. Actual snorkeling time was about 2 hrs. I opted not to have the power snorkel device that propels you since I wanted a little exercise from the finning and I was glad to save the $18. DO NOT buy the kayak/snorkeling combo as there is not enough time for both and costs $158 per couple. Soft drinks and water were provided. Nighttime shows at the resort were ok-recorded music and dancing. Sunday nights all the restaurants are shut down and everyone is served buffet style at the resort party-very crowded plastic tables and chairs and a big part of the show is timeshare advertising. VIPs have more food, dining, and beach options but only timeshare owners are VIPs. We were allowed use of the VIP beach and one dinner at a VIP restaurant (Jazz) but the meal was no better than the others really. This resort requires a lot of walking which I was fine with. Watch out for the golf cart traffic-no golfing here but this is how VIPs and timeshare tour groups get around the vast property. We had free transportation to the resort but had to pay $55 for our return taxi to the airport. Our friends arrived at different times and had to pay both ways.

Date of stay: February 2019
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank AdventureLover73
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
The Management T, Manager at The Royal Suites, responded to this reviewResponded 4 March 2019

Dear guest,
We are very grateful for you taking your time to share your experiences with us and for your positive review.
We very much regret to listen that some of your group got sick. Please take in consideration that there are many factors that may contribute to sickness.
Lifestyle Holidays observes the highest standard in regards to hygiene (food & water). All major Tour Operators promoting our area require that we go by specifics hygiene and food handling standards. In order to audit those standards on a regular basis, we have hired an outsource company called Preverisk, a UK based company. Preverisk is used by most hotel chains and tour operators doing business in the Dominican Republic, Europe, US as well as Canada which all have access to the results of such audits. Our scores reach the maximum required, for which we are very proud of.
We are working hard on daily basis to solve problems (hot water, pressure, etc.)
We would like to apologize for any inconveniences that you may have experienced and we hope to have the opportunity to host you again.
With best regards,
The Management

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2019

We had a terrific week at the Royal Suites, and we would gladly go again! The condo was modern, clean, and spacious. Our favorite restaurant was Jazz. I would advise everyone to read all the reviews, then you will know what to expect, and you won’t be disappointed. Sunday outdoor dinner and show was truly amazing! Steer clear of the men in straw hats—selling time-shares.

Date of stay: January 2019
Thank Barbara H
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
The Management T, Manager at The Royal Suites, responded to this reviewResponded 25 February 2019

Dear guest,
Thank you so much for your review and for taking the time to write about your stay with us.
It is of great importance to know our guests experience in order to improve our services.
We are really happy to read such a nice opinion about our services and facilities.
It would be a pleasure to host you again in the future.
Best regards,
The Management

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2019 via mobile

Like many reviews we would agree that there was good and bad. If you like a cruise ship vacation you would feel right at home. If you travel independently you will feel confined.

Nice rooms and grounds, well built. Super great staff. Be sure to tip them for their excellent service.

Food mediocre at best. Liquor down right horrible. Bottom shelf, mainly undrinkable except for Vodka.

Caste system with arm bands branded you. Couldn’t wait to have it removed.

Sales pitch was a bit much. We feel generous giving the resort 2 stars.
Wouldn’t go back.

Date of stay: February 2019
Trip type: Travelled with family
1  Thank flying99827
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
The Management T, Manager at The Royal Suites, responded to this reviewResponded 4 February 2019

Dear Guest,
Thank you for taking the time to share your comments with us.
Let us apologize for not exceeding your expectations in some aspects of your stay with us.
All your comments are very helpful to improve our services.
Best Regards,
The Management

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 January 2019

The Royal Suites are clean, quiet, and centrally located in the resort. On our first visit to the Dominican Republic we had to adapt to a country where we could not drink the tap water and were asked to not flush any paper in the toilet. Figuring out the resorts system for dinner reservations was frustrating and confusing. However, all said, once we relaxed and accepted that we were in a country with very different infrastructure and culture we LOVED our stay at Lifestyle Holiday Vacation Resort. We found staff to range from efficient but not warm to very friendly and engaging. We loved lounging on the beautiful beaches, having drinks delivered all day and simply relaxing in the sun. We will be visiting again and again!

Date of stay: January 2019
Thank 181reneej
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
The Management T, Manager at The Royal Suites, responded to this reviewResponded 4 February 2019

Dear guest,
First of all we would like to thank you for choosing The Royal Suites as the hotel to enjoy your vacation and we also would like to thank you for writing the positive comments about your experience.
We hope to have the opportunity to host you again very soon.
Best regards,
The Management

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Reviewed 30 January 2019

We booked our stay thru Interval, the purpose of the trip was for a wedding. The facilities are the best in Puerto Plata, so I wish there were two separate ratings, one for the installations and anther for hospitality.

We arrived on Saturday at around 2 p.m. and were told that we got an "upgrade" to the Cofresi side. After driving to the other hotel we found out that the room was actually smaller and not a villa (like what we were supposed to get). Jose (Interval representative) was very helpful and took us to reception area at the Tropical. After doing the paperwork I was informed that our suite was not ready. I told Stefani that we did not mind going to have lunch, but the wedding we were attending was on that day and wanted to be able to get our room to get ready and leave our daughter settled (we had a babysitter). At around 3:30 p.m. our room was not ready and was told that there were other guest in the same situation and I just had to wait until the suite was ready, that I could use the bathroom in the lobby to get ready. At this point I was getting upset, not just because the room was not ready, but the treatment. It was like "oh well" deal with it. I spoke to a manager at the reception and to be honest that woman is in the wrong industry. She was able to give me a courtesy room to get ready, but the room was not going to be ready until 6 p.m. and that my child should stay at the pool with the babysitter until the room was ready and then move our luggage to the room.

I was not comfortable leaving my child without a room and then for her to dragging our belongings to the new room while I was not there. It was like use the pool for two hours then move your stuff, I was not sure if something was going to be left behind since I was going to be at the wedding. The manager was extremely disrespectful when I voiced my concerns. I was not asking for an early check in or even checking right at 3 p.m., but to tell the customer your room is not ready and it will not be ready for more than three hours is just wrong. She was rude and condescending and told me that she already told me how it was going to happen and to just deal with it.

There was also an atmosphere of racism. The employees often referred to us as criollos, which I dont mind, but it was the tone and the way it was used, like dont make the effort with them.

If you are not "VIP" you are just occupying space. As an Interval guest we had access to some parts of the hotel and not to others. I asked an employee about restaurants to have lunch and was told that Trapiche was the best, but not for guests like us. Then we saw guests using golf cars and we asked about those and another employee said ohh noo that is for top guests, not you and if you get on it you will be fined $500, that we could go and switch our wristbands to white if we wanted to use it. I think there was another way of telling us the rules.

The timeshare representative was calling at 8 a.m. telling us to stop by to get the tickets for the Sunday party, which we found out that it is open to all guests and a ticket is not required. The next day they called again.

We travel a lot and have stayed at many of the hotels in Puerto Plata and I have never felt uncomfortable or disrespected at any. When people go on vacations they expect to relax and be treated nicely.

Date of stay: January 2019
Thank DionisR1
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
The Management T, Manager at The Royal Suites, responded to this reviewResponded 4 February 2019

Dear customer,
Thank you for sharing your comments with us about your recent vacation at The Royal Suites.
We can assure you that all of our clients’ opinions are very important to us because it is the more reliable source of information to improve our services and facilities.
We apologize for any inconvenience that you might have experienced during your stay.
Again thank you for choosing to stay with us.

Kind regards,
The Management Team

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