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“Lovely small Hotel in a quiet spot”
Review of Hotel Alegria

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Hotel Alegria
Ranked #9 of 22 Hotels in Cabarete
Reviewed 20 March 2017

I have been staying here for years and always stay here when I come to Cabarete. The owner and staff are great, and it's in a peaceful location which I particularly like. It's out of the noise but close enough to walk to the nightlife and restaurants.

Love the place and will always return!

Room Tip: Ocean view rooms are the best
  • Stayed: September 2016, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Jay H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4 - 10 of 198 reviews

Reviewed 15 September 2016

After putting off writing a review for months, I'm finally getting around to weighing in on the debate about this hotel.

I'm giving the Alegria 5 stars, but to provide an honest assessment for other travelers I must include a detailed description of the experiences during my stay.

Okay, so my previous bizarre hotel stay was in Cambodia last year. This one doesn't quite rank at the same level, but it's worth documenting as it was my first bizarre hotel experience this year.

(Note: For those who simply want to read general points about my stay, skip to the end of this review.)

I arrived after an unexpectedly long journey to Cabarete, tired and dehydrated. Upon arrival I was pleasantly greeted by hotel staff who carried my luggage to the top floor and were helpful in answering questions regarding my reintroduction to Cabarete, after not having visited for a number of years.

I immediately sensed that Cabarete had become a little more dysfunctional in general after walking through the town that evening, and I suspect that some of the negative reviews are in part a result of the byproducts of this dysfunctional environment, rather than something fundamentally wrong with the hotel or the owner.

Perhaps some people are rating the hotel against some theoretical universal standard, rather than the reality of the environment where its located. Tropical, chaotic at times, some rough edges in the experience at any given moment, etc. Though the environment is also what I like about Cabarete – its the polar opposite of a place like Singapore, and with a great beach and overwhelmingly friendly people.

On to some of the dysfunction worth documenting...

My stay began to take an odd turn when on my third day I went downstairs to the restaurant under the hotel and was greeted by a young British gentleman who introduced himself as "Peter" which is the same name as the hotel owner. I stated that I was happy to finally meet him in person after exchanging emails. The gentleman said he too was happy to meet me in person and at no point during our 15 minute conversation did he give me any indication he was not the owner of the hotel. I even ended the conversation by mentioning that I would be emailing him later about the number of days I wanted to stay at the hotel and he thanked me and said he looked forward to receiving my email. It turns out this gentleman was not the owner and to this day I have no idea who he was. Possibly he was a guest who was either playing a game with me or was delusional. But for reference, the owner is a mature North American gentleman. Anyway, that was bizarre encounter number one.

Later while sitting in the restaurant I asked a staff member who appeared to be the manager of the restaurant whether I could pay the remaining balance for my room and food by a single PayPal payment for the sake of simplicity. (I had already paid for the previous few nights by PayPal - which by the way is a plus with this hotel for all those like me who prefer the safety of paying through online means without giving out credit card numbers, etc.) She said yes, and when I asked if she was 100% sure, she said she would double check with someone and disappeared for two minutes into the kitchen. After reappearing she said I could definitely pay everything (room and food) by PayPal in one final bill at checkout.

On the fourth night a restaurant staff member knocked on my door and presented a restaurant bill and asked if I could pay it. I mentioned that I had arranged to pay everything via PayPal at checkout and she said okay and left. Then she came back after 10 minutes and asked again if I could pay the bill and I again said I would pay via PayPal and that she could confirm with the owner, and again she left. Then she came a third time and said the bill needed to be paid that evening because the restaurant would be closed the following day (note, for some reason certain restaurants close on Wednesdays in Cabarete). Though regardless of the restaurant being closed the following day, I was genuinely confused why that had anything to do with me paying the balance due via PayPal.

So I went downstairs to the restaurant to try and clear up the confusion and discovered that the hotel and restaurant are completely separate businesses (which is not obvious since the restaurant does not have a separate entrance, and it's part of the same building) - and the arrangement I made with the staff member during the day had no bearing on reality. Apparently she had no authority to make payment arrangements and possibly didn't even know what PayPal is. And only cash would be accepted as payment. Bizarre encounter number two.

To make matters even more confusing I had already paid for what I thought was two nights in a small $40 room plus one day's worth of a food bill. But all of the funds had of course only been applied to my hotel stay.

Fast forward to day 8. I inquired with reception about the availability of my room for an additional evening. After being told I could extend my reservation I stated that I would pay the balance due by PayPal. The staff member at reception replied by saying I could not pay by PayPal. Not sure why I was surprised by such a reply given the events of the previous days, but I was. So I just mentioned that I would "work things out with the owner" and ended up paying by PayPal of course and confirmed all was fine with the owner.

The main takeaways are:

- Cabarete is generally dysfunctional and that seems to affect the experience at many if not all of the hotels, not just this one. I had similar odd experiences after trying a few other hotels.

- Don't believe anything a restaurant staff member tells you at face value, especially in relation to the hotel. Rely only on what the hotel owner tells you, or the restaurant owner (though I never did find out who the restaurant owner is).

With all this said, every staff member (at both the hotel and restaurant) I encountered was friendly and tried to be helpful even when they were not.

Relative to what is available in the main area of Cabarete, the hotel is a good deal. The price, the level of safety, the friendliness of the staff all rank well for hotels in that area. There are multiple WiFi connections at the hotel, and all are fast and reliable - a real plus for those of us who need to stay connected while traveling.

I'm giving the hotel a 5 because the odd events that occurred were not intentional on the part of hotel staff, nor was the owner's fluctuating demeanor much of a problem for me. The hotel ended up being the best of the options I tried, and I do believe within the price range it's one of the better hotels in Cabarete.

Pros:
- PayPal accepted for room reservations
- Safe environment
- Friendly staff
- Reasonably priced
- Close proximity to main beach area
- Ocean view rooms quiet with pleasant ocean wave sounds
- Fast reliable WiFi, multiple hotspots

Cons:
- Big difference in quality between street view and ocean view rooms (which are much nicer), but street view rooms are nearly the same price

Room Tip: Ocean view rooms are much better than the street view ones
  • Stayed: May 2016, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank nyc_traveler_2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AlegriaOwner, Owner at Hotel Alegria, responded to this reviewResponded 16 September 2016

Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences and provide such a lengthy review. As the reviewer points out our restaurant is operated as a concession, i.e. a separate business. I expect there was a language problem that resulted in the back and forth over how the restaurant bill was to be paid. In October we are expecting a new restaurateur to take over the restaurant, and we will keep prospective guests apprised when that happens. We take paypal for deposits, and we are glad the guest pointed out the advantages of that over providing credit card details online. We request balances to be paid in cash, although we have occasionally made exceptions when a departing guest appears unable to make the payment in cash.

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Reviewed 31 July 2016

On my first trip to DR, I enjoyed the hospitality offered by hotel Alegria. From Peter, the owner to Joseph and Raphael, the receptionists, everybody was very friendly and also extremely helpful. I appreciate their honesty and sincerity in answering my questions about the country. The maids ensure my room was immaculate on a daily basis. The exceptional service from Joseph and Raphael was second to none. I enjoyed the coffee!

  • Stayed: July 2016, travelled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Ducarmel Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2016 via mobile

Once we arrived we were pleasantly surprised by the (seemingly) good location. In the heart of Cabarete, Hotel Algeria is situated a few minutes walk from a cheap supermarket, a cheap pizza restaurant (200 pesos for two Margheritas!) and a beach. Despite the grandeur of the former, the latter is one of the worst beaches in the area - only a few hundred metres up the beaches are a beautiful turquoise colour.

As for the room itself, upon arrival it seemed like a quaint and cosy place with air con, a TV and an ensuite. Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse when we discovered an ant colony living in the sheets from a nearby infestation coming from a hole in the wall behind the bed. The owner was nowhere in sight but the helpful local worker inspected the ants and after rather comically providing us with a can of ant killer spray we asked if we could change rooms.

The owner was "kind enough" to "turnover" another room for us which he reminded us of after we complained that this new room had a similar problem - small bugs in the bed sheets, pillows and duvets. It was this experience which led to my low review. It would have been sufficient had the owner politely apologised for the problem and changed the sheets. Instead, when called, the owner made it apparent that he did not believe us.

Visibly annoyed, the owner uttered the phrase "Well if you don't like bugs, you've come to the wrong place". For this we assume him to mean the Dominican Republic itself - but this is incorrect as we had been staying at much cheaper places for two weeks prior to Alegria and never had an ant/bug problem especially in the bedding.

With a complete lack of any form of customer service the owner then proceeded to tell us we could check out the next day. We're a young couple - not in the slight bit picky about cleanliness but we were treated as though what we were asking for (new bedding) constituted that of a 5* resort.

The situation was made so unbearable that when he had left us without a cover sheet we felt too embarrassed to ask for one and so slept without it. The cherry on the cake with this place is that there is a sign in all the rooms stating "if anything is not as it should be, please let our receptionist know right away so we can correct it".

We ended up leaving the next day after a sleepless night in the dirty room (it would take too long attempting to cover all the other defects so I would advise you to read the other reviews). The final nail in the coffin was that we were charged full price for the room and are booking made, through booking.com, was changed so that on the website we never arrived; thus not granting us the opportunity to leave a review.

Overall, no customer should be made to feel as we did. My advice is look elsewhere!

Stayed: July 2016, travelled as a couple
Thank Marcus W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AlegriaOwner, Owner at Hotel Alegria, responded to this reviewResponded 1 August 2016

With the customers’ report of tiny ants inside their room, we upgraded them to a more expensive room. The guests subsequently complained that they discovered a tiny insect on the bed in the second room. When the guest went looking for an insect to point out I couldn’t see anything and said so. Nonetheless, we proceeded to change the sheets in the second room with a full set of clean sheets including bedspread. We don’t use “duvets” given the warm climate.

Given the unsatisfactory first night, we offered to let them check out the following morning with no cancellation fee and only a one night charge for the cheaper room they had originally booked. To our mutual satisfaction they accepted, and we apologized for the inconvenience.

We are located on Cabarete Bay beach. For the benefit of future guests, despite it being a famous and popular beach, you’d have to go to another part of the island to find the turquoise waters the guest describes.

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Reviewed 9 July 2016

I chose Hotel Alegria because I wanted to stay in a cozy, safe setting near the downtown and with easy access to the beach. ...And that's exactly what I got. The immediate beach access is heavenly, and I found the room and upper terrace view charming (my room did not have any notable view, but the windows did open). The wi-fi in the room was very strong which was important for me as I was partly traveling for business.

Downtown Cabarete can feel a little hectic, so it was nice to stay a bit off the main road and yet still walking distance to all the action. I often walked along the beach instead of the road just to get where I was going, and that is quite easy and pleasant to do.

The bathroom light went out during my stay. The staff knew, but it was not fixed before I left. That was disappointing. I was pleased, however, with the hot water and pressure in the shower. Th room was cleaned daily by really friendly staff. It's possible that I grew allergic to the strong cleaning agents, so maybe not the best place for someone with chemical sensitivities.

I loved La Terrasse, the tiny, relaxed restaurant on the premises owned by fantastic Dominican women. The service and coffee were awesome, and the food was consistently good. I enjoyed most of my breakfasts there as well as the occasional nightcap or dessert--definitely try the chocolate mousse! Delicious.

  • Stayed: February 2016, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Ariana W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AlegriaOwner, Owner at Hotel Alegria, responded to this reviewResponded 10 July 2016

Thanks for nice extensive review Adriana. You capture well what Hotel Alegria offers. We do need to apologize that word of the burnt out light bulb did not make it from the housekeeping staff to our maintenance staff during the busy time when you were here.

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Reviewed 6 July 2016

Hotel Alegria is a very good place to stay in Cabarete. It is the best Hotel in the area in terms of convenience to food, beach access and safety. The edifice it self is in a lush tropical setting and if you get the right room, ocean views in the distance are nice. The owner is a solicitous conscientious dude that will address any needs and concerns his renters may have. The only reason I don't give this place 5 STARS is because the AC goes off erratically due to short circuitry or environmental conditions; but other than that the place is tip top.

Room Tip: Top floor rooms are best!
  • Stayed: June 2016, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Eric16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2016

When you arrive it looks very sketchy, but usually it's only the first look. At Alegria, unfortunately, it's not! The spiral staircase makes it very difficult to climb with big luggage (board bag).
The whole building is surrounded by big trees, that makes it seem quite nature oriented and "ecologic", whats fine.
The room itself shocked me deeply. The paint on the walls was falling off, the balcony window door wasn't closing properly, the bathroom was having a "dirty" look, even it might have been cleaned.
We found a soap bar from the previous owner (it wouldn't cost too much replace it with a new one).
The fridge was smelly and the bed's mattress wasn't the latest model (hammock style).
The last day Wifi was not working (the day i needed it to check in to the flight etc.) and the staff didn't seem to care much about it - but no Wifi is not the end of the world.

The "gym" is a dirty, rusty machine on the roof top... looks like a torturing tool and the Jaccuzzi is ok, as well as the small terrasse on the roof.

The beach is quite far, as the 3 minutes walk to the beach leads to a really dirty bit of it, where yo have no wish to set up your "camp".

Good point, it is quite and really close to Janet's Supermarket, the best/biggest grocery store in town. in 5-10 minutes walk you're in downtown.

No Parking at the Hotel.

  • Stayed: June 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank rossihoney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AlegriaOwner, Owner at Hotel Alegria, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2016

We are sorry the guest was not satisfied with his stay with us. We follow up on all pertinent critiques we see in reviews so as to maintain and improve guest satisfaction. IF the guest found an old soap bar when he checked in that would be an unacceptable aberration.

We prefer that someone booked in an upper floor room store their long surf board in our storage area, but we accede to the guest’s wishes if he wants to take it up the spiral stair case to his room.

The guest was apparently unaware that the hotel has its own entrance to the beach and that a few yards from the entrance is a groomed beach area.

We have not had a gym for many years, and we have now removed the one piece of remaining equipment that caused the guest to critique the “gym”.

We promptly replaced the router that malfunctioned the last day the guest was here and have added an additional broadband line and router.

Parking is on our side street in front of our 24-hour reception.

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Additional Information about Hotel Alegria

Address: Between Velero and Sans Souci, Cabarete 57000, Dominican Republic
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Cabarete
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Cabarete
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Cabarete
Price Range: $37 - $84 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Centrally located family-run hotel with ideal beach location, ocean-view rooms, studios with kitchenettes, two-bedroom apartment, rooftop terraza with Jacuzzi, 24-hour front desk, great atmosphere and prices. All rooms have refrigerators, cable TV, free safes and free Wi-Fi Internet. Select rooms with A/C. Biggest grocery store in town and bank ATM just steps away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Alegria Hotel Cabarete
Hotel Alegria Cabarete, Dominican Republic

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