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“Creepy, dirty and run down” 1 of 5 stars
Review of El Cortecito Inn

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El Cortecito Inn
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Playa Bavaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #82 of 99 Hotels in Punta Cana
Edmonton, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Creepy, dirty and run down”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2011

Following my husband's advice, we headed out to find this 'amazing place' . We arrived in the early evening, and the sun was still out. Well... the lobby was dark and foreboding. The staff was much too casual. We were handed a key and told to go check the $60 per day room. 'Go behind the pool, the building to the left, second floor'. Nobody came out with us, although they obviously were not over worked. The grounds were terribly unkept. Weeds, brown grass, over grown landscape, unclipped hedges, broken side walks and uneven grounds. We saw the pool and it was sitting there in all its dirty and murky splendor. There was a 'cabana' behind it with closed shutters. About this 'Cabana' were two layabouts with uniforms, sitting around, and smoking. The grounds looked deserted. We skipped our way through the broken brick walks and realized this was once a grand place. Circa 1950's by the construction and style. My mother guessed it was a 'Trujillo Era palace' and the front desk staff confirmed it was so, that it was owned by one of the dictator's relatives.... Anyhow, I digress. We climbed the wide steps to the second floor and took to the left. There were these motel looking doors. All gritty and dirty looking. We persevered and walked to 'our room'. Opened the door with this huge old fashioned key. The walls were smudged by something that looked like a bodily fluid, and I dared not guess what. The switch cover was filthy. I regretted flicking it. There were two dirty full sized beds. The bed spreads stiff with dust. The walls smudged. The floors dusty. A huge fridge. No TV. A sink with no soap. The sink was old, dingy and circa 1950's. The bathroom door was beat up, and smudged with God knows what. What else? Yes, it was creepy. I got a cold shiver up and down my spine.
We walked back, past the layabouts, the filthy pool and handed over the key. My elderly mother was in tithers- laughing to herself like you do when you are completely grossed and freaked out. The clerk was not surprised and immediately offered up a 'better room' he and his friend looked at each other, the friend nodded, and he added 'but that room would be $80.00 USD per night... each' . He looked like he had the routine down pat. The sun was setting, we had no reservations and he thought he had us. But I knew I would not put my mother through that misery so we walked out.
The neighbourhood of El Cortesito is an old one. The beach is right across the hotel but it was walled in by a bunch of shacks and hostile looking people.
I am a native Spanish speaker, and I know this culture: this was not a safe place for women traveling alone, and I would even dread it for any one. There was a good supermarket right next to the hotel. There were also a few bars. There were a lot of Germans and Russians about. The atmosphere screamed 'get out' so we did. I am sorry if I offend anyone who liked this place, but I would rather be safe than sorry. This place is an armpit.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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78 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New Port Richey, Florida
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2011

If your on a budget and want to stay in a no-frills place, this place will suffice. Since we were traveling to several areas and not sure how many nights we needed, decided to stay at El Cortecito Inn instead of staying in one of the resorts. Check-in was easy, the manager was friendly, the place looked clean and a nice pool area. The room was spacious, older decor, clean, BUT...the sink was clogged and the bath facets dripped ALOT of water. When I told the manager, he assured me they would send maintenance to fix the problem...the hotel was not very full, so when I asked if we could change rooms on the 2 day...the manager gave me a key to check out a room 2 doors down from our room and it didn't have a TV or lamps., so we decided to stay in our assigned room, after he assured me once again that maintenance would fix the leaky facets. We stayed 4 days and the problem was never taken care of except I unplugged the stopped sink myself! The beds were average, the air conditioner worked great. You have to ask for more towels and they don't have washcloths, so you might want to bring some of your own. The breakfast was fantastic and the service staff at breakfast were friendly and very attentive. Good choices of fruit, fruit juices, coffee, cereals, hard boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, ham... and they will gladly make grilled ham/cheese sandwiches for you. Great location, and secure off-street parking. BRING earplugs for sleeping. A local bar across from the hotel plays LOUD music until the wee hours of the morning! The whole 4 days we were there, I never saw another American at the hotel. Mostly French. I think. I tried to say good morning etc. at breakfast ,but the other guests were actually rude to us. Not friendly at all. We don't speak french or spanish so that is a barrier to deal with. The dominican people were always VERY kind, but otherwise we felt very isolated from everyone else.
You MUST have a meal at Captain Cooks across the street from the El Cortecito. The best shrimp and lobster I've had in a long time. Great views and service, right on the beach,a little spendy, but worth it. We also enjoyed Steve's Bar (close vicinity to El Corteceito) loved the location on the corner where you could people watch. Next time we visit Punta Cana I think we will stay at one of the resorts, but still venture outside the gates.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santo Domingo
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2010

My husband and I have stayed couple of times at this hotel. It is right across the beach (150 mts). It is very inexpensive and if you just want to get to know punta cana and spend most of the day at the beach you can save a couple of bucks by staying here. However, this hotel is defintely not the cleanest one in the area.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gainesville, FL
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2008

Cortecito is a friendly, funky little village. The Cortecito Inn is in a park like setting with extremely high security around the clock. Not directly on the beach, though. Our room was kind of average but inexpensive. Staff was friendly and helpful and the included breakfast was nothing short of outstanding! All the fresh mango and pineapple juice you care to drink with eggs to order, bacon, fruit, etc., etc. Wonderful pool, also.
Downside: power was off for the first two hours I was there which, apparently, is common in the Dominican Republic. Also, there was a country western biker bar (go figure) adjacent which emitted ear splitting noise till midnight and was moderate thereafter. Apparently, Cortecito is popular with young partying Europeans. My recommendation is to try it for a night or two then move on. Of course your experience may differ from mine. Good luck!

  • Liked — Pool and amazing breakfast buffet.
  • Disliked — Noise from adjacent disco/bars.
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2008

was booked in for 21 days,the room we were shown was dirty, no toilet seat,cracked sink.after 30minutes we eventually got a half decent room.after 3days,the manager shouted"hey you" and then told me we had to pay an extra $25 for the superior room! when we said no, was shown room next to demolition site. very dusty!as my friend is asthmatic, it was unsuitable.
when I asked what was the alternative,was told "move out" the staff were unfriendly, rude, to say the least! we had to move out. wont bestaying there again.

  • Liked — didnt
  • Disliked — not as shown on website
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Monica, Ca.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2008

El Cortecito Inn is a very simple local hotel. It seemed to attract mostly Dominican tourists and a few Europeans. I booked using an on line site paid in full and printed out the voucher to present upon arrival. from 18/01/08 to 21/01/08 My partner and I stayed for 3 nights decided to hire a car from Avis. They greeted us at PUJ airport and took us by the hotel first to show us where it was and then back to their office to sort out paper work. Be prepared to be sold an obligatory $1000 insurance deposit for a car hire. Anyway, luckily my Spanish is proficient so I was able to ask detailed questions before I signed the contract. Avis is considered a franchise outside of the US so they have different rules.
Upon arrival to El Cortecito I presented the voucher and they were quite welcoming. I had to surrender my US passport in order to get the key. The hotel has 2 three story structures and 1 two story structure near to the foyer. the pool is located in the centre.
the rooms are very modest almost like a Thai guest house. Very simple, quite firm mattresses, a large refrigerator, TV with no remote, ceiling fan and AC, a nice outdoor terrace with rocking chairs, a large enough bathroom. They don't provide amenities apart from the smallest bars of hand soap I've ever seen so pack shampoo, conditioner and lotion. Also they don't provide flannels
or hand towels so bring your own. I also brought my own pillow and glad I did as theirs were quite stiff. At first the water from the sink wasn't flowing so they repaired that and we had to ask for towels many times before we got them but, they move at a slower different pace there. Just keep smiling and you'll get what you need much faster. One lucky thing is that within the complex of the hotel, Bank Popular, was a proper super market that sold everything from fresh produce to fingernail clippers. So you could stock up on everything you needed. I bought a few hand towels for about $1 each and a roll of paper towels which came in handy for just about everything.
The staff was generally friendly and helpful and had good general knowledge of the area. They also have security parking so you don't have to worry about your car. Their cafe was quite good and the menu selections were simple. Mostly grilled meat, fish and chicken with rice and salads. the seafood cafe across the street was nice with the tables viewing the sea. We had rice dishes and pizza. all of which were adequate and tasty. The service was very friendly and very relaxed. They never push the check at you. The cigar shop next to that had an excellent selection of Dominican and Cuban product. the streets are lined with souvenir shops and cafes. Across the street from the parking lot is an open air billiard pub blasting meringue music you can hear from the room. Bring ear plugs!! Apart from that it was a lovely experience but remember it's a developing country bordered by the poorest country in all the Americas so it's safe to say you should stay aware of your belongings. Use common sense when talking with people trying to sell you things. If it seems awkward trust your instincts. Driving at night is a bit trying so try to stick to daylight hours for road trips. The main roads were fine but the connecting smaller roads were a sea of endless and impossibly deep pot holes. Do hire a four wheel drive if you can!!
We only ventured at far as Higuey to see the Cathedral. And happened upon a major celebration of the Patron Saint of Dominican Rep. There were thousands of pilgrims and the experience was unexpectedly wonderful!

Enjoy, R Estevez

Santa Monica, Ca. USA

Stayed January 2008
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5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2008

We drove into town and, on Lonely Planet's guidebook suggestion, inquired at the El Cortecito. We were shown rooms that were in the process of being cleaned and rooms that had no toilet seats. Finally, we found acceptable rooms and settled in. We were quoted one price by the surely night clerk and given a better rate by the day guy. The staff was very cordial and helpful. The pool was clean, the pool bar staffed and the grounds kept up. We could tell that, in its prime, the hotel must have been pretty up scale. Now, it is an affordable alternative to the all-inclusives that are ruining the area. The beach is across the street, past the trinket vendors and through the pizza/pasta place. On word of warning: lose the red wristband right away. It will make you a target for the venders. Your room key is all the proof you really need to get the breakfast buffet. The off-street parking with a 24/7 attendant is a plus.

Stayed November 2007
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Additional Information about El Cortecito Inn

Address: Playa Bavaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #82 of 99 Hotels in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — El Cortecito Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Peacefull hotel in the middle of the cortecitos town.. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Cortecito Hotel Punta Cana

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