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Iberostar-Costa Dorada

Rating: Excellent Phone: Website:
Location: North Coast Fax: E-Mail:
City: puerto plata Contact: Value for money: Excellent
Food: Above average Decor: Excellent Service: Excellent
Comments:
About Us : My wife and I are in our fifties and enjoy traveling to the Caribbean vacation spots that have snorkelling, scuba diving, rum and authentic cigars. This is our first
trip to DR but we have also stayed at the Cozumel Iberostar.

Flight : Flew Air Transat from Calgary (6 1/2 hrs to and 7 hrs return). We saved up to fly cabin class and the extra leg room and service was well worthwhile.

As for the actual review Larry & Luba's review on 02/08/07 captures most things. They did miss that there was great coffee in the rooms and that certainly started the days off properly. We can only say that we highly recommend this resort. Bldgs 1,5 & 6 offer the best beachfront views. Taxi trip prices are posted so not much haggling there. What was really great to see were the Christmas decorations going up. Note: problem uploading pictures-see separate post. Another plus were the Dressel Diving staff as they helped my wife and myself in our ongoing Scuba diving adventures. Upon returning home when my wife told friends what she had done a common response was " Get the f--- out of here!!!" They knew of her aversion to water in the eyes and nose due to a near drowning while younger. The staff was great and helped her overcome a major phobia.

Travel: Cigar interest took us to Santiago, Tamboril and Villa Gonzalez. After interviewing some taxi drivers to outline our needs we found one who spoke good English, knew local and island history, knew Santiago and gave us a driving lesson. PM me for particulars and phone #s. Regarding traffic the advice not to drive yourself is well worth it. No speed limits, no age or helmet laws for scooters, motor bikes (red lights are only guidelines for them). Not uncommon to see 3-4 people on them and in the local taxis, gua-guas springs are typically flattened out from overloading. Passing on double lines into ongoing traffic is normal as is between cars and on the shoulder. When asked why so many taxis had bumper guards, our driver told us that it was in case we hit the scooters. He says there are 12,000 in the city. Mount Isabella was interesting as it was clear when we went up but upon arrival we were in the clouds. Walking through a cloud and being drenched with no rain was something. Quite eerie and still when you are up there but thankfully the sun came out to warm us up again. Great picture taking opportunities from the summit.
For most trips into town the excursions or taxi were the easiest. Not far from the resort (10-15 minute walk east) we found Cafe Cito. Found it to have some of the best food on the strip. Those we recommended to it shared our opinion. Good local cigars (Artisan) to be found there. Word of warning - there are many counterfeit cigars being sold.
Guidelines:
in general go to a cigar shop back home and check how cigars are presented in their boxes. You will not see clear lids.
Talk to the store staff or cigar friends and ask for pointers.
Many counterfeits play on well known names; i.e. remember Colita is coffee, takeoff on Cohiba Monte Christo being passed off as Montechristo; no red dot Cohibas being passed off as being rolled in the DR; Davidoff cigars made in the DR with a Cuban seal. The list is endless and if all you want is a smoke remember to haggle or buy singles. It seemed that most people that I ran into only wanted to try cigars while here. Common method observed on the grounds was the use of a butter knife as a cigar cutter. It works for a while until you get into your smoke and start spitting the filler out.

In summary, the Iberostar will look after you and their staff is there to make sure of that. They set a high standard for other North Coast resorts to live up to. My wife says that they could have better pillows but asking for extras helped her. The only downer was going from +27 to -20 in Calgary (12-02-07). Oh well now we're in next year country and are planning for the next adventure.
Author E-Mail: [email protected] Review date: 12/16/2007

 

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