I just got home from a week long stay at the hotel Celuisma Cabarete. We were very concerned about booking here because of the reviews we read here. But, because everyone said the staff made it worthwhile, we took a chance.
The rooms are tired. They need refurbishment. Our bathroom door was warped and would not close, dresser drawers were the same. The ceiling fan was on its last legs. Our airconditioner was only spitting out cool air when it felt like it. We notified reception who was more than happy to resolve the issue - but when they sent maintenance, because it was a teeny tiny bit cold, they claimed it was working. Three separate times we had to ask for someone to look at it. 3 times in one week is a lot.
Speaking of reception, make sure you ask for Christopher. The girl they have working the front desk was definitlely not hired for her customer service skills! Her negative attitude and selective English comprehension was not at all appreciated. Heaven forbid we interrupt her, at work, from spending time on youtube.
The food was what scared me most of all. I`m a food inspector here in Canada and was appalled at how lukewarm everything in the buffet was. Sure there was a variety of foods, but due to the low temperatures I was very concerned about bacterial growth. Recognizing that the buffet is an open air establishment, having birds flying around while you`re eating, and cats begging for food underneath the table is not enjoyable. Also, I`m not used to staying at a resort and being hungry!!! You ONLY eat at specific times, and if you miss it, too bad!
The cleaning ladies were pretty amazing. Vivianne in particular stands out as someone who loves her job and goes out of her way to make the guests feel at home.
And now, what everyone raved about and the whole reason we chose this hotel: the entertainment staff! Upon arrival, we were greeted and welcomed by everyone on the team. We were able to partipate in games and activities throughout the day, and were treated to fantastic shows at night. Johan, the entertainment manager, was the star of every show. He was a chameleon, able to be the athlete, who is constantly mingling and getting to know hotel guests during the day, to being able to showcase his talents in the shows at night. Claudia is the other standout. She is this little bitty lady with a smile the size of Montreal. She is full of enthusiasm, and makes you feel so welcome. And just watch her on the stage dancing and you’ll know she’s way more than just a pretty face. Reviewers were right. Thanks to the Entertainment staff, you forget how bad the hotel is. You forget the beds are as hard as rocks. You forget the beach is so choppy that you can’t even swim there (we had to take a 10 dollar US taxi ride into Cabarete to be able to swim in the ocean). You forget that this hotel is so isolated, with no amenities around it. You forget that this hotel stinks as you walk in between buildings (septic issues?). You forget all that. BUT, changes are abrewing! While we were there, all the girls, including our beloved Claudia, quit and so did Johan, the entertainment manager. All of a sudden everything good about this hotel was gone. Of course, everyone was talking about it and we were told that Johan wanted a change and that all 3 girls quit to spend more time with their children. Seems pretty odd to me that 50% of their entertainment staff would suddenly need time to spend with their families, during the busiest time of year for the hotel. Especially since Johan and Claudia had apparently worked at this hotel for more than 5 years! So, the second half of our trip was TERRIBLE! It was quiet. It was tense. It was talent-less. And it certainly doesn’t bode well for the future of this hotel.
So my recommendation is, I’m sorry you missed out on such a great spot. But now, with the end of their entertainment, you’re too late. It’s not such a gem anymore.
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- Also Known As:
- Celuisma Paraiso Tropical
- Paraiso Tropical Cabarete