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“Excellent - do not understand the criticisms”

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Casa Marina Beach & Reef
Ranked #24 of 30 Hotels in Sosua
Reviewed January 19, 2009

Just returned from a vacation getaway from the cold and snow - haha.
Enjoyed my stay and will go back asap.
It did rain one day we were there. However we were on a day trip outing and would have nothing much to do if we hadn't gone.
Don't understand why people complain about WEATHER ... as if the staff could do anything about it.
For those who "would not recommend this resort to"seniors or older travellors" Maybe wait until you are one before criticizing - smile. I am 63, recovering from lung cancer, with more than a few health issues, and found all the staff more than helpful and considerate. Would not hesitate recommending this resort to any and all - juniors, seniors, young adults, families with children, romantic couples (We saw 3 weddings during the week we were there)
The food is NOT THE SAME as "back home" so maybe expect different tastes and varieties. I had NO ISSUES with the food - always something that I really enjoyed. If I had any complaint about the food it would be that you can only book a reservation at the 3 a la carte restaurants once during a weekly stay (may be different if you stay for a longer period.
Those who complained, in their reviews, about the resort making it difficult to book reservations ... all I can say is I guess they weren't paying attention the first day they arrived, when they would have been given a time and location to meet with their trip advisor ... commonly in the theatre at 9AM..
The rooms were adequate - we had a minor problem upon arrival - the patio door would not lock - and a couple of staff came to fix it within minutes.
The day trips that we took were literally amazing. I would recommend the Puerto Plata Runners day trip, as well as the all day trip on a catamarand, with llunch on board and 2 stops for snorkelling. Unfortunately due to personal health issues I was unable to participate, but the staff gave me more attention, to ensure I did not feel left out.
All in all I will be goiung back to Casa Marina again asap, and would recommend this resort to ANYONE.

  • Stayed: January 2009
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6  Thank Hooze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 19, 2009

I read most of the reviews before booking my vacation and was a little skeptical but decided to take the chance, and I am glad I did. I vacationed at this resort for one week with my sister and my mother and we had a unforgetable vacation..We vacationed at a 5 star resort in the mayan riviera(mexico) 1 year ago and we all agreed this hotel was exellent for a 3.5 star.First, alot of the reviews I read had complaints about either the food or the drinks(alcoholic). We had no complaints about either. The food was good, breakfast was exellent! The drinks were great and there was almost never a lineup at the bar. The beaches are really beautiful and it is nice that there are two to choose from.The staff are all very friendly and the room we had was fabulous(poolside with a great view of the ocean). Alot of the reviews I read had negitive things to say about the rooms but we found the maid always kept it clean, with fresh towels daily and since everything(air cond. water, toilet) worked we were happy! I honestly feel some people look for things to complain about, but if your not one of them and are looking for a beautiful beach, nice big resort and breathtaking scenery (I suggest sosua beach for this) this resort is the place for you... We did leave the resort to explore sosua and as three women we felt very safe during the day, I am not saying it is not safe at night we just didn't feel comfortable.We also did the ocean world tour ($70us) and the outback safari($90us). Ocean world was a great experience but they leave you there a few hours to long(my only complaint), I do suggest experiencing this while you are in Dominican. The outback Safari was also an unforgetable experience and for $90 you do get more than you pay for( lunch, drinks all day, scenery you will never forget and an idea of the way Dominicans live) Basically dont listen to the bad reviews, this place is a great place to stay and if you do complain(we had a problem with our shower the first night) it is fixed right away...

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank happygirl9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 18, 2009

we stayed in Casa Marina for two weeks last year.we knew its only 3 stars so our expectations weren't great. On the check-in we got a nice refreshing drink which was nice but thats where it ends. no one told us what to do or where to go. after half an hour we got to our room. room was alright for a few days, clean with maid service exellent until it started to rain.we had a leak in the ceiling (a really bad leak ).after reporting it to front desk they told us to wait until next day so they can fix it!with wet floor in wet bed!the next day they couldn't relocate us because there was no empty rooms.in the end we got dry room but we didn't even hear sorry from them. that was fifth day on our holidays.ohh well, we said surely it' ll be better.
but no.after we booked al carte restaurant for romantic meal.we were so optimistic to spent a nice evening (my partner's birthday). when we got there we found out the restaurant was closed because of storm.closed for two days and no one let us know.
and last few days we spent with loads of very loud kids ( half term). there's no swimming pool for children so we couldn't swim because they were everywhere.
overall, there's nothing for adults to do over there, no activities etc.bars are on open air so if it rains you haven't got much to do just to go back to your room and watch some TV.
not to good if you want to go to the town, loads of hastle, they made me buy things i didn't even want.the town beach may be great but it's next to flea market so we didn;t have even a minute to relax.i know that's their way of living.and last thing you want after all day of that is...(to relax) more hastle on the resort.
good things?bars and bar staff.the sfaff in sunset bar is fantastic.if not them we probably would leave after few days.and coctails are amazing a little bit watery but i think its a good thing.and food was really good.even in buffet restaurants.we never got hungry.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled with friends
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2  Thank EnglandCarly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2009

We are a family of four, two girls aged 4 and 8, we went to Casa Marina January 2 to 9. The grounds as said many times by others are very nice and well kept. The waves are plentyful and large, so much so there are times you are not allowed to swim in the ocean. When calm the small waves are fun and the water clear and warm. That cannot be said about the pools, they are down right frigid, not even my two girls could last more than ten minutes in them. That was by far the biggest dissapointment. The food was ok, but by the last couple of days we grew tired of the selection, my oldest daughter thought the cheese was awful, and I have to agree with her, as everything seems to be overly salty. The specialty restaurants helped but not by much. Our room was very clean and tidy, however very very dated, which does not bother us but could for others. We did however have termites in our bathroom door and made sure none of our possesions came in contact with that door. As for the hot water we had it about 60% of the time. The staff were nice enough and were dilligent at all times, it seems they never went home. The town was a typical third world town, run down noisy and dirty, there is very little to see except noisy street bikes, broken sidewalks and garbage everywhere. Overall we totally got what we paid for, we enjoyed our time together and really did not mind the hotel as a whole, however we would not go back.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with family
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3  Thank ivanToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2009

We arrived at Casa Marina on January 4-11th. We were expecting the worst when it came to the hotel rooms because of the reviews but the rooms were clean. We booked two rooms cause we had 3 children with us (ages 14,10 and 5). Two stayed right beside us. The air conditioner didn't work in their room but as soon as I told the front desk, they had it fixed in a few hours.

The pools were clean but very cold. The kids didn't seem to mind. There was always lounge chairs available also.

One thing i can complain about is it is so busy that getting a table at the buffet at supper time was ridiculous!!

Thats probably it though!! Staff was friendly enough, food was basic, restaurants ok, town was fun, nightly shows were great, and it was fun with the kids!!

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with family
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4  Thank sunneeme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2009

Sosua: Casa Marina Reef & Beach: New Years's Eve, 2008-2009
Date: 15-01-09
Reviewer: A TripAdvisor Member, ON, Canada, 33 y.o., woman
Here is my feedback, based on the fact that I have travelled a lot, I have seen many other places and that I am single.
>
> Arrival in DR, Puerto Plata:
> Nolitours kiosk is easy to find and we were welcomed right away. Bus ride is short (15 min), with A/C.
>
> Casa Marina reception: staff is not friendly at all. Our Ocean view room was not available; it took two nights before getting it. Rooms are not well decorated; they look old. No hot water in showers!!! All week with cold water!!! Rooms are clean though and housekeepers are nice. No fridge in rooms and only one bottle of water per person for the week, but water fontains are available everywhere on the resort, easy access. Do not lose your towel, otherwise it will cost you 15$ US.
>
> Resort: Pools are clean, but extremely cold!!! They have enough chairs, which was nice. The resort is very clean in general, same thing for the buffet restaurants. Entertainment at the pool is rare. There are three hottubs on top of the reefs, where you can have a beautiful view of the ocean and Puerto Plata with its mountains, but the water was very cold again! The beaches (two small ones but quiet and isolated for privacy) are clean and nice, with again a lot of chairs available. The Ocean was warm and quite clear and beautiful weather all week (only one night of rain). There were a lot of couples and families on the resort, almost no single people and mostly not in their 30s

> Alcohol: Not available 24 hrs... You need to pay for your drinks after 23:00 pm!!!! Unbelievable!!! That was bad! So, no one was going to the discotheque on the resort, as people preferred to pay for their drinks in the bars in Sosua, which makes sense. So, it was nice to have easy access to the town and be with the locals, but that makes the resort being very quiet at evening time. Sosua is well known for prostitution ...It is everywhere and the guys get stopped all the time by the female Dominicans. Bars are full of them and they love tourists!!! Check your wallet!
>
> Food: Pretty good for a 3 1/2 stars. They had two buffets and three à la carte restaurants (Mexican was the best one). The good thing is that you could book your three dinners right at the beginning of the week at the reception. I don't know anyone who got sick because of the food.
>
> Entertainment: There was a show every night at 21h45 pm. I think it was good in general, but I did not attend often. On Sundays, they are off, so they do Karaoke. The New Year's Eve party was awesome!!! They had a live DJ outside and fireworks at midnight. The music was great and there was a lot of people dancing all night. They extended the time for having drinks that night, which was nice. They even opened the resort for the locals; they could buy a bracelet to celebrate and dance with us.
>
> Cabarete: This is a well-known town at about 15-20 mins from Sosua, by cab. It is a lovely beach with 2 Km of resto-bars right on the shore. It is the place for surfers! Huge entertainment and I heard that is the best place to celebrate New Year's Eve. This is a must go!!!
>
> Excursions: Different ones are available, via Nolitours and other cies. We did the Puerto Plata Runners, which I do not recommend at all. We drove to the mountains and visited a school (which was closed for Christmas holidays...) and a typical dominican house to taste home made coffee, hot chocolate and mamarouena (strong alcohol from DR). Then, we went to a beach and did 5 min of horse back riding ...Finally, we came back to the same house to taste rhum coconut. Ridiculous!!!
>
> In general, I liked my trip because of the nice weather and because we managed to meet some people with whom we did party. It was also interesting to shop around in Sosua (with its market and public Beach) and to go to the bars in town. The resort is well located and the view is great. For couples and families with low budget, it is a good deal. It is not a party place on the resort, but single people can go to Sosua and Cabarete to have fun.
I hope this review will help you in your trip planning.

3  Thank salsawoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2009

We just got back from the Casa Marina Reef. We travelled with a group of 16 people, ranging in age from 5 months to 55 years old. First, I want to make it clear that this place is two resorts that share the same facilities. There is the Reef side and the Beach side. While they share the same facilities, one side is considerably nicer than the other. I stayed at the Reef side, which is the side that is in need of some serious updates.
Rooms - first night we arrived we asked to be moved because the room smelled like mold and we didn't want our 5 month old breathing this in for the week...we couldn't be moved until the next day and the room we were given still smelled musty and you could see mold on the ceiling and on the bed spread. Many of the other people in our group said the rooms needed repairs. The bathrooms are really bad, most of the tiles on the walls are cracked and need serious updating.
Food - food was pretty good. I'm a picky eater but my husband really enjoyed the food. The variety was good, food was warm and cooked well. Specialty restaurants were good.
Pools - I swear I saw that the pools were heated but they weren't. They were quite cold, which isn't much of a problem for adults but we were travelling with young children who found it a little too cold.
Beach - didn't use the beach on the beach side but we did on the reef side. The water was nice but there were a lot of waves. This was fine for our group who enjoyed playing in them but isn't ideal for the little ones....many of the adults were knocked over and sweapt out/in by the waves. There were only a few sand crabs on the beach.
Staff - I have been to many places ranging from 3 to 5 plus stars and I have to say this was the WORST service we have received. The waitstaff in the buffet were really rude and constantly rolled their eyes at you if you said you weren't done with your plate. They were also pretty lazy and many of the tables went uncleaned. The maids were adequate but nothing special...even after leaving gifts for them...never received any different service. They mainly just made the bed. One waitress dropped a wine glass on my 5 month old daughters head and gave her a bruise.
Children's club - I was really dissapointed with this service considering we travelled with so many kids. The evening shows for the kids were really bad and only happened when the workers decided to show up. They never told you where it was being held so you had to go looking for it. The one night it was being held at the beach and the kids staff was sitting off to the side drinking a jug of wine while the one girl was dancing with the kids. After they had the kids do a race the kids staff "took the stage" and did a dance. For a second I thought I was at a strip club and everyone was looking at eachother wondering what was going on because they couldn't believe how they were dancing for the kids. It was obvious from the interaction with the children that they did not enjoy them or the activities they had to do with them.
Overall - very dissapointed with the resort and the service we received. The Beach side looked much nicer. The grounds and the pools were a lot nicer, looked better maintained and had more things going on in the pool, places to sit, cold reef tubs, bigger beach, hammocks and the entertainment centre. I never saw inside a room but the buildings looked nicer and not so dated. I can't say that I would ever go back to this resort nor would any of the people we travelled with.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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2  Thank tishey268
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 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: $79 - $315 (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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