My family of five (wife, two pre-teen daughters and 7-year-old son) spent four nights at the resort and had an excellent time. JetBlue now flies direct from JFK into Samana Airport which was a 30-minute scenic drive to the hotel. We stayed in a three-bedroom unit on the ground floor with an outdoor Jacuzzi. The unit was beautifully appointed, clean and in almost new condition. It was conveniently located right by the pools and a three-minute walk to the beach. What's interesting is that some of the minor issues that people wrote about previously have been corrected so I appreciate that management obviously reads these reviews and fixes problems raised. We ate many of our meals at Porto and always found the food to be well prepared and the service excellent. In fact, the staff (and there are a lot of staff) was always very friendly and helpful.
The beaches, though, are the story here. They were beautiful: White sand, aqua water and long expanses where you could walk forever. To say you felt like you were in paradise was not a stretch.
The town of Las Terrenas was nicer (and bigger) than we anticipated and not intimidating for tourists. One night, we shopped for souvenirs, ate a lovely meal at La Terrasse on the beach and then walked back into the town center for ice cream.
The activities made our trip. Our personal concierge was the wonderful Delmys. She arranged all of our excursions and even took the cab with us into town to make sure we knew where we were going (talk about going above and beyond). She is an expert at what she does and made the stay stress-free. We did the ziplines and horseback ride to El Limon waterfalls with a traditional Dominican lunch as a great finish. Both were fantastic. I would recommend going as early as possible to the waterfalls as got more crowded as the day progressed.
My recommendations to the resort: Consider opening a small shop to sell soda, candy and basic necessities (like sun block). It would be convenient and you’d make a fortune. Also keep working on improving: the final bill was better than some had reported in the past but still pretty confusing. We knew the final tally was about what we should have owed, so it was OK, but it could be a lot clearer. Also, have more of a welcome packet upon arriving that details the resort, activities, etc. (We didn't get a map until our last night so didn't even realize there was a playground, etc.).
If you plan on going, I would recommend bringing more cash than you think you’ll need. Upon arriving at the airport you must purchase a tourist card ($10 cash per person) so we were out $50 cash from the get-go, and some excursions and a lot of restaurants are cash only. Keep track of what you charge to the room so that when you check out you have a tally in mind. Finally, don’t hesitate going into town to shop and eat. Enjoy!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Balcones del Atlantico, the newest luxury resort in the Dominican Republic. Balcones features lavish one- two and three bedroom villa suites, a beachfront Spa, Porto, a beachfront restaurant and bar, and a wide variety of Caribbean vacation activities including watersports, eco-tourism and more. Get the full luxury experience by staying at the Penthouse Villa where you will enjoy a rooftop deck offering incredible views, an impressive private plunge pool, and close to 4000 sq ft. of luxury space for 6 to 7 friends or family. Located on the Dominican Republic's Samana Peninsula, Balcones del Atlantico is nestled in a lush tropical oasis on nearly a kilometer of Playa Las Terrenas. Discover some of the world's most pristine beaches, untouched landscapes and underwater splendors while enjoying world-class accommodations and amenities. Check out our current Caribbean vacation packages. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Balcones Del Atlantico, a Rock Hotel Las Terrenas
- Balcones Del Atlantico Las Terrenas, Samana, Dominican Republic