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casa marina beach/reef

Rating: Average Phone: Website:
Location: North Coast Fax: E-Mail:
City: Sousa Contact: Value for money: Average
Food: Average Decor: Average Service: Below average
Comments:
my boyfriend and i returned from casa marina beach last wednesday and to be perfectly honest we couldn't wait to get home! dont get me wrong, the hotel accommodation, food and entertainment was great but what let the hotel down was the absolute incompetence of the bar staff and hotel management. We ended up submitting an eight page customer report form to our holiday rep, who at best was incompetent on many aspects of her job herself. and are currently awaiting a reply and hopefully some sort of compensation from the holiday company.

Another problem with this hotel are the so called "street vendors" that come into the hotel grounds every other night to sell their goods. What an absolute pain they were!!!!!! We found that we were constantly hassled by them and on one occasion what i can only call an "assault" took place on my person when they thrust an unwanted bracelet upon my wrist and cajoled me into buying it. This i did not do and we made our hasty escape. Night after night we had to "run the gauntlet" just to be able to get to the bar to get a drink.

Then when we eventually made it to the bar we had to wait an age to finally get served. The bar staff (especially at the Sunset Bar - but with the exception of the bar tender at the bar near the whirlpools) were hopeless. If you didn't speak Spanish you just didn't seem to matter. Weekends were a nightmare. The hotel management lets the local people into the hotel and therefore what chance do us non-Spanish speaking have then! We found that the general attitude of the staff in the main buffet restaurant at Beach at weekends declined and they seemed more interested in talking with locals, drinking from glasses left on tables and slopping food onto the floor(only for staff and hotel guests to walk through!). They made us feel very unwelcome and as a consequence we felt like 2nd class citizens.

I know this sounds like we had an awful time but to be honest we didn't. During the daytime the hotel staff and grounds were marvellous (with the exception of those damn Club Vacation people!!!!) it was when the sun went down or when the weekend came upon us that standards slipped. The entertainment staff during the day and night were fantastic and in the heat of the Caribbean it is amazing how they find the energy to keep going all day. We went on a couple of good trips during our stay..... Monster Truck Safari and Encounter with Dolphins. Both were fantastic and well worth the money. The dolphins were amazing and i really wanted to bring one home.

I have been to the Dominican Republic twice before, once to the North and another to the South. I must say that the hotels in the South of the island are much more superior and grand than the hotels in the North, and for only a fraction more money. My advice to anyone wanting to go to the Dom.Rep. is save up and splash out on at least a 4* plus hotel because you really will get value for money. However, if you do fancy the Casa Marina Beach/Reef please just be prepared for some of the oddities I have mentioned above and i am sure you will have a wonderful time.
Author: Annonymous Review date: 09/26/2003

 

Comments

The Hotel isnt as bad as some are making out it is just really simple. It is a really cheap holiday compared to others we have been on so what do you expect? The staff are friendly but you can see why they get annoyed with all the ignorant tourists after all we are in THEIR country-and ive seen people treat them like dirt! I know i couldn't work that hard in thoes temperatures!!!!
Author: marie Posted at 4:22 11/24/2005
We have just returned from our honeymoon and we are so glad to be home! After being stuck in a disgusting first floor room for the first 2 days (we paid for an ocean-view room, and they gave it away because our flight was delayed), we had to walk into town to buy candles to help with the smell of the room. Bring big cups because the cups that any beverage comes in is a small juice glass. The staff had no problem filling them for us. Plan on sweating through all of your meals because there is NO AC in any of the restaurants and it barely works in your hotel room. It was horrible to get all dressed up and sweat all through dinner. The staff was ok - we wished they were more pleasant. It is safe to go into town, but remember that you need to haggle with the local vendors and you should pay 1/4 or 1/3 of the price they qoute to you. We took a taxi to Puerta Plata and found the best deals there, and the vendors are not as intimidating. We got GREAT massages at M & M salon right near the hotel - $16US / hour. Amazing, to say the least. We brought a raft from home - it was relaxing to float in the ocean and pool. The rooms have little bugs (we don't think they are roaches), so be aware - they are all over! The food - where do I start? Was almost inedible. We lived on potatoes and chicken all week. We also spend a bundle on eating at restaurants outside the resort, expensive but somewhat tastier. We also walked to the local grocery store (5 minute walk from the hotel) and bought some food and jugs of water to keep in our room with some big zip-lock bags for the snacks because of the bugs. Also, bring plenty of anti-diarreah medicine and TUMS (sorry for putting it plainly). The beach towels they give you daily, but if you lose one, they charge you $15US. (One of ours was stolen while in the ocean), so it might be a good idea to bring your own. We went to Casino Playa Dorado - please don't waste your time or money - does not even resemble a casino in The States. We feel like we need a second honeymoon after this trip. I would pay any amount of money to star at a 5 star next time. We were disappointed to say the least, so just a heads-up so you won't be as dissappointed as we were. Good luck.... hope this helps.
Author: The Jamboras Posted at 12:27 08/14/2005
My husband, parents & I are travelling back to the Casa marina Reef again this year. We found the resort to be very reasonable for the rpice we paid. The staff were very friendly, always smiling, the food was good, the weather was AWESOME! We booked our tours through Mel's Tours who was cheaper than the rest and provided us with the same quality tour. We travelled to paradise island (and are going back again) and did a jungle tour which required us to climb seven waterfalls, which was not easy. We wont be doing that again! The best part was joining the other Canadians in the "hot" tubs at 4 p.m. every day for a drink to share our experiences of the day. We found our Canadian dollar went a long way in DR. My husband bought a pair of leather shoes ($20 Canadian) last February, which he is still wearing today - and these shoes have been through snow, water, ice and mud! Needless to say, he will be searching out another pair this year! I bought several pairs of leather sandals as well, which are still looking as good s new! The only thing we found strange was the fact that the electricity went out during the day, which was kind of fun in its own way! We didnt have a fridge in our room either, which would have been a blessing after a long day at the beach! I took alot of treats/candy that we bought at Costco before we left as well as pencils, crayons, Canadian stickers, flags etc that we handed out to the children on our tours. I also took our travel mugs which made it easier for both the bar staff and ourselves. (We didnt have to keep running to the bar) All in all, we were pleased!
Author: Maydin-Canada Posted at 13:25 12/2/2004
I just came back about a month ago i went from 8-22 feb 04 I had an amazing time! it was the best holiday eva the food + drinks was great, The people were absolulty FABOULOUS!! and the place ova all is great! Make sure you go on the monster truck, to see all those children faces wen u throw them sweets its something to remember! wen i went i swam with dolphins and it was an amazing, an expericence i will neva forget!!! The staff there are amazing and the local lads on the beach are friendly too, just get to kno them and u will love them!!!! if u are going soon please don't cancel, you will enjoy your self soo much!!!
Author: Jodie Posted at 18:59 04/5/2004
You are all making me a little worried. One comment is that the resort is not that great and the next comment is that it's wonderful. My husband and I (we are 40) are going at the end of May for our anniversary. We did get a really good deal - so we're hoping it's worth it. The resort is only a three star so I'm not expecting the very best but nice and clean would be good. I also read a comment on a four hour bus ride to the resort. I thought the airport was only 10 miles from the resort? Any suggestions/comments would be truly appreciated. Thanks:)
Author: Heidi Posted at 13:07 03/31/2004
Can I first just say that whatever negative comments you read about this resort..PLEASE IGNORE THEM!!! I'm a 24 year old single male and I had the time of my life amongst the most friendliest people on this planet!! I can't stress enough the amount of fun I had every single day of my two week stay here!! The entertainment staff (animation team) are absolutely fantastic and me and my friend got to know them on our first day there and they made our fortnight. Ricky (who does probably the best Michael Jackson impersonation I've ever seen), Mary, Melvin, Betty, Jordany, La Pluma, Judith, Judy, Fransisco and our personal favourite...Alexander, who became our best friend of all and took us out of the complex in into the nightlife of the real Domincan!! UNBELIEVEABLE. These guys work so hard for FIFTEEN hours a day in the carribean heat so they deserve all of the credit they get!! Me and my friend are saving up already since we got back (1 week ago) and life has not been the same since. We are sooo depressed!! That's how much fun we had. We stayed on the beach side of the resort, but from the people we talked to..there isn't much difference from the beach and the reef. Just that the reef has a better pool and the reef rooms might be that little bit better. The sea is wicked and the waves...WOW!! And at around midday, the sand on the beach gets very hot so don't forget your sandals whatever you do! There's always plenty to do for everyone, whether it be learn how to merengue, play volleyball, pool, table tennis for the older, those with kids don't have to worry either because the gorgeous Jordany will make sure they have plenty to keep them entertained with games and stuff! Try and go on a couple of trips tho and get out of the complex for a day. But whatever you do, DON'T book with your tour operator. Go just outside the beach entrance and you'll see Mel Tours (Mr. T) and his prices will be at half the cost! We went on a couple of his trips and had two fantastic days with excellent tour guides! Thats all i'm going to say about this place because I could go on forever telling you about our holiday. But my advise is to check it out for yourselves..AND ENJOY!!!!
Author: Tony Posted at 15:38 03/29/2004
I've just read the posted comments on the Casa Marina Reef/Beach and most seem to be disparaging. Are they talking about the same hotel that my family and I returned from just a few weks ago? Surley not! We had a fantastic time and loved the place.

I traveled with my wife and four children. Three boys all over 18 and our daughter of nearly 15. All the staff were wounderful, including all the restaurant staff, bar staff, entertainment staff, porters and reception staff. The hotel was spotless and the room thouroughly cleaned everyday. Service was always prompt and freindly. The grounds were beautifully kept with palm trees and colourful planting.

The entertainment staff quickly got to know us on first name terms and really made the holiday. We never had to wait long at the bar, with the slight exception of the Sunset Bar late at night as this was the only free bar open to midnight. But, it was lively and the wait was only a few minutes.

Met a lot of new people from England to Canada and I only heard praise for the hotel.

Fantastic holiday, we have had some great holdays in such places as France, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Cuba etc and this is one of the few resorts we would rush back to!
Author: Trevor Irvin Posted at 7:45 03/22/2004
I just got back from staying at the beach building 2 and I must say it was the worst hotel room possible......nothing worked and everything was old rundown and broken....the room was horrible I can not get my point across how bad the room was but the beach was awesome and its very pretty as long as you are out of your room and on the beach
Author: Dave Posted at 19:09 12/31/2003
Hi.... i'm suppose to go to Casa MArina Reef on SAT !!!!! what am i suppose to do? I hear from all you people that it is bad.... but i hear from Al Hong (tour guide) that it is beautiful...who do i trust???
Author: Annonymous Posted at 18:38 11/11/2003
If your planning a trip CANCEL !!!! My friend and i went to the casa marina last march it was HORRIBLE!!! The staff is very rude, the food is hored(we lived on potato chips and rum the entire week),not to mention the roaches we found in our room, also there are signs is the bathroom asking you to not flush the toilet paper in the toilet(thats just not sanitary). My advise would be cancel and go to Punta Cana the people are friendly and the food is good
Author: Anonymous Posted at 23:21 11/3/2003
Don't change your minds. We went last Christmas/New Years and are going back again this December. We had a great time and really looking forward to it again. Just make sure you get out of the resort as well.
Author: anonymous Posted at 17:18 10/29/2003
WE WENT IN APR 03 5 DAYS, $599.
AND WE HAD A GOOD TIME. THE WORST WAS THE SEAFOOD REST. THE
WORKERS DIDNT SEEM TO CARE ABOUT ANYTHING. OTHER THAN SLOW DRINK SERVICE, EVERTHING ELSE WAS FINE.
Author: TED Posted at 15:49 10/29/2003
hi we arebooked to go to casa marina reef in feb 04 for 2 weeks should we change our minds,
Author: trudy oliver Posted at 6:35 10/26/2003

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