Casa Colonial

Boutique, contemporary, value

Playa Dorada., Puerto Plata 57000


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At a Glance

This small boutique property on the Dominican Republic’s north coast has its drawbacks, but is a good option for those looking to kite-surf.


Like the majority of five-star properties in the Dominican Republic, Casa Colonial is located within a sprawling development consisting of condos, villas and hotels. But unlike, say, Tortuga Bay and Eden Roc, its area is a bit depressing, full of three-star all-inclusive hotels, 1980s-style condos and some abandoned projects. But behind the ornate wrought-iron gates of the tiny property—squished between low-end properties—the building’s grand, white façade gleams.

Once inside the palatial estancia style main building, the soaring lobby and restaurant-cum-bar is lovely, centered around a cluster of live bamboo and amidst all-white upholstered furniture. Set on just two and a half acres of land (Playa Grande Beach Club, for instance, is on 2,000 acres of virgin forest), the property can feel claustrophobic. The 50 guest rooms, which are spread out between multiple condo-style indoor-outdoor structures are lacking. Furnishings feel tired and outdated, lighting is dim and strange decorative touches—such as a Japanese desktop sand and rock garden and burning incense everywhere—don’t help matters much. Rooms look out either to the ocean or the jungle that separates the rooms from the main building; less fortunate views are of the adjacent hotel’s derelict playground. The penthouse suite is a standard one-bedroom suite on the top floor, but it has a romantic—if silly—claw-footed bathtub on a private terrace with ocean views.

A redeeming factor is the property’s location nearby the kite-boarding capital of Cabarete, a cute, if touristy, town on the north coast of Dominican Republic that has long been famous for its excellent surf and wind. The town has developed a tourism industry but without any very luxurious hotel options, so Casa Colonial is the best option for a five-star property in the area.

The hotel’s only pool is located on the rooftop, a strange choice for a beachside destination, but one that makes sense when considering the crowds of people from adjacent resorts who use the same beach. There is a nice spa and a fitness room with ocean views and three restaurants in total. The lovely rooftop restaurant sits adjacent to the pool and has four hot tubs, and there is a petty eatery set just off the beach called Veranda, which is open for breakfast and lunch.

Who Should Stay

Hard-core kite-surfers and surfers who want to be near the action of the north coast’s famed beaches, but also want a more luxurious option than what is currently offered in Cabarete.

Written by Amelia Osborne Scott

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