Better than they say!

We stayed at The Playa Las Ballenas Penthouse for nine nights in early April and it was simply wonderful – from the moment we arrived!

Our family included our three children (12, 8 & 6) and my husband’s mother (86-years old) and the condo was fantastic! There was plenty of space for all six of us, comfortable places to hangout (for adults and kids), nice comfy beds, beautiful views, great location, great pool, great access to the beach and some nearby beach restaurants (fun with yummy food and drinks) and amenities that made our stay perfect (laundry and hot tub are a plus)!

We are not the all inclusive type and really enjoy having a low key breakfast as the kids wake up at different times, while we are able to enjoy coffee, a book and a great view – the deck near the kitchen was our “go to” space (also worked for enjoying rum punch after the kids went to bed)! Most mornings were then spent at the pool, which was an easy walk, warm and easy to enter/exit (zero entry on one end) and never busy! Our afternoons consisted of sailing and hanging out on Playa Bellenas or other nearby beaches (Playa Bonita – surfing, Punta Popi – near town, etc). We also did some really fun excursions through both Arena Tours and Flora Tours (both located in town) and they picked us up right outside the condo.

If we wanted to stay near the condo for dinner, we needed to eat early at Sol y Mar (they were usually closing up by 5pm) or a beach shack just a little further down the beach (our favorite) owned by a French guy and he would stay open until after 6pm for us (great shrimp, fish, chicken and pasta – which he would make plain for picky 6-year old)! OR, we simply drove to town and ate at one of the many great places! There were plenty of other places that would have been about a 20-minute walk from the condo, but would have been a little too far for grandma. In-between the Sol y Mar and the French shack is another shack which had awesome mojitos (which we would get to go and enjoy while building sandcastles).

We rarely find a place (both location and lodging) that we would want to revisit in the near future; however, we believe we will be back to this condo within the next five years!

  • Review Submitted: 25-Apr-2016
  • Date of Stay: March 2016
Amy F. Lakeville, MN


Loved loved loved this apartment and the area! A little hard to find but no big deal. Felt safe, had so much fun and ate delicious meals prepared by Alita.

  • Review Submitted: 17-Jan-2018
  • Date of Stay: January 2018
Francesca G.

Beautiful! The penthouse is the highest quality and the location fantastic.

The penthouse is beautiful, bedrooms, living space, kitchen – all beautifully made and of the highest quality. The location is gorgeous and the beach fantastic. The property manager, Genesis, is very helpful and professional. Alida, who cleans and also can cook for you if you want, is wonderful and we enjoyed her cooking a lot. The only problem you have to be prepared for are mosquitos, bring an insect repellent. We had a wonderful time staying there and are definitely thinking about going again.

  • Review Submitted: 01-Jan-2018
  • Date of Stay: December 2017
Ulf L.


My family and I stayed at the penthouse just a couple of weeks ago, and we had the most amazing vacation. The penthouse is gorgeous, spacious, and had the most spectacular views of the most beautiful beach I had ever seen. The penthouse itself had three big bedrooms, an open concept, that was very nicely decorated, and was well-equipped with everything we could have possibly needed. The design of the penthouse was to emphasize the beauty of the surroundings of the penthouse; the beach, vegetation, the beautiful river that flowed in front of the apartment. The team in charge of the renting of the penthouse was incredible, and were very efficient and helpful. Also, they gave us a lot of tips and valuable information, and always answered all of our questions. They always responded quickly whenever we needed something. Elliot, the owner, was also very prompt and very nice whenever answering any questions I had, Every morning when I woke up, and opened my bedroom door, the first thing I saw was this beautiful paradise that joyously filled me up with happiness.

The location was close to restaurants, stores, bars, lounges; anything we could have possibly needed. When we stayed at the penthouse, we visited five other beaches that were more beautiful than the last, which were no more than 20 minutes away from the penthouse. One of the things that we all loved, especially the kids, was being able to use the four-wheelers as a form of transportation ,since Las Terrenas allows those vehicles to be used as a form of transportation. The kids loved going beach hopping on the four-wheelers.

This was one of the most greatest and memorable family vacation, we’ve ever had. And we are already planning our next vacation to Las Terrenas, and if available, we would love to stay at the penthouse again. it is the most beautiful property in Playa Las ballenas.

  • Review Submitted: 13-Aug-2017
  • Date of Stay: July 2017
Dilcia L.

Great getaway location and a beautiful penthouse.

The penthouse is amazing. It is large and roomy. There are three large bedrooms each with their own bath. The location is perfect for a week long getaway. We only had two couples, but we could have had another with us and we each would have had our own space. Alida the housekeeper, and her daughter were amazing. Alida cooked a fantastic meal for us. Her daughter was her sous chef. Celine was very helpful when we needed something. I asked if there were playing cards or dominos.

She responded by bringing them to the penthouse. I cannot say enough about the penthouse. The kitchen is modern and spacious. There are patios on both ends and one of them has a hot tub. We thought that would be a big plus, but we didn’t end up using it as we spent most of our time in the pool, at the beach, walking to and around Las Terrenas or on the patio outside of the kitchen. The pool is large and we usually shared it with only a few people. The beach restaurant everyone raves about was not open the entire week we were there (Sol y Mar), so we did not get to try them out. We also did not know how to use paddle boards or the other things that are offered with the rental, as we got our wires crossed with Celine somehow on the first night, but we did fine without them. We had a carefree, relaxing seven days in the sun. We will definitely be back to this amazing place. Next time I will know more French, as there is a strong French influence on this part of the island

  • Review Submitted: 29-May-2017
  • Date of Stay: May 2017
Gayle B.

Gorgeous views, tranquil atmosphere with a wonderful caretaker

My husband and I visited for a week in April with our 4 children and my parents. We had the most lovely stay. It rained several days we were there, yet that didn’t change the beauty or ruin our experience! Rather, we had a beautiful top level view of storms and sea and enjoyed opening up all the sliding wooden doors and windows to feel like we were outside at all times. We brought cards and games so even when it was raining it was a relaxing, cozy vacation.

Celine was a FANSTASTIC host. Our fabulous experience was largely attributable to her. Staying in this house was like having our own private home but with all the benefits of having a concierge to help coordinate travel, chefs, etc. I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend requesting A few meals to be cooked for you while there – that was a highlight.

The house was cleaned for us daily (included) at the time most convenient for us. It’s a little off the beaten path but we chose not to rent a car and it was easier that way. Celine coordinated our travel to/from the airport in Samto Domingo ($180 each way). Otherwise we walked the distance to town a few times & took motorbike taxis other times. You can easily rent ATVs or small cars for ~$40-60/day to explore while there.

We had the pool nearly to ourselves the whole week so the kids were back and forth from fresh water to salt water to the brackish water in the little river that outlasts into the ocean right in front of the complex.

My only disappointment was that the hot tub was not in order during our stay. We might’ve used that occasionally in the evenings otherwise.

Overall a great find and a big thanks too Celine for making our stay so wonderful.

  • Review Submitted: 11-May-2017
  • Date of Stay: April 2017

Wonderful stay

Exactly as the pictures, went with two other couples, condo is beautiful. Unit is clean and well appointed. Lots of space to relax as a group or individually- did not feel crowded at all. Bathrooms were clean and spacious, water pressure was perfect. Occasional blips with electricity brown outs but the essentials were always working with a generator. Beach within a few feet- walked to town almost everyday. Would definitely return and recommend to anyone looking for luxury with a local flair.

  • Stayed in Jan 2018

Wow what a space!

This really is a stunning penthouse with a fantastic colonial vibe, great facilities and stunning views. Very communicative host and local staff who reacted efficiently to any requests. The main space has beautiful hardwood floors which are a pleasure to walk around on and the well equipped kitchen is a joy to use. Two big terraces, one for cooking just outside the kitchen and one at the other end near the two main bedrooms which is very private and home to the hot tub which got plenty of use. Steps from a huge pool and a beautiful beach. Town is a five minute drive away so you really need transport unless you like a long walk but the apartment is so stunning we hardly left during our stay! Highly recommended and looking forward to going back.

  • Stayed in Nov 2017
Michael Scates