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“If you wish to have a Dominican adventure this is the place to start”

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Jurassic Park Hotel
Reviewed 27 June 2012

From the lush tropical setting of Jurassic Park to the stunning Caribbean beaches of Las Terrenas you will feel like you have landed in paradise and you will never want to leave!
This really is no shoes, no news place.
You can enjoy your hammock that comes with every room, have a swim in the spring water swimming pool or let Dominic take you on a hike to the secret waterfall or see the "Avatar" tree and later go salsa dancing with Helena (not to be missed!)
Helena and Dominic can help you organise day trips around Las Terrenas so don't be shy and go explore!

I can guarantee you will have a holiday to remember (I know I did)and Helena & Dominic will become your friends.

Room Tip: Don't delay book your holiday in Jurassic Park today!
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled solo
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1  Thank AMMKT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (47)
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36 - 40 of 47 reviews

Reviewed 12 March 2012

Jurassic Park has the potential to be a really great retreat - and as the other positive reviews say, it is a charmingly down-to-earth and unique way to experience the Dominican. However, although my boyfriend and I had booked 3 weeks here, we chose to leave after 4 days. This was not because there was anything 'wrong' with the place, but because it didn't quite meet our needs.
We are outdoorsy Canadians - we love camping and hiking, we spend lots of time in the woods back home, and we are not squeamish about bugs. That being said, this was a working holiday for us, and we were (sadly) reliant on having internet and bright, quiet rooms to work in for a few hours each day. Not ideal circumstances to be travelling under, but particularly not ideal circumstances to stay at Jurassic Park.
I'd like to share my honest impressions, both positive and negative, of these lodgings, in the hopes that potential guests will choose it for what makes it unique, without any false expecations.

Pros:
-Absolutely stunning jungle setting in the hills - lush and green - beautiful walking all over the huge property
-A real 'authentic' feel - lots of friendly local workers, and surrounded by Dominican-owned homes and farms.Totally away from the touristy areas.
-A hostel kind of vibe, very communal - group dinners are held outside and efforts are made to create a 'family and friends' atmosphere
-Owners are warm, friendly, and very happy to help (plan excursions, give directions, etc) - and they have two very charming children

Things you should be aware of (which will be Cons for some people and not for others):
-It takes over an hour to walk into town or to the beach and bicycles are not really an option. So you either have to rent a vehicle or take motoconchos.
-Unfortunately, when we were there, there was a lot of noise. Sometimes until halfway through the night. Workers were frequently outside our bungalow, and there was loud music from an adjacent property, babies crying, dogs barking, motorcycles coming and going. (Not quite the kind of peace and quiet you'd expect in such a remote setting. But maybe it's not like that all the time?)
-We had 2 units, and the water pressure in both of them was almost non-existent. I can cope with a cold shower, but the scant cold trickle posed a challenge.
-There were no fans in the bungalows, and the air in that jungle setting can be very humid. Sheets and towels always felt slightly damp (and they were not changed) and so did our clothes.
-Outgoing people may love the community atmosphere, and not mind having workers right outside one's door/window - but the lack of privacy might be challenging for an introvert.
-The ceilings were unfortunately an issue - as mentioned in the t410g's review
-The rooms were extremely dim - there was only one weak wall light for the whole room, and we actually used headlamps at night to read and cook by.
-The kitchen supplies were extremely minimal - fine for a few days, but difficult to make do with, longer-term.

I am not trying to pick apart Jurassic Park, and we could have accepted all the above-mentioned items if we didn't have work-related needs. But it would be fantastic if Dominic and Helena could address these issues or adjust the website to reflect the accommodations more accurately.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank AliciaMargaret
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2012

My hubby and I went to Las Terrenas in February 2012. This was the first time visiting the island and we had amazing time. Helen, Dominic and children were so amazing...We arrived at 3pm Saturday after a midnight flight from Calgary. Tired but not wanting to miss anything we took up an offer from the owners of Jurrasic Park Motel to go out on the town that night. We had a great time at a few places that night! I enjoyed my hubby dancing as I was just too tired that evening to do so. Helen can sure dance too! Jurrasic Park Motel was what we were looking for. Quite, out of the busy town of Las Terrenas and close to the jungle. Cabins are equiped with what you need for cooking. If your missing anything, you just have to ask and they will try and help you locate what you need. Privacy is what we wanted and so if we needed our room cleaned we would just ask and it was done. Remember you are in the jungle so yes there are bugs. Screens on the windows and doors did the trick as we really did not have any issues. It was great getting to know Helen and Dominic and we can't wait until we have time to visit again this year. Lots of work has been done to this location as I have seen by previewing older pictures and such. We noticed that the cabins are being painted and cabenets sanded down for new stain. Should look great when they are done. Floors are ceremac and cool on the feet in this warm paradise... Had a dip in the pool a couple of times and wow it felt great. Natural spring water - no chemicals which makes it even more enjoyable. Night time my hubby and I would sit by the pool and listen to the crickets and watch the fire flys. Such amazing moments we will never forget... Jurrasic Park Motel is rustic, however if you want to be apart of nature and get a real taste of Las Terrenas this is the place to be. If you enjoy the sounds of nature, colors of the rainbow all around you, a true place of peace you will love it here. In all my years of travel and especially on the islands there is stuff you don't have that we are all use to having. Lots of water pressure, temp. of the shower water is not like at home, however after a hot day in the sun a cooler shower feels better. I have always choosen the places far away from the busy resort traps as I want to be with the locals and not with other travellers. It is always so interesting in getting to know the people in there own surroundings. Fabulous Folk live in Las Terrenas. My hubby and I plan on going back this year to Las Terrenas and have already asked Helen and Dominic to save us a cabin. Again if you like rustic, back to nature, beauty like you have never seen before, RENT this place!!!!!!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank litonann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 January 2012

I love staying at bnbs and camping so staying at a hotel set in the mountains sounded ideal. I reviewed all of the ratings for this inn at airbnb and their website. I looked at all of the pictures and decided that I would stay at Jurassic Park Hotel. I was lulled in by the natural setting and the promise of peace. Do not be fooled like I was. This hotel is awful. All of the rooms are water damaged. The inn keeper told us that they have a problem with water leaking in through the ceiling so they keep repainting the ceiling before guest arrive. The room we had was not repainted and there was black mold and/or discoloration all over the ceilings and walls. There was exposed wires everywhere. The bed was damp and smelled like mildew. Since we got in so late we tried covering the bed and linen with new beach towels that we had just purchased. The smell still came through and they soon felt damp. We ended up sleeping trying to sleep fully clothed in long sleeves, pants, and hooded sweat shirts. See the attached pictures. We were going to change rooms but ending up having to leave the hotel after a fire. In order to have hot water you must light your own hot water heater and turn it off as soon as your done using it or else it will catch on fire. Our hot water heater had been damaged in a previous fire. When I went out to light it the first time I noticed that the air outside of the pilot would light up before I had put the flame into the pilot. I suspected a slow leak and thus was very careful to only turn the gas on as low as possible and not to put my hand near the pilot. In the morning I went to light the hot water heater, the leak must have gotten worse, and a huge ball of flames came out and enveloped my hand and arm. Thankfully I was wearing a long sleeve sweat shirt and only my hand was burn. I had to go to the hospital to get treatment for my burns. I received medication and a shot. My burns turned black and charred and the skin eventually fell off leaving behind a nasty discolored skin underneath. We had to change our vacation plans because my hand was bandaged and recurred further medical care. The inn told us they would give us a refund. Upon returning home they refuse to give us a refund and sent us nasty emails stating that they felt that we just wanted to stay some where else and that we are liars and shouldn't get any of our money back. So we are not only out of the money we spent on the inn but also the money we spent for medical care. The inn keeper will direct you away from airbnb.com's website for payment. This way you can not post a review or upload photos of your stay at their inn. The most important reason why you should book through airbnb.com is that airbnb.com will refund you if you run into problems at the inn. For those foolish enough to still be willing to try a stay there, I recommend that you book for only one night and do it through airbnb.com, because I know you will pack your bags and be out of there the next day if not that night. I'm not fussy, but I expect my room to at least be safe. We tried to stay and make the best of it. We were willing to switch rooms, or see about getting a different bed, etc but after the fire we didn't feel safe and we felt foolish for not leaving the day we arrived.

Room Tip: Do not stay here, if you are foolish enough to still try pay for only one night at a time and have t...
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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13  Thank t410g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JurassicParkHotel, Owner at Jurassic Park Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 21 February 2012

It's disheartening to read such a review of our hotel. Our personal priority is to ensure that our guests have an enjoyable, memorable experience during their stay at Jurassic Park. Hence we are happy to impart as much personal knowledge and information, as requested by our guests, prior to and during their stay.

We are genuinely sorry that this guest was disappointed and angry about her stay with us, and we would like to address her concerns.

The guest was burned when attempting to light a pilot light of a water heater. We apologized to the guest at the time, we should not have permitted her to do that, and we immediately took her to seek medical attention. Understandably, the guest was very upset about her accident and we believe that might have affected her recollection of the events because we never lied or misled her in any way about the accommodation and it's amenities, the refund, or anything else.

To avoid any possible problems in the future, we have since installed a completely new solar water heater system that doesn't require pilot lights (see photo).

The guest mentioned mould and water damage on the ceiling and walls of the room. This has been a consistent problem since we moved in. We have resolved the problem by undergoing a month-long renovation of the bungalow roofs (using a professional sealant on the exterior roof), and cleaning, repainting the interiors of the rooms. All of which is now complete (see photos). Also mentioned was a damp bed. Upon thorough investigation, we could not find any evidence of this.

Regarding booking and payment, the guest contacted us initially by phone, via our website, and subsequently booked her stay via our standard payment procedure through PayPal.
The guest was dissatisfied with our initial correspondence with regards to resolving her issues and subsequent request for a full refund so she submitted a dispute, to PayPal, claiming that our hotel was not as advertised. As requested, we submitted all the facts to PayPal, who investigated the matter thoroughly, and they concluded in our favor.

As we clearly advertise, our hotel is in a rural area of the Dominican Republic in a very rustic setting. Even after our renovations, we are still not a 5-star hotel, and we shall never advertise as such.
What you can expect from Jurassic Park is a comfortable bungalow in a spectacular natural setting, hosts who treat you as visiting friends rather than customers, and intimate access to one of the most exciting and dynamic parts of the Dominican Republic.

If you have any questions about our accommodations or travel to Las Terrenas, we're only a phone call or email away.
Helena & Dominic
Jurassic Park Hotel

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2011

Wow! My wife and I were dying to have a different experience -- we're sick of the fancy all-inclusives that have flooded all of DR. And "different" is definitely what we got at Jurassic. I'll admit I was really nervous going into it, but Dominic and wife Helena (the owners) was extremely patient answering all my questions, as trivial as they may have been. In the end, we had a truly memorable experience, and I can't wait to visit again!

The hosts. D&H are absolutely wonderful people with interesting life stories. Their courage to leave a comfortable life behind and settle in such a remote location is inspiring. Our conversations were thought-provoking and challenged us to question what is "normal" in society. Perhaps it's a stretch to say this, but I feel like I am a wiser person after spending three days with these guys. It wasn't all talking and philosophizing though. They were both extremely helpful and pointing us to places and arranging excursions. They're fun people too! We went out with Helena and her friends Thursday night (which is her night out) and had a great time dancing and watching in awe as her other expat friends did their thing on the dance floor. We weren't there Friday night, which is Dom's night out with the guys. But according to him, every Friday night is legendary.

The area. Walking to the property from the main road, we were fuming. We could not believe what we had gotten ourselves into. Getting to the hotel from the main road involves walking up and down a steep unpaved hill, passing onlookers sitting on their front steps, jumping over a small stream of water, and finally up another hill. Though Dominic had warned me about this, I didn't make much of it. Half way in, we almost turned around to find a regular hotel near the beach, but THANKFULLY, we gave it a shot and kept walking. It turns out those onlookers are extremely kind and friendly. Over the next few days we got to know some of them -- one showed us his farm animals and another walked us to a hidden secret up the road. Truly humble and happy people live here.

The hotel is not close to the town, but we dealt with this fine. You will have to get comfortable with taking moto conchos everywhere (to the beach and to the town), but they have a few moto conchos basically on call and at your service. If you've never been on a moto concho, it's a great way to get used to them! They also have 4-wheelers available if you prefer to drive yourself around town.

The hotel. All the basic necessities are provided -- clean linens, towels, drinking water, running water in the bathroom, small kitchenette. It gets pitch black at night, which we were definitely nervous about the first two nights, but the last night we went to town and regretted not having gone out the first two nights.

Closing thoughts. There are some some things that you should be aware of. I hope these things don't dissuade you from visiting, but instead make you more intrigued and curious about the place.
- Don't bring rolling luggage. Rolling on unpaved roads just doesn't work. We ended up carrying ours all the way to the property
- Avoid arriving late the first day. I'm sure D and H would happily pick you up at the main road if you call. But it gets pitch dark and you just don't want to be out there trying to find an already-hard-to-find place.
- Don't bring a car. There's just nowhere to put it when you get there.
- Wifi is not widespread ... you'll have to go to the main house. This was not a problem at all. In fact, I liked it because it gave me an excuse to socialize with D&H. Plus, you won't want to get on the internet!
- Try arranging some activities before you get there. D&H were helpful in arranging excursions when we arrived, but some did not pan out since they were so last-minute. Have at least one thing set up for the first two days.
- Just let go. If you're used to standard old vacations, just let go and take your chance with these guys. I'm so glad I did!!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank jtaveras
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Jurassic Park Hotel

Address: Carretera Las Terrenas - Sanchez, Las Terrenas 32000, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Samana Province > Las Terrenas
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 43 Speciality Lodging in Las Terrenas
Price Range: ₹ 2,465 - ₹ 2,919 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Jurassic Park Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Clean private bungalows, to rent, set amongst the abundance of natural beauty of Jurassic Park.The bungalows come with a fully equipped kitchen, a double bed (if required, another bed can be arranged), a bathroom with shower, and a terrace with views of the beautiful green tropical valley and the ocean.Jurassic Park is a magical place situated on a small hill, in a tranquil valley, 3-5 mins outside of the main town Las Terrenas.A short stroll behind us there are two waterfalls with pools - which are extremely inviting, especially when its hot, great for cooling off and helping to make you feel at peace with the world.We have semi controlled jungle areas which we continue to improve and make part of the attraction of being here.There is very little light pollution (no upward facing lights) so you can view the night sky, from our open pool terrace, which are mostly spectacular all year round.If you are a star gazer, a writer or a poet you would feel very much at home here.We are moving towards self sufficiency and Eco tourism. We already have pure spring water and we have solar panels and soar water heaters.We will in the future add a variety of electric vehicles for guests.If you have children then this is a natural wonderland providing constant amazement. Indeed, visits from the local children, who are a breath of fresh air, will aid your children in understanding this environment.To top it off we have a trampoline which is very popular with children and uncontrollably happy adults alike.We also grow many fruits and vegetables and indeed as I write this the wife has popped out to our herb garden for some coriander.We hope to have created a much more personal and friendly feeling.We have a great track record of content, repeat visitors. It seems that a return visit is a must, once you have been bitten by the magic and unadulterated beauty of our little oasis.Also for a small additional fee we now offer breakfast (typically eggs, toast, seasonal fruits, juices, vegetable and cheese empanadas and coffee in our jungle communal area. Its a great chance to discuss your days activities and learn the best places to go. Just let us know before hand.See you soon ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Jurassic Park Hotel Las Terrenas, Samana, Dominican Republic

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