|Casa Marina Reef/Beach Resort||Don & Barb ~ Canada|
May 2009 Arrival: April 2 to April 16 Arrived Puerto Plata airport at aprox 3 PM with Westjet airlines ..very good flight direct from Tbay to Toronto to Puerto Plata.the only thing we noticed this time was completing a customs form to enter which was confusing.and of course the porters were at your luggage as soon as u let it go .we did not get fooled this time around .lol.but they have to make a living too.arrived at resort was quick and smooth we stayed at the beach part..our porter was good we have known him from prevoius trips there .he even recognized us, as soon as we got there.his name is Alberto very effiecient.
Rooms were as we have expected would be .since we have stayed at this and othere side the reef a few times .but the resort should have a face lift for the rooms .new beds …etc. they are getting bad and worn out.the maid was very good .Carmella she had every thing done every day.and we left a little of something for her every day .may it be pesos/or a gift such as candy or red lip sticks.we did have an issue with the air conditioning one day .it was just blowing warm air .we called down and had maintenance come to check it out .to verify our complaint.they inspected it and said the condenser was blown.so he arranged a better room for us to change too.that was very good of them.
Restaurants and Bars:
Restaurants were good ,the sea scape was alright .you get to pick your own lobster to eat.other places to eat was just for luches and snacks were also good .but the meals for the buffet every night was getting kindda same at both restaurants.so we usually went out in town to eat where the action is.bars at the beaches are getting very same stuff in and out.
Pools are nice especially the reef side.grounds are clean .beach side beach is 75% gone since last years visit but still is good with nice rough waves and the reef side beach is much calmer for the weak at heart.and is much larger now.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Took a fishing charter out but didn’t catch anything which was disappointing.the ocean was very calm this time around .also we took a day out to Bacardi island which was very good with white sand beaches and even saw a couple dolphins while on route back.went on the cable car with our dominican family friends for a day which they loved .afterwards we went to the super market to buy some chicken they invited us back for supper to their place .chicken cooked dominican style was very .very tasty .
All i can say about this resort is that it has to be updated soon,and there are too many kids in the resort .if you want to relax without hearing kids cry or yelling.i think we will probably find somewheres else to stay next time around maybe all adult resort.that is close by to our friends.our trip was a blast 14 days of sun shine and 30c every day only a few times at night just to cool of the sand.and best time without the cluster of tourist like in Jan/Feb months.very nice trip again to the DR.
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|Casa Marina Reef/Beach Resort||Kim ~ Kamloops, BC|
February 2009 Arrival: Jan 29 ~ Feb 12 The arrival was great. The tour company was waiting at the airport and we arrived at our hotel within 20 min of landing.
The front desk staff were friendly and very fast checking us all in at the Reef.
The rooms really need to be up-dated. The beds and linens should be up-dated. The room was kept clean but it really isn’t a 3 star…more like a 2 star. Restaurants and Bars The food was okay however, after about 5 days of eating the same thing day in and day out…you really get a bit sick of it. I lost 6 lbs on my holiday!
The breakfasts were the best.
Beaches – one beach is almost all gone because of the tide. The Reef beach is large and beautiful! Pools – Perfect, clean and beautiful! Grounds – Wonderful! Very clean, tidy and well maintained! Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Activities were great. We went on several tours. The tour company tells you not to book tours outside the resort because of insurance etc…I have been to the DR 8 times and have always booked our tours with Mel Tours! They are cheaper then the resort MT Tours. Book with Linda at Mel Tour just outside the Checkpoint pub…she’s really the best. The Jeep Safari is one that everyone must go on. You will get a true Dominican experience by going on this tour. Ocean World was fab! I highly recommend it. The Ocean World Casino night was okay…expected more slots but we still had fun. Other Comments
I have been to this same resort 8 times. I will probably go back because I like the location, people and the beach. I love that you can go off the resort to a small city and venture out. Cabarete is just a 20 min bus ride and so is Puerta Plata. Sosua is very safe (if going off the resort with others). The people are very friendly and lots to do and see. Eddy’s sports pub was one that we visted often. Oh…just about forgot…we found this wonderful restaurant just outside the Reef lobby (go outside the reef lobby, go right…turn left at the first street corner where the Bon Ice Cream stand is and follow that road about 3/4 of the way down) you will see a large yellow sign called "Orchidee" The cheif is German and makes the best Chicken and Tziki and Pizza and Schnitzel you will ever have! Cheers
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|Casa Marina Reef/Beach Resort||Francine ~ Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada|
February 2009 Arrival: Am there now, Feb. 2009
Dropped off at reef section but we all had rooms in the beach section – had to drag our suitcases to other reception area Rooms
No hairdryers in the rooms, no frigs, bathroom fixtures old. No hot water at all in the night, say after 11 p.m. Given 2 bottles of water first day – after that, it’s up to you to fill them Restaurants and Bars
No complaints about food – actually very good but the staff do the bare minimum – all they do is clear the tables of dirty dishes – they don’t bring you wine or drinks or coffee or anything – it’s all help yourself. They are not friendly – don’t interact at all!! Beach/Pools/Grounds
There are 2 beaches but one is closed!!! High waves have washed sand away – they say surf is dangerous – they don’t let anyone on it so therefore, there are no watersports at all!!! The other beach in the reef section is open – depending where you room is, that could be a long walk – you must go down a steep, rickedie set of stairs – no good for someone with mobility problems. There are 5 pools – they are nice but right now, water is cold in pools. The grounds are well-kept Other Comments
The nightly entertainment is top-notch!!! They are wonderful dancers – beautiful costumes. High waves at the one beach that is open, it is dangerous for children with the high surf – it is a public beach but very few vendors on beach.- it is difficult getting into the water without being toppled over. I would not really suggest this resort to a friend unless they were really limited financially – really you would be better off spending a little more money to be a little happier with your vacation!! I am here & will just make the best of it.
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|Casa Marina Reef/Beach Resort||JC ~ Chicago, Il. USA|
February 2009 After reading all the reviews, I was not sure what to expect when we arrived at the Casa Marina. Most loved it or hated it. Not many in the middle. Well, I’m in the middle. It’s a very nice resort. There are many great things here but also things that need drastic improvement. The first thing I would recommend to anyone is to skip the transfers and save yourself some money. Expedia wanted 15 bucks per person each way. We saw several people that were on our flight, arrive at the resort over and hour after we did because they waited for there transfer. There were 4 of us we walked out of the airport, got a taxi and were at the resort in 10 minutes for only 25 bucks. That’s a savings of 35 bucks right off the bat. Upon arriving at the resort, we had no trouble checking in. We were given a refreshing rum punch. I tipped the desk clerk which is always a good idea (and proved useful later). We were taken right to our rooms. This is really the only bad part of the resort. The rooms are really in need of updating. Now, don’t get me wrong, they are clean, but just worn out. Now they have the rooms set up with a card system. Once you open your door with your key card, you have to slip it into a slot to get the AC and the lights to work. This means that your AC is only on when you are in the room. This is just not acceptable. The room when we got there was hot and stuffy. We put the card in and over and hour later it was still pretty warm. I went to complain and pretty much thanks to my tipping him, the desk clerk gave me an extra key. I found out that this is usually not done. With the extra key we were able to keep the AC running so the room was always cool when we came back. The dresser drawers were so mildewy that we could not put our clothes in them. Not to big a deal as we just hung up my shirts and lived out of the suitcase. Still, the bathroom ceiling was starting to fall apart. The tiles need rerouting. There were 20 or 30, no exaggeration, cigarette burns on the bathroom sink counter.Good water pressure but hot water was crap shoot at best. You never knew when you were going to get it. It would not take much to improve these rooms. If the rooms were better, this could very easily be a 4 star resort. But with the rooms as they are, they are 2.5 at best. The food in the buffets is fine. Its not gourmet, but it is prepared well and is for the most part, tasty. One bad, no bacon at breakfast! This is a big deal for me as I don’t eat bacon unless I’m on vacation. So it was missed. We only ate at 2 of the 3 ala carte restaurants because after the second, we didn’t want to try the third. The Mexican is OK. My food was fine but my friends and my wife hated theirs. Over cooked and tough meat. Then don’t get me started about the Seafood restaurant. Terrible service, terrible food. AND you had to pay extra for it! If you don’t heed my advice, at least do not order the big pot of grilled seafood and meat. If you can even eat the meat you must have teeth of steel. The meal took so long that we missed most of the evening show that night. Which bummed us out. So in a nut shell, the buffets are OK but the service is not all that good. Hard to get anyone to clean a table for you. It really is self serve! Now on to the shows. Great! By far the best shows of any resort we have ever stayed in! Very entertaining and well produced. The fact that they do them in 3 languages is amazing! Don’t miss them if you are there. The performers and backstage staff work their butts off. See all that you can. The resort grounds are beautiful. Well maintained and clean. The pools are great. Very clean. A little brisk but nice. One thing they do need to address is the lounge chairs. There are quite a few of them that are broken. The device that holds the back of the chairs is missing or busted on many. Very inconvenient if you are trying to read. While we were there, it rained 5 of the seven days. Now, I know that the resort can not control the weather but maybe they could add a few more indoor activities. How about showing movies in the theatre or something. Just an idea. Anyway, All in all we were ok with Casa Marina. Just a few basic upgrades would really improve this place a lot. Not sure right now if I would go back or not. Maybe.
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|Casa Marina Reef/Beach Resort||Carol|
January 2009 Arrival: Dec.29 thru Jan. 5
Upon arriving in peurta plata airport it was very confusing on where to go and what to do next as there was no guideance us upon arrival paperwork was handed to us not knowing what to do with it.. after we worked our way through arrivals we were welcomed by our nolitours van which took us to our destination in sosua Rooms: We checked in and found out our rooms which we had reserved with ocean view for extra money were not available. our party was of 4 and were to be roomed close together..they were booked on separate floors.rooms were fine no fridge for drinks in rooms or on the premises .we left small gifts and tips everyday in our rooms which helped in the rooms being cleaned and very tidy when we arrived back each day.spend the extra 15 bucks for a room safety deposit box to keep all valuables locked safely inside.hopfully you dont mind cold showers because that is what you get usually. i believe i had two lukewarm showers in the 7 nights we were there.the ocean and pools were warmer !!!do not drink water from rooms ..there are designated clean drinking areas for drinking and filling up water botttles for your room. you receive 2 full water bottles first day..thats it..so keep the bottles for refilling..no hairdyers but clean towels daily and complimentary soaps and shampoos for showering..
rooms were air conditoned and very cool …pillows and mattress were very uncomfortable but by the end of the day of swimming & sunshine it didnt really matter by then !!
Restaurants and Bars:
Lots of bars and places to eat food was pretty decent we had freshly made omlettes and eggs made everyday instead of opting for the usual buffet we also booked 3 separate a-la-cartes for a nice change for dinners.. make sure if you want alcohol in your mixed drinks.ask for it..or you will just receive the mix !!!the theatre had some great live shows at night worth seeing Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The grounds were very nice always clean and well maintained by the friendly workers pools very clean and not busy usually.. you need to be prepared to get your pool towels before 9 am if you want to place them on chairs of your choice by the pools or the beach.chairs went very fast usually before 11 am.beaches were clean and no locals bugging you not allowed on the reort beaches or grounds the smaller jacuuzzi like pools overlooking the ocean were pretty cool water games and areobics daily if you are interested Activities on and off the resort/hotel:
There is plenty to do snorkling boat tours fishing boating jeep tours diving you wont be bored baseball park right across the road to watch locals play we knew some friends who live in sosua ans we took a day to visit cabereta beach which was nice also we mainly just relaxed and soaked up the sun perfect weather all week Other comments:
All in all we had a pretty good time out of 10 ? i would give this resort a 7.5 and would go back ..the only other advice ? instead of waiting for the tour bus to pick you up and take you ack to the airport, grab a taxi,its quicker as you have to stop along the way and pick up other people from other resorts the only biggest complaint ? all the paperwork you have to fill out coming and going at the airports to depart and arrive…this can all be easier if you were given the appropriate paperwork by your travel agent or flight service to be filled out before hand..not while you are stressed and trying to get to and from your destination..if you are travelling with a group or family with children this could be very stressful and annoying other than that we had a great time !!! it would also be very benificial to have some more guidance from someone at the resort when we had questions and concerns that we could understand…
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|Casa Marina Reef/Beach Resort||Colleen ~ British Columbia, Canada|
December 2008 Arrival: November 9 – 23, 2008
My husband, my 15 year old daughter and I stayed at the Casa Marina Beach from November 9 – 23, 2008. We are Canadians and have very open minds when it comes to travelling in other countries. We read the reviews on the Casa Marina and were specifically looking for an all inclusive right in Sosua. The location for us was excellent. You have access to great beaches, warm ocean water and are able to walk freely throughout Sosua. Rooms:
The hotel: – as I said, we have pretty open minds. The room was your typical resort room. No facecloths, no blow dryer (take your own), we had to request extra towels as there were three of us. There are no fridges in the room or coffee maker. We had a pool side room (main floor) which was great. However, the patio door did not lock and although we made three requests to have it repaired, this never happened. The toilet in the room ran unless someone hollered "go jiggle the handle". My husband fixed it several times and again, although we made requests to have it repaired, it never happened. There were mold stains on the bathroom door. Hot water was at a premium and most of the time was only tepid. The airconditioner leaked water onto the floor but it did work. One night my husband got up during the night and stepped on a cockroach. But, I guess that is to be expected when you are in a tropical country. Restaurants and Bars:
The food was absolutely horrible at best. We noticed that the night before leftover meat was usually on the breakfast buffet. The breakfast buffet never really changed – scrambled eggs, french toast, hard pancakes, ham, fried salami, sausage, bananas and cantelope. Pastries varied somewhat but were usually hard. You could order omlets which weren’t bad. Lunch was terrible and dinner was usually the same with different sauces. They had stewed goat for the main meat twice which was hardly touched by anyone except the Domincans that were staying at the resort. They open the resort to the locals on the weekend so the resort became very busy. It was difficult to get seating in the buffet restaurants. The snack bar had hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken and fries which we found better than what was in the buffet. The ala carte restaurants were good except if you went to the seafood restaurant and wanted a steak or lobster, you had to pay for it. We went off resort for many me! als as we just couldn’t face a bad buffet. Watch for the local restaurants who have a "tourist menu" and a "local menu". The tourist menus are higher priced. The all inclusive bars close at 11 pm so if you want to drink after, you had to buy drinks at the cash bar at 100 pesos or about $3 US per drink. If you went to one of the local bars off the resort, you could get the same thing for about 60 pesos. The staff was few and far between but what staff there was friendly and most spoke fairly good english. They were helpful and courteous. Our only real problem was water. When we checked in we were given two water bottles. We requested a third but never did get it and had to buy another bottle of water for my daughter. You are responsible for refilling your bottle at the restaurant as you did not receive any more water. Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beaches are accessible to both tourists and the local residents so it was interesting to meet residents and talk to them…they are smooth talkers for sure! Security does keep them from accessing the resort itself. Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Be careful of the excursions sold through the travel companies. We went on a catemaran trip and literally rode the high seas. They do not cancel the trips due to poor ocean conditions. We went out and the water was choppy and then a storm hit with 12 foot waves, rain, wind. 90% of the people on board got sea sick. We felt that the trip should have been cancelled and our money refunded (about $270 US). There was no offer of a partial refund. The water was too rough to each the sandwiches provided or even have a drink. Other Comments:
All in all it was an interesting experience to stay here. They need to spend some money fixing up the resort, improve the food and hire more staff. The location is beautiful. Would I recommend someone stay here? Probably not unless I didn’t like the person, then I would recommend it.
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|Casa Marina Reef/Beach Resort||Corsafemale|
The holiday was good. my room was a bit naff and in need of good updating. Room 2411.. I think it had wood rot as the bathroom door as it was full of holes. The wash basin area and lamp shades was full of fag burns also. Give them there due they would have moved me the next day but then l was settled in and could not be bothered moving. I would like to stress that the reef shop many a time tried to rip me off with change so tell fellow travellers to be aware and always pay in pesos and not dollars in the shop even if it means changing the dollars first at reception. Overall the weather was good apart from one day of rain, staff polite, food good.
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