The mostly industrial city of Puerto Plata has a few tourist attractions in its Old Town quarters and along Malecon, its long beachfront drive. But most guests stay just outside it, in the Playa Dorada complex to the east or the cluster of resorts in Cofresi, to the west. Playa Dorada is a gated group of 15 hotels (with more than 4,000 rooms in total), plus a shopping center and golf course. It's extremely safe and walkable, even at night, making it a great place for families.
Virtually all the places to stay in this area are giant, mid-range, all-inclusive beachfront resorts, and many have mediocre food, formulaic entertainment schedules centered around lip-synched dance performances, and an unlimited supply of booze flowing from multiple bars, including swim-up ones. But there are standouts. In the gated Playa Dorada enclave, solid choices range from Casa Colonial at the luxury end (the only non-all-inclusive option) to budget all-inclusives geared toward families, and young partiers (like the Grand Paradise). Outside but just to the west of Playa Dorada, in a small area known as Costa Dorada, are two excellent resorts: the Grand Oasis and the Iberostar Costa Dorada. Cofresi also has some fine choices, like the sexy, adults-only Maxim Bungalows Cofresi Beach -- but the area's beaches are mostly disappointing.
At Oyster Hotel Reviews, value is the most important factor we consider when evaluating a hotel. After sleeping at over 100 carefully selected hotels throughout the Dominican Republic, we were able to determine which hotels offer the real values -- and which hotels are a rip-off at any price. Here are your best bets for Puerto Plata.
Gregorio Lupern Int'l Airport (POP) (cab ride of between 20 minutes and 1 hour)
June 15-Aug. 15; Dec. 15-April 15
April 15-June 15; Aug. 15-Dec. 15
June 1-Nov. 30
No; $10 tourist card must be purchased at airport on arrival and $20 U.S. Departure Tax applies
110 V, 60 Hz (U.S. compatible)
10% is customary and usually included in the bill at hotels and restaurants