Accommodations and Food
- 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
Hotel La Catalina (Los Farallones, Catalina, tel. 809/589-7700, fax 809/589-7550, www.lacatalina.com, US$98 d) is east of Río San Juan, near the town of Cabrera. This hotel has 30 rooms and apartments, all of which are very comfortable with tropical floral decoration and cool tile floors, and every room has a great view of the ocean and the lush countryside. Tennis court, billiard room, library, and two swimming pools are some of the other amenities.
A free shuttle to Playa Grande and breakfast are included in the rate. Wedding packages for up to 20 people include photographer, ceremony on the beach (or in the hotel), fees for the judge, decorations, bouquet and boutonniere, reception, breakfast in bed for the bride and groom, and one complimentary night’s stay for US$3,000. Similar honeymoon packages are available.
Bahía Principe San Juan (Carretera Gaspar Hernández Km 18, Playa Grande, tel. 809/226-1590, fax 809/226-1994, www.bahia-principe.com, US$188 d) is a massive all-inclusive. Its 1,000-plus rooms are spread out over a large, well-manicured area expansive enough to warrant a trolley service to take guests from spot to spot. There are six restaurants, 11 bars, three pools, tennis courts, minigolf, a soccer field, spa, gym, supermarket, bank, excursion desk—the list goes on from there and you get the idea. It is a town. And a nice one. All rooms come with two double beds or one king-size, air-conditioning, private bath, satellite TV, safe, minibar, and balcony or terrace. Water sports are available also, although some cost extra.
Just as the accommodations are limited, so too is the restaurant selection.
Le Café Paris (Calle Sánchez, tel. 809/844-4899, 8 a.m.–9 p.m. daily, US$5–18) is a nice place to have a slow meal or a drink outside. The food is okay but there is plenty to look at since it is right across from where the boats to Laguna Gri-Gri dock. The area has a charming atmosphere with the shade-filled lagoon. The menu has French food, pizza, and some grilled seafood.
El Corral del Pollo (Calle 16 de Agosto, tel. 809/963-8269, 8 a.m.–6 p.m. daily, US$8–20) serves Spanish cuisine like paella in a casual atmosphere.
Locals love to recommend Cheo’s Café (Calle Padre Billini, tel. 809/589-2290, US$7–17) and the tourists love to eat here. International favorites are available, but so are rabbit in coconut sauce and grilled catch of the day.
© Ana Chavier Caamaño from Moon Dominican Republic, 4th edition