The Balaji Palace at Playa Grande is the perfect spot for those seeking a getaway at a smaller, quieter, more personal resort. The grounds and interior are well kept and absolutely beautiful. We stayed in one of the cliff side suites which had an amazing view of the water. We had breakfast brought to us twice on our little balcony near the spiral staircase. While the views and private nature of the cliff side suite was wonderful, the waves could be a little noisy. I myself love going to sleep to the sound of a babbling stream, but the ocean waves sometimes kept me awake.
The service was wonderful. We couldn't have asked for friendlier, more accommodating people. From the moment you arrive, you are taken care of and anything you wish, from dinner overlooking the ocean to laundry service, is taken care of.
Lots of fun activities nearby. Went for an excursion to Monkey Jungle which has zip lines and an enclosed monkey habitat. We had no idea what we were getting into with the zip lines but had absolute blast. You actually hike to 7 or 8 different zip lines and get to see lots of pretty scenery. The monkey enclosure was wonderful as well. It's a large fenced area with a heard of spider monkeys. They are soft, cute, and lighter than cats. You are given food so they will jump on you to get fed. It was a little unnerving at first but we quickly got used to it. Afterwards we went to a very late lunch in the nearby town of Sosua. There is a great beach there with shops and cafes. We had an excellent meal of fish while sitting outside watching the waves (great people watching here).
We also took a horse trip with Rancho Paraiso. My wife had never been on a horse before and I had only ridden on U.S. style horseback trips, (i.e. your horse just follows the one in front and gets pretty boring). This was nothing of the sort. We were actually controlling our horses for speed and direction. Got to see a lot of countryside and towns of the “real” Dominican. The owner/ guide (Abe) was wonderful and offered up all kinds of interesting tidbits. We did the ride which starts in the mountains and ends at the beach. Highly recommend this one. Once down at the beach you get to let your horse run. WHAT A THRILL!!!
The beach at the hotel is small and secluded but mostly pretty wavy. Great for walking around and taking pictures of waves splashing up behind you. We had someone from the hotel take us to Playa Grande beach which is a couple miles up the road. Great little area with souvenir and food vendors. Beach is broad and wide here. We were “adopted” by a pack of 4 feral Dominican dogs. Made us a little nervous at first but they were extremely friendly and followed us as we walked along the beach. They sat with us for an extended period as they dug and hunted for sand crabs. As friendly as they are, please don’t feed the animals you encounter.
Food at the hotel was typically very good. Not super gourmet but always creative and tasty. The soups in particular were very good.
One day of our trip was rainy and we spent the entirety lounging around the resort reading. It’s a beautiful place so even that was wonderful.
Great swimming pool with a lazy river. Nothing beats sipping a beer in the pool on a warm day.
Beautiful, quiet, relaxing, great people. Would definitely come back here.
Lastly, Presidente beer is simple yet superb. I need to work on getting it distributed to Minneapolis!
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- Also Known As:
- The Palace At Playa Grande Hotel Rio San Juan