- 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
There are plenty of accommodations and a good assortment for all income levels. Cabarete is unique in that there are two peak travel seasons: December to April and mid-June to mid-September, when the winds give good surfing conditions.
Cabarete Surf Camp (tel. 809/571-0733, www.cabaretesurfcamp.com, US$25–US$77 per night per person) belongs to the surf camp of the same name. The lodging choices include rooms in cottages, bungalows, studios, and one- or two-bedroom apartments. It just can’t get any sweeter than this for the money. The cottage options are clean and come with a mosquiterro (mosquito net, necessary for keeping the pesky buggers away at night), sink, maid service, and breakfast and dinner. The most economical option is room 51. For a group of up to six people, choose the Tarzan House, a thatched roof hut raised high off the ground and surrounded by palms with its own terrace and kitchen.
The grounds are well kept with a quiet garden and pool area. Perhaps it is so quiet because everyone is surfing with the surf school on-site. You can catch a ride to the beach or take lessons from their pros. The restaurant has a set menu served in the open-air picnic tables that includes a wide assortment of choices for breakfast and international barbecue for dinner, paying special attention to vegetarian choices.
Caribica Sanssouci Aparthotels (Cabarete, tel. 809/571-0755, www.caribica.com, US$12–26 per person) is a chain of very affordable rooms and apartments. Beach Hotel Caribica, Casa Caribica, Surf Caribica, Playa Caribica, Villa Caribica, Plaza Caribica, and Park Caribica are all located in Cabarete and starting at a mind-boggling US$12 per person. The Hotel Sans Souci Beach is at the far eastern end of Playa Cabarete, directly on the beach, and is the nicest of the bunch. The rest of them are nothing fancy and are showing their age, but their rooms are clean and spacious with cable TV, safe, and refrigerator; best of all, most have a panoramic ocean view. Parking is free. Chances are, if you came to spend your time in the water and not the hotel room and don’t mind a place that is incredibly basic but clean, then these rooms will be fine.
Hotel Alegría (Callejón 2, tel. 809/571-0455, www.hotel-alegria.com, US$40 d and up), tucked into a side road, has cheap accommodations and is relatively comfortable and acceptable for those on a budget. One three-bedroom, three-bathroom apartment would be good for friends traveling together. This is a good value if you are staying for an extended amount of time. Features include a rooftop gym and Jacuzzi.
The 28 bungalows at Hotel Kaoba (Calle Principal, tel. 809/571-0300, www.kaoba.com, US$45 d and up) enjoy close proximity to the beach but without being in all the craziness. It is quieter than some of the other hotels that are directly on the beach, and this one is actually closer to the lagoon. There are also 15 rooms and 10 deluxe rooms available. All rooms have TV and minibars, and some have kitchenettes. There is a pool and a restaurant/bar.
The name alone sets a hotel up for high expectations: What Extreme (Carretera Sosúa 5, tel. 809/571-0880, www.extremehotels.com, US$45 d, minimum two-night stay) offers (not that other places don’t) is an in-house kiteboarding school, a surf school, and a skate park (at extra cost to you) called Six Feet Under (named after the reef breaker Six Feet Over, which is just in front of the hotel). The rooms are nice and comfortable, but if you’re staying in a hotel that caters to action sport enthusiasts, you probably won’t spend a lot of time in there anyway. Free wireless Internet is available so that you can check surf and wind conditions. Plenty of day excursions are available if there’s not enough wind. Extreme prides itself on an exercise-hard-all-day, party-all-night atmosphere. The bar is actually a distillery for crying out loud. That being said, they are working on going green by solar heating the hot water and hanging dry the laundry. Their power is run on “street service” and therefore can go out occasionally. But when it does, happy hour is on! Definitely for the sporty, thrill-seeking crowd.
Kite Beach Hotel (Carretera Sosúa, tel. 809/571-0878, www.kitebeachhotel.com, US$66 d) offers comfortable and very clean rooms with nice and roomy bathrooms, remote control air-conditioning, phone, cable TV, ceiling fan, and safe. Unfortunately, only the suites and apartments have balconies with ocean views (US$108–130 d), and both of those have kitchenettes. The pool area has good views of the goings-on of Kite Beach. A breakfast buffet is included in the rate. It’s a good value for kiteboarders because you can get a package deal including lessons.
All rooms at Villa Taína Hotel (Calle Principal, tel. 809/571-0722, www.villataina.com, standard room US$95 d, standard oceanside US$115 d) are equipped with air-conditioning, Internet connection, minibar, balcony or terrace, and nice bathrooms. The pool is small but attractive, there is direct access to the beach, and the restaurant and bar overlook the ocean. A generous buffet breakfast is included with the rate and half-board rate options are available.
US$100 and Up
Viva Wyndham Tangerine (Calle Principal, tel. 809/571-0420, fax 809/571-9550, www.vivaresorts.com, US$290 d) is a good all-inclusive option. The 223 rooms are very comfortable (especially the bed) with large spacious bathrooms—a little plain, but kept ultra-clean. The buffet, while trying to cater to all nationalities, does reasonably well. All the regular all-inclusive amenities are present: nighttime entertainment, large pool, direct access to beach, and disco to name a few. Do try to get a room in the building closest to the ocean; although your view to the water is not completely unobstructed (the restaurant and pool come first), you can get that fresh ocean breeze to come through your windows.
Natura Cabanas (Paseo del Sol 5, Cabarete, tel. 809/571-1507, www.naturacabana.com, US$120 d and up), between Cabarete and Sosúa, offers 10 charming bungalows as an alternative to the staid room you get at other hotels. This family-owned unique hideaway is a treat. Each separately named (not numbered) bungalow (such as Cabana India, Mexicali, or Caracol) has a rustic interior of bamboo, caoba wood, and stone coral. The environmentally sensitive use of materials (like eucalyptus, which scares away insects naturally) and the design blend this hotel into the environment without disrupting the natural beauty of the area. Some bungalows have kitchenettes and all have minifridges.
A vacation spent in this hotel is one of lazy days in one of the numerous hammocks, healthy meals in the restaurant, sunning yourself by the pool, taking a yoga or pilates (or a fusion of the two: yogalates!) class by the ocean, and indulging in a spa treatment on-site. Rates include airport transfer, breakfast, and maid service. This is truly a good find.
Velero Beach Resort (Carretera Sosúa, tel. 809/571-9727, www.velerobeach.com, US$122 d) is easily the best hotel in Cabarete, with spacious rooms that are kept mercilessly clean, as are the grounds. The Velero is positioned at the eastern end of Cabarete beach, giving it a more placid feel than if you were in the thick of the business, especially when you lounge around on one of the covered beach beds. The service is superb. A regular double room has one queen bed and one double bed, satellite TV, Internet, small refrigerator, a safe, and a small private balcony with ocean view. The penthouse will spoil you and your entourage with three bedrooms and three bathrooms over 2,100 square feet and a panoramic view of the ocean on the top floor (US$342).
If you scoff at the idea of staying in an all-inclusive hotel and want the freedom of a well-designed condominium or apartment with your own kitchen, then
El Magnifico (Carretera Sosúa, tel. 809/571-0868, www.hotelmagnifico.com, US$101 and up) is the place for you. All are stylish with modern appointments (even the older Caribbean-themed building is more modern than some of the other hotel choices in town). There are size options from studio to “Presidential Penthouse.” This is not the place to go if you want amenities galore; the only one you will find is the pool in the lush tropical garden. Some of the best restaurants and bars are a couple minutes’ walk away in downtown Cabarete. Building 6 is a new contemporary structure whose units come equipped with dishwashers, coffeemakers, air-conditioning, Internet, and flat screen TVs. Ask about renting a cell phone, because you won’t find phones in your rooms.
© Ana Chavier Caamaño from Moon Dominican Republic, 4th edition