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“Home away from home” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Celuisma Cabarete

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Hotel Celuisma Cabarete
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   2 km from Cabarete, Entrada Camino del Sol, Cabarete, Dominican Republic   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #11 of 17 Hotels in Cabarete
Cobourg, Canada
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Home away from home”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2011

We returned from our third stay in our home away from home. we were there for 4 weeks again this year. There are a few issues with this hotel, but lets look at the positives first.

If you want a quiet, relaxing vacation, this is a good hotel for you. It's close enough to Cabarete for those that need the casino, dancing, shopping or a change of pace in dining . A day trip to Peurta Plata (45 minutes +-) will get you more of a city atmosphere. However, most that come to this hotel are content to stay put, enjoy the quiet surroundings and play a few games with their fellow travellers. This hotel has many repeat customers. Why? Because of the people who take care of it and you. If you show interest and care to get to know them, everyone at this hotel will treat you well and you will become like family.
A lot has been said in this regard in past reviews. This is not an exaggeration. Conversely, I have seen that there are some times when tourists behave badly and then wonder why things aren't done at a snap of their finger. However, treat people with respect, interest, dignity and fellow feeling and things will always go more smoothly. I suspect that the biggest problem with tourism today is that people have come to expect a much higher level than really exists in much of the rest of the world. Do your homework, learn about the culture and what to expect and most important, celebrate the opportunity to enjoy the differences. If you are not willing to do that, then stay home or go to a 5 star mega resort that will be the same anywhere in the world.
Now that my rant is over, let's continue on.

The restaurant has an excellent variety of food. Always fresh fruit and vegetables. Yes there is always chicken and rice. That is a Dominican staple. However it is prepared in many different ways. But you also get beef, pork and fish prepared in different ways. And the desserts are a real problem. We always went to the restaurant with good intentions and then ended up with more than one dessert. Too good!
The new restaurant is open as of the beginning of March. It is beautifully decorated, overlooks the pool, and has an excellent menu. We are so glad that we got to experience it several times before we left. As in the past, the Thai restaurant also continues.

The beach is quiet and relatively clean. Any garbage on it in front of the hotel is that left by tourists. Arri faithful tries to pick up after those that can't be bothered to do it for themselves. Naturally there will be some seaweed and sticks etc. that washes up. That is what the ocean does. The ocean is a little rough but we've never found it dangerous. If you are frail it may poise a problem but just exercise common sense and pay attention when Arri tells you to move to a different area. It is always breezy and sometimes windy, but that's why this area is called the windsurfing capital of the world. They hold international competitions every year in Cabarete. If you want quiet swimming, you will have to go to Sosua, Playa Grande or a few other beaches nearby that are more suitable.

Beautiful, peaceful gardens surround the 2 story buildings. You never feel that you are surrounded by concrete, unless you are lying on the middle of the sidewalk, which I have yet to see anyone do here.

Now for the things you should be aware of. Yes, the rooms could use some work. Some are beautiful, some are nice and some are not so good. There are, however clean. As was mentioned by others, there is peeling paint in some, there are rust stains in some on the plumbing fixtures and some of the plumbing does not function as it should. However, These are things that are next in line to be fixed. Be aware that the pictures you see on the internet are not what all of the rooms look like. However, they are working on it. The sister hotel in Peurta Plata has undergone extensive renovations in the last few years. Even to the point of new construction. We strongly suspect that the owners, Celuisma in Venezuela, have been putting too many eggs in that basket to the detriment of this hotel.I believe though, that we will see changes very soon. Rumour has it that the bathrooms are all scheduled to be redone.

Considering what the hotel has to work with in capital, we feel the are doing an amazing job. I would like to mention all those of the staff by name that we have become close to. But you don't want to see a list of 40 or so people here. Go meet them yourself.

Would I recommend this hotel to everyone? Definitely not. Some will not be happy unless everything is new and shiny and they get lobster every night. But if you want to experience the real Dominican Republic, make new friends, relax and are prepared to cry a bit when you leave; this could very well be the place for you.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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324 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Boisbriand, Canada
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2011

We stayed for 7 days in this hotel and you must keep in mind that it is a 3 star hotel. Some peeling paint, cracked tiles and rusty ceiling fans are present. But this shouldn’t keep you from having a wonderful vacation, because this hotel is in my opinion on many points way better than its 3 stars!

Positive:
- Buffet was very good, I’m a picky eater due to a medical condition but the food was always good and warm. Very yummy freshly baked bread on a daily basis and always a “live-station” with a cook preparing food the way you like it. Also the Thai restaurant is nice for a change.
- The hotel was pretty quiet when we were there, but there seem to be enough lounge chairs around the pool and especially on the beach.
- The animation team was very enthusiastic and young. Many people joined in the activities like beach soccer, pool volleyball, aerobics, ping pong etc. They would ask everyone to join them, but if you didn’t feel like it they’d leave you alone. They remember your name!
- There is a daily shuttle taking you into Cabarete. You get “kicked out” right in front of a Canadian bank with an ATM on the outside. In 30-45 min you can walk over the beach back to the hotel, or take the shuttle back.
- On the hotel beach is a small shack renting out body boards, surf boards and kite boards. The waves are really awesome to play and board in!
- The staff is mostly wonderful; there is this one lady from the housekeeping she probably doesn’t speak anything else but Spanish, but her smile says everything!
- Beautiful kept grounds with flowering plants, mature trees and palm trees everywhere.

Negative:
- The hotel puts up a flag on the beach stating the condition of the sea (green=good, orange=be careful, red=don’t swim). The entire week there would be red flag, even when the sea was at its calmest. We were told that on days there wasn’t a lifeguard the hotel would automatically put up a red flag: so nobody is impressed by a red flag anymore.
- Pillows have a not so pleasant smell…
- There is close to nothing to do near the hotel. There is just one bar, a small shop and a massage place. If you want action you’ll need to go to Cabarete or Sosua.

More on a neutral note: the hotel had power outages a couple of times, no big deal it just means no air-conditioning for a period of time. Also as in many other places they run out of cups or straws every now and then. Or the blender breaks, so no cocktails until the new one arrives. The shower has warm water for about 2 min, and the showerhead could use a good soak in some white vinegar. The ceiling in the bathroom leaked as did the tap on the sink. There is small refrigerator in the room, but they do not stock it with anything, and there is no clock or hairdryer in the room. Each unit does have its own outdoor space, either a balcony or a patio with 2 plastic chairs. There are quite a few people from Germany staying in this hotel (you decide whether this is a pro or a con...) also British, Canadians and some Americans.

All in all a great hotel which we definitely recommend for a week of relaxation!

Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Southend-on-Sea, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2011

To start off with - please take bad write-ups from others with a pinch of salt. Some people want five star plus holidays for three star prices - and then moan big time when everything's not absolutely perfect. I'm sure that you know someone like that. For the hotel itself I paid something in the region of two hundred and fifty pounds for a week. Giving the amount that I ate and drank I feel as if I ripped them off!

It's true that there are things such as the odd dripping tap etc. but the rooms are clean, and so are the restaurants and pool - and the beach in front of Celuisma. If you tell the front reception they will send someone to sort the problem out - immediately in my friends case (which was a blown light bulb).

Most of the people people who work there understand english to a degree (the animation team are all fluent) but they have lots of visitors from many countries - England, Italy, America, Canada, Germany, Spain being just a few that I can think of. And it's polite to learn a few words at least to help. Oh - and they give free Spanish lessons every morning!


The people that work there work seriously hard - long heavy days. And of course they try to keep everyone happy - they want you to come back again. They are really friendly - first name terms and hand shakes all the way. I got a hug from one of the ladies that worked in the restaurant when she found out I was leaving. The animation team work very hard to get people to feel as if they belong and take part in lots of competitions. I won the 'Ping Pang Pong' which involved ping pong balls and plastic cups, and at the end of the holiday went up on stage to collect a certificate - it was (surprisingly) a good feeling. :D

The Animation team also eat in the restaurant and will come and eat with you and chat if you're amenable.

I really enjoyed the food - there was a great choice and I tried most things. Loads of fresh fruit - Papaya, pineapple etc and some cooked ones - fried bananas or pineapples in syrup - yum! And there are side stations where someone makes omelettes/carves beef/makes fruit drinks for you. The presentation is very good. And the desserts were great as well - mmm... doughnuts on occasion. They also have theme nights with different types of food.

It may be a good idea to get there not too long after the restaurant opens as although they do make an adequate amount I saw things such as one lady getting three different desserts and then leaving them all as she thought they were all too sweet. But generally ther is lots of good food to be had.

The bars will make all kinds of nice cocktails for you, for example you can have a Caipirinha or Cuba Libre (rum and coke) or Pina Colada (with or without rum) but there are loads of other drinks.

As I said, the beach is great - the sea is warm and in the area of the hotel they clean every day. But I walked barefoot from Cabarete (which takes between 50 minutes and an hour) and got some nice shells and stones. It's certainly cleaner than my local beach (in the UK).

The only thing I would definitely warn about is the mosquitos. They don't bother local people but absolutely love the holidaymakers. And they are voracious - one lady who had never been bitten before (ever!) said she had sixty bites. The hotel does fumigate the rooms between visitors (and also on request) but mossies are tricky little so and so's and manage to get everywhere - and if you are sitting outside in the evening..

I only got bitten twice - when I visited a nature reserve and some caves nearby (think they were called the Choco Caves) but then it could be because I had taken a course of tablets that I'd bought from a local (as in the UK) chemist for £20 and I slapped a lot of mossie stuff on myself. Would recommend taking them and also definitely taking lots of repellant with you.

One last thing - it's true that you can't put loo paper down the toilet - the sewage system isn't quite sorted out enough for that yet. The paper goes into a waste basket by the side. So if you don't like the thought of leaving it there what you do is take some nappy bags (available in 99p and pound shops...) and put your used paper in those, then put them in the bin.

So that's it - I did have a good time and also feel as if I have made some new friends. I'm missing the place already. Perhaps on my next visit I'll meet you there.. :D

Room Tip: Be nice to the people on reception I suppose.. :D
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Watford, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2011

Well where do I start!

What a fanstastic 2 weeks we had, the hotel is very family freindly and this we loved, the fact you was made to feel welcome from the moment you walked into the lobby.

Christopher, Thank you for everything.

Jessica,Cludia,Patcholo,Capachino and Jon, we love you guys soooooo much we had soooooo much fun, you all work so hard to make everyones stay the best it can be.

To our new friends in Canada, we will see you in 2012 save our place by the pool.

Ok to all the people now reading this PLEASE, PLEASE do NOT belive everything you read (as in bad reviews) these are from people that are very narrow minded and want to do nothing more than complain. Get a life.... or stay at home and complain.

Lots of Love Rowenna & Besim England xx

  • Stayed March 2011, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2011

Evevrything was clean, staff very friendly, food was great - good selection ( the coffee cups sometimes ran out but since it is your holiday - don't get upset about it - the cups will arrive in couple minutes...)
The beach is great although very wavy every day, so if you want to do some serious swimming, have to go to one of the 2 pools.
The only disappointment - no tennis court - although advertised in the hotel amenities... (nobody ever heard about tennis courts there)
Great value for the $ you pay!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Crawley, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2011

Firstly, we looked up the hotel on here before we travelled and had some difficulty finding it. We booked through Lastminute.com and the hotel was stated as Hotel Celuisma Paraiso Tropical Cabarete, however it was actually known as Hotel Celuisma (in Cabarete). There is another Hotel Celuisma in Playa Dorada (known on here as Celuisma Tropical Playa Dorada) that we drove past a couple of times – this one looks a bit nicer!

Overall our stay was enjoyable. The weather was very very hot. The hotel was clean, tidy and pretty. The hotel has two bars which were good – we never went thirsty! There are a couple of pool tables in the sports bar with a television that screened sports. The staff put on shows some nights, we only saw one of them and it wasn’t really anything special. They also laid on a beach party one night with a bonfire which was enjoyable. They also laid on activities in the day, we didn’t take part in any but saw beach volleyball, pool volleyball and Spanish lessons taking place.

Our room was adequate – some of the other guests we spoke to had changed rooms several times, but our room was clean and served us well. We had paid for an enhanced room and were a bit disappointed to find that the only difference seemed to be an extra double bed and a slightly bigger room. The lamp next to the bed didn’t work, neither did the light in the hallway outside our door. I think there was cable TV in the room, however the picture quality was so poor I gave up trying to get it to work – we didn’t really need TV on holiday anyway! I also found a large cockroach in the bathroom one night – though this was the only one I found in our 7 night stay. Overall, we felt these were all minor points and were quite happy with the room.

The food is my main gripe. There are three restaurants – the main being a buffet which has a different theme each night (Caribbean, Dominican, Mexican, Spanish etc). I tended to eat at fruit for breakfast/lunch and pick at whatever I could find for dinner. One night was fried chicken (like Southern Fried) which was nice, but otherwise I was quite disappointed. My partner didn’t find the food as I did and ate a little more, though she also didn’t find it that great. The other two restaurants can be booked via reception (though they are not open every night). We ate at one of them and found the food was nice; we didn’t get to try the last which was a Thai.

We went on two excursions – one to Ocean World where we got to swim with Dolphins which was enjoyable and the other to a little island known as Paradise Island which was also good. We didn’t get to go into Cabarete but were told by fellow guests that they had a nice time. They are bars, discotheques and a casino there. The transfers didn’t take too long, but each time we had to go back through Playa Dorada and Puerto Plata so I think it would have been more central to stay there.

In summary, the hotel was nice, the staff were great, the room was adequate and the food was poor.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2011

Travelled here with my brother for a much needed break. When we first arrived we were a bit unsure and so dumped our bags and headed to the pool bar for a drink. We were immediately greeted by happy and friendly staff that asked our names and came up with a nick name for my brother as there was already a guest with his name. I cannot speak more highly about the staff, they were so friendly and did everything they could for us. I know there was a couple there at the same time as us that moved rooms 10 times but I can only assume they were expecting a lot more from the hotel than what we paid for it. I would say it is comfortably a 3 star but the staff made us not want to leave, unfortunately after a week there was a problem with the electricity and water and so we were all moved to the sister hotel about an hours drive away. Although this hotel was satisfactory we all wished we were back at Celusima. Would definitely visit again.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Celuisma Cabarete

Address: 2 km from Cabarete, Entrada Camino del Sol, Cabarete, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Cabarete
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Cabarete
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Celuisma Cabarete 3*
Number of rooms: 170
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Celuisma Paraiso Tropical
Paraiso Tropical Cabarete

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