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“Tropical retreat turned into Tropical Nightmare”

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Jurassic Park Hotel
Reviewed 31 January 2012

I love staying at bnbs and camping so staying at a hotel set in the mountains sounded ideal. I reviewed all of the ratings for this inn at airbnb and their website. I looked at all of the pictures and decided that I would stay at Jurassic Park Hotel. I was lulled in by the natural setting and the promise of peace. Do not be fooled like I was. This hotel is awful. All of the rooms are water damaged. The inn keeper told us that they have a problem with water leaking in through the ceiling so they keep repainting the ceiling before guest arrive. The room we had was not repainted and there was black mold and/or discoloration all over the ceilings and walls. There was exposed wires everywhere. The bed was damp and smelled like mildew. Since we got in so late we tried covering the bed and linen with new beach towels that we had just purchased. The smell still came through and they soon felt damp. We ended up sleeping trying to sleep fully clothed in long sleeves, pants, and hooded sweat shirts. See the attached pictures. We were going to change rooms but ending up having to leave the hotel after a fire. In order to have hot water you must light your own hot water heater and turn it off as soon as your done using it or else it will catch on fire. Our hot water heater had been damaged in a previous fire. When I went out to light it the first time I noticed that the air outside of the pilot would light up before I had put the flame into the pilot. I suspected a slow leak and thus was very careful to only turn the gas on as low as possible and not to put my hand near the pilot. In the morning I went to light the hot water heater, the leak must have gotten worse, and a huge ball of flames came out and enveloped my hand and arm. Thankfully I was wearing a long sleeve sweat shirt and only my hand was burn. I had to go to the hospital to get treatment for my burns. I received medication and a shot. My burns turned black and charred and the skin eventually fell off leaving behind a nasty discolored skin underneath. We had to change our vacation plans because my hand was bandaged and recurred further medical care. The inn told us they would give us a refund. Upon returning home they refuse to give us a refund and sent us nasty emails stating that they felt that we just wanted to stay some where else and that we are liars and shouldn't get any of our money back. So we are not only out of the money we spent on the inn but also the money we spent for medical care. The inn keeper will direct you away from airbnb.com's website for payment. This way you can not post a review or upload photos of your stay at their inn. The most important reason why you should book through airbnb.com is that airbnb.com will refund you if you run into problems at the inn. For those foolish enough to still be willing to try a stay there, I recommend that you book for only one night and do it through airbnb.com, because I know you will pack your bags and be out of there the next day if not that night. I'm not fussy, but I expect my room to at least be safe. We tried to stay and make the best of it. We were willing to switch rooms, or see about getting a different bed, etc but after the fire we didn't feel safe and we felt foolish for not leaving the day we arrived.

Room Tip: Do not stay here, if you are foolish enough to still try pay for only one night at a time and have t...
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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13  Thank t410g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JurassicParkHotel, Owner at Jurassic Park Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 21 February 2012

It's disheartening to read such a review of our hotel. Our personal priority is to ensure that our guests have an enjoyable, memorable experience during their stay at Jurassic Park. Hence we are happy to impart as much personal knowledge and information, as requested by our guests, prior to and during their stay.

We are genuinely sorry that this guest was disappointed and angry about her stay with us, and we would like to address her concerns.

The guest was burned when attempting to light a pilot light of a water heater. We apologized to the guest at the time, we should not have permitted her to do that, and we immediately took her to seek medical attention. Understandably, the guest was very upset about her accident and we believe that might have affected her recollection of the events because we never lied or misled her in any way about the accommodation and it's amenities, the refund, or anything else.

To avoid any possible problems in the future, we have since installed a completely new solar water heater system that doesn't require pilot lights (see photo).

The guest mentioned mould and water damage on the ceiling and walls of the room. This has been a consistent problem since we moved in. We have resolved the problem by undergoing a month-long renovation of the bungalow roofs (using a professional sealant on the exterior roof), and cleaning, repainting the interiors of the rooms. All of which is now complete (see photos). Also mentioned was a damp bed. Upon thorough investigation, we could not find any evidence of this.

Regarding booking and payment, the guest contacted us initially by phone, via our website, and subsequently booked her stay via our standard payment procedure through PayPal.
The guest was dissatisfied with our initial correspondence with regards to resolving her issues and subsequent request for a full refund so she submitted a dispute, to PayPal, claiming that our hotel was not as advertised. As requested, we submitted all the facts to PayPal, who investigated the matter thoroughly, and they concluded in our favor.

As we clearly advertise, our hotel is in a rural area of the Dominican Republic in a very rustic setting. Even after our renovations, we are still not a 5-star hotel, and we shall never advertise as such.
What you can expect from Jurassic Park is a comfortable bungalow in a spectacular natural setting, hosts who treat you as visiting friends rather than customers, and intimate access to one of the most exciting and dynamic parts of the Dominican Republic.

If you have any questions about our accommodations or travel to Las Terrenas, we're only a phone call or email away.
Helena & Dominic
Jurassic Park Hotel

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40 - 46 of 48 reviews

Reviewed 2 February 2011

Wow! My wife and I were dying to have a different experience -- we're sick of the fancy all-inclusives that have flooded all of DR. And "different" is definitely what we got at Jurassic. I'll admit I was really nervous going into it, but Dominic and wife Helena (the owners) was extremely patient answering all my questions, as trivial as they may have been. In the end, we had a truly memorable experience, and I can't wait to visit again!

The hosts. D&H are absolutely wonderful people with interesting life stories. Their courage to leave a comfortable life behind and settle in such a remote location is inspiring. Our conversations were thought-provoking and challenged us to question what is "normal" in society. Perhaps it's a stretch to say this, but I feel like I am a wiser person after spending three days with these guys. It wasn't all talking and philosophizing though. They were both extremely helpful and pointing us to places and arranging excursions. They're fun people too! We went out with Helena and her friends Thursday night (which is her night out) and had a great time dancing and watching in awe as her other expat friends did their thing on the dance floor. We weren't there Friday night, which is Dom's night out with the guys. But according to him, every Friday night is legendary.

The area. Walking to the property from the main road, we were fuming. We could not believe what we had gotten ourselves into. Getting to the hotel from the main road involves walking up and down a steep unpaved hill, passing onlookers sitting on their front steps, jumping over a small stream of water, and finally up another hill. Though Dominic had warned me about this, I didn't make much of it. Half way in, we almost turned around to find a regular hotel near the beach, but THANKFULLY, we gave it a shot and kept walking. It turns out those onlookers are extremely kind and friendly. Over the next few days we got to know some of them -- one showed us his farm animals and another walked us to a hidden secret up the road. Truly humble and happy people live here.

The hotel is not close to the town, but we dealt with this fine. You will have to get comfortable with taking moto conchos everywhere (to the beach and to the town), but they have a few moto conchos basically on call and at your service. If you've never been on a moto concho, it's a great way to get used to them! They also have 4-wheelers available if you prefer to drive yourself around town.

The hotel. All the basic necessities are provided -- clean linens, towels, drinking water, running water in the bathroom, small kitchenette. It gets pitch black at night, which we were definitely nervous about the first two nights, but the last night we went to town and regretted not having gone out the first two nights.

Closing thoughts. There are some some things that you should be aware of. I hope these things don't dissuade you from visiting, but instead make you more intrigued and curious about the place.
- Don't bring rolling luggage. Rolling on unpaved roads just doesn't work. We ended up carrying ours all the way to the property
- Avoid arriving late the first day. I'm sure D and H would happily pick you up at the main road if you call. But it gets pitch dark and you just don't want to be out there trying to find an already-hard-to-find place.
- Don't bring a car. There's just nowhere to put it when you get there.
- Wifi is not widespread ... you'll have to go to the main house. This was not a problem at all. In fact, I liked it because it gave me an excuse to socialize with D&H. Plus, you won't want to get on the internet!
- Try arranging some activities before you get there. D&H were helpful in arranging excursions when we arrived, but some did not pan out since they were so last-minute. Have at least one thing set up for the first two days.
- Just let go. If you're used to standard old vacations, just let go and take your chance with these guys. I'm so glad I did!!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank jtaveras
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 December 2010

This "Hotel" is amazing. The drive to the location is beautiful, as is the location of the hotel itself. There are only 4 cabanos at the hotel, which provides a very peaceful atmosphere. The rooms are very spacious and generally comfortable. The family who owns the hotel is extremely friendly. They give free foot tours to two of the nearby waterfalls. They also have horse and 4-wheeler tours to the nearby town or through the jungle for a small fee. My sister and I took a foot tour to the waterfalls, and after wards Dominic, the owner/tour guide, took us back to their home for hot chocolate made from freshly ground and fermented cocoa, he even took us to see the trees where the cocoa plants grow. The experience over all was great, but this is definitely is not for the high maintenance traveler. The rooms are very nice and clean, but you are very close to nature. Each room does come equipped with toilet, shower, sinks, and stove, but they don't have air conditioning. It is not really a problem since the location of the hotel is higher on the mountain. All the windows have screens, so you are able to get a nice breeze while keeping the bugs out. All the water, even the pool, comes from the natural springs, and the electricity is from a generator, so the resort could certainly be considered "Green". Your entertainment comes from outdoor activities mostly, since there are not any televisions. They do have WiFi, and there is even some chance of cell phone service. The hotel is settled on about 4 acres of jungle, so there is plenty of exploring to keep you busy for days. The beach is only a ten minute drive from the hotel. The nightlife in the nearby town is wonderful. There is something for everyone; nice restaurants and bars. I will definitely be back to this place the next time I visit the Dominican Republic, and I would suggest this to anyone who loves being close to nature, or would like to just give it a try!

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank lehrhollymae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2017
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  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled as a couple
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Thank Paolo M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2016 via mobile
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Stayed: January 2016, travelled with friends
Thank gt-sevilla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2014
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Lola67000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2014
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank evelyne00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Jurassic Park Hotel

Address: Carretera Las Terrenas - Sanchez, Las Terrenas 32000, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Samana Province > Las Terrenas
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #23 of 40 Speciality Lodging in Las Terrenas
Price Range: £25 - £33 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Jurassic Park Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Clean private bungalows, to rent, set amongst the abundance of natural beauty of Jurassic Park.The bungalows come with a fully equipped kitchen, a double bed (if required, another bed can be arranged), a bathroom with shower, and a terrace with views of the beautiful green tropical valley and the ocean.Jurassic Park is a magical place situated on a small hill, in a tranquil valley, 3-5 mins outside of the main town Las Terrenas.A short stroll behind us there are two waterfalls with pools - which are extremely inviting, especially when its hot, great for cooling off and helping to make you feel at peace with the world.We have semi controlled jungle areas which we continue to improve and make part of the attraction of being here.There is very little light pollution (no upward facing lights) so you can view the night sky, from our open pool terrace, which are mostly spectacular all year round.If you are a star gazer, a writer or a poet you would feel very much at home here.We are moving towards self sufficiency and Eco tourism. We already have pure spring water and we have solar panels and soar water heaters.We will in the future add a variety of electric vehicles for guests.If you have children then this is a natural wonderland providing constant amazement. Indeed, visits from the local children, who are a breath of fresh air, will aid your children in understanding this environment.To top it off we have a trampoline which is very popular with children and uncontrollably happy adults alike.We also grow many fruits and vegetables and indeed as I write this the wife has popped out to our herb garden for some coriander.We hope to have created a much more personal and friendly feeling.We have a great track record of content, repeat visitors. It seems that a return visit is a must, once you have been bitten by the magic and unadulterated beauty of our little oasis.Also for a small additional fee we now offer breakfast (typically eggs, toast, seasonal fruits, juices, vegetable and cheese empanadas and coffee in our jungle communal area. Its a great chance to discuss your days activities and learn the best places to go. Just let us know before hand.See you soon ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Jurassic Park Hotel Dominican Republic/Samana - Las Terrenas

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