Reddoggie - the Gran Ventana is in the same area as the Viva Wyndham Playa Dorada - about 3 hotels apart going via the beach.
We’ve stayed at the Gran Ventana 6 times and just absolutely LOVE the place and the staff! It is a higher rated hotel than the Viva. We have toured the grounds of the Viva and it looks nice but there were things about it that I didn’t like as well as the Gran Ventana so, although our friend was working at the Viva - we continued to go back to the Gran Ventana.
The city of Puerto Plata is not far away via taxi. There is so much to do - the cable car to the top of Mt. Isabel del Torres - there is a Botanical Garden at the top, Amber Museum, San Felipe Castle, just walking around the city center is interesting. You could also take a day trip up to Sosua or Cabarete which are both very interesting towns with lots to see and do.
The Playa Dorada complex has lots to walk to as well… just 2 or 3 minutes stroll from the Gran Ventana, is Roadway and just beyond that, is the Playa Dorada Plaza. There are lots of photos of those areas in our webshots photos - the link is below our signature.
If you have any questions, please ask… there are lots of people who will be more than happy to answer them.
Forgot to mention - they have done a lot of work on the beach and it is very wide in front of the Gran Ventana… also, the snorkeling off the beach is very good as well… lots of fish.