Review of Casa Bonita Tropical Lodge
First impressions aren’t everything but they sure can make a difference! I find this especially true when staying somewhere I haven’t before. Keep reading for my review of Casa Bonita Tropical Lodge in beautiful Barahona, Dominican Republic!
It took us more than three hours to get from Santo Domingo airport to Casa Bonita Tropical Lodge after we landed in the Dominican Republic. The ride to the property is beautiful, which helped, however I was in full melt down mode after a stressful morning of travel (and not sleeping the night before) so I was ready.
We pulled up the steep, winding driveway and past the guards to a small circular drive where we were let out. The front desk staff whisked out luggage to our room as we were each given a refreshing cold towel. Then we were directed outside and into the main building which holds the bar, restaurant and lounge. It’s open air with a thatched roof and looks over the infinity pool. One side is a breathtaking view of the mountains and tropical foliage, the other looks to the sea. We’re seated on a white couch and presented with welcome drinks while we fill out forms. Finally we were ready to be brought to our room so we followed the staff back to the front desk where we’re loaded into an ATV and brought down the hill.
It’s a steep road down the hill but we’re grateful for the ride. Turned down a side road and suddenly we’re in front of a wooden platform that leads to a winding path into the tropical surroundings. So far so good!
The River Suite
The room is, well, small……however it’s very pretty. It has dark wood and lots of glass windows/doors. The open air bathroom is beautifully tiled and leads to the walled garden area. While it is tiny it has enough room for an outdoor shower, two chairs and an outdoor Jacuzzi so I’ll take it! The main attraction, however, is the front deck. It’s covered so even as the rain falls we’re able to enjoy the seating area (table and two chairs) along with the large, plush daybed full of pillows. A small up light in front of the river provides a nice touch and the sounds are incredible! What the River Suite lacks in space indoors is made up for with the outdoor spaces.
The grounds of Casa Bonita are beautiful. The main building and main rooms are atop a hill that overlooks the ocean in addition to the mountains. In addition to the main building there is also a gorgeous infinity pool and hot tub. Down the hill is the spa and the three River Suites, along with a beautiful communal outdoor lounge area along the river. There are also have trails to hike direct from the resort.
The food. This was one of the very best parts of Casa Bonita (and fairly under reported in my research prior to booking). The included breakfast is off the charts. We were offered juices, coffee and bread delivered to the room first thing to enjoy by the river. Late morning is “real” breakfast time (at least for us) and it’s served in the open air restaurant. Coffee, juices (pineapple to green and everything in between), fruit and bread are standard. Then there’s choices of everything from traditional Dominican breakfast, French toast and smoothie bowls. Included. Yum!
Lunch and dinner were similarly delicious, with the staff being more than accommodating for my dietary restrictions. Fresh salads, vegetable dishes, pastas and all sorts of seafood, red meat and chicken dishes (husband was pleased) along with fresh bread. They were slightly limited on wine (they were out of several bottles we ordered) but made good recommendations. I wasn’t too surprised due to the remote location on a Caribbean island so it was a non issue. It happens and didn’t ruin our night!
On site they have a spa and some hiking trails. Also on offer is a list of activities/trips, from surfing to a day at Bahia de las Aguilas. Or you could just chill by the infinity pool with a drink in hand. Whatever makes you happy!
Bring bug spray. All of it. Especially if staying by the river and not at the main rooms. Just trust me. Also, due to the proximity to the mountains and ocean bring layers because it did get a little chilly at dinner some evenings. Finally, remember that staying at a semi-remote tropical lodge means issues with lighting, hot tubs, WiFi, being out of stock on wine, etc. can (and will) happen and it’s no big deal. You’re in a beautiful spot with friendly staff so crack open that Presidente, sit on your deck and take a breather.
Interested in checking out more photos from my stay at Casa Bonita? Click here!
Leave a comment below and let me know your favorite places to stay in the Dominican Republic!