Casa Bonita Tropical Lodge
What We Love
- Private balconies with views of the mountains or the Caribbean
- Friendly and attentive service at this family-owned resort
- The infinity pool, with its sea views
- A plethora of activities can be arranged through the resort
What To Know
- Rooms have air conditioning
- Free parking and WiFi
- Santo Domingo is about 130 miles away
- Eco friendly
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Flourishing green mountains form the backdrop for this secluded hilltop resort on the Dominican Republic’s unspoiled southwestern peninsula. Made up of 12 rooms, the family-owned Casa Bonita puts ecological wonder within reach, in the form of vast Jaragua National Park. And after a horseback ride, a cycling adventure or a hidden cave trek, a dip in the infinity pool followed by a sunset dinner of fresh-caught fish in the open-air dining room will feel just right.
Bed and Bath
Transformed from a private summer house into a boutique escape in 1991, the property has 12 cabanas that have either a kingsize bed or two double beds and are minimally decorated with wooden furnishings and accents, tile floors and thatch roofs. The graphic art adorning the otherwise spare walls is by acclaimed conservation photographer Eladio Fernandez. The spa-like bathrooms have open showers, sand-tinted tiles and cool wood surfaces. The private balconies off each room have 180-degree views of the Caribbean or the mountains. There’s also a small wine cooler in every room, which can be stocked in advance of your arrival for a fee.
Despite its secluded location, Casa Bonita’s restaurant uses the freshest local ingredients, including daily deliveries of fish from nearby Barahona. The simple breakfast menu includes sweet crepes, while the standout dinner menu digs deeper into Dominican flavors, with dishes like zesty shellfish spaghetti or pork chops with passion fruit sauce, served in the open-air thatch-roofed dining room. Once they’re settled in, guests can immerse themselves in the natural surroundings. The resort’s wide variety of active adventures in Jaragua National Park, an immense nature reserve, will keep you busy; from horseback riding and cycling to nature walks and birdwatching excursions, the resort can arrange it all.
In the Area
Down the hill from the resort, Bahoruco Beach has some of the best surf in the area. Grab your board and hang ten with the locals. Immerse yourself in the thermal waters of Canoa, which top out at 108 degrees, and let the natural properties soothe your body. For an equally refreshing experience, take a dip in the cool rushing waters at Villa Miriam, a private waterfront villa. Discover ancient pictographs and rock engravings in the caves of Jaragua National Park, a lush ecological treasure that includes a sun-soaked pebble beach. Many attractions in the area are just off the Barahona-Paraiso highway, including such small villages as Paraiso and Cachote, secluded beaches and scenic overlooks worth a photo op. The resort can help you plan an itinerary or arrange a tour.
How to Get There
I have travelled to quite a few luxury hotels in the Caribbean, Hawaii and The South Pacific. Casa Bonita is a small hidden gem. When you first arrive the first thing you notice is the friendliness of the staff. They can't wait to make your stay the best experience. From the groundskeeper to the owner, they make sure that you and your family are having an excellent stay. A beautiful infinity pool with a an incredible view of the ocean.
Superb fine dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you don't see what you want on their menu, just ask and they will gladly make it for you. We had a family reunion and they made it a memorable one. We used all their amenities. Massages by the river, zip lining, and they arranged a trip to Bahia de las Aguilas beach. One of the most beautiful beaches that I have ever seen. I was sad to leave and I can't wait to book my next trip back.
The hotel itself is ABSOLUTELY gorgeous. From the infinity to pool to the gorgeous rooms that feel like you're in a 5 star tree house, my family and could not have picked a more luxurious place for our family reunion. The food is to DIE FOR; the best ceviche I've ever had and endless fried plantains, rice, and anything you could ask for. The pancakes for breakfast in the morning are highly recommended. The staff was unbelievably attentive to our family, from the restaurant to poolside and even arranging a bus tour to one of the most beautiful beaches in Dominican Republic. The spa is gorgeous and offers amazing treatments, my sister and I got an exfoliation massage in the river! ... There are not even enough stars I could give this place.
Most beautiful scenery of all of our hotels by far! I didn’t give 5 stars because of the food, which was only alright and they need a greater variety of menu options. It is also a bit pricey for what you get, and the rooms do not seal to keep the bugs out (most mosquitoes in our room of any hotel we stayed at by far) and there was a smashed cockroach high on the wall of our room when we arrived, which no one would remove until we asked, and even then they didn’t get it all off the wall. Overall I would stay there again.
We spent a week at Casa Bonita with our 13-year-old and loved the place. Our room was comfortable, but we didn't spend time there except to sleep because the poolside area and pavilion were so lovely! There's an incredible view of the Caribbean Sea. The lodge was also a good base for exploring the area, which we did on our own in a rental car. There are several beautiful pebble beaches nearby, including the beach just below the lodge. The zipline was fun and we also took a short hike on a trail from the property. Or you could just laze in a hammock with a pina colada and swim in the infinity pool. The food at the lodge was excellent and the staff was very attentive and friendly.
We stayed at Casa Bonita as the base of our adventures to Lake Enriquillo (2 hr northwest) and Parque Nacional Jaragua (2.5 hr southwest) as it’s located between the two. The hotel is modern, with an infinity pool facing the ocean and an open-air restaurant. The rooms are comparatively smaller in size vs other Dominican hotels, but I guess there is not that much room if you are on the mountain. Everything works in the room (which is not a given in the DR), but I can’t say there is anything spectacular about the room other than the view. The restaurant serves a few traditional and a few Western dishes next to the pool, and the pina colada is quite good (never could make monitor while we were there). The spa offers a in-the-river massage which is quite an experience. The one clear shortcoming is - by no fault of the hotel - the one NA/European man who brought a local & much younger girl with him with over-the-top PDA in the jacuzzi and at the poolside. I am not sure how the hotel could have avoided that situation but it’s not something you’d like to see in a top luxury hotel. Overall, very good place to relax and rejuvenate after a day of outdoor adventures.