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Reviewed 9 August 2006

We have just returned from a two week holiday at the Iberostar Dominican Republic, We travelled with a large party of 35 family & friends. When we arrived we couldnt believe how beautiful the hotel receiption area was so it totally put us in the mood to see the rest. Well, the rooms, the resterauts, the entertainment wwere absoultely great.
Whilst we were there our Son got married and the wedding co-ordinator Santo was the nicest person we have ever met, he totaly made their wedding day fantastic not a hicup in sight. He is totally good at his job. So if you are thinking of getting married abroad choose the Iberostar. The hotel surroundings & atmosphere is 100/1.& the best wedding co-ordiator ever.
The staff in all areas couldnt do enough for you, so very friendly.
There is nothing that my family and i can fault about the hotel and will definately being going back sometime next year. So until then i would like to thank all at the Iberostar for making our holiday one of the best!!

Date of stay: July 2006
10  Thank tricia1962
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 8 August 2006

iberostar costa dorada
july 4th 2006
trip advisor oxford england

we stayed at the iberostar for two weeks to celebrate our silver wedding, first time away without our two boys teenagers i might add, would we have a home to come back to...! the hotel was everything we had hoped for , five mins after arriving in our room a bottle of champagne arrived and a beautiful basket of fruit. our room was lovely and always cleaned to high standard. the hotel food was lovely and i think if anyone could find fault they must be just dead fussy. the grounds are kept so beautiful the staff seemed to work 24 hours a day onthem. all the staff are just so kind and always happy. special thanks to yorkie the drinks waitress who always kept our glasses full. to thomas on the beach who greeted us every morning with a big smile. our silver wedding was fantastic after a mix up with our booking at the restaurant, and our booking was not placed, the manager at the tropical restaurant arranged for us to eat alone and had us seranaded by the fantastic trio at the table, it was perfect. it went to show the staff could not do enough foryou. if you take the monster truck trip make sure you take plenty of sweets, hair trinkets, toiletries, even some clothes if you can, as you will see many children who would be so grateful for any of these things, its a brill trip but can really pull on your heart strings. so go on book you will not regret it honest. ps still had a home to go home to but think neighbours hope we take them next year.

Date of stay: July 2006
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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14  Thank dripping
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 5 August 2006

Just back from a really wonderful holiday in the Iberostar. We chose this hotel because of all the good reviews on Trip Advisor and we weren't disappointed, all the good things other people have written are true. - great food/drink, lovely clean rooms, nice pool and beach, lots of sun beds, and above all really happy, friendly staff.
When we arrived we got 2 adjacent rooms in Block 5 with wonderful sea views literally steps from the beach. Unfortunately the rooms just had 1 King size bed and we needed 2 beds for our teenage kids. We contacted reception and immediately a second bed was set up in their room, in fact it was there before we walked back -now that is service and all done with a smile-.
The Dominican people seem to smile, laugh and sing all the time. I can honestly say that we never came across a grumpy member of staff and they are by far the nicest staff we have ever met on holidays. They would put some of the rude staff in Mediterranean hotels to shame.
We loved the food. We tried the Mexican and Brasilian restaurants but found the service too fast - no time between courses. The buffet is so good there's no need to go anywhere else anyway. We were there for 14 nights and the food was always varied, as were the shows, they were never repeated.
The Star Friends are wonderful with such energy and personality, they work so hard to entertain night and day. If you don't want to participate it's not a problem no one forces you.
The four of us ate and drank everything without any stomach problems. We sprayed each night with Boots 50% deet insect repellant and got no bites. We spent a lot of time on the beach but didn't see or feel any sandflies.

We travelled with Thomas Cook and weren't impressed with the flight. The seat pitch was really small - you just could not stretch your legs at all - much too small for a long haul flight. Also quite a few of the small TV's on the seats did not work.

As for tours do not buy these from the hotel or Thomas Cook they are over 50% cheaper on the beach or in the Plaza - bargain for a good price !! They will pick you up at hotel no problem and despite what your rep will tell you are exactly the same trips.

The only small thing we didn't like about the hotel were the shops - vastly overpriced. The Plaza shopping centre (a 30 min walk across the beach) isn't much better, trashy souvenirs you would find in a £1 shop at home sold for £5. The centre is always empty- surely they will have cottoned on now that tourists are not going to buy this rubbish at these prices. The only reason to go to the Plaza is to book tours. We used Merktur and they were fine.

The staff appreciate tips so take plenty of $1 notes they really do deserve it - service everywhere is 1st class. I could write about this wonderful hotel for ever but the other reviews seem to have covered it all. Anyone who complains about the food or facilities must be a born moaner. We actually saw a family arrive by taxi one evening with bags full of Burger King from down the road - how that was necessary with the variety of food available all day is beyone me!!

Date of stay: July 2006
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
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26  Thank holidayseeker
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 August 2006

Got married there a couple months ago...I wont go into a lot about the resort except to say it was easily the best hotel I've ever stayed at. Absolutley gorgeous and the staff are so nice.

My wedding was perfect. Some quirks occurred but nothing that stands out more than the ceremony itself. If you have the wedding planned by the hotel (which I did) rather than your tour operator, double check everything before the day. Our wedding coordinator, Santo, was really nice but he dropped the ball on a couple of things. Like I say, not enough to ruin the wedding...but still...shouldnt have had to worry about that on the wedding day.

My one bit of advice DONT USE THEIR PHOTOGRAPHER. An absolute rip off. The only pics you get included in your wedding package are from the ceremony....what they dont tell you is that what they consider the ceremony is just you at the alter...not the walk up the aisle, not the dance, cake etc. Then they charge you huge money to purchase photos and wont even give them to you on disk (even though the 10 free ones also come on a disk).

The videographer booked through the hotel was EXCELLENT though and well worth the money. Really professional.

Also - its so much cheaper to have your documents translated by a company called ------. Embassy in the UK charges huge money for translations. With this place, you just scan your legalized documents, email them and they are there waiting for you in resort when you arrive. Just bring the originals and the fee in US dollars. Saved us hundreds of dollars. They do this for people in any country.

Anyone considering it, go for it! Its EASILY the nicest hotel in Puerto Plata. We saw quite a few of the other hotels and the Iberostar blew them all away. We took a sea plane to Saona island on the East side of the island (Punta Cana) and although the beaches were nicer, it didnt have the same relaxing personal feel as the Iberostar Costa Dorada.

Date of stay: April 2006
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
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17  Thank MoggyMay
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 August 2006

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Iberostar Costa Dorada from July 8th-July 15th. We were so amazed with the beauty of this resort, as well as the people, that we already are speaking about going back next year.

Before I begin my review of the resort and the surround area, I would like to say a few words about the airport in the Dominican Republic.

As you approach the customs area, you will be assembled in a line in order to pay a "tourist fee". We were told everyone must do this in order to enter the country. It was $10 (U.S.) per person. They then give you a little card that later gets taken from you and inserted into a machine. After that, you are permitted to continue through the airport. We had traveled to other countries before, and had not experienced this. So, make sure you have a few dollars on you upon landing.

The resort was only a short distance from the airport. Upon our arrival, we were greeted with a slushy fruit punch, which was very refreshing. As soon as you enter the lobby, your eyes can't believe the beauty before you. There is so much marble and beautiful wood everywhere, and gorgeous statues. There are also turtles and flamingos abound!

Our room was clean and had a lovely view of one of the courtyards. We also could see the ocean from the open hallway where our room was. We were a 30 second walk to the beach!

The beach was amazing. The sand was so soft, and the water was so warm. It was always easy to reserve a chair at any time of the day. There was also plenty of places to get some shade from the sun. You could duct out under a palm tree, or head over to the tiki bar which was shaded. The only thing I did not like about the beach was that there were quite a few women who went topless. That was certainly something I did not want to see on my vacation.

Also on the beach (if you're lucky enough to catch it) is a BBQ they do once a week. They make hamburgers, hot dogs, sausage, and a few other things. There is also live music during this event. Definitely worth checking out if you can.

The pool was the most beautiful pool I have ever seen. The water was perfect, the temperature was perfect. We would make sure to go in the pool everyday. Unless you reserve a chair early in the morning poolside, you will have some difficulty obtaining one in the afternoon. However, there are plenty of chairs within a 100 feet of so of the pool, so it is not a far walk at all.

The food was incredible. Everything was so fresh and extremely tasty. They have everything from seafood to chicken, to all kinds of salads and desserts, and much, much more.

For the drinkers out there, you will not be disappointed. I drank some of the best Margarita's I have ever had on this vacation. They will make you just about any drink you want. Also, if you like beer, be sure to try their tap beer. It's very good.

We went on a few excursions. We went snorkeling through the hotel. They take you on a 1/2 hour boat ride to Sasoua and "3 Rocks" to look at the coral. It was my first time snorkeling, and I thought it was amazing. You can also Scuba dive on this trip if you are certified. You can take lessons at the hotel and if you pass your exam, you become certified. I highly recommend the snorkeling.

We also took a trip into Puerto Plata. They took us to the Rum factory, the Amber Museum, an Old Fort, a few shops, and the Cable Cars. The cable car takes you to the top of a mountain, where once you get out of the car, you are in a sanctuary of sorts, with all kinds of plants, flowers and a statue of one of the saints. The clouds roll over your face up there because you are so high above sea level. You have to check it out.

At the tour desk at our resort, there was a man who organized trips to the local casino. We took him up on it, however, we did not enjoy it at all. He took us in a small car where we could not roll down the windows, and when we got to the casino, it was a small room with a few games. We only stayed for a 1/2 hour, and then had to take a $10 cab ride back to the hotel. (The hotel is only 3 mins. from the casino, so the $10 was not justifiable). This is one small excursion I do not recommend.

The shows at night are entertaining, and some of them even ask for audience participation. The shows start around 9:30 and are over around 11. Try to get there early to get a good seat.

Beware of mosquitos and sun flies. I fell victim to getting bit up pretty bad. Be sure to have some bug repellent with you. (The one thing we did not pack!). If you have that, you will be fine.

One more thing, I mentioned in the beginning about the tourist fee upon entering the country. On they way out, they tried to hit us up for it again. We said we had paid it upon entering, so they let us go through without paying it again. From what I understand, you pay this once, so don't let them try to get it from you twice.

So, overall, it was a wonderful and exciting vacation, and I highly recommend the Iberostar Costa Dorado. Enjoy!

Date of stay: July 2006
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
28  Thank asr178
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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