Let the Dominican spam continue! Truth is, I can’t get enough of these photos and memories of this place. Casa Bonita Tropical Lodge was my favorite accommodation during my trip to the Dominican Republic. And for good reason. Keep reading to find out why.
Upon arrival in Santo Domingo, the journey is just over three hours (without stops). But if you’re like me, you love those pull over now moments. And we pulled over quite a bit. You’ll pass through small villages, beautiful vistas, and rural markets all posing for a culturally rich experiences (and photo ops). There are plenty of options for getting from Santo Domingo to Casa Bonita, all can be organized once your reservation is made. Private transportation for up to six in a van, helicopter, or propeller plane. Taking a helicopter will get you there in a short 45 minutes if you’re looking to save time. Honestly though, like I said, the drive is absolutely beautiful and you get to see so much of the Southwest Coast. You can learn more about their transport options here.
I stayed in the Deluxe Guest Room. Each room has its own entrance, like a private villa. No long hotel hallways here. All doors lead to the wilderness. Each one of the 12 Deluxe Rooms has views of the Caribbean and the Sierra Barahuco Mountains. My eyes nearly melted at the site of it the next morning (since I arrived at 8pm). To enjoy these views, I highly advise you to sip your morning coffee on your private balcony.
Now I know this is called Casa Bonita Tropical Lodge but don’t let that fool you. You will find all of the same in-room amenities as you would at any other hotel; including a wine cooler, wifi, air conditioning, full bathroom (blow dryer included) and safe.
The Ocean View Suites are another option, and also on a whole other level. Complete with its very own infinity swimming pool. Which is also one of the best spots to watch the sunrise on the property (see for yourself below).
Villa Bonita is the third and final accommodation option on the property. This spot is perfect for larger groups traveling together. The villa has two bedrooms, one with a king bed and the other with two full beds, a living room, dining room, full kitchen, private pool, and a relaxation area (with a hammock). Villa Bonita is perched up on the hill on the property, providing complete seclusion.
The food at Casa Bonita was some of the best food I had on the entire trip. What I loved most is that the produce was all sourced from the local communities and from their very own garden. The garden is completely organic providing that unique farm-to-table dining experience. Not something you hear about often in other countries. If you’re visiting at the right time, the tropical lodge even offers guests to experience the harvest themselves.
Another unique experience I had was brick-oven pizza in the wild. About a 5 minute walk from the main area of the hotel, is a brick oven. Here you’ll dine amongst the trees and enjoy some of the best brick oven pizzas and sip ice cold cervezas, or if you’re like me some freshly squeezed passionfruit juice. You must have this experience when staying here! No question about it.
Tanama Eco Spa
In the jungle amidst the wilderness and set apart from the rest of the hotel, you will find peace and tranquility. The treatment options are heavily based around natural elements, paying homage to its location. Coffee, chocolate, coconut, basil, bamboo, noni, mango, and pineapple are just some of the ingredients used in the different spa treatments. If you’re not seeking a treatment, at least pay a visit to the spa to relax in the hammocks in the shade and listen to the sounds of the river.
One word: expansive. Aside from that, the grounds are perfectly manicured and lush with palm trees towering over you, fragrant flowers growing on every corner and the deep shade of mahogany. After all, this used to be a family home before opening its doors to guests.
The main dining area overlooks the infinity pool… which overlooks the Caribbean Sea. Add a sunrise or sunset to that and you’ve got a recipe for paradise.
ARE ENDLESS. Due to the unique location of Casa Bonita in the Southwest Coast, guests have the opportunity to experience a variety of adventurous activities. From hiking, water sports, tennis, yoga, horseback riding, mountain biking and the lodge’s very own zipline! Yes, you read that correctly, Casa Bonita has it’s own canopy tour on the property.
Beyond the lodge’s grounds, the activities continue. Nature walks along the river, surfing, snorkeling, guided tours in the National Parks, bird watching, organic coffee plantation visita, Las Aguilas Bay, tour of Oviedo’s Lagoon and Lake Enriquillo as well as exploring caves with ancient tribal art. Like I said, the activities continue and are endless! I personally loved the hike to La Plaza. While it was challenging and I wasn’t properly equipped for the excursion I can say that it was well worth it! Take a look for yourself.
Through one full year of traveling full time, I’ve found it so beneficial to experience a variety of accommodation types from luxury hotels to eco lodges to glamping. Doing this provides great perspective into the local culture, it allows you, as the traveler, to go beyond the surface. You never know what you might discover about a location. Casa Bonita though, was in a category all of its own. Have you ever stayed in an eco lodge before? If so, where!? Looking to expand my eco lodge repertoire 😉
Don’t forget to check out this guide to seeing the Dominican’s Wild Spaces.
This post is written in partnership with Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism, however, as always, my opinions are my own.