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Senator Hotel Puerto Plata Review

Honest review of the Senator Hotel

Let me start this by saying I was reviewing the Senator Hotel for not only a blog post but also as an option to send my clients. We started looking at this hotel about 5 weeks in advance. We thought a 5-star hotel in Puerto Plata was a better option than Cuba. Let me say this is not a 5-star hotel. I was traveling with my husband as well as his cousin and wife. We have traveled together many times. First, we chose the flight with West Jet which if you read other posts is not my first choice. You have to pay for luggage but you do not have to pay the $20 departure tax like on Sunwing.

Airport arrival and travel to Senator Hotel

The flight time was good, and the arrival at the airport went smoothly. We were through customs and had baggage in no time. Off to find the bus, easy to do but remember you are not looking for WestJet when you head outside you need to look for Nexus, the transportation company for both WestJet and Sunwing. The travel time to the hotel was a bit longer than I thought there were three stops before us and it took us about 45 min.

Check-in and Room

Check-in was quick and smooth at first. I thought we had given me all the information I needed until we got to our room and realized we needed a safe key. We had to go back and get that. The room was adequate, but that is all. The room was bright and the light grey furniture was nicer than the dark wood. The shower though was gross, moldy, and not very clean. There was no shampoo in our room and had to ask a couple of times before we finally got some the next day.

The room was cool but smelled moldy and musty because the AC didn’t work. I asked to switch rooms and was shown another smaller one with two single beds so we decided to stay where we were if they could fix the AC and the TV. We never did get our phone fixed which is a safety issue in my concern and the hotel should take that seriously.

 

Buffet, A La Carte and Bars

The second we finished checking in we walked right to the concierge desk with our luggage to book the a la carte. We got all three with decent times. All the a la carte were good, my favorite was the steak house and the Japanese. Although the Japanese restaurant was not what it used to be, they had more shows.

The buffet is good and there is plenty of food one of my complaints about the buffet is the set up of the lineup for the hot food snakes through the seating. Also, make sure you ask for water or a drink the minute you arrive. I find this to be the most frustrating we would wait and ask over and over for after or drinks and it would never come. They seem more interested in clearing our plates and table to move us out.

The sports bar right off the lobby was very good, here you could get hamburgers, nachos, and french fries. It is open 24 hours and usually, no problem getting a seat unless a big sports game is on.

The pool bar was lacking, and I mean in every way from service to no drink menu. Every time I was at the swim-up, if I could close it took forever to get a drink. If I did the walk-up bar it was basic drinks. Sometimes the bartender had a special drink they would make you that is good.

Senator Pool and Beach

The pool area is split into two pools, one with the swim-up bar and one without. We started in the one with the swim-up bar. But we found it very crowded and shallow so we moved to the other one.  This one was a bit more open especially if you have a float.  The beach was good with lots of chairs and is long enough to do a good walk on. If you are lucky enough to go a week where the flag isn’t red all week let me know how the water is. I only got my feet wet. However, many were ignoring the red flag and still swimming.

Not the really bad part about the pool, the fight for a chair. I was up most mornings by 4 am to get a chair for our group of 4. And I was not the only one. The hotel does not have enough chairs and not enough umbrellas. I admit to saving a pool chair early. But I go back at about 7 am get a caramel moccachino coffee, relax in my chair, and read until about 8:30 am. When everyone else joined me we went for breakfast. Many left a towel on a chair and disappeared for hours.

 

Tropical Avenue at the Senator Hotel

The street that is connected to the hotel was good. It is between the Senator and the Bacchate hotels. You can find almost everything you need there and you will pay very high prices for it. We went looking for some Diet Coke and found some at $2 a bottle.

The last thing I want to highlight is the amazing Facebook group (Senator Puerto Plata Spa – Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic (Fans & Guests) this hotel, we got some good advice before we left. They also post about leaving pool toys behind if you’re looking. You can also post if you are leaving Sunlotion or need something from someone at the resort. Everyone there seemed very nice.

 

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