Where to stay
There is no shortage of places to stay in Cabarete and plenty within a windsurfer's budget! We booked the Casablanca Hotel for US$40 per night for a double room with a sea view. This is nice small hotel which is run by a Canadian couple and is set back 2 minutes from the beach on the main road and is approximately a 5 minute walk along the beach to the windsurf centres and launch spots. This price does not include breakfast however there is the use of a kitchen for an additional small charge of US$5 per day or alternatively there is a restaurant attached which is open Tuesday – Sunday between the hours of 08.00 – 14.00 called Claros. This is a really nice place to eat offering a very American cuisine of pancakes and breakfast burritos amongst other things and is good for post surf re-fuel! It is a little on the pricey side though so you may want to reserve this for a treat!
The Casablanca is a nice and convenient place to stay but it was noisy being next to the road and is basic. For more information or enquiries visit their website or you can contact by telephone on 1-809-571-0934. Ask for Cabarete William!
Other places will offer you similarly priced accommodation some also including breakfast and /or dinner or offering apartment facilities.
Ali’s Surf Camp This is a 15 minute walk away from the beach and it set off the main road in a private residential area which is guarded! This place has a great atmosphere and you will be guaranteed to make lots of friends if you are travelling on your own. There is also a really great and reasonably priced restaurant attached which offers a hearty grill menu. This became a favourite place of ours to eat due to the huge and tasty grilled meat and fish and the absence of street vendors peddling items you probably do not need and interrupting your dinner at other beach restaurants!
Residencia Dominicana A clean budget hotel within 10 minutes walk from the beach.
There are also a number of more luxurious options available, some of which we would pass on our walk home and feel ever so slightly envious! These cost approximately US$100 – 150 per room per night including; Velero ; El Magnifico; Palm Beach Condos; Villa Taina amongst many other places.
One of the things which is most prevalent in Cabarete and which I was surprised about is that it is expensive. If you have self catering facilities where you stay there are supermarkets but these are limited. Next to where we stayed was Supermacado Janet which stocks the basics but is limited in choice. You also need to watch your change here as in other places. You will find that you’ll pay a tourist price in contrast to the locals and if the cashier runs out of short change you will be handed a couple of sweets! We thought this was actually a free gesture at first in our naivety but started to wise up after a few days as we realised how much money we were getting through!
Typically we would eat breakfast at a Café, buy lunch from the supermarket and again eat out at a restaurant in the evening.
A good and reasonably priced place to get breakfast is a place called Friends Café which is on the main road next to Dick’s Bakery which also offers value for money. At Friends Café there is a breakfast menu including my favourite which was ‘Friends Wake-up’ with unlimited tea or coffee, fruit, muesli and yogurt bowl and croissant for 110 pesos (about £1.63).
Café Pitu also offers value for money with a range of breakfast option from the full English to a latte!
Dinner options are plenty on the beach which comes alive at night and off the main road you will find some places tucked away. We found the best (and cheapest) to be Ali’s Surf Camp (best grill available); Pomodoro(authentic Italian); El Chino (Chinese); La Casita(seafood); Blue Moon (a 20 minute taxi ride away situated in the mountains offering Indian cuisine in a very magical setting).
Cabarete Bay really comes alive at night and there are plenty of places to hang out at. The local rum is to be recommended and those Cube Libres are particularly potent here which I found out to my cost!
Enjoy sundowners at Voy Voy, Lax, Ono and Bamboo on the beach. Most places will offer happy hour in the early evening to get you in the mood! We didn’t find any clubs in Cabarete as we were often too tired from the windsurfing to make it out and the abundance of wind and good forecast sent us to bed early but I am reliably informed that there is no shortage of parties on the beach. The bars stay open very late and you will hear everything from blaring techno beats to laid back chill.