Playa Dorada Puerto Plata Dominican Republic
- Largest, best beach in Playa Dorada
- Restaurants, clubs, and golf within walking distance
- Less trained staff than most resorts
- Only cheap, generic liquor (worst in the D.R.)
Located in the safe mini-tourist city of Playa Dorada, this family-friendly resort has an excellent buffet, some of the newest, cleanest rooms in the D.R. (all were renovated in 2008), and one of the best beaches on the north coast. It’s an incredible bargain, if you ignore the cheap booze, the lingering service kinks, and a pool that's less awe-inspiring than others.
We investigate in person.
Like your mother-in-law.
CategoriesAll-Inclusive, Beachfront, Kid-Friendly, Resort, Value
Oyster Hotel PhotosView All 8 Albums
Large, calm beach
Grand Paradise Playa Dorada was renovated in fall 2008, but the ghosts of a scruffy beachfront motel still seem to linger. With a sea-green and lavender color scheme, the soaring, fluorescent-lit lobby is reminiscent of a 1980s shopping mall (especially with elevator music blaring through the speakers and a large fountain gushing in the background). It feels like a budget all-inclusive that, weirdly, has modern rooms. Not that guests are complaining - a clean, comfortable bed and a flat-screen TV are much preferable to a flashy lobby.
Like at virtually every all-inclusive resort on the north coast, the majority of guests are Canadian. The crowd seems to skew older compared with other resorts - the evening entertainment during Oyster's stay was a jazz band that encouraged dancing - but there are also 20-somethings and a fair number of kids playing foosball in the game room.
The Grand Paradise has a lot of amenities with which to please guests, particularly the large beach, the food, and the entertainment. Though known for having a quieter atmosphere than at some other resorts, the reopening of the casino attracts even non-guests come to the property.
The Grand Paradise is inside the gated Playa Dorada complex. Playa Dorada (“golden beach”) is about 15 minutes west of the Puerto Plata Airport. Pre-set cab fares to various hotels within the complex range from $30 to $35.
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