First let me address something that isn't made very clear. If you look at the pictures showing the buildings from the beach front, the building on the far left with the round balconies is the newer building. The other two buildings, with a courtyard between, are the older buildings, and there is a significant difference between them in both build quality and comfort. After reading through every review here, it seems that making the correct selection on room is key to having a good experience at this hotel.
In speaking to Janina (the manager) we indicated that having a large balcony that overlooked the pool area and out to the ocean was important to us. She correctly explained that for the one-bedroom that we desired, this would require a room in the older buildings as those are the ones with large beach front balconies, so that is what we booked. This also included a lower rate as the older buildings are about 25% cheaper.
Janina was very accommodating as our arrival/departure schedule was strange. We weren't set to arrive until 3am the first night and then not leave until 10:30pm the last day. She made sure that someone other than a security guard (24 hour security is a must in DR) was at the front desk at 3am to greet us and show us to our room which was very nice.
This is where clarity on room expectations is key. Upon entering our room we were both slightly disappointed. While they do explain that the older building rooms are smaller and not as modern, what that really means is that the older building rooms are quite cramped and a bit run down. You have to realize that this is the D.R. Already, build quality is far below U.S. standards to begin with. Subsequently overall build quality and many of the repairs in the older building are of below average quality.
We stayed in the older building the first night and then contacted Janina the next morning. She was very accommodating even though we had insisted originally that the ocean-front balcony was more important than room size/quality (we were wrong). Fortunately, being the low season, there was a one-bedroom in the new building available. We made the switch and were quite pleased with the result. While the pictures of the old building rooms aren't really accurate in terms of size and quality, the room in the new building was exactly as shown in the pictures. Unfortunately, the large round balconies overlooking the pool in the pictures are only available in the two-bedroom suites. But I can honestly say that we never used our balcony at all, and didn't really miss it.
The bedroom and living/kitchen in the new building are much nicer and larger than the old building. This is what we had been expecting at the listed price point. I think the prices of the new building are about right, but I would say the prices of the old building are high for the area. My impression, and evidently that of other reviewers as well, is that you don't get your money's worth in the old building. There are many other hotels in the area with rooms equal to the old building rooms for a lower rate. But the new building is a different story completely. I would call the new building rooms 3-star and the old building rooms 2-star.
Janina (pronounced Ya-nee-nah) is absolutely wonderful to work with. Ask her about arranging a large group meal at the Blue Moon so that you can mingle with other hotel guests and eat very good Indian cuisine. She'll arrange pretty much anything you need including adventures, day trips, or airport transportation. If you don't speak Spanish well, then she is wonderful to have around.
The incl. breakfast is decent, not great. We've had MUCH better free breakfast in other Caribbean hotels (Bula Bula in Costa Rica---amazing) but weren't expecting much. It is certainly better than a typical continental breakfast, but not a whole lot better.
The restaurant located at the hotel is about average. The real convenience there is that the hotel allows you to run a tab so you don't have to worry about getting money (somewhat inconvenient in D.R.) and carrying it while playing on the beach. Stopping in for a cold drink while kite boarding is very nice. And hanging out at the bar in the evening while surfing the web is nice. This isn't a restaurant review but there are several better places to in Cabarete, and one of the best is right next door at Extreme Hotel (Chichigua).
On the topic of internet. Web access in the lobby is good but it is a bit spotty at the bar by the beach. Rarely, we could get service in the room, but not often. I work in the stock markets and had to work while on vacation, so the lobby and restaurant were my working areas. It would've been nice to have a bit better internet access, but it was sufficient even though it cut out a bit especially on the iPad.
But this brings up the next point. The staff is incredibly trustworthy at this hotel! I was actually able to leave my computer out and running in the common area while going out to kiteboard without a concern. In fact, we didn't even use the room safe in our room. A few times I even left a tip for the cleaning lady sitting on the table in our room. She never took it. I finally had to go find her to give her the tips. But we had two iPhones, an iPad, a high-end laptop, a couple wallets/purses, a new SLR camera, and jewelery sitting around the room during the whole stay and it was never touched. This is very unusual for a Caribbean hotel and something they should be very proud of.
The location on Kite Beach is very good. All the "semi-pro" kiteboarders ride directly in front of the hotel when the wind is good. It is very entertaining to watch and you never get tired of it. For those with their own gear, the grassy area is great for kite cleaning, but they should install an air pump, then it would be perfect. Kite beach in general is much more quiet than downtown Cabarete. If I wasn't there to kiteboard then staying on Cabarate beach would've been better. But really, if I wasn't there to kiteboard then I wouldn't have gone to Cabarete in the first place.
If you need kite lessons, don't use the school at the hotel (KiteXcite). Kite Club is better in Kite Beach, and LEK is better in Cabarete. I won't go into other details because this is supposed to be focused on the hotel, but I think the associated restaurant and kite school should be mentioned.
Overall, I would book this hotel if you want a roomy and clean 3-star hotel. I would not book a room in the older building, because if budget is the issue there are better priced economy 2-star hotels in the area. If budget is that much of an issue, then just stay next door at Extreme Hotel. If you want a suite with full kitchen that is closer to 4-star, then consider Ocean Point that is just up the beach. We were only looking for a reasonably priced 3-star with a basic kitchen, and had a great time at this hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Kite Beach Hotel is located at the center of Cabarete's Kite Beach, each room just a few steps from the warm Caribbean waters. Both for relaxing, swimming, sun bathing at an uncrowded beach in the morning and for the action of the most exciting watersport in the afternoon, Kite Beach Hotel is the ideal place for people who like the difference. The hotel presents the best quality at the best spot at the right price. It doesn't matter if you are a water sports addict or if you want to explore the Dominican culture and country side, we can organize you a personalized vacation. In the evenings you can have either a quiet dinner at our beach front restaurant or check out the wide choice of international restaurants and bars in town. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kite Beach Cabarete