I just returned from a 3 night stay at this hotel. Like most other reviewers, I have no doubt that this is the best property in Puerto Plata to stay at; especially if you want to avoid the all-inclusive resorts. That being said, this is also the type of place, much like an all-inclusive, that you must love once you arrive as there is really nowhere else to go. Most of the reviews on this hotel highlight the “fabulous” and I agree with most. I am going to give you the ugly. Ok strong word because it was beautiful hotel. I will reiterate the fabulous and also give you the “not-so-good.”
Rooms: the rooms are elegant and clean- well-appointed throughout, large bath room, great water pressure and so may bath towels at your disposal. We were in room #43 right next to the pool and there isn’t one bad thing I can say about the room. The pool was also uber chic with nice views of the beach.
Food: based on all the stellar reviews, I was expecting something fabulous. Its wasn’t. The food was good, definitely above average but not even close to the great dining experiences I have had on other vacations (Playa, St Martin and Bermuda to name a few). Breakfast was fine- not so hard to get that wrong and dinner was the best meal (although some of the dishes were on the salty side). I really thought the lunch menu was lacking. Most of the lunch menu is more suited for a sit down meal in the restaurant as opposed to a meal on the beach (think pasta’s and heavy dishes). I mean really. I am not wasting my valuable tanning time to sit and eat a heavy meal in the restaurant. They really need to add a beach menu and include more sandwiches and light eats. I ordered fish tacos one day and they were so bland and tasteless. Needless to say I was disappointed to the point of tears. I really really wanted a fish taco! Sigh. There is nowhere near by that you can go and get a quick bite outside the hotel. After three days of this is was really very annoying. The one meal that we had outside the hotel (Italian as recommended by the concierge) was mediocre at best. AND it cost us $35 round trip in the cab. It was less than a 10 minute ride.
Beach- the water was calm, clean and clear (triple c!) and it wasn’t rocky or filled with seaweed like other parts of the beach. Yes, the vendors were annoying but I was amused at what they were trying to sell. We had a guy with cigarette cartons, one with alcohol and even someone with wind chimes. You must NOT feign interest in what they are selling or they won’t leave you alone. Make like a New Yorker and just ignore, ignore, ignore and they will go on their jolly way.
Service- Overall the service was great at check in/out and during dinner. It was lacking on the beach and this is when we were needy and vulnerable. The hotel was virtually empty over Memorial Day weekend (they told us 16 rooms were booked and we had two of them) and there is no excuse for lack of waiter service. I need constant attention on the beach. Ok not really but when are drinking mimosa’s starting at 10 am, we are going to keep going until the sun goes down. Come back and check on us and see if we need anything else (we do). Don’t forget our order (write it down). The problem was that they didn’t let us keep an open tab. After every single order, we had to sign for a new bill. This makes absolutely no sense. There were a total of 10 people on the beach, maybe two in the restaurant for lunch, and we had to beg people to serve us. Big frown.
Overall- I really loved this hotel but not Puerta Plata. I personally didn’t find it to be the type of place you can go out on your own and explore. I would never rent a car here and it cost a minimum of $35 roundtrip to leave and go somewhere to eat. There are a few restaurants within the complex and one night they drove us over on a golf cart but the shopping center was a ghost town and no one was in the restaurants so we just want back to the hotel. Many people just need a chill place to go for a few days and relax, if so, this is perfect. If you want to explore the area around your hotel etc then this really isn’t the place for you. I knew most of this as I read reviews before booking. Everyone has an opinion and now you have mine to consider as well. Lucky you!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on the exotic north coast of the Dominican Republic and directly on the crystal water, Casa Colonial Beach & Spa is the ultimate, world-class resort. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Casa Colonial Beach And Spa
- Casa Colonial Beach Hotel Puerto Plata
- Hotel Casa Colonial Beach