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“Absolutly Beautiful!!!”

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Casa Marina Beach & Reef
Ranked #26 of 33 Hotels in Sosua
Vermont
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Absolutly Beautiful!!!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2010

I traveled to Sosua for my 5th time with a group of friends who had never been before. I had never stayed at an all inclusive before and had a fabulous time!

The town, the people, the culture, the beach, the weather... it's perfect. The resort was perfect for what we were looking for... relatively cheap with awesome people. Now all of you who write bad review on the resort all I have to say to you is you get what you pay for. This resort is inexpensive and it serves it's purpose. The rooms were not the most spectacular thing in the world and the beds were not the most comfortable... but we only slept and showered in the room. The employees are incredibly nice and very helpful. They put on a show EVERY night and it's so much fun. We went scuba diving right from the resort as well as a jeep safari in the country side that I would absolutely do again.

One of the best things about vacationing here is you can go outside of the resort and not worry about safety (for the most part). I wouldn't necessarily recommend going out alone after certain hours but that goes for anywhere (especially if you have never been before). The public beach is awesome and the shopping is great. If you are ever looking for souvenirs stop by Jimmy's shop along the road to the beach and tell him Jennifer sent you, he'll give you a great deal.

I could go on forever... if you are picky, OCD about bugs and dirt well the DR may not be for you at all but if you are looking for a great time I highly recommended Casa Marina.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jennymac08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (485)
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English first
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 14, 2010

Ok, here's my honest opinion: Not a bad resort, but a 3 star perhaps, definitely not 3 and a half.

What was great - the Jeep Safari trip with the waterfalls was lots of fun, the massages.

What was good - the staff were very friendly, drinks were good, grounds well-maintained, breakfast omelets

What wasn't so good - the room did smell, of chlorine, mold, and paint. The 'salt water jacuzzis' were NOT salt water, but fresh water, and weren't cleaned out very well (small thing, but not as advertised.) The beach - the sand was nice, but the waves were very rough, even dangerous. Although there is a red flag posted up the hill from the beach, there is no life guard on the beach itself. I saw a woman pulled from the waves. And because the water was so rough, the kayaks and snorkeling equipment was not provided. I got the impression the water is like this more often than not...maybe there should be some sort of warning? The food - the wine with dinner is really bad, and my vegetarian daughter says there wasn't enough selection for vegetarians. It rained most of the week, and there was no place to go and sit on the grounds if you didn't want to be in your room. People ended up sitting in the restaurants, and we were booted out of one. There were not enough loungers, and many were broken. My husband's beach towel was stolen the first day, and they charged us for it.

I don't think I'd go back.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jacToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 14, 2010

The Casa Marina BEACH hotel (cause there is the REEF which is newer part of the complex) is a probably the best choice in that area although there is only a handful of hotel in Sosua. First, understand that this is a 3 1/2 star hotel and don't expect more especially in the food area. The location is very well spotted.. on a reef so the view is great and close to the center of activities in town.

BEACHES: with 2 mostly private beaches, if your looking to do the iguana in the sun, you will probably be satisfied. There are nice waves and fun to play in the water although can be a little dangerous at times especially when windy (not a good place for young kids to play in the water since waves come crashing in). The problem with the big beach is that you have to walk & climb steep stairs to get yourself a drink as there is no bar on the beach (probably to save money on beverages).. Big boooo ! Plus we had to fight with the administration several times cause the closed down the beach cause THEY considered that waves to big.. although the were bigger the day before and the beach opened ! (Don't expect Dominicans to have a lot of common sense since the are 50 years in back). They mostly all follow orders but since everything is negotiable, it can be overruled if you talk with the right person.

FOOD: (Buffet) Like mentioned previously, the food is average for a 3 1/2 star hotel. The buffet is mostly always the same with different varieties here n there but don't expect much taste. You can eat between meals at the snack but it is always the same. Overcook pizza, good chicken, salad, fries, hams & dogs. A LA CARTE RESTAURANTS; Seafood - Italian & Mexican are pretty good but we were allowed only 3 reservations for the week. Seafood was great, Italian too.. Mexican was average. Wine is also pretty cheap but you must pay since they don't serve wine everywhere and their house wine is awful. (10$ to 20$ list).

BEVERAGES (drinks & alcohol). First, they don't mess with quantities, ask for a rum & coke, you will get 2-3 oz of rum minimum. But funnily, their alcohol don't seem like it’s very strong and doesn't leave to much next day hangovers :-) Variety of drinks is good but the MAJOR PROBLEM HERE is that they serve alcohol till 11pm. After that you have to pay which is a real bummer when your party is lifting..

STAFF: The Dominicans staff is usually friendly although there are some like everywhere that seem like they are on a hangover. Some seem like they love their job.. some less. But they are o.k.

ROOMS: If you reserved a GARDEN VIEW.. make sure you remember this.. We were sent in the back of the complex on the last floor which was near the street and got a great surprise when we opened the drapes.. It had a view on... a brick wall and were woke-up the next morning by a rooster who didn't know how to shut up. So make sure you check your room before you accept it. We asked for an other room (near the pool) which was o.k. but opted for an ocean view even if we had to pay an extra (25$ each for the week but had to negotiate since they wanted 100$ per person initially).

TOURS: Since besides the beach, drink & eat the is not a lot to do in the hotel, they offer you outside tours. CAREFUL, they mostly aren't worth it.. Most people we've talked with were disappointed with the tours. We went on a Dune-buggy trip on a rainy day (Funny tours) Never go with this company.. their dune-buggy were pieces of .. !! Wire everywhere (Dominicans are the kings of patch), a wheel fell off, + the guide didn't let us ride very fast.. and 2 had to ride a quad since there was not enough buggies.. SCUBA DIVING.. For 50$ they bring you in 10 meters which would be better doing snorkeling.. If you are certified, go in the lower tours and on a sunny day.. Not when its windy you wont see anything..

ENTERTAINMENT STAFF: Not very active. There shows are o.k. if you like dance shows. They rest is average and there is not really daily activities so don’t expect to be much entertained by their ‘’amigos’’ not that I care...

DOMINICANS: The Dominicans are friendly people but they are like piranhas as they always try to sell you something. As soon as you leave the hotel you have someone in your face trying to sell you their crap and visit their boutique. They also ALL have the same articles for sale which is incredible; cigars, shirts, local jewelry, paintings!! Everything is negotiable so be patient, they will lower their prices as they always start high. Up till we were in the plane at 3h45 am, they were in the duty free area trying a last time to deal us something. I can honestly say, I won’t be going back there for a while.

Unfortunately, we had poor weather while we were there so we had the chance to see up-close the hotel but like I mentioned before, it is a 3 ½ star hotel so don’t expect more.. I was there 5 & 10 years ago and haven't seen any changes.. too bad !

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Beachbum_971
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vaudreuil, Quebec
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2010

My husband and I stayed there from Jan 1st-8th, 2010. The first thing is that it was cloudy and rainy the whole week so that was terrible. But for the hotel it was a 3.5 star, I wouldn't rate it anymore than that. We paid $699 for one week and I wouldn't pay more than that and if I did I would of been dissapointed.

ROOM: very clean and basic, like most places. LADIES bring your hairdryer. they have just a few there and they share them with everyone on the resort.

FOOD: the food was good but they really need to add to their buffet, it is very small and limited choice. The only thing is that the service is good but not great. People are very friendly though. The 3 restaurants were good though :-)

GROUNDS: kept very clean and lots of palm trees and greenery which is always nice to see when you are going down south. There are 2 pools and 3 jacuzzi's by the ocean which was nice.

What was good is that you are walking distance from Sosua so you can shop there and have a nice meal outside of the resort. It is safe but just be careful and don't go where you shouldn't be.

MASSAGE: just down the street, I think it was called La Prima or something like that... you can get a nice 1 hour massage for $15...very good!!

Overall we had a nice time, I'm sure if it was nice we would of had a great time but that wasn't the case...but the hotel was nice and clean compared to some other ones there. Us personally we wouldn't go back there, just because we dont' like to do the same place twice, I would recommend people to go there....but to pay NO more than $750 for this place.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SandraGerry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2010

I have previouly stayed at 4 all-inclusives in Cuba ranging from 2 star to 4 stars, and my stay at the Casa Marina Reef was my first trip to the Dominican Republic. I don't consider myself to be very fussy and seldom complain, but the Casa Marina Reef leaves me no choice.
My room was located half way down a long hall. These halls act as an amplifier for noise. From inside the room, everytime someone closed their door it sounded like a cannon going off. When guest walked down the halls late at night in groups talking, or sometimes even shouting (ignoring the be quiet signs), it made sleeping almost impossible. Unless you are one that drinks until you pass out (and there were many apparently), forget about getting any quality sleep.
The buffet food was very routine and didn't vary very much at all. Often had to wait in yet another line to get a seat for dinner. I did find places with some tasty dishes off the resort.
I was approached by several aggressive sales people on the grounds of the resort. There is a sales office near the entrance to the beach of some sort that they tried to get me to step into. I found this to be very annoying. Then were were the vendors of trinkets and other junk setting up shop all over the resort. Fine, but I didn't come on vacation to be hassled by in-your-face sales people.
The animation shows lacked lustre, and were not even close to being as good what I have experienced in the past. I think families with young children would probably have no complaints.
I asked at the front desk for a wake-up call, as I had an early check out time (yes-even with the noisy halls I would eventually drift off to some kind of intermittment form of sleep in the wee hours of the morning). The call never happened. After rushing around to pack and get ready to check out, the front desk person informed me I had to go back and get the beach towel from my room (right where it was when I arrived - in my room). Said he "Did you go to the meeting"? Said I "Yes". Said he "Well they would have told you in the meeting to return the towel at checkout". The tour rep said no such thing. The tour rep did not even know that there was water re-fill stations in the hallways (right below the be quiet sign symbol).
Couldn't pay me to go back to this resort.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank usernamehmmm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Sosua hotels

Montreal
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2010

The food was good though not excellent. My wife's a vegetarian and didn't have any trouble with the selection. Yes some dishes seem to always show up but there's also new ones showing up. We tried the Italian and Mexican and thought they were both worth it.

The surroundings are kept clean. They would clean our room and bring new towels every time we would put the sign on the door and the job was well done. The ocean view/walk is nice. The rooms are pretty standard and everything worked in our room (TV, hot water electricity, A/C).

The beach. Well, first I will start by saying that it rained every single one of the 5 days we were there, so that kind of sets the mood. We did see the sun on one occasion though. From what I heard, January can be hit or miss, but it is the most rainy month. The hotel has two beaches and the smaller one on Marina Beach side was only open once out of our 5 day stay. The other beach which is longer and nicer IMO. It was closed 2 of 5 days because of strong waves (and probably because it was drizzling the best part of the day).The sand on the beach is not the fine white but more the bigger grainier type. While the beach is far from spectacular, it's fine and the water is warm even in January. The beach is private and very safe. You can go to the Sosua public beach within a 10 minute walk but be prepared to be hassled by the locals for buying stuff, renting chairs, refreshments, etc.

Night shows, I don't usually care for much, but the one I saw, I thought was pretty good and my wife loved it.

The hotel is a little old but well kept and well organized. I stayed 5 days and thought it was fine but would not have liked staying much longer (even when trying to factor out the bad weather). I find there's just not that much to do outside the hotel complex unless your willing to go on the extra trips they propose. I find these trips too expensive, I'd rather organize my own.

All in all I think this hotel is fine for a couple or a family looking for a short get away without spending too much.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank maverickMontreal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2010

I decided to go to the Dominican on a last minute decision. I didn't know anything about this particular resort and I have to say I was expecting the worst. But for a 3 1/2 star resort it carriers itself well. Its huge, clean, friendly staff, great FOOD...yes the food was really good. lots of variety. Try the mexican coffee if you remember. The rooms where not too shabby, clean and the beds where comfy. I don't know why some people complain about the rooms...its a 3 1/2 resort, WAKE UP! In a nutshell you get your moneys worth....I would definitely go back to Casa Marina. P.s> night shows are pretty good too.

  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank goodcompany123
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 | El Batey, 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:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Sosua
#10 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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