We realize this may be the first time you have ever traveled to the Dominican Republic, much less stayed in a private vacation rental such as ours. So to help you we have compiled the following list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) from past guests. Hopefully this will help provide you with the information you need but if you have a question we have not listed here, please feel free to contact us so we can assist you better.
Q: Where in the Caribbean is the Dominican Republic located?
The Dominican Republic occupies 2/3 of the island of Hispaniola, the second largest island in the Caribbean after Cuba. Located at approximately the same latitude as Hawaii, the Dominican Republic has a temperate tropical climate with pristine, unspoiled beaches and some of the world’s most exciting golf courses.
Q. What documents do I need to have?
For most visitors you need only a valid international passport.
Q. Are there any tourist taxes?
Yes, the Dominican Republic will charge a fee of US $10 that is payable in cash only upon arrival at the airport.
Q. What is the weather like in the Dominican Republic?
Villa Castellamonte is located on the northern coast of the island facing directly eastward. This positioning over the ocean allows the villa to enjoy full time westerly breezes (east-west trade winds), keeping the area cool and dry. Our average temperature is 82 degrees.
Q: Which airport should I fly into and how far away is it?
The nearest airport is located in Puerto Plata (POP), about 90 minutes drive from the villa. The next nearest is Santo Domingo (SDQ), about 120 minutes drive from the villa. But if you are arriving from Europe, Canada or have a private aircraft you should look into arriving into Samana Int'l (AZS), only 40 minutes from the villa (by US carriers do not fly into that airport yet).
Q: When I arrive at the airport, how do I get to the villa?
If you are using the taxi services, which we recommend, the villa concierge will need you to send your itinerary prior to arrival. A dedicated taxi will meet you just after customs holding a large sign with your name on it and "Castellamonte". The taxi(s) will help you load your luggage and chauffer you right to the villa!
Q: What is the airport VIP service and how do I arrange it?
One of the exclusive services we can provide is the VIP service at the airport (add’l fee applies). When you sign up for VIP arrival, you are met by a representative of the villa and escorted into a private waiting lounge at the airport. There you can enjoy some snacks, mixed drinks or cool, refreshing Presidente beer. Your luggage is collected for you and the passport officials will come to the lounge instead of you going to them. Relax, you are on vacation!
Q: Once I get there, how do I get around to the sights and into town?
We recommend relying on the local taxi services because they are safe, secure, easily on demand when you want them and relieve you of the stress of driving, locating gasoline and worrying about accidents and insurance.
Q. Is there any nightlife or places to go dancing in the local area?
Yes, within the nearby rural towns of Cabrera and Rio San Juan are many casual restaurants, discos and bars. The Dominican people welcome you and truly enjoy having a wonderful time...as will you!
Q: What electicity is available at the villa?
Electrical appliances run on 110v (60Hz), the U.S. standard. The villa has redundant power generators for when the Dominican Republic power grid falters (which is often). You are never without electricity!
Q: What kind of Internet connectivity is there at the villa?
The villa offers high speed DSL connectivity free of charge. Throughout the property the DSL is secure wireless b/g/n with DHCP routing. Please consult your manuals or technology professional for configuration assistance, no one at the villa is trained in technical support issues such as this.
Q: Is there a telephone at the villa for guest usage?
Yes, we provide a Skype telephone preloaded with US $25. This should allow everyone in your group to call easily without incurring additional charges since Skype is so inexpensive. Skype ID: villa.castellamonte and Skype telephone number:
Q: Are there safes for valuables at the villa?
Each bedroom has its own, secure safe similar to those found in leading hotels. You enter in your own code to secure your valuables. Should you forget the code, for a replacement fee we can gain access to the safe by drilling the lock.
Q: Are hair dryers and toiletries provided at the villa?
Each bedroom has its own en suite bathroom and these bathrooms each have a hair dryer in it. We do not provide toiletries but if you forget something we can help obtain it from the local stores for you.
Q. What is the currency of the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican Republic uses the Dominican Peso (RD) as their currency. It fluctuates against the US dollar and most businesses will accept either currency. We do not recommend purchasing a lot of RD unless you are going to spend it all here; getting it changed back into your currency is very difficult and expensive.
Q. There is a beach at the villa but are there other ones nearby?
There are no less than six (6) beaches in the local area, all within about 15 minutes drive of the villa. You should take time to visit each one of them because each beach is different from the other. Some of the beaches are very swimmable while others are not; please be careful near the ocean everywhere.
Q. Can I have a special event, such as a destination wedding, at the villa?
Absolutely! The villa has a dedicated wedding planner who can plan anything from simple to extravagent. If you have a special anniversary, birthday party or any other special event we can help make it truly memorable for you.
Q. Do I have to rent the villa to use it for a special occasion?
Yes, we have a three (3) night minimum during low or mid season and a four (4) night minimum during high season.
Q. Can I change my reservation after it has been confirmed?
Yes, providing it is not a holiday week and we have availability for when you want to change it to. There may be a nominal change fee. Holiday weeks cannot be changed.
Q. Can I cancel my reservation?
Once your reservation is confirmed, which only occurs after we receive the initial 50% rental deposit, you can cancel but may not receive a refund. Cancellations prior to 70 days of arrival, we retain a twenty percent (20%) cancellation fee. Cancellations within 70 days or on holiday weeks receive no refund.
Q. Are there nearby medical facilities?
Yes. Within the town of Cabrera are medical clinics that are very good at handing emergencies. Should a medical emergency exceed their expertise, the nearest hospital is located in Nagua (25 miles away). Major medical hospitals are located in Santiago and Santo Domingo as well.