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“Rough Start”

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Casa Marina Beach & Reef
Ranked #25 of 30 Hotels in Sosua
VT
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Rough Start”
Reviewed 31 January 2012

I read all the reviews both positive & negative before booking and decided to take a chance. We are reasonable guests, we don't expect 5 stars when booking a 3 star location. We travel for sun, warm weather and snorkling and this resort did give us that. We had a rough start. When we arrived we were told at the front desk that our room was ocean view which was great because we paid extra to upgrade to ocean view when booking and also reconfirmed before we left. When we got to the room it was not ocean view and was next to the pool where it was very loud with music, drunk guests in and around the pool and a staff person on a microphone organizing afternoon games/activities. The bellman called the front desk to see about the ocean view and was told there were no ocean view available, to check back in a few days and see if anyone has checked out. We then asked for a quieter room and they moved us from the reef side to the beach side. It was room 116 - which was dreadful! They must have been ready to demo the interior for renovations. There were stains all over the bathroom counter top, missing rod from the towel holder, missing rod from the toilet paper holder, the mirror was FULL of back spots from deteriortaion, rust colored stains in the tub, cracked floor tiles and cigarette burn holes in the fabric they lay across the end of the bed. Very dirty...no one's home should ooks like this - never mind a resort! It reminded me of the nastiest gas station rest room you have ever been in - YUK- at this point they did not want to move us again, saying they had no more rooms. There are 357 rooms here and they had quite a few quests...so we knew there had to be some decent rooms or they would not have any quests! So I called expedia for assistance - a $35.00 roaming call on my cell phone - and after 20 minutes of being on hold with Expedia - who called the hotel- Expedia rep said the resort manager was sending someone to look at the room. The maid and servicemen all came and agreed the room was dreadful Four hours later - from the time we first checked in - we had a room that faced the water back on the on the reef side and was reasonably clean. A few disappointments included: the bed sheets do not cover the entire mattress. It was a king size bed - good mattress - but they used flat sheets only that were short so that your feet were actually on the mattress and not on sheets. The bed covers over your body were also just another flat white sheet, no other covers but the 1 flat sheet. There was an orange strip of fabric across the bottom of the bed - and thankfully this one did not have burn holes. The sheets were clean and changed everyday and the maids were very hard working and pleasant. One day we had no hot water for our showers we figured they must have been doing laundry . 2 days in a row we were not able to trade our beach towels in for clean towels because they were "all in the laundry - come back later " so we had to keep the same used beach towels for 3 days. The blue beach towels we had for 3 days had large white bleach stains on them, and our white bathroom towels one day had worn holes in the towels. There are people there to sell you time shares that we successfully avoided. Overall, not one for the memory books. The people are hard working - but they do not have much to work with. The resort exterior is well landscaped and the cool water jacuzzi's were nice but the rooms were run down. I would not go back to this resort. Aside from the run-down rooms - We did get what we went for ...the sun was shining, it was warm, and we could snorkel right from the very clean beach.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank gracie5559
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Edmonton, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 January 2012

I just returned from Casa Marina / Sosua - 6 lovely warm weeks. This was my 11th time at this resort. It's not the fanciest or the most modern but the lovely staff make up for any deficits. The rooms that have been renovated in the last couple of years are quite nice. Since I have been so many times I'm counted as a VIP guest so I get a few extras -

I have only been slightly disappointed in the food during one visit (2004) but I went for a quick week in the beginning of November and it was quite a slow time so not all the food was up to the usual standard but I certainly didn't go hungry although that certainly wouldn't have hurt me one bit.

I always take a travel mug (if Canadian get a Bubba Keg from Canadian Tire) they keep drinks cold for a very long time. I also take school items for the kids and tee shirts, lanyards, key chains etc. with Canada on them for the staff and friends I have made over the years.

I leave a lot of my clothes, all my toiletries and makeup for the maids as well as a $5 tip at the beginning of my visit and $20 at the end. The service I get is terrific. Same with the bartenders. If you make good friends with them in the beginning your stay can't compare.

I can't wait to go back next year - I'm hoping for 2 months and am ready to go.

Room Tip: The rooms that are most central in the resort start in the 700 numbers - I ask and get either room 7...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
4 Thank Ripley Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
woodstock
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 January 2012

group of 11 hd a great trip beds was cofy flat screen tvs, resort was just beautifull! only downfall was they dont have any blender drinks at all! they dont serve you! usually at resorts they have people bring you drink none at meals or anywere! which was no big deal to us for the price we coud not complain, we had a room on 4th floor which was alot of steps ask to be moved they make u wait 2days on a list but after that was moved to a ground floor pool room, this room was awesome but beware u get lots of ants! had to get our room sprayed 2x , they also would not let anyone extend their checkout ties even with offering to pay for the room which was weird the hotel could have made some good money as we had to be out of room by 1pm didnt leave till830 for 1130 flight made for along day!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank donna h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 January 2012

First of : This is my 8th time in Dom Republic and the first in Sosua.
Every time I have stayed in a resort so I have a pretty good idea what to expect.
Six times I have stayed in Iberostar properties and always been very happy with everything.
Food is terrible. For six days, was exactly the same food breakfast/lunch/dinner with no choices. You were limited to the same pasta, same fish and the same leg of pork.
I have had better food of the trucks in NYC. Service is OK. Now room service, do not expect your room to be fixed before 5 pm or have towels before that time. I tipped twice and was going to tip the last day but I heard them say to each other in one of the rooms I was passing by : se no me da propina , no voy a arreglar , which means if they don't tip me, I won't fix it (the room).They will take your towels around noon and they will not replace them. I asked and I was told that all towels are being washed.

As of January 19th- 2012 in the building were rooms 25xx are there is some construction going on. You will be up by 8 am and they work past 10pm. My good luck, they worked the whole week. I paid extra money for an ocean view room and of course was not given to me.
Attached is the picture of my ocean view.
Front Desk was useless, even after I tipped $5.

Reservations for the restaurants Luiggi (Ital/Mex same restaurant) and the seafood you need to make reservations from 9:30 am to 11 am. You can't do after or before. If they want they will even tell you, sorry is booked. You walk to the restaurant and of course is empty.

Go in the restaurant, tell the server you left the coupon home, tip few $ and you don't need the reservation.

If you are with family , especially little kids and you walk outside of the resort and I am talking right outside the door be careful because prostitution is rampant. It is safe by the way to walk at nigh if you don't mind being harassed by prostitutes, Haitians trying to sell you over priced useless stuff and the people that exchange currency. Do not exchange anything in the street. They will always try to cheat you. There are a huge amount of legit exchange places almost every other door

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Albano11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Sosua hotels

Sparta, New Jersey
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 January 2012

I just came back from the Casa Marina on January 23, 2012 with a serioius case of stomach problems. As noted by others the food was mediocre even in the specialty restaurants. That was the finishing touch to many disappointments. When we first arrived the room was not ready although it was a half hour later than the check in time. When we finally got to the room, it was clearly not superior in any way. The towel rack and toilet paper holders were missing and the room was dirty. When my wife took a shower the water pour into the bathroom becasue the shower poured water all over the place. My wife opened the door to have me clean up the floor and the steam went into the room causing the fire alarm to go off but no one ever came to check it out. Also the room had no phone so we could not even call for help.
They did change our room at our request. The second room was clean and the bed comfortable but they did not had fitted sheets and the mattress cover bunched up at night makit uncomfortable at times. The hotel advertised free boating but supposedly all the free water sports advertised were broken. I can't remember being in any hotel in the Carribean or central America except at Casa Marina where you could not drink the water. As for the entertainment, it too was mediocre mostly dance shows and Karaoke. Would it have killed them to bring in a singer or a magician? The dancers did try hard to please and did quite well for themselves. The Jacuzzi unlike any I have every seen was ice cold and was unpleasant to sit in. One shuold be aware that in January the water in cold and quite rough with caution or danger flags waving every day. The pools were beautiful but cold. The beach is gorgeous. Frankly I have never written a review before but felt people need to be warned.

Room Tip: If you are not happy with the room, complain.
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank MarvinBC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Casa Marina Beach & Reef

Property: Casa Marina Beach & Reef
Address: Calle Alejo Martinez, Sosua 57000, Dominican Republic
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Sosua
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Sosua
Price range (per night): $98 - $398
Hotel Class:3 star — Casa Marina Beach & Reef 3*
Number of rooms: 378
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Casa Marina Beach & Reef Resort
Casa Marina Reef Dominican Republic
Casa Marina Reef Sosua

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