Debbie's Dominican Travel.com Old Reviews - Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa
Dreams La Romana
dvsjeep 

November 2008
Back ground: I am a seasoned traveler and returning guest to the CDM. This trip was for a friends wedding and there were 50+ of us attending. The trip was planned and booked over a year in advance and we all went with an open mind to make the best of the current situation at the CDM.

Flights: Sunwing out of Toronto to Punta Cana, I had paid for the Elite Plus seating for the extra luggage cap ( 30kg) as Sunwing had changed there policy on Scuba Equipment after we booked and the priority check-in was easy and fast. Flight was 30 min late leaving TO and an extra 1/2hr in the air do to thunderstorms we had to fly around, but a good flight. No champagne served, but we did get a hot towel and meal and two movies. Tourist immigration forms were handed out.
Return flight was good and on time. no duty free or second movie

Airport:

Arrival:We had to pay $ 10 us to get our immigration forms stamped, customs and baggage was easy and fast. Departure: We hand in your tickets, Check in guy “1” asks for a bag to be placed on the scale. ( 27.4kg) he then asks for the other bag to put on top, so I do ( 59.6kg) he then asks for both carry-on’s to be placed on top ( 71.5kg) then says we are 31.5 kg over. I explain to him that we have a 30kg baggage allowance ( show him were on the ticket it is) not 20 kg. Then he says then you are 11.5 kg over and need to pay. I laugh out loud at this point and say in my best you have got to be F$@king kidding me voice, “If you think your going to scam me to pay this, you picked the wrong person to screw with” A supervisor had wondered over when he saw the leaning tower of luggage and was on the phone the whole time. When he heard me, he said something to guy “1” that I did not catch and guy “1” just walked away. The supervisor was still talking on the phone and we just stood there for several minutes waiting. With the supervisor still on the phone and not saying a word to us, guy “2” shows up. He says you owe for 11.5 Kg over weight baggage. I calmly explain to him, that we have paid for 30kg each, which totals 60 kg. We are allowed 10kg each on our carry-on’s so that’s another 20kg, which totals 80 kg. We are only at 71.5??? and I am not paying you anything!!! Supervisor now gets on the key board for a few key strokes and walks away without ever saying a word, and then we are allowed to check in our luggage. Silly thing is, if they had just put my heavy bag full of wet scuba equipment on the scale, it was at 32.2kg and they could have got 2.2kg@ $ 20 us per kg, but they got greedy and got nothing… Watch yourselves here!!! >:(

Transfer: We had 12 people on our bus which was a ½ size bus pulling a trailer with our luggage. It was a good 2hrs, but we did ask the Rep to stop twice for Mucho Cervesa. Yes we like to drink!! ;D For us the ride to the resort is a big part of the vacation and we have fun with it!!

Check in: Fairly smooth, luggage was another issue. They put tags on your luggage and write your room number on them. We waited 3 1/2 hours to get our luggage to our room. I came back down to the lobby three times. The first time it was still there and when I went to grab it to bring it myself, I was told they would bring in right up. That was after the first hour. After the second hour, I went down again and it was not there so I assumed I missed them and they were on the way to the room with it. I went back to the room and my travel companion said they had still not been there. I gave it another ½ hr and went back down to the lobby and asked where my luggage was. They did not know. I called the room and it was not there either. I went for drinks and returned to room 3 ½ hours after we arrived and the phone rang, they had found the luggage and it was finally delivered to the room. ??? Not sure what the reason for this delay was, most people had no problems but a few in our group did have to wait several hours for luggage.

Check out: no problems, they give you a tag to get on the bus, do not lose it, our guy never even asked for it, but the bus in front of us did, a lady got off the bus to breast feed her baby while they were waiting for some late people, they would not let her back on the bus, she had to get a new tag at the front desk to get on the bus. She did not seem pleased and I am sure will remember that moment.

Resort: The new lobby is beautiful and I loved the lay out. For the most part ½ the resort is closed. Building 1,2,3,4 were open and 5,6,7,8 were closed. Both pools were open. Things were clean and well maintained. The Resort was 100% sold out during our stay for the rooms they had available, but felt very empty, no line ups, lots of beach and pool chairs to choose from. Breakfast was only available in the World Café ( buffet), lunch was available in the Buffet, Jungle Bar, Pizza at the main pool and BBQ next to the beach bar. Dinner was at the Buffet or Crepes& Co ( which is joined to the buffet and seemed to serve the Da Mario’s menu most nights). Over all the food was OK. Not great, decent variety.

Construction: Ok, I know this is the section most of you want to read about.
They are working very hard and very long hours to get this done. The only area of the resort where it will bother you is at the Infinity pool and surrounding beach area. They are building the Oceana restaurant which backs on to the Swim up bar and work starts at 7 am till 11 pm. It was very noisy at times with 4 or 5 men hammering nails in the deck boards, power saws going, etc. After the first day I hardly noticed the noise, but if you let it bother you it will. Unless you are there in the next 2 weeks, this should not be an issue. The only building that was open and still having major work going on was Building 2. The 3rd floor was just being completed (well they were still moving in beds and TV’s for some of our group when we checked in), but the 1st and 2nd floor rooms were being painted and completed. This work was going on 24hrs a day and only seemed to be minor inconvenience to those staying in that building.

Wedding: After a year of planning the perfect beach Wedding and Reception, Mother Nature decided this was not going to happen. The resort went to a last minute plan B and the service was held in front of Crepes& Co and private reception dinner in the temp disco, which is part of the main buffet. After dinner, they opened the New Disco just for us and WOW it is amazing, that saved the night.. Thank you Dreams for getting it done just in time.. The Disco was opened to the rest of the resort at 11 pm.

General: One of the disadvantages of being in a large group is that you easily see the inconsistencies that you would normally have no knowledge of.

Beach towels, some had them in there room, some got towel cards; some had to ask for them. Some maids would take your towels, others did not. They were not keeping track of towels at all. I had to ask for towel cards in the lobby and was just handed two cards, never even asked my room number.

Room services, some received turn down service each night, some not once, we got it one night. Some had towel art every day some got none. Some had rum or champagne in the room, some did not. Fridges, some stocked daily some not. Etc…

Not big deals as I said most would never know one way or the other, but I do feel that the management system really needs some work

The Bride and Groom bring 50+ people to the resort, pay extra for a private beach wedding, private dinner with special menu, videographer, etc and get a basic room??? They had to pay $ 2000 at the resort to upgrade to a suite. This should have been included without question. ??? On the final day, after all the bills were paid, the groom was informed that they forgot to include the fee for the Videographer and he needed to be paid in cash. The ATM at the resort was out of cash, so they made him take a taxi to Dominicus to another ATM so that he could pay for this. This is just so wrong and should never ever happen!!! :o

On Karaoke night with about 60 to 70 people there having a GREAT time, with some incredible performances too, a large portion of our wedding group was there, as were the bride and groom. The Groom had asked if we could get the entire wedding group on stage to do the last song and were told no, they were already going to be going over the 11 pm start up for the disco. They shut down the Karaoke at 11:20. At that time, it was our group and about another 6 or 8 people. The 3 young men running the event were more interested in getting the disco started so they could dance with the 3 or 4 girls they had waiting than take care of the wishes of the 40 people there asking for one last song. Staff needs to be told that there are times when they need to more flexible in taking care of the guests wishes not there own. ::)

To anyone that was at the CDM during our visit. I hope we did not have a negative effect on your holiday. We are a large group and well, we like to party!! I know there were times when we might have got a little carried away; I truly hope you were not bothered. To the many people who joined in some of our fun, it was great meeting you. It was amazing to see people come over to the boy’s table the night of the pool party dinner, where we had started a beer cup sculpture, take a few minutes to chat, have a beer and add to the colossal undertaking. The waiters were bringing 30 beers every 15 minutes for several hours and the clean up crew had everything else done before coming to our table. I am pretty sure based on the crowd of on lookers and the many resort staff that were stopping to look on there way home, that no one had ever seen a 12 story office tower made from several hundred beer cups. ;D

Overall we had a good time, but the small things that made this resort so special on my first visit seem to have been lost on the new management team. I can only hope they find a way to bring that feeling back to the guests once they get everything completed.

Congratulations to Mike and Tina on your Wedding, it was a honour to be part of it :-*

The Bubba Club……….. ;D ;D ;D
Dreams La Romana
Stefan, Donna & Dominic 
UK
August 2008
Flights
We flew with ThomsonFly Premium from London Gatwick to Punta Cana which was a pleasant and un-eventful flight, apart from a slight delay while some on-board computers were re-booted. ThomsonFly Premium is very good with approx 37" seat pitch, wider seats, priority check in, use of many executive lounges, excellent in flight 4 course meals and service. You also benefit from complimentary drinks throughout the flight and an enhanced in flight entertainment system. We arrived at Punta Cana around 15:30 local time and had a fairly speedy process through to the coach transfer. Flight Time 9 1/2 hours.

Transfer
Again, the usual 1hr 40min drive to the resort which went without any problems at all. I always love the drive through Higuey town, so much to see through the windows of the bus!

Check In
We arrived at the resort around 17:00 and had a quick check in and were assigned our Ocean View Club Suite in Building 3 (Suite 3243/4). We had been in contact with Kerry a month or so in advance and arranged to upgrade from our normal room and pay at the resort.

The Room
The suite was fab, overlooking the infinity pool and ocean, it was large, clean and well equipped, two bathrooms, two mini bars (Water, coke, sprite, gatorade, rum and beer), two safes (only one worked), a plate of fruit, bottle of bubbly and tub of salted peanuts. The suites have a pleasant sitting area and a huge balcony, only thing that was missing was the roll away bed for our 5 year old son. We dumped our cases, went to reception and mentioned the bed, then headed for the pool to cool off after the long day/flight/transfer. By the time we got back the bed was in place and made up. Later that afternoon Kerry left a voice message to check we had arrived safely and were happy with the room. We met Kerry the following morning and said everything was good, we casually mentioned the roll away bed but said it wasn't an issue, when we returned to the room that evening we had another bottle of bubbly, a plate of 'sweets' and a card from Kerry welcoming us back 'home' and wishing us a pleasant stay again.

The Pools/Beach
Since our last trip the infinity pool was new and what a great addition it is too, a fantastic place to have a shallow (4' 7") dip in the afternoons, the main pool (same depth) was also very nice and quiet. The beach was it's usual great place, always plenty of shade, my only complaint is of the smokers who have no consideration of those around them and refuse to put their cigarette butts in the designated bins! We don't smoke as a family and I can't abide having my child breath in other peoples smoke. There should be a separate smoking area if you choose to do so. There you go my only complaint. The water was warm and relatively clear, only a little sand stirred in places and as usual the snorkelling on the reef was good.

The Food
Although I felt that the variety had dropped a little the quality was as good as ever, we ate mostly in the World Cafe, Himitsu and the actual Da Mario were closed, although Da Mario's did operate from the Seaside Grill location several times a week. The steaks at Da Mario's and the Seaside Grill were as good as ever. We tried Crepes & Co and whilst the food was OK, it wasn't my favourite. The World Cafe food was good though, the freshly made to order omelettes at breakfast were fantastic, especially from the chef on the right hand side! The deserts were usual standard, wide choice, varied, very sweet and lot's of cinnamon!! The beach party and pool party were good in respect of the different location, buffet choice was more limited obviously but in general OK.

Entertainment
To be honest as always we were to bushed to watch the evening entertainment, but as always we were assured it was very good. The live singing at the Beach and Pool parties was good, and the little trio of singers at the Seaside Grill that do the rounds at the table were ace. Day time entertainment was plentiful, but it's about time the CD for the aqua aerobics etc. was changed, it's been the same for over 5 years!!

Staff
One word - Fantastic! We tipped whenever we could at meals about $3 and it pays off, not to the detriment of non tipping guests, but purely to the fact that you get remembered, or rather what you drink gets remembered, we had some very pleasant meals with the aid of the waiters, Alexis and the gang at the lobby bar were excellent (we generally tipped all bar staff $1 per round of drinks), one very pleasant evening spent talking with an American guy from Washington DC and a French guy from Paris (we were all IT Guys (geeks)), my Mai Tai's changed very early in the evening to premium ingredients and boy did they have an effect!! The Coco Loco's from the lobby bar are also very very good! I was quite sad not to say goodbye to Alexis on our last evening as he is a great guy. Our room maid was very good, we were always left with a clean room and we tipped her accordingly daily between $5-$10, and $15 on the last day.

General
The resort as most know is currently transitioning to Dreams, a couple of the buildings were closed whilst we were there and hardly ever heard any of the work being carried out. The gardens were excellent, lush and green. We didn't really have too much of an issue wth bugs in the room, got a couple of Mozzie bites in the evenings. It was very hot for the two weeks, a few evening thunderstorms rolled in about 4pm and last for a few hours in the middle of our stay for about 3 nights in a row, day time temps were about 32-35c, evening lowest was 26c and one night a very warm 29c!! Resort capacity varied during our stay from what I would say about 20% - 40%. I had tummy troubles mid stay for a day, probably down to over indulging in the omelettes!

Verdict
10/10 We are already looking to book for the same time next year and we're really looking forward to the changes to Dreams, whether we'll quite stretch to a Preferred Club Suite I don't know at this stage, the suite we had was great so I guess it depends on how much more it will cost. I'm sure the rest of the resort will improve on what is already a fab place. I hope they retain their current staff, they really do make the place very special. My 5 year old son is still talking about it.
Sunscape Casa Del Mar
married couple in our 5's  
Florida
June 2008
US: A married couple in our 50s, from Florida. We noticed that the fellow tourists here had a greater age range than our last two visits to similar resorts and more Continental Europeans. Although perhaps more children, they were all very well behaved. There is a special area for children at the resort to entertain them during the day.

Arrival and Flight
American Airlines-LATE/ DELAYED. Luckily Turinter Shuttle was waiting for us and the others. Air-conditioned bus and the driver drove fast, but safe (even for DR standards). Check-in was smooth.

Rooms
We ended up in a nonsmoking room (in error) on the third floor of Building 5. Nice room with great balcony and view. A/C worked fine. Room was bright and clean. We needed a change to a lower floor after a day and an aggravated knee problem. No problem, gave us a key to check the room to insure it was OK. Changed to first floor in Building 3, no more balcony view. Housekeeping was great.

Restaurants
Didn't try the restaurants. Used the World Cafe. Plenty of selection, but variety got tired toward the end of stay. Twice a day one could have pasta or pizza. Cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots in various ways twice a day. But two different types of grilled fish and often fried fish, beef, chicken, and steak twice a day. Different days were geared toward a theme, such as French, Dominican, and Mexican. Fresh fruit at every meal: bananas (unbelievably sweet), pineapple, cantaloupe, oranges, passion fruit, and watermelon. And fresh squeezed juice from those fruits. Chances to try items (the way prepared) one probably never has had. At times will have fresh fruit being cut out on the beach.

Bars
A sufficient number. The one in the main lobby stays busy. Worth the walk to one near a pool. Normandy rum is the brand of rum used. Lower alcohol content than other brands and one wonders if that isn't watered down. But, the drinks taste good and can always have another!

Beach and Pools
Beach was plenty wide with plenty of chairs and lots of shade. Pools looked wonderful, but didn't use. Free use of snorkel and mask; of limited use for those of us who still wear glasses. Ocean was great!

Grounds
Very clean. Workers are up early to maintain them. Workers at the border that separates the resort and the huts on the beach where souvenirs can be bought. Usually two workers in uniform plus a uniformed security officer. One could walk closer to the water and avoid being approached, then walk on up to the fishing docks and into Dominicus (and its souvenir stores).

Tours
This was our third trip to the DR, but to a different area (each time). Consequently we didn't do, as we already had, the tours into the interior or the Santo Domingo. We did utilize Prieta Tours for a tour to La Romana and Chavan de Campos. We had used Prieta Tours before. Had a big problem, but it was corrected and we would use them again. Highly recommend a trip to La Romana especially for those who haven't been to DR before. Save your rum, coffee, cigar, and honey (apple blossom and carrot) money for JUMBO store-similar to WalMart (so the best prices on such). Columbus plaza is a little bit more, but has much better selection of rum and cigars (still cheaper than souvenir shops). Dominicus has a casino and free shuttle to and from the resort in the evening. Not huge, but big enough. Really gets going after 10pm.

Departure and Check Out
Smooth going. Didn't need the $20.00 per person to get out of the country (trip was paid thru cheapcarribean.com).

Miscellaneous
Knowledge of English, logically, decreases as the requirement decreased. Bartenders and waiters often know what is necessary for their job. So, having some basic knowledge of Spanish can help communicate. Living standards are different. Resort has running water, A/C, electric all the time, indoor plumbing, and hot water. This isn't the normal for the citizens. Prices for many items are not much different ( or more ) at the JUMBO than here in the "States". In US dollars, Presidente beer was about $10.00./ 6 pack, Crest 6.2 oz was $2.60, 3 bars of Irish Spring soap for $3.00, 1.5 liter bottle of Evian water for $2.30 (house brand was 40 cents). Even the locals don't drink the water. Eggs were $1.80/ dozen, body wash ranged between $4.50 and $6.00, Hunt's catsup 36 oz for $4.25, bacon was $1.50/ lb, Pantene shampoo was $4.00. banana were 30 cents for a pound (wow), Gas was $5.50/$6.00 per gallon.

Conclusion
Was good for the price we paid. We prefer to be closer to bus lines. This resort was a good mile from the main road and had to go into Dominicus for the public bus. So, unable to easily go by bus to La Romana (which isn't just a hop from the resort). Other sites in DR aren't easily reachable. Great if you want to get away from it all and relax (and aren't real picky about food). If want a great selection of food the changes drastically by the day and want to explore on your own, this resort and probably area aren't for you.
Sunscape Casa Del Mar
Kim & Jason 
Philadelphia
May 2008
Arrival and Flight
Check-in did not take long at all and it went off without a problem. We were promptly given our room keys and instructions for the stay.

Rooms
OK, well, the rooms were probably the only complaint I have at this point. We were in building 4 on the first floor so I assuming that was the problem, but as soon as my boyfriend and I walked into the room, all you could smell was mildew and must. In fact, every time we entered the room, he would joke, "Yay, back in the basement." It was very musty and humid in there, and the air conditioning was not very good - it always felt warm. And one other side note to that, keep an eye on your thermostat. We came back one day and housekeeping had turned it to 80, and put the heat on. No wonder we were suffocating, but I digress. Anyway, the rest of the room had annoying little nuisances, nothing really major. For example, the bathroom light didn't work most of the time, there was mildew in between the tiles, etc - things like that. I gave the rooms a fair-poor rating when we left, but that was just me.

Restaurants
The only restaurant we didn't try at all was the Jungle restaurant. The food overall was very good, and the World Cafe never disappointed. Oceana was very nice for atmosphere if nothing else, as they set up tables next to the infinity pool. We basically did the World Cafe for breakfast and Lunch most days, but we did do the Seaside grill for lunch once or twice. Himitsu was also very good - the sweet and sour chicken was amazing. Overall, there is no reason why anyone should go hungry here. If you don't have enough for dinner and you are still hungry, then go to the World Cafe for the late night snack - they serve from 10 PM to 6 AM, so no excuses for hunger!

Bars
We personally loved the swim up bar in the infinity pool. We would just sit our rear ends down in the pool, and then head over a few feet to get a drink. It is usually crowded, so you may have to speak up to get your drink, but the bartenders at all of the bars are very good at making sure you get served in the order you arrived. The bars were great, all of them, and what more is there to say?

Beach and Pools
Love, love, love the beach and pools. I took about 20 pictures of the infinity pool alone - I'm such a freak - and the main pool is beautiful too. We spent most of our time at the infinity pool, but I have no complaints about the main pool - they wre both beautiful areas. AS for the beach, it was absolutely perfect. Plenty of space, plenty of chairs each day, and no problems. Just take note, for anyone with children, the pools are supposed to require tops, but the on the beach it is permissible to be topless. If this would other you, I would stay away from the beach with children. The water is amazing, and the fish will swim up to you, even in mid-thigh deep water.

Grounds
The grounds were impeccably manicured and well kept. It was big enough to be able to steal away for some private time, yet small enough that you were close to everything. Building 4 is definitely convenient to everything you need or want, as far as food,d rinks, pools, and beach.

Activities and Entertainment
We didn't do the nightly entertainment, really, but from what we could see it was very popular. The theater was always packed, and we noticed people seemed to be enjoying themselves, as we walked toward the nearest hammock. We were out eating until 9:30 or 10 each night, so we missed most of the entertainment.

Tours
We did the Saona Island excursion, and it was OK. To be honest, they basically take you to another island with another beach, and you can just lay/sit out there like you would back at the resort. The barbecue they provided was nice, and the "natural pools" you visit on the return trip are beautiful. All in all, though, we probably wouldn't do that excursion again. If we ever go back, we may try Catalina Island, as I heard that was very good.

Departure and Check Out
Everything went very smoothly here - no complaints at all. We went right out and got on the bus back to the airport, and check-out took 1 minute.

Miscellaneous
If I had only one piece of advice or one tip to give, it would be to BRING BUG SPRAY!!!!!!!!!! Not only were the bugs terrible, a can of OFF spray in the gift shop costs $20 US dollars. The bugs were so bad that by midweek I even paid that just to get some relief. Make sure you remember all of your toiletries, because they do charge an exorbitant amount for those types of items. Also, it would be helpful to know some Spanish. Much of the staff seemed to not speak English, so knowing the basics of Spanish would help.

Conclusion
Overall, I would say we had a great time, the resort was beautiful, the staff is friendly, the food was very good, and as long as you take bug spray, you should have a wonderful time as well!
Sunscape Casa Del Mar
Paul and Judy 

May 2008
Just returned from an absolutely wonderful week at the Sunscape in LaRomana. We have had the pleasure of traveling to many other resorts, but this complex, the staff, the food, the beach was nothing short of amazing.

Staff upon check in had our paperwork from Cheap Caribbean readily accessible, we were booked in Building 2 and the room was spotless upon arrival & everyday thereafter. Plenty of clean towels, linens changed, and our mini refrig was restocked on a daily basis. Food at the restaurants and buffet was delicious, selection was extensive, what was suppose to be hot was and what was suppose to be cold, was that as well.

On the beach, they served fresh fruit and coconut, cut up as you watched and served to feed 100+ people easily.

Beach chairs were ample at the beach as well as at each of the pools, towels were available from 7:30 AM to 8:00 PM, they never ran out of very nice, heavy towels for your use and exchange upon request.

I can never say enough about the waiters & waitresses on staff, though we do not speak any Spanish, they made every attempt to understand any requests & if our request was still misunderstood, they would seek out another staff member with fluent English.

We met many guests who had stayed at this resort 8 & 10+ times, and each of them indicated that in their travels, this resort remained the very best. We will definitely return and look forward to seeing everyone again.

Tipping is not required but is most appreciated by the staff members, a simple American dollar will bring a smile and they always respond with a gracious "thank you".

Loved every minute!
Sunscape Casa Del Mar
Aden 
USA
May 2008
Our trip was booked through Cheap Caribbean as a last minute deal for a supposedly 4-star resort costing almost $2,000 for the two of us to go for a week. Unfortunately it didn't start off too well. Our luggage was lost on the way down when we transferred in Pittsburgh. The staff at the airport in Santo Domingo (we flew US Airways) was rude, did not seem to care, and couldn't speak English.

Leaving the airport our transportation to the resort (which was arranged through the package with Cheap Caribbean) seemed unsafe, was extremely cramped and there was no air conditioning. It took two agonizingly long hours for us to finally arrive. The transportation company was called Turinter.

When we finally arrived at the resort our chief priority was finding some clothing. We went to the only gift shop in the resort offering clothes and they tried to charge $35 for a pair of used shorts that seemed like they had just been left behind by another guest. When we tried to contact the airline we went to look for the internet in order to find the number. They told us that internet was only available in the internet cafe for $4 for 15 minutes. When I took out my laptop I noticed there was a wireless signal, but I was promptly told to close it and that I was not allowed to use my own laptop. We later found out that the signal was strong enough to reach the adjacent lobby and bar so we used our laptops from there for the rest of the trip.

Our first room was extremely disappointing. We had been in contact with the resort as well as with cheap Caribbean explaining that we were a couple traveling together for a romantic vacation and that we would like a room with just one bed. When we arrived our room had two beds that were both broken (they became detached from the wall and the headboards collapsed). After several attempts to have them repair the beds and move us to a room with a single bed we were constantly told it would happen tomorrow. It finally happened three days later and to our surprise, the new room had no working air conditioner and the bed had bugs in it. They tried to fix the AC but it didn't work and it was hell sleeping at night with the humidity.

On our first morning when we woke up and were ready to go eat, we got to the buffet (the only thing open). the resort advertised that food is ALWAYS available and that they have seven restaurants but we were too late. After 10am they pull all of the food from the buffet and you're stuck with just fruit and yogurt.

The restaurants at night were mostly nice except for the fact that they say there are SEVEN restaurants... BUT they rotate between the 7 and only have them open 1 or 2 per evening. The food was pretty decent and our favorite place to eat was the Italian restaurant and we had a great waiter named Eddie for the 3 times we ate there.

Most people eat at the buffet. Its like a mob scene and there are long waits and the food is not kept sanitary. The one thing that angered us the most was that it is almost IMPOSSIBLE to get a glass of water. They run around giving you coffee but each and every single time we asked for water, they would walk off and never come back.

As people know, alcohol is included at this resort, but they try to trick you at the restaurants by having you buy bottles of wine and leaving out the fact that they have a FREE house wine which is conveniently not listed on the menu.

During the days, they have people they allow onto the resort to set up tables around the main pool. Some of the things you can buy is really cool but they try to screw you real good. I got ripped off with a painting I purchased but that is my fault for not thinking clearly and i REALLY love the painting. Be aware that when you look at things for sale, they will take your hand, wrap the item up and tell you "no worries about money, you take it and come pay later i trust you'.. It makes things really uncomfortable and is almost impossible to say no. We didn't pay to go to a resort where they allow people to force us to spend money on things and it is not safe for the resort to be allowing non resort employees onto the property at ANY time.

Jon and I are a gay couple and some really bad things happened to us at the resort that ended up with us having to call the US Embassy after having our lives threatened so that we could leave the resort early. I wrote all about it on my blog and you can see it here: http://www.adensblog.com/sunscape-casa-del-mar-dominican-republic-review-casa-del-hell/ . I am not writing details of it in this review as this review is for the hotel in general so people are aware of what they are getting themselves into when they think about going to this resort.

Some of the excursions look SO cool. We had booked 2 of them. 1 horseback riding to a place they call the national park but we ended up finding out that its actually a horse ride through a garbage dump. The other excursion we cancelled last minute due to safety issues and the horrible things that happened to us that i wrote about in my blog here: http://www.adensblog.com/sunscape-casa-del-mar-dominican-republic-review-casa-del-hell/ .

When we went to go ride horses, we took a taxi to the ranch. When we got there we had to immediately go back to the resort as we have never seen horses being treated so cruelly. You can also read more about that on my blog.

The money exchange is horrible. They always keep the change and the exchange rate is insane. If you travel down there, be sure to exchange the money before you go.

The resort advertises that snorkeling, kayaking and all that other fun stuff is included in your stay. Jon and I went 3 times to try to snorkel and they tried to make us pay every single time and the building that you have to walk to on the beach is literally RIGHT on the border or the resort and the public beach and it is very unsafe. They do not have security guards there and trust me they should. Especially after everything that happened to us which again, is all written on my blog.

We ended up having to spend most of our vacation in the lobby due to what happened to us. It was the only place we felt safe. We made friends with 2 of the lobby bar staff members Viviana and a gentleman that worked with her, they were amazing to us. As for other people on the resort, i do have to say that we met some great friends and will always remember them. BUT some of the people are so mean to the staff and they don't tip. Jon and I tipped EVERY time we got a drink. Its the right thing to do. Those people work so hard to make us happy and so many people sit there all day at a bar without giving a penny to these people. It really upset me. Also, we aren't sure if there was some holiday in ****** but the resort was PACKED with hundreds of RUDE ***** people. We all know that most ******* people hate us Americans but we did not expect to have to deal with their rudeness in the Dominican Republic. If i want to be treated like crap, pushed out of line when waiting for a drink, then i will go to ****** ;) To sum it all up I need to give this resort a 3 out of 10. I have been to Punta Cana before and it was incredible. They call this place Casa Del Mar, we call it Casa Del Hell. Every time we needed help it sorta just got blown off. Most of the staff at the reception desk are rude. The concierge was amazing and tried everything to help us after we got attacked but it did not work out in the end and I am taking legal action for what happened. The resort is really pretty but it is not as advertised and 100% not safe so we will never be traveling there again.

If you want to read the horror story in detail it is on my blog.
http://www.adensblog.com/sunscape-casa-del-mar-dominican-republic-review-casa-del-hell/
Sunscape Casa Del Mar
Shirleyujest 

May 2008
Hmmm, we couldn't wait for the week to be over.

Just to give you a bit of background on us. We are (well, I just turned) 50 years young. We love all-inclusive travel - it's just easy for us. We have been to Cuba at least 7 times, Punta Cana twice, San Jose del Cabo /Cabo San Lucas once (and planning a September trip there), Loreto, Baja Mexico once and Puerto Vallarta once and now La Romana / Bayahibe once. We are not "adventure" travellers and stay at nothing less than a 4* resort.

We love beaches - number one priority - but being in a safe and secure environment is key also. We like the "comforts of home" such as a bed and food that we don't have to make and/or prepare. We don't like camping. We are more night-owls than early risers, so rising early and saving a lounger / palapa is something we never do (but we wouldn't do this even if we were early risers)

Does that help?

Unfortunately the CDM was not the resort for us. It was far too big for our liking. We thought this wouldn't really matter as most larger resorts have a "quiet" or adults-only area. CDM does not have anything like this, except maybe the spa areas. The Jungle Spa and Ecology Spa areas are really cool, you really feel like you're in a jungle and have "separate" little areas with massage tables in them so you really feel like you're in a jungle.

The beach was far too short for walking for our liking. We like to spend hours walking along the beach. This wasn't the case here. We set ourselves up at the furthest end of the resort beach, near the Gri Gri hut, and it was about a 3 minute walk to the other end of the beach, closest to the pier. We could drag it out to be 5 minutes.

The resort is very noisy, lots of groups of people, lots of kids (everywhere), and tiled hallways and floors (also marble) everywhere.

The two pools are lovely and look clean (until the end of the day when everyone is done for the day and everything floats to the surface). Children are allowed at both pools (but the Infinity pool "rules" suggest the children might be better off at the main pool where the "iceberg" climbing float is) but this is not enforced. The swim-up bar is at the Infinity pool and the kids all saddle-up to it (although they are not served alcohol), they still ask for the blender drinks. The swim-up bar also has a small area where folks from the beach can walk up to and ask for drinks - that is, if the bartender sees you and after they have served EVERYONE at the swim-up bar, no matter who was there first.

Now, about the rooms. We had sent a "request" to Kerry (second or third floor, king bed was basically all I requested, plus I mentioned it was my 50th and our 29th anniversary) and she really came through for us! We got a room in building 4, on the second floor, with a king-sized bed. We had a lovely view of the grounds and the main pool, close proximity to just about everything (lobby bar, pool bar, restaurants). It was a wonderful room and a great location. The next day she sent us a fruit plate and a bottle of champagne along with one of her cards with warm wishes on it. Lovely touch!

All was well for the first 4-5 days / nights and we slept well. Sleeping pills / gravol work wonders - for a time. Then it seemed that they had run out of king sized sheets and "made do" with queen sized sheets. Well, what an uncomfortable sleep, with the sheets all bunching up.

Taking a look at the map of the resort, the buildings are long. Well, they are completely tiled in the hallways and in the rooms. The rooms are off the hallways. There is no soundproofing between the walls and the ceilings and, of course, the doors. The hallways are very hollow, as well as the stairwells, and noises travel very well this way, especially voices.

We could hear the late arrivals come, with their suitcases rolling along (at 3:00 a.m.) and their heels clicking. Voices calling out to one another, doors closing loudly and then they had to unpack and put everything in drawers. Then the folks above us dropped something on the floor (sounded like a glass jar or something) and we could hear every little piece scatter, then we heard her try and sweep it all up, almost like it was right in our room.

The folks who arrived around 3 a.m. beside us had a late teen-aged son. He was outside, checking the place out while they unpacked and then he decided, to get his parents' attention, that he would throw small pebbles at their sliding glass door. I guess he wasn't a baseball pitcher (at least not a very good one) as he missed their door and hit ours a couple of times - I thought the walls were crumbling down. He did, finally, get their attention.

The first night this occurred, the mom told him to come back in 20 minutes, as it was late enough, and they proceeded to "argue" about why he had to come back to the room so soon, etc., etc.

The second night this occured, the dad told him to cut it out as "mom" was sleeping. This was not just at 3:00 in the morning, this also happened around 8:00 in the morning.

Needless to say, we didn't get too much sleep the last couple of days and perhaps we should have requested a 3rd floor room.

The food was pretty good here at the Casa del Mar, and our favourite spot for lunch was the Seaside Grill, where we could order a la carte, had ice-cold beer in a glass and look over the Caribbean sea. It was heaven!

We liked the fact that there were no wrist-bands and no reservations for the a la cartes and we enjoyed almost all of them. Not all of them were open every night, all week but that was ok. We onbly missed the Jungle Restaurant, due to the fact that we didn't time our nights very well. Too bad, as this looked like a really cool place to dine.\

We really disliked the World Buffet, it seemed the food was always the same here. It was large, loud and dark. We would get seated by a hostess and not get served. The servers seemed to stand around until you flagged them down. One glass of wine and they wouldn't be back to serve you more. Most times we got up and walked out and found somewhere else to eat. By the middle of the week, we gave up on the World Buffet, for either breakfast, lunch or dinner.

The Himitsu restaurant turned into the disco later in the night. This was fine and a fun place to be, until the bartender got overwhelmed with all the late teens, early twenties groups that hung out, ordered all sorts of mixed drinks and just kept going and going. The bartender did a fine job, remembered that we just wanted a couple of cervesas whenever we stepped up to the bar, and all was well.

There was one time outside the disco when I think the alcohol got the better of this younger group and a couple of the guys (one alpha male in particular) got a little aggressive and started pushing another fellow around. There was a large majority of these "kids" from Brooklyn, and they were quite proud to announce that fact.

Every night the loungers at the beach and pool were lined up in very neat rows. There are large palapas at the beach and the "larger" groups of people would take over all the loungers under these large palapas, where they needed them all or not. On several days, we had no problem grabbing one of the unused loungers from under the palapas and dragging it to where we wanted.

There is very little shade at the resort pools, but more at the Infinity pool. Perhaps that's why there were more kids there?

There is no freshly ground coffee to be found on this resort. We like cappuccinos / espressos and basically all we could find were push-button vending machines.

Speaking of coffee, though, I have to mention one of our servers at Himitsu. He was wonderful! I ordered a coffee and a Tia Maria. Normally I have asked for these two things and gotten them in separate cups / glasses. Well, he brought both, in separate containers, but took it upon himself to pour my Tia Maria into my coffee, as if he had read my mind. We had never had him as a server before and I was very impressed.

The top-shelf liquors are almost non-existant and run out by the end of the week. It seems that the bars get cleaned up on Sunday nights as we noticed on Monday morning there was a whole fresh stock of liquors on the Lobby Bar shelf.

We did notice bartenders pouring different colas into different bottles ("pepsi" into "coca cola" bottles), mixing the two. Methinks also that the liquors (Mostly Normandy, the domestic brand) were watered down. I don't think this was just reserved to the domestic liquors as I'm pretty sure the "top shelf" whiskeys and "brandy" were watered down).

The toiletries in the bathrooms were refilled.

We got face cloths on the first day and never again.

We didn't get any towel arrangements throughout the week (not a big deal to us, we don't really care so it's not a make or break thing for us)

The maid left the room clean but didn't take our used glasses nor did s/he wipe the tops of the tables as there were coffee and drink rings left on top of the fridge and the tables.

Fridge was restocked only with water (which we knew before we booked this resort).

The Lobby Bar diva was, well .... kind of ridiculous.

In conclusion, we won't be returning to this resort, mostly due to the size and the noise. There was no place to "get away from it all", not even in our room.
Sunscape Casa Del Mar
Baltobabe 

April 2008
Another MARvelous time at Casa Del Mar...or as I like to call it Casa Del MARvelous!

I arrived on April 11th to celebrate turning 61 at my favorite place in the world...SUNscape Casa Del Mar. It was the first stop on my 10 day trip that included 4 hotels including CDM. ( I will write and submit reviews for all)

Arrived at PUJ airport and the transfer from airport to CDM was a pleasant drive through the countryside...my heart leapt as we passed through the gates and the lobby loomed closer with each second! I started crying with joy as soon as I got out and was greeted by dear friends...Yes I had made the right choice and was HOME!

CDM never disappoints...for me it is not only the resort but those who work there and make my stay so special...The Staff and people at Casa Del Mar are so very special to me...

The lobby embraces me and makes me feel at home...lol..if only my home was so nice and welcoming...hehehe!!! Comfy chairs and couches abound and a lovely view out to the beautiful open area where you can see the main pool and even the blue sky and lovely carribean ocean...AH...paradise!

The beach at CDM is one of my favorite things...the beautiful soft white sand that never seems to get hot under my feet...and the snorkeling opportunities that about right from the beach and all in swim distance ....so beautiful and peaceful.

The food...well I could go on about all of the delicious meals I have always had there and had this trip too...just let me tell you...my hips always seem to grow..LOL! From the great breakfast choices at World Cafe...to lunch at Seaside Grill and their Calamari, Lemon Fish, Rosemary Chicken...or Burgers on the Beach...Dinner..ah so many choices, the Jungle Bar on the sandy beach were you can dine with your toes in the sand..., Seaside for meat and fish, Oceana where you can dine by the pool, DaMarios for italain and more...there are just a few of my favorite tastes!

Since I have been going I have never been disappointed in my room selections I travel as a woman alone and each time I have been there I have felt safe and sound...my rooms have always been clean and secure...only once in a previous did I ever have an issue when I messed up with the safe somehow...I called guest services they has someone in my room within 15 minutes fixing it!

What can I say...I love Casa Del MARvelous! And will continue to return. I am going back again June 18th to 25th and am counting the days...

If anyone has any questions please feel free to contact me through a PM ...or you can find my email in many of my posts I am always happy to talk travel and especially about CDM...it lives in my heart until I return home again and again.

Happy Travels to ALL!
Sunscape Casa Del Mar
Mary 
Kingston, ON
March 2008
This is our 8th submission to Debbie's wonderful site. Great job Debbie, keep it up! We have done the all inclusive thing now for 8 yrs in a row, 6 of these have been to the Dominican Republic. We returned to the Casa del Mar this year for the 3rd time 25 Feb to 10 Mar, were also here in 2005 and 2006. It indeed felt like we were returning to visit a friend. It delivers everything that we want in a holiday!

Flew with Sunquest/Air Transat from Toronto to La Romana, 20 min bus ride to CDM. Everything was great except for the Sunquest rep, Delvis. When we arrived, he was not there to greet us; eventually showed up, but was abrasive with everyone. Neither could we find him at the resort on the days and timings that he was supposed to be there. In all our travels, he was the worst rep.

Room
Lots of everything - towels, toilet paper, soap, shampoo, shower gel, lotion, shower cap, and sewing kit. Blow dryer, DVD player, fridge, iron and ironing board. Everything worked, water pressure great, enough lighting. Pillows and beds comfortable. Safe for US$3.00 per day. Our maid Fior did a great job. An itinerary "Sundial" of the activities planned for the next day was slipped under our door every night.

Beach
Beautiful but very short, so don't expect to walk for hrs like you would in Punta Cana. Some days were windier, so more waves and sand got churned up, other days were reasonably calm for snorkeling. Lots of shade thanks to trees and palapas. Lots of chairs as well, but too many in our opinion. With last year's addition of 2 more bldgs, meaning 200 more rooms and at least 400 more people, it has made it that much more crowded, sadly more than it should be. This was a big letdown compared to previous visits. Unfortunately, that's what happens when you expand. There is a beach bar and washrooms. The washrooms side of the bldg definitely need renovating, one of the women's toilets often did not flush (same problem as 2 yrs ago). What with the addition of infinity pool and swim up bar, most definitely need more washrooms. Two pools, very nice and kept very clean.

Food
No problems here, neither one of us was sick, and no need for immodium. There is something for everyone, carnivores, vegitarians and everyone in-between. If you can't find anything, well then there is always bread and water. At the buffet there are several items which are available every night, in addition to the theme night choices. Need to improve their identification of food items, some had cards, others did not; some were in english, others in spanish, german or french; some identified the wrong food. Shorts were acceptable for men at the buffet and some other restaurants, is laid back and relaxed.

They made a smart move from breakable dishes and glasses to plastic for the beach party. It used to be scary finding broken pieces of glass in the sand. Look for the "real" mermaid at the desert table during beach party.

Lunch time hot dogs, burgers, etc available on beach near the bar. My husband found they never had mustard so he always got his hot dog by main pool, and then onions at the beach. Contrary to previous visits, there were no dinner/party around the pool during our stay.

There was something new and wonderful this year. Fruit stand set up in a small boat on the beach every day, in front of the Oceana restaurant/infinity pool area. Variety of freshly sliced fruit for the taking.

One morning at breakfast there were remnants of a chicken dinner from the previous night in the middle of the floor where someone could slip and seriously hurt themselves. A few feet away was some rice. The staff just walked all around it for a good half hour, with a "not my job to clean it up" attitude, pretending it wasn't there. Finally after a good 30 mins, one of the senior staff noticed it, and put a sign by it to warn people of the mess and got someone to clean it up.

Grounds, Bugs and Miscellaneous
Resort is architecturally very well planned with the guest's comfort in mind, everything is within easy walking distance, covered walkways between the bldgs and main paths for the times it rains. Wheelchair accessible.

Bugs, found one mosquito in our room, nothing else. They fumigated the rooms while we were there. If concerned, hang sign on doorknob and your room would not be done. We had a few bites from sand fleas, but that could have been because we were on the beach quite early in the morning. There are lots of tiny ants on the beach but they don't bite. If you take a look at the trees and support posts on the underside of the palapas, you will see what looks like trails/lines. If you break away a piece, you will find tons of ants who have built themselves tunnels that run from bottom to top. They don't bother anyone. Wasps flying around the beach, be careful of those.

We did see one mouse scurrying off. One night something larger ran from one bush to another by the beach. I did not get a clear look at it, but was much bigger than a mouse, and was definitely not a cat.

Shopping
Two gift shops at the moment. Conchita Llach (fine jewellery etc) has closed, and they were renovating that store space when we were there. There is a new bikinis and accessories boutique. The other gift shop has t-shirts, sunscreen, etc, however souvenir pickings were slim when we were there. Local vendors are set up in huts on beach just at edge of resort past water sports hut. Other vendors peddle their wares at hotel during beach party night. Surprisingly dominican rum was not available at the airport, perhaps out of stock. Bought myer's jamaican dark rum, 1L for US$15 ea. Smallest size of vanilla was in 500mls, so pick it up at resort gift shop, if not out of stock too like it was when we were there.

Changes to Come
I spoke with one of the managers. Crepes restaurant has not been popular so it is closing. Asian restaurant moving into crepes location, changing slightly, chefs will cook in front of guests. Casino going into old asian restaurant. Italian restaurant will get enclosed/air conditioned. Resort will also expand, but not with more guest rooms. Construction of a convention center at the far west side of property will begin in May. The next bldgs to be renovated are numbers 5, 6, 7 and 8. Sunscape resorts are managed by AM Resorts, just like Secrets and Dreams are. There is still talk about building a Secrets resort next door. However, it would mean moving the cemetery which is currently there. I don't know about you, but I don't believe in doing that.

Conclusion
Casa del Mar met our expectations for the 3rd time. Once again we ate well, slept well and enjoyed our stay very much. Service from everyone was excellent and professional, smiles galore except for one young lady at the front desk who always looked like she did not want to be there. We give them a 9 out of 10. Keep up the excellent work! We will be back!
Sunscape Casa Del Mar
Darquise 

February 2008
We have just returned from a vacation at the Casa Del Mar in La Romana ( Feb. 8 to Feb 15.,2008.)

Overall we would like to say that our trip and our stay was excellent and we do not regret having chosen this great spot to spend our vacation.

We are a couple from Ontario, Canada, in our mid 40's and travelled with no kids.

Here's a quick summary of our experience:

Flight:
We travelled with Sunwing and the flight for the most part was good. We landed at La Romana airport which is only approximately 15 min from the resort which is a big asset. There is nothing worse than wasting 1 to 2 hours on a bus..

Arrival:
Airport custom was easy and quick and luggage was easy to locate. Sunwing representative quickly told us which bus to get on.. All was easy and quick. The check in was good but our room wasn't ready till 3p.m. so if you arrive before 3 p.m. bring a bathing suit and sun tan lotion ..

Staff:
Let me tell you that for us this was the best part of our vacation. All of the staff were professional, courteous, nice, and very respectful at all time and in every area. There was no sign of a 2 tiered service where people who tip get preferential treatment. Even though that like most resorts tipping does occur, staff treated everyone exactly the same , with an exceptional service and attitude, tips, or no tips.. Thanks Zoilo, for serving us at the beach bar all week. We greatly appreciated your service , your smile, and your professionalism..

Room:
Room was clean and well maintained. The only complaint was that our bed could have used a new mattress as it was sagging in the middle. There was lots of hot water, no bugs, and lots of air conditioning. Note that you have to pay $21 for a key for the safe which is non refundable. Housekeeping staff came around a few times during the day to refresh towels.

Beach:
The beach was great. Lots of chairs available, never had to fight for a place to sit. Lot of areas for shade if you prefer shade. The week we were there there was significant winds therefore there was some small rocks and seed weeds being washed up in the waters where you were swimming. The water was fairly cloudy due to the winds. This was a bit of a disappointment because there are some nice coral reefs in the immediate area but because of the turbidity in the water we did not get to do to much snorkelling due to limited visibility. The day that we did get out to snorkel it was great.. Bring a banana to feed the fish and they will follow you everywhere.

Food:
We are simple people who are not fussy. The food for us was excellent . The best part was that there were 7 a la carte restaurants and you never had to reserve, which we enjoyed a lot. We only had to wait 5 minutes at only one of the restaurants, otherwise we were able to walk right in.. It would have been nice to have a bit more munchies for after hours snacks, like peanuts, pretzels, etc.. There were only nachos, and hot dogs. after 10 p.m.

Spas :
If you are into spas this is the place to be, lots of spas, even though we did not attend

Weather:
Weather was excellent with sun and clouds every day. High of approx. 30 degree and lows of approx. 20 degree at nights. It only rained one night for a brief period.

Entertainment:
Every day there were planned activities on the beach, at the pools, and at the main auditorium at night. Great work staff.

Excursion:
We only participated in a half day snorkelling trip to Catalina Island. We went out with pros snorkelling from Bayahibe . Great trip. The island is a bit busy however, and when you snorkel off the beach you need to keep your head up and watch for boats. Boats should not be allowed in snorkelling area off the beach.??

Vendors..
We aren't into shopping, but there were a few local vendors at the end of the beach. At no time did we ever get hassled on the beach to buy stuff .. Thanks..

Medical Services:
This is the first time that I have seen an on site doctor/nurse every day, which was very comforting.. I also unfortunatey had to use this service on one occasion, and at my surprise they never even charged me.. .

Note: We did not get into any shopping or casinos so cannot comment ..

Overall:
For us, this was an excellent trip that provided us with what we were looking for. We mostly appreciated the great, friendly staff.
Sunscape Casa Del Mar
Mike & Cyndie 
The Mainiacs
December 2007
My girlfriend, Cyndie and I, (The Maineacs), just returned from another super fantastic vacation to the Dominican Republic, this time a return trip to Sunscape Casa del Mar, Nov. 5 - Nov. 17. This was our eighth trip to the DR. First year at the Iberostar Costa Dorado in Puerta Plata, second year at Bavarro Princess in Punta Cana, third year at the Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus in Bayahibe, fourth year at the Iberostar Punta Cana. Fifth year at Casa del Mar. Sixth year at Sunscape the Beach . Seventh year to Oasis Punta Cana Grand. Read on to get some pointers on the resort.

Flight/Airport
We are from Maine, and for the first time we flew out of Portland, Maine on Delta instead of Boston, Ma. We booked our own flight this year. The rest of the vacation (hotel, transfers, etc.) was booked through Vacation Travel Mart, and Beth Miller again found us the best deal anywhere, for the eighth straight year!!!! No one has come close to their prices. Kudos again to VacMart and Beth Miller!!!!
We drove down to Portland the night before, spent the night at a Park & Fly motel (cheaper than parking at airport), and then left at 6:00 AM for JFK, and then on to Punta Cana. Only took 45 minutes to check in and go through security. Flight was great and on time.

Arrival in DR
Arrived in Punta Cana, got our picture taken, and we were met by our tour representative from Turinter. Loaded up into a van and off to Bayahibe and Sunscape Casa del Mar. This is the first time we have done the long transfer from Punta Cana to Bayahibe. Usually a 1 1/2 hour trip, but it was a holiday and there was a huge traffic jam in Higuey, so it took 2 hours to reach CDM. Roads had a bunch of pot-holes. Always an exciting car ride.

Check-in
We were the only ones in the van, plus no large tour (Apple, etc.) was checking in. We had sent down a request to Kerry Consentino and Shirley Sanchez to see if we could be put into the new Bldg. 3 on the 3rd floor. Bingo!!! That is exactly what we got. Thanks go to Kerry & Shirley!!!!

Room
Room was fantastic. Fruit and a bottle of champagne greeted us in the room!!!! AC worked great, needed card in switch to run AC. Hot water and water pressure were great throughout the 12 days we were there. Coffee pot in room. Iron. Everything was perfect. No towel animals. So what. Room was always clean and spotless. Tipped our wonderful maid each day.

Beach
It was right after Noel so we thought the water would be rough and murky. By the second day we were there, the water was calm and clear. There were a couple of days near the end that it got wavy and a little murky. Overall the water was as beautiful, calm, and clear as it was before. Snorkeling was great. Saw a bunch of fish. No real problem getting a chair on the beach. Hotel was 70% full the week of Nov. 5. Our chair was always near the infinity pool so we had both water bodies covered!!!!

Pool
This was the main problem with this trip. The "main" pool was closed for renovations, so this pushed everyone either to the infinity pool or the beach. That in itself wasn't a real problem, but the problem was it put an overload of kids in the infinity pool. The kids that behaved and minded their parents were of no problem, but the kids who were disrespectful of others in the pool or who didn't mind their parents, were a real "pain in the a**"!!! When you hear for the umpteenth time "Johnny, don't stand on the bar, and stop jumping off the bar and splashing people", and the kid just continues do it, it gets really aggravating. Next time we will be sure all pools are open. We really missed the adult pool of Oasis Punta Cana Grand from last year. We loved Wandy at the pool bar. Always had our morning Bloody Mary's ready for us each day!!!!

Food
Overall the food was great. Buffet food was much better than we had 3 years ago. Great taste and selection. The breakfast buffet had the inconvienience of if you got there around 8 AM, you had a hard time finding a table to sit at, and sometimes you had to wait for clean dishes. You just adjusted your schedule and ate earlier. They should have had more staff etc. to take care of this.

The ala carte restaurants were great:
DaMarios: Fantastic - as usual. Had steak, steak, steak, duck. Cooked perfectly. Nice relaxing meal. Always had our Manhattans!!!!!!!
Himitsu - OK. Not as good as we remembered.
Jungle Bar. Maybe the best food we have ever had!!!
The grilled fish was fantastic!!! Great setting. Had the best Caiprina of any bar!!!!! Yummy. It was only open a couple of nights. Wish it were open more.
Seaside Grill (dinner) - Ate there twice for dinner.
Great both times. Had filet one night and a combo the next.
Seaside Grill (lunch) - Ate lunch here on deck overlooking the water almost every day!!! The best. I had fried Calamari almost every meal. So good!!!!!
Had a great beach party the first week. Fantastic as usual. Great entertainment after on the beach.

Forum Friends Dinner
Had a fantastic Forum Friends Dinner on Thurs. Nov. 8, due to the fantastic effort of Kerry Consentino. She said that there were 95 Forum Friends at CDM the first week of Nov. and 45 of them responded to her invitation and most of them were at the beach dinner. It was great putting faces to everyone's name: HoosierDaddy, llamamamakathy, etc. I'll be putting up photos, and need some help identifying everyone. Great time talking and meeting everyone.. Again , kudos to Kerry and staff for a fantastic time!!! Maybe we can all do it again next year at CDM or another Sunscape and/or Dreams!!!!! We know we will be back somewhere in the DR for our 9th trip!!!!!!!!!

Drink
What can I say. Anything and everything you want - just ask. Caiprinha’s and Bloody Mary's, and the drink of the day!!!!!! Had any drink or liquor that you could think of. Premium liquor at lobby bar or entertainment bar. If you thought the drinks were too weak, just ask for more “ron”. They will give it to you with a smile.

We spent most of our evenings at the lobby bar or entertainment bar. Poo bar was fantastic with Wandy and Felix always there entertaining and fixing drinks!!!!!!!

Staff
Everyone was wonderful, friendly, and always going out of their way to make your stay enjoyable. Maids were great. Fridge always restocked each day. No beer. Asked for "ron" a few times and we got some small bottles delivered to our room!! Very nice.
Kerry Consentino was Casa del MARvelous in setting up the Forum Friends activites, and taking care of everyone's many requests. We have never met any staff anywhere as conscientious and professional as Kerry.
We wish there were Kerrys at all resorts!!!
Hola to all the people we met from Conn., Mass., NJ., PA., Ohio, Indiana (HoosierDaddy),, Virginia (Clark, Mike & Mike),England (Viv & Dave), Switz., Germany, etc.!!!!!!!!! So many people. You were all great. Hope to meet up again. Always thinking of trying to have a summer gathering of DR folks in New England. Maybe someday.

Flight back
Transfer back from CDM to Punta Cana took 1 1/2 hours. Nice trip but so sad to leave. Flight back was fine. No dalays. Arriving in Portland, ME and only having an hour ride home was great, instead of the 3 hour ride if we went into Boston.

Overall it was another fantastic trip to the DR. Except for the "main" pool being down - (it is now open) and the kid problem, and the delays at breakfast, the overall trip was another fantastic, MARvelous trip back to the DR. We highly recommend that you go to Sunscape Casa del Mar, which is now being turned into a Dreams!!!! Don't know how that will affect everything in the future. We are thinking of seeing if we can book our room now for next Nov. at the Sunscape rate. We'll see. As usual, please e-mail or PM us if you have any questions. Photos will be up in a week on Webshots. fike@yahoo.com
Sunscape Casa Del Mar
Andy 

November 2007
My wife and I spent one week at the Sunscape CDM from November 17th to the 24th, 2007. We would like to share with you our review of this resort. We are a Canadian couple, late forties, who like to travel, and go to these resorts to simply rest. We don’t watch the shows or go to the disco. We do the pool a bit, the beach a bit, enjoy eating good food and just want to relax. We do not generally travel with our kids anymore since ours are all grown up.

First off, this was our 5th trip to the Dominican Republic (we just love the Dominican beaches and know what to expect when we go there), with the first four trips to the Punta Cana area (Iberostar, Beach Resort, Natura Park and Secrets Excellence) and enjoyed all of them in their own ways. However, of the four, I think the Iberostar and Secrets Excellence would rank highest.

This time., we decided that we should try another region of this country for a change and we chose the CDM for a number of reasons including great flight days and times, but also based on a huge number of good reviews from this web site as well as the fact that we read that the snorkeling was pretty good. Price during this period was also a factor. We paid $975.00 plus taxes each – by far our cheapest trip.

Now, I generally find that resort reviews will not accurately give clear indicators of what a resort is really like because we all experience and perceive things differently and no two visits are going to be the same. We all have our likes and dislikes, and that’s what makes the world go round. But, reviews can give you some kind of general indication, so here is our review …..

In a nutshell, we were not disappointed. Based on the info provided from people like Baltobabe and Kiki (Trip Advisor - La Romana forum) and the reviews on this web-site and the CDM website, we were overall very pleasantly surprised at the CDM resort. We found the resort staff to be very friendly, the grounds very spacious, clean and well manicured, the pools and beach were spectacular but a bit crowded. There are more bars (I counted at least 8) than you need, the food was quite good with lots of variety, and finally, the sunsets were absolutely spectacular. The resort is quite large, and so even though it was almost full, it did not seem that way (except at the beach) because the grounds are so immense and spread out. In the evenings, there was always something going on and it is nice to wander around, bar to bar, and explore the resort.

In a bit more detail…

Rooms – We were in building 5. Room on 3rd floor. Nice view of pool and a tiny view of the ocean. Spacious and clean. I believe we were in an older building. Not very soundproof, but OK. Hallway sounds were the worst. We were however, quite satisfied. We only spent an hour before dinner in the room and then to sleep. The rooms were clean, but could have used a new coat of paint. The maid service was very good. Lots of bottled water in the fridge. No bugs whatsoever. Looking at other buildings, and if I had to choose, I would ask for a room in one of the newer buildings, but again, we were happy where we were.

Grounds – Stunning. Very pristine, clean and well manicured. I was very surprised at how clean and well maintained the grounds were. The gardens and trees are very nice and there is lots of space. The pier into the ocean, the rocky outcroppings are just incredible. Your do not see that kind of stuff on the Punta Cana side. We loved the jagged shoreline.

Beach – Calm water, blue Caribbean Sea. Simply fantastic. If you want big waves, go to Punta Cana. This is a beautiful beach which we found a little crowded but still pleasant. The sand is powder and the beach was kept very clean. No weeds whatsoever. Lots of shade if you want it. Big palapas (I’ve never seen palapas that big before). Lots of trees on the beach as well.

Pools – The Infinity Pool is very nice. Very nicely designed You’ll see why it’s called the “Infinity” Pool. We wouldn’t know about the main pool – it was closed for maintenance while we were there but it sure looked nice. Seemed to be plenty of beach chairs available, however, even though they ask you not to reserve chairs, the majority of people do, so, we did too !

Food/Restaurants – Food is not bad. We enjoyed the World Café Restaurant (Buffet). Good variety. Theme nights. (liked the Mexican alot). Although there are several restaurants, we enjoyed the Oceana (seafood) the best and that seemed to be the general feeling amongst other guests we met as well. One thing we really enjoyed was dinner on the beach one evening. They basically turned the entire beach area into the main World Café Buffet – it was quite impressive. We also really enjoyed the Calamari at the Seaside Grill.

Trips – We only took two half-day trips. A ½ day trip to Catalina Island for snorkeling (highly recommended) and then a ½ day trip to La Romana (the Jumbo) - for sightseeing and shopping, with a stop over at Altos de Chavron. I would not recommend the visit to the “Jumbo” store unless you really like shopping, however, I did enjoy the actual trip through the city of La Romana.

In conclusion, we would highly recommend the Sunscape Casa del Mar.

If you have any questions whatsoever about this review or about the resort itself, please feel free to e-mail me at andykaleta@rogers.com
Sunscape Casa Del Mar
Don  

November 2007
ARRIVAL: USA3000 Newark to Punta Cana,on time. Bus to Hotel in 1/2hr. Bus ride was 11/2hr. a free sightseeing tour.

ROOMS: Got room 4110,not a great view but close to everything!Room was clean well equiped,but not spectular!

RESTAURANTS: they are all good! Try them all!

BEACH PARTY: Don't miss.BEACH: Fantastic, plenty of chairs & shade,good snorkling(bring your own stuff it's easier)

BARS: all good esp. swim-up,bartenders are all friendly Esp. Cecilia & Felix.

THINGS TO DO: Bayhibe Runners Safari Adventure -DO IT great trip don't miss!!!

WALK: turn left @beach go 1/2 mile is the village of BAYAHIBE,a genuine DR village!good shops,good prices!We will return to CDM, had a great time!!!
Sunscape Casa Del Mar
 
Washington DC
July 2007
Location: Beach front - Bayahibe South Coast 20 min from La Romana Airport, 75 min from Punta Cana Airport

All-inclusive - 563 rooms

June 16-27, 2007

About us:
This is our 5th trip to the D.R. We are in our 40's and from the Washington DC area. This was our first visit to the Sunscape Case Del Mar resort.

Flight
We knew that flying into Santo Domingo would mean a long bus ride to the resort but we were willing to deal with it, we would recommend that if you can, fly into LaRomana or Punta Cana, it would be so much nicer. However we could not get that flight this time, we did plan an extra day for the travel, knowing that we would be arriving very late. (1am) The bus ride at night took us about 2 hours. Coming home, same bus trip, but much better flight connections. Cheap Caribbean was an excellent deal, with travel insurance and transfers.

Arrival
The arrival at the hotel was easy. Several people arrived on the same bus so there was some wait for check in, but it went smoothly and fast. While we waited we enjoyed a drink from the lobby bar. We were checked in, in our room, and they brought our luggage in under 30 minutes.

Room
The room was very nice and clean. It was a standard room, with a king bed. Although the remote for the tv didn't work for a few days and the mini fridge was unplugged when we got there. We were on the second floor on the beach end. It was quiet and easy to get to the pool, the beach, and the restaurants. The maid service was better with tips, although they usually didn't get to our room until afternoon. The mini bar had soda, beer and water and they checked it every day and re-filled it.

Food
I was impressed with the food. I would go to the World Cafe for breakfast each morning, I'm an early riser and my husband is a sleeper, they would cut fresh mango's and papaya's for me. You tend to get to know the staff, as they see you each day, and of course the more you tip them, the more attentive they are to your needs. In the evening, we tried several of the specialty restaurants, and the food was well prepared, was very tasty, and the service was impeccable. We tried the sushi, and I was pleasantly surprised that it was so delicious, I wasn't expecting to see sushi on the menu and was hesitant to try it but was glad I did. There was a beach party one evening, and tables and buffets were set up on the beach. Each table was marked with a country's flag, we chose to sit at the french table, and met a very nice family from France. We spoke alittle french and they spoke a little english and I believe we all had a wonderful evening. There is just so much food available all the time, that you find yourself not feeling very hungry, yet the smells and the presentation urge you to try just one more thing. There is always something available that everyone will eat. Food is also available until 4am, with breakfast starting at 7am. Since it was the low-season, the restaurants rotated, each evening a different one was open and the one from the previous night was closed. We thought it was a wonderful way to give everyone the opportunity to try each one.

Beach
We spent most days on the beach. The bar was not far, where we could get drinks, anything from soda to my favorite, rum punches. Each morning the beach was groomed and the chairs lined up. We've been to other resorts where you must get up very early and place your towel on your chair to get a spot on the beach, especially if you want to have a shade umbrella. This problem didn't exist here. There were lots of guests around, but plenty of chairs, and I did see them one day bring a truck load more and set those up. The swimming area was very shallow and the water very calm and clear. I would snorkel out each day, and the fish were amazing. The pools were beautiful, although there are not many chairs around the infinity pool, I did notice people marking spots early in the morning there.

Entertainment
We watched a few minutes of the nightly shows, but we preferred to stroll on the beach.

Conclusion
We really enjoyed our stay at the Sunscape Casa del Mar, and would recommend it to others. It is helpful and polite if you could speak some spanish but english is spoken by most of the staff. We always tip, and have found our service to be top notch. I have never seen a group of people who worked harder and longer than these people do and always with a smile and a greeting. Would go back again? YES! in a heartbeat!

The Dominican Republic has a lot to offer at an affordable price, we always enjoy the time we have spent there.

You can see a few of our pictures here: http://www.photoshow.net/view/iTUQyfGDg
Sunscape Casa Del Mar
Renee 

July 2007
I just returned from a 10 day stay at Sunscape Casa Del Mar in La Romana. I traveled with about 20 other people for my wedding at the resort and must say I am delighted at how it turned out. We arrived on July 4th and the wedding was on July 7th. I got married at the pier at 5 in the afternoon and then had a semi-private dinner right next to the pier. It was so relaxed and Miriam (the wedding planner) helped me plan in 15 minutes flat - two days before! The pictures (all 249 of them) were majestic! The photographer (provided by the hotel) was extremely friendly. I must recommend you do not get the highest priced wedding package as if you want a video and all of the pictures you will still have to pay additional (in dollars). I ended up paying 700.00 for both the video and a CD of all the pictures – my package only gave me 24 and they were very small – any additional pictures would cost $8 each so I talked him to give me the CD for 400 (originally he wanted 600). You really do not need the private dinner either (an additional $35.00 per person) as you can have an entire section of the outside part of a restaurant for you (and they decorate the chairs and tables) you also have the waiters so that was enough for me (and saved me $2,500.00).

I felt the need to write this review because this resort is one worth noting and one to which I will definitely return. I also used Debbie’s page when searching for a resort to marry in the Dominican Republic but didn’t find many reviews on this particular one. The service at this resort was unbelievable – they were all pleasant, eager to please and cater to your every need. My wedding coordinator, Miriam was extremely helpful to say the least (she even brought a rug and a basket from her home for use at my wedding). The resort itself is meticulously clean. There are two pools (both of very nice size) and one Jacuzzi. All restaurants are included and no reservations are required (though not all are open every night). There is nightly entertainment which was pretty good as well. You get to know many of the entertainers as they seem to work at the resort nonstop and are quick to say hi! I found the gift shop to be a bit overpriced but down the beach you will find the same items from the locals at a fraction of the price and once or twice a week the resort allows locals to set up stands with items for sale (talk them down, they expect it and you will get a better deal). Here is a link for the wedding pictures.

http://share.shutterfly.com

I highly recommend this hotel for families and those seeking relaxation.
Sunscape Casa Del Mar
Julie 

June 2007
Us:
My husband and I are in our mid-30’s. We went to CDM back in August 2004 for our honeymoon (2 weeks). Since this was my 2 year old daughter’s first trip to the Caribbean, we decided to go back to CDM where we had such a wonderful time, and we are familiar with the environment.

Flight and Bus Ride:
We flew SkyService to Punta Cana, and then took a mini van to Bayahibe. Before the flight, we were so concern of how our daughter is going to react in the airport, on the flight. But she turned out to be an absolute angel! She fell asleep right after takeoff, and has no problem with the change in cabin pressure. We did give her Tempra and Dimestap an hour before flying, as according to the advice from our pediatrician.
We did not purchase extra seat for our daughter because she was 23 months old, and not yet two. She was fine sitting on my lap. It’s a little tight for me because I’m five foot ten.
Check-in and boarding in Toronto was fast. And so was the check – out at Punta Cana. The bus ride was smooth, we only have another couple with us, and they were heading to Iberostar. We went through the center of Higuey, which was very interesting ride.

Arrival:
We arrived at the hotel around 12:30 pm, and the room wasn’t ready yet. We went to the buffet for our lunch, then went back to the lobby to wait for our room. Because our daughter started to get tired and restless, we approached the front desk to see if we can have our room early. They immediately check into it, and we were in our room within 20 minutes. The key cards didn’t work properly, but we found out it happened to a few other people in our building.

Room:
Prior to our departure, I have emailed CDM requesting a 3rd floor room in Building #4 (which used to be Building #3 before the expansion). We were given exactly what we requested. The room was clean and bright, facing the garden, which we prefer because rooms facing the pool tend to be quite noisy at night.
The fridge in our room was fully stocked everyday with bottled water, juice, and soft drinks. Our cleaner was a wonderful lady who adored our daughter.

Food:
We went to the buffet for breakfast and dinner everyday. There were a variety of dishes to choose from, even for me, a Vegetarian. The foods were always freshly cooked. My favorite is Mangu and fried yuka, have to have them every morning. The soups were amazing, definitely no MSG. We went to Seaside Grill for our lunches. They have the most amazing pizzas and peninis in the world. It has to be the bread dough. There is no pizza or penini in Toronto that could even come close.
I have a lot of Pina Colada (no rum, I’m not a drinker…), and my husband tried out all the alcohol drinks. Again, nothing could rival them. They have the beach party on Tuesday. The foods were great, more variety than the regular buffet. We were at the table with the Canadian flag, but there were two American couples joined us instead. Interesting to see how the Americans view us, and their perception of Toronto. They also have the Manager’s Cocktail on Thursday around 6:00 pm at the main pool. They serve fresh coconut drinks and rums. The bar tenders at both the lobby and Seaside Grill were very nice to us. Especially the one at the lobby bar (sorry, I didn’t catch his name). We visited him everyday, at least twice to get milk for my daughter. He was so considerate. He gave us a whole carton of milk which lasted us almost 2 days. And whenever we ordered juice for our daughter, he always skipped the ice.

Beach:
The beach is beautiful, with the little pier when we can go out to feed the fishes. When we were on our honeymoon back in 2004, the sea was calmer than this time though. We didn’t spend a lot of time on the beach this time because our daughter absolutely refused to stand on the sand… But we did get her into the ocean for a couple of time. It’s novelty for her, and she still has to get used to the waves. This time we noticed there were a lot more chairs available.

Pool:
We spent most of our time at the old pool, because most of the guests went over to the new infinity pool. We visited the infinity pool once, it’s beautiful, but there were not a lot of chairs available.
The old pool was much quieter, and we preferred that way. We didn’t go into the kiddy pool though. This time I even used the Jacuzzi a few time. The bottom of the pool does need a new coat though, but it’s been kept very clean.
We chose the chairs right beside the photographer booth, and we enjoyed the company of the photographers and their animal stars – Michael – the monkey, and the lizard.

Entertainment:
Every night there was a 15 minutes show for kids before the feature show. My daughter totally enjoyed them, she danced to the music, and she wanted to go on stage. We put her on the stage once, and the other kids were dancing around her. It was so sweet. As for the feature shows, we watched a couple of them for the first 10 minutes. They were good, all the entertainers did their best, and the audience clearly enjoyed the show. They also have auctions before the feature shows. People who participated in the daytime activities on the beach were given fake money so they could use them in the auctions. The auctions were fun to watch.

Departure:
We left early morning on June 10th. We went to the buffet at around 6:00 am to pick up some bread and boxed cereal for our daughter, and also refilled her zippy cup with milk. Then the mini bus picked us up at 7:00 am sharp. We again went through the town of Higuey to reach Punta Cana Airport.
The check-in at the airport was fast and uneventful. We waited for about an hour before boarding.
The flight back to Toronto was also smooth.

We enjoyed our stay at CDM. I would recommend it to anyone who is going to the area in a heartbeat.

However, my husband and I are comparing our two trips to CDM. We notice there are some changes to the buffets, the beach party and the manager’s cocktail. We are disappointed with the Manager’s Cocktail this year. The ones we have back in 2004 (twice because we stayed there for 2 weeks), they have more foods being served, and more activities. Oh, and the recipe of the salsa that they serve at the Seaside Grill has changed, not as nearly good as what it used to be…
Sunscape Casa Del Mar
Robert & Jean 
Wisconsin
April 2007
7th trip to the Dominican, 1st to Sunscape Casa Del Mar. Traveled all over Mexico. Always All-Inclusives.

Our trip to Sunscape at La Romana was excellent. Our flight from Ohare via Atlanta was full but comfofrtable and timely. No meal was served, but a recent movie was shown. Our arrival at the airport in La Romana was fine, and we located our Apple Rep quickly, they called over our driver and we were the only two passengers on a 12 person van leaving the airport in minutes. The ride was 1 1/2 hours, but truthfully it was nice to relax and just view the countryside.

Arrival to Sunscape and check-in was very quick as we were the only two people checking in at that time of 4 pm. We were given rooms in the building we had requested through out travel agent, (bldg 3) cool drinks were waiting for us and we were in our room in 5 minutes! Our bellman was efficient and eager to make sure everything was working perfectly. When it was discovered our pass key was not working, he called the front desk and had a new one delivered within minutes. Our room was clean, comfortable and up to date, looking much like a room at the Radisson anywhere USA. We had lovely bed linens, great pillows, and cable TV with about 40 channels. Our maid service was superb and we cannot think of one thing that wasn't perfect. On the first evening we had real warm water, but not hot, so we called down to the front desk and literally 5 minutes later maintenence was there and in another 3 minutes we had piping hot water after his adjustment.

The beach was nice, although there are places where the sand is a bit thin and more should be added for comfort. There is some "saving" of chairs, however the management prints on their daily sheet that it is strictly forbidden. Several times after seeing empty chairs, we along with others simply placed the towels from "saved" chairs on another beach chair and sat down only to find that the entire day went by with no one ever coming to claim that seat. Seems as though the management is truly working to curb that issue. There are large palapas and many trees offering shade, so that was not usually a problem, especially if those "saved" areas were removed and used. We saw the same system at the pool also, and did see people carefully laying those mystery towels aside and sitting down. Seemed to work out well. The infinity pool is awesome and we spent a few hours there during the week. We did not go to the other pool, but it was nice also. The is a nice hot tub on the far end of the property great for getting away from it all.

The water was calm on some days and choppy on others, often changing during the day more than once. We snorkled, sailed and kayaked at will, just by watching the weather changing. The beach was always kept clean and unlike other resorts where the music is always blaring, it remainded quite quiet except the occasional aerobic class on the beach and once per day in the water.

We found the food to be good, and always something to eat that we liked. With the exception of Crepes (which was just odd, and unusual) We ate at the Seaside several times for lunch and twice for dinner always getting great food, although it is a bit slow in the evening. De Marios was also good, but again a bit on the slow side, but since they give you six course to eat, we really didn't mind. The Asian restaurant was also good, and the service excellent. We missed the Mexican restaurant, so I cannot comment. The buffet was always good and I can say each time we ate we left full and satisfied.

The entertainment was the usual resort type, but enjoyable as well. They do just fine with what they have and after working all day. Some of the shows were better than others, but they are FREE!

We went on our own (with one of the waiters) into La Romana shopping. What a lovely city. We enjoyed this trip immensely, and then our waiter got us transportation back negotiating for us to make sure we were getting a good price and being dropped off at the lobby. This trip came about in a casual conversation when we asked if there was more shopping available other than Bayhibe. He stated that he lived in La Romana and would be happy to take us and show us around. It was clear he was very proud of both his city and country. He was polite & careful with us to make sure we weren't taken advantage of by "bad guys" trying to get us to buy stuff. What lovely people the Dominicans really are, hence our repeated trips. We found every person we encountered to be friendly, helpful, courteous (even when the French are screaming at them) and polite.

All in all, we had a great vacation, and obviously after 7 trips to the Dominican, we love it. Although we usually try a new resort each time we go, we would definitely return to SUNSCAPE DEL MAR again.

If you are diversity phobic, or uncomfortable with the majority of other travelers NOT speaking English, then this might not be the place for you. There is a large population of French, and although I really hesitate to stereotype, it is without question, that they are somewhat difficult having not learned the line system or waiting their turn. Many times we saw this being repeated, and we just had to smile and let it go, although it was more difficult to see them mistreat the Dominicans who were desperately trying to please them.

We travel twice a year to the Caribbean, usually to the Dominican, and overall we chose not to nit pick and critique every little thing. We are on vacation and don't expect anything out of the ordinary, much less for things to be the way they are here at home. We accept the way things are there, don't try to compare, and let little annoyances go.

Our flight back via Atlanta was fine, again another new movie shown, customs was quick and uneventful. Our plane was broken and it took an extra 30 minutes to locate another one to get us from Atlanta to Chicago, but we were happy to get out at all as it was Delta's last flight out for the night. We had our luggage in 15 minutes and headed home, looking forward to Sept/Oct when we go back again. On a 1-10 scale, we gave it a 9.5 only because of the long waits in the ala carte restaurants. In every case, it was for us, tho, it really was not a big deal. We would definitely recommend this resort and plan to return again.
Sunscape Casa Del Mar
Larry and Sharon 

March 2007
We arrived at Casa Del Mar February 25th and unfortunately had to depart March 11. Other than having to fly Air Canada this was by far the most enjoyable trip to the Dominican, number 6, and second at Casa Del Marvellous. From the time we arrived to the time we left we felt like royalty.

Our only bad experience was some drunken lawyer from Baltimore who decided to accuse our favourite Bartender Johane of stealing her purse and put on quite a show. If she wouldn’t have drank so much and returned she would have found we took her purse to our room for safe keeping. Oh well, she made an ass of herself.

The Friends we Met
We met so many great people Ward & Jlo, Pat & Cindy, Mike & Lillian (honorary Canadians) and the crazy girls from Southern Ontario.

The Staff
The staff, what can you say other than Fantastic and the most kind and generous people we have ever met. Always a smile, always a hoala, always a wave. I must say they truly love Americans and Canadians; we treat them like we want to be treated.

The Food
The food was unbelievable, fantastic, out of this world etc. I challenge anyone who couldn’t find food they liked. There is something for everyone. We only ate at the Seaside Grill and the buffet along with the Beach Party, but they were all fantastic. Just ask anyone about the prawns, my plate was always full.

Tours
We limited our excursions to Catalina (Thanks Kaki) and to Altos De Chavon with Ward and Jlo, but what a great couple to share those tours with. Both excursions are well worth the time and the minor cost.

The snorkelling was great, other than this year I think the full moon seemed to make the water a bit cloudier. I still snorkelled everyday except for one. It is great exercise and was 100 times better than any other resort we’ve been to.

Would we Return?
Yes and we are already planning next year for sure.
Sunscape Casa Del Mar
Ward and Jeannine 
Ottawa Canada
March 2007
The Flight We flew from Montreal via Air Transat. The flight left on time and was very smooth. We landed in La Romana and we got through the airport quickly. We found our Rep. and our bus and were soon on our way to CDM, which is only twenty minutes down the road. Check in We arrived at 7:15 pm. The lobby was busy, however we received a welcome drink and were checked in quickly. We had requested building seven hoping to overlook the spa but we were put in building one. No harm no foul. The Room Our luggage was delivered in less than half an hour. Our room was very nice, clean, lots of hot water and the A/C worked quietly. We had a mini fridge (no beer), a large safe with electronic lock ($3.00 per day), two double beds, hairdryer, iron and ironing board. Building one is new. We were on the second floor and our room was quiet except for some hallway noise. We did have one small problem with our room. The repairman was there less than an hour after we contacted Guess Services. Be sure to join Sunscape Forumfriends you just may receive a few surprises. The Food We ate at the buffet most nights and every breakfast. Lunch was at the Seaside Grill, which has a nice patio overlooking the ocean. The food was good with different themes each night. We thought the red wine was pretty good. Reservations are not required for the a la carte restaurants. They have relaxed the dress code for men with only the Asian restaurant requiring long pants. They hold a beach party every Tuesday. It is a great chance to meet other people. The tables seat eight. You put a flag on the table to tell what language you speak and others will join you. A great time was had by all. Watch out for Picasso.

The Bars
No shortage there and usually a short wait. The beer was cold and they have Motts Clamatto juice. Some even served Champagne. There always seemed to be a party going on at the swim-up bar. We didn’t try it, as we are beach people.

The Beach
Nice soft sand. Man made beach. Its covers about half the area in front of the resort. The other half is rocky coastline that you can walk along.
We never had a problem getting chairs, though shade is limited. Most days there was enough cloud cover combined with the ocean breeze to be comfortable.
There is good snorkelling immediately in front of the resort. There is a “Library” on the beach near the bar. Take a book, leave a book.

The Pools
We didn’t really use the pools although they were inviting. The main pool needs a coat of paint. They both were very clean.

The Spa
There are multiple spas. You can get a massage on the beach. A massage, whirlpool and hammocks along the rocky shore. A massage in the Ecology spa over looking a pond in the jungle or complete spa treatments in the Metamorphis Spa.

Excursions
There are many excursions you can take from the resort. We only took two. The first was a Taxi into La Romana to shop. We visited Alto De Chavon on the way back. The second was a half-day snorkelling trip to Catalina Island. Both well worth it. Don’t drive on your own unless you are brave or crazy.

The People
What can we say? The friendliest group of people we have ever met. Their English skills were very good. Stop and talk too as many as you can. You’ll learn a lot about the people and the country. They work so hard to make our vacation nice and they always smile and say hola.

Overall
We had a wonderful time. Is it Eden? No but it is Paradise. Hopefully we’ll be back.
Sunscape Casa Del Mar
Joe and Maria 
Canada
March 2007
After a beautiful two weeks spent in this resort three years ago we decided to return this winter.

The reason was the crystal clear and very calm water, offering fantastic place for snorkel, and kayaking, or swimming.

Also was a "magnet" the few extra programs each week, not seen in other resorts.

Not a bad idea to go in any "A la carte" restaurants, without 7 am booking..

We flew with Air Canada to Punta Cana and in other 90 minutes or so, we were there.

This was our last trip there. Why?

1) the water wasn't clear, and wasn't calm. Not blaming by any mean the resort obviously, but in last few days the water was just disgusting, like any river in this planet.

2) were way too many problems with the room, and was days to get fixed (if was fixed) the most unpleasant things (like flooded washroom, with a 1-2 cm of liquid on the floor... twice a day. Has been annoying to jiggle the magnetic card to open the door sometimes 20-30 times. That was a general problem in building #4. Even worse was when we realized the lock sometimes doesn't work, so leaving the room the door was unlocked...This at least was fixed after a couple of hours, but the opening was terrible still...)

3) Sunscape did the unforgivable for this resort, and unfortunately is not reversible: added two more buildings. The resort was just fine. Now with hundreds of extra tourists is overcrowded. The beach is the same size. The restaurants are the same (the Crepes addition is insignificant). The washrooms and almost everything is the same like before. So was line up at the restaurants to sit down, people was standing beside tables and watching you, almost chasing you away...

As I said in another forum, they should spent some extra money to renovate the old buildings (what was under problem #2...) instead to add another ones.

4) We had no health issues, but I need to ask the management to instruct the chefs to use a different tool to handle the raw and finished meat.. That was one of my problems three years ago, nothing get changed in those years. However we noticed after I complained on the beach snack place the guy used a second toll.. Great.

Only to see next day at the main buffet the same practice... Than is no surprise to read about stomach issues.

We didn't go in organized excursions, however we took a taxi to see once again Altos de Chavon. Was $US 50 and the taxi was waiting for us for 2 hours there.

Also walked a few times to Bayahibe and even further to see the other hotels East of the village. Bayahibe is not anymore the charming small fishing village, but a place where is construction beside construction. I remember seeing it 7 years ago.... what a difference. My wife took part in a couple activities and beside learning something (Spanish, Towel sculptures etc) you are rewarded with some "pesos" and you can go with that "money" for auction.

In the bright part of the vacation: still was a place to relax,enjoy the sun and warm weather and enjoy the real enthusiastic entertainment team. Just fantastic job.

I could have a few recommendations for the resort, but I'm afraid won't have any results, so let's leave it like this. Questions:

I would recommend it ? No.
We would go back? No.
Stars to rank it: 3

I took lots of photographs, if anyone is interested:
http://joecan.smugmug.com/gallery/2552523
Sunscape Casa Del Mar
Brian 
Canada
February 2007
Departed from the house at 4:30 am to catch the early bird to Calgary. Time there for breakfast then a 6 ½ hr flight into Punta Cana. We seemed to be the only plane at the Punta Cana airport, so getting through customs was a breeze. They gave a quick stamp on the passport, collected the tourist cards and that was it. There were seven of us, and we were the only ones going to Casa del Mar. Drive took about an hour and a half. Check in was pretty quick. We all had rooms on the south end of the second floor of building 2. Had to go back to the lobby to get a lock and key for the safe. Supposed to be $3/day but they never charged me for it when I checked out. That might have been the work of Leinad, the Public Relations manager. While in the lobby, we met up with Betty and Dylaina, our vacation companions from Ottawa, who had also just arrived via the La Romana airport.

Rooms: No complaints about the rooms. We had a firm king bed that was comfortable enough. Big closets, a dresser with three drawers, fridge that was always stocked with pop and water (and the occasional bottle of champagne that would appear compliments of the Forum friends). Plenty of towels and always hot water. Our balcony was right on the corner of the building, overlooking the infinity pool, the swimup bar, and the ocean with incredible sunsets every night.

Food and Drink: I don’t think we’ve ever vacationed at a resort with so many choices of eating and so many locations to pick up a drink. Breakfasts were always at the World Café (main buffet). There was a continental breakfast at the Seaside Grill but that seemed to cease after the first week. I don’t know if that is permanent or not. Lots of choice for breakfast, just about anything that you can imagine is available. Bacon was plentiful and cooked just right but unfortunately it lacked flavor. Very crowded between 8:00 and 9:00 with the overflow seated in the Crepes restaurant which is right next door to the buffet.

Lunches were available at four locations; the Beach Snack for burgers, hot dogs, etc, Pizzeria near the main pool (pretty good pizza), the Seaside grill which had a salad bar, a grill with basic beef, pork, chicken, and fish as well as a reasonable menu to order from. Everyone liked the calamari. Of course the World Café has a full buffet for lunch but I think we were only there for lunch once or twice.

Dinners: a lot of choice here – Da Marios, Crepes and Co., Seaside Grill, Jungle Bar, Oceana, Asia Restaurant, and the World Café. We ate at De Marios (Italian) twice, both times with all nine of us. On the first visit the food and service were excellent. The second visit was a complete reversal with extremely long wait times between courses. The same thing happened to us at the Seaside grill (texmex). First visit was slow, slow. The second time just the opposite, with a very young and very attentative waiter. Beef filets were great, tender and tasty. We ate at the Oceana (seafood) once and the Jungle Bar once. The two restaurants use exactly the same menu. Oceana is part of the swim up bar building. The Jungle bar is set in the trees close by, but a little further in from the beach. Both dinners here were OK but I think the Jungle Bar must be close to the water treatment facilities because there was quite an unpleasant odor in the air. Crepes we tried once. The is a soup and salad bar but the main course consists of a crepe (shrimp, ham and cheese, mushroom, etc). No condiments or sides, although I’m not sure what you would eat with a main course crepe. Not many patrons although I heard that people were coming in later for some of the desert crepes that were on the menu. I suspect that the resort may re-think the theme of this restaurant sometime in the future. The Asia restaurant was easily our favorite. Surprisingly empty some nights despite the excellent food and service that we always got there.

Beach: Always a chair for everyone and although there aren’t many palapas, the ones that are there are quite large. There are lots of palm and sea grape trees too, so when you want shade you can find it. The sand is nice and the ocean was calm for the entire two weeks that we were there. Quite a pleasant change from other Caribbean destinations that we’ve been to, where the wind has always been an issue. There are two areas to snorkel, one right along the shore just west of the pier and the second is straight out from the center of the beach, maybe 100 metres from shore. The coral is badly beat up and relatively colorless in both areas but there is a good variety of fish to see. The usual grunts, Ocean surgeon, and sergeant majors that people feed bananas or bread to, but also quite a few less common fish such as a bridled burrfish, yellow trumpetfish, grey trumpetfish, scorpionfish, cowfish, porcupine fish, peacock flounder, small rays, moray eels, and trunkfish. Some of these such as the scorpionfish are very well camouflaged so you have to be very observant to find them.

Diving; There is a dive shop associated with the resort called grigri divers, but Betty and Dylaina had arranged to take their open water certification through ScubaFun in Bayahibe, so the three of us did our diving through them. We did six dives: El Faro and Penon both near Saona Island, Guaraguao and Ojosde Marie which were both close by Bayahibe, and the Wall and the Aquarium which are both at Catalina Island. All of the dives were good, although the wall was the least spectacular but none of us had ever done a wall dive so that part was interesting. The remaining sites all had terrific coral and sponges. Fish life was OK. One dive group that went out with ScubaFun had a pair of bottlenose dolphins join them for a minute or two but we were never that fortunate. The snorkeling north of Saona Island and above the wall at Catalina was pretty good. Here’s a link to a few of my dive/snorkel pictures: http://community.webshots.com/album/557587287rFKtUS

Golf; there are three golf courses near Casa del Mar. Teeth of the Dog ($232), The Links ($145, and Dye Fore ($203). Twilight rates start around 2:30 or so and cost a little more than half price. We couldn’t get on Teeth of the Dog on the day we wanted, so just to be sure we got in a game we went to Dye Fore. Our Air Canada rep sent us to the VIP tour desk because she said they could get us a better deal than she could. These guys got us 10% off the green fees and covered the cost of the taxi. Club rentals were $45 or $50. The two righties in the group had brand new sets of Calloways. The club had to go find some leftie rentals, and I’m not sure what shed they dug them out of. They were still Calloways but they were from a different generation, and my set was missing both the driver and the putter. That might have been a blessing in disguise because I hit the three wood off the tee better than I usually hit a driver. Ended up costing $US900 plus whatever I gave the caddie. The course was pretty nice but I was maybe expecting more spectacular. The front nine flowed along some very expensive residences while the back nine followed the banks of the Chevron River.

If you go to the Dye Fore golf course; arrange for the taxi to come by an hour after your expected finish time. The golf course shares the same parking lot as Altos de Chavron. If you have any interest in seeing this place you might as well do it on the same cab fare as the golf. We came back later in the second week and toured around La Romana and then Altos de Chavron, but it cost another $70 for the cab. We used the same driver, as he spoke very good English.

Spa: While we golfed the ladies did the spa. The girls and I (Mom) booked into the spa at 10:00. I was promptly taken away where I was shown where to change and then put into a sauna for ? time. I am not a big sauna person so was ok for a bit but began to get a little uncomfortable and not sure if I was to come out when I was ready or if they would come and get me. They did come and I was then taken for my treatments. It was wonderful 2 hours of pampering. We had all booked package deals although mine was a little bit more as I was getting a body wrap done as well as a massage, a facial and a spa pedicure. The girls had the same minus the body wrap. It was all wonderfully relaxing although I did feel like the massage was a little rushed and the girls had the same comment. We all met up at the same room for our spa pedicures and were all being done by the same person which might have been part of the reason it was very hurried and a little rough. A spa pedicure in Canada will usually get you about 2 – 1/2 hours of total pampering. We all were done in an hour so I was a little disappointed in that. All in all it was very relaxing but next time I think I would probably skip the pedicure. I would liked to have gone back for another massage and instead of a relaxing massage maybe have chosen the deep muscle one and enjoyed it more.. I would like to have tried one in one of the private outdoor beds in the ecological spa but never did make it back there. Still a very enjoyable 3 ½ hours.

Summary:

Pros – the weather. I don’t know if we just hit two good weeks or if the weather and winds are always this nice on the south side of the Dominican. If this is the norm; then it’s reason enough to consider this as a destination of choice. The extras. Some of the little touches that this resort does for the guests; things like the weekly beach party, broadcasting NFL playoff games in the evening on a 30 foot screen on the beach complete with a bar and snacks.

Cons – crowding. The resort has really outgrown itself. Too many people in too little space especially on the beach, in the main buffet, and the lobby.
Sunscape Casa Del Mar
Parrot Mom 
USA
February 2007
Photos
Thirty-one years ago Parrot Pop and I decided that instead of having a summer vacation where the weather could be iffy we would do winter vacations tropical and guaranteed hot and sunny. Since then we have gone to Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Costa Rica, many places in Mexico, St. Thomas and several spots in the Dominican Republic ( before there were resorts) to Santo Domingo. Many cities and countries we have been to several times and always have come back tanned and rested.

Now that we are retired and trust me being retired is exhausting. Our winter vacation has become a must, we also cruise, but a week in an all-inclusive in the hot February sun restores our soul and old aching and arthritic bones.

At least six years ago we discovered Sunscape Casa del Mar in La Romana in the Dominican Republic.. After our first visit we thought we'd try a few more resorts in Punta Cana and Puerta Platta, but our thoughts always came back to Sunscape Casa del Mar.. We have now been there six times and when we get off the bus from the airport....we are home and know that the blue warm Caribbean ocean and white sandy beach awaits me, the pool for Parrot Pop and most important...and I repeat this ...the staff of Sunscape Casa del Mar from the Manager Senior Daniel Hernandez to the entertainment staff, to the men working in the garden to the staff in all the restaurants...and everywhere you turn....there is a friendly smile...an Hola, Hello and a welcome back hug. Never have we ever met employees at hotels or resorts who genually make you feel welcomed. We met many first timers this year and others... and there hasn't been one complaint and everybody talked about how they loved it and will be back. I can remember last year as I was leaving the Asst. Mgr. gleefully telling me that they would have 25% repeaters that coming week which was school vacation week.

Sunscape Casa Del Mar is a family resort, it is not a brand new glitzy spread out resort.It is the type of resort where we saw whole families traveling together, children in strollers being wheeled around, kids climbing the "ice berg" in the main pool, jumping from the trampoline in the water or my favorite thing....watching parents dunking their babies in the ocean and seeing a baby so excited and kicking his feet.. The resort attractions Brits, Italians, French, Canadians, Germans and Americans and most of the Europeans are there for two weeks at a time..
I'm definetely envious. This resort is compact enough that jitnies or trams are not needed to get from area to area..Bracelets are not worn and you can visit any restaurant as many times as you like.. Just recently a new policy went into effect.. ..and I don't know if other resorts are doing this.. Men are not required to wear long pants in the evening , except at the air conditioned Asian restaurant. Do you know how many men think this is great...mine does.

Every year that we have been going "home" there are changes..This year I just don't know how they managed to do it, but I know Senior Daniel Hernandez can do anything with his soft and gentle manner.. They built a new building that because of the landscaping and keeping of many large palm trees looks like it has always been there.. At the back of this building is a brand new Infinity Pool with shallow enough areas to put your lounge chair in and sun or little children play. Next to the pool is a swim up bar which is next to a new restaurant, the Oceania.. A fun part is walking through the shallow part of the pool right to the edge and then down the steps to the beach... Now, how do you accomodate approximately 400 more guests in the new building of 200 rooms.. For them it was easy.. they built an addition to their Buffet and added a Crepes restaurant and more covered patios so that those people who liked their cigarettes could smoke outside without bothering other guests.
There is a now an additional deck outside their lunch and snack buffet which utilizes what was absolutely wasted space and is very popular at lunch. The new jacuzzi and hammocks are hidden among the landscaping in another area...imagine sitting in a large jacuzzi next to the edge of the water watching the boats sail by....or the magnificent sunset..

FOOD-everybody wants to know about the food-lets start at breakfast.

Breakfast is served in the World Cafe where you want for nothing..lol Let me start off on a usual morning...find a table and I start at the fresh danish or croissants or maybe the freshly made doughnuts..On to either the waffle/pancake man who does make fresh ones for you (compared to another resort we had been to several years ago)..Ooops there are fresh plaintains...can't leave those....and I go by and pick up bacon or sausages (passing by many other items)... or to another station and on the way pick up all sorts of things for my fresh omelet.. Oh yes.. there is an area for all sorts yogurts, fresh fruits, cold meats (which the European guests seem to prefer)...and hot cereals, rolls and morning breads, tea, hot chocolate and coffee served by roaming waiters. Of course I have forgotten things like selection of juices, the toaster, the grilled tomatoes, hash brown potatoes. There is I think an area for smoothies, but never got that far.. Now, if this is too much for you..
go by the main pool and next to the bar is a continental breakfast....tea and coffee....

Lunch--yes... we would go to the Seaside Grille-There I would go outside and the grillman would grill me a small steak, I'd take a baked potato (thankfully not baked with alum foil) with aoli sauce...broccoli or cauliflower.. Yes there were also all sorts of grilled fish and chicken too.. There is a regular menu which includes pizza and hamburgers, soup, cold salads, fresh fruit, ice cream, nachos and everybodies downfall....the dessert bar, I personaly think the pastry chef is trying to use up all the sugar in the D,R.... they just are irresitable.. Although we never took advantage right near us on the beach was a place where they made fresh hamburgers and served them to you..drinks and all..

Suppers- Crepes and Co -The first evening at the resort we were exhausted by our flight and decided to have a light supper at the Crepes Restaurant.. We had crepes with shrimp and dessert. They also have waffles and your waffle can be a dessert or your crepe made with fruits..

DeMarios Restaunt--Being from Boston we are on the fussy side of Italian food...and DeMario's didn't disappoint. The secret is to get there right after they open and sit outside on the patio..We were greeted with an appertif and a dish of fabulous bread and bread sticks.. As an appetizer I ordered lasagna with meat sauce...just enough so we could order a main meal.. The lasgana was just filled with cheese and meat...I could have ordered it for a meal.. For the main course both Parrot Pop and I ordered the shrimp in garlic ....Didnt count the shrimp, but there must of been close to a dozen..Dessert was terimisu...surprisingly a delicious version.

Seaside Grill Restaurant at night-- served barbecued ribs and the best little rib eye steak...Now, if there is one thing that Parrot Mom loves is ribs..When we were seated the waiter brought out a basket of nachos with salsa....since I'm not a salsa fan I asked for guacamole... and he brought some out that was freshly made... Had potato skins for an appetizer and then came my ribs. I thought I died and went to heaven... the sauce had the right tang...not bland, but not heavily spiced..
Although Parrot Pop ordered the same ribs he decided he just wasn't hungry and passed a few of his on to me...JOY....Dessert was the richest chocolate cake I've tasted in many a moon. A fellow guest who had been to the resort nine times had joined us and ordered her favorite fried calamari and a steak and was swooning over the steak..lol..

World Cafe Buffet evenings-actually I'm not a fan of buffets..and the last evening the theme Mexican and we walked in to check it out and another guest told me about the ribs... Well, that was all I needed as an excuse.. Took my plate to the man cutting ribs and told him "mas"..more... he filled up my plate and I ordered a drink and had ribs to my hearts content..... and would you believe I had the audacity to go up a second time...where the rib man smiled...What a great way to spend my last evening at the resort, ribs, ribs and more ribs.

Oh yes, there is the Asian Restaurant, the Jungle Bar (on the sand and very romantic), the Oceania (seafood) restaurants, but there are so many nights and so many choices...just can't get to them all....didn't get to them this year anyhow.

STAFF--with the addition of 200 more rooms and approximately 400 more guests I understand that more than 100 more employees have been trained and hired.. Sunscape is an American owned company and I'm not sure exactly what their training and philosphy are, but from the moment you get off the bus... the Bellman welcomes you, the Front Desk man, Edwin who signed us in and who have to put up with Parrot Mom were as gracious and understanding...always smiling (that must be one of their secrets..smile.

SPECIAL EVENT FOR REPEAT GUESTS-By accident a few months back I found a site for fans of Sunscape Casa del Mar..We are people who are "repeaters".. and thanks to "baltobabe" a lovely woman from Baltimore whose passion is Sunscape Casa del Mar or as she calls it Sunscape Casa del Marvelous...there was a decision that we should all meet the first week in February for a Fiesta.. With the cooperation of Leinard who is in charge of Public Relations a special event was planned for us repeaters....fifty give or take.. Upon our arrival we found all sorts of goodies in our room, t-shirt, fruit platters, wine or champange, cookies and a special invitation to a Fiesta Party on the beach one night...Sunscape Casa del Mar. pulled out all the stops for us...beautifully decorated tables and chairs, lobster in the buffet and live entertainment. Because we couldn't be all there at the same date....for the party... an earlier one was held for other repeaters a week earlier. Do repeat visitors get treated like this anywhere else...I doubt it... The fact that some of us have been there as much as nine visits means that we are saying to the Sunscape organization...This is our home.. and we love coming back and visiting with you.. you make us all feel so special.. whether it's our first time or ninth visit and we want to come back again and again.

CHERRY ON THE VISIT-Parrot Mom has visited the D.R. resorts many times and in our visits have met a young photographer, Eduardo. Eduardo does not work for the resort, but for a family business that hires out animals for the day such as parrots, monkeys, iguanas, etc. and taking pictures of the tourists with the animals.. Eduardo, Parrot Mom and Parrot Pop have built up a relationship these years when we visit and as y ou can guess Parrot Mom just loves most of the parrots Eduardo brings around. Let add right here and now...Eduardo is an excellent photographer taking the extra minutes to talk to children and adults to make them feel more comfortable..he has an infectious smile and manner that is not "put on" for tourists such as I've seen others...he really enjoys interacting with with the guests at the resorts with his big wide smile and easy manner.. The highlight of our vacation this year was Eduardo asking me if was going to be sitting by the pool for a while... he wanted to go to lunch and rather than put the little spider monkey in the traveling case would I watch it..lol. Before I had a chance to answer I swear he put the leash on my hand and requested that people could visit Miguel, the monkey, but not take pictures. Parrot Pop and I agreed... Well, I've never babysat a monkey and after giving him a platter of fruit from a buffet he fell asleep around my neck, tail and all...He had his lunch and was now having his siesta in the shade. What a blast..this sweet little and intelligent animal..and here I was monkey sitting. thanks to Eduardo who knew that my taking monkey sitting would be a treat for me and a special treat for Miguel... a time for him to be pampered and spoiled.. A few days later Eduardo came by with a big Blue and Gold Macaw, a bird whose body language said "do not touch me on my back"..but who posed easily for Eduardo as he was trained to do...Yep, another request to babysit the Macaw....this bird was trimmed so that he could not fly.. The big guy sat on the back of my pool lounge chair and again I presented the bird a platter of fruit for his lunch. This Blue and Gold Macaw did not drink water out of a cup as others would do(mine at home), but decided that my fingers were wet enough to lick.. With much respect for this bird who did not want to be touched we learned or he learned to trust me... who else would put their fingers directly into the mouth of a bird that with one chomp cut the fingers off my hand...Amazing..

This last part of my review "Cherry on the Visit".. may have nothing to do with my review of Sunscape Casa del Mar, yet... because of feeling so at home with the staff and the Dominican people I have met... and this wonderful experience of monkey and bird sitting......nothing right now can compare the feeling of being at home, knowing the people and the people trusting me to do the right thing.

We have been to many resorts in the past years.. bigger, glitzier, newer, but none and I repeat none make me feel wanted and at home like Sunscape Casa del Mar. No, I can't tell you about the wonderful spa this trip. or most of the entertainment because after being up at 8:00 a.m. in the morning, having breakfast and sitting by either pool except for one or two shows we just couldn't stay up that late..

The major complaint in other years has been the noise heard between the rooms.. I can tell you that problem has been solved in Building #3..never heard a thing.. The maid service was excellent and our rooms were made up almost immediately after we left our rooms in the morning..I'm not sure who the maid was for Room 3316, but she was the best one we've had in all these years.

For those who have questions I will be glad to answer them..
parrotmom@verizon.net... Somehow or other I know.. that next February Parrot Pop and I must spend the minimum of ten days to two weeks...anything less would be a darn shame..