We've stayed at Sosua by the Sea four times now and have always gone home happy. The staff is fantastic and it's nice to see the same faces year after year and especially to be remembered when we come back.
It's a smaller hotel, but that was great for us. We've stayed in large resorts before but always ended up feeling lost in the crowd. At this hotel we got to know not only the staff but the other guests as well -- like a little community!
The food was quite good -- not steak and lobster but still varied and delicious. They had a la cart a few days a week, but we preferred the buffet. The view from the restaurant was unbeatable. We got bored of eating in the hotel restaurant every day and went out to town for dinner a few times. Mixed reviews of the meals in town, as some were great in places that looked like dives while the places that looked great sometimes had only mediocre food. My advice would be to ask around for recommendations, as the decor of the restaurants is sometimes misleading.
Our rooms were more than good enough -- clean and well maintained if a little old-fashioned. I understand from the manager that they are planning to redo them sometime soon, but I don't know if they've already done so or not, so no idea what the rooms look like today.
It was a refreshing change to see the manager mixing and mingling with the guests and always available. Whenever we had a question or if there was a problem, it was never a big deal, as the manager was right there to help us or to make it right. Guess that's another benefit of the smaller properties. I met the owner there as well (John?) who seems to share the same ideas as far as getting out and getting to know the guests. Maybe it's just them doing their jobs, but they both really seemed personally concerned that we were enjoying our vacation, and it's nice to feel appreciated. And hey, even if they're faking it (which I doubt), at least they care enough to make the effort!
The gardens are amazing -- lush and full of flowers. I don't think I saw one blade of grass on the entire property. Some resorts are so manicured they look like golf courses -- this was the opposite.
Both beaches were nice, but the smaller, private beach was perfect for us, as it was quiet and almost empty while the larger beach was full of people and things going on.
Bad points --
1) No activities staff. If you're looking for a Club Med sort of thing where your days are planned out and there's a full crew of people organizing games and volleyball etc, this is not the place for you. We enjoyed the peace and quiet, and took advantage of the dive centre for snorkelling and such. We walked to town (about 5 minutes) and there was plenty to do there, so we had the best of both worlds with lots to do outside, and peace and quiet when we got 'home' -- but I can see how someone who didn't want to go off-site could run out of things to do at the resort rather quickly.
2) Not really a bad point per se, but it seems like every time we go there they're renovating or upgrading something. OK, we go in the spring or late summer when I guess it's low season, but how much work can you really do? The place already looks fantastic but there's always a painter painting here or a carpenter working on the woodwork there. It's nice in that every time we come back there's something new or upgraded and maybe it's silly, but whenever we go we find out about new stuff they're doing and wish it was already done so we can enjoy it now instead of next time. Hard to explain, I guess
All in all we would recommend this resort, if for no other reason than the personal attention from the management and staff. The food, location, value for price, etc is just a bonus.