Spent a week in Cabarete March 1, to March 8. Stayed at the Villa Tiana on the beach. The resort was a NON all inclusive however it did come with a very nice breakfast every morning. The hotel was beautiful, clean and friendly. We stayed in the penthouse room at the top. The room was big and private. Maid service was good left a tip $2 u.s. every day. Additional outdoor shower for rinsing after beach on private deck, view of water and beach,bar and restaurant that had specials every evening. It was quiet and away from main road. Frig in room, TV, nice closet space. The room was on the 4th floor and no elevator, we liked the exercise. The resort supplies beach towel's, beach lounges, and you can rent a safe in your room. Linen was fresh every day. You will learn not to through toilet paper in the toilet because the pipes can not take it.
Cab from PP airport to Cabarete $20 plus tip. The resort will arrange for someone to pick you up at the airport if you request it. The cabbie had a sign with our last name. DO NOT let anyone help you with your bags. The walk is short and you can do it yourself. Just a waist of money and you don't need it. Your cab driver will not say anything about this because they do not want to interfere with the workers at the airport. Everyone is there to make money. This is not bad, but in this case you can do it yourself with no problem
One of the reasons not to stay at an all-invusive in Cabarete is for the food and meeting the people. The food was "world class". You will find a variety of food in Cabarete all inexpensive from Dutch, German, Dominican, French, Spain and American all with a Caribbean touch.
Food is first rate, some of the best food in the world. We love fine dining and know good food when we see it. Most restaurants are on the beach and in the evening they put tables and chairs with candles and linen on the beach for dining, beach side dining is slightly more expensive( a few Paso's ). All display their menus with prices and in several languages.
Cabarete Blue on the beach, we ate here twice, more on the expensive side, diner 220 Paso's. We had Shrimp and pork both with wonderful sauce's.
Ho La-La - great wood fire pizza. Three pizza's 5 sodas $22. u.s.
La Casa Del pescado - great paella rice was superb and very easy on the palate.
La Casita Don Alfredo - Our favorite, you must try the Shrimp with a curry coconut, anise sauce, and the fish dumplings. Out of this world.
Hexenkessel, Great German food, try the daily specials and the stuffed potato pancakes.
Sandro's Cafeteris, great Dominican food, rice, beans, and pork, Great $3.00 lunch.
Dick's bakery. The best coffee and pastry and bread around on main St.
The beach is beautiful and the sand and water are clean. Wonderful beach vendors supply a light snack in the afternoon of mango, coconut, banana for about 40 ps. I had a great massage twice for 300 ps 1/2 hour or 500 ps hour. You can get a massage from Happy Surf Club above the bar. I could not get a reservation however it was only $20 u.s. for an hour. She looked like she knew what she was doing. Then of coarse you have the other beach vendors supplying jewelry and cigars. You can walk the beach for miles. Plenty of shade on the beach.
The first couple of days the waves were big enough to body board but we had our fins and web gloves and would not go in without them. The rip was too great. The next day or two it calmed down enough for the children and was safe for everyone. We took a long board surf lesson with No Work Team through Happy Surf Club for $25 u. s. See Fanz, he is the owner and can hook you up with Surfing, windsurfing, kitesurffing. And other activities. If you stay at the Villa Tiaina you can use the body boards for free if you are not you can rent them for a few Paso's. He is very fare and fun. They give transport and board and lesson with Chi, he was great. The surf was too big for us this day so we did not go in to far. It was more like Hawaii. I asked a local on a scale of 1 to 10 being the worst, what was the surf that day and he said a 6. I would not want to surf a 10 there. If you have a lot of expedience you will love to surf there.
If you have never seen kite surfing you will be amazed. These guys and gals are talented. You can watch them for hours. I suggest you take the three day lesson. I don't even think they will let you do it unless you do.
Money exchange at he hotel and the bank was 22 ps per dollar. On the street it was 21.60 ps. When we were at the bank they would not take Canadian money, only us.
We met a lot of nice people. 5 shoe shine boys. We fed them every day. We also hired a cab to take us to PP to casa nelson their version of walmart. We bought them sneakers, socks, shorts and a tee shirt about $100 to cloth 4 boys. We also bought them a base ball. The next day we were invited tot their casa to meet their families. They offered us wonderful coconuts and were very nice. We will be sending the school well needed supplies and the families clothes and supplies. They are needed badly.
They could also use someone with veterinary experience and medicine for the dogs in town. The dogs ears were infected and some did not look to healthy. If someone could help them it would be greatly appreciated. The dogs are loved and friendly but health care is lacking.
We took a morning and visited MT Estrella Del Torre. This is the big mountain you see from the beach. The cost to ride to the top was 100 ps. We took a tour of the botanical gardens and cave at the top but felt the $20 u.s. was a bit much although helpful. You do not have to except a tour guide, you can walk around and see everything yourself, it just may take a bit longer.
One more thing, gals can sun-bathe and swim topless with no problem.