Happy Haven on a Hill
To truly grasp the real feel of Casa Mar Vista, I think you might need to be a bird.
Breezy, expansive skies, and trees were full and alive with a symphony of bird chatter during my stay at Casa Mar Vista. Morning, noon, and night, birds of one voice informed us that they were sharing this beautiful and peaceful place with us.
Each new day on happy hill awakened me with tweets at sunrise; and I do not mean twitter dot come tweets. As I descended downstairs mornings for coffee and meditation, a joyful choir of birds enthusiastically announced the fresh new day. It seems that this is their calling, and they take it seriously. In the backyard sits an inviting wrought iron bench with matching table facing a stunning ocean view—perfect for my coffee cup.
Movie Playing in the Sky
The sky view from the yard reminds me of a drive-in movie playing an ever-changing horizon–a little like the giant wide-screen TV upstairs. From my sky perch, I saw black birds merge onto their own sky freeway from the west, then light on treetops to the east. Grey and white birds fly from south to north, to and from the ocean. Others land on the thick terra-cotta fence–chirp, then jump down to the lawn. Here, I witnessed how the early bird gets the worm in action as they happily hopped around pecking for their breakfast meal.
Free as a Bird Over Sosua and Beyond
The rooftop terrace with its spiral staircase leads to another dimension of views at Casa Mar Vista. From this third floor perch, you will find yourself above the treetops! With a 360 degree birds-eye view, not only can you scan the expansive ocean horizon; but also the entire Isabel de Torres mountain range which looms over Puerto Plata, about 20 miles away.
Speaking of vistas, do not miss the cable ride to the top to reach Isabel de Torres National Park! Cable technology pulls the aerial tramway up the steep mountainside, while you look down through clear plexiglass floor-to-ceiling windows! Leave early in the morning for this day trip, as weather usually brings clouds and rains in the afternoon at the top. Bring a camera and wear comfortable walking shoes. The ride cost is about $9 (400 pesos, or $10 USD) which takes you 2,600 feet up from Puerto Plata at sea level to the mountaintop. While on top, roam through acres of botanical gardens; shop in a Dominican souvenir mall; bring a picnic lunch or dine at a mountaintop restaurant; and take in the best views for miles and miles around. The phone number to the tram is (809) 970-0501.
North Coast Peeping Hills
This spacious 4-bedroom 4-bath 3-story home sits in a hilly countryside development minutes from Sosua on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic. LOMAS MIRONAS, which roughly translates as “Peeping Hills,” refers to the ability to see everything. The pure natural color scheme of these hills includes neon green foliage, blissful cloud-decorated skies, and pure ocean blues.
If you like to feel extra safe while visiting a developing country; you might consider staying in a gated community. The downside is that gated communities are distinctively separated from the beauty of nature. Although Lomas Mironas community is not officially gated, you will experience and appreciate independence, peace, serenity, and a wonderful exposure to the natural unspoiled Dominican Republic countryside.
Independent & Secure
This home is fully independent with it own electronic gate, garage, water well, solar power, and fenced with a thick solid wall, and all windows completely secured. Like everything in this house, the security features are solid. Although the Lomas Mironas community has a few private security guards on watch, you may ask for additional private security options for this house with your booking package.
To get to the property, drive through Sosua towards Cabarete on Highway 5; and turn right about one mile outside of Sosua at the LOMAS MIRONAS gate just after Seahorse Ranch on the left. The road to the home is nearly one mile after two simple turns. It is best to rent a car, and park it in the garage behind an automated gate protecting the compound. This makes it safe and convenient for unloading packages, groceries, suitcases, and the like.
Behind the Scenery
Besides writing this article, my intention was to soak in the beautiful vision where sky meets ocean. This magical horizon clears the mental landscape, resets emotions, and purifies thoughts. To that end, our computer equipment is strategically situated on the solid mahogany dining table near the expansive glass doors framing the wide ocean vista. The dining table and eight chairs seem like they would last a few lifetimes! Three of us work at this table–one writer, one photographer, and one website person. We keep each other company and inspired.
Behind every spectacular view is the house that frames that view. This home combines old-fashioned craftsmanship with high-end and high-tech goodies. Conveniences, comforts, and common luxuries for your stay are key. Whether on a full-time vacation, or if like us, you need to work using a laptop and WiFi, you’ll have all these things at your fingertips at Casa Mara Vista.
Vintage Look & Feel
The outer appearance of the home is unassuming with simple white thick walls and terra-cotta roofs–which by contrast, makes the inside surprisingly stunning! Most of the home was originally built by Germans, and every nook and cranny shows the impeccable craftsmanship for which the Germans are known. In the round turret area of the home, curved walls and custom-made bathrooms include unique shapes, angles, and features such as glass sinks, tiled areas, and unique decor. The rock-pebbled mosaic shower creates the experience of bathing in nature.
With thick molded walls, round turret sections, and “wood flooring look” tiled floors, the house feels like a solid, secure fortress. The home is older, and combined with its superior construction quality, exudes genuine vintage in tone, look, and feel. The interior decor is whimsical, colorful, and vintage tropical, with collectible items reminiscent of the art deco and fifties era. The Macaw Parrot is a colorful theme, with at least 16 beautiful replicas, paintings, and posters of this gorgeous bird placed throughout the home. Beautifully framed art deco style posters of Cuba, San Blas, Hawaii, St. Tropez, the Blue Parrot Lounge; and other famous beach spots around the world are elegantly sprinkled throughout the home.
The Upstairs Bar
The bar in the massive great room upstairs offers great indoor fun! Decorated in classic vintage style with touches like the Corona Beer neon sign, Coca Cola ice chest, Rock around the Clock wall clock; and colorful depression glass; this setting instantly brings back memories of the famous German produced 1952 Cuban Cabana movie. Sit down; grab a Corona and lime; or a blend up a natural pina colada; turn on the musica’ with Bose sound; grab a partner; and envision yourself dancing in a Caribbean era of 60 years gone by.
Cooking up Some Fun
On the spur of the moment, we invited a few friends for a small bar-b-que, and fired up the grill without thinking to first test. It worked! In the backyard is a top-of-the-line Brinkman gas grill–the secret star of the show. With plenty of outside seating near the pool, the grilled chicken and hamburger was a hit. Although this older home is solidly and classically built, it seem surprising that the kitchen includes brand new contemporary gourmet equipment with high-end Whirlpool microwave oven and refrigerator, all stainless steel.
The dishwasher, range, oven are industrial strength stainless steel as well. The kitchen pots and pans are not ordinary–the are superb cooking tools. The rebuilt refrigerator ice maker now makes ice from safe-to-drink purified water. So clever! The owners have orchestrated everything perfectly in the kitchen. This typical country dinner of home-cooked black beans, potato salad, grilled chicken, hamburger, chips and salsa, with fresh bread baked was yummy. What a dream to cook in this high-end gourmet kitchen. It was so easy to cook, that I was not too tired to enjoy the festivities.
High-Tech Vintage Home
This home is an intriguing blend of high-tech luxury & unique vintage styling; and all accessories are at the luxury level. If you need WiFi and Internet service, no worries here. The signal is strong, and even has a second signal upstairs. Wherever you want to plugin a laptop, convenient power strips are handy. Fans that spin like helicopter propellers are generously installed throughout the home including in the big master bedroom walk in closet, bathrooms, and outside on the lanai area. With ocean breeze, fans, and air conditioners, even people from cool climates find comfort in the hottest of days and nights here.
The home comes equipped with three flat screen TV’s– in the gym, master bedroom, and one 50-inch TV in the living room. The fabulous thing about the TV in the living room is the Bose sound system which is top of the line and makes the experience like being in a theater! The host management company went the extra mile and provided us with an HTML cord to hook up a laptop and drive Netflix to the big screen. What a blast!
The Spacious Spread
Equipped with en suite bathrooms, all four private bedrooms offer top of the line lighting, fans, air conditioners, and more than enough closet space. Every bed in the home is an excellent quality and includes a pillow top mattress. Colorful soft reversible quilts adorn all beds which give each bedroom a comfortable and personalized touch. The master bedroom feels like the fortress of this fortress. The bedroom includes a high king-sized bed with memory foam pillows that rivals any five-star hotel room with its flat screen TV, and ocean view balcony. The furniture in the bedrooms is solid mahogany with detailed craftsmanship. Genuine stained-glass lamps mimic colors in the room.
I always wanted to live in a home with an upstairs living room, and this upstairs living room meets my fantasy. The view of the ocean is stunning on this higher level. This room is the biggest room in the home and could comfortably seat 15 people in its many couches, table in the bar area, and a couple of over-sized chairs. This is the ultimate entertainment area, with the 50-inch screen TV, a small bar area, and a secondary couch area in between the main seating area. We enjoyed several “movie nights” in this room and I am sure ‘move night’ awaits the next family who books this vacation rental.
To sit and gaze at the stunning view all day may not be everyone’s idea of the ideal vacation. I have felt oneness with the birds, nature, and the ocean view. But looking at the ocean might not be enough for some—they might want to get out into that beautiful water!
A nearby local type beach can be found by driving down to the main highway and turning right. Drive about 2 miles to the Perla Marina Development. You will turn left into the gated security area. To get inside the development tell them you are going to the Natura Cabana Restaurant. Then drive down the main road following the signs to Natura Cabana. Park in their parking lot, then walk through the complex to the beach. The law of the land in the Dominican Republic is that beach front properties must allow public access to the beach. Natura Cabana Restaurant offers some of the finest natural food around. Any meal or drink can be served to you on the beach and beach chairs are available for rent.
Sosua Bay Beach
To enjoy a public beach, Sosua Beach offers some of the clearest, safest swimming water in the area. You may rent chairs and umbrellas and will have access to food, drinks, and shops. To get to Sosua Beach, head on the main highway 5 past Playero Supermarket on the edge of Sosua towards the airport and Puerto Plata. After a short bit of lush foliage, you will see a multitude of cars and motorcycles parked on the beach side of the road. Pull over and find a parking spot. Access to Sosua Beach is from stairs that lead down to the beach area. You will find scuba and snorkeling shops, equipment, and guides, as well as boats to take you fishing, snorkeling or scuba diving. After a long day of fun in the sun, you might want to go out to eat.
What’s for Dinner? Formal or Take-out?
Casa Veintiuno has been rated by Trip Adviser as the #1 restaurant in the Dominican Republic for several years; and lives up to its reputation. The eight-ten table restaurant is part of a boutique hotel on the west edge of Sosuai. Since it small, you will need to make reservations. The restaurant is owned by Mark and Saskia, originally from Belgium. Service is excellent, and food is the freshest and best in the area. Exquisitely served with beauty and joy, I recommend the Blackened Dorado (fish) and the red house wine (the best house wine in the area). Let them know that Deborah from The Vacation Rental Travel Guide sent you! Make reservations on Facebook or call 1-829-341-8551. To “order in,” Ceiba Cafe & Pizzeria is nearby in Perla Marina which delivers excellent Italian pizza in 15-20 minutes. For delivery call 1-829-868-8808. They speak English or Spanish.
The closest grocery store is minutes away in Sosua on the main highway called Super Pola. Super Pola is the Dominican Republic equivalent of the Wal-Mart grocery section in the USA. Here you may find fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh-baked bread goods, deli meats and cheeses and much of the items you will find in your home country. If you buy imported goods (items from the USA or Europe) your bill can be pricey, so look for the local dairy, cheeses, and foods to keep your grocery bill reasonable. Super Polo accepts debit and credit cards, as well as USD dollars and pesos. Playero is the older market at the other end of Sosua towards Puerto Plata which carries many more imported items for those who have more specialty tastes.
Happy Haven on a Hill
If you are creative, and enjoy unique experiences, this unusual home may be the ideal vacation rental for you. The tropical vintage decor is fun, light, and unique! The birds-eye view the home offers, could be the perfect setting for the vacation of a lifetime. It certainly has been that for me.
Professional Vacation Rental Management
The management for this property is among the very best in the area. With Diamond Coast Properties you can count on honesty, integrity, and quick, intelligent service for anything that may need adjusting. They know and love this area. Therefore, when you stay in one of their vacation homes, they make your feel like family during your stay. Their service and hospitality is prompt and unparalleled. Their 26 years of serving this area brings wisdom and understanding of the Dominican Republic. This is a priceless extra that money cannot buy. During low season (June through November) the owner offers half-price stays! For more information and to book this place call Marchelina Akrabova at +1 809-817-6706, or Alex Akrabov at 1-849-354-0144. You may email the at [email protected]
Category Placement: CASA MAR VISTA in Sosua, Dominican Republic falls into the category of Unusually Unique Vacation Rentals; and we also like it for Family Focused as it is ideal for large gatherings. It can also be placed in the Retreat and Events category.
Comments Welcome: Make a comment below (we work hard…give us some love!) on any of our Live Reviews by Travel Writer Liz Manduca, Emily Yurcheshen, Mike Jabon, Luz (Lulu) Orozco, Cindy White, Robert Munster, Deborah Nelson, or Renee Fontaine, and get a FREE Digital version of The Vacation Rental Travel Guide when it is hot off the press!