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“Please get the aircon situation resolved and address the hooker problem.”

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Casa Marina Beach & Reef
Ranked #23 of 30 Hotels in Sosua
Reviewed 12 June 2012

This was our 3rd time at Casa Marina, the place is beautiful and clean. Our only problem was that they kept the aircon off most of the time you had to complain non stop to get it turned on and when it was it was at about 85 degrees. We asked if it was working and the answer we got was at that resort they do not turn the air con cooler. We felt very sorry for the housekeeping staff who were cleaning non aircon rooms when the temp outside was 34 degrees and feeling like 40 with the humidity. Also the food was not that great but there was always something to eat. Most of the staff were great. Like many resorts hookers are the norm coming in with tourists, the problem is the hookers at this resort are loud, low class and very obvious. We do not come on vacation to watch the hookers take the place over, insulting the tourists in German, English and Spanish. They need to realize that many tourists speak more than one language.The resort needs to address this issue before we or our friends and family return again. One last thing GET SOME DRESSERS. it can't cost that much. We will be keeping track of the comments on this site before we decide if we will return this coming winter.

Room Tip: Any room that has working aircon.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank cosette123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,165 - 1,169 of 3,785 reviews

Reviewed 12 June 2012

SUMMARY - Considering its convenient pricing, I would recommend this place. You are likely to enjoy your time in Casa Marina Beach and Reef Resort and keep fond memories of the place, assuming you can overlook it's obvious shortcomings and annoyances. Read on for a full review.

LOCATION - By the see, has direct access to two beaches. Little town of Sosua is all around. Convenient supermarkets, money exchange houses and pharmacies surround the hotel. Better to buy your gifts and mementos in the supermarket: you'll find more variety than in the hotel's store and "Dominican" prices, a lot cheaper! Also, they exchange dollars at a better rate.

STAFF - Hotel stuff are efficient and do their job properly, but don't expect them to smile while doing it. I'd say only 30% of the people working there tried to be friendly and polite -mostly the ones that sell stuff-. Most employees just look like they want you to get out of their faces as soon as possible. This is specially true with women: not a single one seems to be able to crack a smile, though it seems to be a cultural thing, I saw the same attitude in the airport and supermarkets.

But if grumpy staff seems bad enough, the overly friendly ones are the ones to fear. They'll approach you calling you "friend" and asking innocent questions about your nationality and this and that, but soon enough then they'll try to get you into buying something. If you are lucky, they'll just offer you a couple of tours (they are quite good, more on that later), but most of the sales representatives roaming the hotel will try to lure you with some "gift" into a room where you'll be asked to give a lot of information and then sit through a sales pitch were you'll be brainwashed into buying a very expensive and useless "Royal Hotels Membership". AVOID THESE PEOPLE LIKE THE PLAGUE. We did, but some friends were not as wise and ended up wasting a lot of money. This is clearly the worst thing about this resort, but it's totally up to you to avoid it. Once they realize you are not interested, they'll leave you alone.

ROOMS - They are ample, but definitely not luxurious. Design and decoration is humble, resembling that of a motel room. Rooms consist of 2 beds, cable tv, air conditioner, balcony, closet with a safe box (you need to rent a key, 15 USD for a week), telephone and bathroom. Beds are comfortable, but you'll sleep easier if you don't pay much attention to the tidiness of the linen. The tub is made of yellow-ish plastic, looks cheap and dirty (even if clean), not really an inviting sight. The rest is okay. Tap water is not drinkable, but they give you a bottle of water; they never replace it though, so you'll have to go refill it yourself or call the counter for a new one. Chances are something will be broken in your room: tv remote, air conditioner, electric plugs, window locks... or all of the above. You'll probably need to complain in order to get another room until you get one with 'less relevant' broken stuff. Most of the rooms have a nice view, either of a swimming pool or the ocean. There is no elevator, so choose lower floors.

SWIMMING POOLS - The hotel has 3 large swimming pools plus 2 small ones for children. They are very nice, specially the main one, which has waterfalls, a basketball ring, volleyball net and other games to play in it. Strange thing is: They close it at 6.00 pm! Also, there are no lifeguards, so keep an eye on your children! You can get free towels from a counter near the pool. This place can get pretty crowded on busy days (specially weekends).

BEACHES - The hotel has direct access to 2 beaches, one exclusive to the hotel, the other one public. Neither has emerald shallow water, but they are quite nice all the same. The private one has free chairs available for guests. Like the swimming pool, this beach doesn't have a lifeguard and it closes at 6 pm. That's correct: THEY CLOSE THE BEACH!

JACUZZIS - There are three "jacuzzis" (more like tiny swimming pools) on top of the rocks, overlooking the ocean. Really nice location. Unfortunately, no one seems to take care of cleaning them, judging by the plethora of plastic cups lying around them and floating inside. Jacuzzis are supposedly open all night long, but they turn them off at around 10 pm. and there's hardly any illumination after it gets dark, so they get deserted anyway.

FOOD BUFFET - They say they have 2 buffet restaurants ("El Acantilado" and "El Batey") but only one was working the week I spent there. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and the the dishes are rotated daily, but it still gets a bit old after a few days. There are plenty of options to choose from, though I usually found no more than three or four choices to be appetizing. On a panel on the wall, they claim to serve food of different countries each day: Monday is French, Tuesday is Asian, Wednesday Italian and so on, but unless you consider rice and beans with meatballs covered with gravy to be Chinese food, or fried chicken to be Italian, you'll be very disappointed. Even the music has nothing to do with the "nationality" of the food being served and it can get quite repetitive at times. I remember listening to the same song three times in a single seating. Coffee, tropical fruits and desserts -specially desserts- are outstanding, though.

"A LA CARTE" RESTAURANTS - According to their web page, there are 3 "a la carte" restaurants in this resort: SeaScape [sea food], Jalapeño [mexican] and Luiggi [italian]. Well, they should be called "The Trinity" because they are all just one single restaurant with 3 different menus to choose from. They are quite good, much better than the buffet, but you get only 3 tickets for them, so you can only eat there thrice, and you need to book a table in advance (during the morning), though on lazy days they may let you in without reservation.

BARS / DRINKS - Casa Marina web page lists nine bars on their web page (6 of them free), but I only ever got to see three of them working. I've got no clue where the rest might be. Anyway, after trying a couple of their drinks, you'll loose all interest in finding them: The drinks SUCK! They are watered down beyond recognition and made with the cheapest possible ingredients. Wine is just awful. I recommend sticking to beer, coke and juices.

ENTERTAINMENT - There are plenty of games to play around the resort: ping-pong, table-soccer, billiards, board games, etc. but most are quite battered and you need to get the necessary equipment from a place called KIKO'S which opens at around 10 am. and closes at 5 pm., so after that hour, there's not much to do. Billiards and table-soccer are the only ones open till late. On a lazy day you'll be able to play for hours, but as the weekend flock arrives, you can consider yourself lucky if you get to play at all. Also, no one seems to pay much attention to what people do with the stuff they get from Kiko's or whether they returned it or not, so it can be hard to get a hold of a particular item, unless you just find it lying around. Also, if you don't go return the things before they close, you are stuck with them until the next day.

There are also some live shows every night near the buffet restaurant, though they mostly involve the staff of the hotel dancing poorly coordinated choreographies and inviting the guests to participate in some kind of contest. Occasionally, though, they put on a good show. We saw a magician that was actually quite impressive and a good band performing tropical music live.

DISCOTHEQUE - There's a "discotheque" (probably more like a hot empty room with music) under the buffet restaurant, but I never bothered checking it out, since most of the guests were overweight-50-year-old couples and small children anyway.

TOURS - There are several tours available, at an extra price (35 to 70 USD each). My suggestion is DO TAKE THEM! They are a lot of fun and help break the routine! We took "Gri-Gri Lagoon" (which includes a visit to a coconut / banana / cocoa / coffee plantation, a boat ride around mangrose trees, a visit to a cave in the rocks, a swim in a natural pool in the ocean and a nice lunch in the spectacular Long Beach) and "Paradise Island" (boat to an incredible island with perfect crystal waters and coral reefs where you can snorkel and sample tropical fruits, see more mangrose trees, lunch at local restaurant and a visit to a cigar factory). We also got a free tour to "Puerto Plata" city, Brugal rum factory, a jewelry factory, the ambar museum and a cable car to the highest hill around the area (very nice indeed). -- A piece of advice: DO NOT BUY any of the stuff they'll try to sell you during these visits. Everything is absurdly overpriced and can be found much much cheaper in a supermarket a couple of blocks away from the hotel. Plus, you are also expected -not forced- to tip every single person you meet on the tour.

SECURITY - Doors work with magenic-card locks, so it's quite safe. Cleaning staff has access to your room, though, but they seem to be honest (and very fast!). There is a safe box in your room, but you need to rent the key (15 USD for 6 days). Lose it, and you'll have to pay 50 USD to replace it. There is nowhere to put your stuff safely while in the swimming pool, beach or playing any of the available games, so you are better off carrying as little as possible at any time. I got my bag stolen from a chair while playing billiards, so don't be overconfident. (The staff seemed completely oblivious to my problem and did nothing about it. In fact, every single one of them suggested that I might have misplaced it).

BOTTOM LINE - Most of the annoying stuff can be quite shocking at first, but once you get used to it -and you'll get used immediately- you'll start enjoying yourself enormously. Keep in mind this is a poor, undeveloped country, you can't apply first-world standards to it. As long as you refuse any fishy business and devote yourself to taking any opportunity you get to have a good time, you'll have a great vacation for a very low price.

Room Tip: Avoid higher rooms, there is no elevator. All rooms are the same, but not everything works in them...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank MarcoCanepa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2012

SUMMARY - Considering its convenient pricing, I would recommend this place. You are likely to enjoy your time in Casa Marina Beach and Reef Resort and keep fond memories of the place, assuming you can overlook it's obvious shortcomings and annoyances. Read on for a full review.

LOCATION - By the see, has direct access to two beaches. Little town of Sosua is all around. Convenient supermarkets, money exchange houses and pharmacies surround the hotel. Better to buy your gifts and mementos in the supermarket: you'll find more variety than in the hotel's store and "Dominican" prices, a lot cheaper! Also, they exchange dollars at a better rate.

STAFF - Hotel stuff are efficient and do their job properly, but don't expect them to smile while doing it. I'd say only 30% of the people working there tried to be friendly and polite -mostly the ones that sell stuff-. Most employees just look like they want you to get out of their faces as soon as possible. This is specially true with women: not a single one seems to be able to crack a smile, though it seems to be a cultural thing, I saw the same attitude in the airport and supermarkets.

But if grumpy staff seems bad enough, the overly friendly ones are the ones to fear. They'll approach you calling you "friend" and asking innocent questions about your nationality and this and that, but soon enough then they'll try to get you into buying something. If you are lucky, they'll just offer you a couple of tours (they are quite good, more on that later), but most of the sales representatives roaming the hotel will try to lure you with some "gift" into a room where you'll be asked to give a lot of information and then sit through a sales pitch were you'll be brainwashed into buying a very expensive and useless "Royal Hotels Membership". AVOID THESE PEOPLE LIKE THE PLAGUE. We did, but some friends were not as wise and ended up wasting a lot of money. This is clearly the worst thing about this resort, but it's totally up to you to avoid it. Once they realize you are not interested, they'll leave you alone.

ROOMS - They are ample, but definitely not luxurious. Design and decoration is humble, resembling that of a motel room. Rooms consist of 2 beds, cable tv, air conditioner, balcony, closet with a safe box (you need to rent a key, 15 USD for a week), telephone and bathroom. Beds are comfortable, but you'll sleep easier if you don't pay much attention to the tidiness of the linen. The tub is made of yellow-ish plastic, looks cheap and dirty (even if clean), not really an inviting sight. The rest is okay. Tap water is not drinkable, but they give you a bottle of water; they never replace it though, so you'll have to go refill it yourself or call the counter for a new one. Chances are something will be broken in your room: tv remote, air conditioner, electric plugs, window locks... or all of the above. You'll probably need to complain in order to get another room until you get one with 'less relevant' broken stuff. Most of the rooms have a nice view, either of a swimming pool or the ocean. There are no elevators, so if you are not in good physical condition, ask for a room in the lower floors.

SWIMMING POOLS - The hotel has 3 large swimming pools plus 2 small ones for children. They are very nice, specially the main one, which has waterfalls, a basketball ring, volleyball net and other games to play in it. Strange thing is: They close it at 6.00 pm! Also, there are no lifeguards, so keep an eye on your children! You can get free towels from a counter near the pool. This place can get pretty crowded on busy days (specially weekends).

BEACHES - The hotel has direct access to 2 beaches, one exclusive to the hotel, the other one public. Neither has emerald shallow water, but they are quite nice all the same. The private one has free chairs available for guests. Like the swimming pool, this beach doesn't have a lifeguard and it closes at 6 pm. That's correct: THEY CLOSE THE BEACH!

JACUZZIS - There are three "jacuzzis" (more like tiny swimming pools) on top of the rocks, overlooking the ocean. Really nice location. Unfortunately, no one seems to take care of cleaning them, judging by the plethora of plastic cups lying around them and floating inside. Jacuzzis are supposedly open all night long, but they turn them off at around 10 pm. and there's hardly any illumination after it gets dark, so they get deserted anyway.

FOOD BUFFET - They say they have 2 buffet restaurants ("El Acantilado" and "El Batey") but only one was working the week I spent there. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and the the dishes are rotated daily, but it still gets a bit old after a few days. There are plenty of options to choose from, though I usually found no more than three or four choices to be appetizing. On a panel on the wall, they claim to serve food of different countries each day: Monday is French, Tuesday is Asian, Wednesday Italian and so on, but unless you consider rice and beans with meatballs covered with gravy to be Chinese food, or fried chicken to be Italian, you'll be very disappointed. Even the music has nothing to do with the "nationality" of the food being served and it can get quite repetitive at times. I remember listening to the same song three times in a single seating. Coffee, tropical fruits and desserts -specially desserts- are outstanding, though.

"A LA CARTE" RESTAURANTS - According to their web page, there are 3 "a la carte" restaurants in this resort: SeaScape [sea food], Jalapeño [mexican] and Luiggi [italian]. Well, they should be called "The Trinity" because they are all just one single restaurant with 3 different menus to choose from. They are quite good, much better than the buffet, but you get only 3 tickets for them, so you can only eat there thrice, and you need to book a table in advance (during the morning), though on lazy days they may let you in without reservation.

BARS / DRINKS - Casa Marina web page lists nine bars on their web page (6 of them free), but I only ever got to see three of them working. I've got no clue where the rest might be. Anyway, after trying a couple of their drinks, you'll loose all interest in finding them: The drinks SUCK! They are watered down beyond recognition and made with the cheapest possible ingredients. Wine is just awful. I recommend sticking to beer, coke and juices.

ENTERTAINMENT - There are plenty of games to play around the resort: ping-pong, table-soccer, billiards, board games, etc. but most are quite battered and you need to get the necessary equipment from a place called KIKO'S which opens at around 10 am. and closes at 5 pm., so after that hour, there's not much to do. Billiards and table-soccer are the only ones open till late. On a lazy day you'll be able to play for hours, but as the weekend flock arrives, you can consider yourself lucky if you get to play at all. Also, no one seems to pay much attention to what people do with the stuff they get from Kiko's or whether they returned it or not, so it can be hard to get a hold of a particular item, unless you just find it lying around. Also, if you don't go return the things before they close, you are stuck with them until the next day.

There are also some live shows every night near the buffet restaurant, though they mostly involve the staff of the hotel dancing poorly coordinated choreographies and inviting the guests to participate in some kind of contest. Occasionally, though, they put on a good show. We saw a magician that was actually quite impressive and a good band performing tropical music live.

DISCOTHEQUE - There's a "discotheque" (probably more like a hot empty room with music) under the buffet restaurant, but I never bothered checking it out, since most of the guests were overweight-50-year-old couples and small children anyway.

TOURS - There are several tours available, at an extra price (35 to 70 USD each). My suggestion is DO TAKE THEM! They are a lot of fun and help break the routine! We took "Gri-Gri Lagoon" (which includes a visit to a coconut / banana / cocoa / coffee plantation, a boat ride around mangrose trees, a visit to a cave in the rocks, a swim in a natural pool in the ocean and a nice lunch in the spectacular Long Beach) and "Paradise Island" (boat to an incredible island with perfect crystal waters and coral reefs where you can snorkel and sample tropical fruits, see more mangrose trees, lunch at local restaurant and a visit to a cigar factory). We also got a free tour to "Puerto Plata" city, Brugal rum factory, a jewelry factory, the ambar museum and a cable car to the highest hill around the area (very nice indeed). -- A piece of advice: DO NOT BUY any of the stuff they'll try to sell you during these visits. Everything is absurdly overpriced and can be found much much cheaper in a supermarket a couple of blocks away from the hotel. Plus, you are also expected -not forced- to tip every single person you meet on the tour.

SECURITY - Doors work with magenic-card locks, so it's quite safe. Cleaning staff has access to your room, though, but they seem to be honest (and very fast!). There is a safe box in your room, but you need to rent the key (15 USD for 6 days). Lose it, and you'll have to pay 50 USD to replace it. There is nowhere to put your stuff safely while in the swimming pool, beach or playing any of the available games, so you are better off carrying as little as possible at any time. I got my bag stolen from a chair while playing billiards, so don't be overconfident. (The staff seemed completely oblivious to my problem and did nothing about it. In fact, every single one of them suggested that I might have misplaced it).

BOTTOM LINE - Most of the annoying stuff can be quite shocking at first, but once you get used to it -and you'll get used immediately- you'll start enjoying yourself enormously. Keep in mind this is a poor, undeveloped country, so you can't apply first-world standards to it. As long as you refuse any fishy business and devote yourself to taking advantage of the opportunities that present themselves, you'll have a great vacation for a very low price.

Room Tip: All rooms are pretty much the same. Lower floors are more convenient since there is no elevator. If...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
32  Thank MarcoCanepa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2012

I really don't know where to begin. I traveled to D.R. with my sister for my 15th time (14 of the 15 times i've stayed at Casa Marina Beach/Reef). I've celebrated there birthdays, break-ups, family get aways etc... I've gone various different month's throughout the year since 2004. It just wasn't the same this time around. The last time I traveled there was October of 2010 and 1/2 of the hotel was closed due to renervations. This time 1/2 of the hotel was closed due to low season (when is high season)?? An indication should have been that Prieto tours was not at the airport, we were escorted to our room within 15 minutes after we arrived, and that the pools were empty. I asked an employee where everyone was at, and he informed us that 500 people had been laid off within the company. Two of my concerns are that there are no more night time shows at the Amphitheater, and that the food has changed over the years (still somewhat good). What I will say is that it is still a beautiful place. Most of the staff that you encounter are pleasant. What better place to meet people from all over the world. The rooms have now been renovated (+). I just hope that the new management realize what they have there, and stop running it into the ground. People have labeled me crazy, because I want to give it another chance. I'll decide between now and next year, as for now, I have my photo's and memories!!

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Durell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2012

My boyfriend and I took a trip to Casa Marina in Feburary and we are still talking about it because it was so amazing. If you are a prude and picky then maybe you find problems with the place but it is well worth the trip. We had a beautful view of the Ocean from our room with a patio. The rooms are basic but have everything that you would need! The staff was very friendly and there was always something going on! The infinity pools were amazing to sit in and relax!!! We didnt even go in the pools because the beach and infinity cold tubs were just so amazing!!!

We went on 2 excursions that we bought on the resort! The first was a Jeep Safari for $45 each and I would reccommend it to anyone!!! It was amazing! Best experience of my life! We got to travel through cities and towns, go jumping off of cliffs, and so much more!!!! The second was deep sea fishing. This was ok, many of us were sea sick even after taking 2 gravol but it was a once in a life time possibility. Beautiful pictures.

One last thing, the scuba diving/snorkeling off of the resort was pretty cool. We saw lots of tropical fish as well as a few others!

Room Tip: Oceanview was AMAZING!!!!
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Mary W
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
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Sosua
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre 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: $113 - $434 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Casa Marina Beach & Reef 3*
Number of rooms: 676
Reservation Options:
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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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