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“Eco Lodge - more of a Hostel”

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Tubagua Plantation Eco Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed May 11, 2013

We stayed one night. Was beautiful spot. Pool was not available. Meals were not included. Bathroom facilities beneath eating area - could see through slats in the boards above me to other guests eating dinner. Relaxed vibe was nice. Hike to waterfalls was great - our guide was excellent. Did it once, doubtful I would do it again.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank DRWP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tim H, Owner at Tubagua Plantation Eco Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded May 12, 2013

When creating Tubagua Plantation Eco Village, part of our commitment as the first lodging facility to open in this locality was to prioritize local opportunity by hiring neighboring townsfolk and by building with local tradesmen, materials and traditions. As an important part of their professional development we discuss our Trip Advisor reviews with the staff. After working so hard for - and getting so used to receiving - "5-dot ratings", this three-dot review caused considerable concern at the staff meeting. We thought it appropriate to share the outcome of that meeting with readers here:

We discussed whether we are an eco-lodge or "more like a hostel" and concluded that the former is more accurate than the latter. Our eco-sensitive lodging options include a free campsite, a low-priced dorm (hostel) facilities, comfy palapas that some call "luxury camping" and a rustic yet well-appointed cottage (with more on the way) for those who want more space and privacy. We are listed on Trip Advisor as Tubagua Eco Lodge only because that's what the first reviewer posted. Our proper name is actually Tubagua Eco "Village" which better reflects the different faciilities, built to accommodate all nature lovers regardless of their pocketbook. Indeed, it's great to experience the social repartee around the dinner table where no one is focused on their economic status.

Pool was not available:- we provide a small "cocktail pool" looking over the panoramic view for guests to relax and refresh. The pool is filled with fresh spring water and uses no chemicals or pump. The staff follows a regular re-fill and cleaning schedule that includes one day per week when it's empty. If a pool is a prerequisite for your holiday please mention this when inquiring.

Meals were not included:- actually breakfast is included and this is posted in our rates; lunch and dinner are optional so guests can feel free to eat off-site if they wish. We also provide a shared fridge so guests can bring their own cold snacks and beverage.

Bathroom facilities below dining area:- this comment took us aback at first glance. Why would anybody put see-through bathrooms in the basement? Upon inspection we realized that the untreated, un-kilned, locally sourced planks on the floor have shrunk a bit so that now if you lie down on the dining room floor and peer through the planks you can indeed see into the bathroom below. We appreciate that this was brought to our attention to be addressed. On the other hand, we also talked about how at this lodge it would be impossible to resolve all the peeping-tom possibilities presented by what we have chosen for visual barriers: live shrubs, palm-slat boards, cane reeds, etc.—without jeopardizing the natural indoor-outdoor setting that so many people rave about.

This brings to mind an incident involving one of our bathroom facilities that has only three walls: the fourth is a wide-open panoramic ocean view. You feel like you're totally exposed to nature, something most guests love and find liberating/exhilarating. But it actually is totally private - unless someone intentionally sticks their head around. Or hovers in a helicopter at 1000 feet altitude. On her first day's stay, one guest (whose religious mores has kept her fully covered all her life) not only waited for nightfall to bathe but also draped the moonlit view of the village far below with a sheet! But after a shower or two she abandoned the sheet and even she joined in on the chuckle that we shared a few days later over our all our different notions about privacy. That said, we do pay respect to everyone's privacy and expect our guests to do the same. No pervs here, please!

We were very grateful to see how the reviewer counterbalanced with some very positive comments. While we understand she might not return, we discussed how we actually have quite a number of repeat guests. We took her final comment to mean that Tubagua - like everything else on a good bucket list - something you should do at least once before you kick the bucket! (I had to explain "bucket list" to the staff).

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78 - 84 of 140 reviews

Reviewed May 10, 2013

Stayed in Tubagua Plantation Eco Lodge in March 2013 for one night.
It was really interesting new experience for us, and we didn't regret that we had stayed in this place. Rooms are quite unusual, but comfortable enought.
Hospitable owner Tim, tasty dominican food, breathtaking views.
We also had a tour to waterfalls with the guide provided by Tim and we liked it.
I can recommend this hotel to everybody who wants to enjoy nature of The Dominican Republic.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Olga A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2013

Very relaxing time in nature--we loved it! As for the food, we were not big fans (would rather have traditional and simple Dominican foods, such as tostones and fried salami, as opposed to some of the concoctions served--which was pricey for what it was!!), but the view and atmosphere was phenomenal! Would love to return in the future. Price for the stay was very good.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank edictamg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2013

My husband and I recently return from 8 days in Tubagua. Tim is the perfect host nothing was too much trouble. When we arrived our late night dinner was served on our private veranda and what a feast it was for two hungry travelers. Tim's lovely cat Tommy came to share our meal and became our instant friend. I have never in all my travels felt so comfortable, just like being at home. In the morning we woke up to fresh coffee, fruit juice and a fruit plate followed by eggs, sausages, home fries and toast, all served once again on our veranda. Feeling like lazy toads being waited on we decided we should join the others in the main lodge/dining area for our meals. I went to have breakfast twice in my nightdress, who would do such a thing if not someone who felt so at ease and relaxed.
Our cottage was out of this world has views of the Isabell del Torres mountain we even met the man who had made it and the other palapas.The private shower was my husband's favourite thing. It was over a little bridge just outside in it's own straw hut out in the open. If you went for a shower before dinner the neighbour's cat was there sleeping in the sun on the rocks.
Our experience of all the local people was truly wonderful. Our guide and friend by the end of the week Juanin was the best, taking time to explain all we saw, picking local ripe fruits for us to share on our short walk to the beautiful waterfalls. Going out of his way for us in many other ways. Jacki our chef made some delicious meals using organic foods some grown on the Plantation love her salsa. Late afternoon snacks were a treat. Franklin Tim's manager was very kind and helpful, his dog Tonta spent many days and nights living with us. We even had a pet hen from next door.
If you want to get to know a little bit about the Dominican and its people visit this small piece of paradise that Tim and his family have saved for us.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank muffiona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013 via mobile

Not posh, but everything I needed. I did have the best room available. Great view of the valley, ocean, mountain, and some bird watching. Good food. Activities available. If the all inclusive is not your thing try this.

  • Stayed: February 2013
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Thank Carolshoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2013

My husband and I stay at the Tubagua Plantation Eco Lodge this year, Feb. 20th and 21st. We don't like crowds or commercial hotels. We always seek the remote and unusual. We found both plus more at this charming lodge. The owner, Tim, is a hoot, the employees all professional and trustworthy. On the way to Tubagua, when our driver started driving off the "main" road, there were no signs for the lodge. The land was undeveloped for the most part, aside for a few huts. I wondered what I had gotten us into! Then, viola, a series of palapas greeted us along with the most gorgeous view of the ocean and mtn. ridges. We stayed in the main palapa, a palm-covered, open-air dwelling with it's own outdoor shower (fabulous!). We mostly ate at the main gathering area which has an especially breathtaking view. The food was simple but delicious, with much of the native flavor. We were greeted on our anniversary morning with breakfast on our porch overlooking the sea...two freshly-opened coconuts with a straw in each (yum!), local fruit and something like Eggs Benedict with a native twist. Wonderful. The folks we met there were mostly repeats from Canada, enjoying the remoteness and peace of this wonderful uncrowded, uncommercial hide-a-way. We will surely be back if we come that way again, without a doubt.

Oh, the proprietor also arranged a pick-up for us from the Puerto Plata airport. He also arranged a van-driver and a guide to give us a tour of the Rain Forest area, a small coffee growing and processing area and a walk through the hills viewing the natives digging for amber, both fascinating. Later were ushered to a small hut where amber was for sale at a pittance compared to Puerto Plata. Juanin was our guide, be sure to ask for him! The driver, Louise, who we ended up using to ferry us to various places after we left Tubagua, was always prompt and reliable. Highly recommend him. So much less expensive to have the driver arranged from Tubagua than to take one of the many local taxis at the airport! So, if you're looking for a comfortable, uncrowded place to escape to, Tubagua should be your destination!

Room Tip: We loved the "main" room, a little more private than the other palapas, with it's own...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Barbara B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2013

I have been in Tubagua many many times and everytime there's something different and magical about it. The mountain air and breathtaking view are incredible and Tim know's how to chill out and serve the best culinary delights. You can always do as much or as little as you like. Hiking, watefalls, local produce, music, nature, yoga, horseriding, .... you have to see it for your own eyes!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank kate f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tubagua Plantation Eco Lodge

Address: Ruta Panoramica Km 19 El Descanso Ruta Panoramica Santiago 25 | Tubagua, Puerto Plata 57000, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 30 Specialty Lodging in Puerto Plata
Price Range: $62 - $120 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tubagua Plantation Eco Lodge is a rustic mountain chateau with amazing ocean views, a family-run estate operated B&B-style only 20 minutes from Puerto Plata airport, city and beaches. There is nothing else like it on the Dominican Republic's north coast. If you love nature, fresh air, fabulous views, a cozy bed and great food, you'll LOVE The Tubagua Plantation. See you in Tubagua! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tubagua Plantation Eco Hotel Puerto Plata

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