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Hotel Casa Colonial Beach & Spa Hotel 5 star
Easyexperts
Playa Dorada Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

The boutique Casa Colonial, part of Small Luxury Hotels, is the only real five-star hotel in the Puerto Plata province. As the name suggests, the hotel's style is based around the country's plantations, but remains contemporary. Holidaymakers looking for a luxury experience right on the beach will revel in a stay here. However, it is worth noting that the hotel is located right in Puerto Plata's resort cluster in Playa Dorada, and its neighbour is a lively Barcelo resort, so the hotel isn't one of those isolated Robinson Crusoe properties. The highlight here is the spectacular wild garden and lake, and of course the hotel's location, right on the beach complete with postcard perfect golden sands and turquoise waters. Casa Colonial is ideal for couples looking for a romantic upmarket break.

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    • Hotel Casa Colonial Beach & Spa

      Casa Colonial Beach Spa   -   © C. Hiltgen / EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel Casa Colonial Beach & Spa

      Casa Colonial Beach Spa   -   © C. Hiltgen / EASYVOYAGE

       
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    Location 6.75 /10

    Casa Colonial is located along the Amber Coast in the golf complex of Playa Dorada, one of Puerto Plata's main beach spots. Its neighbours include a Barcelo resort on one side and a hotel in construction on the other. The airport is about 20 minutes' drive away and the town of Puerto Plata is about five minutes away. The beachside villages of Cabarete and Sosua are about half an hour's drive away.

    Accommodation 9.20 /10

    In total there are 50 rooms, making a stay here calm and relaxing away from the hustle and bustle of the larger hotels in the area.

    The oceanfront building includes 42 junior suites and several higher category suites (two one-bedroom suites, four deluxe suites, a penthouse and a presidential suite). All rooms have Italian marble floors, a balcony, and either have an ocean or garden view. We especially liked the crisp white Frette linen and enormous 'Presidential Soft' mattresses by Serta. Every room also has a large flat-screen television, a fully-stocked mini-bar (extra) and in-room safe (complimentary). All bathrooms have a shower cabin and a separate bath tub as well as Gilchrist and Soames amenities, cosy bathrobes and slippers.

    The rooms are very spacious and comfortable. The décor is based on a neutral palette with a couple of details pertaining to the oceanfront location, like the large starfish skeletons on the coffee table in a square of sand. The rooms have balconies, and although pleasant, there is no privacy as the balconies are close together.

    Overview 8.70 /10

    Open in 2004, the Casa Colonial, as the name indicates, is based around a large colonial house, which is the main hotel building - most of the accommodation is set apart on the other side of the small lake and closer to the beach. Fresh and soothing, the hotel's smart interiors comprise an understated mix of wood and marble. Through the building to the gardens, past the lake are the rooms, beach restaurant, gym, spa and roof top pool (and pool bar). The highlight aside from the tropical gardens, are the Jacuzzi baths facing the ocean on the roof top pool deck - one could spend the day here, just watching the Barcelo hotel's banana boats whizz by in the sparkling Atlantic waters while sipping on a cocktail!

    The restaurant is right on the beach and the glass-fronted gym is above it - it has a lovely sea view. The luxurious Feng Shui Bagua spa is found on one of the upper floors close to the rooms. There is also complimentary internet throughout the hotel.

    Food and drink 8.70 /10

    There are two restaurants and two bars at the hotel. Lucia, Casa Colonial's signature restaurant is open in the evenings. The second restaurant, Veranda, is located on a deck leading to the beach and is open for breakfast and lunch. Unless in high season, it is closed in the evenings. There are two bars, one in the lobby and one upstairs by the pool.

    The breakfast was extremely disappointing. With very little variety and of low quality, we were left hungry. The setting itself is lovely though and because the decking is surrounded by mangrove, it feels intimate and with a view of the beach, it's a lovely way to wake up. There is also 24-hour room service for guests wishing to have their meals in their rooms or on the balcony (extra).

    Spa 8.7 /10

    The spa is located in the oceanfront building and the name, Bagua, comes from a Feng Shui concept. The spa was designed with this concept in mind: Bagua is an octagon and each side, 'gua', represents an aspect of life (ie. family, health, career, etc.). Spaces have been arranged with this is mind, and it is supposed to help with maximising a certain aspect of life for guests.

    The spa has a very soothing ambiance despite its fairly large size. It has 10 massage rooms and three oceanfront pavilions (highly recommended). The spa has various treatments with amber, which has plenty of healing properties and is found in the area. Its resin is supposed to slow down the aging process, help to better mental clarity and alleviate depression. Other indigenous treatments include local honey (royal jelly).

    Beach 8.45 /10

    The hotel is right on the beach and it's just like on the postcards - expect warm turquoise waters lined by golden sands. The beach here is clean and is public, like all beaches in the country, so don't be surprised to see hawkers selling various items along the strip. As this is the most popular holiday spot in the province, expect there to be constant water sport activities going on. Security here is something important as a minority used to create problems for tourists - hotels on the beach have round-the-clock security on the beach. It's worth noting that if you walk east along the beach, you will be stopped at a certain point by a security guard. Tourists have restricted access along the beach here.

    To know

    Tourists have restricted access along the beach for security reasons, according to the authorities so you won't be able to walk all the way to the end of the beaches without being stopped and told to turn back.

    Equipment

    • Shuttle bus
    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      massage, beauty salon, sauna, hammam, keep fit, spa, wellness

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      gym, volleyball, beach volley, golf, mountain bike, jet ski, kayak, water-polo, fitness, sports

    • Hairdresser
    • Whirlpool bath
    • Safe
    • Non-smoking rooms
    • Solarium
    • Meeting room

    advantage

    • The stylish roof top infinity-edged pool looking out to the turquoise waters of the ocean.
    • The beautiful tropical gardens.
    • The location, right on the beach.

    disadvantages

    • The neighbouring hotel, the Barcelo, can be noisy.
    • Due to security regulations, guests are only allowed to walk up to a certain point along the beach before being stopped by security.
    • No intimacy on the balcony of your room.

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    • Overall Score nc/10
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