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“Too many "RULES"”

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Casa Marina Beach & Reef
Ranked #23 of 30 Hotels in Sosua
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 30 December 2004

Just stayed at the Casa Marina Reef for one week over Christmas Holidays. Overall the resort was O.K. The rooms were adequate and clean. We tried the Mexican and Italian "al a carte" restaurants and they were slightly more enjoyable than the buffet. Usually we were able to find food that was agreeable to us, but not always. The drinks at the bar were O.K. and the local Presidente Beer was just fine. Mixed drinks were "hit and miss". You just had to find the the bartenders that knew how to make them properly. The staff, on the most part, were very helpful. We would leave plenty $1 tips for our chambermaid and staff that were helpful. Remember that this is a three star resort and you probably won't spend a lot of money for your vacation here. You get what you pay for.

What was really disturbing was the "RULES"

1. We were not able to put our wrist bands around our ankle, as we have done at other all inclusive resorts. With an all inclusive tag around your wrist, you become a huge target for scams as you explore outside the resort. If you were able to put this band around your ankle, it would be much less obvious and would also prevent a lot of scratching.

2. The Front Desk would only issue one key card per room. this was a tremendous inconvenience. We have two teenage children, who would spend hours wandering around trying to find the one with the card.

3. They issue towel cards which must be turned in at check out. We had to ceck out at 1 PM while our flight didn't leave until 3 AM. We had to spend the whole day without towels, unless we were willing to surrender our passports.

Other problems:

We were advised that we could pay a small fee to keep our room until 8 PM on our check out day. On check out day wew were informed that this was not possible as the hotel was over booked. Front Desk staff became very rude and we experienced the worst insult ever, in all of our years of travel.

Management were only "RULE enforcers" and were not able to offer any discretion. They have no understanding of hospitality.

The "secure" area where they stored luggage was open for anyone to help themselves and when it rained your luggage and contents got soaked. If only they were as vigilant at securing our luggage as they were at securing their $10 towels.

We were unable to get a late check out. We had 11 1/2 hours with no room. They did offer a room to change and shower. Tis room was filthy and had no clean towels.

The Good things:

Lots of Lounge chairs at the pool or beach

The Beach.....Great Surf!!!

Location.... Three minute walk to most places in Sosua. Check out the VooDoo Lounge, a great bar!!!

Cabarette .... $15 taxi fare to this great funky beach town with good restaurants and bars.

Despite the number of problems and inconveniences we encountered, we had a great time because we enjoyed the beach and had some great company with new friends we met at the resort!

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2,449 - 2,453 of 3,786 reviews

A TripAdvisor Member
Washington, DC USA
Reviewed 20 December 2004

I went in thinking DR is not going to be as nice as Jamaica (been twice) and left thinking, yes, I liked Jamaica more. The waters just didn't seem as blue, the reef cliffs just not as dramatic as Negril. The people aren't anywhere as funny or quirky as Jamaicans.

A small group of us got an air/hotel package, incredibly cheap deal. The hotel was not bad for the money. Clean enough, not anything really special. The rooms are a little on the worn side. Also there was a faint smell, combination cleansers plus damp?

A little disturbing that you can't drink the tap water. Plenty of filter water available. Got violently sick on the next to last day anyway. Maybe some water in the salad I ate at a restaurant outside the hotel. The lights did go out maybe at least once a night, but the generators seemed to kick in about 5 seconds later, so it was ok. Also, try not to think about the bar cups, which were only rinsed, not washed with either heat or detergent.

The hotel staff is fine, not anything too great. A few of the staff are very friendly and lively. Anyway, considering what we'd paid for staying there, the hotel was excellent. I'd say, stay there for a great deal on breakfasts and a place to crash for the night, and then go out and see the town, go snorkel, etc. The restaurants are nothing special at all, I'd go with the buffets for dinner, at least you have more of a choice since the menus are pretty limited at the restaurants.

On a second trip out there, I'd either pay more for a 4 or 5 star place, or stay at a more fun and funky local place rather than this all inclusive. Casa Marina was a good choice for a first visit out there.

I really hated that you had to wear an wristband to identify you were staying at Casa Marina. It really made you a target walking around town. Like a big label, I'm a dumb tourist...

The music tended to be blasting in the pool area and buffet at times. Also, they seemed to play commercial radio which was a little weird.

All in all, a good deal for the money.

  • Stayed: December 2004
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    • Rooms
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 14 December 2004

My husband and I just returned back from Casa Marina Beach resort after staying there from Dec 3rd - Dec 10th. Let me tell you we did not want to return back to the states and especially not to the cold Minnesota!
Our vacation began with us being surprised by the change in culture and surroundings and the concern that our resort was smack in the middle of Sosua. Once we checked in, our first room was also not a great find as it was on the right side of the hotel and smelled alittle odd. We spoke to the front desk and the next day, they moved us into a BEAUTIFUL, spacious, clean, awesome room with "no problem!"
The hotel's food and drinks kept us coming back for more and i highly recommend the Banana Mama for all your that like that fruity sort of drink...it was the best!!!
The restaurants were very nice and offered a selection of appetizers, main meal and dessert. The buffets had pretty good selections and always had a different item to try.
We went on the Jeep Safari from Mel's Tours ($25) and it was lots of fun! Do not expect to drive through rough terrain, but rather see the countryside, check out how to make coffee, see snakes, iquana's, and bring CANDY (Menta) for the children you see through villages as they run after the jeep for candy or anything you will throw!
Once we reached the waterfalls on this tour,....it was amazing and I'll tell you that a 76 year old woman went up the 7 waterfalls with the assistance of the natives there and they well deserve a tip for all they do to get everybody up these narrow passage ways! The decent back down gets your adrenaline pumping...and it's an experience I will never forget! Bring a Waterproof camera along for this adventure!
Otherwise, we met some cool cats from England...HI Kate and James!! Thanks for the VooDoo Lounge night...that was a fun time!
Relaxation is key to this resort....it was great to lay out in the sun and swim and not have a care in the world.
Also: if you go to shop....give a super low price for any item becuase they will start high and even meeting in the middle may be a rip off for some of the items.
Thanks again Casa Marina! If anyone found a silver watch in the sand...let me know! ha ha

  • Stayed: December 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 1 December 2004

I went to Casa Marina Beach in May this year. I was not disapointed at all. They accomodation was good, clean and modern, even though this is still a third world county! (Thats what people tend to forget). The Staff were fun and friendly. The food and service was great. I enjoyed every meal. When i stayed here it rained for a few days but there was enough entertainment to lose yourself in.
Some people have mixed review on the resort, i think its because people dont read enough literature on the island. Its third world, but our own accomodation was 5* and so was the service. If only some of the people complaining could see past the 5 bed detached home with en-suite they have come from they would realise this is a beautiful place!

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A TripAdvisor Member
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Reviewed 26 November 2004

In June 2004 my friend and I went down to Puerto Plata for a week. We actually won the trip from work!! We had a great time, we layed outside in the sun havin a drink, it was like I was in heaven!! We spent a lot of our time outside of the resort though, we were always at the Latino Club!!! We went to the casino...it was nothing big but it was fun! Paddy took us there, then he took us dancing!We had a blast. We also hung out with Elvis...the bar tender from the Sunset bar! He took us to Caberete!!! That was awsome. The food was amazing, I didn't think that I'd eat down there, but I ate everything!!! I didn't really care about the rrom....we were never there! We slep outside a few times, partying in the jacuzzi's with people till dawn...then passed out either on a lawn chair, or hammock!!! It was so much fun!! I'm definatly going back. To this day I talk to Paddy almost everyday on the phone, computer!!! He doesn't work at Casa Marina anymore, but I'm going to visit him next summer for sure!!!!!!!!! He's going to show me around and take me to do everythign I didn't get to do when I was there!
I recommend this place to everyone!!! CASA MARINA IS THE BEST!!

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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
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: $112 - $432 (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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