Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions2016-10-29T12:44:42-04:00

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.

Is it safe in the Dominican Republic?2016-07-18T21:43:49-04:00

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.

What is the weather like in the Dominican Republic?2016-07-17T02:57:17-04:00

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.

Are there any tourist taxes?2016-07-17T02:56:47-04:00

Yes, the Dominican Republic will charge a fee of US $10 that is payable in cash only upon arrival at the airport.

What documents do I need to have?2016-07-17T02:56:24-04:00

For most visitors you need only a valid international passport.

Where in the Caribbean is the Dominican Republic located?2016-07-17T02:54:54-04:00

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.

What is the airport VIP service?2016-07-17T02:54:24-04:00

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)

When I arrive at the airport, how to I get to the villa?2016-07-17T02:53:59-04:00

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!

Which airport should I fly into and how far away is it?2016-07-17T02:53:14-04:00

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!

What is the nightlife like in Cabrera?2016-07-17T02:52:48-04:00

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!

Can I rent a car locally?2016-10-29T12:44:53-04:00

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.

Once I get there, how do I get around to the sights and into town?2016-07-17T02:50:13-04:00

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.

Are hair dryers and toiletries provided at the villa?2016-07-17T02:49:49-04:00

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.

Are there there in-room safes for valuables at the villa?2016-07-17T02:48:52-04:00

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.

Is there a telephone at the villa for guest usage?2016-07-17T02:48:22-04:00

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.

What kind of Internet connectivity is there at the villa?2016-07-17T02:48:02-04:00

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.

What is the electricity at the villa?2016-07-17T02:47:34-04:00

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!

Are there local restaurants and bars to hang out at?2016-07-17T02:47:10-04:00

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 is a beach at the villa but are there other ones nearby?2016-07-17T02:45:39-04:00

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.

What is the currency in the Dominican Republic?2016-07-17T02:45:16-04:00

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.

Do I have to rent the villa to use it for a special occasion?2018-11-22T20:12:26-05:00

Yes, we have minimum number of nights depending upon the time of year.  You can check our rates and the minimum nights here.

Can I have a special event, such as a destination wedding, at the villa?2016-07-17T02:44:17-04:00

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.

Can I cancel my reservation after it has been confirmed?2016-07-17T03:16:28-04:00

Once a rental confirmation has been issued you are still able to cancel the reservation but there will be fees associated with it. Check with us for the latest cancellation policy as it is detailed in the rental agreement.

Can I change my reservation after it has been confirmed?2016-07-17T03:16:36-04:00

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.

Are there staff at the villa 24/7?2016-07-17T02:42:42-04:00

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.

Are there nearby medical facilities?2016-07-17T02:42:11-04:00

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.