More about Dunes Hotel & Beach Resort
Dunes Hotel in September
Just returned from a 2 week holiday to the Dunes Hotel (pronounced like Doonez), which is situated in Pedro Gonzalez.
We upgraded to star premiere plus for the fights and would recommend this to anyone. First on the plane, better leg room, great food, free films, unlimited alcohol and fab service from the 4 hostesses (there to serve only the 30 people in star premiere plus). Plus first off, first bags off to the baggage carousel - well worth the money - oh.... and my favourite - NO QUEUES to check in - when we arrived at Gatwick, there were approx 200 people in the line for the flight, and NOT ONE in premiere line, so we were checked in and through within minutes- HEAVEN !
Hotel - clean and basic - the maid service was daily and all sheets and towels were fresh every day, also maids are helpful and sweet (eg; would fold clothes left on bed etc)
A vast variation of foods, lots of fresh crisp salad, breads and a whole range of main meals, from fish to pork, beef and chicken - something to please everyone. The main restaurant is split into smoking and non smoking halves, but non-smokers need not worry - its all open - so plenty of fresh air. Waiting staff are unbelievable, very efficient, glasses are filled, plates cleared etc very quickly and always with a happy smile. There were an abundance of calorie laden tempting deserts (which I avoided like the plague of course) but also available is fresh fruit as a desert or a nice cappucino.
Breakfast was a little difficult for me as I didnt like the venezuelan type breakfast, which could be beef, pork or potatoes, as well as bacon, eggs, and salad. You also have the choice of hams and cheese - which may appeal to the europeans travelling to The Dunes. I tended to go for the pancakes, which are delicious and cooked to order, so fresh and tasty but watch out for the waistline. Children have a choice of cereals too and there is always the traditonal toast and juices.
For lunch, there was a choice of the beach restaurant, (very cooling in the hot weather as you have the sea breeze through the open windows) and a lovely view of the beach and sea. Note for families, this restaurant is the only place where you can get a burger and chips (sometimes welcomed after the endless meat and salads in other restaurants).
By the pool there is also a hot dog / burger vendor who serve the BEST hot dogs in Margarita - these are all included in the price of your hotel too - so gorge and enjoy !
There are three pools here, plenty of sunbeds in the shade and sun. We tended to stay by the larger pool as the other two, one was very shallow (paddling) and the third was a kiddies pool - not that we didnt have a go in all three of course ! The pools were relatively clean, thats to say there was someone every day cleaning. The deep end tends to stay cooler, as in the shallow end, by midday it felt like bath water - not great when you are boiling hot from over a 100 degrees.
Was disappointed with the evening entertainment, although we were there in low season, I was not expecting to find all of the shows in spanish - and not speaking or understanding spanish too well - meant that I could appreciate the effort, dancing and flair of the show but didnt really know what was going on.
During the day by the pool there is aerobics, darts on a huge dart board, and volley ball - all good fun and the day entertainment staff are funny and sweet.
There are plenty of bars to choose from at the Dunes. The beach bar was my favourite day time bar, with fabulous waiters and an idyllic spot looking out on the caribbean sea. At night time there is entertainment in the form of karaoke 3 x a week - which may be some peoples idea of a nightmare but it was good fun and esp as some of the english got right into the swing of things. For the first week - we spent most of our evenings in the music bar as its the only air conditioned bar. Santiago runs the bar here and a FAB waitress called Cecilia who can not do enough for you. Frozen Margaritas were the order of most evenings and we spent many a night drinking and listening to the great live music.
We flew with first choice and went to the "welcome meeting" and met Jose - the first choice rep for the area, who is very nice, extremely welcoming and always available. I had already contacted Marcos Ochoa (who came highly recommended by other travellers to the Dunes Hotel). I met with Marcos on the first day I arrived and he talked us through some of the many tours he can offer, incl Jeeop Safari, Angel Falls, Coche Island etc etc. Marcos is friendly, welcoming and so very helpful. We decided that we would book all of our trips via Marcos. He took us out on a number of occassions and the trips were well organised and he is a great font of knowledge. He was well informed, fun to be with and very punctual. Marcos knew where to take us where "usual" tours would not have bothered, we saw so much of the island, went to the flea markets, saw Juan Griego in the evening. Marcos also organised the angel falls trip for us, collected us on the day and after a FABULOUS trip, we came out of the airport and there he was again. I could not fault Marcos - and would highly recommend anyone who is travelling to the Dunes Hotel to speak to Marcos - we was half the price of First Choice and the hotel tour guides. Marcos is fully insured and has all relevant certificates - I checked all of these.
Contact Marcos on ----
DONT BOTHER TRYING THE REST - Marcos IS THE BEST ! You will not be disappointed.
great and safe
This is a timeshare that we switched from our timeshare we have in hawaii. They have good food with the food name in spanish, english and german. The people are very friendly. I would go back and enjoy the relaxed vacation in the sun.
great time at the Dunes
stayed at this resort from the 14 - 28th sept 05.
from the moment we arrived at the airport, we were looked after very well and this continued throughout the holiday. comfortable rooms and clean surroundings.
staff in every dept, happy and helpful. The food was nice and varied, something for everyone. we would recommend you visit the Italian a la carte restaurant, which you are able to dine at free of charge as it is covered by the all inclusive package.
clean beach, plenty of sun beds for all. relaxing atmosphere. plenty of waiters patroling beach so you didn't have to move if you wanted a drink.
we recommend take care, plenty of sun cream needed.
beach traders were polite and unintrusive.
recommend you walk up to the light house, views are stunning.
all in all we would definitely go back to this destination and resort.
Good value for money
We returned recently from 2 weeks at the Dunes Beach resort and was impressed by the hotel. If you were to compare 4* Cancun to this hotel you would probably rate it 3* however the staff do not expect tips all the time which is a pleasant change from other resorts.
Ask for a room in the new building, they are brighter and more up to date, the bedding and towels are changed daily and the A/C is a god send especially when the temperatures are frequently around 30C.
The buffet restaurant is good and each night the food has a different theme about it although it can be slightly repetitive, the Italian restaurant - Lucianos - has to be booked and you are allowed 1 visit per week, we thought the service was excellent and the food good, would have preferred it the other way round.
The hotel is right on the beach which is clean and entertainment is supplied by the "Looky Looky" men, there is also a volleyball court on the beach, the hotel pools are a good size and are cleaned daily, beware the deep end 3.9 metres !
The evening entertainment - poolside - is of a very high standard and finishes at 10.30pm so get there quick for a good seat.
If possible take the trip to Canaima and Arekuna which involves an overnight stay it is breathtaking and gets you away from the hotel for a couple of days.
Overall an excellent holiday go there before it becomes commercialised, we will certainly return, nice hotel, lovely people and sun, sun, sun
Beautiful Resort and good service!
My friends and I just returned from staying at the Dunes Hotel and Beach Resort on Margarita Island. The beginning of our stay was a little shaky. Unfortunately, since it took us two days to get there from Philadelphia, we were a little disappointed that we "lost" a day in our vacation. Whatever you do, try to get a direct flight. (That's all I'll say, as I would be writing forever). Initially, they put us in some dark little room with hardly any windows and three smokers (there were 4 of us all together). When we complained about the room, we were promptly moved to a much nicer 1 bedroom with 2 balconies. This was a welcomed change, however the problems didn't stop there.
Our room was supposed to be a 1 bedroom with a pull-out couch for 4 adults. When we opened the couch, lo and behold there was no mattress! We immediately called the front desk and complained, and they said they would send a mattress up as soon as possible (hello...didn't you know that there was no mattress?). After a couple of hours, they finally sent a mattress and....suprise...it's not the fold-up kind that goes on a sleep-sofa! Because of the language barrier, we explained what we were looking for...a couch to entertain in the day, and a bed to sleep on at night. They informed us that they did not have any fold-up mattresses, and that they would be only too happy to bring up a mattress every day. We felt so bad for the poor little guy that had to lug the mattress up the stairs everyday that we decided to just keep the bed made up as such.
After that, everything got better as we became more familiar with the staff who were as accommodating as possible. Everyone from the bell boys (Antonio) to the Facilities Manager (Marco) was great. The grounds are beautiful, and the staff is friendly. Even the women in the business office started to warm up to us even though we changed money daily and always seemed to take all of their cash.
The food at the resort was average, but if you want to experience the culture of the island, I would suggest going out to dinner. All-inclusive is great for families, but if you're going to go that far to vacation, you might as well experience Margarita. Go to Pacifico's at Playa El Agua (best beach on the island) or La Mama's in Juan Griego. There are plenty of wonderful places to eat at an inexpensive price, and the cab rides are cheap. We actually brought money home (although Venezuela gets you on the way out with lots of fees, so put about $100US aside just for that). Be cafeful though, as I got sick and was unable to eat the remaining 4 days of our trip. Bring plenty of Immodium and Pepto!
Overall, we had a wonderful time, but we're glad we went out and explored the island. It is very rich in culture with beautiful scenery and people. And whatever you do, make sure you go horseback riding at Macanao Ranch...the views are breathtaking!
We have just had a fantastic two weeks at the dunes. All i can say is 10/10 the service was out standing so was the food.Rooms basic but very comfortable with excellent air- conditioning.The hotel is situated next to the beach and what a beach it is. There are plenty of activities if you feel energetic or alternatively places to relax.Renting a car was easy costing around $50 for the day which is well worth it to have a look arond the beautiful island.Highly recommended would go again before it gets too commercialised
Horrible Food and Drinks!
We are currently staying at the Dunes. The rooms are nice. We have one on the first floor. They seem to be nicer than the ones in the basement. We booked All inclusive. Unfortunately the food is boring, no taste and the drinks are horrible. We traveled around the island before we checked in to the Dunes and I must say I never had such bad drinks before anywhere on the island. The fruit juices are made from concentrate, just together with your meals you get real, but very watery fruit juices. You can skip the alcoholic mixed drinks completely, all made with the cheapest ingredients, all too sweet. Imagine they do the Caipirinha with white rum (no cachaca or pitu) and the Pina Colada with sticky sweet concentrate with pine flavour. Ugh! Horrible! Actually we find there is no reason to stay here. There are much better places on the island. I would recommend Playa El Agua or Juangriego or Playa el Yague instead. Here is nothing around the Hotel, it is quite a long walk to the village (nothing to be seen there). To go somewhere else you need to take a taxi. In the evening you can stay only inside the Hotel Complex, no other restaurants on the beach. The Hotel owned beach bar closes at 5p.m. Well, you'd better book in somewhere else. Hope you have a nice holiday!
We have just returned from the Dunes Beach Hotel and we had a fantastic time. We were treated to a cool cocktail and traditional dance when we got there, and then a bellboy took our cases to our room. The room was a bit on the small side, but had everything that we needed: air-con, hairdryer, coffee maker, fridge, bottled water (you get a fresh bottle every day), a safe and a clean bed and bathroom.
In the main restaurant on an evening they varied the themes so we didn't get too bored, and I had lots of pancakes for breakfast that were delicious!! There are other snack bars for daytime snacks and the beach bar does nice food, as well as the pool bar.
There are activities in the pool every day, but these did get a bit monotonous by the end of the holiday. The evening entertainment was amazing to watch-they are brilliant dancers and most of the shows were great. The barmen are great-no sooner had you almost finished your drink, another one had arrived!! There is a live music bar and a disco, and personally we found the music bar better as it had air con, nicely decorated and just generally had a good atmosphere. However, the other bars are good too. We enjoyed a few tequilas and flaming sambucas and then a little sing on the kareoke (thank god it was nearly the end of our holiday I couldn't look at anuone the day after!!!!!)
Overall we had a super holiday. The staff are very friendly, the food was good, we met some good friends and we would definitley go back!
Dunes Resort Margarita Island, Venezuela
"Margarita Island, Venezuela"
We flew into Caracas and it was quite overwhelming for someone whom is not very up to date on my spanish speaking..Lots of chaos more than I have seen at alot of airports although we did find someone to help us and we Figured out from the International terminal you need to walk to the other airport it is quite a walk with luggage but you can get someone to carry your bags for a small fee..I would say it is a 10 min walk or under and its not that far of a distance unless you are on a time schedule so it is something to remember.From the smaller airport we boarded a smaller plane to Margarita Island where our resort was located. We than took a private shuttle to the dunes resort and it was like a little city with a big gate around it although it was absolutely beautiful and also had millions of entertainment..after a few days of being there riots broke out in venezuela due to chavez not allowing a ellection as so i was told by the locals..That made leaving our resort quite scary in fact we only did it once because of the danger..although I have to say the resort was complete with a private beach ,plenty of walking paths and many restaurants and bars even a dance club..We really did feel VERY safe in our resort and did enjoy it along all the entertainment they also offer massages and facials .I did the facial and It was a very good experience very relaxing!..Since we were on a island away from the bigger city of caracas we were also much safer and I am sure under a different circumstance it would be even more of a fun trip..I would just check the travel warnings before you go and im sure it would be fine..The resort staff were amazing when it came to anything you needed , all you had to do was mention something and they found a way to find it and bring it to you..For example I had a stomache ache and they found me some pepto bismal which neither do they sell or have in the nurses area but they found someone who happened to have some and brought it to our room..They had other stomache remedies but none of it was working for me so i asked for it by name thinking it would help..Basically wonderful staff and I would definately go to the resort again and to the area under different circumstances..We overall had a great time
CORO'S SAND DUNES
The sand dunes of the Isthmus of the Peninsula of Paraguaná are located north of the city of Coro, in Falcon State. Sand is brought from the sea by the Trade winds and deposited on the Istmo de Médanos. These winds, coming from Northeast, constantly model the sandy landscape.
Sand retention capability possessed by plants as the Mesquite can start the formation of dunes. These plant species possess very intricate root systems that catch great quantities of sand, obstructing its westward migration, causing the formation of the sand dunes.
Climate is relatively arid, in the dunes. Precipitations are low and scarce, concentrating in the last months of the year. Mean temperature varies within 27 and 30ºC. Absolute maximums oscillate around 40º and minimums around 16 ºC. Relative humidity fluctuates between 35 and 90%.
Dunes conform a very special dry environment, in the Isthmus of Paraguaná Peninsula. These areas have been protected under the legal figure of a National Park due to their landscape importance. Similar, but less known, dune formations exist to the south in the Apure State Plains.
buildings inside Dunes
What do i want to be when I grow up
Good evening friends,
I am looking for advice. Would like to move to a South American country around December for 6 months or so. I'm really interested in learning about a new culture and perfecting my Spanish. I'm just not sure where to go. I would want to work however, I Do not want to teach english. I kinda want to use this adventure as a stepping stone to help me get into an International Relations Graduate program. My friends and family thinks I'm nuts because I do not know What/where/how and why. I guess only people like you would understand that there is so much more out there to learn and see. Thanks
Re: What do i want to be when I grow up
You could have a great experience but as for working the possibilities are rather limited. Without legal work papers/Visa your chances of gaining any meaningful employment would be difficult. You might try an international corporation that has offices in South America and try to gain a position that way but in the current economic state would not think this would be viable. Why not apply as a student for an exchange program through the university you attended in your home country. Most would have arrangements with Universities in South America. Might be a better way to perfect your Spanish and use as a stepping stone to your goal.
I am a bit prejudiced but would highly recommend Buenos Aires for your base. There are many good schools here, reasonable cost of living and fantastic night life.
Re: What do i want to be when I grow up
As a brazilian I am I shall talk about my country.
The main brazilian spots are: Porto Alegre, Caxias do Sul, Bento Gonçalves, Florianopolis, Balneario Camboriú, Blumenau, Curitiba, Ilha do Mel, Foz do Iguaçu, Parque Estadual de Vila Velha, São Paulo, Santos, Guaruja, Ilhabela,
Angra dos Reis, Rio de Janeiro, Petropolis, Teresopolis, Nova Friburgo, Niteroi, Cabo Frio, Buzios, Belo Horizonte, Vitoria, Guarapari, Porto Seguro, Arraial d'Ajuda, Itacaré, Morro de São Paulo, Salvador, Praia do Forte, Praia do Frances, Porto de Galinhas, Recife, Olinda, Fortaleza, Natal, Jericoacoara,
Ilha do Caju, Lençois Maranhenses, Manaus, Belem, Ilha de Marajó, Parintins,
Caldas Novas, Brasilia, Pantanal.
Your new task is choose some of these spots...
Behind the written spots you may find crowded beaches, empty beaches, mountains,
islands, historical cities, dunes, jungle, modernity, unostentatious places, inland...
What kind of life would you please here?
Brazilian government mainten diplomacy school Instituto Rio Branco. College in Brazil is reached through knowledge tests. We name this tests as "vestibular".
Apart from government some other entities dedicate to International Relation classes as: OAB, ANPAD, CDE, Lions, brazilian universities ...
central/south america trip - route, activities?
i have recently booked in a trip for myself and 3 friends to central/south america (with the focus being on s.a)..
we are all 22 or 23 and from australia..
we have around 4 months at the moment to spend in both, but my flights are flexible and we have around $10,000 to spendeach - with flight to and from paid for, but nothing internally.. so if u recommend longer i can always extend
i was hoping someone could advise me on a good route to cover over these 4 months.. if u could include how to get to each that would be great to, eg car/bus/plane/train, etc and with approx costs would be even better...
basically the areas i want to lock in are columbia, equador, peru, bolivia and argentina.. i would like to see brazil and possibly chile also but maybe time/finances could be a problem?? but brazil looks very cool
i also would like to get to maccu piccu, iguazu falls, the amazon jungle and seeing some stars in the desert somewhere would be cool too!!
as we'll be starting in mexico anywhere on the way through to s.a that could be recommended please do as well...
ive been researching a lot and got many books, but i though it would be very helpful to get a rough guide off someone who knows the track well or has experienced it would be a huge benefit..
thankyou all and thankyou in advance for your help
Re: central/south america trip - route, activities?
Since no one has bothered to respond to your post I will have a go. First of all I think you are attempting to cover way too much territory in 4 months, second you might spend some additional time learning the correct spellings of the countries you plan to visit :) It is COLOMBIA and ECUADOR.
Buses are the cheapest form of travel between stops but from Panama you would need to either fly or arrange for a boat to take you on to Colombia. Prices vary widely from country to country and on the type of bus you take. I have ridden on converted school buses in central America for a few dollars and covered a huge distance and ridden in South America on fantastic intercity buses that matched most business class airline service for much more.
Four months to cover most of South America via bus would be difficult at best. So either plan to add a few more months,or spend less time in Central America.
You should add the Galapagos Islands to your list. Other than that it would take a long discussion to even attempt to direct you. You might try breaking up your questions and posting "What should I see and do?" in the forums for each country you wish to visit.
Re: central/south america trip - route, activities?
Venezuela is a very economic place for the change of money in dollar, the best sites of my country are the roques, canaima, I jump angel, morrocoy, the island of daisy, the dunes of choir between so many things mas, with taste pus them to help