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“Amazing Surroundings/Unfriendly Staff”

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Casa Marina Beach & Reef
Ranked #22 of 30 Hotels in Sosua
Reviewed May 16, 2014

The Good:
-The beach is beautiful and the old coral surrounding it makes it very unique. The food is pretty good compared to other resorts and the main buffet is better then the Al a carte suppers. The entertainment is fun, they aren't professional entertainers but they are great. Being so close to town is nice because there are many Canadian/American owned restaurants in Sosua. You can have a lot of fun drinking and lounging around the resort. The three Jacuzzi pools on the ocean are amazing. Good access to clean water. pools are clean and warm



The bad:
As soon as we arrived the resort was packed. One thing I noticed right away was that there was only Spanish speaking locals on the resort. I get to my room and its not Ocean View even tho I paid for it. I was told at the front desk it was not guaranteed and that there are none right now. What I didn't know is Locals get to come on the resort for the long weekends for a small price. 70% Locals - 30 % Vacationers. Locals always get service over you and can butt in line. It was okay Tuesday to Friday. Most resort staff do not greet you or smile when serving you. Also the lifestyles people will harass you all week with "offers" to a $5000 time share that you have to pay before seeing anything on paper. Locals set up shop on the resort at night by the big buffet and try to sucker you into buying things for much more then they are in town. Also shop around for excursions as with 1 resort I had 3 very different prices.

You can go and have a great time, just remember what you paid to go.

Room Tip: Do not upgrade - No guarntee
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank bestcoast902
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 15, 2014

This resort is absolutely amazing! My sister got married at the resort and it was beautiful. The resort is in the town of Sousa which I would HIGHLY recommend you go exploring. We were a group of 22 and everyday we would go into town. The food at the resort is good, there is always something to eat. I stayed on the ground floor and never once locked my balcony. The resort is extremely safe. If you stay at the resort make sure you go out into the town and find the Casa Valeria (the food and prices are AMAZING). If you are looking for a relaxing beautiful place with good food CASA MARINA is the place for you.

Room Tip: Bottom floor (it is safe and you don't have to go up stairs)
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank sarahdubz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 13, 2014

We have just come back from Casa Marina which is a lovely hotel in a lovely resort.The problem was our holiday coincided with their Bank Holiday and 1000+ Dominicans invaded the Hotel.for the weekend,taking over the bars ,restaurants and the amphitheatre for the shows.Most were really loud,waking us up at 5am)rude and just pushed in instead of queuing like us.We knew they would come in at weekends but not in the crowds as the Bank Holiday weekend.I think the hotel should not take bookings from tourists on a Bank Holiday and just have the Dominicans there,even the staff said how lovely it was when they all went .Apart from that we had a lovely time.The grounds are kept really nice and clean.We had to change our room as we were on the ground floor and the patio door wouldn't lock securely and we didn't feel safe but when we went to reception they moved us with no problem.All the staff were so friendly and work so hard,especially over that weekend.They have 3 speciality restaurants fish ,italian and mexican.There aren't alot of English there (about 8)but that didn't bother us as we made lots of friends.,the resort is safe to walk around,we didn't go out in the evening so I can't comment on that.

Room Tip: We prefered to not be on the ground floor for safety reasons
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank JackieHertfordshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2014

Just returned from this resort after a week. We paid in the $700 range and were extremely pleased with this resort… and not just because we got a great price. We went as a family (which included small children), and even after having read all the bad reviews, we couldn’t understand how anyone could find terrible things to say.
My best advice is to take all the reviews and average them… you’ll get a general idea.
Food: It was great. Although they didn’t have high end items, they found creative ways to make fish, chicken, beef and seafood items very tasty. Even the vegetables were great. The pasta station lines were long, but worth the wait and at lunch they had a great grill and ice cream. We did not get sick from the food. We only visited the seafood a la carte which was fantastic, however the wait for the food was very long. The staff at the buffet do their best – they do not ignore you – they are just extremely busy and yes, you will get your drinks faster by going to the bar at the Buffet to get your own drinks. They had late night snacks which included burgers, fries and hot dogs. This was a great plus.
Beach: We loved it! Yes, the waves were big and dangerous at times, but if you can swim and / or manoeuver through it, they were fun. At night the beach had flood lights and a ton of security so you could venture down for something to do.
Drinks: Very strong and plentiful. You won’t find the fancy drinks in pretty glasses, but the coladas were tasty. There was always a bar within just a few steps. The coffee they served at meals was not terrible, but the milk was sometimes spoilt and there was a long wait for fresh milk.
Patronage: There are families, college students, locals visiting on weekends – and yes – a few sightings of prostitutes, accompanied by their older companions. Although it is obvious why they are there, the prostitutes do not solicit anyone. So I had no issues there. This could happen at a 5 star resort and no one would know the difference.
Entertainment: The staff tries hard. I did not participate in the activities, but it would not hurt to see some more organization and communication about when and where events would be taking place. There seemed to be a lot of confusion.
Miscellaneous: I didn’t see any major difference between the Beach and Reef side, although we spent most of our time on the beach side. If you do pay for the beach side, it is more expensive. The only thing I could tell is that the patio doors seemed to be updated there. Our door was a little hard to lock at times but we managed. Plus we paid $15 for the safe for the week and had no issues. The A/C worked fine, our rooms were sparse, but always clean. Some days we received 2 bath towels, some days 3. One major plus was that there were no bugs in the rooms. We got a couple of mosquito bites but that was mostly outside.
I have one big complaint – and that is the fact that there is no drinking water in the rooms. It’s a major hassle to have to leave your room to fill bottles of clean water. It would greatly bring up the hotel’s rating to simply have below the sink filters for drinking water.
Overall we had an amazing time and would not hesitate to return.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank tripgirl079
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2014

We had a great vacation at this resort. We were hesitant after reading some of the bad reviews, but we did not encounter some issues that others had. We also went in with open minds, knowing that this was rated a 3.5 star resort.
We did not have any issues with the reception staff when we arrived, the did their jobs. And although they might not have been overly chatty with us, there were many people to check in. But once we returned back to the desk to get a key for the safe the staff were very pleasant. They talked to us and even tried teaching us some of the most common terms and words in Spanish that would help us during our stay.
We arrived early in the day, so we could not check in to our room until 3pm, which was fine because we were expecting this as we did our research ahead of time. The stored our luggage in a room until it was check in time. The staff that monitored the room were great and helpful. When it came time to get our room key at 3pm, the room was still not ready so when we came back 30 minutes later, the guy at the luggage drop checked on the room status for us, even went to the front desk and got our key and tv remote for us. Then he went and checked and made sure our room was all ready for us before we walked up there. He came back down and got us and our luggage and took us to our room and introduced us to our maids. He noticed that our rum, vodka and pop were not in our room, so mentioned this to the maids and it was brought to our room within minutes.
The maids were wonderful and always pleasant. We tipped them well for their great service and also left them gifts throughout the week. We never wanted for anything. There was even one morning that we were looking for a ice machine and couldn't find one. Our maid, Franchescia, after speaking to her in the hallway, went to get us a container filled with ice and brought it back to our room promptly. Our rooms were cleaned daily, clean towels and clean bedding daily. Floors were always mopped, and this included the area out on the terrace.
We never had any issue with drinks, if anything the bartenders were wonderful! We left the resort having made a few friends with the bartenders, even got email addresses and pictures and will definitely keep in contact.
The buffet staff didn't seem to be the most polite at times, just seem to do their jobs and that was it. Which was fine, you can't expect everyone to be pleasant all the time! The food was ok, a little repetitious though. But we never went hungry. We went to 2 al a cartes during our visit, seafood and Italian. Both were good and the service there was much better....my wine glass never went empty!!! We did venture off resort a few times to eat, just for a change. Best chicken wings at Spankys and we had a wonderful supper at Bailey's.
The grounds were very well maintained and clean. Every morning at 7am when we took our morning stroll before breakfast, the staff were outside working away sweeping, cleaning, and spraying down the walkways. Trees were always being groomed. They take great pride in the grounds at this resort.
The entertainment was sufficient. They provided activities for children throughout the day. There was disco in the evenings, and the also had karaoke twice and a live band one night. They also had performances in the theatre both Friday and Saturday evenings. There were pool tables to gather around and play pool and have drinks with friends.
We went in to town a few times. Did not feel unsafe walking the streets of Sosua at all, although you do get hounded by vendors, but a simple no was fine and they left you alone. We went to the public beach of Sosua on the Saturday and the locasl were all great. We had one gentleman wait on us when we sat. His name was Tony and he was wonderful. We never wanted for anything the whole day and he checked on us quite often to make sure that we happy.
I could go on forever, but all in all we had a great trip. We met lots of wonderful people and had a wonderful time. Would return to this resort again in the future!

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Missy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2014

We stayed there from April 18 to April 24 ,2014. Form the beginning we noticed very long lines before the front desc due to really poorly organized reception help. Actually almost fully a lack of it. We also saw a female tourist crying for help and they ignored her. The reception itself is very small, many people are stuck there with only 2 slow computers. Some of the people working there are really impolite and incompetent. The computers for the customers are often broken. They charged us 3 times, for 1 1/2 hour absolutely unfairly and were rude and sarcastic when we asked for clarifications. They would leave us waiting without attention or help for long time. We even missed our last lunch and left the resort humiliated and hungry. Thus the reception staff managed to ruin our otherwise good vacation. I wouldn't recommend the resort to anybody. I don't think one have to pay good money to be humiliated and treated poorly .

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Edi M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2014

Spent a week at Casa Marina below are the Pros and Cons of our stay

Pros
- strong drinks and a wide selection
- great beds - slept great
- jacuzzis over look the ocean and are amazing to relax in
- you're not harassed by vendors on the resort or at the beach
- great beach if you like to swim in the waves
- Roza and her sister at the Beauty Salon where amazing - great value and very friendly while braiding my hair

Cons
-Disco only played Salsa Music(not a bad thing if you like salsa music) they only played "dance\North American" music if requested then went right back to Salsa type music
- Food was often cold and wasn't very good from the buffet and finding a good breakfast was difficult although the A La Carte Restaurants where better and the "Pasta Guy" was amazing
- Animation team was so-so some days they were very active requiting people to play games and activities and other days you didn't see them at all

Room Tip: Ground floor is best - less stairs\steps
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Thank TheCanuck85
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

Address: Calle Alejo Martinez, Sosua 57600, 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: $88 - $296 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Casa Marina Beach & Reef 3*
Number of rooms: 676
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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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