Our flight out of Montreal had a short delay so we didn't arrive in Samana until 11pm. Samana airport (el Catey) is very small and hassle free. We were off the aircraft, through customs and out of the airport within a half an hour. Our hotel had arranged for a taxi to meet us and the driver was there. We were into our hotel by midnight. We were staying at el Paseo, a residence apartment hotel right downtown las Terrenas. On arrival at the hotel the driver took us to the reception which was manned by security staff. All of our details were there and the security ushered us to our room.
Intitial impression was very good. Although older and showing it's age a bit the room was very clean and well maintained. The extra welcome touches like a vase of fresh flowers, towels on the beds twisted into swan shapes and sprinkled with fresh flower petals and fresh flower petals on the toilet paper in the bathroom were nice. We were staying for five weeks so had reserved a duplex. This had 2 single beds at the entrance, a good size bathroom, a sitting area with a couch and an easy chair, a TV, a kitchenette and a large balcony with dining table on the main floor. The kitchenette consisted of a counter with sink and a 4 burned propane stove with a good size under the counter fridge. There was a fairly steep set of stairs going up to a good size sleeping loft with a king size bed. Lots of room for a longer stay. The hotel reception and maintenance staffs were all very pleasant and helpful and the maids were super good. Everyone always had a smile and seemed to really enjoy working there and would go out of their way to make sure you had an enjoyable stay. Of course when you are staying for five weeks you don't really need the maid service every day so we would just leave them a note telling them what we needed, if anything.
The grounds were well maintained and we noticed that on the buildings they actually practised preventative maintenance, which is not usual for the Caribbean. There is a good size pool with lots of loungers and beach towels for use at the pool or to take to the beach were provided as well.
There was also a pool bar in operation while we were there and this caused the only problem we had. If you give a Dominican access to a noise maker like a radio they automatically play it as loud as it will go. On about the third day of our stay the bar staff turned on the radio at noon so loud that even in the room with windows closed and air conditioner on it was impossible to get away from the noise. The bed on the wooden floor of the sleeping loft actually vibrated to the bass. Sitting on the balcony to eat was impossible so we went across the road to a restaurant for supper and we could still hear the radio over there - 100 meters away. I had asked the bar staff a couple of times to turn it down but they just shrugged their shoulders and pointed out that there were people around that wanted the music. At no time were there more than 5 or 6 people around the pool so I guess the concept is that if two bar tenders want to blast away all day on their noise makers everyone else in the hotel has to put up with it. It was so bad that we were contemplating moving if it did not get better, and that would have been a real shame because we totally enjoyed our stay there except for this problem. I did mention it to the manager the next day and after that it improved somewhat but whenever a certain female bar tender was there the volume seem to creep up with the more beer she drank.
The el Paseo advertises itself as a "residence" hotel and if I rent a residence I want peace and quiet and the ability to control my own environment. There is a huge difference between ambience and ignorance and that just wasn't understood. A quiet word with the manager tends to fix things up though, but I urge him to be proactive on this. I would like to rate this hotel as "excellent", but am going to have to go with "very Good".
All in all the stay was good value for the money. I can't comment on short term stays but the monthly rate is really good. The hotel is excellently located right in the heart of the tourist center and is within a few minutes of many markets, restaurants, delis, a French bakery and so on. The beach is just a short two or three minutes away and is great. The las Terrenas beach is about 10 kms long and is absolutely safe everywhere.
All rooms are good. All duplexes are on third floor. Some of the suites have screens - ask before...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.