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“Great PLace beware of unit #12”
Review of Hotel El Magnifico

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Hotel El Magnifico
Reviewed 4 December 2008

Our place was beautiful but when we went to sleep weird stuff starting happening, door slamming and noises...In the morning we noticed that it was right next to a very old burial site, we do not recommend staying in until 12 or any other units in that buillding...we moved to the top floor of another unit, that was lovely and provided ideal ocean views and the sound of waves all night...Highly recommend staying in a top unit, kitchen had all the amenities...THe girl at the front desk is not the most friendly person...so play nice:)

Stayed: December 2008
2  Thank sailingchick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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60 - 66 of 82 reviews

Reviewed 21 July 2008

We spent a week at the Hotel El Magnifico this spring and we plan to return next year. We were in building 6 in the three bedroom condo. We were a party of 5 which included myself and my husband, a nine year old, thirteen year old and my Mother-in-law. With the three bedroom set up the way it is we had sufficient privacy and plenty of common space. We all loved it. The view is worth every penny and being able to walk down the path to the jacuzzi in the evening or in fact any time was wonderful. This hotel is set up in a way that provides maximum privacy. No crowds at the pool or jacuzzi. The beach, shops and restaurants were all a short walk away. Everyone was very pleasant and helpful. I would recommend this hotel to anyone who wants to relax and enjoy a beautiful location.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled with family
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4  Thank 3down2togo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 February 2008

I had stayed at Hotel Magnifico for the third time and each time its even better than last. The hotel is located only 5 minutes walking distance from the main beach in Cabarete. I previously stayed in building 4 and 5 which have a modern contemporary beautiful design. This time I had the pleasure of staying in building 6 which also have a very modern design and it was even more beautiful than the other buildings. My friend and I stayed in a two floor condominium in building 6 on the third floor. The building is sorounded by a beautiful tropical garden with view to the ocean from each of its 5 balconies. Our condominium had an extremely spacious living room with flat screen TV, Video/DVD payer, radio and great air conditioning. It had 3 bathrooms in total, one in each bedroom with shower and one next to the living room for any guests coming over(all very modern designed). It also had a very accomodating fully equipted kitchen with dish waher, a coffe maker and a huge fridge with minibar inside which included rum, sort drinks, beers and a gallon of water. On the second floor of the condo was a tanning deck with beach chairs and a gorgeous view too. The only thing missing at the hotel was phones in the room but they rent cell phones for the price of $10 US dollars for a week and also no restaurant on site but there is one literally right next to the hotel called claro and its very good. Also within walking distance there are many restaurants and bars by the beach as well as some small shops.I strongly recomend this hotel due to its great location, cleaningness, its lovely and accomodating staff and the great affordable price, its really worth your money. It truly felt like being in paradise!
-Estefani

Stayed: February 2008
2  Thank babycakes2351
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2008

Gotta Admit that i was a bit hesitant to go any where which wasn't All Inclusive. However, this time I wanted to discover the town and mix with the locals. It was a great decision. The hotel has adequate security to ensure one's safety. I stayed in a 2 -bedroom condo in building #5 with a buddy of mine. The rooms were very clean. At nights I would hear the waves crashing on the shore, which made sleeping , at least for me, really soothing. The hot tub in our area was not hot at all, however if you walk to the other building, you can enjoy the hot tub. Air conditioning was always working in the room. ...2 t.v.'s although one was not working well, but who cares, I can always watch t.v. at home. Only downside: most of the buildings border a cemetary, which could be a bit creepy, but didn't really bother me. There are no phones in the room so bring your own. The hotel is located within walking distance to just about everything. The streets are very noisy and the dust from the road is a lot to take in sometimes. However, if you decide to cut through the beach, then everything is tranquil. Nice bars and clubs, great atmosphere. For anyone who is tired of all-inclusive resorts, this would be the spot. Go out and enjoy the country which you are visiting. I strongly encourage it.

Stayed: January 2008
3  Thank thejellybeano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 December 2007

Having stayed at Magnifico over 15 times in the past 5 years, I am confident in stating that I am well-versed in the pros & cons of this place.

Cabarete has changed from 5 years ago. It was a sleepy kite boarding center of primarily Dutch, German & French ex-pats along with the locals. Never saw Americans there. Cabarete continues to change & rapidly so. The Americans have landed & their wallets have jacked up the prices of just about everything. Magnifico's prices, long a bargain, have begun to ratchet upwards. And this price increase will continue.

Condos are being slapped up at every turn. The government has just installed a large new sewer line along the main road through the town. This means only one thing: development in the form of large hotels. In several year's time, the funky & fun little beach restaurants along Cabarete Bay will be gone & replaced by Marriotts & Euro-chain hotels.

Development: that's what the government wants. Tourism brings hard dollars to a poverty-inclined population. The new airport up the line is bringing in tens of thousands of people to the Samana Peninsula, located about two hours from Cabarete. Businesses are receiving massive tax breaks to locate in the DR.

On balance, Magnifico is a very good place to stay, BUT you must choose the building in which to stay quite carefully. You enhance the chanves of enjoying your stay at Magnifico if you stay in building 6 (brand new in 2007), building 5, or building 4. Buildings 6 & 5 are oceanfront.

Any penthouse in Building 4, 5 or 6 is well worth the money. Great views, ocean breezes, very roomy, full kitchen & 3 bathrooms. Any unit above ground level is not wheelchair accessible. The units above ground level are accessible only by spiral staircases.

Although the beach in front of Magnifico is not for swimming (very rough rip currents), the calm Cabarete beach is literally only a 5-minute walk down the sands. Buildings 6 & 5 will be quieter than the rest of the properties. Building 4 is also quieter & has ocean views on levels 2 & 3.

Ground floor units at Magnifico are oftentimes plagued by mosquitoes, whereas the second & third floor units are swept by the refreshing Cabarete breezes & thus have less of the mosquitoes.

Buildings 3, 1 & 2 are the Magnifico buildings that are subject to sometimes extremely high levels of noise from the main road, the garbage trucks grinding away in back of Janet's Supermarket or the ever-present merengue music that just booms through the masonry walls at all hours.

I would discourage you from staying in any unit in Building 3. It backs up to Janet's Market, which opens early & in back of which there is constant, noisy activity of all sorts.

Wherever you stay at Magnifico, use the safe in your room. Petty theft is not unknown. I have friends who have had electronic items & cash lifted from their rooms with no forced entries. The housekeepers are generally friendly & trustworthy. In fact, one ran after me when I was checking out to give me my ipod which I had left in my room. Sweet people for the most part.

Front desk personnel are primarily from Quebec. The owner, Gerard Hebert, is also originally from Canada (many years ago). Everyone at Magnifico speaks several languages. You will be well-looked-after. Sometimes the front desk jefa, Lisa, can be tempestuous & brittle. Her moods usually pass like the sudden torrential rains that hit this island.

Step down the crushed stone path to the little restaurant run by Elvis (in front of Valero Resort). Elvis makes good classic Dominican fare in the form of chicken, rice & beans served with cold Presidentes. Elvis can get you a good meal for about 5 or 6 usd & he can also arrange female companionship if that's what you want, for about 30 usd. Quite a place, that Elvis Restaurant, but typical of a Dominican neighborhood bar / restaurant.

Resataurants & Bars, et. al.:
LAX is a good beach bar for food & for night-time hanging out. So is OHNO. Bambu gets cranking after 11pm.

La Vaca Loca is a GREAT & INEXPENSIVE restaurant on the main road in town, on the non-beach side of the road opposite the beaches. Bliss is another excellent restaurant, very cool decor, very cool place to have drinks, located on the road going off the main road near the radio tower (just ask anyone, it's a small town). The little steakhouse located next to Bliss (don't recall name) is run by some Euro folks & serves up superb steak. Get there early, they run out of steaks & then that's it for the night.

Have a great stay. Enjoy Cabarete for what it is. It will be a massively changed place in only a few more years. Not all for the better......

  • Stayed: November 2007, travelled with friends
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11  Thank fawlcon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2007

I just returned from a weeks stay at el magnifico, the property is beautiful, location perfect and staff gracious. I paid $79 US for a modern nicely appointed 1 bedroom apartment with 2 bathrooms and 2 balconies, full kitchen and air conditioning. The hotel is six three story building dotted around a beautiful lush tropical garden. The hotel is perfectly located just around the corner from the main beach, about a 5 minute walk. Security at the hotel was very good with 24 hour security gaurds1 in the day 2 or 3 at night. My favorite part of the trip was a daily 1 hour massage on the beach, the cost was $16 US or 500 peso. When you get to the beach look for the massage girls in the blue denim shirts and ask for Fadoux, she was great, a very kind and sweet hatian woman. As well you will see hatian ladies walking up and down the beach with basket of fruit on there heads, If you call one over she will peel and cut the finest mangoes on the planet for you, for 50 peso.

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled solo
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2  Thank chefstir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2007

The new buildings are beautiful, the older buildings are a bit dated, the security and cleaning staff were great and very friendly. Gardens are beautiful and it was a unique private location just around the corner from the main part of Cabarete beach.

I would caution that if you want to swim, windsurf or kite from the property it is not ideal due to the wide reef. You have to walk around the corner to the Velero and use the beach in front of that resort. Its not a bad walk, but if you want to play right in front of your lodging, this isn't the place. There are also no beach chairs available. Still, small complaints for a beautiful place. It was our first trip to Cabarete so I don't have other places to compare it to.

Note that some of the buildings border a big graveyard (pictured). I thought it was kind of scenic, but one of our group who came without his wife commented that she would not have wanted to stay there (graveyard off the balcony between her and the ocean).

All in all, though, a good experience, great memories, and I second the recommendations for eating at Claro's just up the driveway. Friendly and great food for breakfast and lunch. All in all, other than the water access, a very convenient location. We'll probably try another place next time, but I suspect will be back to Magnifico on our third visit.

  • Stayed: February 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
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4  Thank kitertodd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel El Magnifico

Address: Calle del Cementerio, Cabarete, Dominican Republic
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Cabarete
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 51 Speciality Lodging in Cabarete
Price Range: £68 - £131 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hotel El Magnifico 2.5*
Number of rooms: 4
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