A quiet, peaceful gem! My husband and I highly recommend Casa Colonial. We booked a package through Luxury Link in early '06 and they were extremely flexible about changing our dates (twice). We ended up going in early November '06.

On arrival, we walked into the tall atriumfoyer with floor-to-ceiling breezy white drapes, lots ofgleaming marble and a totally tranquil, spa-likearoma.We were greeted with warm hand towels and tropical cocktails at the check-in desk (a large office desk - there is no counter, thankfully). From there, we were taken to our ocean-view suite, complete withguest bathroom, living room, dining room, ocean-view balcony, separate "tub room", dual-vanity bathroom, walk-in cedar-lined closet with a more than ample supply of wooden hangers and a personalsafe, plus fresh flowers, bottle of wine and fruit tray. Within minutes, 2 housekeepers arrived to run us a hot bath andsprinkled rose petals in the bath tub, on the bathroom floor,in the bedroom and on the bed with 2 swans they made out ofhand towels, and supplemented the flowers withlots of votive candles. It was the perfect way to wind down from a very longday of travel (commercial Delta flight followed by a Cessna flight for 2 on Air Century from Santa Domingo). Note: Air Century got us there and back, but their idea of timing is always 90-120 minutes late.

Staff: Estelle and Frank in the Veranda restaurant are fabulous - they will always have a smile and will go above and beyond for you. We highly recommend the "Dominican Breakfast". Reynaldo inLucia restaurant is outstanding. He truly understands how to read his guests, knows when to disappear andwhen to be present. HINT: ifyoueatdinner in Lucia before 9:00PM, you will probably have the dining room (and staff) entirely to yourself.Special Occasion? Ask the Executive Chef about a private dinner for 2 in the beachside pavilion. You'll have to pay$50US extra for the set-up (which includes a personal server [we asked for and got Reynaldo], a buss boy, a table for 2 withorchid & candles, candles and rose petals placed along the path and stairs up to the pavilion and candles around the perimeter of the pavilion, reflecting off the marble floor.)We found that the food at the hotel was the best on the island after going off-site for 3 dinners and being disappointed.

Caution: Be leary of off-site excursions and dinner reservations suggested by"Freddie" the concierge. None were worth the money. We found a rate sheet in a taxi that told us we were being over-charged for the taxi fares and the foodwas poor to average at the restaurants he recommended. Our "private guide" who was supposed totake us on a tour of the island ended up being nothing more than an expensive driver whotookusplaces, let us out of the car and then wait in the air-conditioned car while we "toured" on our own. Freddie is extremely personable and volunteered to show us the Presidential Suite (interestingly a non ocean-view) and a Penthouse Suite (ocean-view).

Spa: My husband and Ihad massages and I had a bikini wax. My massage (by the spa manager) was good, but not great. My husband's massage was fantastic. As an avid,long-time regular bikini waxer - heed my advice. Get your wax at home before you get here. I was bruised (black and blue) for 2 days and had difficulty walking.

In general, we found Casa Colonial to be extremely peaceful and relaxing - definitely not for people looking for a strong nightlife. The staff (overall) was fabulous and really made us feel at home. It was worth the challenging travel to get there and we would be happy to return.