A couple of months ago, my boyfriend and I, had the chance to go to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. We both felt that we needed to shake off the winter blues and get a jump start on spring by going on vacation for our monthly anniversary which is usually celebrated with a date night. We stayed at VH Gran Ventana beach resort.
Arriving in the resort
When we arrived at the resort, just a 20-minute drive from the airport, we were welcomed with a cooling passion-fruit drink as we registered for our room. To my surprise, my boyfriend called ahead of time to arrange something special for our anniversary. The room was specially prepared. It was decked out with a door banner, rose petals on the floor and the bed, and fruit basket with a bottle of rum. Our room also had the ocean view. Our balcony view was beautiful. You can imagine my girly reaction when I saw the sweet set-up.
Gran Ventana is such a lovely beach resort with two pools and beachfront. Being that it was my first time at the ocean, I did not enjoy it as much as my boyfriend did. However, I did enjoy my little swims here and there in the pool. The swim up bar was a bonus. The resort also has activities such as tennis, bike riding, and snorkeling, windsurfing, kayaking, and sailing. The food was pretty good at the resort. There was a good selection for all types of diets. That was such a relief since I am a vegetarian. Did I mention the drinks? The coco loco is my absolute favorite drink. The resort staff was friendly and attentive. The room was freshly clean daily, and the fridge always refilled.
We checked out the small mall that was walking distance from the resort. You can get cheap items in the mall compared to the resort. This mall has a movie theatre, café, souvenir shops, cigar shop, bars, excursions agent, pharmacy, bank, etc. Not too far off there is a disco, their version of a club which I did not bother to go. There were also a few horse carriages around the area.
We went to Rancho Montana for the half day horse-back riding session which was like 6 hours. Now let me say this, I usually not one to do things like this but I’m pretty glad I did because the scenery through the mountains and along the river was terrific. I think my horse Pepe knew I was initially scared and though we had a bit of a bumpy time, he was patient with me. On the trail, we went through a river, the jungle, a village, up a mountain to take a small break and back to the ranch.
Our city tour began at 8 a.m. Our tour stop was to the Isabel De Torres Cable Car that rid up 2700 feet to Mount Isabel De Torres. The views of the city and up this mountain was nothing beyond remarkable. As we got to the top of mount Isabel De Torres, we walked through a lovely botanical garden. We also came across Cristo Redentor, a Christ statue identical to the one in Río de Janeiro. On our second stop, we visited the Macorix house of rum. We had a chance to have a tour of the rum house, watch a movie of the history of the company and taste some of their rum. Our third stop was a cigar factory and a souvenir shop near Parque Central. Later we took a walk to the Parque Central, where they had Victorian styled buildings and town center. We went to the historical church and then had ice cream at a cute little ice cream parlor. Our final stop was at the San Felipe Fortress which was interesting. The ocean views were beautiful here as well. We also made some other pitstop at another picturesque garden, but I did not get the name of the place. After the tour, I was exhausted, but it was well worth it.
Time to relax
After all of the adventures, I decided that we should wine down with a spa day at the Casa Colonial. The sister resort was also charming. It was more of a spa resort. We were driven to the resort, which was not far at all, and escorted to the spa section and welcomed by the spa staff. We were then lead to the men and women section to change and enjoy the steam room and sauna. We later joined back in the massage room for a relaxing 50-minute couples massage. Trust me when I say this, it was needed. After the massage, we were driven back to the resort. Most of our time after that was spent laying on the beach relaxing to the sounds of the ocean while feeling sand between our toes. It was absolute paradise.
The trip to Puerto Plata was memorable. It was relaxing and fun, just what I need to feel rejuvenated. I will come back to this paradise.
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