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3, 4 or 5 star?


hey all…
so far in choosing our vacations, we’ve stayed at either 4 1/2 or 5 star resorts.

What are the major differences…between say a 3 and 4 star? (other than price, of course)
Our main requests are clean rooms, and good food.

Thanks for any assistance.

we’re also going to try booking last minute, for our first time…wish us luck!!!


In my opinion from my experiences… (sorry if others don’t agree) I’ve stayed at 3, 3.5 and 5 star resorts. I found people tend to more down to earth, relaxed and mingled more at the 3 stars. It’s almost like blue collar vs white collar. Everyone is budget minded, but some are more so - getting the best value for their $$


One of the big differences between 3 & 4 star resorts is the service and details. Having just come back from a 3 star holiday we found that we had to do more of our own serving of wine, coffee etc. At a 4 star there’s more attention to decor in the restaurants and often better quality and greater selection of food and beverages.

That being said, a 3 star resort provides an opportunity for affordable holidays of good value.


The 4 - 5 star resorts will perhaps offer more a la carte restaurants, international or premium brand liquor, more room amenities, IMO better selection and quality of food. I haven’t been to a 3 star to really see this, and I wouldn’t hesitate to try a 3 1/2 star, sometimes it gets this rating because it’s not beachfront.


Thanks so much for your replies…

There are possibly 6 couples going this year…we’ve never booked last minute before…(we’ve usually spent 3000-3500 per couple and KNOW many at the same resort paid much less, also travelling from Halifax)
One of the couples do not have passports…so I guess that will limit us to the DR.

Thinking…I’ll just keep reading reviews, and I am sure regardless where we go, we’ll have a blast. We’re ALL partyin’ maritimers!

If anyone has any recommendations, feel free to post here or email me!
Thanks, Bru


Hi Brunette! I have stayed at everything between 3 and 5* resorts. I think the main difference is the level of luxury provided. The quality and level of upkeep of the architecture and furnishings is a difference. (For example, in the lobby and your room, some places will have marble, fancier furniture, art, lighting etc and some will be more basic.) The number and of onsite bars and restaurants and how well they are staffed and stocked will be another difference. There will be more entertainment and pampering options at the higher rated resorts. I haven’t found much difference in the level of cleanliness at the various places I’ve stayed. They have all been very clean, the beaches relaxing, and the tropical gardens well-manicured.

What you want is value for money, right? We usually travel with children so the places with fancy accoutrements are generally not worth it. (Those are for Mom and Dad trips only!) We recently stayed at the Gran Ventana and the food was excellent, the resort was above average in every way, and the price was decent. It is not super-luxurious but it is a very nice resort which I have no trouble recommending. I believe it is rated 4*. I guess your choice will really depend on what you’re looking for in a holiday. So just keep asking questions and have a great trip when you figure it out!


Take a look at Trip Advisor and look at the Carribean Village and the Allegro Playa Dorada.

Notice the difference for example in the pools?


I have stayed at everything between and 3* and a 5*. The 5* resort I stayed at was the Riu Bachata and it was beautiful. However, when I just stayed at the Fun Royale this past January (it’s rated a 3*) I had a lot more fun. The Bachata was more of an older crowd, more laid back, not a real party place but super nice. The Fun Royale was actually quite impressive for being rated a 3*. Take a look at the pics posted on here and you’ll find that for the money it’s a great value. I paid $1,249 + taxes in January 2005 for the Riu Bachata and $426 + taxes this past January for the Fun Royale. Now I can afford to again in a couple more months!! Enjoy your vacation.