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Do you think it is necessary to rent a car in Cabarete?

Paducah, Kentucky
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Do you think it is necessary to rent a car in Cabarete?

My husband and I are hoping for a romantic setting. We are looking at staying at a house called the Pink Flamingo in a neighborhood of four near the Leone villas. Would we be able to walk to plenty of restaurants at night and a grocery? Are taxis pretty cheap to where the restaurants are or are restaurants far away from this home? Would you rent a car, walk, or just rely on taxis? The property manager provides transportation to and from the airport. Do you think it would be safe to stay in one of these homes? They have a guard at night?

Cabarete, Dominican...
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1. Re: Do you think it is necessary to rent a car in Cabarete?

Tiffany,

The beach restaurants and other good restaurants in the area are not within walking distance of Pink Flamingo. I think Frank, the owner of Villa Leone, owns this vila too. If it is him, I believe he has a driver that you can use when you need to go out, but better check directly with him.

Otherwise, if I were you, I would take cabs. A cab may cost you around USD 5-6 each. If you were to rent a car, you would have to pay for parking. It's quite difficult to find parking in Cabarete beach. Driving here, unless necessary, is not a very good idea. You'll see what I mean once you get here. Finally, a rental car if you are going to use it all day may justify the cost, but if it is going to be sitting at the villa most of the day, it'll be a waste of money.

On your question about safety, I understand that these villas have a security guard all night.

Silvia

Edited: 9:12 pm, February 08, 2012
Paducah, Kentucky
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2. Re: Do you think it is necessary to rent a car in Cabarete?

Thanks, Silvia.

We will use cabs or the driver if it is part of the rental. Any favorite restaurants? We love good food.

Cabarete, Dominican...
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3. Re: Do you think it is necessary to rent a car in Cabarete?

There are tons of good restaurants in town, some more pricey than others.

For pricey but excellent restaurants, check Otra Cosa (in La Punta) and Bliss (Callejon de la Loma); Maraja (at the Tangerine Palace on Bozo Beach) and Miro on Cabarete Beach.

Moderate prices but still excellent: Viet Cafe (off the beach), Chez Arsenio (in Perla Marina), Aqua (at Millenium Resort).

Inexpensive but still excellent: Gordito's Fresh Mex (at Ocean Dream Plaza), Pomodo (on Cabarete Beach), Lodos D'Enfrente (Callejon de la Loma)

I'm mentioning restaurants where I have eaten at one time or another and I like.

Many members here love "La Casita de Papi" on the beach for their shrimps. We went to this restaurant a few times, found it very expensive, terrible service and we didn't particularly like their food. But check it out, you may like it.

There is also a rather new restaurant on Cabarete Beach, the Emerald Club. We ate there a couple of weeks ago and found the food to be fantastic. It's very pricey (not the food but drinks) and the service lacking. But the food was excellent.

There is also Resto 21 (at Casa Veintiuno) in Sosua. A very expensive restaurant which I understand is superb. We haven't visited yet. You may need to make reservations.

I should also mention the Castle Club (also very pricey, up in the mountains) but you will need a few more couples to join you. They work on reservations only and a group of six minimum.

Silvia

Isle of Man
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4. Re: Do you think it is necessary to rent a car in Cabarete?

Silvia, you are the only other person that I've heard from who agrees with me about Papi's! I ate there twice and had average food at above average price and below average service on both occasions! The first time I ate there and didn't enjoy it, I put it down to being a 'one off' because I'd heard rave reviews. So I went a second time, on a different trip and had even worse service. I think they gear themselves up to large groups or families. I was left very underwhelmed.

Aqua is excellent. In particular, go there for a lovely lunch when you can make the most of the view.

The restaurant on the beach at the Hotel Villa Taina (can't recall the restaurant name) is very good and a reasonable price. We dined there on a Friday when they were doing a deal on shrimps or lobster. I had an excellent lobster.

Voyvoy is a good place to eat & drink at very reasonable prices.

A bit higher in price, Restaurant Al Porto at the Sosua Ocean Village is top class. Eating excellent food while over looking the infinity pool is just lovely!

flickr.com/photos/…

The restaurant at Embocca is excellent too and as you will be using a vehicle anyway, you may as well head there one night. As I recall, it is slightly above average in price but well above average in quality.

cabarete
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5. Re: Do you think it is necessary to rent a car in Cabarete?

Before you order in any restaurant, check the fine print on the bottom. Places link Kahunna's include the 26% tax and legal. Others like Jose O'Shea's and Emerald do not, leading to a surprise large hike in the bill. Add 26% and a 10-15% tip and your $1000 peso meal ($30) became $1500 pesos. Now here is the rub. The 26% is two parts. 16% is actual VAT tax. The 10% is a government mandated tip called a "legale" and is to be collected and given to the staff at the end of the month. In most cases in the DR the restaurants do not pass this on but pocket it. The gov. recently announced they will try to catch the cheats. I have asked various waiters on the beach - most will tell you (while looking over their shoulders) they do not get a peso of it. If they complain they are fired. I could name most of the restaurants on the beach but do your own research. My wife and I do not eat at any place where they do not include the 26% in the menu price. If we all did this things might change. Most restaurants do not care as they count on tourists who they think they can afford to offend as they do not live around here.

Cabarete, Dominican...
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6. Re: Do you think it is necessary to rent a car in Cabarete?

I agree on checking restaurant prices to see if the 26 % is included or not to avoid a big surprise. But don't discard a restaurant because you don't see the, included in the menu. Aqua's menu says taxes are not included. Yet, I ate there three times in December and wasn't charged the taxes separately.

Whether included or nor, you are paying the taxes one way or the other. Both sales tax and service tax are mandatory.

While the sales tax is mandatory, the service tax is also mandatory for hospitality businesses including accommodations.

Going back to good restaurants, I agree with Keith about Sosua Ocean Village (check my review). I haven't done dinner there but several lunches and the view is fantastic. Embocca is a good place to go too even for a drink during the day.

Silvia

Rochester, Minnesota
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7. Re: Do you think it is necessary to rent a car in Cabarete?

My husband and I will be in Cabarete with our 3 children. Are there taxis available that can accommodate 5 people?

cabarete
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8. Re: Do you think it is necessary to rent a car in Cabarete?

Taxi vans hold about 8 people so no worries! And the Toyota taxi's the DR people put 8 and more people in one LOL

9. Re: Do you think it is necessary to rent a car in Cabarete?

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