Travel Guide of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic for: Grand Paradise Playa Dorada Rating: 3.0 Pearls
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Puerto Plata Summary

Pros

  • Gregorio Luperon International Airport is between 20 minutes and an hour from most hotels by cab
  • Playa Dorada offers a highly secure gated environment with shopping and golf
  • Nearby Damajagua waterfalls
  • Rich history of Puerto Plata's Old Town and Malecon, plus close to Parque National La Isabela, the first town established by Christopher Columbus
  • Buildings are no taller than palm trees, by law
  • High-quality Dominican and Cuban cigars readily available
  • Good road conditions and easy transportation via taxi, motoconcho, and guaguas
  • Nightlife options outside the resorts
  • Several golf courses in the area
  • Beautiful beaches
  • Museo de Ambar in Puerto Plata

Cons

  • Non-potable tap water
  • Many travelers report stomach problems
  • Little contact with local culture
  • Beaches are crowded with all-inclusive mega-resorts
  • Ubiquitous resort buffet food is rarely fresh and usually bland

What It's Like

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.

Where to Stay

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.

Puerto Plata Hotel Guides

Best Value Hotels in Puerto Plata

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.

 

Map of Hotels -- Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Map of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic Expand Map ›

Facts

Languages:

Spanish

Airports:

Gregorio Lupern Int'l Airport (POP) (cab ride of between 20 minutes and 1 hour)

Time Zone:

Atlantic Standard

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Peak:

June 15-Aug. 15; Dec. 15-April 15

Off-Peak:

April 15-June 15; Aug. 15-Dec. 15

Hurricanes:

June 1-Nov. 30

Visa:

No; $10 tourist card must be purchased at airport on arrival and $20 U.S. Departure Tax applies

Vaccines:

No

Currency:

Dominican Peso

Electricity:

110 V, 60 Hz (U.S. compatible)

Tipping:

10% is customary and usually included in the bill at hotels and restaurants

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