Rooms are spacious with tasteful, beachy decor; condos have fully-equipped kitchens
Large pool with golf course views
Restaurant serving international cuisine with a few Dominican specialties and a beachfront restaurant
Free breakfast with an extensive hot and cold options
Large beach with gorgeous, four-poster beach beds
On-site fitness center, basketball court, soccer field, and tennis courts
Free parking and Wi-Fi
No beach views from any of the rooms
Beach can get windy at certain times of day
Not an all-inclusive like most other hotels in Playa Dorada (a pro for some!)
Certain parts of the property are showing age
Some guests may find the calm and quiet to be a bit boring
While not quite a luxury hotel, the upscale, family-friendly Blue JackTar is a quiet property located on the golf course in Puerto Plata’s gated Playa Dorada complex. Although it’s an older resort, Blue JackTar has been completely refreshed and updated. Spacious rooms have a casual, beachy vibe, though none of them have beach views. The hotel’s pool is large and rarely crowded, probably because guests prefer the gorgeous daybeds on the beach. The main restaurant, Green Jack, serves an international menu with a few Dominican specialities -- and might just be the best place to have dinner in all of Playa Dorada. A beachfront restaurant, Jack's Kite and Grill, was added after our visit. As far as freebies go, there’s free parking, Wi-Fi, and daily breakfast. Travelers looking for something a bit more romantic might prefer BlueBay Villas Doradas, which is an adult-only property within Playa Dorada.
A quiet resort on a golf course is perhaps the most concise, yet equally the most descriptive way to illustrate the kind of hotel Blue JackTar is. Anyone looking for beach volleyball tournaments, pool aerobics, or long buffet lines won’t find them here. Instead, the atmosphere is serene, the attitude mellow. Yet at the same time, Blue JackTar can be utterly boring, and almost eerily empty. It’s a family-friendly resort, yet there’s not much for kids to do here. It’s a nice spot for couples, yet there’s no spa or honeymoon suite. Potential guests should know that BlueJack Tar is a nice hotel, on a nice beach, with a nice pool, and a nice restaurant -- but that’s about it. There are no real wow factors here, but this can be appealing in destination that’s known for some over-the-top accommodations.
Within Playa Dorada, a gated resort community near Puerto Plata
Located in Playa Dorada, a gated hotel community just outside of downtown Puerto Plata, Blue JackTar is a safe, quiet, hotel ideal for families, couples, golfers, or anyone looking for a low-key vacation. Blue JackTar has one of the better locations within Playa Dorada, as it’s close to both the golf course and the beach. The only drawback is that the green stands in the way of direct ocean views, whether from the pool or the guest rooms. The hotel is about an 11-minute drive from downtown Puerto Plata, and about a 20-minute drive from Gregorio Luperon International Airport.
Beachy rooms feature white bead-board ceilings, bright blue accents, and woven sea grass rugs.
Unlike many hotels that contain all guests rooms in a single building, Blue JackTar’s rooms are spread out across the property. Housed in 1980s Spanish colonial stucco cottages, rooms have been completely upgraded with fresh decor and beachy accents. Interiors differ a bit from room to room -- some spaces have dark wood furniture with exposed wood-beam ceilings, while others have white four-poster beds and private whirlpools. All rooms have hints of the hotel’s signature color, blue.
Standard amenities include flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, coffeemakers, and large closets, but bathrooms are bland and not so luxurious. Most have standard shower-tub combos, along with old tile floors and old fixtures. When the hotel was renovating, they must’ve skipped over the bathrooms. Though all rooms are close to the beach, none have ocean views. Instead, most rooms overlook the golf course. In early 2016, the hotel opened a new high-rise building that houses luxury multi-bedroom apartments with gourmet kitchens and separate living areas. There is also a new, larger pool located here.
Pool, beach, golf course, multiple fitness and sports facilities, and a delicious restaurant
Though it’s not an all-inclusive, Blue Jack Tar has a few nice features, and some awesome freebies. Blue JackTar’s pool is centrally located on the property, just behind the reception building. It’s a large, free-form shape with an island of palms in its center. There are dozens of lounge chairs and umbrellas surrounding the pool, and there is also a small hot tub. Across the street from the pool are the hotel’s tennis courts, basketball court, and soccer field -- though all are a bit run-down and usually vacant. The gym is on the smaller side, and is crammed with loads of equipment. Oddly, the air-conditioning isn’t kept on all the time, so the room has potential for sweltering conditions if you’re the first one to arrive that morning.
Just beyond the golf course is the beach -- a gorgeous stretch of sand that’s shared by the entire Playa Dorada complex. Blue JackTar has its own section for guests, with awesome, pillow-topped beach beds as well as wooden tables and deck chairs. While beautiful, the beach can get windy at times, which can make it unpleasant and annoying for anyone lounging on the sand. As far as freebies are concerned, the hotel offers free parking and Wi-Fi, as well as daily breakfast. Breakfast at Blue JackTar is better than the average free breakfast. Each morning, in a small room and patio adjacent to the reception area, the hotel serves a continental buffet which includes a nice spread of pastries, breads, muffins, fresh fruit and juice, yogurt, and sliced meats and cheeses. Along with the buffet, guests can choose from a small a la carte menu with selections such as eggs, fruit-topped pancakes, and Monte Cristo sandwiches.
Blue JackTar’s main restaurant, Green Jack, is one of the nicest (and most delicious) in all of Playa Dorada. The menu consists of international items like steaks, salads, pasta dishes, and flatbreads, but also offers guests a taste of the Caribbean, with dishes like yucca croquettes, mofongo chicharrón, and Dominican braised goat. Both indoor and outdoor seating is available, and the requested attire is smart casual. Jack's Kite and Grill, added after our visit, operates all day from an-open air space overlooking the beach. It closes at 7 p.m. during the week, but is open until midnight on the weekends.