This was a truly great vacation and honeymoon and my husband and I got very comfortable at the Iberostar Costa Dorada. This was my first time at an all-inclusive and I specifically chose this resort for all of the good reviews I read prior to booking. The resort buildings and grounds were really lovely, the pool was fantastic, the beach was good, there were always lounge chairs and cushions available, and space aplenty (both if you wanted to be in the sun or in the shade), there was always food and drink options at any time of day, and the staff was very friendly and helpful. Checking in was very easy, however, after being shown to our room on the second story of building #3, we realized that our balcony looked out on the rear side of a neighboring resort and there was a fairly loud whirring/machine noise constantly and the view was, well, the back of another building, so not very picturesque. We called Johancy at Reception and he moved us with no problem whatsoever and encouraged us to grab a beer from the mini fridge of the room we were vacating - thus introducing us to one of many El Presidentes during our stay. The room we ended up staying in was on the ground floor of building number 7 and looked out over palm trees and the orchid garden. There was a service road as well, but in general it was quite quiet and very close to the pool, pool house, and pool-side bar and restaurant/snack bar. I will say that I thought the rooms smelled quite musty, but my husband said that in his experience that's usually how tropical sea-side hotels smell so, could just come with the territory. The rooms were cleaned daily and mini-fridge (containing beer, coke, and water) was restocked daily as well. We found the resort restaurants to be quite good with a lot of variety in food options from night to night. The main buffet restaurant (El Mercado) had lots of options for a full hot breakfast and every night for dinner with lots of different grilled meat, a carvery station, lots of side dishes, ample bread, salad, cold-cut, pasta/pizza, and dessert stations - and TONS of fresh exotic fruit that was excellent. We only went there for lunch a couple of times, but the options then were great as well. We made separate reservations for the resort Mexican restaurant (La Hacienda) and the resort Brazilian Churrasqueria (El Rodizio). Both were quite good, having several seating time options you can reserve, and both include signature cocktails (margaritas and caipirinhas) and an AYCE appetizer and dessert buffet. The daily pool-side restaurant, bar, and snack-bar (El Bohio) turned into a seafood restaurant at night, but we never tried that one. Overall though, great variety, generally very good quality of food, and friendly and generally prompt service. We really really liked the lobby bar where there was classy comfy seating on sofas and cushy chairs, lovely red pillars, lots of open air, and it overlooks the pond with live flamingos and turtles. The pool-side and beach bars were also very good with very prompt attentive service and a large variety of alcoholic beverages with the all-inclusive pkg. We really really loved the pool. It was nice and large with plenty of lounge chair seating, either under palm frond pilapas in the shade, or in the sun. There was a separate kiddie pool but also a shallower end of the big pool where there was a water volleyball net. There was one end that also had a basketball hoop and water polo goals set up for daily organized games promoted by the "animation team". The beach also always had lounge chairs available and we always found a pilapa for shade when we wanted one. I will say that there was a lot of seaweed that washed up on the beach and in the shallows, and both my husband and I stumbled and slightly injured our feet on a reef shelf to the left side of the beach in the very shallow water which was really unexpected because everywhere else it was very sandy. There are a lot of people that approach you from the nearby flea market advertising for you to come and shop for souvenirs, but if you tell them no, they are not too persistent about it. There are also people circulating both the pool and beach regularly selling T-shirts or offering to take photos with a monkey or iguana. There are regular photographers that roam the resort snapping pictures that you can go to the photo shop in the resort to see and presumably buy any shots you want, but we never checked that out to see what the prices were like. In general though, if you're not interested and just say so, they'll leave you alone. And finally, I would like to leave a few comments about the Iberostar Animation Team. We thought that they were "very very good!" They really did work very hard (all day and night!) to make sure that the guests were having a good time, learning people's names, making small-talk, and generally getting people engaged in activities including water polo, beach volleyball, water volleyball, water aerobics, archery, mini golf, bingo, Spanish lessons, dancing lessons, and other "crazy games" that involved something different each day like kayak racing in the pool, or balancing on a surf board while "shaking it". Each evening they would put on a show starting at 9:30 that was a combination of dancing and singing and audience participation, and one night they ALSO had a beach party with performances, limbo, dancing, and a big bonfire. Again, we thought that the whole animation team was really excellent and worked very hard and were really engaged with the guests. Specific shout-outs from us to "Pepsi Cola", D.D., Jonathan, and G.G. Overall, this was a great vacation and I would thoroughly recommend the Iberostar Costa Dorada to anyone traveling to Puerto Plata, DR, and we will definitely look into staying at Iberostars in other countries we travel to on vacations in the future.
The hotel was nice and the service was relatively good, but it wasn't as good as other Caribbean vacations I have taken. The pool wasn't too impressive, the beach was too windy, and the food was just ok. But all of the staff was very nice and helpful, except for the people selling stuff who wouldn't leave us alone.
Iberostar Costa Dorado was a fantastic resort. My wife and I spent 10 nights at this marvelous resort - and cannot wait to return. The food was great - of course I ate too much - but it was plentiful and varied. And the Japanese restaurant was outstanding - compares well with Tepanyaki is US. The highlight was tennis with Pablo - every day - he is a delight. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the entertainment - and there is much to do throughout the day - if you are in the mood to leave your lounger around the pool or at the beautiful beach. The rooms are perfectly adequate - the reviews seemed to identify various issues - none of which we encountered. We asked to change the bed from 2 queens to a king - and two drinks later, it was done. Everything worked perfectly, and the room staff was hardworking - each day the room was cleaned perfectly. Every staff member was friendly. For those that complain (in their reviews about the staff, look inward - we encountered only friendly, helpful, kind and extremely warm people - from the servers to the entertainers to the staff at reception. And the price was just unbelievable ...... I could go on and on - suffice it to say - we will be back and with some luck, frequently ......
My boyfriend and I had a wonderful time at iberostar _ Costa dorada. I could write a ton on how pleased we were with this resort but to keep it sweet and simple- the staff are very active and good at encouraging guests to partake in the tournament style activities they hold daily (if u win be ready to accept a certificate and t-shirt at the award ceremony at night). The beach was calm and clean with no seaweed. We rented snorkel equipment to check out the coral/fishes we were swimming with. There are huts that line the beach and a bar not too far from them :). There is food available to you at any hour of the day until about 2am. we have no complaints about the food - the best restaurants were the hibachi and the Mexican. (Reservations can be booked in advance at guest services). Take care of your waiters and they will definitely take care of you! We booked an ocean front room - well worth it. Nothing like waking up to the sight of the beach. Room service came late in the day - not sure if that is just due to our location. Oh and don't be late for ur pick up from the hotel to the airport because they will leave without you :).
I never write reviews unless I had a really bad experience or an incredible experience. I can tell you that if you stay here you will not be disappointed. Remember the names I mention as well, these people really stood out amongst so many great employees! For reference, I'm 27 and my girlfriend is 23 and we do not have kids. My girlfriend wanted to travel abroad for her birthday, so we looked at this resort and decided to try it. I can't speak for others, but I can honestly tell you this was the best all inclusive that I have ever been to (bang for the buck wise). We chose to spend the little extra for an ocean view room, and it was worth every penny. The view was amazing and to wake up and walk out to see the gorgeous beach made it all worth it. Our concierge was Stephanie, who was absolutely outstanding. Everyone of the staff members are incredibly nice and treat you like royalty, but Stephanie went out of her way to make sure that every one of our needs were met and then some. She made our reservations for the restaurants and provided me the tickets for them, which I lost shortly after. She and my girlfriend laughed at me and she reprinted them no problem. This may not sound like much, but she had a smile on the entire time, made me laugh, and was available anytime I needed her. The room was spacious, comfortable, and clean. We had a minor issue with our safe the 2nd night but a worker came within minutes and fixed it. Normally I don't like having cleaning people in and out of my room when I travel but the staff pride themselves on A+ service and would rather you tip them then take from you. Which brings me to my next point. TIP! Joselito was our go to bartender at the pool bar. Before we tipped him he poured the best beer/mixed drinks on the resort. Most of the bartenders will do this after you compensate them, but he did it before hand. After I asked him if he worked the rest of our stay, I gave him $5 and his face lit up with joy. Any time we approached the bar, he ignored everyone else and filled our drinks first. Some people don't think they have to tip, and you don't, but it means a lot to the employees and you will get better service. We talked with Felix about doing an excursion, and we went to the Cayo Arena/Paradise island. The cost was very reasonable and the actual excursion was amazing. The only part that kinda sucked was is was a 90 minute bus ride each way to the beach and we picked up several people from other hotels along the way (which means we also had to drop them off!). Ignoring that, the beach was breathtaking. White sand, crystal clear water, beautiful reefs that you get to snorkel in and see fish. They also provided an authentic Dominican meal when we returned to shore that was fantastic! After you leave they take you to a cigar company where they teach you how they make them and are able to purchase them. If you do the excursion, remember the words WOW! You will be saying them a lot. The pool was awesome. I prefered it to the beach for a few reasons. The beach was absolutely beautiful. The water was cool enough to keep you comfy in the hot sun, but warm enough to walk in and have no issues. They even rope off certain areas where there isn't seaweed or rocks to make it an even better experience. However, there are many people who "work with the hotel" on the beach that will approach you and ask you to travel to their shop 5 minutes down the beach. We never actually said no, we just said maybe later to be nice. I'm thinking had we just said no they probably would have stopped coming up to us, but it was annoying nonetheless. Plus every time our drinks were empty we had to walk up, wash our feet off, and then go to a bar. The pool is spacious, perfect temperature, they clean it before it's open, while people are in it, and after it's closed at the end of the night. I would have loved to go in at night but it's not allowed. Dining was great. I would honestly rate it overall as an A-. There were very few things that we didn't like. My girlfriend is a pescetarian (eats fish, not meat) and I am a carnivore. The general buffet was very good with a huge assortment of food. All of the fruit and vegetables are picked from different local areas (some even on the resort) and cut up in front of you. There are several stations with workers to hand cook you something specific (omelettes, waffles, burgers, etc). The wait staff will provide you with beer/water/coffee or anything else that you need. All of the restaurants were delicious. My personal favorite was the Brazilian as it was non stop meat and the chef even made my girlfriend some fish on the side without us asking! Her favorite was the Japanese because of the hibachi atmosphere and the chefs are very fun. We both loved the Mexican restaurant (I ordered 2 entrees, too much food, don't do that). I have been trying to think of negatives but I honestly can't think of any. There were a decent amount of kids, but none of them were misbehaving or "annoying" to us as a young couple who wanted to drink. Please give this place a try. I can honestly say that if we ever go back to the Dominican, we won't hesitate and return to this resort.
We just came back from a trip in August to this resort. I would highly recommend this for families with kids of all ages. Price was extremely reasonable. Food was average to good, definitely better than you should expect for a resort in this price range. If you are hung up on fancy food, feel free to spend $500 or more per person to get it elsewhere. But I think that would be money wasted. One quick note to Cheap Carribean - the company that does the transfers, Turinter, does a nice job, but they pick you up way too early for the trip back to the airport. It only takes 15 minutes tops to get to the airport, and since this airport is so quiet you get through checkin within minutes. They picked us up at Noon for a 3:20pm flight, so we wound up sitting around for almost 3 hours. We could have easily spent an extra hour at the resort, and more importantly we could have ate lunch at the resort instead of spending a small fortune on lunch at the airport.
I like this resort overall. The employees were very engaging and enthusiastic. The pool was nice and clean. As for the beach, the water is not calm like other Caribbean beaches but pretty nonetheless. I thought the food was mediocre although there were a few dining options. You must book your meal reservations when you first arrive. I waited and only had one option. The rooms were clean with tile floors. I did not enjoy the beds, I never got a good night sleep and woke up stiff. The overall value for this resort was good if you are looking for a sun and beach kind of getaway.
The room was OK except that the air conditioning was very noisy and they couldn't fix it. Luckily I had earplugs. The common areas are dated and worn out, rust, peeling paint, 70's Spanish hacienda decor. The flamingo pool and turtle pond are murky. The beach had a lot of seaweed, not a picturesque Caribbean white sand beach, there were aggressive vendors on the beach, even on resort property. Location was good if you want to get out and see the sights. 10 minutes to the Malecon, 45 minutes to Sosua and 1 hour to Carbette. You can walk 5 minutes to tour operators outside the resort and get better deals on tours. Leave a small deposit but don't pay in full. Food was good. 3 Al a cart restaurants, above average but not spectacular food. 2 years ago I booked a real 4 1/2 star resort for about the same price. The value was not good.
Overall, it was a good trip. The resort was very pretty and clean. The dining options were excellent. The biggest negative was the constant pursuit of the staff to "sit down and discuss booking future trips" and the badgering of employees to purchase dune buggies and day trips. I expected this on the beach, as that is where the locals sell their products. However, I didn't not expect the constant annoyance while on the hotel grounds. The beach vendors were much more respectful and didn't ask more than once. The hotel staff were consistently disturbing us and we were very displeased. There was an onsite photographer who took some beautiful family pictures that we will treasure forever.
The Iberostar Costa Dorada provided a spectacular winter break for an extended family of a 2 year-old boy, his parents and his grandparents. The beach was beautiful, safe enough for a child to play and uncrowded enough for the adults to enjoy in relative privacy. The all-inclusive restaurant was perfect for the family: no need to wait for service, a huge variety of delicious food for every taste and a particularly attentive and pleasant waitstaff. The rooms were attractive and comfortable, but with so much to do, we spent very little time in our rooms. We are looking forward to a return visit..