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“Almost Perfect...Hope to Come Back”

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Xeliter Balcones del Atlantico
Ranked #13 of 35 Hotels in Las Terrenas
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 8, 2013

We are still talking about our 6 day trip to DR and Balcones weeks after our return to Colorado. My wife and I found out about Balcones Del Atlantico through its previous relationship with Rock Resorts and while no longer owned by Rock, we were very happy with our stay. We stayed in Phase 2 in a beautifully appointed 1 bedroom suite with a terrace/hot tub. Some major standouts include the meticulously kept grounds, the snorkeling in front of Porto, the extremely friendly and helpful staff (Nicest staff we have ever experienced), the large number of security guards ensuring optimal safety of their guests, and the bar at Porto. We also enjoyed a couple’s massage in the "spa area" which was worth every penny. If you are looking for world class service, consider a personal concierge. They will pretty much do anything including grocery shopping, transportation, excursion planning, etc.

General Tips: Rent an SUV - avoid large SUVs though. Go exploring. Take a trip to Las Galeras and snorkel at Playa Rincon. Eat lunch at the Peninsula House's "Beach." (Must have an SUV to get to Playa Coson where restaurant is located) El Limon waterfalls were amazing. Get out to Playa Bonita just down the road from Las Terrenas - best beaches. Porto is a nice place to eat when at BDA but make sure you get out and eat in the Fisherman’s Village or close to town. Tons of great options in a variety of price ranges with choices like Sushi, Italian, Pizza, Spanish Tapas, Local fare, French, etc. Also, make sure you have all the water, food, sunscreen you will need for your entire stay before you get to Las Terrenas. Driving in the Samana Peninsula is not for the faint of heart and could easily dissuade even the most skilled drivers from venturing into town to buy things. Also, brush up on your Spanish. Las Terrenas is not a resort town for Americans so it pays to be able to speak and read a little Spanish. Lastly, most places already tag on a 10% service charge to a restaurant bill so don't over tip. This is true at Porto as well.

Hotel: The only reason I could not give BDA 5 stars is that they are still figuring out how to be a hotel/resort. This is not a full service resort - which is fine for a young adventurous couple but not for people looking for the Ritz Carlton. In fact the entire property is actually privately owned condos with no apparent financial backing from a large company or investor...just an HOA. They have really big plans to expand into several other phases and a golf course but they still need to focus on the 2-3 phases that are currently open and tons of units still unsold. On a related note, I would not recommend anything on the Samana Peninsula for the family or couple who is expecting to stay "in resort" their entire trip. Las Terrenas and the Samana Peninsula are meant to be explored so if you just want to sit around for a week, you should consider Punta Cana. DR is still a 3rd world country and Las Terrenas is still rough around the edges...again fine for us but might be tough for people used to more comfortable settings.

We agree with some other reviewers about the final bill in that it is really confusing. Thanks to Tina for going through it line by line and removing several items that should not have been on the bill. The welcome packet does not mention anything about the wifi access (which did not always work) nor did it include an area map. Note: The staff is very helpful in advising you on where to go and how to get there. For sensible reasons, our hot tub did not have water in it initially but we had to call 2 days in a row to get it filled. Our unit, as described by other reviewers did not have a safe in it. Regardless of how nice a property is, you must have a safe...especially when you are forced to have so much cash on you. (most of the Samana Peninsula operates with cash only and when they do allow credit cards, there is a 15-20% surcharge just to run a credit card) It took several days to get a safe in our room and we were forced to use the safe in the front desk area for cash, credit cards, ipad, and passports. We also agree that BDA needs a little shop for things like sunscreen and water - getting this stuff in town is a wild ride because of parking, traffic, etc. Ultimately, our gripes were VERY minor but we think it's important to be clear that BDA is not quite there and not a hotel in the "american-sense"...like an A minus when it could be an A+.

Special thanks to Eunice, Maxaida, David, and the entire front desk and concierge staff. We look forward to coming back and are excited to see what the future holds for Balcones Del Atlantico.

Room Tip: Ground floor units have terraces filled with plant life. Ground floor patios also seemed the nicest...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank dbertram7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 6, 2013

Our family of four, with two kids 11 and 6, just returned from a week-long stay at Balcones del Atlantico and cannot wait to return. Our room was beautiful, well-appointed and extremely clean. The pools and beach were stunning. The service was simply exceptional, from those at Porto, concierge, housekeeping, taxi/transport, security...everyone. I especially want to thank Delmys, who went above and beyond to make our stay a truly delightful and memorable experience. Yes, there were a few executional bumps, but overall they were minor and to the credit of Delmys, the rest of the management and staff, they did everything to address them.

It was wonderful to have access to both the low-key, yet luxurious resort amenities and the lively bustling of Las Terrenas. We had wonderful meals at Mi Corizon, Yuca Caliente and La Terrasse. El Limon is a must and we loved our day trip to Cayo Levantado. Everyone we met was warm, friendly and so willing to help us truly appreciate all that Samana has to offer.

Samana and Balcones del Atlantico are gems, and we hope to return soon and often.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Momofsandl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2013

We just returned from a 9 day stay at Balcones del Atlantico, our first trip to Dominican Republic. The resort staff was topnotch from the groundskeepers to the concierge. The grounds were meticulously kept. The villa was perfect (2 bedroom, 2.5 bath, kitchen, washer/dryer, huge lanai, air conditioning, ceiling fans, US TV). The staff was extraordinarily pleasant, helpful, and knowledgeable about all aspects of the area. One of the concierges saw us waiting for a taxi in town while she was on her way home and stopped to make sure we were ok. The food and service at Porto was always very good. There are many very good to excellent restaurants in Las Terrenas--we had only good experiences and meals (followed Tripadvisor ratings)--and taxi service from the hotel was easy and timely. I highly recommend it!

Room Tip: All rooms face the courtyard/pool area and are a short walk across the street to the beach.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank PhilipP410
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2013

My family of five (wife, two pre-teen daughters and 7-year-old son) spent four nights at the resort and had an excellent time. JetBlue now flies direct from JFK into Samana Airport which was a 30-minute scenic drive to the hotel. We stayed in a three-bedroom unit on the ground floor with an outdoor Jacuzzi. The unit was beautifully appointed, clean and in almost new condition. It was conveniently located right by the pools and a three-minute walk to the beach. What's interesting is that some of the minor issues that people wrote about previously have been corrected so I appreciate that management obviously reads these reviews and fixes problems raised. We ate many of our meals at Porto and always found the food to be well prepared and the service excellent. In fact, the staff (and there are a lot of staff) was always very friendly and helpful.

The beaches, though, are the story here. They were beautiful: White sand, aqua water and long expanses where you could walk forever. To say you felt like you were in paradise was not a stretch.

The town of Las Terrenas was nicer (and bigger) than we anticipated and not intimidating for tourists. One night, we shopped for souvenirs, ate a lovely meal at La Terrasse on the beach and then walked back into the town center for ice cream.

The activities made our trip. Our personal concierge was the wonderful Delmys. She arranged all of our excursions and even took the cab with us into town to make sure we knew where we were going (talk about going above and beyond). She is an expert at what she does and made the stay stress-free. We did the ziplines and horseback ride to El Limon waterfalls with a traditional Dominican lunch as a great finish. Both were fantastic. I would recommend going as early as possible to the waterfalls as got more crowded as the day progressed.

My recommendations to the resort: Consider opening a small shop to sell soda, candy and basic necessities (like sun block). It would be convenient and you’d make a fortune. Also keep working on improving: the final bill was better than some had reported in the past but still pretty confusing. We knew the final tally was about what we should have owed, so it was OK, but it could be a lot clearer. Also, have more of a welcome packet upon arriving that details the resort, activities, etc. (We didn't get a map until our last night so didn't even realize there was a playground, etc.).

If you plan on going, I would recommend bringing more cash than you think you’ll need. Upon arriving at the airport you must purchase a tourist card ($10 cash per person) so we were out $50 cash from the get-go, and some excursions and a lot of restaurants are cash only. Keep track of what you charge to the room so that when you check out you have a tally in mind. Finally, don’t hesitate going into town to shop and eat. Enjoy!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Celis91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2013

We just returned from a once in a lifetime vacation at Balcones del Atlantico. What can we say about such a beautiful and well run establishment. From beginning to end, this was pure perfection from the transportation from the airport to the service and the food. Not to mention the pristine, unspoiled beach we sat on daily! Eating at Porto with the waves lapping 10 feet away made us feel like royalty. As did the whole staff (especially Delmys) who were there to serve our needs. Las terrenas (and balcones) is truly the best kept secret in the Caribbean but probably not for long. My only complaint was that we had to leave. If you are lucky enough to go, be sure to try the ceviche and go to the El Limon waterfall. Also, hang from a palm tree on a private beach! Seriously, we have photos that look like our screen savers! Thank you Balcones!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Jon_MichelleB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2013

This is the most beautiful place to stay in Las Terrenas. My husband and I have been going there for three years during the winter months and always have a great time. I love the comfort of the furnishings and the exquisite linens. Porto, their restaurant, is also amazing. There is no other place in Las Terrenas that can compare.

Room Tip: All the apartments are big and spacious with a fully equipped kitchen. We were overlooking one of t...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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Thank SoniaLT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2013 via mobile

This is a magical place as well it is Las Terrenas, Samana.

Great infrastructure, it's a Condo Hotel with very nice apartment for rent. The service of the personal is very good along with the Dominican touch of nice service and simpathy.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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2  Thank Licey7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Las Terrenas
Price Range: $246 - $443 (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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