Nestled on a cliff overlooking the beautiful bay of Sosua, the hotel is located only 10 minutes from the international airport of Puerto Plata and 16 miles from downtown Puerto Plata, on the north coast of the island. The hotel is close to the centre of Sosua and is just across the road from a casino.
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In total there are 243 rooms spread over both buildings, 90% of which have a sea view. All have a balcony, mini-bar, safe (extra charge), a television (old-generation), air-conditioning and phone. Although the rooms are clean, they could do with a makeover to bring them up to date - especially in the first part of the hotel (the former Sosua by the Bay Hotel). All rooms have en-suite bathrooms with own-brand toiletries. The rooms in the Victorian house are fresher and more appealing in their crisp white décor.
Room tips: there are about 30 connecting rooms, particularly practical for families. And for the best sea views, ask for a room in building 3.
Open in 2002 as the Sosua Bay Hotel with the Victorian House next door, the hotels swapped hands at the end of the year 2012, when they merged and became the Topacio Azul. The new developers have done a good job of giving the resort a fresh lick of paint, although the garish outdated rooms could do with a complete makeover. The former Sosua Bay Hotel is the concrete building and the Victorian House, as the names indicates, is the white weatherboard construction next door.
The lobby feels fresh and bright and is spacious enough to accommodate busy check-in periods. It leads to a first balcony looking out to the upper pool, the restaurant and the wonderful bay. The hotel is built on several levels and the two pools mark the main two levels. The lower pool has a cocktail bar, otherwise there is the restaurant, with open sides, letting guests appreciate the view of the bay and the beach lined by tall thick palm trees.
The resort has a seafood restaurant and this area is shared with the Italian restaurant, where there is a Mexican night once a week on the Victorian house side. Here you will find the kids' club, which has its own small paddling pool. There used to be a beautiful solarium close to the water's edge, which had been damaged by a bout of violent storms when we visited. Otherwise in terms of facilities there is also a games room with billiards and dominos, which tends to get a bit hot as it is in the basement. There is an amphitheatre for evening shows and two massage rooms for guests in need of a bit of pampering.
The accommodations comprise four sandy-orange three-storey buildings and more tastefully decorated rooms next door in the Victorian house.
The hotel has two restaurants, the main buffet restaurant where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served, and an à la carte seafood restaurant on the Victorian house side. In the same area you will also find an Italian à la carte restaurant, where there is a Mexican night once a week. All the restaurants are included in the all-inclusive meal plan.
The main restaurant boasts splendid views of the bay; its circular structure means guests have a panoramic view of the area. There are several themed nights, including Asian, Mexican, Italian and seafood.
- There is no spa nor gym, although there are a couple of massage rooms for guests wanting to book a treatment and there is a gym just next to the casino outside the hotel.
The hotel has a small area set up with sun loungers and parasols on Sosua Bay beach just a few steps away. The beach, true to its name, forms a bay that is lined by beautiful palm trees. The turquoise waters here are difficult to resist, however, between the stalls that line the beach, the beach vendors, the ladies of the night (and day) and the mounds of tourists, it can get quite crowded.
Now, there needs to be a word of warning for visitors to the area as Sosua is renowned for prostitution and a lot of the girls are underage. You will find this is all over Sosua, from the beaches to the strip of market cabanas lining the bay. In the town of Sosua after 5:00pm, girls fill the bars, cafés and restaurants, and most are not just out for a nice evening among girlfriends. Young girls with middle-aged, or even elderly, Western men is not an uncommon sight either.