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“good with small kids”

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Xeliter Balcones del Atlantico
Ranked #12 of 35 Hotels in Las Terrenas
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 2, 2012

We spent a week at Balcones del Atlantico in mid-late February, two boys under 6, parents, and grandparents. The accommodations were lovely, including balcony shades that could be lowered and secured at night but were open to the breeze during the day. Plenty of bathrooms, dishes, towels, and places to sit. Room service cleaned and washed dishes. The hot tub was fixed after we complained. Across the road is a good beach with unthreatening breakers, lounges, and a lovely restaurant. On weekends, the place (and the beach) filled up with families (from Santo Domingo?) and was noisy, but the presence of young kids livened things up, especially the pool areas. Trips into town on a cab yielded fresh fish from an outdoor market, supplies from a supermercado, and cash from a Scotiabank ATM, with more restaurants with good fish. The kids loved the beach, which has some shade from coconut trees and a cooling breeze. We hooked up our Appletv to the TVs and used Amazon and Netflix through the excellent WiFi connection. Nearby activities included the zipline (don't take young kids), whale watching, and a trip to a friend's farm near a beach. Definite 3rd world feel in being catered to by staff, especially if your Spanish is weak; slightly weak upkeep. One highlight was watching ceviche prepared for us by the beach restaurant chef -- delicious and informative. Another was getting a meal prepared in our lodgings by a chef from a nearby restaurant. Great weather, even when it rains. We took an expensive two-hour van ride to and from the SD airport.

Room Tip: We enjoyed the first floor.
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank rosepol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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117 - 123 of 210 reviews

Reviewed February 29, 2012

Loved our stay at Balcones Del Atlantico. Old couple in our fifties spent six nights in a penthouse property that had three bedrooms. Rather large for two but very spacious and comfy. Loved the bed and baths. Kitchen was well equipped but we only used it for morning coffee and afternoon cocktails. Used hot tub which was nice. Did not make use of the pools though there were two and looked very inviting. Only problem was with housekeeping on two different days. One day they did not show up and the second day I called to request housekeeping and it was not completed until late in the afternoon after I called to complain. This needs to be resolved by the property. But everything else was great. Loved the beach and the restaurant on the beach. The waiters and bartenders were friendly and worked very hard. Bruno the chef was delightful and the food was very good. As another reviewer stated, the language barrier can be an issue but you are traveling in a foreign country where everyone does not speak English. This is something we rather like. It was great to be in the minority. Many Europeans on the island. The Balcones property is beautiful as is the beach. The landscaping was impressive. The only improvements in the condo would be a larger coffee pot and a makeup mirror. The balcony was a great place for morning coffee and afternoon cocktails. All in all, a great stay. Would recommend to anyone who does not like an AI and wants to be away from it all.

Room Tip: Would choose a penthouse if possible.
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Smoot60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2012

My family, including 2 children age 10 and 17, travelled to Las Terrenas between Christmas and New Year and had a wonderful time. The staff at Balcones was very warm and helpful. They worked with us to arrange day trips, recommended a wonderful restaurant that was totally off the beaten path, as well as arranged services such as massages that made our stay very enjoyable.

The room was pristine, and perfect for a family--2 bedrooms, a sitting area balcony and kitchen. This meant we had a "home" on the beach to return to between activities. While costly, it was less expensive than booking 2 rooms in a traditional hotel, and the kitchen meant we could prepare our own breakfasts and snacks

We liked, but did not love, the restaurant; it was a bit expensive and the food not up to our picky New Yorker standards. But there are wonderful, inexpensive places in town that are easy to get to and right on the beach.

One thing we did with the children that I recommend was travel down with a suitcase full of art supplies for a local community organization called Fundacion Mahatma Ghandi. http://fundacionmahatmagandhi.com/FR_FMGAbout.html (If you want to do the same, reach out first to make sure of what they need at the time!)

Despite its natural beauty, and the growth of the tourist industry, Las Terrenas remains quite poor, with high illiteracy, unemployment and school drop out rates. Jose and Annette, who run FMG, have created a wonderful educational center/after school program that seeks to address these issues, and includes the only lending library in the north of the DR--housing 4500 books! We were very inspired by what they had created.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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4  Thank pbsoup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BalconesGM, General Manager at Xeliter Balcones del Atlantico, responded to this reviewResponded February 4, 2012

Thanks for your review!

We truly apreciate your comments and have already reacted to them, as you talked with one of our managment team members during your checkout and let him know about your feelings on the menu prices. A week after you gave us your comments we opened a new allday family friendly menu with more choices for kids, and we opened a second menu for evening time at the celler area with a more upgraded culinary experience.

We would like to thank you as both new menus has pleased a lot of our regular and new visitors! We listen and react to the needs of our costumers.

About FMG, they trully do a great job with the comunity, nice that you did that donation!!

Hope to see you back at Las Terrenas!!!

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Reviewed January 30, 2012

We ( a family group of 2 seniors and 3 adults) stayed at this luxury property from Jan. 11- 16. We were celebrating a milestone birthday. As we arrived we were awed by the grounds and when we entered the unit by the spaciousness of the 3 bedroom penthouse and its furnishings. Our refrigerator was stocked with the items we had ordered. They provided two packets of coffee each day. We stocked up on juice, milk, water (lots of it), cereal, cold cuts and bread so that we could have breakfast and two lunches in the unit. The beach was nice light colored sand and great for walking. The water was calm while we were there. Although across the street there was always security to help with traffic. We ate in Porto's every night and two lunches. The staff was always pleasant ... our waiter in the evening was Pablo who went out of his way to be friendly and helpful. He also spoke good English which was a real "plus". I was disappointed that at the time we were there the only fish available was shrimp and mahi, mahi. Chef Bruno explained they only cook what is caught locally. The Shrimp Terreneros with a coconut sauce and the Nem spring rolls were outstanding as were the daiquiris. We spent most nights in the Jacuzzi … it was so relaxing with a glass of wine and the star studded sky. We only left the property for a short excursion into town. The town was hectic and due to some physical limitations not a place we wished to spend a lot of time in.
It was truly a great vacation. The only negative comment I have to say is very few people had any knowledge of English. This made communication in the airport, on the trip from the airport and with the staff at the resort very difficult. It was a long ride from the airport even with the new road (2 hours). Chavo, our driver met us in the airport and escorted us to the van. He was very pleasant and helpful but his lack of English and our lack of any knowledge of Spanish meant there was no commentary of the beautiful scenery or towns we passed thru. Communicating needs to the staff at the resort was also difficult. We had wished we had a list of Spanish words to help us. Our waiter, Pablo told us they are hoping to teach the staff more English as soon as a school comes to town. It would be a big improvement.
In summary, I would highly recommend this resort to anyone who was looking for a beautiful, quiet relaxing beach experience.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Carol34162
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BalconesGM, General Manager at Xeliter Balcones del Atlantico, responded to this reviewResponded February 4, 2012

Thank you Carol for your review!

Its is nice to know that you enjoyed your stay with us, and thank you for the ideas, we are in fact thinking in printing some usefull words in spanish/ english on the roomkeys, so they would be usefull as pocketcard translator! Also, we are preparing a pdf presentation with photos and details of what you are watching. The rice fields, the oilpalm fields, the Los Haitises National Park... In fact we consider this trip as an excursion!

I already congratulated Pablo as you mentioned him on your review, thanks again for your nice comments, we hope to see you back at Balcones!

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Reviewed January 5, 2012

Wonderful apartment, very well furnished, with a feeling that you are at home. Good service, very attentive. People are kind, happy and try to make the best fo your stay. Beaches are wonderful. Still lack amenities, spa, yoga, gym, tennis courts and different water activities. Food is excellent.

  • Stayed: December 2011
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3  Thank Pieretti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BalconesGM, General Manager at Xeliter Balcones del Atlantico, responded to this reviewResponded February 3, 2012

Thank you Mrs. Pieretti for your comments!

That is exactly what we are lloking for! That you feel home during your vacation, we try to treat all of our costumers as if they were all friends! We are looking forward to improve our amenities during this year, and yes, the Spa is in the plans!

Hope to welcome you back at Balcones!

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Reviewed January 3, 2012

Excellent location, comfortable and beautiful rooms, amazing food at Porto, and a very friendly staff. They need to train their staff a bit more to guarantee a reliable service and avoid mishaps (particularly since it's an expensive hotel).

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank patty0749
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BalconesGM, General Manager at Xeliter Balcones del Atlantico, responded to this reviewResponded February 3, 2012

Thank you Patricia for your feedback!

Since we officially opened the Hotel 8 months ago, we have continuously worked in trainings with all of our “talents”, and we continue doing so ( and will continue for a long time).
Las Terrenas is a new destination and we need to create efficiency from scratch, but on the other side we have the friendliest people in the island, who will run the extra mile for a costumer.
I hope you and your parents enjoyed your stay and will choose us again in the future as your home away from home !

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Reviewed November 29, 2011

I have to admit before writing this review, Las Terrenas was not the first choice on our list for a little family getaway but a friend recommended it to us and we were pleasantly surprised!

We arrived late afternoon and we were greeted by 2 very friendly gentlemen, Ricardo and David. They made the check in process very easy and it took less than 5 minutes for us to be taken to what I call,"Better than Home".

The condo/villa was truly spectacular! We were assigned a 3 bedroom, first floor unit, with a jacuzzi in the garden. Upon entering the first thing I noticed was the kitchen, WOW, I love to cook and this was like heaven. All Viking appliances and high end utensils, better than I could ever have at home. The rooms were spacious but not too big. The beds were so COMFORTABLE, I even googled the bed and linens when I got home...

We spent a little bit of time at the beach but the water was very rough, so we ended up spending more time in the jacuzzi. There was a pool just around the corner of the villa, but we did not use it as we were with 2 little children and it was easier to stay in.

Although I like to cook, we decided to visit the on property restaurant named "Porto" and we were very pleasantly surprised of the quality of the food. The first meal we had was dinner, and my husband and I went by ourselves and left the children with my parents (much needed). When we arrived, we were greeted by the restaurant manager, Franklin. He brought us to our table and presented the menu. At this time he also told us that unfortunately not everything in the menu was available. Usually this would upset us, but he proceeded to explain that because the ocean was rough it was hard to get all of the seafood ingredients as the fish was brought in daily by the local fisherman. So we ended up asking him to recommend was he thought was the best he had to offer, and he did indeed. We had the most amazing fish on a bed of mashed potatoes and topped with squid. Needless to say, we ended up using the kitchen less than anticipated, as we returned for breakfast the next day!.

We really had a great time and the resort offered exactly what we wanted, a relaxing vacation at a place that did not feel like a resort. This place felt like home but better.

If I may, I would like to add something regarding the previous comment: My husband is more adventurous than I and he decided we have lunch in the little adjacent town. Unfortunately it seemed like everything closes for lunch at the time we like to eat and we ended up stopping a little beachside restaurant called Mojito. We asked if the fish was fresh and the waitress assured us it was, so we ordered "Mero" to our awful surprise, the fish that was served to us was a farm grown fish that was of very bad quality, they called it "Mero Basa" We ended up returning it and eating chicken, which was alright. Julio G mentions helping the local community and I agree but what from what I can determine, most of the restaurants and business' have French or Itallian names, and Mojito was owned by a Cuban. So if we are looking at local economy, I would much rather pay a little more for a great meal at a place that helps the locals by serving REAL fish, than paying less for a fish bought at the local supermarket...

Room Tip: Ask for building 14, it's close to the beach and pool but not right on the main road, so very pe...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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7  Thank Jennifer D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BalconesGM, General Manager at Xeliter Balcones del Atlantico, responded to this reviewResponded February 3, 2012

Saludos Jennifer!

Thank you for having chosen Balcones as your place in Las Terrenas!, we appreciate your comments!
We are pleased to know that you enjoyed your gastronomic experience at Porto as we understand that a real holiday must be attached to a great culinary experience, and it’s great to get your feedback and appreciation.
Hope to see you back at Balcones!

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Additional Information about Xeliter Balcones del Atlantico

Address: Las Terrenas - Portillo Road KM. 5, Las Terrenas 32000, Dominican Republic (Formerly Balcones del Atlantico)
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Samana Province > Las Terrenas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Las Terrenas
#5 Family Hotel in Las Terrenas
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Las Terrenas
Price Range: $222 - $594 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Xeliter Balcones del Atlantico 4.5*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Xeliter Balcones del Atlántico, the newest luxury resort in the Dominican Republic. Balcones features lavish one- two and three bedroom villa suites, Porto, a beachfront restaurant and bar, and a wide variety of Caribbean vacation activities including watersports, eco-tourism and more. Get the full luxury experience by staying at the Penthouse Villa where you will enjoy a rooftop deck offering incredible views, an impressive private plunge pool, and close to 4000 sq ft. of luxury space for 6 to 7 friends or family. Located on the Dominican Republic's Samaná Peninsula, Balcones del Atlántico is nestled in a lush tropical oasis on nearly a kilometer of Playa Las Terrenas. Discover some of the world's most pristine beaches, untouched landscapes and underwater splendors while enjoying world-class accommodations and amenities. Check out our current Caribbean vacation packages. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Balcones Del Atlantico, a Rock Hotel Las Terrenas
Xeliter Balcones Del Atlantico Las Terrenas, Samana, Dominican Republic

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