Overall it was a very nice place and very big. You only have access to part of it, because you must buy into their program (timeshare) before you have a VIP band. It was very clean, there was always someone cleaning something. The room mini bars are not really mini bars, they contain 2 waters, 2 sodas, and 2 beers. They are stocked every other day. The reservation process for dinner is crazy. You must get up and stand in line at 9:00am to see if you can get in somewhere. There are only usually about 3 options a day and you have to wait for a ticket under your door to let you know if, when, and where you are going that night. The people were very nice and made it a great trip with the exception of "Guest Services". What a joke. If you plan an excursion in the morning and it's on a day when you don't have a pre-made reservation, good luck! They told us the day before to come early to make our dinner reservations and when we tried they said there was no way. The food and alcohol were not so good. If you go to the VIP beach, they do have top shelf liquer and food that is good, but only until 5:00pm. They also should not advertise that tips are included, because there is NO WAY. Everybody expects and waits for a tip, there are tip jars everywhere. Just keep in mind what you are paying, overall it's worth the money.
Before traveling, I always read reviews just to see what's ahead. A little nervous of what to expect due to some really bad reviews, there is nothing wrong with this place. I find that people are either expecting too much or are just too picky. Check in was fine, though it was a little hard to comprehend what the young lady was saying most of the time. We had a Jr. Suite which I highly recommend that you book. The only thing bad about the room was the beds were really hard. Our air conditioning worked, the fan worked, was quite comfortable temperature the whole time we were there. The bathroom was gorgeous with a jacuzzi tub that I used twice while there. It was great. The resort itself is huge, a lot of staircases as mentioned before. They do have people on carts to take you from here to there so that is convienient. The place is beautiful, the pools are nice, a little cold. There are plenty of bars as well. There is volleyball that seemed quite popular. The lounge chairs are everywhere along with great little cabanas that were quite comfy, more than the beds in the room. The beach itself isn't the nicest, but nothing wrong with it. Don't expect crystal blue waters as there is a good amount of waves that stir up all the silt. At times there was a lot of seaweed but who cares. The water temperature was nice, warmer than the pools. The service at the buffet was great. I think people need to realize, these people work very hard and deal with a lot of rude vacationers. Remember to smile and treat them nicely and they will do the same. Kindness should always be used, at a resort or anywhere. Remember that! Also, bring some money to tip. Again, these workers work SO hard, so what is giving them a couple bucks here and there? They'll appreciate it and will be around whenever you need them. If you can afford to spend money on an all inclusive, you should be able to bring money for tipping. We alone brought $100 singles just to tip the five nights we stayed. The food was not bad, not great. A good variety and I was happy. Never got sick from anything. I can't complain at all. We did manage to get two reservations at the a la carte restaurants. The seafood one and the Mexican one. The seafood one was amazing. Everything was so good. The Mexican one was eh. They had better nachos at the buffet than the Mexican place. I ate buffet nachos everyday. Lol. As far as the timeshare thing, yes they may try to trick you. I heard of a couple being whisked away to ocean world and everywhere else. Just be smart and aware. Just say no, they won't bother you. If you want the tour, and are interested, by all means do it. You don't have to do anything you don't want to. Our booking included ocean world. It's nothing great. Some dolphins, birds, sea lions, all that typical stuff. Not much to do or see. I wouldn't advise paying $60 to go. We would not have if it weren't included. Also, we went to the casino there and it was the tiniest casino I've ever seen. It was kind of weird and awkward. But, it did its purpose and took our money. All in all, there is nothing wrong with this place. So relax, enjoy, and remember. ITS VACATION. And for the love of god, please be nice to the staff. Could you imagine dealing with so many tourists all the time? Cheers!
We recently went on our honeymoon here, and while we had a lovely time overall, the resort definitely left us wanting more. I'll break it down with specifics of the positive and negative parts. Positives -There are a lot of good meals to be had at the a la carte restaurants; just make sure to book early so that you get in. The buffet is also decent. -By booking through Cheap Caribbean, we got access to one of the VIP beaches which had shady cabanas, several bars and hot tubs, sushi, free wifi, etc. That place ruled. -The excursions, also booked with the Cheap Caribbean rep once we arrived, were great - we did the Puerto Plata Runners tour and the Catamaran Tour to Cayo Arena, and both were AMAZING. Highly recommend both. -The bartenders make delicious, strong beverages! -There are a lot of different areas to the resort, so you can always find a nice party area OR a quiet, adults-only area. -The casino had very low minimums and hilarious staff. -Transportation around the resort was easy, but it required a lot of waiting around. If you're just bouncing between Cofresi & the Tropical, I recommend walking. It's really only worth waiting for a shuttle if you're going to the Casino or Ocean World. Negatives -Arrival was a show. First of all, this site advertises that Cofresi/the Tropical are only 30 minutes from the airport - which is probably true, but our prearranged shuttle went to three other resorts to do dropoffs before getting to Cofresi, so it was longer than expected. Then when we arrived, our room wasn't ready even though it was after 3:00, their check-in time. We were hungry, the resort wasn't easy to navigate, and most employees didn't speak enough English to really help us, so it took us a while to find a place serving food while we waited for our room. When we returned to the lobby, we had to wait in the check-in line again, for about 15 minutes, just to ask if it was ready. By the time we finally arrived at our room, we were ready for a drink ---and then our mini-bar was empty. -The mini-bar in fact stayed empty all week, even though my husband and I both called several times and went to the desk a few times each. We had additional service issues in our room throughout the week, such as NOT getting clean sheets when we requested them. At one point, we called the front desk when it was clear the sheets were still dirty to request that they come by again that day. Before we left for the beach, my husband made a mark on the sheet's tag because he was skeptical, and when we came back later, the bed was remade but the mark was still on the tag - we had to call back a second time. -On our first full day there (after the previous afternoon of arrival chaos), we were chased out of the breakfast buffet by a staff member offering to give us a tour of the grounds since we had just arrived, which we happily accepted because again, the resort was initially difficult to navigate. Instead, he only took us over to the Members Only Clubhouse, which led to a THREE HOUR golf cart tour around the premises to try and get us to join their vacation club for several thousand dollars. We declined, and then were given a ride "back," which actually brought us to a different guy who tried a different sales pitch. We talked to multiple guests throughout the week who had had similar experiences. -Posted hours were sometimes a little off - the pool would close earlier than it was supposed to, or a bar wouldn't be open when it should have been. -The beach itself has huge rocks in the water that were a little dangerous and painful, and the beach was also crawling with people trying to get you to buy additional excursions, artwork, etc. Overall, we still had a wonderful time, but these things definitely kept us from having a totally relaxing vacation. Upon our arrival home, we both said that we would 100% return to the Dominican Republic/Puerto Plata, but there was a 0% change that we would return to this resort. For those on a budget (like we were), it is still worth a visit, but just be aware that you are getting what you pay for - a cheaper, lesser experience than the other nearby resorts.
This was my first time out of the country or on spring break. At check in, they gathered us all in their theater and checked us in as a group. They made copies of our passports and premade dinner arrangements (which were changeable). They then shuttled us to our rooms in building 42. This building was brand new and very clean and modern. Just be warned that there is nowhere to eat between 5 and 630. The american food served in the buffets was mediocre, but the other types of food served there were good. The restaraunts were also good, and there was a shuttle to take you to restaurants at the neighboring resort. The beach was nice, but got loud in the afternoons. The pools were good, but closed at 7pm. The maids did a good job every day, and didn't steal any of our stuff. There was also free wifi availible in cofresi lobby and VIP beach. Food service on VIP beach was slow and they brought us the wrong food twice, but the food they did bring us was good. Overall I would definately go back and recommend this resort.
I chose this resort because it was recommended by cheap carribean. I've been to multiple resorts in the Dominican Republic and this was so terrible. They were clearly having plumbing problems and all the walkways smelled like feces. There were people from tropical lifestyle resorts or something all over the place harassing you and tricking you into going on tours to try and get you to buy a villa while you're trying to just enjoy your vacation. You aren't allowed to go onto the beach at night or in the pools and security is everywhere making sure you don't. There were very few places you're allowed to go if you're not a "member," my fiance and I felt so poor. If you don't want to drop more money to become a member you don't have access to the nicer beaches pictures on the site or the better restaurants. I can't even tell you the number of times I heard "sorry members only" while I was there. The spa was so terrible, everything was broken so you couldn't actually enjoy being there because the steam room didn't work, the outside hot tub wasn't hot and the indoor hot tub had broken jets. When we first checked in it was really late because our flight had to land in Santo Domingo so we got there at like 2 or 3am and there were hookers sitting out front where the bellhop stand was and there was a German couple complaining at the front desk about how they had to change rooms 3 times because of how terrible they were. One of the employees told us that the owner of the resort recently fired and restaffed the whole places and Don't go here.
I came to Cofresi on the opening week so I didn't have the highest expectations. My room was great, bed was comfortable, bath tub was huge, and the shower was nice. My building was right on the beach which was awesome. The beaches were nice. VIP beach was fun and nice to be served food and drinks in the cabana. Drinks varied in quality, I'd suggest finding a bartender that makes drinks the way you like them, tip them well, make conversation, and then go back to them the next day. The food quality ranged from great to inedible. You can go to the buffets whenever you want--and the food there is exactly what you would expect from buffets. Some of the restaurants were better than others. You have to make a reservation every day for that night if you want to eat at the restaurants. It's annoying, but it also makes sense. "Blue Lagoon" the seafood restaurant was the best one we went to and "Indochine" the Chinese restaurant, was by far the worst. We went on two excursions: the city tour and the mega extreme adventure tour, both were amazing. Overall it was a great experience and I definitely got my money's worth! Just don't go into the trip expecting first-class food, drinks, and service. You have to enjoy what you have in the moment. I saw so many people complaining and upset, and it just didn't make sense to me why they saw the worst in the resort instead of enjoying all of the amazing things around them. PS--when flying OUT of the DR, you CANNOT bring umbrellas or hair straighteners! So check them or don't bring them! Security threw away our two umbrellas!!
I'm going to keep this short and sweet. I came across a lot of negativity when perusing the tripadvisor reviews, so I was very skeptical about the impending experience I was going to have when I arrived in Cofresi. I went for a wedding, so I did not have much of a choice regarding where I would stay, but I can confidently say that I was very pleasantly surprised and would recommend Cofresi to most people. The food was great. I stayed away from all the seafood, had my meat cooked well and just used common sense. Through those means, I encountered no problems on my week long stay. The alcohol is ubiquitous, I mean, there are bars everywhere! The staff was friendly, helpful and enhanced my stay. I did come across people who were not happy with their stays, but I always found their reasonsing...kind of devoid of substance. The beach is not excellent. The sand is not the pearly whites of the caribbean, but the water is warm and fun to hang out in. The pools are great and the entertainment staff was engaging and energetic. The VIP area contains Cabanas and jacuzees that were a fun place to hang out and relax. There are two night clubs available, but ICE seems to be the one where everyone gravitates and it's in Cofresi (you have access to Tropical as well). Altogether, if you are looking for a passive vacation, this will more than satisfy you.
I hesitated to book Cofresi because the reviews are very mixed. I hope I can make sense of the contrasting reviews so others are not as confused as I was. First off, my wife and I have a rule that we reserve judgement for the first complete day. You arrive tired and hungry after a long journey and it is too easy to be irritated by imperfections. Just know that day one might feel disappointing, but try to stay calm and just give the place a fair try. Second, unless you are paying big bucks to stay in a Hilton or Marriott-style resort, you have to lower your expectations. We have found many beautiful places like Cofresi that enable us to have a wonderful vacation on a restrictive budget. If you maintain an adventurous spirit, you can love this place. The property is nestled in a cove, so the beach is only about half a mile long. I think people who complain about the beach being small want a beach where they can run for miles. It is a GREAT swimming beach with nice sand. It was always clean and not too crowded. There are private areas for timeshare owners, but there are also very nice beach areas for other paying guests. We had access to the VIP beach area, which I assume, is available to all guests because we bought the cheapest all-inclusive package. We loved hanging out at the VIP beach where we were able to get a king-sized beach bed every day. We don't drink alcohol, but the bar at that beach served the best virgin pina colodas on the entire property. If you just want to lie in luxury, the VIP beach was wonderful. There are pools everywhere and because there are so many you can always find one that is not crowded. It is easy to find available chase lounges near the pools and there are always drinks close by. We found the pools to be clean and well-maintained. Don't be bothered by a few chips and dings in the concrete and plaster. The grounds are safe, clean, and well manicured. We enjoyed walking around and taking in the beauty. The property is expansive and you can do a lot of walking. It is true that some of the restaurants and venues can be far (as much as a 15 minute walk from your room), but if you don't want to walk you can always take the shuttle. The stairs that everyone complains about are between the main palm beach lobby and restaurant area which are on top of the hill and the guest rooms which are down the hill closer to the beach. There is a path that winds around if you want to avoid the stairs but it is less direct. If you can't do stairs, again you can use the shuttle. You can also walk to the Casa Blanca restaurant or the beach restaurant and avoid stairs. The staff were professional and pleasant. I wonder if some people who complained expected them to be more chummy like they might be on a cruise or at a Mexico resort. To us it seemed like they kept a very professional demeanor. They didn't chit chat or try to become buddies, they just did a great job taking care of us. We found them to be extremely polite and accommodating. It is hard to trust food reviews because there seem to be two kinds of food critics: those who want simple, common, comfort food that isn't too unusual for fancy; and those who want an epicurean experience with exotic and new dining experiences. I think there is a balance of both, you just have to become familiar with what there is where it is. We found the reservation restaurants to be hit and miss, but our favorite was the Mexican restaurant which is near the entertainment venue. The buffet restaurants have plenty to choose from and much of the food is cafeteria quality. The best meat to be had was almost always at the carving stations. The desserts were disappointing, but at least there was usually ice cream. The room we stayed in was clean and the maid service was great. It was a sparse room with tile floors, a small bathroom, and a few pieces of furniture that needed updating. You really don't spend time in the room though. It is the kind of place where you want to be outside all the time. Puerto Plata is a great location for adventure. If you are into diving, check out the many sites that you can book. We dove and we also did the waterfall hike, which is amazing but only for the adventurous, as you have to jump off cliffs and slide down rock chutes into roiling water. We are early 50s and loved it! These activities are not on site. We paid $10 a piece for the 12 waterfalls hike and drove there ourselves. I think if you book it through the hotel you pay a lot more. We had a car, which is not for the faint of heart as Domincan Republic may be one of the craziest places I have ever driven and I have driven in many countries. You could probably take a taxi and still save money. If you are brave, you can take a motorcycle taxi and save even more. If you are adventurous, not too picky, and traveling on a budget, Cofresi is great!
First, I've travelled all over the world and to a lot of Caribbean Islands, this has, by far been the worst experience I've had. Unfortunately our trip started with our luggage not arriving which is not the fault of the resort but when we arrived, there was no empathy or understanding that we needed resources. When we arrived at the Confresi Palm in Dominican Republic, we asked the staff to help us to go to a location where we could buy basics, dress, bathing suite, underwear and toiletries. They just referred us to the shop in the resort shop that didn't provide all that we needed. We asked if the could help us to find a store outside of the resort, and they just wouldn't refer us anywhere off the resort. We asked if they had a toothbrush or any toiletries and they again so no, just go to the shop. I've been stranded in other resorts and hotels and never experienced the lack of concern as I experienced at this resort. As if that wasn't bad enough, when we got to our room, it was not all what was advertised. While I realize that we didn't pay for the best room in the resort, the room we received was very small, with old damaged furniture. The shower curtain was filthy and stained as well as the window curtains. The floor was dirty and there were dead flies smashed onto the walls of the room. But by that time, we were tired and hot and just wanted to take a shower and go to sleep. But the shower was clogged and wouldn't drain. In addition the toilet seat top wouldn't stay up. When we went to back to the front desk to complain and ask for a new room, they told us there were no other rooms available. The resort is huge and I know that if it was sold out there would be a lot more people around, so I know it wasn't sold out. But they did say that they would send maintenance and cleaning. But unfortunately neither maintenance nor cleaning did a good job. And all management would say is, Sorry. The next day, we received a call saying that they would take us to breakfast. We asked if it was a timeshare tour and they said NO. They took us to the breakfast location where we tried to have a nice leisurely breakfast but they kept coming by asking if we were ready for our tour. We again said we din't want to go and they kept pressing us saying they wanted to show us the VIP beach. We kept declining but finally we said, we just wanted to see the beach and that was all. They proceeded to take us to look at the villa and try to do the timeshare tour. We again said no, we aren't interested, we paid for our trip and didn't want to do this, they proceeded to get angry and say we aren't your tour guide. Where we said, we didn't ask for the tour, they demanded it. I used to work for a vacation club company but never experienced the rudeness and hard sell of these people. Especially since we did pay for our resort stay. A few other things of note: - you can only make restaurant reservations between 9-10 in the morning. So if you are on an excursion, you can't make a reservation and you're stuck at the buffet. In addition, the better restaurants were unavailable because they said they were full on the only day we were able to make a reservation. While they never said, I think that owners of the timeshare can make reservations in advance while guests can only do it the day of - the vibe of the resort was a college party atmosphere. They had house music blaring all day. While some of the activities were fun; volleyball, water aerobics others were just a keg party atmosphere. I will not be returning to this resort nor will I ever use Cheap Caribbean again and I will be sure to share this review across all travel opinion sites across the web.
Our stay at Cofresi Palm was our worst vacation ever. We had not even left the lobby when the high pressure salesmen started their pitch for the VIP membership timeshare. They badgered us from the lobby to our room, at the pool and at the bar. The only place they didn’t follow you was in the ocean. We kept refusing them, but “Mario” tricked us into a free ride on his golf cart that ended up at the timeshare presentation. We decided we would start their tour because we were both looking to get a cold drink and not sure where in the resort we were at. The tour started at the Sportsman’s Bar, but we were not allowed to get a drink there because we were not VIP members. We decided right there that the tour was over. They left us to find our own way back to the resort. Boy, talk about feeling like you weren’t wanted unless you had money to invest. We later learned this was the atmosphere at the other VIP bars and restaurants don’t come in here, you’re not welcome and will be escorted out. Even the restaurants for the Cofresi Palm were offered to VIP members first. We struggled to get any reservations, and the 2 we did get during our week were very late for us at 9pm. This didn’t seem right because both times the restaurant was only half full. The next problem was our room. We paid for their best ocean view suite, but were given a pool view. When we talked to guest services, we were told you can see the ocean if you look past the pool and through the trees just right. Also, there was a terrible septic smell that was enough to make you sick. I grew up on a farm and can tolerate odors better than most people, but human feces smell was so strong that we couldn’t leave the patio door open and had to use air fresheners in the room. We explained this was not acceptable, but they replied they were fully booked and could not move us. To make this even worse, they sprayed insecticide in our room after we definitely told them not to. So we had to open the patio door to air it out and sit on the deck because we did not trust leaving with the door open. One day we had no water. Another day the electricity was on and off throughout the day. Two days the maid took our towels and did not leave any. Yes, we were tipping her. Other guests did not get towels either. Many people were sick for days in their room from the food, but we had brought antibiotics along so we did better than most. The bars only have the local DR brand. The running joke with the guests was order your drink by color, because that’s the only difference. At least the beer was cold.