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All reviews rooftop pool boutique hotel recommend casa dominican breakfast beautiful small hotel we ordered room service ocean front dominican republic third floor nicest hotel playa dorada rooms are large our honeymoon goat junior suite all inclusive hotel golf cart
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Reviewed 9 February 2016

Our travel agent recommended Casa Colonial in Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic after we told her we were looking for a quick and brief escape from the Northeast for a little sun at a reasonable price. We had not been to the DR in a long time and never to Puerto Plata, and I admit we had some apprehension. We had no interest in an all-inclusive, but she assured us that Casa Colonial was a unique and special boutique hotel. She nailed it.

We booked a four night stay in February. The hotel is only 20 minutes from the airport, is beautiful, private and ebbs relaxation. If you want a lot of action I suggest you pick one of the all-inclusives in the area and get yourself a wrist band. But if you are a couple looking for quiet escape, a great beach, great service and an excellent spa for the money, I highly recommend this beautiful property.

We were warmly greeted on arrival, given a brief tour of the grounds and as a bonus received a complimentary upgrade to an oceanfront room. The rooms themselves are spacious and comfortable, and if you can't totally disconnect from reality the TVs have many US networks in English. The wifi works very well and is complimentary. The grounds are meticulously maintained within the natural tropical landscape, with wild orchid flowers surrounding the two buildings. The only sounds you hear are the ocean water lapping on the beach, and the indigenous birds singing away. There are only 50 rooms so you will never feel overcrowded here, and trust me you will never fight for a lounge chair. As it turned out we came during a particularly quiet week and felt as though we had the property to ourselves. In fact we almost did as I don't think the hotel was more than 25% full during our stay.

It was as if we were guests in someone's private villa on the ocean. The service, whether on the beach for chairs or drinks, or at the amazing upper level infinity pool with an incredible view of the ocean, is very attentive but not annoying or hovering. There are three places to eat: the Veranda, the pool and the main restaurant Lucia (dinner only). The breakfasts were terrific, the lunch menu "ok" and our one dinner at the Lucia was good. However after a full day on the property you will likely want to venture out from the quiet and discover some of the great local restaurants. We found two we recommend in Mares and Los Tres Cocos, and if you are a foodie these won't disappoint you. Cabs to the restaurants arranged through the hotel cost somewhere between $30 and $45 US roundtrip, depending how far you travel. They wait for you during your dinner so it's in and out. Transfers to and from the airport is $35 each way.

Nitpicks: Be prepared for a 28% tax for everything (10% service and 18% to the government). You do have to deal with some local merchants trying to sell souvenirs as they slowly parade by on the beach, but a friendly no, gracias takes care of that. The free high speed wifi worked great, but we did have to re log-in daily which I think is avoidable. There may be a tiny language challenge as most of the staff has a decent but not great knowledge of English, but it mostly made us embarrassed about our near non-existent Spanish (it will be better next time!). Be also prepared to be asked to put your incidental charges on a credit card in advance at check in. You don't have to do this, and I'm not really sure why they don't just charge as you go to the room like other resorts.

Otherwise, we would definitely recommend and plan to return to Casa Colonial again and thank everyone on staff there for a terrific vacation. We'll be back!

  • Stayed: February 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
4  Thank Dmart555nyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Resort_Team, Manager at Casa Colonial Beach & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 24 February 2016

We appreciate receiving your kind review and acknowledgement of the good value provided at Casa Colonial. Your travel tips will no doubt be very useful for future travelers. Thank you for letting us know that you will be back to stay with us again.

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Reviewed 7 February 2016

From the moment we checked in until we left, we had a wonderful experience with awesome accommodations and fantastic staff. It is a smaller resort with only 50 rooms and never felt crowded or rushed. We could dine on the beach or on the 3rd floor overlooking the ocean on an outdoor terrace or on a terrace on the first floor just off the beach. The service and food was fabulous. My husband tried several of the Dominican speciality meals and loved them. As a vegetarian, I found plenty of good options to choose from that were delicious. Our room was very spacious, well appointed with a large beautiful bathroom. We were relaxing and spent a lot of time hanging out on our balcony or lounging in the room and really enjoyed it. Room service was terrific and the room was so spacious that the table they wheeled it fit nicely and made for a very enjoyable meal. We would go back again!

  • Stayed: February 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Kathleen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Resort_Team, Manager at Casa Colonial Beach & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 24 February 2016

Thank you for your recent stay at Casa Colonial and for your kind review. You have paid us the ultimate compliment by letting us know you would come back and stay with us again.

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Reviewed 30 January 2016

We enjoyed two relaxing nights at Casa Colonial as part of a larger Dominican Republic vacation. Our suite with a tropical garden view (#30) was very comfortable. The bed was comfortably firm. The room was huge, open and airy. Hotel and restaurant staff were professional, but friendly. We dined at the three onsite restaurants and found the food to be good and reasonably priced. We did not purchase the included breakfast option--which was fine given their reasonable restaurant prices. The concierge coordinated a private taxi to take us into town for dinner ($35 total round trip with a 1.5 hour wait while we dined). The hotel allowed us a generously late checkout on our final day.

The pool terrace overlooks the beach from the fourth floor of the hotel. Similarly, the fitness facility overlooks the beach.

Included Wi-Fi throughout the resort was very reliable. I was pleased that the Wi-Fi reception at the beach was equally strong. I would have preferred to have at least one US-based, English language news channel (CNN, FOX, etc.).

We enjoyed the serene, peaceful setting of Casa Colonial. If you want a resort with a party atmosphere, this isn't the place. If you are ready to unwind and relax, you will find Casa Colonial to be the perfect place.

Room Tip: The suites are lovely. Enjoyed #30 which is a corner suite facing the tropical garden.
  • Stayed: January 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank Pamela Cazes T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Resort_Team, Manager at Casa Colonial Beach & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 24 February 2016

We are truly delighted to know that you enjoyed your short stay at Casa Colonial and that you appreciated our restaurants as well as the resort. We look forward to having you back with us again soon, perhaps for a longer holiday!

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Reviewed 28 January 2016

Casa Colonial is a magnificent enclave within the Playa Dorada enclave. There are no signs to announce its presence. There are large black gates at the entry and a very friendly staff to greet and care for you. The building and grounds are exquisite. For a stay of a few days, it offers a mostly peaceful setting and departure from one's regular activities.

PROS:
The physical facility could not be more attractive.
The staff is very friendly.
The Lucia dining room does a few things very well.

CONS:
The staff needs more training both in language and in understanding needs of the guests. Occasionally, they appear lost.
The Verandah restaurant (breakfast and lunch) does a so-so job, at best. Service is good, but more than a few times the food was no better than acceptable.
The dinner menu choices are limited. We went elsewhere twice.
The facility is clearly most appropriate for adults, yet there were young children whose parents made no effort to keep them reasonably quiet. We understand that management is aware of this and is working on a solution. Our suggestion is a minimum age limit of perhaps 12 or 14 so the shrieks of the little ones would not be so intrusive.

Why do we suggest going only once? Because Casa Colonial feels limited. The food choices are the best example.

Room Tip: Junior suite corner, rooms 15, 25, 35, 20, 30, 40
  • Stayed: January 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank LeGenerale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2016

THE HOTEL
We stayed at the Casa Colonial over the New Year's Eve holiday with our two college aged daughters. The hotel offered special New Year's Eve dining, a DJ and dancing on the beach and fireworks. The hotel is lovely; it is designed in an airy yet chic style. The ambience is relaxed but the service is top notch. The entrance hall in the building that houses the concierge area and bar is two stories in height. Wilton, amiable and professional, greeted us, as you have no less read, with an invitation to order a drink and tour the property. Fidel, a young bellman, was very helpful. The building that houses the majority of the rooms faces the ocean; its south side is flanked by a pond that is lushly planted. The landscaping is pleasing with numerous orchids dotting the property. Our rooms faced the ocean on the second floor. The breeze was delightful although the hotel prefers to close the doors to the balcony and air condition the room. The rooms are beautifully appointed - a comfortable sitting area inside, (and balcony seating outside), with a king sized bed or two queens, and a large bathroom with a giant tub, a shower, two sinks et al. Fresh fruit greets the visitor and bottles of water are replenished each day. The housekeeping staff is superb. The rooms were spotless. A beach front room is the optimum choice on either the 2nd or 3rd floor. The rooms facing the pond looked agreeable, too. I would not stay on the first floor. Lunch is served on the third floor next to the infinity pool and the four jacuzzis overlooking the ocean. Friendly and relaxed Miguelina was an excellent waitress who always greeted us with a friendly smile. The cuisine at Casa Colonial, including Lucia restaurant, is delightful. You will not be disappointed in the fare! The hotel offered yoga each morning at 8 am in a cabana on the beach. Our instructor, Hannah, was an added and welcome addition to our vacation. The entire staff, which is large, is truly friendly and accommodating. Despite the 18% tax and 10% gratuity on food and the spa, we tipped those who were especially helpful. Several well-heeled Dominican families stayed at the hotel while we were there.

BAGUA SPA
Casa Colonial enjoys a nice spa as well as a small work out facility overlooking the ocean on the 2nd floor. All four of us booked deep muscle massages and each was excellent. We also availed ourselves daily of the machines in the gym.

THE BEACH
The beach and water in front of the hotel is perfect. The Casa Colonial beach area is uncrowded. There is staff who take drink orders and hand out towels. Sometimes one needs to make an effort to get a staff person's attention but it never took long. There are hawkers of items who walk the beach approaching tourists but they were not aggressive and with a 'no gracias' the men and women were on their way. As noted in other reviews, there are all-inclusive resorts one after the other along this stretch of Playa Dorada. In fact, the sister resort to Casa Colonial, located nearly next door, is the Gran Ventana. When staying at the Casa Colonial one is not affected by the other resorts as it is an oasis unto itself. A note about walking the beach - there is a guard to the south who stops beach trippers and to the north a sign warns people not to venture past that point. This is a depressed area and we were told by the guard that there are 'bandidos' beyond the two points.

PUERTA PLATA
We visited the city of Puerta Plata but my daughters were so aggressively harassed by large groups of either underemployed or unemployed men, that after this outing I was happy to stay at the hotel. Normally, I enjoy exploring but this was a stressful experience! I have traveled the world in my profession and am usually intrepid but not in this case. Should we return, I would hire a guide. We visited the small, privately owned and somewhat dusty Museo del Ambar, a rather nondescript Catedral San Felipe in the Parque Central (central plaza), Heladeria Mariposa, an excellent ice cream shop and bakery located across the street from the square, and a new cigar factory, Dona Dorada, owned by a Canadian gentleman that is two or so blocks from the square. The cigars are handmade by two men who have plied their trade for decades. There is soon to be coffee and chocolate sold on the other side of this beautifully renovated architectural gem of a building. The Victorian architectural buildings are noteworthy but many are decrepit. The town is depressed and everyone is hoping that the Carnival Cruise lines, now stopping in the bay, will boost the economy.

EXCURSIONS
The concierge at Casa Colonial have not visited Ocean World or the waterfalls or many other nearby sites as they are tourist destinations that Dominicans ignore. However, the concierge should have first hand knowledge of the places that they recommend.
We had planned to take the teleferico to the Pico Isabel de Torres mountain top but it was overcast. Go in the morning.
One is able to swim with the dolphins and sharks at Ocean World. Call them directly, or ask the hotel to call, and a driver from Ocean World will pick you up.
Damajaqua Cascades or 27 Waterfalls - you can purchase your admission at the falls and hike with a guide. Both the guide and equipment are provided with price of admission to the falls.

RESTAURANTS
Mares Restaurant and Lounge
This is a foodie establishment and the chef/owner Rafael is a man of all abilities - greeting, seating, pouring wine, bringing out dishes, cooking, acting as DJ. He is a big, gregarious, dramatic man. The music that evening was divine - a single guitarist.

Local restaurant serving classic Dominican food.
This restaurant, unfortunately, I don't remember the name, is a few minutes taxi ride from the hotel. The food is delicious. The decor is very simple with tables set up under a roof. Many local people were eating, although I understand from one of the Casa Colonial employees that Dominicans prefer to eat at home and go out only for special occasions. Well worth it.

TENNIS
Julio, the affable and hard working pro at the Gran Ventana, is available to hit with players. Book before you go because the Gran Ventana clients take the slots. The court is comprised of a skim of sand supposedly on top of hard tru. If Julio is booked ask the concierge Santa to put you in touch with another pro who I heard from a player at the hotel was excellent.

CON
The only time we experienced an issue was the departure from Casa Colonial and what a shame given the great vacation we experienced! There was some mix up with transportation despite ordering a taxi several days before.

All in all, it was a marvelous vacation.

Stayed: January 2016
2  Thank clongdog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Resort_Team, Manager at Casa Colonial Beach & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 13 January 2016

We are truly delighted to know that you enjoyed your New Year’s stay at Casa Colonial . Thank you for your kind words about our restaurants and spa as well as the resort. Your travel tips will no doubt be useful for future travelers. We hope you will come back and stay with us again soon.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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