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“Good value.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Casa Marina Reef

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Casa Marina Reef
3.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   El Batey, Sosua, Dominican Republic   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #30 of 33 hotels in Sosua
st johns newfoundland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Good value.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

My wife and I have been going to domincan republic for the past 4 winters, we stay 10 weeks at a time. We have been to juan dolio, cabarete, bavaro, semana, santo domingo, and sosua. We found that the Casa Marina in Sosua has the best value for your $. Its a 3.5 start with clean rooms and air-conditioning, the hotel staff are very friendly, and there is entertainment everynight. There are 3 swimming pools and 2 beaches. Its less than 15mins drive from the Airport, and is located right next to the town of Sosua, so there is no need for a taxi if you want to do some shopping. Just remember that when you pay 3.5 star prices, you dont get a 5 star service. We cant wait to get back again next winter.

Room Tip: pay for ocean view !
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (161)
Date | Rating
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English first
North Bay, Ontario, Canada
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

The rooms are very musty smelling and very run down, I have been travelling since the late 80's and only once have I ever seen a worse room(in Belgium and did not stay). I know you only sleep in it but we felt very uncomfortable. So I went to the noli rep Felipe and asked if there was any way to upgrade to a better hotel. We had to stay 1 night and did get to move, we ended up at the Gran Ventana 4 star in Playa Dorada for $542.00 more. Therest of the place is in need of some love, but we could have lived with that. Staff was alright, food okay, gerat veiws, good location. Would have gave it 3 stars the room was brutal. So safe to say I will not be going back.

Room Tip: Go to another hotel this place needs a major upgrade or maybe a wrecking ball.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gatineau, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

To all of those who write negative things about the Casa Marina, go to a 4 or 5 star resort and stop complaining!!! Those of you who complain about how many children are around, go to an 18 plus! NOW....

We arrived at 4pm on March 29th for a week and got more than what I asked for as far as our room goes! Got an ocean view, king size bed room and it was perfect and clean. The food was good and we always found something to eat, I travel with an 8 year old and she can be picky but she to found food to enjoy. The staff are very friendly and they love kids. The hotel was clean and the cleaning staff work very hard to keep it clean (Aside from the sloppy tourists who leave their junk lying around as if they were at home, the resort was very clean.)

When you consider that you pay 500$ a week somewhere... Take it and run with it! Those of you with high expectations, pay more and get what you want instead of complaining after the fact!

We like Sosua and will return in a near future. The town is nice to visit, snorkeling is great and there is always something to do!

  • Stayed March 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013 via mobile

Stayed March 28-April 5th.

Had a great experience, overall really enjoyed our stay!

The good- buffet always had something for everyone, we travelled with 2 picky eaters who didn't have any problems finding something they liked.

The entertainment staff were amazing! Very energetic and friendly.

Pools were always clean, and lots of them! Never had an issue getting chairs or a nice spot to tan!

The ocean view jacuzzis were fun! Very pretty and nice to sit around in.

The mediocre- Hotel rooms were basic, no pictures on the walls, no fridge or coffee maker.

Front desk staff seemed over worked and always busy! Check in took forever! We're helpful with anything that we needed .

Location was great for shopping! A little scary at night, I suggest not leaving the resort. The vendors who came in at night were nice, not overly pushy which was nice.

The bad- our first few days were over the weekend, the place was filled with locals. The bad thing about the locals were that they were rude, pushy and always appeared to believe they were better then those who were not locals. They were pushy in line at the bars and buffet.

A la carts- we did the Italian and the Mexican. They were ok, food was not overly all that good. Staff who worked in them tho were excellent!

Overall we really enjoyed our stay. Our room phone did not work but that was our only issue. Maids did a great job cleaning the rooms each day, and the AC worked great! We were in the 2600 building.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Windsor, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

The check-in staff were extremely unfriendly and rude, no greetings or even a smile. I reserved a fridge before we left Toronto. The man at the check-in counter told us there were no fridges – I told him we knew some people (read as, a tip from a trip advisor reviewer) who had a fridge in their room at this resort. He told me they do not have them during high season. I told him they were just here two weeks ago. He said “Oh… I will put your name on the list”. The truth initially would have been better than the lies. I immediately felt as though the guys at this place were used to lying… and so it seems I was right.
The room was not ready so we were told we could leave our luggage in this building and were also told it was guarded at all times. We went and found a restroom to change our clothes, had a walk about and even a drink (served from a bartender who did not even speak to us- he just kind of nodded at ya as if to say ‘what do you want?’) We went back for our luggage a few hours later , and saw our luggage was outside the building and no one was standing guard.
When we went to find out our assigned room the man in front of us was livid. Apparently they will not tell you which room you are in, you are expected to have the bellboy take you to your room.

Our room was bare bones and it smelled like mold (I brought glade plug-ins, thank god!). Two beds, with a sheet a blanket and another sheet used as the cover/bedspread. There was a dead bug carcass in one of our beds- I have no idea how the heck that was missed by the cleaning staff (the cleaning staff are amazing and friendly- we usually tip at the end of a holiday, but decided to leave a present [Victoria Secret body wash and perfume sets] and a few dollars each day- with the larger tip at the end of our holiday). The floor tiles were cracked all over. No dresser in the room. The bathroom was very moldy; the towels were ripped to bits, but we had hot water! There was NO LOCK on our patio door, but we did not discover that there was no lock/broken lock until Thursday afternoon. The hydro went on and off all week, and I do not think we had control over our air conditioning even though there was a thermostat in the room. BUT we were determined to overlook all of this as we were there for the sun and we knew it was only a 3 ½ star. To be honest we are frequent travelers but mostly cruises, bed and breakfasts in the UK and a 5 star in Greece.

The larger beach to the side of the resort was awesome. We spent a day there. There are guys that sit in the shade and rent out umbrellas for ($3.00) for the day. They were funny and friendly. IF you leave to go and get a drink they watch that no one takes your umbrella (they did not appear to have any drinks or food with them so an occasional drink or hamburger or pieces of fruit were greatly appreciated). Vendors strolled along selling peanuts and fruit. We bought a pineapple ($3.00) from a lady and her grandson (?). I think it had passed its sell by date as it tasted fermented. I waited for her to walk away before I threw it away.
The food was horrible. All the food had an underlying unpleasant taste; perhaps it was the oil used as the base of everything. I ate fresh fruit and yogurt for breakfast and the rest of the time I ate chicken and lettuce (the salad is just big hunks of lettuce), coffee and tea (and rock hard cookies at lunch).

The pools were amazing as well. The activation staff were very entertaining, and had plenty of smiles to go around. The towel staff were rude and unfriendly, but we were getting used to the fact that most staff there were not friendly. I maybe got three smiles returned all week. Oh wait, we bought three copied DVDs from one of the busboys, that had been circling around us all week, and he finally gave us our first smile). My partner and I gave each other a look and secretly laughed at his smile because we were making some games/taking bets to the amount of times someone did not return a greeting or smile, and also how many times I was asked to have my hair braided).

We arrived on Sunday, and the first sight of rain was Thursday. We were tuckered from swimming and sunning so we napped in the afternoon. I was woken from my nap by my partner who was urgently yelling “what the hell is on fire?” I woke up and our room was full of smoke and fumes. I could smell burning wires (and/or) rubber. I jumped up and looked around the room to see if I could determine where the smoke was coming from. I opened the door to our room and although our room was pretty smokey I found that the smoke in the hall was unbelievable. I screamed there is a fire. My partner yelled at me to hurry, as I was feeling around for my bag with my passport, then we both ran out the terrace. I ran around to the center of the building where two buildings come together. There were people standing there. I asked them how long the smoke had been billowing in the halls. They said twenty minutes. I then saw an un-pulled fire alarm. I immediately pulled the alarm and nothing happened. I realized no alarms or smoke detectors were sounding. I ran out of that building and saw a staff member. I told them there is a fire in the building and they have t do something to warn the people inside as none of the alarms work. The man said they work. I said ‘no they don’t, I just pulled it and it did not sound’. He threw his hands up in my face and uttered something (I am pretty sure he told me to shut up) and he walked away going about his business. I began to feel like this was some kind of bad dream- there is a fire in the building and he just walks away????
I ran to the lobby, and told them the story and how I pulled the alarm and it did not work. The man at the desk told me – wait for it- “the fire alarm does work, but it is silent”. So now at this point, if I was not already frantic, I just lost all of my cool (the toll of all the lies and rudeness from the staff, seemed to just come together at that moment as a blatant disrespect for their fellow human). In a very loud voice I asked him to “explain the magic of a silent fire alarm- how the hell is a silent fire alarm going to alert peoples to a fire in the building?”. He told me to hold on while he got his manager.
The manager asked me to show him the fire. I brought him to the building. He went in, and came out a few minutes later, and said it was something in the basement of the building, but it was fine now. I asked for another room in another building as I was not going to sleep in that building. He told me I was out of luck as they were booked solid. I told him I did not care if they were overbooked, he had better find me an alternative building, even if it was at another hotel in town. He said he could not do that. I said be prepared to hear from my lawyer. I told him the buildings were unsafe for human occupancy as none of the smoke detectors were sounding and the fire alarm did not work. I told him I would not risk my life in that building again. He finally after a few hours said that he would trade us rooms with one of the guest who was arriving from Toronto that evening. I said so you are going to put unsuspecting people in that room. I was disgusted, extremely upset- and letting everyone in a ten foot radius know about it.
Finally someone told us to talk to Phillipe (sorry if I spelled it wrong) our Noli tours rep. By the time I got to speak to him I was in no mood to mince words. He knew about the fire as the manager mentioned it to him in regards to me. He asked what I wanted. I told him- I want out of this resort and I want to go home, TONIGHT! He told me he could get me on the plane but I would have to pay for the transfer. I told him it is included in the price of my trip. He called his boss (Debay Dillion, ?) on the phone and handed the phone to me. She began right off by saying she had called the fire department, and police station and there was no fire! I could not believe this- I said ‘look I know what I saw, I know what I inhaled, and I took pictures of all of the smoke (so did others as I urged them to do so), so I am not about to sit and listen to anymore lies”. She immediately began to back track by saying, something like “oh that is always wise to take pictures”. She asked what I wanted and I told her I wanted to go home tonight. She told me that all flights were booked solid. I told her that Phillipe already called the airport and there were indeed 7 seats left on the plane that night. She then said that I would have to pay $250.00 per person to fly home on them. I told her that Philleipe already told me they were free, but I would have to pay the transfers. Again, I got another “Oh….., well yes then, you do have to pay the transfers”.
I packed my clothes in less than five minutes and got on the taxi to the airport.
Never in all of my life have I been so happy to be finished a vacation. They put my life at risk at that place. I am terrified to think what might have happened if my partner had not woken earlier than me and had that shower.
I called my travel agent when I was home. She is putting through a complaint to Noli tours. I will let this site know how they respond.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

march 21-28-peterborough-was there 2 years ago & so clean at any time- went back-NOT SMART-then- there was 2 lobbys-stayed on beach side-been going to Dominican for 20 years first place went back to-only 1 lobby-room alright-food alright -will not go hungry-no problem with booz or bars-beach wild but not beach people-BIG cut backs on all staff-told owners of this place putting all their money in to their new 5 star called lifestyle-cater to politicans & rock stars, supply limos & helicopters-first night check in no safe keye-get it tomorrow-requested a fridge when we booked here as my hubby needed a fridge for his insulin-rep said no problem-never got 1 -even would pay-hubby had 2 go to lobby twice a day to fridge in office-also wanted late check out-would not give it to us to many locals coming in-first time anybody there turned down 20 or 40 bucks-u.s.-ckeck in staff were RUDE-no locks on room doors-many lawn furniture broken-IT ZONE A JOKE-CAN JET & AIR TRANSIT-GREAT -massage & pedicure was GOOD-restaurant staff-GREAT-told place is sold-check out sousa by the sea-gave us a great tour

Room Tip: read reviews
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Thunder Bay, Canada
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

Overall the hotel has a great layout...the grounds are naturally beautiful and well maintained by staff. The scenery is absolutely amazing.
*when reading through the reviews it's hard not to comment about them either way - but then this review becomes about the other reviews...so I'll stick to our experience and how we saw it*
The lobby staff is totally overwhelmed when people come in...it's small and surprisingly closed in. Probably if it was more opened up, it would feel (and subsequently be) more spacious which I think would relax everyone...b/c when you get off the bus and coral into the lobby it could send a precarious message. The staff, I found, however, quite helpful and very curteous - I've been to 5 stars in Canada and the staff was less friendly...so kudos to them.
If you want a safe, you'll have to wait for about 30 minutes after your room is ready because upon arrival your room may not be ready (or anyone else's off the bus, so they'll have that rush all over again to hand out room keys etc.). If you are able to relax about it, remember your on vacay; go have something to eat and drink. If you travel w/ carry-on you can go into it and grab something to change into - if you have luggage do the same thing and start enjoying - because you're luggage will be put into the luggage room (which has bellmen at all times with it). The rooms are spacious yet standard - we didn't have a corner or ocean view room, so I can't speak for those...but ours was quite clean, bright, airy with a balcony and we were fine. No, they do not have hairdryers, mini-fridges, clocks or a ceiling fan. I brought a travel haridryer, had a watch, kept the air on at varying degrees through the night and was fine. Also, they will give you a wake-up call if you have an early excursion (or knock on the door as was the case with us as our phone line wasn't working).
The food is fine - not spectacular, not horrible. The chicken is always tastey.
I find the set-up of the buffet ridiculous - it serves 2 resorts and is just a recipe for chaos. There is no table service perse. You must get your own drinks...everything is close - but don't sit there waiting b/c you'll wait the whole time with nothing to drink and nobody will bat an eye. One morning, we sat up top and had a wonderful fellow who offered to get us juice, coffee and was setting/clearing our table. It was the one and only time - we tipped him well, and he was very appreciative.
The bartenders are polite, efficient...we didn't make any real connections with them, but we weren't trying to either - we generally got our drinks and brought them to eachother.
The beach is beautiful, small and very relaxing - if you are used to vendors on the beach; you will not find that here...so your beach time is for you to do what you will with. We did find glass a number of times on the beach - so it does need to be cleaned.
There are vendors allowed on the resort as you walk through a few times a week; I found that I didn't like it b/c they are pushy...outside I understand but on the resort, it doesn't feel conducive to the surroundings...if the vendors were more relaxed (which they will probably never be) the experience of browsing and buying would be better.
The a la cartes were not a big priority for us. We went to one, had a terrible experience and opted out of the others. Overall the serving staff isn't very nice, friendly or helpful...regardless of the transitions the hotel is going through or the language barriors etc. - friendliness and couteousness is universal and can be exemplified in myriad of ways...everyone should feel welcome and it was clear that this wasn't a message the hotel gives the staff to illustrate nor holds in high regard.
We went off-site most days...we are those kind of travellers...we love walking, people watching and found great spots around town - everything close by - that felt warm and inviting. We got our vacation at a great great deal; so spending money outside of the resort felt fine.
The public beach is a must-do - just to see it whether you buy anything or not. All the vendors around town will try to pull you into their "stores"...if not interested a "no gracias" (sometimes a couple of times) will usually work.
The real gem of the resort is twofold: the scenery and the location.
Incidentally, my boyfriend and I walked everywhere - even after dark and always felt safe...never that inner feeling of fear when you think something is up but don't know what...
We had Felipe as our Nolitours rep - he was neither here nor there; have had other reps who feel as though they are working with/for you to make your experience memorable...he doesn't; his partner Jairo does...he's quite pleasant (just a heads-up for nolitours travellers).
I would go back.
I would pay the same price and no more...so if it's a great deal...take it knowing it's a 3.5 star (which actually means very little...there's no 3rd party monitoring this rating system)...if you are paying full price; I'd think again because you may be disappointed with what you don't get.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Casa Marina Reef

Address: El Batey, Sosua, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Sosua
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Sosua
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Sosua
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Casa Marina Reef 3*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Casa Marina Beach & Reef Resort
Casa Marina Reef Dominican Republic
Casa Marina Reef Sosua

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