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Reviewed March 20, 2016 via mobile

My impression of DR had always been big resorts with loud families on cheap holidays. Our visit to Las Terrenas changed this perspective entirely. Our stay at Gilles' stunning guesthouse was absolute perfection.

Set up high in the hills, about a 15min drive from town, in Parque Las Terrenas, sits former fashion photographer Gilles' dream house. He built it (with 3 guest rooms + his own residence) for himself and then decided to open it up to visitors.

Every detail has been considered and fans of design will enjoy taking in Gilles' colourful French take on tropical interiors. The host himself is provides great charm and lots of laughs, which is complimented by the helpful and dedicated staff and entertaining troop of friendly pets.

And the view. On one side you have mountains and jungles and the other the sea. It really is beautiful.

Breakfast is a delicious spread of fruit salad, baguette, cheeses, juice, coffee/tea and eggs to order, all served up by the lovely Maria.

The pool is good for laps and the deck perfect for lounging with a great book.

It's not ideal for those wishing to party into the night in town - you have to have a car and the drive in can be tricky with some very steep hills. However if you want to explore a beautiful part of the island, chill out on pretty beaches and go home for a gorgeous peaceful sleep every night, definitely book in with Monsieur Gilles.

Stayed: January 2016, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Chloe M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2016

Casa de Gilles is not your everyday B&B. And I am not sure if I can do it justice. All you need do is read the review dated January 26, 2015, just below by Adam from Brooklyn to understand our experience and feelings.
You are the guest of Gilles Bouyer at his hilltop villa. You are about 100m above sea level with an expansive view of the surrounding valleys and hills, plus the Atlantic Ocean in the distance which you not only see, but also hear the surf.
The pictures are 100% accurate. The outdoor main terrace is amazing. The place is peaceful serenity during the day with nice breezes and your choice of sun or shade. There is so much room, it doesn’t matter if other guests are there – and there won’t be many in any case.
During our stay, every other guest that came and went were previous clients, so that says something. Two couples were Gilles’ family and friends from Paris, which is Gilles’ original home. Another is Jerome from Indiana whose review is just below mine. It was great to meet Jerome and his family. We had many great conversations during their stay, plus a couple of memorable poker games with Gilles.
The property reflects an eclectic mix of France and the Caribbean. There is plenty of comfortable indoor space too as shown in the high quality pictures on the web. Gilles was a professional photographer with an artistic flair and it shows.
There is always staff on hand, so you always feel safe and secure. Maria prepares a wonderful breakfast and she and Gilles can make you his specialty French omelet. Breakfast is served on the terrace.
Gilles’ dog is very quiet and unobtrusive. There is smoking, but it’s allowed in the outdoors area, so no issues with your room.
Like Adam from Brooklyn, we had the Aurore room which is on the end of the main building, one level down, having its own huge terrace with the same green vegetation and ocean views. May I just note that Gilles obviously invested a lot of thought, planning, and money into this property as it is beautifully terraced with many varieties of plants and trees. The Aurore room is a great size with very comfortable king bed (mosquito net too), plus a large bathroom. It is quite private from the rest of the house. I had a complete tour of the property and all of the rooms are very nice.
There is also a 4-car garage, so plenty of room for most, if not all, guest vehicles in addition to the host’s.
As a host, Gilles is a very congenial and funny man. He makes it very comfortable and relaxed for guests. He is very knowledgeable of the area, plus businesses. It’s obvious he has established relationships with quality purveyors and service suppliers. His recommendations for local businesses and restaurants were spot on. We were very happy with the local car rental company (reviewed elsewhere). He also knows all the beaches and differences among them.
You do need a car. Don’t worry about all the old reports of terrible roads and such. Yes, there are a couple of steep climbs up to the villa. Yes, there are some pot-holey side streets in town. Yes, there are plenty of speed bumps (just go slow over them) around town. But the main roads and streets are just fine. The highways are very good. I just love the road from Gilles’ development (Parques Las Terrenas) heading to/from Las Terrenas. Thirty-one curves provide lots of fun for a driver. I recall only one stretch of road that had several missing manhole covers. In odd places, the cover might be sunk a bit below road level. It’s all good if you pay attention.
It’s not a long drive to nearby beaches and town. Las Terrenas can be a busy place with vehicles, scooters and motorcycles. The beach roads in town are crowded and noisy, but it’s a fun bustling town with lots of friendly people. Quiet beaches are found east and west of town and not a long drive. And it was so nice returning to the haven of Casa de Gilles and not be staying along the noisy beachfront (yes, there are some nice resorts away from town center, but we like the villa).
With a car, Samana town and other locales on the peninsula are within easy reach. We explored around some and also went whale watching out of Samana (WhaleSamana reviewed separately is the best).
In general, this area of Dominican Republic combines the typical Caribbean experience with European influences. The people are nice and friendly. There is great value here, probably because the size of the country allows for locally produced goods and food is not all imported. Your dollar (from Canada, USA, Europe) goes far here compared to many other Caribbean islands.
The combined experience was not only a pleasant surprise for us, but makes us want to return again. Casa de Gilles is a piece of heaven on earth. It’s the design, the space, the setting, the host attitude, the experience. No doubt one of our top vacation experiences. And one of the top memorable stays. Gilles is very deserving of his high ranking on Trip Advisor. You know those places you have visited and stayed and they never leave your mind and periodically you recall that trip and that place? Casa de Gilles will become one of those if you have the good fortune to stay here. And I also have a new friend.

Room Tip: If budget allows, go for the Aurore room.
  • Stayed: February 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank Steelers36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2016 via mobile

Just got home from an absolutely fantastic stay at Casa de Gilles. We loved it so much the first time that we came back again and brought our teenage girls with us this time. And they love it just as much as we did!

The accommodations are even better than they look online. Our host, Gilles Bouyer, is gracious, helpful, and fun! And the complimentary breakfast is unbelievable! You will love this stay.

Just a short drive from the beaches and restaurants of Los Terrenas, but totally private and quiet. I'd give six stars if I could!

Stayed: February 2016, traveled with family
Thank Jerome G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2016

You are on your computer or phone right now surfing through destinations, vacations, places to stay. You've landed on this page. I have only one piece of advice for you: STOP. BOOK CASA DE GILLES NOW. I've traveled in four continents and stayed in countless hotels, B&Bs, guesthouses, and Inns. Casa de Gilles is one of the top five places I've ever stayed. The beauty of the estate, the STUNNING beauty of its views, the impeccable taste of all its furnishings and decorations, the sophisticated and seamless service that Gilles Bouyer offers his lucky guests, combine to make it an absolute gem. Given that you get a private guest room and an exquisite breakfast overlooking an infinity pool, that looks out over hills, forest, and onto a wide expanse of the Atlantic ocean, I guess technically you'd have to call this a B&B, but that is a serious under-description. It's more like your own personal boutique hotel with three beautiful guest rooms, a lovely long pool, and a terrace surrounding it that seems right out of a Conde Nast photo shoot. I recommend the king-bed "Aurore" room that has even more privacy than the others and its own extra deck. If it's one of the top five vacation spots of my life, it's easily the top in terms of value. I just can't imagine any other place where you would get such luxury for such a price. And Gilles himself is a consummate host, charming, worldly, but never the least intrusive. Everything was beautifully clean, and perfectly arranged. If I could summon up a complaint to make this all sound somehow more plausible, I would, but I don't have any. Book now. You'll thank yourself.

Room Tip: King bed "Aurore" room has most privacy and its own deck.
  • Stayed: January 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank adam123456789
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2015

The stay at Gille's was great! I'm a big fan a great hotels or bed and breakfast in the Carribean e.g., the Viceroy, GeeJam, Strawberry Hill, Norse Point, and I am happy to add to the list Casa de Gilles in the D.R. A true bed and breakfast, the house had great taste, beautiful views, the staff as well as the host were delightful. It was the perfect seclusion and great to have tips from Gille about where to go, where to eat! We will definitely be returning!

  • Stayed: November 2015, traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank falasha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gilles B, Propriétaire at Casa de Gilles, responded to this reviewResponded November 20, 2015

Thank you for your positive comments.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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