Hotel Bahia Las Ballenas (Playa Bonita, tel. 809/240-6066, www.bahia-las-ballenas.net , US$105 d, breakfast included) is spread over one of the best tropical gardens on Playa Bonita. The 32 rooms are generous in size (big enough to add an extra bed) and colorful with high, vaulted thatch roofed ceilings (adding more outside air and sounds from the ocean) and have patios overlooking the garden. While the unique open-air bathrooms might be thrilling to some, it might be too much nature to others. The pool area is inviting with loungers aplenty.
Las Palmas al Mar Residence (Carretera a El Portillo, tel. 809/240-6292, fax 809/240-6089, www.laspalmasalmar.com , US$73–148 per cottage per night in high season) has a collection of 12 two-level cottages placed in a neatly manicured setting. The pool is small, but the beach is just across the street. The cottages have a kitchenette, seating area with a fold out couch, one bedroom with a double bed, one with two single beds, two bathrooms, and lovely wraparound porches with barbecues. This is a wonderful place to stay if you want comfortable and clean accommodations but are willing to stock up the refrigerator and dine out because Las Palmas doesn’t have a restaurant. No matter though, it is within walking distance to a great many choices. Other amenities include: purified water, cable TV with DVD player, safe, and DSL Internet hookup. Price doesn’t include air-conditioning, and discounts are given for longer stays.
The best thing about Hotel Gran Bahía Principe El Portillo (Carretera a El Portillo–El Limón, tel. 809/240-6100, www.bahia-principe.com , US$240 d) is its surroundings. This all-inclusive is four kilometers away from Las Terrenas , placed on lush grounds on a marvelous beach. It has 204 rooms and 192 junior suites and has all that can be expected from any all-inclusive chain resort in terms of comfort needs and things to occupy your time (tennis, water sports, aerobics, dancing, etc.). Although the surroundings make it beautiful, it can also give the resort a feeling of isolation. As it stands, this resort is not a “throw-down party,” despite their efforts with the nightly entertainment. No, instead what you will find is a relaxing environment where on the porch of your room you can hear the busy sounds of the tropical nights. The rooms are spacious and comfortable. Request one that is in a block closer to the beach. The higher the block number, the farther from the beach.