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Paraiso Del Sol

Rating: Horrible Phone: Website:
Location: North Coast Fax: E-Mail:
City: Cabarete Contact: Value for money: Horrible
Food: Horrible Decor: Below average Service: Horrible
Comments:
January/06, Kim and Gord, Brantford, Ontario

There's a hotel in my hometown that used to be called The Alpine. People went there to drink, buy drugs, or get beat up.
When my wife and I arrived at the Paraiso Del Sol that first night, late, the only ones off the bus, for our belated honeymoon, all I could think was, 'We're living in the Alpine Hotel for a week, its raining, and we can't leave.'
The porter who showed us up to our room was very helpful without ever actually touching our suitcases. He stood guard by my bags at the top of the second flight of stairs when Kim dropped one of hers and it bumped back down. He was also helpful in demonstrating how not to lock the patio door, how not to turn on the air conditioner, and the futility of using the phone. I returned the favour by demonstrating how not to tip and gave him a brief English lesson using only slang and hand gestures. He seemed most appreciative.
The staff, to give them credit, speak English quite well if you pay them. At least substantially better than the few English speaking guests we encountered who must have won their vacations in a mental health lottery where ticket sales were restricted to those with substance abuse difficulties or chemical imbalances. Their spending money, sadly, was apparently supplemented by funds otherwise targeted toward their medications.
I've always thought the Dominican Republic was a bit behind Canada economically until this trip I realised they have had dollar stores for at least 30 years, or before the Paraiso was built, because every lock, light fixture, shower head and balcony chair was bought for less money than a plastic necklace from a beach vendor. Maybe that's where they got them. Peso stores.
The towels were nice though. There were two from the Bahia Principe, one from the Casa Marina Reef, and one I couldn't read even when holding it up to the perrenially unlocked patio door because it was too transparent. I can imagine the staff rifling other hotel's dumpsters for them. They weren't just worn, they were eroded from the constant stream of water squirting over the shower curtain from the aforementioned shower head.
In retrospect, the inability of the air conditioner to condition was rendered moot by the cool weather. So I'm not complaining. Go when it's cold so as not to be disappointed.
We came to fondly call our two beds 'the foothills' and 'the valley'. We'd switch from one to the other each night to distribute the pain equally throughout our bodies.
When we lost our key, (my fault), the problem was quickly solved by staff who suggested, "Leave your patio door unlocked." We never did get another key but bribed the maid or the security guard daily to either let us in or watch our door. No problem.
In the unlikely event that you have a complaint, just use the phone to contact the front desk. Try as I may, I was unable to throw it that far even though our second room was closer than the first. Kim had much more success with the phone since she was only trying to contact me.
To their credit, the Paraiso only uses purified water to dilute their alcohol. A lot of it. Every drink I had was 3/4's rum and it still took a supreme effort to get inebriated. Many other English speaking guests somehow managed to overcome this barrier, but you must remember, they were without their Lithium.
Purified water IS plentiful and available. At the store. Or you can take your own container to the restaurant at mealtimes, and only at mealtimes, and fill it from the dispenser that was supposedly purified. You can't miss it. It's between the Tang orange drink dispenser and the Tang pineapple drink dispenser.
The one a la carte restaurant reminded me of a garage we rented in high school for band practice. There was an Italian flag on the wall in case the food wasn't reminiscent of the country it was representing. The red house wine is a perfect blend of Welch's and rum. Granted it is quite red.
We always took the long route to the beach. Not for exercise, but to avoid the septic system failure outside building #5 where we first resided. I tried going the short way once by myself but couldn't hold my breath that long.
We went to the buffet once on the Camino side, a lower rated resort, for dinner and treated ourselves to pizza which wasn't available across the road at the Paraiso. There are two variations. The one that looks like cardboard is the plain and the one that looks like cardboard with a small slice of green pepper on it is the deluxe. Their other offerings were less identifiable or appetizing. They are no signs above the various dishes in different languages explaining what they are because I really don't think the staff knows. The only lineup at this buffet was for alcohol. I just stayed there and drank because Kim couldn't throw the pizza that far.
We had one really good day when we left the hotel and went to the Occidental Allegro Playa Grande in Rio San Juan. It was my second and not opted for choice of resorts. Only $70 for the cab and another $120 for the golf and cart and caddy. $200US was cheap to get away. We had to sneak through the hotel with our one hand in our pockets hiding our wrong coloured bracelets as we made our way down the steps to the incredible beach surrounded by the magnificent golf course on the cliffs above. It was lucky for me that our one hand was out of commision because every time Kim saw something she liked she'd swing at me with the other. She later confided to her lawyer that the five hours alone on the beach while I was golfing made the whole trip worthwhile.
I really thought that all was well when, on the the flight home, we were lucky enough the get seats beside the emergency exit giving us a foot of extra legroom. I even thought Kim had forgiven me and wanted to snuggle when she reached over and I realised she had listened intently, as I had not, when the stewardess explained how to activate the door.
Anyway, its so nice to be home and sit on my own toilet. . . . constantly for the last two weeks. I do everything here now including writing this review. Its just me, home care, and my parasites. Kim doesn't take possession until the end of the month so there's no hurry.
Admittedly, the trip was not expensive. But when you factor in alimony, the loss of your personal residence, lawyers, and time off work on the kaibo, there are irreconcilable differences in the price of another resort. Any other resort. They should change their name to LAST.
And Honey, if you're reading this, for the millionth time, I'm sorry. . . . at least you didn't get beat up.
Author E-Mail: [email protected] Review date: 02/8/2006

 

Comments

If only I had read your review a few weeks ago before me and my boyfriend booked our Xmas + New Year's TWO week trip to Paraiso Del Sol. We are leaving in a week and there is no time to cancel and book something else. At least now my expectations are at the all time low, therefore any good experience will be a bonus.
Author: Kasia Posted at 8:32 12/14/2006
entertaining review! laughed for about 10 minutes after i was done.... sory to hear you had such a bad time..... i was at the occidental allegro playa grande hotel! it was pretty awesome i must say im glad u enjoyed it too!
Author: Kassandra Posted at 6:56 05/16/2006
i will write my review shen i return from this hotel in June 2006
Author: Doreen Bowden Posted at 15:50 05/4/2006
I've never been to this hotel, but this is the most awesome review I've ever read.
Author: Nadira Posted at 19:47 02/9/2006

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