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“Relaxing”
Review of Villa Serena Hotel

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Villa Serena Hotel
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Las Galeras
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 7, 2014

I went with my family (total of 7 people) and split up in 3 rooms. Right away the staff made sure we liked our room and made sure everything worked. The beach is extremely relaxing, especially the sand. It changes corresponding to the tide (high or low) but it is beautiful and you can even snorkel (they provide the gear) towards the left and immediately see coral and exotic fishes. I also kayaked to the nearby island and its a very nice brief workout.
The second day half of us went to the nearby beach Playa Rincon by horse and the other half hiking.
The food in the hotel is amazing (i would suggest eating anything with fish or tuna since it is so fresh there) and the staff is very nice and accommodating.
Definitely want to go again!

Room Tip: Room upstairs with a balcony was very well located
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank PuertasV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 16, 2014

Thank you so much, we had a great time with you guys! Hope you'll come back! :*

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62 - 68 of 190 reviews

Reviewed June 12, 2014

My husband and I like what we call "hotel de charme". These hotels are usually very romantic, elegant and very personalized. Villa Serena is perfectly like this. Each room is decorated differently according to the style of the hotel. The garden and the beach are very beautiful. It is just wonderful to find such an hotel in Las Galeras, one of the most beautiful site we have visited in Dominican Republic. I hope I will return.

Room Tip: Very important to have a room with view on the sea, preferably in the upper of central building.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Renauld J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded June 14, 2014

Thank you so much and we hope you will be able to come back soon, too!! :*

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Reviewed May 29, 2014

Villa Serena first and foremost had the most accommodating staff that I have ever experienced at a hotel. (Better than Disney World). They were willing to help my mom and I organize boat trips, restaurant reservations, and accommodate our late check-in. The kitchen staff was kind beyond words. They were happy to be at there and served us gladly. My Mom had unfortunately gotten sick on her trip and they even made her a special Dominican herbal tea remedy for her belly; that seemed to have worked miracles!

The beauty of Villa Serena Hotel can not be captured in words. A beautiful grassy yard with the ocean leading up to the shore of a perfectly white, soft sandy beach area. The virgin islands surround the Semana/Las Galeras area are breath taking and a quick trip on a boat. The pool on site is a great way to rinse off and refresh in the evening. The kayaks were another great addition to the adventure.

The rooms were exceptionally clean and were supplied with water for the day. The staff was more than willing to supply extra necessities if needed.

I have recommended this hotel to friends here in the DR as well as I would highly encourage others to visit this place. Honestly, my favorite place in the DR thus far, and I am an expat living here.

Room Tip: The second floor was wonderful, right above the lobby. No noise and an amazing view. However, I don...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Laura S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded June 4, 2014

Dear Laura,

thank you so much (especially this- better than Disney World hahah)

we are sorry that your mom was bad at the time, but we hope next time will be ok :)

Un abrazo!

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Reviewed May 3, 2014

It’s a truly beautiful setting, and after visiting Las Galeras and other hotel sites, where there is a lot of noise from loud music, and vehicles, we were extra-glad we chose Villa Serena.

The hotel is extraordinarily well-maintained and cleaned. The little beach is lovely, at all hours, even when subsumed by the tide. The handsome grounds are a treat. While at least one reviewer complained that they don’t remove the seaweeds from the water in front of their beach, they do have a guy who harvests all the coconuts so they don’t fall on people’s heads. (And if you're lucky they may hand you one, opened and with a straw).

Most meals, we ate in their restaurant. The food was, each time, as good as at any top-quality restaurant at home or other travel destinations.

This is not a hostel-budget accommodation, but overall the prices were reasonable. For example, the hotel arranged driver transfer from the airport, and we later saw a sign board at a competing all-inclusive resort nearby that suggested theirs was a much heavier markup.

The staff were universally pleasant, and most were warm; not overly-familiar like U.S. service workers are, but pleasant in conversation and in the ordinary exchanges of hotel stay. It probably helped a little that one of us is a native Spanish speaker.

We loved the fact there are no TVs and internet in the rooms, and no music in the public areas either. This made for a very peaceful, tranquil, and refreshing vacation; and a better night's sleep as well. When guests want internet they sit quietly in the hotel lobby, absorbed in their devices.

Las Galeras is small, so we couldn’t help but encounter the other lodging options. For us, Villa Serena seems the best place to stay here. The others appeared not quite as well maintained (cleaned and painted and kept in good repair), and are too proximate to public beach – like the handsome Hotel Todo Blanco -- and roadways -- like Plaza Lusitania -- where it’s clear that many Dominicans, we learned in our first trip here, apparently love noise and are in a continual competition for who can have the loudest and most earth-shaking car stereo systems. Villa Serena is a good enough distance from the public beach that even when the music is blasting, it isn’t unpleasant.

There were only two negatives. First, the hotel's web site represents “Villa Serena has twenty-one spacious and comfortable rooms, all with a large private terrace and a stunning ocean view.” In fact, the room we received did not have an ocean view, but a recessed view of the main front of the hotel and the garden, and there was a small balcony big enough for a single upright chair, not a terrace. The only way to see the ocean was to go onto the balcony, and stand in its very far corner. (So, ask for room #15 if you want extreme privacy, I guess, where you can stand nude on the little balcony without much risk of exposure).

That leads to the second negative: the female manager is mostly absent, has a smile like the cat that ate the canary, and is as warm as her Russian homeland in winter. We arrived in the night, so in the morning asked if a room with the advertised ocean view could be available. No one but her, evidently, had authority to answer, because we had asked two others at the desk before she finally appeared on the scene. When she arrived, she put a book on the counter, threw it open dramatically, raised each arm high with open palms upward, and with a hard little laugh of derision pronounced, “People are booking a year in advance for this.” Okay, so they’re full.

But, on our very last day, I encountered her coming out of what was evidently her own room at the very center of the building, with a bag over her shoulder, freshly dressed and headed out. The manager herself, I saw then, occupies one of those advertised rooms with the ocean view and large terrace, which meant that this pair of guests couldn’t have one.

Hotel managers often get a room or even a suite, and sometimes these are among the very best rooms, but I have also traveled the world enough to have experienced that when a hotel is truly full – especially a self-described boutique hotel with only twenty-one rooms -- a manager will sometimes cede the room to a paying guest. Not this manager. In that moment I saw that the negative comments about her on Trip Advisor are right on target. If it weren't for the negative experience of her, I would rate the hotel "Excellent."

The manager may be a piece of work, but we'll be back.

Room Tip: Room 15 does NOT have ocean view, and the balcony is small. But if you want a room that's out o...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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3  Thank ryan61562
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded May 15, 2014

Dear Mr. Ryan,

thank you for the review, we really appreciate each comment :)

Well, I will try to explain what you saw as a negative of the hotel.

Rooms 14, 15 and 16 are the biggest at the hotel, containing 2 double beds plus extra beds, so we are always trying to give those rooms to people who are arriving with their families.
I'm really sorry if you found it as a negative.

On the other hand, I really believe that I tried to be helpful, not dramatic to any of our customers.
I doubt that previous comments were written about me, as I'm here just a couple of months.

Also, I have to disappoint you about manager's (mine) room at the hotel. I do not have any room at the hotel, I actually live in a house nearby, which was also rented to one family at this time when you were at the hotel. To tell you the truth, "manager" was sleeping at the laundry floor these few days, except for one night, when there was room nr. 20 available at the hotel. I guess, the same day when you saw me going out of a room in the middle of the building.


Anyhow, please, accept my sincerely apologize for any inconvenience,

best regards,
Marina Vesanovic-Dvornik

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Reviewed April 28, 2014

This was a perfect spot for a romantic getaway. My husband and I had never been to the DR before and we didn't know what to expect. A driver picked us up from the airport and took us to the Villa Serena. We were welcomed by charming and gracious staff. The hotel itself is gorgeous and everything is beautifully maintained. Our rooms (and every room - as far as we couild tell) had a wonderful view of the sea. They considered every detail - a complete breakfast every morning and flowers in our room every day. It was a find!

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank debfromvermont
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2014

Spent 5 nights here and can't say enough nice things about the hotel. The grounds are beautiful and peaceful, the staff was fantastic, the room was comfortable. Loved the balcony off the room, the views to the ocean. Made use of the kayaks and snorkels that are available for use. The breakfast was wonderful. Had one nice dinner here as well. They can arrange boats to other beaches that pull right up to the grounds as well as any other activites you are interested in. It was always nice to have the Villa Serena to come back to for the peace and quiet.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank capeck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2014

You can't visit Samana without staying at the Villa Serena Hotel. I came across it by accident, stayed 2 nights and came back 3 weeks later for another 2 day stay with visitors from the USA.
The view of the ocean as you come into the hotel lobby is breathtaking. Marina, the hotel Manager, was very accommodating, helpful and a lovely person. The rooms were spectacular, clean, roomy with a great balcony and the canopy beds in the photos are for real. The pool and beach are very relaxing, well maintained and picturesque. Don't miss out on this lovely hotel, you won't regret it and won't want to leave. Joel (North Beach, Maryland)

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Sailthebay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa Serena Hotel

Address: Las Galeras, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Samana Province > Las Galeras
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Las Galeras
Price Range: $108 - $162 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Villa Serena Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 21
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Also Known As:
Villa Serena Hotel Samana, Dominican Republic

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