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“Beautiful Resort - Gorgeous Beaches” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Balcones del Atlantico

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Balcones del Atlantico
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   Las Terrenas Beach, Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #13 of 33 hotels in Las Terrenas
Tarrytown, New York
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Beautiful Resort - Gorgeous Beaches”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

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!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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126 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (43)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Durham, North Carolina, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

We just returned from a once in a lifetime vacation at Balcones del Atlantico. What can we say about such a beautiful and well run establishment. From beginning to end, this was pure perfection from the transportation from the airport to the service and the food. Not to mention the pristine, unspoiled beach we sat on daily! Eating at Porto with the waves lapping 10 feet away made us feel like royalty. As did the whole staff (especially Delmys) who were there to serve our needs. Las terrenas (and balcones) is truly the best kept secret in the Caribbean but probably not for long. My only complaint was that we had to leave. If you are lucky enough to go, be sure to try the ceviche and go to the El Limon waterfall. Also, hang from a palm tree on a private beach! Seriously, we have photos that look like our screen savers! Thank you Balcones!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Greenbush, Michigan
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

This is the most beautiful place to stay in Las Terrenas. My husband and I have been going there for three years during the winter months and always have a great time. I love the comfort of the furnishings and the exquisite linens. Porto, their restaurant, is also amazing. There is no other place in Las Terrenas that can compare.

Room Tip: All the apartments are big and spacious with a fully equipped kitchen. We were overlooking one of t...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Top Contributor
154 reviews 154 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
108 helpful votes 108 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013 via mobile

This is a magical place as well it is Las Terrenas, Samana.

Great infrastructure, it's a Condo Hotel with very nice apartment for rent. The service of the personal is very good along with the Dominican touch of nice service and simpathy.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

A beautiful resort! Would very much like to thank the entire staff especially - Delmys, Darling, Tina, Maria Luis, Luis and Aneylo from Porto. We stayed in a gorgeous 3 bedroom villa with all kitchen appliances, several bathrooms, large dining area and living room, had a roof top with jacuzzi.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rutherford, New Jersey
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

Stayed at Balcones del Atlantico to attend my cousin's wedding and I was literally "WOW'D" upon entering our room. Each buiding consists of 6 large units, with the top floor adding rooftop terraces with hot tubs and sun rooms. The kitchen is SICK for those of you that appreciate that kind of thing and enjoy cooking in.

Great experience. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

Our family of six spent seven days and nights at Balcones; it was a long week.

Balcones offers tremendous value: the apartments are spacious and well-appointed, the beach is attractive and allows for long walks (a rarity in the Caribbean), and the Samana region is a great destination with a lot of fun excursions, and easy airport access.

The problem with Balcones is that it has not yet figured out how to be a hotel, despite over a year of trying. Service is friendly but slipshod. Cool towels are handed out at check in but are not collected. Keys were not ready. There was no telephone or safe in the room; the telephone was ultimately hooked up; the safe never arrived. It took three days to get wifi in the room. The grocery list faxed in advance was only partially satisfied. Taxis didn't show up at the appointed times, and the front desk frequently does not answer the phone. Housekeeping is inconsistent-- beds are made but shampoo and other items are not replaced. Although Eunice and Alba were great at stepping in and addressing these items, they should have been handled properly the first time.

At Porto, the (ONLY) restaurant on site, breakfasts are inconsistent: some mornings there was low fat yogurt, other days none. There was no juice for three days (one had to order pineapple syrup from the bar); the juice machine miraculously appeared on Tuesday but had inexplicably disappeared by Saturday. Lunch and dinner were uneven-- sometimes the food was under-cooked, other times it was over-cooked. Identical meals were delivered with starkly different portions. One day the Thai salad was executed flawlessly with lots of tender beef strips cooked perfectly; other days the salad was delivered with a few small pieces of tough and chewy, over-cooked beef.

These items are hotel management 101, and there is no excuse for not getting them right.

Additionally, because of the lack of being a "real" hotel, Balcones offers very little in the range of on-site activities. There are 2 sea kayaks, a rarely-used volleyball court and some masks and snorkels, but that's really it. No tennis courts, sailboats, bocce courts. For couples and families with young children that's great; but for a family with four teen boys, it was fairly brutal. The excursions were fun (we did zip lining and el limon waterfalls) but I really think families with tweens and teens are better of at Club Med in Punta Cana, or perhaps better off staying closer to Las Terranes, as the isolation from the town and the poor food at Porto mean that every meal required a trip into town via local transportation (a pickup truck with benches in the back -- 50 pesos one way) or a taxi ($10 one way).

I will say that town access was a great plus on this trip. Having stayed at several resorts in Punta Cana that feel like a docked-cruise ship, a visit to Samana really feels like you are in a different country. English-speaking was rare, but that's part of why one goes away, so make sure you pack a language guide, and as others have recommended, plenty of cash.

In sum, in order for Balcones to be a true top level destination it has to: 1) work out its multiple service issues; 2) improve meal consistency and quality at Porto; 3) offer more activities geared to families (I stress this not because we are a family, but because the nature of the accommodations are going to appeal naturally to that demographic); and 3) offer greater convenience (like an evening shuttle bus) into town; otherwise most visitors who want the Samana experience are probably best off at the Hotel Alisei.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maxaida M, General Manager at Balcones del Atlantico, responded to this review, March 2, 2013
Dear Customer,

Thank you for visiting Balcones del Atlántico. We sincerely appreciate having you as a guest in our property, and would like to thank you for providing detailed feedback regarding your recent stay. In our efforts to continually improve operations and exceed guest expectations, your comments are not only important, but it is critical to our continuous improvement.

Please accept my apologies for the problems you encountered. We look forward to the opportunity to host you in a near future, and again, thank you for sharing your vacation experience on TripAdvisor.

Sincerely,



Maxaida Marte
General Manager
Balcones del Atlántico
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Balcones del Atlantico

Address: Las Terrenas Beach, Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Samana Province > Las Terrenas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Las Terrenas
#6 Family Hotel in Las Terrenas
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Las Terrenas
#12 Romantic Hotel in Las Terrenas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Balcones del Atlantico 4.5*
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

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