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Hotel Carabela

Rating: Excellent Phone: Website:
Location: Southeast Coast Fax: E-Mail:
City: Bavaro Contact: Value for money: Excellent
Food: Above average Decor: Above average Service: Average
I have just returned from a 2 week holiday (June 22 - July 6) to the Hotel Carabela. We had a wonderful time there and would certainly go back.

Rooms - Are basic but comfortable, watch out for the ants in the bathroom!! The maids thouroughly cleaned our room every day but the bed sheets were only changed twice a week which is not very good. We had room 5313 which has a lovely view of the ocean.

Beach - Wonderful! white sand, turquoise sea, plenty of sunbeds and lots of shade if you need it. There are plenty of watersports from snorkelling to windsurfing, but be aware they require a large deposit to use any of the equipment. In the afternoon the sea got quite rough but you can still swim in it.

Restaurants - We thought the buffet was quite nice we always ate a nice meal there was plenty of items to choose from but the food was mainly aimed at meat eaters, not much choice for vegetarians. Italian (near the beach) we ate there once and had a really nice meal but again the food is mainly for meat eaters apart form pizza! We did not have anything from the sea food menu. This restaurant is the only one open for lunch and has a great variety of food, from toasted sandwiches to pasta.
Snack bar - very slow service but the food is good, try the burgers they were lovely!

Lobby Bar/Reception area - very nicely decorated and comfortable. The bar tenders are very slow at serving and some of them are not very friendly. The alcohol measures are very BIG!! They have a wide variety of drinks to choose from but they only give out the local brands, we had to pay for Jack Daniels (60 RDS). The staff at the reception desk are friendly and helpful they also speak good english. There is a telephone room where you can make cheap calls and the staff are very nice. We called England from there for 200 RDS for 2 5 minute phonecalls which is very cheap. In the telephone you can also buy an internet access card they cost 100 RDS for 30 mins or 150 RDS for 1 hour.

Theatre - We only watched a few of the shows at the theatre and they were quite good. They have comedy shows but they didnt present them in English so we couldnt understand them much! The caberet shows were excellent, very professional. The bar service at the theatre bar is appaling! The waiters are so miserable!!!!

Swimming Pools - The main pool (near reception area) in my opinion looked dirty but there was always plenty of people in there. The other pool with the jacuzzi is much nicer it is also more peaceful but because theres no breeze like there is at the beach it gets very very hot!

Excursions - We went on two trips whilst we were there. The first one was to Manati Park. I paid to swim with dolphins and was quite dissapointed. The dolphins are kept in this tiny pool and the people get in the pool with them. I was in the pool for no more than 7 minutes. All they do is swim round the people then one by one they call you to the centre of the pool and the dolphin comes along and kisses you on the cheek and there is photographer there taking pictures of it, then the instructor calls you to the edge of the pool and two dolphins go either side of you and get another picture taken. This was a total waste of money. The park itself is not very good, there are a few nice things to look at, you can walk around the park in 30 mins. At every opportunity the staff there pester you to buy things like food drink, to get yet another picture taken. I did buy one picture of me with the dolphin and that cost 240 RDS. If you swim with the dolphins get someone to stand at the front and take pictures! Be aware the 'free bus' is awful its like a shed! I thought we were going to be killed, the driver is mad and drives all over the road and on the wrong side and the engine sounds like its going to fall out!! I would pay a little extra and go in a taxi.
Our second trip was 'James Bond' you have to walk on the beach just past the hotel H10 to a little hut (just before the sunken Kontiki catameran) They give you a brief discussion about the excursion and then you are given your own speedboat to drive! There is about a 30 minute drive in them, then you stop and another big speedboat picks everyone up and takes them to a larger boat where you get the snorkelling equipment. We saw a great variety of tropical fish, the instructors take you out in groups to the good spots and then they let you feed the fish. Its a great experience and well worth the $60! I bought an underwater camera and the pictures are spectacular.

Overall - The hotel is lovely, the food is good and the facilities are also good. The only downfall is the staff they could smile a bit more and be a bit more friendly. Also they did not speak much English but that is not a big problem, we both quickly learned a few spanish phrases that helped us along! The beach is the best Ive been to (I have been to Playa Dorada in the North and also to Cancun) its like being in paradise!! I would certainly reccommend this hotel to anyone.

If you are travelling there and would like more info please contact me!

Author E-Mail: [email protected] Review date: 07/22/2003



Author: EVELYNG Posted at 12:16 11/5/2004

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