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“Surpassed our expectations!”

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Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort
Ranked #12 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Reviewed 2 March 2016

I am just home from a girls week at the Cofresi with my best friend. We had a wonderful time! After reading some of the reviews on here, were were a little worried, and decicided to go expecting the worst and hope for the best. We were well rewarded for that mindset.

AirTransat got us to the resort in their usual efficient manner, no problems there.

Our check in only took a few minutes, and our bags were taken in one cart, us in another to our room. This resort is huge, and a little confusing at first, so this was appreciated! We were in and re-aquainted with our bags within about 10 minutes. The room is outdated and basic, but it was clean and the beds were very comfortable... a pleasant surprise as often the 'south' resorts have very hard unforgiving mattresses. Our safe deposit key/lock wouldn't fit in, and we had no towels... both problems were dealt with very quickly and by very pleasant people. We had time to just chill for an hour before getting ready to go up for dinner and enjoyed our balcony view while doing so. We were on the edge of one part of the resort, so there was a busy little road behind us, but there were lush trees and flowers and so on, and a great view of a mountain in the distance, and we had total privacy. No complaints with the room. A/C and great ceiling fan too.

On day two, our bar fridge was only refilled with water... we thought we'd get a few beers, pops, each day... apparently this, and the small bottle of rum in the room when you arrive is only a 1 day 'greeting' from the resort. Not a big deal, but if you like a drink in your room, bring a bottle of your choice with you, or stock up at the pool bar on your way back to your room. We bought a bottle of rum off the lobby store and diet coke for our room... not a big deal, but a dissappointment... really our only one.

The resort is enourmous, and for those of who walked from A to B, alot of hills and stairs.. we counted them one morning... and decided we were walking anywhere from 700 - 1,000 stairs a day. We chose to see this as a positive and we didn't worry about eating ice cream every day... anyone who can't get about easily, will find this place a challenge. They have golf carts, and shuttle busses, and the two nights we went to the Tropical side for Mexican, we took the shuttle and they were quick and very friendly... dropped us at our door after... again only a few minutes wait.

The fellow who checked us in advised us to check with guest services each day in the early afternoon. We could request 3 a la carte dinners through the week, but he told us they sometime have cancellations and we could use those if any were available. So our first afternoon we put in our three requests, and picked up a cancellation for that night. Some found it a nusiance not to know about their dinner plans till day of, we really didn't care...and we were able to enjoy an a la carte dinner every night. We went to the Moonlight on the beach twice, the Dominican once, Indian once, Mexican twice and Asian once. All were good... Indian was our favourite... they didn't skimp on spice, so some would find the food there too hot... but we thought it was excellent!!! Our least favourite was the Dominican... my conch fritter appetizer was good, but barely warm, and my friends chicken was quite dry... but we still enjoyed the rest of our meals. The wine service was frequent and not great, but drinkable, and the food came quickly and always with a smile.

We enjoyed the 'Pearl' buffet for breakfast and lunch most days... we did have burgers a a few times at the beach, but they were never fresh and hot, so we'd hike up to the buffet for other choices. My favourites on the lunch buffet... the pizza was fresh, hot and delicious... the grilled lamb chops and squid were juicy and you could get great salads too... the hot prepared options looked a little suspect, so I avoided them, the soups were very good.

Breakfast was always good... fresh eggs - omelettes or fried to order, bacon and fruit... not a lot of choice at breakfast, but certainly enough for us. The coffee service was good and the coffee itself was fresh, strong and hot.

The beach is small... if you're a beach person on holiday, you'll not be happy here. We are pool people, so we were AOK. Lots of pools, and lots of chairs. We never had to rush down to get a lounger in the morning. There are loungers in abudnance, all are in good shape, and many with shade. Thank you Cofresi!!! Possibly the only place I've been in the last 5 years where I haven't had to claim my chair on the way to breakfast. As a girl who burns quickly, this was a rare treat! The VIP beach was larger... and I that was the only 'perk' I could see to a VIP pricetag...

The bathrooms... almost forgot! I was very impressed. There are bathrooms all over the place, and I never went in to find no toilet paper, or plugged toilets. A frequent occurance at other resorts. These were well maintained and cleaned often. Once or twice I'd use the one at the beach and the toilet would't flush, it was always fixed by the time I went back. They also kept up with sand and wet feet in that one... not an easy task.

There were two bars we used... Whisky bar at the pool/beach and 'Cheers' up near the lobby. Both were just fine. Nothing fancy being served, but we could get a great margarita every morning, and whatever else we wanted.... the servers there are great at making sure everyone is looked after. Not super quick, but they looked at the influx of people constantly so people got served 'in turn' more or less. There was no need to push up front, or wave about, or hollar at them... I think the longest I had to wait was about 5 minutes, and that was one morning when there were at least 15 people ahead of me. Again, smiles all round...and all without cash changing hands.

Check out was smooth sailing, and while our flight home was an hour late, they'd upgraded to 'the big' plane for the return flight due to a last minute scheduling change and we enjoyed our personal TV's all the way home. Once again Air Transat did their job well.

For the very low price we paid to go to the Cofresi, we thought we got great value! If you want updated perfect rooms, and all the perks... pay more, and you should get more. While we like to go to different resort every year, I wouldn't rule this one out as a return option... We had a great week, were very well fed, never got sick, and were treated well by all staff. Thank you Cofresi!

  • Stayed: February 2016, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
6  Thank JonesBurner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 29 February 2016

The Staff is unbelievably amazing! Goofy and Wally and the rest of the animation team were awsome but mainly those 2 guys!! Food was as excpected for buffet food! Brazilian restaurant was amazing! Rooms were very nice (junior suite)! The only downfall is there are a lot of stairs so if your looking for a good workout you will get that with the stairs!!

  • Stayed: January 2016, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Kelly S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 February 2016 via mobile

Rule #1: take Imodium everyday.
Rule #2: a tip goes a long way. Even if it's $1-5.
Yes, some parts of the resort stink like poo. Bad.
We stayed in building 40 which was a decent location, didn't stink and our maid was great. They do take the towels and don't return then until later in the day but that wasn't a problem for us.
We paid $20 for the safe but was totally worth it.
Our fridge was stocked daily unlike our friends' across the hall.
I'm pretty sure the reviews that name the animators are fake.
The beach isn't as bad as some of the reviews say but there is a lot of seed weed in some spots. We upgraded to VIP so we spend most of our time at Lifestyle VIP Beach, Harmony VIP Beach, and Serenity VIP Beach. Definitely was worth the upgrade. Our husbands loved the cabanas they had there. They will offer you a deal to upgrade after the timeshare presentation. Those beaches also have free wifi.
This is a timeshare resort so be prepared for them to attack you after breakfast. We told them all we were going to give them was 10 minutes and it worked. The guys quickly got the vibe that we didn't have any interest in buying since we are owners elsewhere.
They don't serve alcohol until after 10 am. You have to go to a VIP beach to get it.
Make sure you make dinner reservations in the morning. They get booked quickly. We used one of our certificates from interval international and I would say that it wasn't worth it. We should have gone somewhere else. We had a good time and all but would NEVER go back. I wish we read the reviews before booking.

Stayed: February 2016, travelled as a couple
7  Thank Marina C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 February 2016

This review is based on purchasing our vacation from Groupon for a Junior Suite. We stayed at the resort for 7 days (2/20-2/27). Weather was amazing.

Check-in/check-out:
-Process was quick and no waiting for us. Pay attention!--there was important information discussed here. Don't loose bracelet because it will cost $200 to replace a lost bracelet. Don't lose towel cards they apparently will charge you. Safe lock costs $3/day (silly to charge for one...but cost is menial for piece of mind!)

The room (Junior Suite):
-We were in building 41 (looked just like the picture) and it was clean.
-Our maid was very kind and stocked our fridge with plenty of bottled waters daily.
-We received (2) El Presidente bottle beers and 2 sodas on our second day. Staff will not re-stock these items-- only water and coffee are re-stocked during the stay.
-The room overlooked the terrace which was pretty. The beach/pool was literally right in front of our building which was awesome!
-The smell other reviews have mentioned is a reality. It was tolerable but obviously would have been better if it did not exist. One night there was a pungent odor and it was not tolerable to sit on our patio.
-A/C and room temperature was perfect on the first one/two nights but eventually climbed to low 80s and was unable to get it back to a more comfortable temp
-Tip: do not book other room options that are cheaper than Junior Suite--you will be disappointed to say the least. We met several people who stayed in other rooms and mentioned it was like 2 star accommodations. I rate Junior Suite as 4-star .

The resort:
-Clean
-Pretty view and grounds
-Many pools but temperature was pretty cool and many guests were not using the pool
-Other reviews mention the many steps in the resort. We did not find this cumbersome but if you are disabled or have difficulty ambulating this is probably not the resort for you
-There is a shuttle that can take you back and forth from The Tropical and Cofresi that is free and available at the lobby areas. We only used it once because we enjoyed the exercise walking around the facilities.

VIP:
-With our Junior Suite from Groupon, we received blue glittered VIP bracelets; this gave us access to NV Beach, Cofresi Beach, VIP Beach (not Serenity or Harmony Beach) and VIP pool (other pools allowed access to everyone).
-NV beach was by far the best beach experience for us since it was never crowded like the other beaches! We spent all of our time here. The staff at NV beach was awesome and very attentive--they rolled out towels for your beach bed or lounge chair as soon as you walked in. NV beach staff definitely provided VIP service at your beach bed or chair. Please bring plenty of $1s to tip and you will not be disappointed with the service. Highly recommend eating pizza here for lunch instead of the buffet (more later on this).
-Time share owners have different bracelets (gold, black, white VIP) and have access to everything. Groupon VIP was better than many other bracelet options available (ie: Air Transat or Living Social) but still not access to everything (but I knew this by reading other reviews before I went so therefore was not disappointed here).

The timeshare pitch:
-We dodged the pitch to buy a timeshare but it was not easy...
-Keep an eye out for guys in khaki shorts with black/khaki "Tour Guide" shirts wearing brown straw hats. The will find you and try to take you on a welcome tour. I felt like I was being manhunted since he waited for us at breakfast with my name on a list.
-Tip: unplug the telephone to avoid the AM phone call from your tour guide on Day 2. Would also just tell them that you are not interested in going on the tour flat out--it takes 3 to 4 hours

The Beach:
-Good amount of seaweed but the resort did have staff picking it up daily.
-Water was warmer in the ocean than the pools
-Water was pretty blue color
-Small beach area for sunbathing. We actually stayed on the resort property line of the beach (before it become public access) and only walked to the water to get in the water or walk down the beach.
-Locals will try to sell you excursions, etc on the beach. Learn to say NO.

The food:
-We were given 2 restaurants reservations for a la cartes from our Groupon trip. We choose the Brazilian and Dominican. The Brazilian was the best.
-We went to Guest Services around 3 pm almost every day and was able to get a reservation every night we asked. We ate at Asian, International (Moonlight), and Indian.
-Ate at the Cassablanca for dinner one time and I do not recommend it. It is crowded and difficult to find a seat. My boyfriend liked the fish (which was the only thing we liked there) and when we went back for more there was none. We were given another fish dish and it was raw. That ended the meal.
-We ate breakfast at The Pearl 2 days and at El Pilon 2 days (all places serve the same breakfast). Breakfast is not good and I cannot recommend anything to eat except bread and coffee. My boyfriend recommends the made to order pancakes at The Pearl as a safe breakfast option.
-Read CDC website for foods to avoid when traveling to this country
-Overall, the food was the most disappointing part of the trip. If you wonder what we ate on the other days...we DID NOT EAT because we were vomiting. I believe I had GI virus and my boyfriend had food poisoning (possibly after eating raw chicken dish at Indian restaurant). We were not the only ill guests. Almost every group we made friends with had at least one solider down during the trip, if not more. We even heard someone had to go the hospital related to similar illness. The buffet starting handing out hand sanitizer half-way through the trip to guests. After getting ill, the idea of eating more food from the resort was less than appealing.
-Tip: bring granola bars or some American food in your packed luggage in case you cannot find edible breakfast foods, etc
-Tip: Go to Guest Services and ask if they have cancellations for dinner every day after 3 PM.

The drinks:
-My boyfriend really liked El Presidente beer which is the only beer option available. It is similar to a Budweiser.
-NV beach had some better options for liquor such as Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, and similar priced liquors. Otherwise house liquor is what is being poured in your drinks. We thought the drinks were good and not skimpy on the alcohol.
-Can't pinpoint if illness came from food or drinks but would be careful. Many people drank the water served in the restaurants (I did not) and drinks with ice.
-Tip: bring a cup/beer mug for your drinks. Most bars serve drinks in little plastic cups but they will pour drinks in your mug if you ask them.
-Tip: WATER is not potable. Drink bottle water and use it to brush your teeth.

Excursions:
-Booked through Viator (not the resort)
-Highly recommend snorkeling in Su Sua on a catamaran tour. Crew was awesome and it was my favorite part of the trip!
-Also booked Waterfall excursion but had to cancel after twisted ankle the night before excursion.
-Also booked airport transfer to the hotel and was generally pleased with their service.
It was also cheaper than the resort price. Our transfer cost $26 per person round trip.

The Music:
-At most of the bars the music was awful like bad gangster rap. Not suitable for a peaceful and relaxing vacation.

Overall, we will likely not return to the Cofresi Palm & Beach Resort for a second trip. The Groupon deal was worth it for the money and accommodations. The staff was great and definitely a positive aspect of this resort. However, the major draw back was the food and subsequent illness running rampant through the resort this is the main reason for not wanting to return. I would not bring my grandmother or even my parents here for fear of them becoming ill and needing medical attention. If you do travel to Confresi read the tips above but if you have not already booked I would recommend spending your money at another resort!

Room Tip: Book the Junior Suite
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  • Stayed: February 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
22  Thank Pharmerdani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2016

We arrived at Cofressi Palm Beach February 13th, 2016. The lobby wasn't grand in anyway as other resorts I've been to, so there wasn't any excitement upon arrival. It also took 90 minutes standing in line to be checked in.
So finally checked in, the van took us to our block which was 201. This block was at the top of the hill and the room was tiny. We were told that our room was renovated. Well the tub needs replacing and the bathroom window didn't open. Our tub leaked alot of water on the floor and we had to put a couple of towels down each time we showered. Our room appeared to be recently painted and the old dark wood desk had been replaced with a white one. My daughters room was really older and not upgraded at all. Very dark wood doors and very dark desk. They were disappointed with their room for sure however they had a better location then us. They were in block 205. Our block also backed onto the busy road so 7am, 3pm and 11 pm the workers would change shifts which took about 20 minutes to complete. The noise of vehicles, honking horns, yelling at each other and vehicle alarms going off. If you want to go to this resort then you should upgrade for sure near the beach as the balconies were definitely much bigger then our rooms. I'm sure the rooms were much nicer as well.
The Time Share people only bothered us twice. Just say no thank you and keep moving.
The grounds had a lot of steps of which we liked actually to keep in shape. If you have a mobility issue then you should avoid this resort. There were a lot of pools and as usual people put their towels on the loungers before breakfast. This will always be the case no matter where you go. The buffet had a good selection including grilling station for meat, a pasta station, eggs to order and smoothies to order. The best part of this resort was the food. Everyday there were fries, burgers and hotdogs for those who are fussy.
We did go to the Brazilian restaurant and it was awesome. Restaurant very clean and welcoming, the employees were dressed up in fancy attire and the food absolutely delicious.
The ocean was ok but not great, this area is definitely not Punta Cana.
If you are a smoker good luck finding an ashtray as there aren't any. Garbage cans are very few as well.
There is a good kids club with Grace attending to the children. She is really great with the children, she also will take them to Ocean World for one morning at a cost of $20 for a picture with a dolphin and $10 for a snack. She will take them horseback riding, of course entry level with a guide holding the reigns.
We booked an excursion which was a Triple tour which took us to waterfalls of which you slide down each one, very scary at first. We then went ziplining and horseback riding. They also have a buffet at the Waterfall slides.This tour cost us $120 each but was worth it.
This resort was ok but I would prefer to have gone to Punta Cana instead.

Room Tip: book a room near the ocean or get an upgraded room
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  • Stayed: February 2016, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Brenda R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort

Address: 1 Paradise Drive | Cofresi Beach, Puerto Plata 57000, Dominican Republic (Formerly Be Live Grand Carey)
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range: $125 - $357 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 468
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort – Dominican Republic is the newest jewel in the Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club. Nestled along the Cofresi beach shores, and overlooking the sparkling Caribbean sea, this resort caters to the luxurious enjoyment of both families and couples looking for that perfect getaway. With 468 well-appointed accommodations that range from Adult Only Spa Suites, to Standard family friendly rooms located in a quite setting between the ocean beach and spectacular pool, this is a paradise worthy of the Lifestyle name. The resort was created with space and comfort in mind, making Cofresi Palm a relaxing, enjoyable and satisfying experience for all guests and their families. All rooms have air conditioning, cable television, phones, and ceiling fans, while the decor has a distinctive design, featuring dark wood furnishings. Shaded patios and verandas provide a relaxing place to gather in some of the units. Providing both service and features that are standard for a Lifestyle property, the Cofresi Palm offers a unique luxury accommodations experience. Cofresi Palm provides the easy, relaxed ambiance of the Caribbean in an opulent and elegant setting. Experience the array of beauty and excitement that Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort has to offer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sun Village Puerto Plata
Sun Village Hotel Cofresi
Dominican Republic Sun Village
Sun Village Dominican Republic
Sun Village Spa
Sun Village Resort Dominican Republic
Sun Village Resort Puerto Plata
Sun Village Beach Resort
Sun Village Resort Spa Puerto Plata

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