More about Hotel Celuisma Cabarete
I would give this one a miss
I stayed at the Paraiso Tropical for two weeks and I left on 10th Dec. This hotel was very dissapointing. The rooms were damp and covered in mildew. The beach was very small and littered.
The overall service from the staff was below par except for the day we were leaving as that is known as tip day.
The hotel has a range of personal services offered by the local ladies but I was assured that this is kept as discreet as possible. I didnt find this to be correct as these ladies frequented the restaraunt and used all the amenaties that the paying guests used. Their services are obtained for a small fee at reception.
For a family hotel I would advise against taking children as I found it totally unsuitable. The plumbing was less than efficient as the first room I was allocated I had to vacate after flushing the loo and it flowed all over the bathroom floor.
It is an all inclusive hotel and yet you couldnt get the drinks that were advertised and the waiter service was almost non-existent. The only part of the holiday that I would recommend was the food. There was a good selection.
Having stayed in the dominican two years previous and being so impressed by the beauty and the delightfull people I was very dissapointed to find this hotel that have made me decide not to return.
Well worth the money.
Me and my girlfriend just came back yesterday, after one week staying at Paraiso Tropical, Cabarete. Though one week is short, we had a great time.
After arriving at Puerto Plata we were brought to the resort by bus. In case you did not know: it is a poor country and the roads represent that. Incredible holes. That is reason no. 1 not to rent a car for yourself. Reason no. 2: inhabitants do not need lessons to get a driver's license, it is given to them. On the road there are no rules, at least that is how it feels. The last reason is that the taxi's are cheap, and we always had a friendly driver.
Checking in the hotel went quick and the room that was given was better than we expected. Reading some of the other reviews here, it seems that some people expect it to come with flat-screen tv, dvd-player, walk-in closet, etc. For the amount of money we paid our room was good. Pretty large, with a bed which is not as good as at home, but comfortable enough. Nice balcony and a proper bathroom. Only once or twice our shower ran out of hot water, but at least the toilet never flooded! Our airconditioning worked good. To good actually, so we just used the vent on the ceiling.
The food was for Dominican standards very good. Great variaties and the buffet was constantly refilled during the time the restaurant was opened. We wanted to eat in the Italian or Mexican restaurant, but making a reservation for that seemed impossible at the reception desk. We did not bother, but if you really want it, do not let them get away with "it is full" to easily.
The drinks were perfect. The rum was Brugal (one of the top-three brands in the Dominican) cokes were Coca Cola, etc., and except for the Caipirinha's they had all the cocktails we desired. Make clear though whether you want your drink with or without alcohol. Their English is alright, but they just like their cokes with rum (so they add it for you as well, as long as you do not tell them not to), and some cocktails, e.g. Banana Mama, can be with or without alcohol.
The pools and the beach are very clean. A little research before the holidays would have informed the people that were surprised by the rough ocean one the northern side of the island. Though there is always a red flag on the beach (stands for no swimming), this is not binding in any way. There is supervision for the greater part of the day, and it is actually good fun, those waves. There is no thread for surfers and kiters. The "vendadores" on the beach may ennoy you, but a friendly "non gracias" usually does the trick. With the rough ocean comes the wind. Whenever you get tired of it, or sometimes it is just very strong, you can go to the pools. Both of them are covered from the wind, and there are plenty chairs. For shade there are parasols and the bars, just 5m away.
The people working on the resort are extremely friendly, and the animation-team is always busy doing activities. It is almost scary, the amount of energy they have, day in day out, considering the wages they earn (80 US dollars a month!!!).
Overall we had a great time in a beautiful country. The shops, e.g. in Cabarete, are nice and cheap. There are no strict prices (except for taxis) so they will make up incredible prices for tourists. Just negotiate about everything (even cigarettes) with everyone (even the German diving instructor) and they will earn good money while we spent little. Do not hesitate to go on an excursion, but make sure you book them via the hotel/travelling agent. We went on the Dominican Discovery Tour (www.dominicandiscoverymegatrucks.com). A lot of bumping in the 6x6 truck, but very nice people take you on a great tour.
The Paraiso Tropcial Beach Resort was well worth the money we paid for it. Reading some of the other reviews we were a bit lucky, but on the other hand much less-expecting than others. The rooms and accommodation are 3-star, but the food and service are very good. While waiting on the airport to fly back, we spoke some people that went to a 4-star resort just 10 minutes from Paraiso Tropical. They had to change rooms for about 10 times, the food was very bad, etc. etc. After 2 weeks they were happy to go home. So not only the Paraiso Tropical Resort can be a little gamble: much more expensive resorts are too.
I always read on-line reviews before going on holiday and I always wonder whey some of these reviews are on opposite sides of the spectrum. I always try to be possitive and dissregard those bad ones hoping to be the lucky one. I'm going to change my approach after the stay at Celuisma Paraiso Tropical - it's not worth gambling!
At the arrival to the hotel we were given a room... just imagine that desire to have a shower after about 12 hours in travel. We rushed to our room and what we got was not a 3 star accomodation - it wasn't even 1 star. Shower I always read on-line reviews before going on holiday and I always wonder whey some of these reviews are so different. I always try to be positive and disregard those bad ones hoping to be on the lucky side. I keep telling myself – I’m not the fussy one, like those writing these bad reviews. Guess what: I'm going to change my approach after my stay at Celuisma Paraiso Tropical – I don’t want to gamble anymore!
At the arrival to the hotel we were given a room... just imagine that desire to have a shower after more that 12 hours in travel. We rushed to our room, but what we were given was not a 3 star accommodation - it wasn't even 1 star. Shower, which I would not call a shower (see attached photo), not only was not generating a proper stream, but it was something for people loving cold showers. I’d say – it was a cold shower for me and my wife on the first day of our Caribbean experience! On the way to the hotel we noticed that the Dominican Republic was a very poor country, therefore I thought that using a safety deposit box was ‘a must’. I went to the reception and paid for a key, which would not work with my room’s deposit box. So I went back to the reception and asked for their assistance. They followed me to the room and tried to fix it for a couple of minutes. Finally, they gave up and said that they would get someone to fix it. I also told them about my problems with the shower and mentioned we’d prefer to have a hot water in our bathroom. I haven’t heard from them that day again… The next day our toiled broke down – it would not flush… No wonder, it was all rusty, cracked and rotten inside (see photos). At the reception I asked if they have a plan for resolving the problems with the room. The girl at the reception had no idea about my problems which I reported day earlier and my complaints were not logged in the book they used for faults reporting. I figured they were not intending to do anything about it, so I waited for Thomas Cook rep and I was not waiting alone, there were families having similar problems with their rooms. With a help of our rep they finally started doing something (we voiced a desire to be moved to another hotel that would provide the minimum standards for human habitation!). We were shown a number of empty rooms out of which all ground floor ones had a terrible smell (damp due to notorious flooding). Our only criterion was to have a working shower, toilet and hot water. One of the 1-st floor rooms passed these minimum requirements, although it had electrical sockets sticking out of the walls and dangerous sharp fittings on the floor which he had to remember not to step on. Sadly, we didn’t know that the hot water was only available at about midday and the toilet would brake down the next day. Now, guess what the hotel management decided to do with the room we left… Two days later we’ve found out that it was waiting for another ‘lucky’ family, all cleaned up, but without the proper shower and the toilet (who would bother to fix it…)! I know it only because we got Thomas Cook representative to inspect it after we moved. This last thing only summarizes how the hotel is operated. No regard to quality control, no regard to hotel guests experience. I won’t even mention that the TV had the European plug, so you’d need to have a special converter to use it, but you don’t go on holiday to watch TV, right?
On the positive side, the public areas were in decent shape. Food – matter of taste – was eatable and the beach was clean. Drinks were also quite decent. One night I heard some gunshots, so I preferred to stay away from windows once it was dark. The hotel was guarded by security personnel with shotguns so at least we were able to feel safe inside. The gate leading to the beach was always closed during the night – possibly due to safety reasons.
Value For The Money
We spent two weeks at Paraiso Tropical, Nov. 27 to Dec. 11. Overall, it was quite a good experience, although there are some shortfalls.
Entertainment: The head of the animation staff, Joan (a guy), is brilliant and creative. He sings, dances, does magic, choreographs, and is a natural born comic. His staff is all dedicated and passably talented. Johanny is an excellent dancer and has a great personality. The group adheres to the schedule of activities no matter what (ie – don’t goof off just because it’s raining). They actively recruit guests to take part in the daily activities. The light show which takes place in the small pool at night is very well done. You must catch the playback show (Joan looks fantastic in his tutu and baggy, ripped pantyhose). The Africa show is quite well done.
Rooms: The rooms are basic, clean, and quite large. There were four windows in our room so we didn’t feel as though we were in a cave. The plumbing needs some work, as does the entire infrastructure. The air conditioning is not turned on until 5 pm but our room was never oppressively hot. Friends that we met, however, were never cool and their room was so damp that mould was growing on their luggage. The maids are efficient and try very hard to please the guests.
The Grounds: Grounds maintenance was quite good and the property is very lush. There are mature trees so there is ample shade.
The Pools: Again, some repairs needed, but acceptable. One pool is a nice quiet place to relax, with tables and umbrellas and lots of lounges (and a bar just steps away). The other pool is near the stage and tends to be the area for the daily activities. Both pools have a Jacuzzi (same temperature as the pool).
The Food: Christina, the beautiful and smart food and beverage manager, runs a tight ship in the buffet restaurant. The basic ingredients are the same as in most other resorts (chicken, pork, beef, fish, rice, beans and lots of veggies). The difference from most though, is that the food here is well-prepared, well displayed and there is a good variety at most meals. There was always an abundance of fresh lettuce and other salad ingredients. Most nights there is a theme in the buffet and the meals are created around that theme. The hot buffet is steaming hot – literally. There is an excellent selection of breads and rolls, and the toaster actually works at breakfast time. No butter, though, and the margarine is inedible. The main dining room was a bit understaffed, but the service was excellent and as attentive as the shortage allowed. The staff actually know from which side to serve and which side to clear.
The a la carte restaurants: The Mexican was quite good, right down to the shot of tequila and lime at the finish.
The Italian was a huge disappointment. We had undercooked pasta, almost raw fish. We left our plates full and dined at the buffet.
The Thai also disappointed us. The food was closer to not very good Chinese – nothing Thai about it, except the soup.
Service was excellent in all three a la cartes.
Snacks: These are served from 4-5 pm. (or 4 to 4:45 if you’re lucky). The snack is a burger, hot dog or sandwich. We think the snack hours should be during a good part of the afternoon, especially given that there are a lot of young children at the hotel, and 7 pm is a long time after lunch for some people to wait for dinner.
Bars: There are two. One near each pool. We saw some big problems at both bars. About half of the bartenders seem to not give a hoot about the guests. If they didn’t have the ingredients for a drink they would tell you to go to the other bar – you would go there and they would send you back. By ingredients, I’m talking about soda water – how hard is that? One of the bars does not have a fridge – only a freezer. So, if they did happen to have some soda water, or pina colada mix, they would pull it out of the freezer in a totally frozen state to prove that they didn’t have what you wanted. Then they put it back in the freezer to ensure that you wouldn’t get it next time you asked either. A good bartender checks his stock at the start of his shift. He compares the stock to the list of drinks and then goes and finds the necessary ingredients to make these drinks. Then, hopefully, he leaves enough stock for the next shift. None of this happens at this hotel. One good thing – the beer is cold. By the way, if you want rum in your rum punch or your pina colada, you need to tell them, otherwise you will get a virgin drink. Don’t know why, but every bartender required that information. There is one young bartender who enjoys hanging around your table, whether you want him there or not. He is fascinated with cell phones and shows you the photo gallery on his every single day. There is one very surly female bartender who we tried to avoid. We don’t like it when a bartender rolls her eyes when you order a drink from their menu.
The Beach: The beach is very loose sand so you sink up to your ankles when walking (hard for old folks like us). It was impossible to go into the water for the whole two weeks. We should, of course, have expected this, as Cabarete is known for windsurfing, not swimming. There is a guard on duty at all times. The vendors stop bugging you after the first few refusals to buy their goods. The tanning was good between rain showers (especially good for Reg, who went home looking quite dark).
Money: You can change your money in the gift shop, unless you refuse to pay the exorbitant price they charge for Red Bull – then they refuse. Llew found other sources for her favourite Bull though. And there are several places to exchange money on the side streets very close to the hotel.
Clientele: The guests during our stay were predominantly German, with a few Brits (we met a fabulous couple from England), Dutch and Canadians in the mix. It seemed like a large percentage were repeat guests, which indicates that it is a place where people want to come back. Some of the visiting gentlemen required the services of local “companions”. We think that, if this is supposed to be a family hotel, these services should be obtained off-site rather than in our faces (at the restaurant, the bars, the pools).
Front Desk: Being seasoned travelers, we made our specific requests to the hotel via email and had a confirmation email re room choice, etc, as well as the confirmation from the tour company. When we arrived, none of our requests had been honoured, so we showed the clerk the email from the (female) hotel staff. His response, with a sneer, was “oh, it’s only that woman”. Tsk, tsk. He shouldn’t show his chauvinism, especially to a Canadian woman (whose husband had to hold her back as she was ready to jump over the desk and strangle the clerk).
Transportation: There is a free shuttle to Cabarete several times a day. They will drop you wherever you like. We paid 1000 pesos ($32 or 16 pounds – uh-huh)) for a return trip to Sosua in an air-conditioned van, for a visit to the market. If you haven’t done it, it’s an experience you might want to try. If you want to drive the vendors mad, and get them to stop pestering you, tell them that you want to buy a stuffed parrot that will sit on your shoulder. It worked for us.
We walked around the Paraiso del Sol, which is just up the street, and spent our departure night (due to Tropical Storm Olga) at the Tropical Playa Dorada. Both were too large, too cold, no shade and no atmosphere. If we returned to the Puerto Plata area we would definitely choose Paraiso Tropical over either of these hotels.
Photos available at following link:
Webshots Celuisma Paraiso Tropical dgettas
Do not let them kid you - IT IS NOT a 3 STAR HOTEL !!!!
We have been to 3 star hotels in the Dominican Republic many times ! This one is nowhere near it !!!
Ok it is clean outside. The entertainment team is great and the staff is friendly , but that is all to it .
It is very small an in a need of a good refurbishment .
The rooms are horrible and most of them have problems like smell, no hot water , no water at all , rusty bath, floods. I know because we changed a few of them during our 4 days stay there.
The main restaurant is dark , there is no proper lighting, there is not a great deal of food and the food are cold at most times.
We arrived there and insisted on transfering elswhere , not only us but 3 other families who arrived on the same day .
The locals come there for weekends -not one or two but a lot of them , that is when you get almost totaly ignored at the bar and in other places .
I can not understand all the fantastic reviews written abou tthis place ,SORRY HAVE YOU PEOPLE EVER STAYED AT A DECENT HOTEL ?
Love the ambience
We have just return from a 2 weeks holiday. I was very concerned when my sister-in-law informed me that she had booked a 2* hotel as I had done hotels review in the past and would not have stayed at any hotel below 4*. We were feeling quite despondent when we saw the bathroom, however, after dinner we decided to give it a chance and it was the best decision that we could have made. The service was incredible, meals very balance overall I would say that the hotel might be a 2*, however, the service was definitely a 5*. The staff and management were very helpful there were nothing that was too much to ask for, they would always try and meet our needs. This is a quite hotel away from the hustle and bustle a nice place to rest and relax I thoroughly enjoyed my stay would return and recommend my friends and family to stay.
3*** what a joke it was that bad i spent all off 2 hours here and had 2 move 2 another hotel. we where a family off 5 so we had 2rooms the first room was for the kids but i could not let them sleep in it the smell in this room was so back it took your breath away.the bedding was dirty the bathroom was that dirty the kids would have been dirty when they come out than they did after 8hours on a plane. second room was falling to bits the floor was dirty and bedding was smelling off dirty water. There was die fly all around the microwave. room air con did not work and it was falling off the wall. bathroom cupboard was all falling 2 bits. bath was all full off rust. ok thats the rooms outside 2 the pool was not very clean dont ask for drinks because they dont have anything for you 2 drink and if they do you wont drink it anyway because the glass it comes in is so old it will put you off drinking out off it . food i did not get this far but just going on what was there and where you sat said it all for me. so i was glad 2 move to a new hotel as i did want to go back home 2 scotland alive and not dead. SO IF YOU ARE BOOKING YOU HOILDAY TO THIS HOTEL DONT BE LIKE ME AND GO ON ALL THE NICE REVIEWS JUST STAY WELL AWAY FROM HERE AND BOOK TO MOVED TO A NEW HOTLE NOW .
I Love It,, miss this place
I have been in this hotel with my mom, for 3 nice weeks. From 19 July till 9 August, I really miss this place. The people were so nice, and I'm really coming back. The hotel was excellent, a nice place to be. The food was good, and you have enough choices. If you want to stay only in the hotel, it won't be a problem. There are enough things to do, and a great animation-team.Also the rooms are good. My mom told me before we were going to Dominica, it's not like europe, so I tought the rooms and food would be different. But it was great! The hotel is also good for the kids, 2 nice swimming pools, but the sea is a bit rough. I think thats the only negative thing about the hotel, but its nice to play in the sea when you're older. We had a great time, and the people from the hotel are like friends. I hope it will be the same when we're coming back..
Greetings and kisses, Lindsey
This place is surprising...
We have spent a week with the whole family (2 adults-4 kids) and were surprised to have spent a wonderful vacation.
I will not lie, at first we were disapointed with the rooms, the furniture is outdated and very primal, there were some areas in the rooms were it needed to be re-painted due to water damage and the ceiling fans did seem to want to spin away... but it managed to hang in there... no bugs or vermine were seen, it was very clean, you just had to get over the fact it was not a room from a classy hotel, yet very comfy.
The rest of surroundings is beautiful. Gorgeous tropical vegetation all over the the site. Well kept pools and the beach is clean too.
The variety at the buffet is minimal, but everything is good... fruits and vegetables are washed with purified water, so consumption did not make us sick..
The staff is friendly and go out of their way to make you happy.
The animation team is all smiles and thrive to make your vacation pleasant... we didn't see our kids all week.... and they begged us to return for 2 weeks next summer.
Since it is a small complex, it seemed like we had the place to ourselves, our own villa for a week.. (almost... keep in mind the national holiday is the 20th of august so they have a long weekend to vacation... Dominicans are loud, and messy and lack respect for their surroundings... to avoid)
All in all, once we decided not to worry with the rating of the room (since we only used it at night) it was a wonderful place to vacation and would return without hesitation.
Enjoyed this small hotel
This hotel in Cabarete is perfect for rest and relaxation. The staff are very personable and willing to go the extra mile. I liked the fact that the hotel was not large and everything was within 2-3 minutes of your room.
The rooms were clean and large, the beds were comfortable nothing fancing. My husband and l spent very little time in the room excellent to sleep, shower and change. The hotel is alittle older so some of the structures are getting worn but things still worked. There has been a change in management for the better. The food was excellent and plenty of it. I have never eaten so much on my holidays.
The only concern l have is that people should be aware that the atlantic ocean here is not really swimable because of the continous waves. The city of Canarete is know for windsurfing. The beach itself is beautiful. This beach is not for families with children who want to be in the water. The hotel does have 2 lovely pools which l ended up swimming in.