A few years back I was fortunate to take an all girls trip to the beautiful Dominican Republic. It was a short, four day stay, but we managed to squeeze in as much fun as possible. Nothing beats sunny skies, warm turquoise water and unlimited drinks that keep on flowing! All of that was made possible by the amazing VIP Life Style Resorts in Puerto Plata, which I will be reviewing in this post.
Puerto Plata is not as popular than the more visited Punta Cana, however it is just as luxurious and vacation worthy if you are looking to get the best bang for your buck. Quick disclaimer, when booking your flights, try NOT to fly into the more popular (and cheaper) Santo Domingo airport. It is about 2.5 hours away from Puerto Plata by car, and believe you me it gets very annoying sitting in a taxi for that long. Fly into Gregorio Luperon International Airport instead, and in a short 20 minute ride you will be in the lap of luxury at the VIP Life Styles.
So a little bit about the resort. A lot has changed since I’ve been there. The resort expanded, upgraded and over all improved its grounds. What I really like about it, is that you get a lot of choices when visiting VIP Life Style. You have a choice between booking a regular hotel room, a suite, or if you want to be real fancy then you can go for a villa. And if that wasn’t enough, villas come with your own private pool! Oh wait, you will also get a private chef to cook all of your meals, should you be too lazy to go out to eat or cook yourself.
This resort features 12+ pools, an impressive beach area, various restaurants to accommodate the endless palette of food tastes, tennis, basketball and volleyball courts, gyms, The Colosseum for entertainment performances, bars, nightclubs, a spa and more! Since we only had four days and we were in our early 20’s, we didn’t really care much for any of the physical activities, as our main goal was to beach bum and keep the buzz going! And that we did! The beach at VIP Life Style is a well kept attraction that is equipped with large beach beds for your much desired comfort, facing that magical blue water and if you get hungry, all you have to do is look for a waiter who will be happy to run over to your bedside and accommodate yet another drink or food order.
The pool situation is no different. Perfect your tan with a drink in hand on the generously comfortable beds and cool off by taking a dip in one of the many pools. At night, you can enjoy a drink by the pool in a serine, candle lit atmosphere. There are also hot tubs for you to enjoy at both beach and pool.
Food wise, Life Style Resorts does not disappoint. Aside from offering many international cuisines, there are select restaurants for VIP members where one can enjoy a good steak, sea food, French fusion or Brazilian Churrascaria. Enjoy it we did, most of the time not even attempting to take a picture before devouring the food. My favorite restaurants would have to be V.I.P Simply Gourmet for their perfect surf and turf, and of course you must go to El Pilon for traditional Dominican dishes. It would be a sin not to have any Dominican food while you are there. Enjoy a nice plate of Arroz con Gandules (yellow rice and peas) along with Bistec Encebollado (steak and onions) with a side of Tostones (fried green plantains), but do not forget to get a taste of some Pasteles and round off your dinner with some Flan for dessert.
On our second to last day, we decided to venture out of the resort and booked a trip to go snorkeling at the famed Paradise Island. Good thing about this trip is that it is almost an all day event, packed with a long bus ride, then a boat ride that included some oysters, swimming and riding the banana boat.
Paradise Island or La Isla Paraiso, is located on the Northern coast right off Punta Rusia and is part of the National Park of Montecristi. It is pretty unique as it is literally a small piece of land in the middle of the ocean, and if you get on a speed boat and go far out enough, you can see a part of Haiti. Once we got to Paradise Island we were greeted with more drinks and some snorkeling gear for our excursion. Snorkeling is not really my cup of tea to be honest as I am not a fan of all types of fishes swimming close to me, I do get scared. However, first time around it is a pretty cool experience to have sea life in such close proximity to you. What really stroke my fancy, was all the beautiful, bright, tropical colors swimming right beside you. Unfortunately, our trip was clouded just a little bit by the weather. It was cloudy and raining on and off the entire day, even catching us by complete surprise as we were riding in a speed boat, so sadly pictures do not do this little island any justice.
If snorkeling is not your thing, you can take a much quicker trip to Ocean World, located just a short 15 minute ride from the resort. At Ocean World you can enjoy discovering marine life and meeting the animals, or you can enjoy a nightly show Bravissimo with a drink in hand and a dinner before hand. We did not have time to see the animals, but we did enjoy nighttime entertainment and it was a pretty good show, I must say.
On our last day, we took it easy and decided to treat ourselves to a massage at the Yin Yang Spa. Yin Yang Spa, is a full service spa providing everything form massages, to body wraps, manis pedis and more. We came a bit before our appointment time so that we could start our pampering off with a dip in a hot tub and a mandatory mimosa, to get the mood going before our massages. Our treatments were well worth the monies, as our masseuses were attentive, friendly and made it their priority to make our experience at this spa a 10+! Feeling relaxed, we dragged ourselves back to the pool to squeeze in some more sun, before we had to head home.
Would I go back to VIP Life Styles? The answer is, YES! This resort is perfect if you are looking to have a low key, relaxing vacation and if you are not looking to do much site seeing. It is great for families too! So if you have a bunch of kiddies, you should probably consider renting a villa and enjoying all of the pampering that comes with it!
What are your favorite places in Dominican Republic? I am always looking for new and exciting spots to explore!