Following my husband's advice, we headed out to find this 'amazing place' . We arrived in the early evening, and the sun was still out. Well... the lobby was dark and foreboding. The staff was much too casual. We were handed a key and told to go check the $60 per day room. 'Go behind the pool, the building to the left, second floor'. Nobody came out with us, although they obviously were not over worked. The grounds were terribly unkept. Weeds, brown grass, over grown landscape, unclipped hedges, broken side walks and uneven grounds. We saw the pool and it was sitting there in all its dirty and murky splendor. There was a 'cabana' behind it with closed shutters. About this 'Cabana' were two layabouts with uniforms, sitting around, and smoking. The grounds looked deserted. We skipped our way through the broken brick walks and realized this was once a grand place. Circa 1950's by the construction and style. My mother guessed it was a 'Trujillo Era palace' and the front desk staff confirmed it was so, that it was owned by one of the dictator's relatives.... Anyhow, I digress. We climbed the wide steps to the second floor and took to the left. There were these motel looking doors. All gritty and dirty looking. We persevered and walked to 'our room'. Opened the door with this huge old fashioned key. The walls were smudged by something that looked like a bodily fluid, and I dared not guess what. The switch cover was filthy. I regretted flicking it. There were two dirty full sized beds. The bed spreads stiff with dust. The walls smudged. The floors dusty. A huge fridge. No TV. A sink with no soap. The sink was old, dingy and circa 1950's. The bathroom door was beat up, and smudged with God knows what. What else? Yes, it was creepy. I got a cold shiver up and down my spine.
We walked back, past the layabouts, the filthy pool and handed over the key. My elderly mother was in tithers- laughing to herself like you do when you are completely grossed and freaked out. The clerk was not surprised and immediately offered up a 'better room' he and his friend looked at each other, the friend nodded, and he added 'but that room would be $80.00 USD per night... each' . He looked like he had the routine down pat. The sun was setting, we had no reservations and he thought he had us. But I knew I would not put my mother through that misery so we walked out.
The neighbourhood of El Cortesito is an old one. The beach is right across the hotel but it was walled in by a bunch of shacks and hostile looking people.
I am a native Spanish speaker, and I know this culture: this was not a safe place for women traveling alone, and I would even dread it for any one. There was a good supermarket right next to the hotel. There were also a few bars. There were a lot of Germans and Russians about. The atmosphere screamed 'get out' so we did. I am sorry if I offend anyone who liked this place, but I would rather be safe than sorry. This place is an armpit.
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- Also Known As:
- El Cortecito Hotel Punta Cana