Bahoruco and La Ciénaga
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- The Sexiest Dominican Beaches
- Historical Dominican Road Trip
- A Dominican Culture Tour
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- Planning Your Dominican Wedding
- Dominican Adventures
- Golfing the Dominican Republic
- Dominican Music and Dance
- La Ruta del Mango
- Day-Tripping in Monte Plata
- The Best Small Resorts
Located 17 kilometers south of Barahona are the twin towns of Bahoruco and La Ciénaga. Although there aren’t really any sights here (Bahoruco Beach is not even particularly stunning) or services, there are a few nice places to stay and the people are very nice and known for their very blue eyes.
Casa Bonita (Carretera de la Costa, Km 16, tel. 809/476-5059, Sun.–Thurs. US$130, Fri. and Sat. US$170) is the Southwest’s prettiest hotel without a doubt, and one of our favorite hotels in the country. Set high on a hill overlooking Bahoruco and the Caribbean Sea, it is a charming find. This one-time private summer house of the Schiffino family, designed by renowned architect Josá Horacio “Sancocho” Marranzini, was opened to the public in 1991.
In 2006, they made major renovations with architect Rafel Selman to make it the boutique hotel you find today complete with infinity pool. Today, it is owned by the third generation of Schiffinos. There are 12 thatch-roofed cabins decorated in a sleek, modern-tropical motif. The high, sloped ceilings of the cabins swoop along with the lush, mountainside views you will appreciate from your private balcony. Tranquility and high-style comfort abound.
All rooms have air-conditioning, hot water bath, hair dryer, wine cooler, iPod-ready clock radios, and private balconies. The restaurant serves a Caribbean fusion menu made with fresh local ingredients and meals are served alfresco in an elegant poolside environment with panoramic views of the ocean and mountains. This is a small, quiet hotel. Sunsets here are torturously romantic.
French-owned Hotel-Restaurant Playazul (Carretera Barahona–Paraíso Km 7, tel. 809/204-5375, US$55–65) offers spectacular views peering down to the sea from poolside. Beach access is done via a series of steps leading down from the hill. Standard rooms have twin comfortable beds, cable TV, air-conditioning, and hot-water bathrooms.
ApartHotel Pontevedra (Carretera Barahona–Pedernales Km 15, El Arroyo, tel. 809/341-8462, www.pontevedracaribe.com, US$69 d includes breakfast and dinner) is just before the turnoff for the larimar mines, so if you see that sign, you’ve gone too far. The large swim-up pool overlooks the crashing surf of the Caribbean. This sounds great, doesn’t it? However, the poolside is rather scruffy, and there are no loungers. The resort offers 16 bare-bones minimum apartments, all with air-conditioning, seating area, kitchenettes and eating area. The on-site restaurant is not great (US$7–15), but it does have a glorious view of the Caribbean sunset.
Coral Sol Resort (La Ciénaga, tel. 809/233-4882, www.coralsolresort.com, US$55 d) is on the southern end of the two towns. The turnoff is well marked by a sign off the main highway just after you think you’ve passed it all. The 10 cabins are roomy and clean. Each has two beds and two bathrooms. The beach is the typical pebbly kind that you find in this area of the coast, but pleasant. Breakfast and dinner are included in the rate. It’s not as charming as Casa Bonita, but it’s a nice place to stay.
© Ana Chavier Caamaño from Moon Dominican Republic, 4th edition