Review of Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort, Puerto Plata – with video

by GO GlobeHopper

For travelers looking for a budget-friendly, all-inclusive vacation in the Dominican Republic, consider our review of Lifestyle Holidays Crown Suites Puerto Plata.  Although Punta Cana is the most popular destination in The DR, there was a time when Puerto Plata was considered THE place to be.  So, in an effort to restore the popularity the region once held, resorts and attractions in the area are undertaking updating and upgrading in order to entice tourists once again.

Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resorts is one such property — a vacation paradise made up of dozens of Mediterranean-style 3-story buildings with vibrant red-tile roofing, all set among a myriad of palm trees, tropical gardens, and cobblestone walkways. Idyllic views encompass mountain ranges, beaches, and the turquoise Caribbean Sea.

Like many vacation properties in the Caribbean, there is more than one resort located on the massive grounds.  Thus, the booking process tends to confuse travelers unfamiliar with so many different accommodations all within one resort.  We can help to sort it out for you within this review.

⦿ To watch our resort tour of Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort, visit our YouTube video HERE and be sure you are using the highest quality playback settings. Or, keep reading for more information and photos.

 

For starters, guests of Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort can expect to find The Tropical on this particular property, featuring 212 regular guest rooms and 70 Junior Suites.  Situated closest to the beach, this section of the resort features several pools and a myriad of restaurants and other amenities.  That being said, it is the lower range property.

The second section on the Puerto Plata property is Cofresi Palm Beach and Spa Resort which offers guests a step up from The Tropical.  It features 468 accommodations that range from standard family-friendly rooms to Adults Only Spa Suites.  This is the upper-middle-range property that boasts 5 gorgeous pools and 60 residences for long-term rentals, along with its own restaurants, bars, gift shops, and several other amenities.

And finally, you’ll find The Crown Suites and Residences, otherwise known as The Crown Villas.  This is the upper-end option with accommodations that feature one, two, three, and four-bedroom condo-style suites and villas, most of which include bathrooms equal to the number of bedrooms, along with a feeling of being a home away from home.

Accommodations come complete with an equipped kitchen, a comfortable living area, and a sunny balcony or private terrace. Amenities include air conditioning, cable television in the living area, a safety deposit box, ceiling fans in every room, and colorful Caribbean decor.  Taking into account the setup of a living area, separate bedrooms, and extra bathrooms, it makes Crown Suites the obvious and most convenient choice for families, especially for those with older children who like their privacy.

The majority of suites contain different layouts, such that 2-bedroom suites can look entirely different from one another despite being located in the same villa.  Currently, there is a further disconnect given that renovations are causing the decor to look much different from suite to suite, with newer units containing more furniture and an updated look of wicker and bamboo, while others continue to look somewhat sparse and dated.

The Presidential Suites take accommodations to the next level, with a limited number of units located in a separate area of the complex, complete with upscale decor, oversized balconies, and a private pool.  Connecting rooms allow for extra bedrooms if needed, making this option convenient for groups or families looking to stay together if they’re willing to pay a premium to stay in this section of the resort.

For Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Members staying in this area of the resort, the Presidential Suites also come with a fully stocked bar and butler service.

Pools are sporadically placed throughout the property such that guests do not have to travel far from their assigned accommodations in order to find one.

However, access to the beach is another story and, depending on where you are located within the resort, often requires several minutes of walking or using the resort shuttle or golf carts.  Thankfully, onsite transportation runs fairly consistently from resort to resort and to other key destinations on the property, such as the medical clinic and pharmacy, entertainment complexes, various restaurants, and 7 beaches.

Staying at one resort does not guarantee access to the others and their respective amenities.  However, booking a VIP package at Crown Suites does allow for access to everything (with the exception of Membership areas) and even ensures a round of golf at the local 9-hole course called Los Mangos.

Access to everything contained within all 3 resorts on the Lifestyle Holidays property includes:

  • 18 Restaurants  – a mixture of buffets and specialized à la carte restaurants, as follows:
  • Indochine (Asian Fusion) – The Tropical Pool
  • Bellini (Italian Cuisine) – The Residence Suites
  • Trapiche Paradise (Mexican Cuisine) – The Royal Suites
  • The Blue Lagoon (Seafood & Buffet) – The Tropical – Beach Area
  • Johnny’s (International Cuisine) – Cofresi Palm (Seasonal)
  • Moomtaz (Indian Cuisine) – Cofresi Palm
  • El Pilón (Authentic Dominican Cuisine) – Cofresi Palm – Beachside
  • Moonlight (International Cuisine) – Cofresi Palm – Beachside (Seasonal)
  • Rodizio (Brazilian Churrascaria) – Cofresi Palm
  • Kimonos (Asian) Nirvana Beach – Presidential Suites – Punta Cana
  • Basil & Tomatoes (Italian) – Nirvana Beach – Presidential Suites – Punta Cana
  • Carpe Diem (American Cuisine) – Punta Cana

A la carte restaurants require advance reservations and, depending on the vacation package you have booked, are available for 2 or 3 dinners during your stay, with access to the buffets on the remaining nights.

PLUS, you will find:

  • 11 Lite Fare Bars
  • 28 Bars
  • 12+ Pools including exclusive kid’s pool areas
  • 7 Beaches
  • Nightclubs and Casinos
  • 2 Spas
  • 2 Kid’s Clubs with daily childcare and a Playground
  • Teens’ Club and an Arcade
  • Tennis Courts, Basketball Court, Beach Volleyball Court
  • Health Club and 2 Gyms with exercise equipment
  • Conference center and meeting rooms
  • Personalized Weddings and Wedding gazebo
  • Gift Shops and Shopping areas, including Hand-crafted market
  • Medical Clinic and a Pharmacy
  • Heliport
  • Excursion Center
  • Car Rental
  • Synagogue
  • Mini-Disco
  • Xtreme Zone
  • Water Sport Center
  • Scuba Diving School (PADI Certified)
  • 2 Entertainment centers, including Ocean World – see our video HERE

This resort has everything you could possibly want in a Caribbean vacation, all within a clean and well-maintained tropical paradise that’s staffed by some of the friendliest, most accommodating staff we have encountered on our travels.

PROS: Budget-friendly. Very clean and well maintained. Friendly, helpful staff.  The views are stunning. And no matter the age of the guest, there’s plenty to do on-site, from sports to watersports to entertainment and casinos. 

CONS: Although shuttle vans run frequently throughout the property, and there are golf carts available as well, having to wait for transportation to get around the resort is a bit of a drawback.  Depending on where your accommodations are located within the complex, some walks are reasonable.  For the most part; however, restaurants, gift shops, pools, beaches, entertainment areas, and other amenities are scattered far and wide on the massive property and therefore require transportation. 

Food at Cofresi’s buffet could use some improvement.  

Representatives looking to sell Lifestyle Vacation Resorts Memberships can be annoying by repeatedly approaching guests in the lobby, outside restaurants, and while waiting for shuttle service.  Many guests are duped into participating because representatives call it a VIP Tour of the resort, when in fact it is a 2-hour “hard sell” for vacation memberships.

An over-abundance of feral cats are seen all over the resort property and often enter resort lobbies, pool areas, and the many open-air restaurants as they look for guests to feed them scraps.  Although they are essentially harmless and don’t tend to stick around too long, it is off-putting to see cats running through restaurants, or howling outside your villa at night.

BOTTOM LINE:  If you can overlook the drawbacks mentioned, we highly recommend this resort for couples or families seeking a moderately priced Caribbean vacation.

 

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