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Hacienda Tropical

Rating: Average Phone: Website:
Location: North Coast Fax: E-Mail:
City: Puerto Plata Contact: Value for money: Above average
Food: Average Decor: Average Service: Above average
Comments:
My daughter and I stayed at the Hacienda Tropical Jan 31-Feb 7, 2002. We had originally booked for the Hacienda Garden Club and were upgraded (free of cost) as the Garden Club is being renovated. I was a bit disappointed as I thought staying in one of the Garden bungalows would have been quite an experience. Once we were settled in the Tropical I ventured over to the bungalows and realized that we were pretty lucky to have been upgraded. They were very busy applying new paint, cleaning and generally trying to upgrade the bungalows which appear to have been sadly neglected over the years. Keep in mind that the bungalows are not air-conditioned and are situated in a very lush part of the resort -- MOSQUITOS!

The Hacienda Tropical is a nicely designed facility. The rooms are adequate -- if you can request in advance ask for a quiet room. We had a gorgeous view, but were within hearing (LOUD) distance of dance lessons, one of the bars and water aerobics so from time to time the noise was a bit unbearable, but it quickly passed. I didn't spend much time in the room, but did like to grab a drink and sit on my balcony in the late afternoon.

I found the beach to be great. Not the best beach for small children HOWEVER, parents should constantly keep their eyes on their kids at the beach -- choppy or not. I saw a family with 3 young kids and they had a blast in the waves.

We body surfed and boarded one afternoon when the waves were really high, it was great.

By mid-week I was kind of getting sick of the food - everything started to taste the same, but then it seemed to improve. The Beach Club -- closest restaurant to the beach -- had great chicken and hamburgers. Some of the salads were a bit weird and I couldn't tell you what some of the desserts were made from...? Breakfasts were standard -- great bread and buns -- mooshy eggs, bratwurst for sausage and tons of fruit. Lunch always had soup and hot food, as well as salads, fresh veggies and fruit/cheese. Dinner usually had 3 or 4 meat, chicken or seafood selections.

Pools - actually the pool at the Garden Club appeared to be the best for swimming but it was closed. The 2 other pools are great -- one is better for R and R, the other is located close to the action and is larger. The pool water temp is colder than the ocean so I only used it to jump in after a day in the ocean.

Service is adequate... our bathroom appeared to have not been really deep cleaned for awhile, but the rest of the room was great. I never did see the maid, but left a $1 US every day and a small gift - two she left behind: a set of wooden spoons, and a T-shirt. Oh well.

The grounds are beautiful, always someone taking care of the huge variety of tropical plants/grass. There is a nice lounge just off the lobby that we spent some time at especially after dinner.

Some tips:

1. if you are a coffee drinker take either a mug, or travel mug. The cups are teacups and I found I had to refull 2-3 times before I was medicated for the day! Forget taking larger plastic cups for drinks and spend some time drinking in the lobby bar - they use real glass and they are large. If you are a beer drinker then take plastic beer cups.

2. if you can, exchange your money in town or get enough pesos from a foreign exchange at home. I got ripped off at the hotel. Money exchangers in town were paying 10.30 pesos for Canadian dollars - 9.50 pesos at the hotel. I used a bank machine twice and my bank charged a nominal amount. Make sure you use a machine that has plus+ service or your card won't work.

3. I got extremely tired of being bugged by people both at the beach and in town. Eventually at the beach people realized I wasn't interested. I got ripped off at one of the little arts and crafts shacks on the last day I was there -- but I didn't care -- I got what I wanted (larimar and a painting) at an affordable price. Some people love to stand and haggle over prices, but I would rather be relaxing on a lounge chair, or swimming. Keep your $ close and only take small bills to the beach if you plan on buying anything.

4. If you have the $, use taxiz at the meeting place. If you want to save, then walk up to the main road and wave down a van or motortaxi. Way cheaper and more fun. We did that on the way to town and then paid about $15-$20 back from town in a taxi.

5. If you plan on taking some tours try to go into town. The prices at the hotel are inflated. We paid $35 US for a trip to Paradise Island, they were selling exactly the same trip at the hotel for
$75 so overall I saved $80!! I booked in Sosua at Alf's Tours knowing that they had to come right by my hotel to get up to Punta Rucia and Paradise Island. If you can stand being on a bus for 2.5 hours I would highly recommend this trip -- you have to like water though cuz it's snorkelling and boating, etc.

Anyways, that's about it. I don't know if I would choose the Hacienda again -- it would depend on the price. I'm not the type to stay at a complex like Playa Dorada -- too commercial. I was not at all disappointed in our vacation.
Author E-Mail: @ Review date: 02/17/2002

 

Comments

Going to the Hacienda Garden Culb Jan 3rd 2005... Let you know it was later!
Author: Jonathan Embree Posted at 18:12 10/18/2004
Hello we went to Hacienda tropical about a month ago , there was 11 of us and it was the best holiday ever. We really enjoyed the entertainers were great always up and doing something they never had a rest and there was always something going on. The security guard was great he stood there allday making sure everthing was alright . The food was lovely especially the Indian, Chinese and the Seafood . The entertainment in the night was fabulous always a different show every night and it showed they'd practised hard to do the show , the magic show was really good .
The hurricane disco well it was like nothing we would have here but different it was all salsa dancing and it was nice to see couples dancing instead of groups ofgirls and groups of boys dancing .
I would definaltly recommend going there because it was great thanks buh bye xxxx
Author: Sinead Posted at 13:32 09/8/2004
I have been to the Hacienda twice in the past 6 months because I love it so very much. My friends and I are considering going back in November for our third trip this year! We have found a place that we feel comfortable, welcome and most of all SAFE. To be able to leave my mess at home and come to such a beautiful resort overlooking the ocean, relax when I want to, party when I want to - with people from ALL over the world. It's an extraordinary experience, very surreal, truly what a vacation should feel like - I feel blessed to have been there. The reason I love this particular resort is that it's not stuffy. I really feel like I can let loose and have a good time. The staff is always smiling and friendly - even housekeeping. I know that it is their job, but things are just different here. I will stop shy of saying that it is magical because that would be laying it on pretty thick, but there sure is something special about this place. The food is wonderful, I had great variety - The drinks are cool and refreshing, the rooms are clean but it has to be the activities staff that puts Hacienda over the top. Their ineteraction with the guests is unbelievable and the party is neverending. WHAT ELSE COULD YOU POSSIBLY ASK FOR?!?!
Author: JODI SCHILLER Posted at 1:52 05/31/2003
i stayed at the hacienda tropical last march. We went for march break, it was the best time i've ever had in my life. our room was quiet and small, but very nice. I enjoyed the food and did not get any stomach problems at all. The people were the best part of the trip. The entertainment was Awesome, and the disco was so much fun. The shows that they preformed nighty were excellent. The service was average. The pools were always warm and the becah area was beautiful. I would recomend this hotel to everyone!!! it's a great party for anyone, and i'll be going bcak when i have the chance. later
Author: michelle morin Posted at 12:05 01/21/2003
My husband and I returned from the Hacienda Tropical just 2 days ago and in respect of some of the previous comments I feel we must have stayed at a different hotel! We paid slightly extra for a 'Junior Suite' and were delighted with the room (and I'm known for my fussiness!). The room was cleaned daily, the maids were very polite and we'd never had our towels - changed daily - folded into swans before! Although the food did get slightly repetitve (it would be hard for them not to be 3 meals a day for 14 days) the food was always tasty and fresh. Everyone we spoke to had had some stomach problems but we were warned of this prior to going - I'm sure the heat, water and malaria tablets contributed as much as the food. The hotel also has a further choice of Italian and Chinese restaurants. When we were bored of the food we went to a local Canadian bar -'Chris and Maddys' - for a change. We were very satisfied with the accomodation and food at the hotel especially for the price we paid (which incidentally was dearer than everyone else we spoke to!) The beach was lovely and practically deserted, if you walk along to the left from the hotel you'll be greated by gradual shelving sands and tropical fish. The locals are rather persuasive in encouraging you to visit their 'shops' and part with your cash - barter as much as you can - but if you want to avoid that then stay in Engand - this is of of their traditions after all! Nightlife was rather slow but then we were tired from all the sun so it didn't pose too much of a problem. We would definately visit this resort and hotel again and feel it deserves it 4 star rating. Incidentally, a dolphin park and marina are currently being built with a possible stopping point for cruises which will greatly improve and enlarge the resort.
Author: Gemma Machin Posted at 13:14 05/29/2002

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