The IBEROSTAR Costa Dorada, Puerto Plata is located 10 minutes from the city of Puerto Plata on the north coast of Dominican Republic. It is rated as a 5 star hotel with 498 double rooms and 18 suites and was renovated in 2011. It is a very nice resort for family with children under 10. The lobby, grounds, pool and room are excellent. Lot of entertainment for the younger traveller giving parents a chance to relax. We travelled with our grandson who is 13 going on 17 so there was not as much for his age group but he was very happy to relax and be independent.
There are 516 rooms in 9 buildings and two pools with exceptional gardens. The layout of the nine three story buildings have four on one side with five on the other creating a wide garden down the middle to the beach front. The grounds have a large fish pond with bridge and two water falls. There are several water fountains around the court yard and grounds and you always hear running water.
They say two pools but it is more like four pools interconnected. The grounds and pools are never crowded and you can always get a beach chair anytime of the day. They obviously have way more chairs than guests. We could always get a chair on the beach or in front of the pool.
The lobby and main buffet were large and spacious, clean and fresh with covered walkways to get back to your rooms in case of rain.
Check in was fast but then again we checked in at 9pm. Only one other couple checking in at that time. They drive you to your room in a golf cart and take your bags.
The lobby is large and impressive. A bar off the side of the lobby and a court yard that has access to the stage and entertainment and two restaurants and buffet. There is also a beach buffet that has everything that the main buffet has but you don’t need to cover up.
Rooms or the beds and furniture are very dated. We had a double bed which is way too small. When I called the front desk to ask for a room with a queen bed they delivered a blanket. After a few minutes of trying to explain to the handyman , he dragged in another complete bed. Anyway it worked out OK. I find language is always a bit of an issue in DR but you have to go with the flow. There is no dresser for your clothes and all the sun screen etc you take on vacation so you have to work out of your suitcase. Just a long table like piece of furniture. The room smelled a bit and the bed spread looked old (maybe just the design and small size of the bed) but after the second day I didn’t notice. The beds were comfortable and there is a mini fridge stocked with pop, water and beer at no extra charge. There is a flat screen TV with lots of channels to chose.
The tub is a little small to shower in but lots of hot water.
There is a nice big patio deck with a table and two comfortable chairs.
There is no free internet in the hotel at all. You need to purchase a password for an hour, day, 3, 5 or 7 days. At first this was annoying but it is not a bad deal and you can use it in your room and good reception everywhere. We purchased the 5 day for $25.
The beach in front on the hotel was great. There is even a few coral reefs ,waist deep and tons of fish. The only downside to the beach is outside the control of the hotel. To the right or left of the hotel is vacant land and the beach is not cleaned and is littered with garbage. Lots and lots of garbage, pop bottles, plastic , everything. There is also two streams running into the ocean one on each side with smelly water. Maybe just algae or maybe more. Lots of algae in the ocean around these streams too. I felt there were more people to harass you on the beach than other places we have visited , wanting you to take a day trip or visit the market.
It’s a shame but I also notice this type of garbage in other parts of the island when your driving to the hotels. It seems to be acceptable to throw your garbage anywhere. You see many of the small local homes littered with garbage. They should have returnable bottles at least. You would think the locals would take it upon themselves to make sure the beach looks nice since they use it too. This is the public access areas. In Jamaica you would see the local vendors cleaning a part of the beach to make sure it looked nice where they were selling their goods. In Nigel the public access area was cleaner than some of the hotel areas.
(garbage on the beach)
There was always great food. There was a variety of food choices for everyone’s taste. Plenty of salad and fresh fruit and yogurt. The meat dishes were plentiful and everyday there was chicken ( yummy) , beef, steak, salmon and other meat choices. Pizza, pasta, hotdogs and hamburgers were also available. The deserts were out of this world!! There were 2 stations for all the food choices so no waiting in line. The beach restaurant served the same items as the main buffet but with out the need to cover your bathing suit.
The grounds are immaculate. Lots of fountains and trees and plants with a fish pond garden and pink flamingo’s and peacocks too. Lots of lighting at night and never a bug.
One funny issue is the signs around the pool. No topless. I did see several men that went topless with big man boobs so I guess it’s not enforced. Strange since it’s hotel chain based in Spain. I though Spain was topless friendly.
It’s a beautiful resort. They need more servers in the entertainment areas. I only saw two so you wait forever. At Secrets there were 10 and always standing around the courtyard to wait on you with no more than a few second wait. The same in the buffet. We usually move our old plates to another table since they were not removed.
Also the beach is very steep. It’s over your head in just a few feet from shore and walking along the edge is very sloped. Also the lots on each side of the resort are public access and littered with garbage and two streams that smelled very bad feeding into the ocean. It may just be pond water or polluted with much more.
No free internet anywhere. Most Hotels have at least free internet in the lobby.