Casa Colonial Beach & Spa
What We Love
- A beachfront property with plenty of natural elegance
- A gourmet restaurant, Lucia, that wins raves (and awards)
- An attentive staff
- The 13-room spa features treatments using local ingredients
- Spacious suites with private balconies and air-conditioning
What To Know
- Families are welcome, but couples might feel more comfortable here
- Children 11 and under are not permitted in Junior Suite Lanai rooms
- Downtown Puerto Plata is a taxi ride away (or rent a car to get around; parking is free)
- The resort is secluded, so those looking for true Dominican culture or nightlife will need to leave the grounds
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
On the Dominican Republic’s north coast, Puerto Plata is a respite from the perpetual spring-breakers in all-inclusive-happy Punta Cana. And on one of the best stretches of sand in this very sandy country sits the intimate and exclusive Casa Colonial. This 50-suite property is tucked away along Playa Dorada, and after stepping through the wrought-iron gates you’ll see a traditional casa-style exterior that harks back to the Victorian era. In fact, Casa Colonial was the first boutique hotel to open in all of the D.R., and although times have changed, the level of service here certainly hasn’t.
Bed and Bath
All rooms have a clean-lined elegance with a neutral color palette designed by Sarah Garcia, daughter of the hotel’s owner. (It’s a family business around here.) Lovely orchids add to the luxury, as do private furnished balconies, but the hotel is better known for two amenities: its world-renowned spa and well-regarded restaurant.
After a rejuvenating spa treatment using indigenous ingredients like honey and ocean water, head to Lucia is the resort’s calling card restaurant. The restaurant has high ceilings and candlelit tables draped in white linens and meals here come complete with views of the tropical mangrove forest; we can vouch for the fresh lobster Cobb salad, served with a lemon-tarragon vinaigrette. Afterwards take a plunge in the rooftop pool and end your day with a dip in one of the four Jacuzzis or with a tropical drink at the bar.
In the Area
Hit the beach in the nearby town of Sosua, saturated with beautiful stretches of sand. Northern Coast Diving will take you to the best reefs for colorful fish and clear visibility. Traveling with kids? Make a visit to nearby park Ocean World where visitors can get up close to marine and land creatures like dolphins, sharks and tigers. Or, explore El Choco, a national rain forest with tropical flora and fauna, as well as 1,000-year-old bat caves with swimming holes.
How to Get There
Everything was great. Upon arrival, the lobby and view of gardens are beautiful. The service and room impecable. The rooftop area is very nice with an unobstructed view. Perfect weekend getaway!
My wife and I really enjoy staying at boutique hotels and this one of the finest if not the finest we have seen. Phenomenal staff, rooms and food highlight this must visit destination. Great private beach and amazing spa round out this resort.
My husband and I dined here during the week on a Wednesday night in May and we had the whole place to ourselves. Service was 5 star...ambience was gorgeous and the food was delicious. We ordered the ceviche and the seafood paella...both were wonderful. It was a perfect romantic date.
To be fair, the hotel itself is very nice. However there are many reasons we would never go back. First, the spa is touted as one of the Hotel’s greatest assets, but In reality it’s poor. The steam rooms don’t work properly and guests will sit in a puddle of cold water (not steam) after paying for services. The therapists we had gave massages that both my wife and I thought were terrible. We thought we’d get multiple spa treatments and ended up never going back. The hotel staff were well meaning but could not communicate in English at all. Even the concierge struggled to answer questions and make recommendations. The waiters could not answer any questions about food. As for amenities, the rooms were nice, spacious and clean, however there was no place to put the tiny shampoo and soap they gave you except on the floor of the shower. That was absurd. The rooftop pool is beautiful, but the water is unheated and so cold that no one went in for than 30 seconds the entire time we were there, and only waist deep if at all. The music at the pool played the same few songs over and over, and the sound system was tinny and grated on your nerves. It was as if there was no manager, and when we asked to speak to one, the staff had no idea when a manager would be on site.
There is only one restaurant for dinner on site. And since all the other hotels in the area are all inclusive, almost no other options available.
And not the hotel’s fault, the wind in Puerto Plata is sustained and unrelenting every day, and after 11am you have to leave the beach or be pelted with sand.
Also note, there’s very little to do in Puerto Plata. If you want to spend your money on a great vacation, go somewhere else. Casa Colonial is a beautiful property that did not live up to the reviews I read on Trip Advisor. , I wish someone would have written an honest review I could have read before deciding to go there.
Casa Colonial is a high end boutique hotel that offers a beautiful rooms and a caring staff. The hotel grounds is surrounded by lush gardens, a small lake, and the beach. We had a Junior Suite with a lanai on the beach (#12). It included a spa bath treatment, daily sweet treats, and welcome cocktail. Our lanai was not a private patio but had its own table and chairs. All of the other balconies that had views of the garden were private and beautiful.
The couples massage and bath in the couples suite was wonderful. The gym and spa area is open at all times. Take advantage of the alone time in this area with views of the beach! We worked out and enjoyed the steam and sauna rooms. The massage therapists were wonderful and certified. Many members of the staff have been there for years and we appreciated their constant hospitality. The entire housekeeping staff is always helpful and cheery. Thanks to Raul and Juan for dining service in the room, on the beach, and in the restaurants.The food was excellent especially the coconut cake! There is only one restaurant for dinner which, though delicious, by our 2nd day on Monday, we wanted something else. Many restaurants are closed on Mondays so call around first.
This hotel is surrounded by all-inclusive resorts in a gated resort community. Therefore the experience is not a "local taste of culture" but "beach-get-away" experience. If you want to get outside of the gated resort area, you will need to find a reliable taxi contact. We had a great taxi driver, Daniel Ortiz. He handed us his business card as most drivers do. We used a few taxi drivers until we used Daniel Ortiz exclusively. Other tourists also did the same. Daniel is warm and outgoing. His english is excellent and he also has a tour service. We did not tour but preferred to explore on our own.
There is a mini-mall that is a 5-7 minute walk from the hotel. There are many souvenir shops, tour groups, banks, and restaurants. Our beachfront is clearly considered VIP on the beach. The beach allows licensed vendors to sell on the beach. In retrospect, I should have told our beach security to wave the vendors away from me because I talked to everyone. Plus the vendors are selling items at a very high price (about 3 times the price!). Go to the mini mall, check out prices, then go to town and compare. The 2nd floor stores at the mini mall were the cheapest but did not have the largest selection.
Lastly, every day I took stills of this gorgeous hotel and imagined a wedding! This would be a perfect place for a wedding for 75 to 100 people. The chef and staff is well trained by NYC standards and yet small enough for the entire to staff to treat all of your guests like VIP!
The pool and hot tubs are on the roof top with restaurant and bar service til 6pm. Families with children enjoyed the pool area as it was small enough to manage the kids. April was a great time to visit because it was not very hot. Lastly, besides this hotel being beautiful, I did not get 1 bug bite or saw any bugs! That in itself deserves 5 stars! Thank you Casa Colonial for a beautiful time and I cannot wait for my husband to surprise me with a return trip (hint-hint)