I feel I did not have quite the experience as other visitors of Michaela had. I believe this is partly due to my young age, compared to other renters, and also not renting the nicest apartment she had available. If you are looking for an experience that really submerses you in the Dominican culture, then I would recommend staying at a condo over a resort. While staying at a condo saves a lot of money upfront, you also need to factor in the $35-45 cab ride each way, electricity bill (mine cost $45 for 5 nights, I turned the AC on every night), drinks at the beach, excursions, groceries, etc.
I really do think Michaela is a friendly person and my initial experiences with her were positive. As the trip progressed, it seemed as though she paid little attention to us and was stretched too short with renting so many apartments. As many other reviews stated, she called a taxi to and from the airport for us, which was really nice. She met us at the apartment and recommended places to go, restaurants to eat at, and excursions to go on. She went through this material really fast it, and it was hard to grasp everything she was saying since we had just arrived to the island. When we contacted her about this information later on, she never replied or we never received a message from her.
The best attribute of the apartment we stayed at was its close proximity to multiple beaches. It was a 5-10 minute walk to multiple beaches. The downfall was finding beach access. Almost all of the beaches around this area have private resorts that will not allow visitors. It can be very difficult to find a shady place to sit in the afternoon if you do not stay at a resort.
At this apartment that Michaela was renting, it was pretty dilapidated. There were quite a few bugs, no hot water, the fridge barely kept food cold while running at its highest setting, the washer made my clothes smell rotten, insufficient cooking utensils, no trash cans, and the beds were extremely stiff and uncomfortable. In addition to this frustration, we had to buy a lot of house hold items when we arrived. We had to buy toilet paper, paper towels and napkins, hand soap, dish soap, and laundry detergent. We texted Michaela several times about if she would provide these items or if we needed to buy them ourselves, and she never replied to any of the messages. I understand that some of these items we need to restock ourselves but the fact we had to buy so many items for the apartment was frustrating.
In conclusion, I recommend staying with Michaela. She is very well spoken in English and Spanish and very approachable. If I had to redo this trip, I would spend $20 more a night and stay at a nicer place.