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All of the restaurants and bars are available to both guests of the Colfresi Palm and the Tropical resorts. With few exceptions all food and drink are included with the price of the room. Tips are not required but it doesn’t hurt to be friendly with the staff and leave a dollar or two for tips once in a while.
Lifestyles buffet restaurants
Both the Lifestyles Tropical Resort and the Lifestyles Colfresi Palm resort have large buffets. The Casablanca is located in the center of the Tropical resort and the Pearl is located in the center of the Colfresi Palm resort. This is where you will likely get most of your meals. In addition to the mail buffets the Tropical resort has a burger and snack place that is open from 11pm to 5pm and the Colfresi Palm has a Dominican food buffet down near the beach and lower pool.
- Casablanca – This is the main buffet for the Tropical Resort. This buffet features a wide variety of different foods. In addition to the normal buffet style foods you can go up to chef stations and have omelets, spaghetti and other items freshly made to your specifications. You can get coffee starting from 5am and food from 7am to 10pm. They do close between 10:30am and 12:30pm to set up for lunch and 3:00pm to 6:30pm to set up for dinner. Usually in these break times there are a few small food items available to snack on.
- Blue Lagoon – This is located below the Casablanca overlooking the beach. This is a A-la-cart restaurant during the day (reservations required) but serves burgers and other similar items from 11 pm to 5am in case you get the munchies during the night. This is also a good place to hang out if you feel like being a night owl. The dress code is casual and no reservations are required from 11pm to 5am.
- The Pearl – This is the main buffet for the Colfresi Palm. The food is different than the Casablanca so it is worthwhile to try both to see which you like better. The Pearl opens at 7am and closes at 10pm with the same break times as the Casablanca. They also have snacks from 11pm to 5am .
- El Pilon – If you want to try out some real Dominican food then El Pilon is the place to go. During our last stay this was a buffet style restaurant and no reservations were required while the information given to us by the resort called it a A-la-cart. So…. If you want to check out some Dominican food you might want to as the information service department before you head over. For Dominican food you can expect rice and Dominican style beans, platino, mangu, and various styles of chicken, beef, pork and sausage usually cooked in a sauce.
Lifestyles A-la-cart Restaurants
The A-la-cart restaurants (sit down, look at a menu, take order, get served style), all require reservations. The dress code is casual but it is best to change from your swim attire to pants and if possible a collar style shirt and shoes. Each restaurant has its own theme. To get to the restaurants you can catch a bus (gua-gua) in front of your hotel and it circles around to all the different restaurants. The bus comes around about every 20 minutes and it takes a few minutes to get to your destination so it is a good idea to start the trip early.
You will get one reservation automatically with your reservation but you can book a different one for each night. The rules seem to change each time we go to Lifestyles but usually you book a day ahead of time. Check with the front desk when you check in to for details on getting reservations. When you go to the restaurant be sure to bring your reservation ticket.
- Rodizio – Brazillian Churrascaria – Open 6:30pm – 10pm Located in the Colfresi Palm Resort. This one is still on our list of restaurants to try. As of yet we haven’t been able to get reservations here and it was closed the last time we visited the resort. I’ve only talked to one couple that has eaten here and this was one of their favorites.
- Indochina – Asion Fusion – Open 6:30 – 10pm – Located Just below the Casablanca at the Tropical resort. I’ve had several friends say they really like the food here but everything was very hot (spicy), our group tried the Sweet and sour pork, general Sou chicken and several other entrees. There was no problem with the food being spicy for us (maybe the recipes were changed). We had 7 people in our group (Oct of 2013) and none of us were very impressed. It could be we just got a bad night.
- Johnny’s – International Cuisine – Open 6:30-10pm. Located in the Cofresi Palm. Another one of the A-la-carts we haven’t personally tried. We’ll try to make it a point to get reservations here with our next visit.
- Blue Lagoon – Seafood – Open for dinner 6:30 – 10pm (with reservation) and 11pm – 5am for burgers and snacks. This is located on the Tropical Resort below the Casablanca between the pool and the beach. It is real tough to get reservations here. We have been at the resort at least 6 times and finally got reservations on our Oct 2013 trip. The food was good; they have calamari appetizers as well as several others. You have to pay an extra $24 if you want the lobster; everything else comes with the price of your room. Worth trying if you can get reservations. Overnight they server burgers and snack in a buffet style. The Burgers range from a little dry and old to pretty good depending on if you get there when they just refreshed the buffet or if it has been sitting for a while.
- Bellini – Italian Food – Open for breakfast 7am-10am, lunch 12 noon to 6:pm, and Dinner 6:30pm to 10pm. You will find this near the residence suites, it is easier to take the bus. The food is good here, and everyone enjoyed their dish. However what really stood out was the salad and bread bar. Both the quality and presentation of the bar was excellent. So far everyone that I have talked to about this restaurant came to the same conclusion.
- Moomtaz – Indian Cuisine – Open 6:30pm – 10pm. Located in the Colfresi Palm resort.
- Moonlight – International Cuisine – Seasonally open from 6:30pm – 10pm.
- Trapiche Paradise – Mexican Cuisine – Open 6:30 – 10:pm Located near the Royal Suites so it is probably easier to take the bus, although it is a short walk. We’ve eaten there a few times now. It has a good nacho bar and everyone enjoyed their food each time. I count it as more of a Tex-mex than a true Mexican food restaurant. They have good ribs, fajitas (chicken and beef), no Enchiladas
- El Pilon – Authentic Dominican Cuisine – Open for Dinner 6:30 – 10:pm and 12:pm to 5:pm for snacks. If you don’t have plans to leave the resort and you like to try local food this is the place to go.
Restaurant Dress Code
For the buffets you can go very casual. Often you are just coming off the beach and you are not required to change your clothes before eating. Men do need to wear a shirt and shoes or sandals as well as at least a shorts style swimming suit (no speedo or other bikini style suits). Women need to cover up their swim suit. A wrap or shorts and a shirt will do. Likewise they should wear shoes or sandals.
For the A-la-cart restaurants you should change from your swimming attire to normal casual clothes. Pants and a collar style shirt are best. Remember though it is warm and humid here, you will be far more comfortable with cotton, and breathable fabrics. Avoid polyester, wool or other warmer fabrics.
Tipping is not really required but it doesn’t hurt to have some tip money in your budget. Tips do not have to be large and they are very appreciated by the staff. We usually leave 2-3 dollars each day for the cleaning person and when we spend the whole day down in the VIP Beach area we will leave tips scattered through the day and specially after ordering large amounts of food or drink. Starting you tipping early in the day often encourages better service. Once again the tips can be small depending on the size of your order but usually 1-3 dollars is fine. Even with larger groups we usually won’t spend more than 5-10 dollars a day in tips and even that is optional.
It does help to get to know your servers and bar tenders in the VIP area. Greeting them and even asking and using their name makes them a little happier to serve you and be sure you are satisfied with the service. It is very common for people to be rude or abrupt with the serving staff so treating them with a little respect goes a long way in making your stay more enjoyable.
This is kind of a rough one. Care should be taken when choosing your food. Almost every time we go to the resort we here reports of people getting sick. If the item in the buffet looks old, move on to the next. Don’t eat food that doesn’t appear to be properly cooked. While we usually eat the salad items, this can be a source of problems. The staff do their best to make sure the salad is cleaned properly, but if in doubt stick with the cooked foods. Water and ice are usually pretty safe here (but never drink from the faucets in the room, or even rinse you toothbrush, only use the bottled water provided).
Every Sunday they have a big bash, with music, a light and fireworks show and a huge buffet. Eat at your own risk here. This seems to be one of the most common places to encounter some sort of food problem. At this buffet it is probably best to avoid the seafood, salad and any foods that are not cooked thoroughly (with the possible exception of the deserts). If the food should be hot and it is only slightly warm it is best to be safe than to get sick and ruin the rest of your trip.
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