Volalto Group: This company was very professional, accessible, super timely in communication and always helpful. We had a good experience with Ada and Benjamin as our points of contact.
The Unit D-301: The third floor wasn't as much of a hike as I had initially worried about. It was plenty breezy and the decor was nice and comfortable. The overall complex isn't huge, so that was a bonus in our eyes. We met a few of the condo owners in town from Florida, and all were super nice, friendly and helpful. The location of this particular unit is close enough to the beach (and pool) to be super convenient, yet not in the party fray facing the beach with the neighboring beach front bars with LOUD disco music (late) on weekend nights. Overall, it was a great (semi-quiet) location, and we felt super safe. The private beach section for Stanza Mare is fairly wide with plenty of shaded areas with guarded lounge chairs. Every day we found a nice spot. We did have some questionable folks a couple of the days in the water (directly out in front - drunk and topless), but I don't think Stanza Mare has any control over that. It's right next to the public/party boat pier, so FYI with lots of traffic coming and going through out the day with the booze cruise music and noise. Like others have noted, the only gotcha is the electricity. With a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 kids) we only used the AC at night, and windows open with fans during the day and our check-out electric bill was $96. Wasn't expecting THAT much, so be aware of that when you are asked for a $100 cash deposit upfront. The WiFi is spotty in the condo itself, but it wasn't that big of a deal. We could hop online while at the pool or at the pool bar for lunch. The WiFi signal was a 50/50 shot from on our patio. The water pressure was very strong, but most days we never got hot water in the shower. It was just fine though, actually nice and refreshing from being at the beach. -- Do yourself a huge favor and make sure to eat at Citrus for dinner! All of the restaurants in the Turquesa Plaza, plus Balicana and D'Angelo's for pizza, were all fantastic. We had excellent meals out - never a complaint. Breakfast at Dalias and Sweet Napoli were our favorite morning picks. This unit was clean (w/ maid + linen/towel service twice during our week stay) and comfortable, and we were glad we picked Stanza Mare over the crowded (and over priced) all-inclusive resorts.
Punta Cana: Just a heads up that you will be hustled CONSTANTLY for excursions, etc. TONS of outsourcing and negotiating going on, it was quite disorganized - we were amazed. Just expect it. But, tourism is their #1 source of income, so while frustrated, we understood.
We reserved the 2 bedroom condo unit D-301 thru the Volalto Group. We had some questions prior to the reservation and prior to arrival. Ada responded in timely manner thru email contact.
Stanza Mare is located on a prime piece of the Bavaro Beach front next to where the Ocean Adventures pier is located. The premises and grounds are very well kept up and clean. We had 6 in our family and the accomodations in the condo unit fit our needs. The ocean view from this unit was great, it was not ocean fron but we had a good viewing access---so nice to sit on balcony and look out.
Volalto Group manages some of the units at Stanza Mare but not all, there seems to be some animosity between the Stanza Mare management and owners who rent their indiviual units out, the relationship between Volalto and Stanza seems good due to Volalto taking good care of their clientele. Water jug replacement was sometimes difficult if Reggie wasnt on site. Most confusion probably due to language barrier.
Reggie (contact site manager) from the Volalto Group----cant give enough praise for his guidance, help, and direction, a very good guy who made sure our vacation was pleasurable. Thank You Reggie!!!!!!
Other: Within a 5-10 minute walkyou have access to 3-4 smaller groceries, a couple smaller pizzariarras, donuts shop, fresh fruit, and some local off beach bars. Numerous restaurants to choose some of which you dont even know they are there unless you do some asking and research. Beach front walks--expect to be hit up by vendors trying to entice into their little shops. Excursions--many on the beach are available, you will find you can negotiate because many work on commission and utilize many of the same providers. You will notice a difference between $5 to $20 per person for many of the trips just by researching between all. We had no problems walking beachfront at night, although there are some armed guards at the larger resort site that attempt at not letting you thru, you just say you have to go thru to get to your destination.
Maco beach was beautiful920 minute drive to the North)--it is a public beach and there are locals selling their wares. It is much less populated and cleaner during the mid week.
There are Bancos within a 5-10 minute walk to do exchange rates.
Everybody wants your money, so be prepared to have people attempting at helping you with anything for a tip.
Thanks Again Stanza Mare and Volalto and Reggie
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