Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Predominantly European crowd at a remote location.
The lobby has white marble and an elevated wood-beam . run around the , grossly out of sync with the merengue music coming from an overhead speaker. pulled up at all hours of the day and night. A large from Montreal sipped complimentary pineapple-garnished rum drinks while stacked their luggage in the . went in the theater behind the main buffet.
According, at least, to the scuba shack staffer, guests are primarily European (French and Dutch, mostly) and Canadian. Americans, like anywhere in Samana, are rare. As one TripAdvisor reviewer warned, "Most of the staff know very little English." This is true. Instead, many staffers learn French or German.
Two and a half hours from the airport, but then you're only five minutes from great bars.
Situated in the eastern edge of the Samana Airport., which means a 2.5-hour cab ride from
The nearest town is, a beachfront village with surprisingly good smattering expat and like and . The walk to Las Galleras takes about five minutes.
Best in the D.R., with gorgeous sand and room for everyone.
The beach has the softest, finest sand anywhere in Samana, making it high in the running for the best beach in the D.R. The water is crystal blue, filled with boaters and kayakers. We spotted folks trying to coax their into the water and kids building .
There’s an ample supply of blue beach loungers for , reading, and sunning. A former guest from Ontario noted on TripAdvisor that "there was never a lack of chairs even at the busiest of times." This was indeed the case – at peak hours, chairs in and were easy to come by.
However, relaxation was hard to come by given the hotel's music choice: Kat DeLuna's party anthem, "Whine Up." Pulsating beats shot across the otherwise serene .
The beach was fronted by a massive great lawn, which stretched for hundreds of feet toward the and reached all the way to the . The has a staggering array of activities: horseback riding, ATVs, scuba, table tennis, bocce, and a stone and grass mini-golf course. Snorkeling, windsurfing, catamaran trips, and kayaking are also available for purchase.
The bungalows are awful, and the Superior Rooms are, well, inferior.
The hotel offers bungalow rooms and Superior rooms. Cleanliness and comfort are sorely lacking from both room types. Regarding comfort, the beds in all rooms are very hard — one could feel the springs below even when sitting on top of the pink, green and yellow . Regarding cleanliness, read on …
The bungalows are a nightmare. As one of the clerks at the front desk explained (and repeated three times), "No one likes this room." The one-story cottages are startlingly dirty and smell of deep mildew. They lack a clock, a remote control, a showerhead, and even toilet paper. Even with all the lights on, the room was extremely . The tile was pockmarked and stained. An archaic Daewoo TV sat alongside an even older cable box. The and bathtub had considerable grime and mysterious brown . Worse still, the bathroom walls had .
The bungalows do come with a modest balcony -- two green wooden sitting on top of . They’re a great spot for people watching (and escaping the room's ).
In the Superior Room, the bathroom also smells of mildew, the bathtub caulking is rotting in most parts, and in some rooms, a procession of ants paraded all over the sink. The room is dark, with just servicing the space. The TV works just fine, but the remote only (de)activated the , nothing else. There’s decent water pressure in the shower, though it might take several minutes to get hot water.
The Superior Rooms also come with a balcony, many of which are on the ground floor and look out on a maze of tall, narrow and the beyond. with two white plastic , a small matching stool/table and a patio recliner, it’s a comfortable area to hang but can get especially buggy at night.
Great pool, especially for kids, and plenty of outings and activities for the grown-ups.
Kids and their are everywhere by the pool. The tiny children's pool has nary a single swimmer. Chairs and strollers lined the sides of both full-size swimming holes (one on each end of the property). The soundtrack at both was slow and Latin. An in-water basketball hoop received -- appropriately -- much hoopla. The hotel offered aerobics and scuba diving lessons at the (one half-hour lesson per stay).
Activities Center advertised an all-day ATV trip to Playa Rincon, commonly known as the most beautiful beach in the D.R., for a fee. He also described shorter trips to local beaches and caves. "This cave," he said, showing a laminated , "people say it looks like ‘Jurassic Park.’ "at the
Kiko's Kids Club took care of daytime child care. Parents who availed themselves of the service could then go or take out (both for an extra fee) or play , badminton, or beach volleyball, among other sports.
Loud tunes and lame dance lessons for a sparse crowd.
The Areito Theater hosted the nighttime entertainment. In front of virtually nonexistent , a bunch of guys in and lurid, sparkling made half the people who did show up perform push-ups and military salutes. They also gave some folks a halfhearted merengue dance lesson. An absurdly loud speaker system blasted, "Put your hands up in the air! Put your hands up ... in the air!" Most in the seemed taken aback by the volume, and kept their hands at their sides.
Musty rooms with mud-streaked hallways.
Cleanliness is a low priority in this hotel. The Superior Room had stained floors and ants crawling up through the sink. Several hallways were streaked with long swaths of . It was hours before some were mopped up.had a stained and filthy . The and were and . The bathroom mirror was , and the fixtures were caked with . Likewise, the
You really can't go wrong, with two decent a la cartes and a very good buffet
The El Aserradero buffet serves some outstanding items, including fresh potatoes and juicy . Diners line up at the , patiently piling their plates with toppings while the serves as quickly as he can.
Sea Scape and Michaelangelo, the two a la carte restaurants, share an open-air beachside . Sea Scape serves seafood on blue linens while Michaelangelo, directly to the right, serves Italian on red linens. The key difference, other than cuisine, is that Sea Scape is part of the all-inclusive package, while Michelangelo is not. But most guests find the food at both restaurants pretty "average.” Michelangelo is hardly worth the extra cash.
The Sports Bar has one tiny TV propped in the far upper corner that shows sports highlights. There’s a recently installed , but its foosball table and two are clearly showing their age. While a self-serve got heavy use, the most popular item was the bar itself, which served large crowds and played merengue long into the night.
Located on one of the D.R.’s best beaches, one that makes even the 2.5-hour taxi from the closest airport seem worthwhile. The bungalows and guest rooms are extremely worn and dingy, and the resort lacks luxe features like a gym or spa. But with a quality buffet and, again, a spectacular , most guests don’t ask for more.