Concierge.com's insider take:
Upscale hotels in Cabarete are still few and far between, especially if you shy away from gaudy all-inclusives. In the meantime, Hotel El Magnifico is your best bet for accessing the town's slew of outdoor and social activities—without sacrificing comfort. The hotel sits on a manicured sprawl of tropical gardens bordering the Atlantic and secluded from the main town by a rocky point. Its 26 studios, suites, and penthouses range in style from Caribbean (bold colors and rattan loungers) to sometimes-bland modern; all have private verandas, kitchens stocked with Presidente beer, and enough space to fit an assembled windsurfer or two. There's no on-site restaurant, but the immensely popular Otra Cosa is next door, and a string of options lie just a short walk down the beach. Be sure to ask for a third-story room; though nearly all rooms face the ocean, the foliage (albeit lovely) blocks the view from lower floors.—Aaron Barker
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