Sun Village Resort and Spa Hotel

, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
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Sun Village Resort and Spa Hotel

, Puerto Plata
3 star

Rooms: 297

1 Paradise Drive - Puerto Plata - Dominican Republic Hotel Website | | 8099707538
464 Traveller

Reviews - Sun Village Resort and Spa Hotel

Submitted by: caitlin in 25/02/08
  • Age Group: 18 - 25
  • From: Canada
  • Traveller type: Young & Single
Well what can you really say... it was absoultey amazing. I have never stayed at a resort that I enjoyed so much, the staff were unbelievable. The bar tender in the theater lounge, manni was awesome. The staff learn your name
and they actually seem to care that your having a good time
not to mention boy can those entertainer boys dance. I wish I never , it's a beautiful country and the people there are unreal. I just cant comprehend the fact that I left. I felt more at home there then I did in Canada. Call me crazy but it wasn't because of the resorts 7 swimming pools or the food not even the rooms
it was the staff. I just cant get over it
... I want to go back so badly because of them.
Amazing Hotel
Submitted by: Leylene in 05/09/07
  • Age Group: 18 - 25
  • From: United States
  • Traveller type: Family Traveller
Some people are just never satisfied. It's a vacation. You relax and have fun, not whine and complain about every little thing.
Been there
Submitted by: Andries Godschalk in 01/04/07
  • Age Group: 41 - 50
  • From: Canada
  • Traveller type: Mature Couple
Went with my wife and booked last minute. We have been on many winter trips. Minimum 4 star hotels. When I booked this trip I looked the resort up on every site possible. I could not find any that showed me pictures of any of the rooms. When I got to the resort I upgraded to the VIP, adult only section and our vacation was off to a wonderful start. The restaurants where first class, four of the best meals money couldn't buy. The wine was much better at diner then at lunch. To see the smile on my wife's face made me feel lucky that I got the chance to be there. The swim up bar at the pool was the meeting spot for the British and only Canadian guests. Miguel the bar tender was unreal. The drinks never stopped. If you want a real nice vacation at a wonderful resort and not break the it now. This secret will not last long.
We love it!
Submitted by: Joan in 23/03/07
  • Age Group: 60 +
  • From: Canada
  • Traveller type: Family Traveller
This was our 4th trip to Sun Village. Each time it improves. It is not perfect but gives great value. We are a family of 10 with ages spanning 87 to 6 and everyone enjoys it. There are stairs everywhere but our 87 year old navigates them well and should she experience a problem, the staff will pick her up as she wishes and transport her to the desired location.I have read reviews very uncomplimentary and can only assume they are written but disgruntled competitors. Investment literature is available but never pushed. The food has improved each year. The pools are awesome and as for cleanliness, even our 6 year old said" are they always cleaning?" The stairs outside our room were scrubbed daily. The staff is amazing. I sincerely believe that the treatment given to the staff by guests can dictate the return treatment. One waiter in particular made a special point of coming over to our table each day to be sure everything was to our satisfaction. This was not his table but he had taken car of us the first year.I am tired of seeing people treat the service staff as second class citizens and the complain about the competence of the staff after treating them in a degrading manner. Some guests have the attitude of superiority with no validity. We all agree that Sun Village is great and as for having little comparative experience, We are extreemly well travelled. The 87 year old has been on 38 cruises and to all the Carribean islands. She has stayed at some of the best hotels and resorts. One of our group lives in Dubai and has visited the world's only 7 star hotel and agrees that Sun Village offers good value. We are already planning for November and also next March. Hope to see you there!
Awsome and funky
Submitted by: Jenna in 19/03/07
  • Age Group: Under 18
  • From:
  • Traveller type: Sun Seeker
I have never been here but I saw the movie love wrecked and it look awesome!!! I bet that kids would love it here!! From 0 to 16 the waterslides look great! The water fall sooo awesome and on the plus side, you get to stand at the same place as Amanda Bynes did!! So people would pay good money for that!!! Oh and the animation looks fun! And remember to go to their little stranded island look if the little hut is still there!!!
Third So GOOD!!
Submitted by: Fraser Strachan in 23/01/07
  • Age Group: Under 18
  • From: United Kingdom
  • Traveller type: Sun Seeker
I have been twice and I am going this year for my third (because it's so gd). There is no problems at all with the resort if u find there is too many steps u r probably fat!! Best thing is the opus disco lol!! Can't wait for this yr
Sun Vilage 3 star
Submitted by: Rob in 08/01/07
  • Age Group: 41 - 50
  • From: Canada
  • Traveller type: Young Couple
Dec 17 2006.

Sun Village Resort and Spa I would rate as a 3 star.

We when to relax before the Christmas week.

Traveled out of Montreal with TMR tours on Air Canada, Flight was good and uneventful.

First I would like to mention that for the week it looked like Sun Village was only 20% to 25% booked.
There was room everywhere we when and no one was busy.

Grounds and common building are a 4 star.
Also stairs everywhere, so keep it in mind if you have trouble getting around. We did not mind.
Beach was good and 3KM long. Pools where good, the top pool near main building was great and only 3 or 4 couple around at any time.

TMR rep at air port in Puerto Plata recommended if we have any problems with the resort to go to their TMR rep on site not the front desk. This we did and it helped, On check in TMR had provided a free upgrade coupon to a superior room, The front desk at Sun Village just trough it a way when we presented the coupon, as they had packages already made up.
Our first room (200 block) was only a standard and it was a dump. First it was dirty, grim in every crack and groove, paint patches on the walls where different colours, only two bath towels that it, no iron, no coffee for coffee machine. Had better in the middle of no ware in Alberta for $40 a night.

Plus at the intro meeting with TMR rep asked about the free room upgrade. Line took us to the front desk and in two minutes we where move to a superior room (303 block), which I would class as a standard but was clean and equipped. One thing we did notice on the into rule from Sun Village is the promote that you can upgrade your room for $10 US per person per night. Scam?

Sun Village assign a rep to you also, they are friendly offer of free rum to come to their intro meeting which is about 30 minutes after your tour reps meeting. Our rep would not comment on it. But it is TIME share sale type of resort so if you need to save $5 US dollars for rum go, or just say NO and skip the meeting, They will call your room and find you on the beach, buffet, just say NO and they go away.

Food and restaurants and Bars.
A tip of 20 to 50 pesos does seem to improve service.

The buffet had a good with a variety for any taste, flavour or oils and hot sauces you could add, maybe not two or three for a different item for that taste. Item seemed to sit there a long time. This is back to the 75% vacancy rate, I guess it is hard to run a buffet with low turn over.
The beach buffet for lunch was good also and there was BBQ by the beach Bar also, not just dogs and burgs there was beef, pork, chicken and all the fixings. No relishes.

Al la carte restaurants where good and service great. We went to the Italian, Mexican and Thai. The Thai was a let down , the food was only like so so cheap Chinese food. But still OK.

Bars good and if you mention you would like one of the better brands instead of the local bar brand you could get it. Only once where we ask to pay extra for the Baileys. At the beach bar once on of the bartender did not seem train as he did not know how to make the drink of the day.
At the Bar beside the Main Buffet we would go for a drink after supper and we would get one to go as we when for a walk, My wife like white wine and it got to the point they would rap a bottle up for her to take back to the room. That's knowing how to keep some one happy.

The music that is piped around the resort is good with different flavours.
Night entertainment was good and different each night. Alittle more professional than we have seen at our resorts in the past. If you are we your Kids there is a kids 30 to 40 minute activity earlier where they have the kids up on the stage dancing.

Took the COCO town trip the fort, amber museum and local lunch, rum factory, shopping.
It was OK for $36 US it's cheap way to see town, But nothing special.

One down item which I cannot point to the resort, But raises a couple of question.
I got the gastro ailment, every second or more person we talked to also got it at different times of the week. Also when we got back trough word of mouth with relatives and friends we heard of 10 other couples at resorts in Puerto Plata, that both of the couple got it bad.

Would we go back NO! There is to many other resorts in this class and with out the time-share angle.
Best Holiday Ever
Submitted by: Laura in 14/03/06
  • Age Group: 18 - 25
  • From: United Kingdom
  • Traveller type: Young Couple
We've been twice and the second time was even better than the first.

We went back to get married, and took 12 other perople with us, all loved it. My parents are thinking of going back this year.

The whole place is always clean, staff ARE friendly, fair enough there are lots of steps, but there's also a path from reception to the beach which has no steps!

We are going back for an anniversary in the future and would recommend anyone to go there
Beware Nightmare
Submitted by: Cari in 26/10/05
  • Age Group: 41 - 50
  • From: Canada
  • Traveller type: Mature Couple
I have done extensive vacation travelling over the years and I have never felt so scammed and sucked in as I have at this resort. The most rude un-caring employees and management I have ever encountered, food below average, rooms filthy, electrical, water, and insect problems, no international drinks as advertised, totally in compentent staff. Anyone who thinks this place is great has either never been anywhere else in their lives or are investors in this disasterious scheme which is the only thing that the management is interested in.... sucking you in to buying in on the resort. Use your hard earned money elsewhere.
Beautiful facade
Submitted by: Vicky in 07/04/05
  • Age Group:
  • From: Belgium
  • Traveller type:
Date: 19/01/05 - 29/01/05
Beautiful facade (nice buildings, lovely garden). Staff: very friendly but not educated enough to do there jobs properly
Standard room: smells funny, too small, old blankets. Bathroom: As large as a little closet. Food: We got sick, No Hygiene, Mediocre choice. 101 stairs to get to the reception from the beach. Not a good idea to come with children our when you are not so fit.

Historical Traveller Reviews of Sun Village Resort and Spa Hotel

Beautiful Pools, Seen better beaches

from 2514norbert
Here is what you should know: We visited Sun Village for five nights in March 2002. Pluses: 1. Beautiful cascading pools, the top pool looks bauetifully over the beach. There are many beutiful pools and we even discovered another one we didn't know about by the thai restraunt before we left. 2. Great fresh fruit and drinks. 3. Swim up bars ( I think ther are 3). 4. Service, people were very nice. 5. PRICE!Nutreal: Rooms, nice, no complaints, but not extravegent either. Had to take quick showers, ran out of hot water (your hot anyways...feels good). Food- Not bad. We loved it when we first got there and then got pretty sick of it by the time we left, we did not take full advantage of the specialty restaurants. Negatives" Beach. It is beautiful to look at. it is pretty wavy. The color was not what you would find in punta cana or other carribean places. It was still very pretty. We are huge beach people and would have preferred nicer water. But the pools are so nice, that we stayed there most of the time. There are nice hammocks and shady areas. It is a relatively small stretch of beach. You will enjoy it, but if you are going specifically for the beach, chose another area. We have travelled to belize and jamaica and are comparing it to these places. It is more water like you would see in Florida.

Hurrah for EMI

from A TripAdvisor Member
We have just returned from two wonderful weeks at the EMI Sun Village Beach resort. What a beautiful place it is! It is true that there are a lot of steps but you just have to be careful when you walk them. I have a bad leg and it was not at all affected by walking all those stairs. The pools are beautiful and what a lot to choose from. We did not see any roaches or tarantulas at all. The staff was very accomadating and our daytime maid was fairly fluent in english. We could not however converse with the maid that came to turn down our bed at night, but then hugs and gestering work well in stead of words. I know there are some things that need to be addressed and in time they will be, but we North Americans have to remember that we are visiting a developing country and things are done differently there. Also we are guests there so we should "accept the things we cannot change and change the things we can". This is the 4th time we have visited the DR and we find the people to be very friendly. Have a good trip and enjoy your holidays.

The Real Story

from A TripAdvisor Member
There were roaches inside, tarantulas outside your door, hundreds of steps, many with no railings or nonskid protection (my husband fell down 14 of them from the suite pool because there was no railings & we had to pay $185 US to get him out of the medical center even though it was their negligence not to have rails & even though we had every kind of insurance you could have. They didn't want to hear it) The pools closed @ 7PM BUT they took your "pool towels" @ 6PM making it virtually impossible to swim after 6PM even though there are NO lifeguards. If you didn't bring the pool towels back (you had to have a "pool card" to get one) it cost you $20 or if you lost the card it was $20. Even though you were "all-inclusive, it cost $10 everytime they brought anything to your room. There was some kind of treatment facility in the middle of the resort & the odor could knock you over. The beach was brown sand & the ocean was constantly rough. There was NO cordened off area for ocean swimming or to use any of the equipment. The nightly entertainment was at best "high school" level & that is even going some. They only took a very few reservations for the alternative restaurants & you had to stand in LONG lines to get those, even though the restaurants were all but empty every night. When I asked the EMI financial advisor, I was told "if we don't do that, then everyone will eat in the alternative restaurants instead of the buffet" (judge for yourself from that comment) There is ABSOLUTELY NO SERVICE ! If you want anything you had better go get it for yourself. We asked for a pitcher of orange juice from the concierge (your liason, since hardly anyone speaks English) when we first got there & 3 days later we went & got it for ourselves after numerous attempts to get it. They pay you 19 pesos for every dollar @ the desk but when you go to get a massage or buy anything in the resort shops, they charge you up to 25 pesos per dollar ( @ tetired travel agent & brought up some of the problems, they asked me to sit down & discuss them with them. I spent 1 hr doing so. The very next time I mentioned something to them the "concierge manager" told me "YOU COULD GOLD PLATE EVERYTHING FOR SOME PEOPLE & THEY STILL WOULDN'T BE SATISFIED" (make up your own minds from that comment) The safe was $17 even though you were all inclusive PLUS a $20 deposit. In talking with other guests we learned that they were putting families of 4 into a room with 1 bed even though they had booked a 2 Bedroom suite ( 1 bed for 4 people) We were lucky we had a suite & could make our own ice because they were taking 2 - 3 hours to bring people ice. If you finally walked to your room which could be 50 to 100 steps away from reception OR MANY MANY more & your key didn't work, they made YOU go back & get another. There are NO elevators, ramps, or anything else to assist handicapped individuals & MANY MANY steps DO NOT have railings or nonskids. We got 1 bottle of shampoo & conditioner the whole time we were there until we finally asked for more. Everyone has their hand out for a tip. If you tip security, from what I was told, they will let you in whether you belong on the resort or not. There is no "perimeter" around the resort. I could go on and on but I'm running out of room..DO NOT DRINK THE WATER OR EVEN BRUSH YOUR TEETH WITH IT, YOU WILL GET SICK !!! If you have any questions, contact me @ my e-mail & "subject" Sun Village resort" Jean Brion (retired travel agent)

Bad room accomodations

from A TripAdvisor Member
Room was sub-standard. Spend a little more and stay at an Iberostar. First all inclusive where you have to pay for drinks in the dance club/disco.

The Best Hotel on the Island

from A TripAdvisor Member
Great activities for kids and adults! Excellent staff. The food was great and the beach was beautiful. Very relaxing. They have great shows in the evening. I advise you to go!

Good Overall

from A TripAdvisor Member
We just got back from 5 days at the Sun Village Inn. The other reviews made us very nervous, but we had a great time. The pools and grounds are beautiful and spotless. The workers continually clean the place. All the workers are very nice and friendly and go out of their way to proactively help you. Unlike other reviewers, I never felt like they were asking for tips. The weather was excellent - hot with a refreshing breeze. There was rain everyday, but it only lasted about 10 minutes. (The rest of the day was sunny.) It is very humid there. The room was okay. It was clean and well stocked, but we had a few mosquitos that seemed to enter when the maid was cleaning the room. (A note written in Spanish and left inside our room for the maid solved this problem for the most part.) There were basically no bugs at all outside! Also, the tub drain was clogged. However, we did have plenty of hot water. The balcony is a nice touch too. I was pleasantly surprised by the buffet food. The fruit is absolutely delicious, and I thought the rest of the food was good too. You have to make reservations if you want to dine at one of the restaurants instead of the buffet, but we just showed up at one early and they seated us due to a cancellation. The water is not a problem. All the water used for food preparation and for drinks (ice and table water included) was purified. We ate and drank a lot and did not get sick. Bottled water is readily available in the rooms and at the many bars. The hotel literature recommended that you not drink tap water, although it was fine for brushing teeth. The ocean water was warm and light green. The beach was short, and there wasn't a lot of room to lie out. The clientele was a mix of different types. There were a lot of families, some couples, a few partiers and one small group of sex-you-up types. There were a lot of stairs, but they are not a problem for a typical vacationer. The resort is set on the side of a hill leading down to the ocean. The lobby and most of the dining facilities are at the top of the hill, and the rooms are located between the lobby and the ocean. The stairs are part of the environment. The WORST part of the trip was check-in. BRING PROOF from the resort. There had been a big snowstorm in NY the day before and many guests must have been stranded there. When we arrived, they told us they did NOT have our reservation. It was night and we had been traveling for about 14 hours. Thankfully we were able to get in touch with our travel agent and she helped get us a room. It was very stressful. Oveall, this trip was defintely worth the money and was a great vacation. After the rocky start we had a great time and I do recommend the resort if you are looking for an economical all-inclusive vacation.

Not what advertised

from A TripAdvisor Member
This was our fourth visit to the Dominican Republic and by far the worst room accomodations. The resort is not new but a renovated resort. The exterior is spacious and newly renovated. The staff was courteous and friendly. Expect to climb stars as the resort is built into a mountainside. Not a good choice for people with mobility problems. We stayed in a standard room which had old bamboo furniture that had been painted green. The bathroom was 4' X 5' and the shower was 3' X3'. The grout in the tile was yellow from age and the laminated shelves were coming apart from the moisture. After one shower there was no hot water. The light fixture consisted of a light bulb in the ceiling. The bathroom was in bad need of repair. Complaints to the management went unanswered. We were told by one of the staff thatthey were booked 110%. He said that they routinely overbook in case there are cancellations the resort would be full. We were told that if they had no rooms they would send the guests to another resort and would pay for cab fare back and forth. Every where you went people were complaining about their accomodations. One person had payed for a suite for 5 people and was told upon arrival that they had none available. The specialty resturaunts were never full even though people were turned away. I was told they only allow a specified number of meals because they want people to eat in the buffet. My biggest problem with the resort is that they should say what it is. It is a renovated resort with a beautiful exterior and rooms that are in need of repair.

Ya! Baby!

from A TripAdvisor Member
We just got home from 2 weeks at Sun Village. It was a great time and a wonderful resort. There are lots of stairs, though, so if you have to tote young children around, or are disabled, you may wish to go elsewhere. If you are in good shape, you will have "no problem".We really loved the resort. The pools are wonderful, bars everywhere, and the food was good. We found the buffet restaurant and the Thai restaurant to be the best. No matter, you could always find something to please your palate.The staff were second to none and really made our vacation. Get to know them by name and they really treat you well. Our favorites were Cirriaco (waiter in buffet restaurant), Mercedes (hostess in buffet restaurant), Francisca and Mario - bartenders in Saddle Bar. Say hello to them for me if you choose Sun Village.We tipped our waiters and bartenders as we wished. There was absolutely no feeling that they expected anything, and were always appreciative of anything we gave them. We also tipped our maids and took along some extra gifts for them, such as nail polish, lipstick, coloring books and crayons for their children. They seemed to appreciate these as well.Sometimes it was difficult getting wash cloths, so it would be a good idea to pack a few to take along just in case.You wouldn't believe the work the staff go to on Fridays to put together the Beach Party - not to be missed!You are out of the city, and it is costly to go there by cab (we're told), so if you want to do a lot of shopping or other night life away from the resort, this may not be the place for you. There is a city bus you can take with the locals if you want, but we were happy to hang out at the resort.We took a few tours and I highly recommend the Catamaran and Snorkeling at Sosua Bay. You can also shop there at the flee market. The Outback Tour was good too. Great trip! Would go again anytime.

stress free

from A TripAdvisor Member
Found just what we wanted. Nice people, good food, clean rooms, child friendly with many pools and a good beach. People at Sun Village went out of their way to help out in what ever way they could. A stress free vacation.

go elsewhere

from A TripAdvisor Member
appears to me they have finacial problems, twice they did not have all items on the menu, they limit you to toilet paper, water, and clean towels
had a problem with the hot water
in the disco--they charge you for all drinks and dont tell you until after you ordered and tastes so in essence its not all inclusive
the liquor at the bars is substandard no presidente beer as they advertised
otherwise its clean and comfortable

Top Local Tips for Puerto Plata

Casino Take pesos to the Casino, you seem to get more for your money.

Tipping Really helps get you your next drinks at the bar. US$2 is fine.

Horse Back Riding We took the 1/2 day horse back riding at the Hacienda Ranchero and it was great. They took us up into the mountains and the views were fabulous. The horses were well cared for, healthy and did not smell at all. I highly recommend the trip and will definately do it again. If you see the gentleman at the towel pool at Sun Village about the trip it is cheaper than booking it with the tour desk. We paid $30.00 for the half day trip. The tour desk was charging $50.00. Big difference.


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  • Address: 1 Paradise Drive - Puerto Plata - Dominican Republic
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"Amazing" - caitlin

"Amazing Hotel" - Leylene

"Been there" - Andries Godschalk

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