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“Very affordable... had a great vacation!”

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Coral Costa Caribe Resort & Spa
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Juan Dolio
Saskatchewan, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Very affordable... had a great vacation!”
Reviewed February 2, 2012

I haven’t written a hotel review in a while so please bear with me (especially if something’s missing or I’m long-winded). Our two week stay (January 6th to 20th, 2012) at the Coral Costa Caribe was amazing and wouldn’t have changed much. I’m still shaking my head at the negative reviews I had read ahead of going on vacation, thinking later on that I may have stayed at a different place. For ease I’ll break things down into categories…

Check-In: The Check-In process was fairly quick and painless. We arrived around 7pm on a Friday evening and were greeted by friendly individuals at the front. We filled out a couple of forms, received our purple all-inclusive bracelets and beach towel cards, paid for the room safe (US $25 per week… seems a little high, but what ya gonna do - like to keep the passport, money and valuables safe) and we were on our way.

Room: We stayed in room 1248 in the main building (2nd floor). We were close to everything and if you’re travelling with another couple like us it was great as we had a connecting room to them (which was 1249). The room was nothing fancy and was somewhat dated… no balcony to this room (was one in our friends’ room) but did have sliding windows, two queen beds, basic box TV, air conditioner, hangers area for clothes, 3 or 4 dresser drawers, area for the room safe, bathroom with toilet, decent sized sink area and vanity and tub with shower. The water pressure was great (on a couple of days there wasn’t hot water but not the end of the world). Lots of bottle water was provided in the room (don’t use the tap water for drinking or brushing your teeth)… and if you needed something you could just call guest services. Upon arrival we had asked for a small refrigerator for the room and received it (if you want one you have to ask for it). Never had to worry about the contents in our room when away from it (may have helped that we tipped a couple of dollars each day to the maid). Towels are picked up around 9:30am each morning and clean ones are replaced sometime in the afternoon.

Restaurants: I must not be a picky eater because I found the food at all restaurants to be great. The buffet restaurant (Ambar) had lots of selection to choose from… made-to-order omellettes or eggs in the morning, usually a couple of soups to choose from for lunch or supper - along with a great selection of breads, a nice salad bar, lots of fruits, grilled meats or fish with chef, a meat/veggie/potatoes type section of the buffet, a variety of juices and water station… and friendly wait staff to serve you. For English speaking patrons like myself, there’s varying levels of English with the wait staff, but patience and a smile will go a really long way. The Dominican coffee is great in there (café con leche - coffee with milk - was my poison on most days). There are 3 ala carte restaurants - El Fogon (Dominican flair), Santa Fe (Mexican) and Rigoletto Pasta Club (Italian). All were great in their own little way… the Dominican stew at El Fogon is a must have along with the fish. You’ll enjoy the taco station at Santa Fe and the “help yourself” station at Rigoletto offers a variety of olives, cheeses, Italian breads and meat slices. Usually one of the ala carte restaurants is closed each night (my guess is for clean up, etc.) and we didn’t have to make reservations ahead of time, nor were we limited to how many times we could go to each in a week. There’s also Mangos (snack bar) which offers food at almost any time of the day (they’re only closed few a couple of hours - but others are open)… they have great flat bread pizza, chicken, fries and beverages.

Bars: I never went thirsty while at the resort. The one thing I really enjoyed was that you could get Brugal Extra Viejo rum - which is considered a premium brand - in your drinks. The Sports Bar is open 24 hours a day and is a great place to get away from the heat as the air conditioning is fantastic in there (say ‘hi’ to Cesar - the main bartender in there). The Pool Bar is where a lot of people goto during the daylight hours as it’s close to the beach and main pool (ask Genesis for her ‘Genesis Special)… the swim-up bar here is okay at best, and if you want service you have to make a little bit of noise (and a tip doesn’t hurt either). There’s a bar near the internet area nearer the front lobby (say ‘hi’ to Fernando - probably the hardest working guy around). There’s bars beside both the Santa Fe and Rigoletto a la carte restaurants when they’re open. There’s also two bars inside of the Ambar restaurant - but these are generally for buffet service while you’re in there. And I think there was a bar but the nightly entertainment and one inside the Casino (you had to pay for drinks in the Casino).

Activities: There wasn’t a ton of things going on here, but you could definitely keep busy. The dive-shop along the beach features scuba (free in-pool tryout for those that would like - say ‘hi’ to Mike, Ellen and Raphael), wave runners (great guy by the name of Ezzy looks after these), kayaks, deep sea fishing (not the greatest as you don’t go out too far and catch smaller fish but we enjoyed it) and more. The “Chocolate Friends” are around the resort getting you involved in bingo, dance activities, etc. And on Wednesdays they even have a bonfire.

Beach: The beach here is great… the sand might not be powder soft like in Punta Cana, but it’s not as windy either and doesn’t blow up in your face. There’s a reef break a little ways out so the water is calm and not rocky to swim in. The beach is a decent size yet not far if you needed to get a drink, get food or go to the bathroom.

Pools: There are a total of 3 pools at the hotel. The main pool with swim-up bar, a smaller/quiet pool nearer the dive-shop, and a pool across the street by the Santa Fe restaurant (great place to get away all by yourself). The all could use a bit of renovation but were okay to jump in if you wanted to get away from the heat.

Nightly Entertainment: Didn’t seem all that great (roughly 2 out of the 8 or 10 dancers could dance). They all tried but didn’t carry it like most of the other all-inclusive places I’ve been too.

Gym/Spa Services: There is a gym on-site… nothing great, but does have some equipment if you want to work out. The spa (InSense) seemed to have a variety of stuff… you could even get massages on the beach if you wanted. You’ll notice the people from the spa on the beach - they’ll be wearing all white.

Pedlars on the Beach: One of the drawbacks to this place is that there are a lot of people selling their wares on the beach (you’ll notice all the pink shirts) but a simple ‘no gracias’ will usually send them on their way if you’re not interested. I’m pretty laid back so this didn’t both me, and my wife had a great time chatting with them (and of course buying the occasional thing). There’s everything from wood sculptures, to bathing wraps, cigars/cigarettes, beaded jewellery - even massages and manicures/pedicures if you wanted.

Time Share: At this resort it’s called ‘International Vacation Club’ (IVC). You may have to be persistent and say ‘no gracias’ if you’re not interested… if you are interested, you’ll get the free IVC t-shirt or other small item. I didn’t want to spend my precious time away from the sun listening to the pitch, so we opted out.

Casino: The resort does have a casino (‘American Casino’ as they call it). They use US currency and have various table games and slot machines throughout. We went one night for about an hour and managed to come away slightly up - so I’ll call that a victory. Not the greatest casino, but not the worst either.

Excursions: There was lots you could book off the resort… from half and full day trips to Santo Domingo (we did the half day and found it was enough)

Overall Experience: I really enjoyed my stay here. The food and beverages were great, the staff were wonderful (a special thanks to Felix, the rooms manager, for taking care of things that came up). The hotel is getting dated and would probably rank as a 3-star now (maybe less depending on your standards). If you paid 3-star prices you should be happy like we were. People that expect 5-star quality at a 3-star resort are going to be disappointed (and that’s where it helps to do your research). We knew this ahead of time and would go back here in a heartbeat. The area (Juan Dolio) has lots to do (there’s a few mini malls, bars and restaurants in the area) and is close to the capital city of Santo Domingo. The ride from the La Romana airport is only roughly an hour too. I would definitely recommend this resort to those that are budget-minded and if you’ve got an open mind you’ll have a great time. If you run into a problem at the resort, talk to the fine folks at guest services and they’ll most likely solve your problem for you. The one thing we did notice that may be an issue for alot of guest is the obvious prostitution that goes on in the front lobby - hopefully management will deal with this issue before people start avoiding the hotel because of it. Hopefully I answered a few things for you… if not, drop me a note and I’ll see if I can help out. We managed to get a two week holiday in a sunny getaway for what one might normally pay for one week at a lot of all-inclusives so we were definitely happy campers! Special thanks to my new TripAdvisor friend Sandy for all your helpful advice for our stay at the Coral Costa Caribe!

Room Tip: Ask for an upgrade to one of the renovated rooms (in the S buildings)... or a room in the main build...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
7 Thank Scooter1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Gatineau, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed February 1, 2012

don<t bother with bad reviews if you are there to be on vacation then you will enjoy this hotel if you are there to complain about the rooms then stay home this hotel is very clean the staff are amazing yes the vendors can be a pain for some people but I enhoy dealing with them its so fun if they pass by me and don<t stop i tell them to come see me your in a diferent contry wow amazing place I enjoyed the food everything yes we are Interval members but who cares its my second trip to this hotel and I enjoyed it each time read some review the bad one some people are complaining because there is a frozen pina colada left in the fridge ha ha my room was not clean it could just be that the maid forget it if you get upset over a pina colada then stay home you will not be happy no were your on vacation so enjoy it if the food the drinks and the staff are freindly what else do you need someone to shine your shoes come on this is what I think about this hotel I will go back and recomande this hotel

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank yves g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed January 28, 2012

Booked this trip through Interline because it was the cheapest thing we could find and just wanted to get away for a long weekend, thinking "how bad it could it be?" Well let me tell you just how bad it was. First off, we had to provide our own transportation from the airport because even though we had the "All Inclusive" package the hotel apprently doesn't provide this. It is almost 30 minutes away and the cab wanted $45 (USD) which we talked down to $35. Check-in time was 3pm and even though we got there after 4 we still had to wait 20 minutes for our room to be ready. At first glimpse the room was terrible and the tv didn't work but I really wasn't expecting much out of it in the first place. That was until I went out on the balcony. Our room was on the 1st floor over looking some dirt alley way with a bunch of construction material and an impoverished neighborhood on the otherside of that. I was ready to march back to the front desk and demand another room before I realized that this was probably the room they had reserverd for those who get the interline discount rate. The next issue was the drinks. After drinking about 8 cocktails each and barely feeling a thing we resorted to drinking beer to get any sort of a buzz. However, they only had one type of no-name beer available. you couldn't even switch it up and get a Corona or god forbid a Presidente, the flagship beer of DR! The food was terrible as well. This is what got me most though. We went down there under the pretenses that if anything we were going to have a nice relaxing few days in a tropical carribean setting. However, the vendors on the beach were incessant coming up to us trying to sell some kind of trinket every 2 minutes. Now I've been to third world nations before where this is common especially on a beach but not when the HOTEL EMPLOYEES ARE DOING THE SAME THING TO YOU! Literally there were hotel employees IN UNFORM heckling us trying to sell us on the amenities that were not in the all inclusive package. I was beside my self. As soon as I walked out of the room in the morning they were barking at us, and before we could even sit down for breakfast their crunchy little dive instructor was trying to sell us on a discovery course. There was nothing pleasing, relaxing, or intriguing about this place what-so-ever. I just couldn't wait to get away from it.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank Casey C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Juan Dolio hotels

Hamilton, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed January 24, 2012

Coral Costa Caribe need to update most of their Hotel and improve on food and cleanliness if they dont get on it ASAP Coral Costa Caribe is going to lose lots of customers .This resort has many unpleasant reviews.We pay to stay and enjoy for the week that's what we deserve.That hotel is so out dated. They lots of improvement on their appearance

  • Stayed January 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank erica007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2012

I went there for work with 25 people. The rooms are the dirtiest i have ever seen, the staff is unbelievably rude and unhelpful, there are only locals that go there on the weekends. Nothing is ever open, half of the time the restaurants are not open, and the staff is pissed at you for being there. Anyway the food is disgusting, its plain & simply reheated food from the buffet transformed with sauces to make tacos or pasta. There are prostitutes everywhere in the bushes (scary at first but you get use to it, i guess). There were old man alone on vacation with local JUVENILE girls, under 15 years old for shure! Everybody seemed to ignore this fact. Very upsetting. Dirty glass, dirty drinks, no beer in bottle, no bottle of water or very hard to find! They let the crappy souvenirs vendors on the beach, but they ask you if you wants to buy something or a massage EVERY FIVE MINUTES ALL DAY LONG! No lights on the resort at night. Nothing to do except maybe volleyball, but its very hard to get a ball, or a towel. Music is old 90's dance and its way too loud all day , you can't ear you speak. I'm serious, it is, the worst place i've stayed in my life. Do yourself a favour, go to Mexico, and if you really want to go to Dominican republic, go to Punta Cana and look for a five star or Barcelo hotel.
Go luck!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank John T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dresden, Maine
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 21, 2012

This resort should be out of business, we were lied to, had no hot water for three days, to flush the toilet you had to dump water into it with the trash can, the food was only marginal and the drinks were mostly water. The front desk people tried to scam us into paying under the table for a better room and the beach front restrooms were filthy. Do not go there!

Room Tip: You do not want any room there
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  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Don P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vernon, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2012

Snack bar needs to be improved. The burgers and hotdogs are cooked on a hot fryer, instead of a grille. Nothing is cooked to order. The meat is kept in a tin tray...sitting in grease and getting cold. It's hit or miss on what you'll find. The pizzas are made with american cheese (I think) and are rather stale tasting. They also have french fries...which is the tastiest food there.
The Mexican restaurant was our favorite. There always seemed to be a problem w/wine. They never had any! For the breakfast there was never any syrup. The fruit didn't seem ripe. If you are looking for american food...you will not find it. If you don't speak spanish...learn it before going. The grounds are beautiful and the ocean is spectacular. The sunsets are gorgeous. Lot's of photo ops. The A/C worked...the TV didn't. Rooms were very plain but clean.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank sue m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Coral Costa Caribe Resort & Spa

Property: Coral Costa Caribe Resort & Spa
Address: Calle Principal km 55, Juan Dolio, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > San Pedro de Macoris Province > Juan Dolio
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) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Juan Dolio
#2 Spa Hotel in Juan Dolio
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Juan Dolio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Coral Costa Caribe Resort & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 416
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Overlooking the warm ocean waters of the Caribbean, enjoy a limitless family-oriented vacation experience. There are fun-filled activities under the sun for all. Our activities program includes water sports and one of the best white sand and boundless turquoise water beaches. Savor an outburst of flavors with a signature Caribbean flavor. These are just some of the ways in which you will keep busy during your stay at Coral Costa Caribe. The warmth of our staff is best expressed by the careful attention given to every small detail. Cradle yourself in the midst of its lush vegetation covered by impeccable tropical gardens surrounded by tropical flowers and trees. Seek refuge in one of our comfortable guest rooms; the heart and soul of the destination is embodied in its decor. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Coral Costa Caribe Resort, Spa And Casino
Coral Costa Caribe Hotel Juan Dolio
Hilton International Juan Dolio
Costa Caribe Coral Hilton

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