The city of San Felipe de Puerto Plata is located on the northern shore of the island, flanked by stunning white-sand beaches. One of the city’s most popular attractions is the Playa Dorada Golf Course, an 18-hole green designed by Robert Trent Jones. Water sports are among Puerto Plata’s main activities, and like nearby Cabarete, the beaches around Puerto Plata are an excellent spot for kiteboarding.
The area’s resorts tend to be more family-oriented and also more affordable than the giant complexes at ritzy Punta Cana, but tourists will also find more to do and see locally for excursions beyond the resort walls. History buffs will enjoy a visit to the Fortaleza San Felipe, a 16th-century Spanish fortress that is now a museum and historic complex.
This stretch of coastline is also known as the Dominican Republic’s Amber Coast, Taino Bay Puerto Plata and the area has plenty to offer beyond resorts and water sports. Tourists can tour local amber mines like those made famous in the classic film Jurassic Park, and local shops are full of amber jewelry and trinkets. There are also a variety of natural wonders in the area, including jungle hiking treks to stunning tropical waterfalls and Mount Isabel de Torres. Coffee lovers will also want to check out tours of local plantations.
Find your perfect tropical vacation spot with our list of the best resorts in Puerto Plata.
1. Senator Puerto Plata Spa Resort
This five-star all-inclusive resort is located on the westernmost end of the Puerto Plata beaches next to Amber Cove, a popular cruise ship port filled with shopping and things to do. The hotel sits on Bahía Maimón Beach, where guests can take advantage of snorkeling, diving, and fishing, among other water sports. Guests who want a break from the sand can take advantage of the resort’s multiple pools, including several with swim-up refreshments.
Guest rooms and suites each feature private balconies, blackout curtains, excellent views of the ocean or mountains, and they are soundproofed, so families don’t have to worry about the kids disturbing others. Kids can also enjoy the freedom of a kids-only pool and supervised Kids Clubs for ages 4 to 7 and 8 to 12. Adults can enjoy the fitness center and an array of classes, while the whole family can enjoy day and night entertainment.
The resort has several restaurants, each prepared to cater to special diets if needed. Guests can watch their food be prepared at live cooking stations in the main buffet restaurant, or enjoy table service at one of the specialty restaurants. There is also a full-service spa on-site, and plenty of shopping to be found on the resort’s own “Caribbean Street.”
Accommodation: Senator Puerto Plata Spa Resort
2. Iberostar Costa Dorada
This all-inclusive resort is another five-star gem, offering a variety of room types to fit every budget and need. In addition to standard rooms, guests can opt for pool views, ocean views, ocean-view suites, and two-bedroom family suites. There is direct beach access for guests, as well as three pools and plenty of water sports equipment for guests to enjoy. Recreational facilities include a fitness center, tennis, and even an archery range.
Families are welcome here, and there are special touches for the kids like the designated kids’ pool with its own swim-up “aquabar” specializing in smoothies and snacks for young ones. Parents can enjoy their day stress-free thanks to the Star Camp, a supervised day activity center, and babysitting is available for kids too young for that program.
The resort’s main restaurant is an international buffet featuring show cooking, and there are three other specialty restaurants including Mediterranean, Mexican, and Japanese cuisine. There is live entertainment nightly, and several on-property shops including a market. Those who want to get pampered can get a-la-carte services at the resort spa, and there is professional scuba instruction available for an extra fee.
Accommodation: Iberostar Costa Dorada
3. Playabachata Resort
The Playabachata sits right next door to our #1 choice on Bahía Maimón Beach, close to the cruise ship port. There is a wide variety of guest rooms and suites, which offer either garden or ocean views, each with a private balcony or terrace. There are two buffet-style restaurants, two table service restaurants, and two snack-style restaurants, plus poolside refreshments, all of which are included in the price.
Rates also include a variety of non-motorized water sports including kayaking, windsurfing, pedal boast, and snorkeling equipment, as well as diving lessons in the pool. There are three outdoor pools that are adult-only and one that is for kids. Other on-site recreation includes volleyball, tennis, and an ocean-view fitness center.
Accommodation: Playabachata Resort
4. Viva Wyndham V Heavens – All-Inclusive Resort
This adults-only all-inclusive is a favorite for those looking for a low-key, relaxing tropical getaway. The resort offers five-star concierge service for those who want to explore beyond the resort, and a complimentary shuttle service to local attractions, like the Malecon Puerto Plata, is included.
Guests can enjoy on-site live entertainment as well as a theater, and there are several good restaurants to choose from, including one with poolside service. The resort offers a fitness center with a sauna and tennis courts, and the Playa Dorada Golf Course is nearby. There is also a full-service spa on the property, with in-room services available.
Accommodation: Viva Wyndham V Heavens – All-Inclusive Resort
5. Emotions by Hodelpa Playa Dorada
Emotions by Hodelpa Playa Dorada is a family friendly all-inclusive resort on a gorgeous stretch of gold-sand beach. The five-star property was recently renovated and features luxe accommodations in a variety of shapes and sizes.
There are spacious deluxe family rooms that can sleep up to five people and come with furnished balconies and contemporary style, as well as swim out rooms that offer direct access to a shared private swimming pool. Emotions also has an adults-only area, where couples on romantic getaways won’t have to listen to the patter of children. This portion of the resort has its own swimming pool and hot tub also reserved for adults.
There are nearly a dozen dining options on-site with food from around the globe and both a la carte and buffet selections. Amenities are also plentiful. If you enjoy golf, the resort is near the Playa Dorada Golf Course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. There is also a climbing wall on the grounds and, of course, a plethora of water activities. Kids and teens both have clubs to keep them busy during the day. And there are multiple swimming pools.
Accommodation: Emotions by Hodelpa Playa Dorada
6. Be Live Collection Marien
Another top five-star resort in Puerto Plata, the Be Live Collection Marien is surprisingly affordable for an all-inclusive, although guests may find that several of their services are add-ons. It’s still an incredible value for a luxury resort, however, and a great choice for both families and adults traveling in groups or as a couple.
While there is plenty to keep kids occupied, including babysitting and a supervised day program catering to age groups of 4 to 7 and 8 to 12, there are places just for the grown-ups. Guests can book an “Adult Club” room in a designated kid-free area of the resort, which has extra perks like a private beach just for members.
The resort offers many activities, including a fitness center with aerobics classes, tennis, snorkeling, and sailing. The Playa Dorada Golf Course is only a kilometer away, and the on-site spa has a full suite of services to unwind after a day on the green. The pool areas are also lovely, featuring umbrellas and hammocks for tropical relaxation.
A wide variety of guest rooms are available, all with floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies, and some with ocean views. Premium rooms include a hydromassage tub, and family suites have well-equipped kitchenettes.
Informal dining is at the main buffet-style restaurant, which features live cooking, and there are themed options as well, including Mexican, Mediterranean, and Italian cuisine.
Accommodation: Be Live Collection Marien
7. The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
This five-star resort is part of a large complex with four distinct areas, offering a variety of lodging and meal plans to fit travelers’ budgets and needs. It is located along a mile and a half of the beautiful Cofresi Beach, close to the Ocean World Adventure Park. There is a complimentary shuttle service within the resort, as well as to local attractions, Puerto Plata, and the airport.
Among its most popular amenities is the resort’s own Los Mangos Executive Golf Course, which is included in your stay. In addition to other recreational facilities, there are a total of a dozen swimming pools, including three kids’ pools. Kids aged 4 to 12 can spend the day at the supervised kids’ club, and there is also a club designed for ages 12 and up with big-kid games and activities.
There are a total of 11 restaurants on site throughout the complex, some of which are limited to “VIP” guests, as well as numerous spots offering live entertainment day and night. There is also a shopping area, as well as a salon and two full-service spas. Guest rooms feature a range of options, including a full kitchen, ocean views, and family suites.
The resort also offers residential-style all-suite accommodations for those who are planning on a longer stay at The Residence Suites at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort and its newest section, Presidential Suites by Lifestyle.
Accommodation: The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
8. Grand Paradise Playa Dorada
The Grand Paradise is an excellent four-star beachside resort located close to downtown Puerto Plata, the airport, and Mount Isabel de Torres. This is a family-friendly resort with the convenience of all-inclusive rates. Guest rooms and family suites are available with an ocean view, and each room has a private balcony.
The all-inclusive rates include all meals and snacks, as well as all domestic beverages, as well as the use of non-motorized water sports equipment including windsurfing, sunfish sailing, fishing, and snorkeling equipment. There are daily activities planned for both kids and adults, including a supervised kids club for ages 4 to 12.
Guests are free to use the resort’s sun umbrellas and chairs and can even use the bicycles to explore the area. When not lounging by the pool or sunning on the sand, there is plenty to do, from tennis to the game room where there is table tennis, billiards, darts, and more. There is also nightly entertainment, as well as spa services available.
Accommodation: Grand Paradise Playa Dorada
9. BlueBay Villas Doradas
Blue Bay is an 18-plus all-inclusive resort perfect for couples and groups of friends. Guests enjoy the use of a private beach, with all necessary amenities provided for a day on the sand from seating to shade. The resort also offers a variety of pools, including smaller more private pools, as well as multiple larger pools, and of course the main pool with swim-up refreshments.
Golfers will love its proximity to the Playa Dorada Golf Course, and although greens fees are not included, on-site recreation like tennis and water sports are, as well as nightly live entertainment. There is also a fitness center, sauna, salon, and spa within the resort, as well as shopping.
Accommodation: BlueBay Villas Doradas
10. Sunscape Puerto Plata
The Sunscape sits close to the Playa Dorada Golf Course, east of the city. This is an all-inclusive resort that caters to both families and adult guests, offering an adults-only section for vacationers looking for a break from younger ones. The Sunscape has nine separate dining options, with no reservations required and 24-hour access to unlimited food choices.
The resort offers a wide variety of activities for all ages, including water aerobics, water yoga, water volleyball, and introductory scuba lessons in the pool. Non-motorized water sports are also included at no extra cost, including snorkeling, windsurfing, paddleboard, kayaking, and more. For an additional fee, guests can utilize the resort’s motorized watercraft, catamarans, and scuba gear.
Accommodation packages have reasonable rates, and a range of rooms to fit guests’ needs, from basic lodgings to family suites with connecting rooms and kitchenettes. All rooms are spacious and bright with private balconies, and there are plenty of ocean-view rooms available. The resort also has an on-site spa that offers in-room services.
Families with kids ages 3 to 12 can take advantage of the Explorer’s Club, a supervised day program that is open 9am to 9pm daily. Run by Red Cross certified staff, the center keeps kids happy, with games, storytelling, music, movies, crafts, and more. The Core Zone Teens Club is open 10am to 10pm for ages 13-17, giving them a place to enjoy socializing with other teens with numerous games and events.
Accommodation: Sunscape Puerto Plata
11. Blue Jack Tar
This is a much smaller resort than many of its counterparts in and around Puerto Plata, but it is the ideal place for a low-key vacation that won’t break the bank. This family-oriented resort has a playground, kids’ pool, and babysitting available, as well as family suites and condo-style lodgings for longer stays.
The pool and beach are equipped with lounge chairs, umbrellas, and Bali beds for a luxurious atmosphere. There are in-room spa services available and live music on-site, as well as two restaurants. The concierge will help arrange any off-site trips, from a game of golf nearby to adventurous excursions inland.
Accommodation: Blue Jack Tar
12. Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort
The Cofresi is the most affordable sibling within the Lifestyles Resort complex, catering to families and couples alike. For those who want a low-key stay, adult-only suites are available. Guests here can enjoy some of the amenities at the neighboring resorts, including several of the pools, restaurants, and facilities.
Located right on Cofresi Beach, this is a good option for families who want to visit the Ocean World Adventure Park; the resort’s complimentary shuttle service is available for transport around the resort, as well as to local attractions.
Accommodation: Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort