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Reviewed 16 November 2014

I'm going to put the positives of this review right up front. It's located on a beautiful beach, one of the prettiest I've ever seen. When the pool is cleaned, it's very nice.

Now I'm going to discuss the problems, starting with the biggest one. I could have died. I stayed in a room without air conditioning for four weeks. I relied on a floor fan for ventilation. It was particularly important, because the two tiny beds downstairs were unsleepable, leaving the double in the loft as the only choice. The loft is open to the living area, but has no other windows or ventilation. Heat accumulates upstairs, making it unbearably hot at night, maybe 10° F. hotter. The floor fan stood maybe 40" tall, with an 18" dia fan. It was covered in caked on dust, and clearly had never been cleaned.

My last night in the room I turned the fan, and it creaked and groaned for a minute or two before finally whirring to life. I got up in the morning and left it on low. I returned at 7 PM that night to find it had caught fire maybe 30 minutes before. It was starting to burn the wooden floor, and the flames were starting to catch the bed sheets on fire. The room was full of black, acrid smoke that prevented me from getting more than one pot of water on it. That did not extinguish it. I hollered fire! Help! And the security guys put it out.

I was gathering my wits and realizing that if it had happened just 6 hours later, it likely would have killed me. The smoke would have knocked me out, and no one would have noticed until I was crispy critter. The manager, or whatever, Ida came boiling over, screaming that I had left it running 24 hours a day, and the fire was my fault. I was too shaken to argue with her. They put me in another room for the night.

The next morning I saw Phillipe, and figured I could have a more rational discussion with him about it. As I opened my mouth calmly, he started shouting over me that I had no respect for the fact that electricity is 50 cents a kWh down there. I assured him I understood that, and each time I would explain that it was fortuitous that it was on when it failed, and had I only turned it on to go to bed, he started shouting over me. That fan was going to fail at some point, it was a matter of when. If someone was sleeping beside it, they would likely never wake up.

They did agree to return my pro-rata share of the rent I had paid, to their credit.

Other problems started from the start. I was shown a room with AC, and quoted a price. Later that evening, they showed up and said there was a mistake, and I had to switch to a non AC room.

The place advertises wi-fi. I could not get it in my room at all. At the beach club it would come and go. When I brought it to Ida's attention, she always said hers worked fine, so it was my problem. I finally switched to the neighboring beach bar, where I never had a problem.

The pool was empty the day I arrived, but being filled. After two days, when it was full, it was still green. When a friend of mine took some pics, Phillipe and Ida came over and demanded that he delete them.

My downstairs fan would not turn on, and they brought me a replacement that did not either.

The room has two bedrooms, and I invited a bud to use one of them for two nights. The next morning, Ida gave me a hard time about that our deal was for me only. I had no meals included in my rate.

I was told initially that the rooms are cleaned twice weekly. After taking my money, that changed to once a week. I checked in on a Saturday, and it was Tuesday, ten days later, before it was cleaned. Then it was weekly after that.

After 3 weeks there, a slat under the little bed downstairs broke, so the bed bent in the middle. I told Phillipe about it, and a week later it was the same.

After a while, I get tired of complaining with no results. I'm a single guy, and not a complainer. I just expected some professional hospitality management.

Room tip: Inspect carefully. Get everything in writing.
Date of stay: October 2014
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
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10  Thank topdeckgames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2014

Stuck on the DR north shore after flights were canceled, grabbed a rental car and headed to Las Terrenas, I'd heard it was a cool spot. Nice drive from the Cabarete area that we had been spending time in. Arrived in a very busy, noisy beach town. Drove to the water and turned right, went a few blocks and found the Hotel Palapa. Walked in, looked around, property seemed ok.
Was shown a room, very basic and kinda tacky, like a hostel with a loft. Dumped the luggage, asked about getting the AC going for later cuz the room was stifling and full of mosquitos, was told it came on automatically at 2PM. Accepted that explanation and went for lunch and walk. The hotel is across the road from a very narrow strip of beach, a very busy, noisy spot. Anyway, had a very average and expensive lunch, walked a bit, went back to the hotel, AC still not on, asked about it, got the run around, lied to, dirty looks from staff, insults from other "guests" they looked like the homeless. Grabbed our luggage and got the heck out of there. Luckily they don't take credit cards so I was only out the cash for one night - couldn't be bothered attempting the refund conversation with the lying staff. All in all a crappy experience, as was Las Terrenas. I love the north shore area, Sosua and Cabarete are great, this place I'd avoid. Noisy, dirty, crowded, dangerous to walk around, terrible service, expensive for the DR, not one good thing to say about the place, except the Hotel Caribey on the other side of town. don't bother with this sewer of a town. Go to Cabarete and have a great time instead.

Date of stay: February 2014
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
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3  Thank Al W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2013

The only thing I didn't like was having to leave after only five days. Laidback owners Aida from Santo Domingo & husband Philippe from Bordeaux did everything possible to make our stay pleasant. Wonderfully large rooms in this 16 unit property with big baths, bar/restuarants and a minimarket on premises. On Playa del Palapa one of the nicer stretches of Las Terrenas. Breakfast of coffee, juice and a plate of toast with jelly was included in 2100 &RD per day. Nice pool. Tam-Tam Resturante on second floor and Philippe is the chef who insisted that we eat for free. (We left a LARGE tip.) The owners speak English, Spanish and French and were previously in business on Saint Martin. The stay was enhanced by their pets: cat Bedule, Max the Rottweiler and two frisky chichuachaus. We left early to catch a luxury bus to Santo Domingo which the owners had arranged to stop in front of the hotel. On our last night the owners insisted that we move to a very quiet room and sent staff to pack and move us.The security guard carried our bags and Max sat with us until we left. What great memories we left with!

Room tip: There are no "bad" rooms.
Date of stay: August 2013
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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1  Thank doctorpatrick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 October 2012

My boyfriend and I stayed here for a week and had a wonderful time. This is a great hotel for young people- it was easy to meet other young people and las terrenas has a lively night life. The hotel is literally across the street from one of the nicer areas of beach and a 15 minute walk to anywhere downtown. The beach it sits on can get crowded and noisey, but a short walk will bring you to quieter stretches.

One review mentioned no one at the reception desk- this place is run like a casual home. The owners are always hanging out by the pool, cooking, and playing cards. They couldn't be more helpful or warmer people. We unfortunately had something stolen (completely unrelated to the hotel) and the owners went out of their way to help us translate to the police, file a report, and even made us free tacos =)

The rooms are spacious and basic. Get one with A/C for sure, it gets hot at night and bugs will come in through open windows! The hot water and TV worked, the mattress isn't the softest but what you'd expect at a budget hotel. Housekeeping keeps everything spotless, every day.

They serve cheap, tasty breakfast, and separate businesses on the same property rent mopeds, scuba gear, and there's a bar (One Love Surf Shack.) Everything you need for a great vacation in one place.

My only concern is I think they put something in the pool that gave me a mild rash. It smells like some kind of pesticide (understandable to prevent mosquitos.) After two days of using it heavily, I had to stop going in the pool. No one else had this problem.

We're definitely going back to Las Terrenas, and staying here again!

Room tip: Pay extra for the A/C!
Date of stay: July 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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2  Thank S4rah191919
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2012

Very unpleasant expericence..

We traveled to Las Terrenas 2 weeks ago. What a lovely town, with so much to offer. Unfortunately, we tried getting a room at Hotel Palapa, wich is located in across the road from the main beach.

First, we walked in, and there was no one at the front desk. We went to the restaurant up front, and the couple there, explained that it was 2 separate businesses, but that if there was no one, to go by the pool area, usualy there is someone there.

There is no indication, and preety much no lights on the way there. Once we got to the pool, a french man was sitting watching tv. We asked if if he had a room available, but he pretty much spoke no english, and was very rude. It’s as if we were bothering him.

The place seemed pretty decent, looks like i twas newly renovated, but the overall attitude, made us feel like we werent welcomed at all.
We proceeded to walk out, and book a room at another hôtel further down the beach, that welcomed us with open arms.

Let’s just say, we will not be coming back to this hôtel….

Date of stay: January 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
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11  Thank franck c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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