Noise from neighboring resorts is sometimes a problem
Wi-Fi can be spotty in some rooms
Some showers have inconsistent water pressure
Service tends to be somewhat stiff
Casa Colonial Beach and Spa is a swish, four-pearl property located on Playa Dorada beach. The hotel’s 50 rooms exude timeless style, featuring decor inspired by colonial-era aesthetics. Amenities, which include a spa, two restaurants and a pair of bars, plus a rooftop pool, are equally chic -- most are on the smaller side, but this mainly just enhances the hotel’s intimate feel. While you might hear some noise from the busy resorts nearby and service is sometimes a bit off, Casa Colonial is by far the most luxurious option in Puerto Plata. Guests may want to compare rates and amenities with Blue JackTar, but it’s not as fancy.
Romantic retreat with classic decor and a posh ambiance
With its mansion-like exterior (complete with wrought-iron entrance gate), Casa Colonial stands apart from the generic resorts ubiquitous throughout Playa Dorada. The hotel’s opulent design draws inspiration from traditional Caribbean architecture, defined by elegant archways, shingle roofs, and dark wood furniture paired with pale neutral color palettes.
The two-and-a-half-acre property has two main areas, which are separated by a delightful garden filled with orchids and banana trees (along with some Adirondack chairs for sitting and admiring the view). The main building is home to the lobby and its bar as well as Lucia restaurant, while the guest rooms and other amenities are set in a second building closer to the beach.
The hotel does its best to separate itself from its hard-partying resort neighbors, but you’ll sometimes hear noise down at the beach and up on the rooftop pool deck. While service is polite, it can be little inconsistent and stilted at times. Although kids are allowed, the hotel doesn’t offer any family-friendly amenities. Instead, you’ll mostly see well-heeled Western couples of all ages.
Casa Colonial is located in the gated Playa Dorada complex, a touristy neighborhood that’s home to a dozen or so other resorts. Of these, Casa Colonial is the only one that’s not all-inclusive. They all share access to the same beach, with Casa Colonial located along a lesser-trafficked section of sand.
You won’t find much authentic Dominican culture in Playa Dorada, but it’s a safe and convenient area with shops and restaurants found less than 10 minutes away by foot. Playa Dorada Golf Course is right across the street. Gregorio Luperon International Airport can be reached in around 20 minutes by car, and it’s a 15-minute drive to Puerto Plata. Cabarete, a popular destination for surfers, is a 40-minute drive away.
Glamorous rooms feature refined decor and swanky amenities
Guest rooms at Casa Colonial are elegantly decorated with muted color schemes, polished marble floors, and dark wood furniture. Beds (most of which are four poster) are topped with Frette linens, while walls showcase a few thoughtful pieces of contemporary art. Double-door armoires hold flat-screen TVs and well-stocked minibars. Free Wi-Fi is standard, but the connection can be spotty in some rooms.
All rooms have sitting areas with large work desks and white linen sofas. Outside, shared patios or private balconies are furnished with a pair of canvas chairs and a table. Some overlook the property’s lovely gardens, while others face toward the coast (although sea grape trees obstruct the beach views).
Bathrooms have peek-a-boo windows into the bedrooms, with blinds that can be drawn for privacy. Twin sinks and Gilchrist & Soames bath products also come standard, as do Roman-style tubs. On the downside, the fixtures in the glass-walled showers were a bit less luxe than we were expecting and had spurty water pressure. Magnifying mirrors and coffeemakers are set on tall dressers in the bathrooms.
Suites add a separate living area, while Deluxe Suites include a living area with sofa bed. Master Suites combine a Junior Suite and Deluxe Suite to create a two-bedroom unit. There is also a Penthouse Suite and a Presidential Suite with additional living space and even more luxurious furniture.
High-end pool and spa, plus some quality restaurants
Casa Colonial’s portfolio of features cater to its affluent, adult clientele. There’s a scenic rooftop pool with wonderful ocean views. A row of four square whirlpools are arranged on the wooden deck in front of the pool. Aqua Bar is set adjacent to the pool, offering a tiny seating area where drinks and light snacks are served throughout the day. It closes early in the evening.
Casa Colonial offers direct access to a wide stretch of Playa Dorada beach. The beach is public and shared with several rowdy neighboring resorts, but Casa Colonial sits at a fairly quiet end of the sands. Stylish beach umbrellas and wooden loungers are lined up neatly along the beach for guests.
The hotel’s polished 12,400 square-foot-spa offers treatments that blend healing Dominican ingredients with European spa practices. There are 10 indoor treatment rooms, including two couple’s rooms with small private whirlpools, along with a salon and a relaxation room plus sauna and steam rooms. Guests also have the option of having treatments performed in one of three outdoor gazebos.
There’s a small, bright fitness center located within the spa, which offers Cybex machines, including treadmills, ellipticals, and bikes. Floor-to-ceiling windows face toward the coast, but like in the guest rooms, greenery interrupts the beach views. Towels and an ice bucket filled with water bottles are available for guests, and each machine has a built-in TV. Yoga and Pilates classes are regularly held on the beach, with an extra fee for participation.
Veranda restaurant is the hotel’s main casual dining option, with breakfast and lunch offered in an air-conditioned dining room decked out in beachy beiges and blues; or out on an attractive terrace with partial views of the beach. Dinner is available at fine dining Lucia restaurant, served in a beautiful dining area with lofty ceilings and a sleek gray and purple color palette. The restaurant specializes in French-Caribbean fusion cuisine and features an excellent wine selection. There’s a handsome lobby bar with graceful dangling light fixtures, and room service is also available.
A simple shop in the lobby sells beachwear and a few sundries. Free Wi-Fi is offered throughout, and there’s free parking on-site.
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