Within walking distance of local shops, bars, and restaurants
Free parking and Wi-Fi
Not an all-inclusive (a pro for some)
Not directly on the beach
Not all rooms have ocean views
No restaurant, spa, or fitness center
A 20-room upscale hotel with apartment-style units, Chateau Del Mar Ocean Villas is a breath of fresh air in a town whose name is practically synonymous with the words “all-inclusive.” Although you won’t find amenities such as an on-site restaurant, spa, or fitness center, the hotel has a small pool, prime central location, and offers a breakfast package at the restaurant across the street. Well-equipped apartments have simple, modern furnishings and full kitchens; they attract families, couples, and friend groups looking to get away from the all-inclusive crowd. In this respect, there’s really nothing else like the Chateau Del Mar in Punta Cana. The adult-only Sivory Punta Cana is another small, quiet property, but rooms don't have kitchens and rates are higher.
A quiet, non-all-inclusive hotel just off the beach
From the entrance, Chateau Del Mar looks like a neatly kept apartment building. High, white walls surround its front courtyard, and guests must enter through a locked gate. Once inside, a trellised patio gives way to the pool area, which has white cushioned lounge chairs and a bar. The lobby is a small reception room to the left of the gated entrance; it packs a punch in terms of design -- stone floors, textured walls, and a slatted wood ceiling make the space aesthetically interesting.
The majority of guests at Chateau Del Mar are families and groups of friends; essentially, travelers who are looking for a little more space than a standard hotel room usually provides. The property itself is small, and tends to remain fairly quiet throughout the day. This is not a place for travelers seeking an all-inclusive experience. Instead it’s better suited for those who’d prefer to get a taste of local life in Punta Cana.
In Bavaro, a lively, tourist-friendly part of Punta Cana that still maintains a local feel
Chateau Del Mar is located on a quiet, residential street in Bavaro -- a tourist-friendly part of Punta Cana that’s also popular with young locals. Though it’s not quite beachfront (it’s blocked by a portion of Barcelo Dominican Beach), Chateau Del Mar is just a one-minute walk to the sand. Bavaro Beach isn’t the prettiest in Punta Cana — it’s narrow, windy, and ravaged by seaweed — but is known for its fun, party vibe and beach activities such as kitesurfing and scuba diving. The property is within walking distance of grocery stores, bars, and some fantastic local restaurants, and is about a 25-minute drive from Punta Cana Airport.
Large, modern apartments with fully equipped kitchens and marble bathrooms
Chateau Del Mar is composed of 20 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. Although apartments are individually decorated, all have luxury finishes such as coral stone tile floors, stainless steel kitchen appliances, and marble bathrooms with rainfall showers. Modern amenities include 40-inch flat-screen TVs, Blu-ray DVD players, and free Wi-Fi (that actually works). All rooms have balconies or patios, some with ocean views, but most are obstructed by the hotel in front of Chateau Del Mar. Apartments are located across three floors and there are no elevators, so guests with mobility limitations or parents traveling with young children may want to request a room on the first floor.
For those who really want to splurge, there's a two-story, three-bedroom luxury penthouse. The 1,600-square-foot apartment has its own 1,500-square-foot rooftop, complete with a bar, private plunge pool, outdoor shower, and six-person sauna -- not to mention excellent ocean views.
A small pool, free parking and Wi-Fi, and two dining packages
Compared to the hundreds of all-inclusive properties in Punta Cana, Chateau Del Mar has a shabby list of amenities. There are no on-site restaurant, spa, gym, or kids' club -- but there are also no buffet lines, restricted areas, or rowdy guests. Instead, Chateau Del Mar has a quiet pool and offers guests free parking and W-Fi (which is surprisingly hard to come by at larger resorts). The small rectangular pool is surrounded by a stone patio and white cushioned lounge chairs. The pool area is also home to a small bar, a few umbrella-covered seating areas, and two small whirlpools.
Guests who don’t want to completely ditch the idea of an all-inclusive vacation can purchase one of two packages. The first package includes daily breakfast at the beach bar and restaurant, Canoa, across the street from the hotel. Guests who buy this package can also use the restaurant’s beach facilities, including beach chairs, hammocks, and palapa-style umbrellas. The second package is a daily pass to the neighboring Barcelo Dominican Beach; the day pass gives guests access to all of the facilities, including the pools, gym, spa, and restaurants.
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