Las Galeras, 1, Caribbean
Absolutely no entertainment but beautiful
This is the place to be if you are looking for absolutely quiet and nothing to do. Of course you can take trips to the famous Playa Rincon or go to the waterfall El Limon or to the Los Haitises or or.
The rooms are spacious and comfortable and you dont really need airconditioning as the sea breeze is quite strong. The balcony is great and you have a fantastic view of the sea and a tiny island right in front of the hotel.
Unique Quality: Because of its 21 rooms the staff has time to talk and help out with any little needs you might have. The restaurant is beautiful with a view of the garden and sea. However, the food was disappointing and after a few days you were really fed up with the menue. No local dishes were served and we had the same fruits day in day out. There was no cereal for breakfast just eggs any style, danish pastry and fruit and it was always toast no bread. If you like that type of breakfast OK.
I looked forward to eating fish but to my disappointment it was just one type of fish served day in day out. However, the lobster was good.
I found that the drinks were quite expensive.
More about Villa Serena
The Grand Bahia Hotel, Samana....
The Grand Bahia Hotel, Samana.
We were told by the tour operator not to eat any salads or uncooked food, or take ice etc. I obeyed, my husband ate everything in sight! He didn't get ill, so I ate everything I wanted after two days or so. The food at the hotel was great. All sorts of stuff, catering for Germans, English and local food.
On our return flight to Gatwick alot of people were complaining about their holiday, saying the food was awful in their resorts, or that the beaches were manned by men with rifles and that they were afraid to go out at night.
Perhaps we were lucky, we were the last dropped off by the coach after a three hour drive. It was a long drive, and far away from the other resorts, but isn't that always were you find the best places!!
"Why I choose Samana the second time around"
After my first visit to Dom Rep I again choose Samana as I found it unspoilt and hoped it wouldn't have lost too much of its originality. I was well aware that after a 10 hour flight from Zurich to Puerto Plata there was another 4 1/2 road trip with lots of potholes to the hotel in Las Galeras. If it was worth it I am not really sure but we stayed really far away from all "civilization" in Villa Serena las Galeras. I did pay a visit to Las Terenas and was shocked at the changes which took place after my 12 years of absence. My memories were of long deserted beaches and what I found was one hotel complex after another and because the sewer goes unfiltered into the sea swimming is difficult because of all the seaweeds.
Playa Rincon still unspoilt but dont go there when the ships come in.
Not to miss was the Nostrils of the Devil which literally is a blowhole a sight to see when the waves come bursting through creating such a force that it looks like steam rising upwards
"Highlight was to the Nationalpark Los Haitises"
Los Haitises (Haitises means high land or land of mountains)
covers an area of 1200 km2 and is to the south of Samana formed over millions of years by marine organisms.
Took about 45 minutes with a catamaran from Samana's harbour. The pelicans, herons, terns, frigates, even an occasional falcon nesting in the high rocks a spectacle. Taíno caves impressive with Taíno drawings of families, men hunting, supernatural beings or eerie shapes of rock formation reminding you of a temple.
"Dont get lost in the caves or the mangrove"
Remember to keep in sight of your guide whether in the caves or on the river. The mangrove forest can be a tricky place I wouldn't want to get lost in it.
My wife just returned from Punta Cana on a Peace Work trip constructing a school playground and loved it. She hated the big tourist all-inclusive hotels that were surrounding the village. We want to go back together and want to avoid any tourist area or all-inclusive accomodations. We want to stay in a shack on the beach away from everything. Bed and shower accomodations type of deal with access to local food and culture. We would love to be able to make arrangements ahead of time and support a local - not an ex-pat or tourist hotspot. Any type of places come to mind?
Re: Beach palapa
I can't give recommendations of hotels, but the 2 places that comes to my mind that sort of fit your requirements are Las Galeras and Barahona/Pedernales area. I'll be visiting the Barahona/Pedernales area in April.
When are you going? How much is your budget per day? How's your Spanish?
Re: Beach palapa
Our spanish is decent. We have spent time in Mexico and Costa Rica. We would not want to spend more than about 75-100 US a day (including lodging and food.) Ideally be located a short distance from the beach and very far from the throngs of booze guzzling party touristas. We would love a secluded beach and a village that has a restaurant/place to eat or two.
Probably looking on either end of this summer. Most likely in August, September or October.
Re: Beach palapa
You're going in somewhat low season or, for some hotels, "in between season". I suggest you look into Las Galeras to begin with. You might find what you need there.
Small/boutique hotels (aka NON AI) that I've seen recommended are:
- Villa Serena: www.villaserena.com
- Casa Dorado: www.casadoradodr.com
You could also look into www.samana.net, although they don't always have their directories updated, you could at least get names and search them on the internet.
If you can, get the latest Lonely Planet guide. They have also great info on how to get there and restaurants and accommodations for all budgets.
Barahona is also another place that's not too known, mostly because of the poor infrastructure there. There are beaches there but I can't say how close they are from the hotels (probably 5-10 mins).
Some places I've come in contact with are:
- Hotel El Quemaito: http://www.hotelelquemaito.com/hotel.html
- Aparta Hotel Pontevedra: http://www.pontevedracaribe.com/
- Hotelito Oasi Italiana: http://www.lospatos.it/index.htm
- Hotel Casablanca: http://www.hotelcasablanca.com.do/en-us/home.html
- Coral Sol Resort (NON AI): http://www.coralsolresort.com/
Those places have personnel who speak English (not perfect, tho) but since you know some Spanish you'll be fine.
I'm gonna have to break in 2 the trip that I planned to Barahona/Pedernales and it's possible I won't stay in Barahona.
Hope it helps.
Popular Hotels in Las Galeras