Bodega Hispaniola restaurants has meal plans available
Apartment-style units with full kitchens, dining, and living rooms
Small pool with water feature
Airport shuttle available (for a fee)
Outdoor tennis court
Enormous DVD library in lobby
Go Green policy means electricity shuts down during the day and hot water is scarce
Hefty fee for slow Wi-Fi
No parking lot (guests who rent a car can park in on the street)
No beach views from the hotel
Breakfast not included in rate unless guests purchase a meal plan upon arrival
Located in the tiny village of Costambar, just west of Puerto Plata, Club VIllas Jazmin is a small, quiet hotel with 20 apartment-style units. This budget property is ideal for travelers seeking an authentic stay in the Dominican Republic in lieu of a tourist-oriented hotel stay in Puerto Plata. This means guests can expect regular power outages, little hot water, and a slower pace of life (as in, the Wi-Fi barely exists) while staying here. The beach is a short stroll from the hotel, and there is a small pool and tennis courts, but guests will need to rent a car or rely on taxis to do anything else in the area. For direct beach access, compare rates at The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort nearby.
A small hotel at the mercy of a developing country’s poor infrastructure
At Club Villas Jazmin, tiny white stucco buildings dot the lush, well-manicured grounds. Birds chirp, the sun shines bright, and guests sit on their front porch, book in hand. At first glance, the place appears to be some kind of undiscovered tropical paradise. But, as the day wears on, the power goes out, the Internet connection ceases to exist, and the hot water stops running from the tap. Pretty soon, it’s time to face reality: Club Villas Jazmin -- no matter how quiet, peaceful, and undiscovered it may seem -- is still a small, privately owned hotel in a developing country that lacks the amenities and the infrastructure that many first-world travelers have come to expect. For travelers who can look past these obstacles, Club VIllas Jazmin is an ideal budget escape.
Located in Costambar, a tiny village about 15 minutes west of Puerto Plata, Club Villas Jazmin is in a secluded spot where guests can really get a taste of local culture -- starting with the unpaved roads that lead to the hotel. There are a handful of restaurants and bars nearby, the beach is about a three- to five-minute walk from the property, and there’s a nine-hole golf course just down the street -- but there’s not much else to see or do nearby. Gregorio Luperon International Airport is about 35 minutes away. Airport transportation can be arranged with the hotel.
Every apartment has a full kitchen, separate living area, and single air-conditioning unit.
Club Villas Jazmin is composed of 20, one- and two-bedroom units, all of which have full kitchens, separate living and dining areas, and either one or two bathrooms. Though the hotel won’t be winning awards for room decor any time soon, rooms are spacious and airy. The living and dining rooms feature white tile floors with light wood furniture, flat-screen TVs and DVD players (DVDs are available to borrow in the main office), and a sofa that doubles as a trundle bed. The kitchen, a small space with beige granite counters and stainless steel appliances, is stocked with flatware, utensils, and pots and pans. A breakfast bar overlooks the dining room. The bedrooms are small in comparison to the common areas and lack any sort of character. It’s a room with a bed and a closet, but that’s about it. The bedroom is home to the apartment’s only air conditioner, and it does a poor job of keeping the entire place cool, especially since it cannot be turned on from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The hotel’s green policy combined with the Dominican Republic’s subpar electrical power means most appliances (air conditioners, coffeemakers, microwaves, hairdryers, etc.) cannot be switched on during the day. This also applies to the room’s hot water heater, so warm showers are hard to come by. Bathrooms are usually split into two rooms, one with the sink and toilet, the other with a bathtub. Most bathtubs are equipped with showerheads, but they’re not upright.
The hotel has two units known as Los Castillos (the castles) that are located across the street from the main property. Los Castillos are two-bedroom, two-bathroom duplexes with the same amenities as the other apartments and a dash more panache. None of the rooms have ocean views.
As far as on-site entertainment is concerned, guests have the option of lounging poolside or playing tennis. The small, square pool is surrounded by lounge chairs and umbrella covered tables. There is a small water feature and a separate hot tub flanked by frescoed walls. The dirt bottom tennis court isn’t in great shape and it’s a BYOR (bring your own racket) type of place. Those who are driving to the property should note that there is no parking lot for hotel guests. Anyone with a car can park it on the street across from the hotel. The hotel’s Wi-Fi, with its hefty daily fee, is probably not worth the money, as it is terribly slow and doesn’t seem to work in most rooms.
The hotel’s on-site bar and restaurant, Bodega Hispaniola, is a casual, open-air space that overlooks the pool. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and its menu features Dominican specialities with a few international dishes. Some guests complain that good service and available menu items are hard to come by during the off season. Club Villas Jazmin offers guests an optional meal plan that includes breakfast and dinner for the duration of their stay. Interestingly, though the hotel’s website tries to proffer itself as an alternative to the area’s all-inclusive mega-resorts, meal plan dining here consists of many all-inclusive style buffets, and even a few trips to the nearby Lifestyles resorts for buffet dinners and generic nightly entertainment.
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