REVIEW: Viva Wyndham V Heavens

Viva Wyndham V Heavens

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A view of the beach at the resort.

As a graduation present to myself, I decided a trip to paradise was in order. From the minute our cab arrived from the rainforests of the towns surrounding Puerto Plata, I was excited I chose that Viva Wyndham V Heavens to escape! My friend Hannah, from the restaurant I was bartending at, also joined me on vacation.

The resort is small and newly remodeled, with modern finishes and luxe-looking décor, plus a super-friendly staff. We were greeted with fresh watermelon puree and welcomed in before heading to our rooms.

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The resort has just a 180 rooms and a kind of staff you get to know if you spend a couple of days. By the second morning, most of the servers knew Hannah and I — and while they want you to be happy — they also want you to have fun. We were regularly encouraged to attend the nightly comedy show and dancing in the resort’s club afterwards. The resort’s DJ and other staff took a liking to us and wanted us to come out every night. I think we were at the resort on a slow week, because there never seemed to be a ton of people at the pool, on the beach, or at any of the events, but the night we went out, we had a great time. 

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The rooms also have free WiFi, a small minibar that features mostly soda and local beer, but also bottled water. We regularly left notes asking the cleaning service to leave us extra water, and they kindly obliged each day, since neither of us are soda drinkers. Our room was clean and dry and we never had issues with bugs or other critters that tend to appear in humid, tropical environments.

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Our room was beautifully appointed — with white modern furniture and linens, with touches of grey and tangerine. It was spacious, and had a large closet, plenty of drawers and a standup shower in the bathroom.

The resort also features a beautiful golf course across from its entrance, and beachfront on its other side. From the resort’s “bliss” rooms, it’s about a 5 minute walk to the beach. Just down the street from the entrance is a small shopping mall, with touristy gift shops, a few restaurants and a little convenience store.

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Walking from our room to the resort restaurants for dinner.

The resort has a small gym, gift store and a full-service spa, that I unfortunately never had a chance to take advantage of. There are five on-site restaurants, but they aren’t all open all the time. There’s also a sports bar by the pool and beach bar as well. My only gripe with the restaurants was that the selection was limited each night and the food wasn’t the best I’ve ever had. The menus were limited at night — Blend and Puebla 222 had the best meals — while the buffet at V Kitchen for breakfast and lunch was by far the most consistent and offered the best variety of options.

Our room floor.

Our room floor.

We were never forced into a sales presentation like some other all-inclusive resorts, but we did end up in one accidentally. Luckily, the person pitching us realized after a few quick questions, that we weren’t candidates for a “membership” and didn’t waste our time. Instead, he toured us around the property and offered to bring us mangoes from his own backyard! (They were delicious, by the way.)

Breakfast at V Kitchen

Breakfast at V Kitchen

If our vacation had gone according to plan, I definitely wouldn’t have wanted to leave and would’ve definitely taken advantage of the resort’s spa, but right after we enjoyed an excursion to Paradise Island on Wednesday, Hannah woke up sick Thursday — and ended up having appendicitis! She had to have emergency surgery at the hospital in Puerto Plata — and she went while I was on a city tour that she refused to let me miss.

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The walk through the “rainforest” to get to the beach.

The staff at the Viva Wyndham V Heavens took excellent care of her — rushing her to an urgent care — and then to the emergency room, when they figured out what the problem was. When I returned to the resort and figured out what happened, staff members scurried to get me to the hospital ASAP to check on her and our Expedia representative actually had her boyfriend drive me there! Our rep, Ana, came in with me to talk to hospital staff and helped me find Hannah, which was seriously so appreciated because my Spanish is limited conversational — and isn’t medical terminology based.

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Luckily, Hannah came through her surgery OK and when we got back to the resort, they rushed to get us into a room on the ground floor where she wouldn’t have to climb stairs, and also provided her with a wheelchair. I can’t say enough about how exceptional they were to meeting our needs during a near-nightmare in a foreign country where we didn’t know anyone. I would visit Viva Wyndham V Heavens again for the staff alone.

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The only other issue we had with our vacation was that it rained every day around 2 p.m. in the afternoon, so after a few hours at the beach, we’d have to pack up and head inside for a few hours. That’s not the resort’s fault, but something to note about Puerto Plata during the summer months when it tends to be rainier.

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