Our Most Frequently Asked Questions
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.
Absolutely! The Dominican Republic is literally the most traveled to destination in the entire Caribbean and has been for a number of years. At the same time, in any country you can venture into areas where unsavory characters are to be found. Our villa is located in a rural community — not smushed into the middle of a massive tourism area — so there are fewer of these unsavory characters compared to other destinations.
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.
Yes, the Dominican Republic will charge a fee of US $10 that is payable in cash only upon arrival at the airport.
For most visitors you need only a valid international passport.
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.
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! (only available at POP airport)
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 chauffeur you right to the villa!
The nearest airport is the Samana Int’l (AZS), about 40 minutes from the villa. The next nearest is Puerto Plata (POP), about 90 minutes drive from the villa. The other one used by our guests is Santo Domingo (SDQ), about 120 minutes drive from the villa because airfare can sometimes be very affordable through that airport. Do not consider Punta Cana…it’s over 5 hours from here!
Yes, within the rural areas of Cabrera and Rio San Juan are many casual restaurants, discos and bars. The Dominican people truly love to party and will welcome you to enjoy their island with them!
Yes, our concierge can help arrange it. However, and this is important, driving in the Dominican Republic is a lot like playing a video game — without the reset button. Animals, kids and random things appear on the streets as if by magic so unless you are very good you may find yourself in trouble. We don’t recommend renting cars for this reason but if you insist, we will get the best local ones we can find. Note: Hertz, National, Avis and others are only available at the major airports.
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.
Each bedroom has its own en suite bathroom and these bathrooms each have a hair dryer in it. We do not provide toiletries but we do provide towels, toilet paper, facial tissues and more. If you forget something you need we can help obtain it from the local stores for you.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Yes, but they are limited as we are more of a rural community as opposed to an over-crowded tourism hotspot. Here, you will mingle with the ‘true Dominican’ people. We encourage guests to venture out so long as they do it safely.
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.
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.
Absolutely! The villa has a dedicated wedding planner who can plan anything from simple to extravagant. If you have a special anniversary, birthday party or any other special event we can help make it truly memorable for you.
Generally speaking, 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.
The villa has private security that is at the villa 24/7 in the case of any emergency in the villa. Once you contact them, they will immediately notify the villa concierge and any necessary emergency responders.
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.