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“Well Worth The Money” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Las Ballenas Escondidas

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Hotel Las Ballenas Escondidas
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#55 Highway 5, Los Naranjos | Halfway between Samana & Las Galeras, Santa Barbara de Samana 83675, Dominican Republic   |  
Hotel amenities
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Well Worth The Money”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2014

I'm a local that was looking for a reasonably prices decent hotel in Samana. I was going to be out and about most afternoons so I didn't want anything all inclusive, since. I wouldn't be taking full advantage of what I was paying for. I wanted a hotel where my family and I could sleep comfortably and spend the mornings poolside before we went out for the day. The pool was in excellent condition and my children spent plenty of time enjoying it.

Ballenas Escondidas exceeded my expectations. We stayed for three nights and four days, from April 17th until April 20th. We rented a bungalow with two beds and they gave us an additional twin bed for my youngest son. It was clean and spacious with a beautiful view of the lush vegetation and water. My family of 5 was very comfortable. There was no air conditioning, which initially made me panic, but my husband decided to "rough it." With the ocean breeze and the fans, there was really no need for an AC.

The hotel is on the side of a mountain and the view is SPECTACULAR. However, this is not a place for someone looking for luxury. There are no TVs, no phones, and only limited wifi. It's decent, but needs some maintenance. It's owned by a French couple and the service is very limited. It's mostly do it yourself. This is more for people looking to enjoy the beauty of the island at an affordable price. The food is OK, but not included. We preferred dining out since we know the city well. The hotel is only a 15 minute drive from the heart of Samana, where you can find a variety of local restaurants. We also purchased some snacks and beverages in the local supermarket, since the rooms have a refrigerador. Breakfast is complimentary, but only juice, bread, coffee, and fruit. If you have a big appetite, you won't be satisfied.

Cons: MANY, MANY steps. Remember, it's on the side of a mountain. We felt like we were hiking half of the time. It's definitely a workout so be ready. Also, they don't accept credit cards, which was informed to us during checkout, not when we made the reservation. This was definitely a problem, but they were very apologetic and we came to an agreement.

Overall, we were very satisfied with our stay and would definitely go back.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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64 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    41
    14
    3
    1
    5
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15
36
5
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 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 (5)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Athens, Greece
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

We were there in May 2008 for a week and we had a blast! The place is a paradise with a small private beach and very cute bungalows overlooking the sea. The french family that run the place were very open and friendly with great taste of humor. We had amazing evenings sitting at the restaurant laughing and waiting for the daily menu that they just improvised last minute! Whatever they cooked it was great and if we ever go back we would visit them again! We did not have a kid then but I wouldn't hesitate to take him there!!

  • Stayed February 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
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Punta Cana
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2012

My father and I stayed for 2 nights so we could go on the whale watching tour and both had a very nice stay. The hotel is not a place for someone looking for luxury, it does need a bit of minor maintenance done but it is comfortable, nicely furnished and the location is to die for. The hotel is built into the side of the small mountain so every day you go up and down the stairs but the positive side is you get a terrific view on the ocean. During breakfast on the first morning, we even got to see a humpback whale breach twice just 200 yards off the beach. What a breathtaking experience! While the staff speaks almost only english and spanish, english-speakers can manage without too many difficulties if they are patient. Make sure to be very clear when you reserve what type of set-up you require ex. 1 or 2 beds, air conditioning or fan, etc. as it is a small hotel and different rates apply for different types of rooms. The food at their restaurant was excellent, no reason whatsoever to go out and the prices quite competitive for the area. We would definitely go back!

Room Tip: As mentioned above, make sure to be very clear when you reserve what type of set-up you require ex...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 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.
London
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2012

I emailed to make a booking and was told it would be 40 euros per night. I thought it was a great price and put it on my to do list to pay the deposit and reserve.

Things come up as they do and I didn't get round to booking for a couple of weeks and then my boyfriend emailed to check that they still had availability for the same days. He received a reply saying that they did and that it would be 80 euros. He replied saying that he thought it was 40 euros. The response he received was said - Hello, the rate is based on the periods it is 80 euros, I do not care about your reservation so saludos, Marie.

Their take on customer care is quite unique, and if this is how they treat potential customers, I am very glad that we won't be staying there as this is outrageously rude. And to double the price for the exact same period for the reason of season when the season is the same as when I enquired originally is just baffling.

I can only assume that they are short of customers as a result of being so rude and are trying to maximize income by ripping people off. From what I have seen of accommodation in the area, for 80 euros you could do much better than this.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2012

This hotel is kind of like a favourite old aunt who needs a shave and a makeover. There are many things to like about this place. The setting is jaw dropping gorgeous. A series of huts cascading down a landscaped hillside. Wonderful touches of whimsey in the decor of the huts - very French Cote D'Azur colours - beautiful blues, pinks, greens. Gauzy material over our four poster bed - bathroom on the floor below - the view from the room was stunning. We were in the last hut with a view of the small private beach. Large chairs on the balcony along with a hammock to curl up in. Really, we thought - what could be wrong?

Well, we were encouraged to be here for noon to indulge in the french cuisine for lunch and perhaps do a little whale watching. Upon arrival however we learned that there was no electricity. We know this happens in the DR so were not surprised. This meant however that there was no food. So we wandered off for lunch at another nearby hotel and returned for a siesta as whale watching was off for the day. At 6PM I wandered to reception to try the free wifi included in the room. Still no electricity. There was to be a big "fete" that night - a full dinner and party - however by 7PM there was STILL no electricity. We opted to go to Samana for dinner. Interestingly other places along the road DID have lights on. Very curious indeed. Upon our return the "fete" was in full swing but we were not in a party mood. At 10PM the music was turned up very loud - we thought the roar of the ocean below would drown it out. Not so. It was over at 1AM but in the meantime the insects had found us. I was covered by bites in the morning. And in the morning - you guessed it. No electricity. As we were not sure how the breakfast included was going to work we opted to check out immediately. Madam was surprised we did not want to stay.

I would like to say don't stay there - but truly - there is a charm about the place. It needs fixing up and it needs to find a back up generator. I don't mind the "fete" going on into the night - had we had a nice meal as promised we probably would have participated. It is quite a romantic spot - but needs some paint and a little upgrade or two. But the idea of the place and what it could be or perhaps has been, is lovely.

Room Tip: Ask for the last hut overlooking the beach - but be aware it is very noisy due to the crashing waves...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Lima, Peru
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2011

An absolutely wonderful little place if you are in the Samana area. It pretty much has its own beautiful private beach (althought not private 'per se'). We had a bungalow, which was very cute. All very simple, but yet tastefully done. The setting is just perfect. Lots of greenery, beautiful, plants, palm trees and the sound of the sea. The French couple that own the place are friendly and offered great advice. There is also a really nice infinity pool and adjacent bar. The Coco Loco was great. They even arranged a private whale watching tour for us which was great. We even went scuba diving to a wreck, which although was shallow was an amazing dive, after a few hours of whale watching. We spotted 15 or more whales. Samana is truly breathtaking as is Ballenas Escondidas.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rome
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2011

I will highly recommend to stay by this hotel. We only stayed there for 3 nights. The location is super, the bungalow are extremely charming and of good taste, private pool and beach, staff extremely helpful and friendly: Marie & Philippe, the two owners: super. They were able to create a small corner of Paradise with an awesome garden and jungle, ideal for honeymooners or couples, silent, quite. All best qualities.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Las Ballenas Escondidas

Address: #55 Highway 5, Los Naranjos | Halfway between Samana & Las Galeras, Santa Barbara de Samana 83675, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Samana Province > Santa Barbara de Samana
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Santa Barbara de Samana
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Boutique Hotel Las Ballenas Escondidas in Samana Peninsula, Dominican Republic. Small and Charming Hotel with Pool and secluded Beach located halfway between Samana City and the village of Las Galeras. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Las Ballenas Escondidas Hotel
Hotel Las Ballenas Escondidas Samana, Dominican Republic

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