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“Focus on the Positives”

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Casa Marina Beach & Reef
Ranked #25 of 30 Hotels in Sosua
Washington, DC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Focus on the Positives”
Reviewed October 19, 2011

I stayed at the here from Sept.19-30, 2011. There is much to enjoy here particularly if you focus on the positives for example: The views from the reef are stunning and you have your choice of 2 beaches on either side of the reef. 1 of the beaches is virtually empty during the week and on the weekends as few locals visit. The other beach is smaller and more active with tourists and is virtually an extension of the resort with easy aceess to bars, restaraunts pools and activities. There are 3 pools that range from active (entertainment team is located here and inspires participation in activity. A moderate to quiet pool is centrally located near the main restaraunt and a 3rd pool which is smaller yet virtually undiscovered is tranquil if not serene. the jaccuszis are great and surrouning natural canopy is a nice respite from the sun adorned with hammocks. Going in to town is also a cool change of scenery and i had no problems either day or night. In response to the issues mentioned in previous reviews related to locals that visit on weekends...there are many places to seek shelter if this concerns you. Would reccomend shceduling excursions of Friday or Saturday and choosing one of the quieter pool or beach areas. There is no shortage of beach chairs and an beach umbrellas cos a few pesos...pleas tip Peter that works hard to keep umbrellas moving.

The food has definitely improved recently with nice choices from the carving station for meet lovers. The mexican specialty restaraunt is a good choice and the italian is also good. Buffet food is adequate with fresh fruits and veggies always avl. I did not imbibe so no comment on drinks

Staff are relly nice especially Reception: Jenmy, Edward and Sampson... Entertainment-Baho, Sampson Luis Restaraunts-David Favia and Wendy. Beach Umbrellas Peter









Stay positive, be nice, focus on enjoying your vacation and you wil have a great time.

Room Tip: A room further from the main pool may be quitere with less activity and still offer decent ocean vie...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled solo
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2 Thank Fpetersen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Boston, Massachusetts
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed October 17, 2011

So I should start by saying that I stayed here with my family back in 2009, although it's been a few years, I hope that readers will still find this helpful.

My family travels to the DR once a year for a family reunion getaway. It's the most affordable destination we can find that accommodates our larger group of at least 20.

Casa Marina is a beautiful resort. It's much smaller and more intimate than any resort we have been to, but I've learned that this is a huge advantage comparing it to larger resorts. The staff is very friendly and are more attentive as the number of guests is much smaller than most resorts. The food was pleasant, you'll always find something you liked. The buffet was always the better option than the other restaurants..

The beach is lovely. There's so much space and we never had difficulty finding chairs. There are little nooks scattered around with beautiful views. We didn't spend much time at the pool, but the time we did spend was quite nice.

I recommend booking level 1 rooms, we had rooms facing the pool and it was very convenient to have the sliding doors lead right out.

There's a club right on the resort, which we found to be quite nice to shake our tail feathers after a night of drinking.

A huge plus for this resort was how close to everything it was. You can just walk out of the gates to find many shops with nice souvenirs. You also get to experience the true DR culture this way, and all for free.

This resort was the only one we've been to in the Sosua/Puerto Plata area so I don't have much to compare it to. We now frequent Punta Cana, but I must say if you want to avoid the hustle and bustle of the touristy areas, this resort is the place to go.

Enjoy

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank ayehxful
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed October 16, 2011

In September my husband and I decided to try out this hotel for a week, after having stayed in two other hotels in the area, during the last half year. We were mainly there for work, so we were looking for a hotel centrally located. We liked the lay-out, the well kept grounds, friendly staff and two nice beaches. As it is a three star hotel, we didn't expect too much of the food, but we were pleasantly surprised, as there was lots to choose from and also the opportunity to go to the a la carte restaurant, where you could enjoy a quiet meal with better service. As always it helps when you tip a little bit! I was a little bit dissapointed with the service at the reception, the staff was somewhat uninterested. We started with having a toilet that flooded, and it took a long time before somebody came to clean the bathroom. The next day we asked for a room upstairs, but also that took a whole day and lots of requests, before it was arranged. The room didn't have a fridge nor a hairblow dryer, and after having been in Cuba in various 3 star hotels, where they did have both, it was a surprise for us. As the hotel is centrally located you just walked out, to go for a drink in the evening. In the morning there were plenty taxi's waiting, which was very convenient for us.
You certainly can negotiate about the price, we paid 400 pesos to go to Cabarete, while first they asked 600! What we missed was some shade on the beach. You had to pay for an umbrella and I think that should be a part of the hotel service. Dissapointing was also that the wine was undrinkable, and after having been in two other hotels in the same region where the wine was o.k., we wondered why it was here that bad. Coffee was only served in the restaurant and we missed a nice espresso! We were able to see one show, but were both impressed with the effort of the entertainers. Great costumes, dancing, lightning and performing.
Overall we had a nice stay and good value for our money.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank glykeria77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Germany
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed October 16, 2011

It's a 3* hotel so you can't expect more than it offers. We had been staying at a 4* star hotel in Punta Cana a few years ago and this was much better for sure.

In our opinion, the rooms are a bit too small for 3 persons. The beds are very comfortable. The bathroom is spacy and there is enough place to store everything.
The air con though was a bit too cold and we couldn't regulate it properly. There was no fan in the room, so when we switched off the air con, there wasn't any air circulation anymore in the room and this was kind of unpleasant.
The hotel is about 24 years old and looks like most of the hotels built at this time: too much concrete everywhere, wide paved paths, not enough cosy little places to stay and there were no parasols around the pools, so shady places could only be found under the trees along the rocky beach and that meant moving your sun lounger with the sun to avoid sunburn.

The swimming pools were great and clean. We didn't use the Jacuzzis because in our opinion the water was too cold ;-) but many people didn't seem to agree with us ;-) and stayed hours in there.

The buffet offered everything you can expect from a 3* hotel.
Breakfast was ok, except that the fruit juices that were not freshly pressed. But this is normal in 3* all inclusive hotels.
Lunch and dinner were ok too. We (3 persons) have 3 different tastes and everyone was always pleased after each meal.
For dinner there were "theme nights" though this wasn't always clearly visible trough the whole buffet.
There was a large variety of cocktails and if you happened to fall in love with one cocktail, it tasted different each time :-( Even though the amount of alcohol was the same as the amount we use at home when making cocktails, we hardly ever felt the effect of it ?!?!? except when you had pure rum.

We did the excursion to Paradise Island. Even though we have already been travelling a lot, it was a nice spot and snorkelling was nice too. Unfortunately the "island" quickly got crowded and at 10 a.m. about 10 boats with about 10-12 people each had arrived.

Animation during the day was too loud to our opinion (loudspeakers).
Animation at night was really professional when it took place at the amphitheatre.
There was a nice little disco, but never enough people in it during the week.
We love Latino music, but most of the tourists didn't seem to be of the same opinion and went to bed early.
At week-ends, Dominicans stay at the hotel which didn't disturb us at all. Their children were sometimes a bit loud at the pool sites, but they are children and children may be loud sometimes.

The Dominicans brought a lot more night life at the disco at night and so the evenings on week-ends at the disco were simply great.
We were just happy to see that now Dominicans can also afford this kind of holiday now and that it is not only reserved to tourists from abroad.

Brief conclusion: we knew we booked a 3* hotel and we got what we paid for.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank FancyBee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
boston
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2011

We spent 9 days at Casa Marina Reef. Casa Marina Beach is the sister hotel, and the properties share amenities. The staff was nice enough but not overly responsive to problems - it took 5 days to get a working phone in the room. Also, the pieces of the broken towel rack were on the floor but never repaired or picked up during our stay. The food was decent and plentiful. The drinks were tasty but small - with all inclusive you can get as many refills as you want anyway. Each guest receives a single card to be exchanged for a skimpy towel at the pool area - lose it and you'll be charged $25. Shows were put on nightly - not great quality performances, but it's something to do. There was also a disco but we never went as it had a cash bar. We also never tried the a la carte restaurants. On weekend nights, there were many vendors set up selling knick knacks. We were frustrated with the many time share salesmen who asked you all day every day to hear their sales pitch. The beach view was beautiful, and the cold jacuzzis built into the reef oceanside were beautiful. The excursion desk was helpful in setting up tours - our favorite was horse back riding at Rancho Montana. We were vacationing during Hurricane Irene, and the hotel was quite flexible in allowing us to extend our stay. I enjoyed our vacation, but if you like fancy amenities, this might not be the hotel for you.

Room Tip: An ocean view room is worth the extra money.
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank pam1217
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plattsburgh, New York
Level 6 Contributor
111 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed October 12, 2011

We stayed at the Casa Marina Reef 5 years ago and we were quite pleased, however we recently went back in September of 2011 and we were very disappointed. Sadly the economy has taken its toll on all of DR, but it definitely shows here at the Casa Marina. We noticed immediately that the grounds including the pool area was not maintained up to our standards. When we were taken to our room we found dirty floors, rusted, dirty tub/shower unit, very thin, skimpy towels and overall nasty room. We called the desk to switch rooms after we found that the tub didn't drain and the toilet didn't flush properly. We were offered a choice of another room in the same run down building or a room on the 4th floor (no elevator) of a little bit nicer building. We made the switch, but climbing the stairs with all of our luggage was a challenge! The second room was better, but not great. We have been to the DR many times and have stayed at several resorts. We like the culture in Sosua and love the people there, but can't really recommend the Casa Marina unless you get a fantastic deal and you aren't overly fussy. The meals were just average, but certainly enough food and drink to fill you up.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jeannie1717
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wigan
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed October 9, 2011

i travelled with my husband in sept 2011 to casa marina reef. we had an excellent holiday. a lot of reviews i read were very negative but i think sometimes people forget that this is 3 star hotel and are only paying 3 star prices. I will start with the positives. The hotel grounds are absolutely beautiful, very clean and tidy, Our room was very clean and very comfortable beds. There are 3 jaccusis which look out over the sea. idyllic! There are another 3 swimming pools which were very clean. The shows put on at night were reasonable. All staff were very pleasant. The food was a bit repetative but we always found something. The food was always hot and plenty of it . There was a pasta station which was cooked fresh 2 your order.There was a different theme every night, and it was usually of good quality. Breakfast was always the same but omlettes and fried eggs were cooked fresh, which were really good. there was the specialist restaurant which you can go in a total of 6 times over a 2 week period. There was italian fish or mexican which was all freshly cooked and a nice change from the main restaurant. Now 2 a few negatives. The tompson rep appeared totally disinterested especially if you didnt book trips with him, a good job we didnt have any problems, because we wouldnt have got any help of him. The locals get weekend passes from friday till sunday, and although they didnt bother us,but they did take over the jaccusis and were very loud. There were people within the complex who were a bit of a pest trying 2 sell time shares, and approx 3 times a week there were sellers right outside the dining room pestering you. One last negative the butter was just like lard, so a tip either take some with you or buy some when you get there.

Room Tip: the rooms at the top end of complex near to the airconditioning generator are very noisy but there w...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank margwigan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Marina Beach & Reef

Property: Casa Marina Beach & Reef
Address: Calle Alejo Martinez, Sosua 57000, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Sosua
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Sosua
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Casa Marina Beach & Reef 3*
Number of rooms: 378
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Also Known As:
Casa Marina Beach & Reef Resort
Casa Marina Reef Dominican Republic
Casa Marina Reef Sosua

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