This was to be a real treat for me and my sons last few days in DR - exploring the Larimar mines and area it comes from. I wanted to stay somewhere that felt safe and a bit luxury for the last few days of our trip . This place was unwelcoming from the start .Woman on reception looked blankly at us as if we had not made a reservation , was on phone without attempt at explanation - after a 4.5 hour journey with a 9 year old was quite sad. Eventually led to a room that was part of a larger complex of rooms without explanation. Was not what we booked but we did not say anything. NO TOILETRIES whatsoever - for $150 / night - ! We explored a bit - nice pebbly beach and the view was amazing , pool icy cold. We then looked forward to dinner - AWFUL - service was bad , I mean really bad , we are not picky , food was mediocre and overpriced and I was overcharged for a beer - 250 pesos for a small presidente , when I queried it the guy just pointed to the 18 percent extra tax and 10 percent extra service charged - which still made it the most expensive beer I had on the island. Then to bed - dirty bedsheets with blood spots on them , mattress disgusting , holes in the needed mozzie net , son did not sleep well either - both got bed bug bites, sandfly , mozzies , truly uncomfortable and the wobbly fan only worked on 1 setting and didn't move around - last legs . We were out on adventures all day , then back to try again at the restaurant - worse than night before - Ensalada verde was some old lettuce with a tomato in it - 250 pesos , beer was down to 145 and my sons tiny (fried) fish was like rubber. Another itchy night on blood stained sheets - we asked in the morning via our guide to have a cover on the mattress and clean sheets. When we returned the bed had been changed , no mattress cover and the new sheets had blood spots all over and on the pillows/ DISGUSTING . My son was freaking out . We wanted to leave by this point but had a tour booked so we stuck with it . Last night there we ordered in from local comador and when it arrived some guy shouted at us about ordering food in and said the boss does not like it - tough - my son needs to eat . OH yes ! the breakfast - AWFUL - greasy, fried, tasteless (as were all the vegetables with dinner - even though I ordered steamed - I say vegetables but it was only aubergine both nights) . Tried to just have toasted sandwiches next day for breakfast but not possible apparently. Honestly - we spent $350 on 3 nights at this dump - ! No one ever asked us how we were , only time anyone spoke to us apart from the inept waiting staff was the shouty guy . Quite a few old guys with young local ladies there also . Just bad . Stay away . We have stayed all over this island for last 3 months - this is by far the worst and most expensive place we stayed.
This area of DR is not like Punta Cana or the North coast. I think this hotel is still one of the best in this area. With a little upgrading and more cleanness it could being a real jewel. The beach was full of trash. Our room had 2 king size beds and a nice view to the ocean. All the service was very slow, but all stuff were very friendly. We stayed 2 nights and after all it was ok having a base for all excursions.
Missed more than hit.... Reception was friendly and helpful (Sofia); however, the main server (female) in the restaurant was inattentive and apathetic. The bartender (male) was brought in to help work the tables and had it not been for him, none of the half a dozen tables would have been served within a single evening. I understand countries in the Caribbean tend to provide more “relaxed service,” and we’ve traveled through several (Jamaica, Bahamas, Barbados, US Virgin Islands, and St Lucia); however, this was about the slowest and most apathetic service we received in any Caribbean country. When our the Caldo de Mar finally arrived after ordering it, it was pretty good! We found the seafood grill main to be pretty good as well; but overall, our dinner experience lasted about 3 hours!!!! (Unnecessarily)
We stayed for breakfast the following morning and the attentiveness and execution of service was much better; perhaps because the female server we had the previous evening was not working.
Although the buildings, landscaping, and overall amenities were good, Casa Del Mar fell short in several areas that boil down to poor management decisions and oversight: No hot water in the showers; intermittent lapses in internet connectivity; no AC in the rooms; our tv’s screen was damaged; and flood lighting mounted to the trees (rather than on the ground) shined too much light through room windows.
Check out in the morning was more complicated than it needed to be because their Credit card machine wasn’t working and we ended up having to pay in cash. Therefore, as much as it pains me to say it because of their great potential, I can’t recommend staying at the Casa Del Mar Lodge.
I stayed in Casa del Mar Lodge for 3 nights during my Ecotour Barahona (see separate review) tour in southwestern Dominican Republic. It was a perfect place to relax between the day tours in the region.
My room was simply furnished, but nice. There was a lovely terrace with a view to the crashing waves below. No air-conditioning but I was happy with the fan.
I loved the fresh breakfasts that were served on the terrace. The dinners at the restaurant were also good although I would have welcomed more vegetarian options.
The delicious rum-orange punch offered on arrival was a nice touch and the Italian owner was there to personally greet us. I was also pleased to learn that the whole complex runs completely on solar energy. So it is not an eco lodge in name only.
The beach was beautiful but a bit too rough to swim in. I did yoga on the deck in the morning and enjoyed the spot. I didn’t use the pools or the jacuzzi because I had such a busy programme for the days I stayed there.
On a side note, I stayed also at Casa Bonita, which is a stone's throw from Casa del Mar, and actually preferred the latter. Sure, the facilities and rooms at Casa Bonita are fancier but the atmosphere at Casa del Mar felt more authentic. Plus, it was just a fraction of the cost.
We stayed at Casa Del Mar Lodge for 2 nights and it was absolutely amazing! The views are incredible and the hospitality we received was over the top. We arrived late at night and were immediately greeted and walked to our rooms. We had 2 separate bedrooms in one of the villas with a little private area, pool overlooking the ocean. Breakfast was included and it was a tasty, traditional Dominican breakfast. Portions were small but we were satisfied. We didn't get to spend much day time at the property because we were out touring the Southern coast of the DR, however I would highly recommend this property to any couple, family or friend group. Please keep in mind this is an eco lodge and therefore no rooms have AC. The fan was cool but we were still hot sleeping at night. For the price, we had a spectacular experience. Dominican hospitality is one to remember!