- Where to Go
- The Best of the Dominican Republic
- A Nature Lover’s Dominican Trek
- The Sexiest Dominican Beaches
- Historical Dominican Road Trip
- A Dominican Culture Tour
- Carnaval and Its Masks
- Planning Your Dominican Wedding
- Dominican Adventures
- Golfing the Dominican Republic
- Dominican Music and Dance
- La Ruta del Mango
- Day-Tripping in Monte Plata
- The Best Small Resorts
This 24-room Hotel Acaya (Playa Bonita, tel. 809/240-6111, www.atlantis-hotel.com.do, US$65 for 2 beds, US$90 for double bed) rests on a prime stretch of Playa Bonita location, giving it a tranquil feeling. Although this is a casual hotel, there is a stylish air to it. The rooms do not have a phone or TV in them for that added feeling of vacation, but do have wireless Internet. It has a restaurant and bar. You can rent kite boards. Pay only US$15 for children over eight and US$30 for a third adult in your room.
Casa Grande Beach Resort (Playa Bonita, Calle F Peña Gomez, tel. 809/240-6349, www.casagrandebeachresort.com, US$60 d in high season) is a charmer. Located directly on Playa Bonita, this small 13-room hotel has gone to great lengths to make your vacation memorable. Each room is decorated uniquely with brightly painted accents, throw pillows, gauze curtains, and other touches to remind you that you’re not vacationing inside of a machine-made hotel. The restaurant appeals to the same idea that ambience is half the fun. Presentation is superb, as is the taste of their unique mixture of Mediterranean, Asian, and Creole cooking.
Palapa Beach Hotel (Carretera El Portillo, tel. 809/240-6797, www.palapabeach.com, US$65) is a stylishly designed small hotel with 16 bungalows, all of which are uniquely and tastefully decorated with natural appointments. The multilingual staff is very accommodating and willing to work with many special requests. The bungalows are two levels with a loft bedroom, and more beds are available. Below the bedroom is a seating area, which is also kitchenette-capable upon request. The Palapa’s excursion office offers exciting packages like fishing cruises, sunset drink cruises, catamaran rides, diving, wind- and kitesurfing (Pura Vida, the water sport company, is right next to them on the beach), and Jet Ski rental. While the hotel itself is across the highway from the beach, the Palapa Beach Hotel has an area of the beach quartered off where they serve breakfast, lunch, and drinks on the sand. On the second level of the hotel is a trendy lounge with an amazing view of the ocean; Japanese delights like sushi and other international favorites are served. The hotel has an Internet café and can arrange for transfer from area airports. The pool is small but located in a tropical garden brimming with vegetation.
La Dolce Vita (Carretera a El Portillo, tel. 809/240-5069, fax 809/240-5072, www.ladolcevitaresidence.com, US$100 per night per one-bedroom apartment) has apartments with ocean views, and all come with a fully equipped kitchen, TV, DSL Internet connection, and safe. This is a good residence for many travelers staying together or for families. One-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments are available, all very nicely appointed, clean and comfortably sized, with their own porch. The three-bedroom apartments have three bathrooms, one of which has a Jacuzzi in it! Air-conditioning is extra. There is a restaurant next to the medium-sized pool. The beach is just across the highway to El Portillo.
Hotel-Residence Playa Colibrí (Calle Francisco Alberto Caamaño Deño, tel. 809/240-6434, www.playacolibri.com, US$81–150) has 45 apartments in four different layouts (priced accordingly), all offering fully equipped kitchenettes, TV, ceiling fans, terraces, in-room safe boxes, and daily cleaning service. Layouts go from a two-person studio to a very spacious split-level apartment with two bedrooms and two baths. Colibrí is less than two kilometers from the center of Las Terrenas and right on the beach with countless palm trees on white sand and a coral reef offshore. The pool has a Jacuzzi, and there is a restaurant/bar. This is a great find for families and traveling groups looking to settle into a comfortable place for a longer stay.
The rooms in the Hotel Kari Beach (Calle Francisco Alberto Caamaño Deño, tel. 809/240-6187, www.karibeach.com, US$58 d) are brightly decorated, clean, have vaulted ceilings, and are well ventilated. Only 3 of the 24 rooms have air-conditioning, but all have private bathrooms and TV and wireless Internet is available. Hotel Kari has one of Las Terrenas’s dive shops, which makes the hotel a good base for divers. Good Italian and international fare is served in the restaurant. Rates include breakfast.
Hotel Atlantis (Playa Bonita, tel. 809/240-6111, www.atlantis-hotel.com.do, US$70–160 per room in high season), located on a gorgeous stretch of Playa Bonita, is not a luxurious hotel, but a study in quiet simplicity and phenomenal French cuisine. The restaurant is one sure reason why foodies will choose to stay here. Meals are prepared by Chef Gerard Prystaz, former chef of the French Presidential Palace. The rooms, although simple in their decor, are stylish, some sleeping up to four people. The only bungalow, the Damascus, has a garden view and two separate rooms to accommodate four people with a marble bathroom (US$160/night). Wireless Internet is available throughout the hotel, and there is a children’s playground between the hotel and the beach.
© Ana Chavier Caamaño from Moon Dominican Republic, 4th edition