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“Don't listen to the haters” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Dreams La Romana

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Dreams La Romana
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playa Bayahibe | P.O. Box 80, Bayahibe, Dominican Republic   |  
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Ranked #2 of 12 hotels in Bayahibe
Chicago
1 review
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Don't listen to the haters”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

Before I wrote this review I looked at couple earlier posts. I was surprised to see so many negative reviews of the food. Maybe it was a bad batch of food that was delivered on a particular weekend or something, but we loved the food. Further, there are warnings on all the sinks to not drink the water from the tap, which is obvious. If youre coming from a place like Chicago as we did your body is used to that tap water. If you drink the water here or in mexico or elsewhere, you WILL get sick... its common sense. They stock your room with 5 bottles of water a day and coke in a bottle. awesome, My wife and I came for our honeymoon and had an amazing time. The treatment we received at all of the restaurants was great, and if you can tolerate a couple bugs, eat at the Jungle. If you cant, eat at Bordeaux, they are both amazing.The service staff is phenomenal, they all speak multiple languages and are always smiling and looking to help. The activities are fun if you embrace them. The facilities seem to be pretty well maintained. I will say that the room isn't 5 star but is sufficient. If you are spending more than an hour in your room other than sleep then youre doing something wrong. The entertainment staff is so wonderful and the shows they put on are impressive for a resort in the Dominican.

We will be recommending this resort to others, and again.,,, don't listen to the haters who drank gallons of tap water in a foreign country and got sick.....

Room Tip: don't spend money on an upgrade, you shouldn't be in your room.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Columbus, Ohio
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012

This was my first time staying at a DREAMS property, so I didn't know what to expect. I stayed for 6 nights.

FOOD: This was my first experience at an all-inclusive, and I was pretty impressed with the food choices. I saw some of the negative reviews and can't say I experienced any problems with getting sick during my stay, but since I visit a lot of L.American countries (and don't usually have any issues), maybe that is the reason.

World Cafe: I was really impressed with the selection here. They had something for everybody. For breakfast, they had doughnuts, eggs, bacon, a few different types of sausages, lots of fresh fruit, they would make you an omelette if you wanted, and they had cold cuts, cheese, and bread for the European travelers as well as Spanish-sytle omelettes, and to a lesser extent, Dominican food. The buffet was huge. I would circle around it once trying to decide what I wanted knowing that it would not be possible to try one of everything. Lunch is also nice here and they have the same wide variety of things to choose from. Dinner is based on a theme. Usually I went to one of the International places for dinner.

Seaside Grill: This was also a nice option where you could have lunch right by the ocean. Even though the brochure says this is for snacks, you can order a meal and besides that they have a small salad bar inside with nachos, fruit, cookies, and other items. I was pretty full after eating at the "snack" place.

El Patio: I loved this place EXCEPT for the mosquitoes. The food was good and so were the margaritas! I went here twice during my stay.

Portofino: I had the Lasagna and thought it was very good.

Himitsu: I had the Pad Thai and it was delicious!

Oceana: I did not eat there.

Bordeaux: I had the filet of boeuf and it was very good.

Jungle Restaurant/Barefoot Grill: Did not eat there.

Coco Cafe: I loved this place! I stopped in everyday. It's a Starbuck's style place with coffee and various types of beverages (mocha, cappucino, frappucino, etc.), and also plenty of pastries to choose from. The pastries are very small, so you can try several without feeling like you are stuffed.

The beach: Very nice, but smaller than I expected. It was very pretty, but not as pretty as the one in Cancun, but that is just my opinion.

The pools: Also very nice. There is a very large kids' pool.

Tours: There are a couple of very nice gentlemen who will arrange tours. Even though the hotel arranges them, they are reasonably priced. I really appreciated the help getting a Santo Domingo tour as it was the low season and there weren't many tours going to Santo Domingo on the day that I wanted to go. They do really go out of their way to try to help and get you where you want to go. I also went on a tour of La Romana.

Entertainment: I didn't participate in a lot of the activities, though I did watch Puss in Boots in English with French subtitles. If I have one regret it's that I didn't participate in many activities. If I had it to do again, I would have. I did not visit the nightclub or casino.

Rooms: I had two rooms while I was there. One was a partial ocean view and the other was a garden view.

Partial Ocean View Room: The view of the ocean was completely obstructed by a palm tree. Also, every time you would turn on the water in the sink, some bugs would fly out of the upper drain. Not all of the lights worked in the room, and the coffemaker was missing a part. There was a fake eyelash on the floor when I arrived (not mine!), and the maid must have thought it was mine because the next day she had placed it on the vanity...yuck! I ran out of washcloths one day and waited almost 2 hours for them to bring me one. I was ready to walk around and steal one from a cart...lol.

Garden View Room: This seemed like a better room, but not all of the lights worked, and there was no phone in the room. Right off the bat the toilet was clogged, and because there was no phone in the room, I had to walk to the lobby and tell them what was wrong. I waited for hours, but it was stil not fixed. I had talked to them around 2 or 3 pm and it was finally fixed around 9-10 pm. I guess there was a miscommunication.

Fitness Center: Kind of small and not open very late. I went once, but there was someone in there making a bunch of noise trying to draw attention to himself so I did not go back after that.

Property: Overall the property is very nice. Besides the things that I have already mentioned, they have a gift shop, ATM, flamingoes, and spa. I did visit the spa once while I was there to have my hair braided. Everyone there was nice. The gift shop was hit or miss as sometimes they were nice and other times it seems that they did not really want to deal with you.

Vendors: What can be a little annoying if you are not used to this, is a couple nights a week they have vendors onsite. This can be a plus for people looking to buy souvenirs, but they are a little agressive and I found myself going out of my way and walking a longer distance to avoid them. I know it is probably great for the locals, but if you really aren't interested in buying anything it can be annoying. Also, sometimes outside of World Cafe in the morning there will be people trying to get you to sign up for a breakfast where you will get some "regalos" and have to listen to a sales pitch from someone from the hotel chain. I was not sure why this gentleman was handing me coupons for the spa and other things, but then afterwards I got the sales pitch. I was really not interested and I'm not sure how long I was held prisoner there listening but eventually I found I had to be a litte rude and tell him I had to leave. Apparently they work on a cuota and have to sign so many people up to get paid. I saw him later on and he was laying this guilt trip on me for not having signed up but while he was holding me prisoner talking he could have approached some other people.

Noise levels: I guess where I was wasn't too bad. I could hear carts being pushed around, but that was about it.

A note for females traveling solo: I found in a couple of instances some of the male employees are overly flirtatious. This is most likely just a part of the culture, but it was a little annoying. I think this is probably because I was there by myself. I would say that 99% of the time people are just being friendly, but a couple of the employees were a bit overbearing. There was one who had talked to me several times and whenever he saw me would just call out my name, so I had to go out of my way to avoid him. I'm a very friendly person and I don't mind talking to anyone, but I think sometimes that gets misinterpreted. Also, since I speak Spanish, it is more likely that I will have more conversation partners. Some people just ask things like if you like baseball, and where are you from, and how do you like the D.R., but then when it starts getting to things like are you married and do you have a boyfriend, well then you know it's time to end that conversation.

Anyway, overall, I would say that I enjoyed my vacation, I learned a lot about the D.R., I got to use my Spanish (which is getting rusty up here in Maine), I enjoyed my tours very much and also the food choices and friendilness of most of the people I met. Overall, it was nice getaway from work and insight into a different culture.

Would I go back again? Maybe. I really liked the Dreams concept and now that I have had a taste of all-inclusive I don't think I would want to go back to paying for food and drinks, but I would most likely go to one of the other Dreams resorts next time just to get a different experience.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ontario
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012

Stayed at the hotel as it was locate near the cave diving area and there was a cave diving shop at the hotel-GRIGRI DIVERS. this was from 15 December to 22 December 2012.
After reading some of the reviews on line we were prepared for problems at the hotel. I am happy to say we did not experience any problems exept to 2 minor ones in our room which were fixed quickly. Upon arriving our safe would not work and after a couple days our air conditioner stopped working. within in 5 minutes of calling in both problems were fixed. there can be breakdowns as to me as long as there is a fast repair and response.

We were very quickly through the airport and on a van to the hotel. We had booked with AIR CANADA VACATIONS and the service at the airport was great. Within 40 minutes we were at the hotel and checking in. Our rooms were ready and were taken to our room with the porter pointing out the meal locations and time.

Rooms were cleaned every day and reservations were not required for the specailty restaurants which left flexability in our planning.

Plenty of chairs at the pool and beach throughout the day.

We were as noted above for Cave Diving. The dive shop on site was very helpful. We did one day of ocean diving including a night dive. the reefs we went to had a large amount of life on the reef during the day and night. One of the better reefs I have seen in many years.

Meals were great in the specialty restaurants with great service. the buffet is a buffet and catters to a large number of guests who are mostly European.
I did experience a bit of an upset stomach the second last day but this could be just the change in diet. I was with two other cave divers and they did not experience any problems nor did I hear of anyone with problems at the hotel.

Overall a good experience considering where you are in the world. If there was one complaint it would be that the cleaners would yell at each other in the hallway while cleaning.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2012 via mobile

First of all the do not fly into Santo Damingo. It is 2 hours from hotel. Punta Cana airport is closer.

When we arrived they tried to talk us into preferred rooms at front desk. The bellman convinced us otherwise. He was right. The only difference was a private pool away from the nicer pools and WiFi.

The resort hasn't been updated in a few yeas and needs it.

Lastly, we spent the last to days on the toilet. A week after returning to CT and a trip to doctor all four in our party are feeling better. The doctor thinks we we exposed to E. coli. We only ate on the resort so it must have come from the food. Yuck! I checked a couple reviews when I returned and it looks like I was not alone.

Needless to say, I would not return!

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ridgefield Park, New Jersey
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012

Dreams La Romana is a very nice resort, however they really need to review their food, it is absolutely horrible..... the food has no taste at all every day was the samething no taste I also tried the different restaurants and they were just as bad, either dreams la romana take back their chefs to school or change them because eventually people will not go back there because of their food, the staff took their time to meet your needs the bar tenders when you ordered a drink they took their time to bring it to you. For people that spend big money there in weddings when it comes to food the quality is very very poor would I go back there no I will not......

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Holmfirth, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012

My husband and I have just returned from Dreams La Romana after a two week holiday that was supposed to be a special treat for my 40th birthday. We stayed at the hotel back in December 2008 and had a lovely holiday, the hotel was very clean, food good very peaceful and friendly staff so was looking forward to returning and experiencing this again...how very wrong we were.

Firstly the bed linen was dirty, the room (changed rooms by the 3rd night and was charged £200 as we were told it would be an upgrade but the room was no better or plusher than our original) smelt damp and old, dirty chairs and table, scratched mirror and lamps that a cleaners cloth has never seen!

This hotel is NOT peaceful, there is a continuous flow of staff pushing noisy carts through the grounds. At the main pool they play the worst music that is constantly repeated...if your a Rick Astly fan you will love it.

Lastly and this is the most important information that you really need to know is that on the 4th morning after eating at the Oceana restaurant my husband woke up with diarrhoea and was sick. He spent the day and night in bed he had taken imodium but this did not stop it. He suffered from the diarrhoea for the duration of our holiday. I too had a much milder stomach cramps and felt nauseous for the duration of the holiday. We only ate bread, pizza or dried food for the rest of the holiday and no drank only water as we had lost our appetites and were worried about getting worse. We are still suffering even after our return home and my husband has had to visit our dr as he has lost a total of 15lb. We are awaiting the results of a specimen taken but the dr said it was most likely to be caused by food poisoning. We did report my husbands S&D to concierge who confirmed that there had been other cases reported. He said the hotel would check on my husband to make sure he was ok but knowbody bothered.

The standards at the hotel have dramatically dropped since our last visit and is certainly not for couples who wish to experience a luxury relaxing holiday. The pictures on Thomsons brochure and the Dreams web site are very old and are definitely not a true reflection of the hotel as it is now. We feel cheated out of our money that we had saved for the holiday and would strongly advise anyone thinking of going to reconsider.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2012

We stayed in the hotel from 3rd December for 11 days and generally liked the experience. We stayed in the Preferred club, block 7 , rooms 7301 and 7302 which were the adjoining/ interconnecting rooms. Room 7301 had a civilized woodpecker who used to wake you up at 6:25 am but then went quiet for the rest of the day. I know that in some other rooms woodpeckers don’t stop until sunset… So I think , our woodpecker was a good citizen.

The hotel has got excellent location far away from the world. It’s got large grounds which are perfectly maintained by staff. Really beautiful grounds, they also have 7 flamingos and small birds sections there which are a great attraction for small kids. Every single time we went for lunch or breakfast our 3 years old daughter ran to say “hello” to the birds.

Rooms were clean and in good order, though there were some issues like toilet flush not working ( fixed ourselves), wine glasses not provided in the room, bottle opener not provided ( had to ask and wait for it for 2 days), shampoo not replaced on a daily basis… Nothing you could not leave without… However, when you upgrade to Preferred club you expect a better level of service.

Beds were very comfortable, the aircon in room 7302 was not working right and you could not change the setting/mode, so when working it was very noisy. The aircon in the interconnecting room 7301 was in good working orddr and had settings at low, med and high. It was great to have it on low for the nights. I slept in the room 7302 and had to use earplugs to sleep with aircon on as it was noisy.
However, room 7302 was woodpecker free!!

One thing to remember with interconnecting rooms, it is important NOT to close them or put something on top of the doors to prevent them from closing as they don’t have proper handles from both sides of the door. We had an occasion when the child closed the door in the interconnecting room and locked everyone in one room. It took us about 1.5 hours to resolve the issue.

Staff in the hotel does not speak much of English, so any Spanish will be of an advantage. Preferred club had a nice pool area where people used to reserve the best sunbedas t 6am or earlier… But you can always could get a sunbed by the preferred pool “not in the top area”…. During our stay the areas by the main pool and infinity pool were also not very busy BUT they do play music and have activities there. So if you like peace and quite – preferred might be your ONLY option.

RESTAURANTS:
We had breakfast at Sea Grill many time – nice setting, sea background BUT very slow service and stale bread, limited food choices.

World Caffee – was ok but reminded a lot of the canteen in a large institution. More choice but food was bland and not very appetising. Same stale ( yesterday) bread that was warmed in the owen…
Sea grill was very good for lunch – not many amazing choices but you can always find something to eat. In addition to the A-La –Carte service there was a mini salad and cake bar where you can help yourself as much as you want.

World caffee for lunch – had a lot of choice but the environment was much of the canteen…

Pizzaria by the main pool – nothing fancy but good and fresh pizza, recommended.

EVENING meals:

Himutsu – Asian restaurant with very nice décor and environment. Good quality food ( a – la carte) but limited choices. Waiters – hit and miss. We were forturnate with David twice – he was really attentive and good. The best time to come for dinner here is 7pm. Any time later you can wait for 45 mins for every course of meal which is OK when you don’t have small kids.

Sea grill – was excellent in the evening as well. My favourite meal was “ Grill mix”, well prepared and full of taste.

They have a live band playing there most of the evenings and they go from table to table playing/singing songs. This can become quite annoying once the novelty is worn out… We sometimes felt paying them just to keep quiet for some time ( and listen to the waves).

World cafe – for dinner – was ok but nothing to write home about.

Italian restaurant – massive disappointment. At our first visit the staff was incredibly slow and the food was bland and nothing exciting… During the 2nd visit – the service was quicker but the food left more to be desired. So, massively over rated place and does not worth the hype.

We did not go to the Mexican restaurant as it was next to the stagnated water full of mosquitoes, and Oceania – was not the best choice for 3 of us…

The beach was lovely, great for small kids. The pools were cold, in my mind as not heated.
The preferred beach is rough ( sand on a concrete) and not appealing.

SHOWS

Circus – was very good and interesting by the main pool.

Michael Jackson show – theatre – was a very bad beginning as the organisers did not bother to check the sound volumes. It was wayyyy toooo loud and we had to leave ( along side with many other families) as they were deafening children. We complained about it but nothing came out of it….


MAIN NEGATIVE POINTS FOR US: NOISE

NOISE is something you can’t escape from he hotel. The walls in the rooms are very thin so you hear what your neighbours are doing. They have night entertainments by the main pool and they don’t stop until 11 pm. But the worth were the private weddings which hey organised by the sea side, just outside of the block 7 and 5. They were very noisy and there was nothing you could do but wait till the end at approx 11:45pm which was very annoying as I thought block 7 was a quiet one.
Smoke: way too many people smoke everywhere even when they see small kids in the area. I found that astonishing but management did not do anything about that.

There will be a few “pests” trying to sell you things, just ignore them. Preferred pool was not hassled at all but beach was.

FOOD – we were not badly sick but I had a few bad days with stomach pains etc after eating in Word café and Chinese spring rolls… So the hygiene needs to be improved.

Overall. Dreams La Romana is a very good resort with food much better than in oter All Inclusive but there are some issues that you need to cope with eg. Noise….

Room Tip: far away frm the main pool, buildings 5 and 7 and 8 are good
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Dreams La Romana

Address: Playa Bayahibe | P.O. Box 80, Bayahibe, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Bayahibe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Bayahibe
#2 Family Hotel in Bayahibe
#2 Romantic Hotel in Bayahibe
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Bayahibe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Dreams La Romana 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Time spent at Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa on the sun drenched southeast coast of the Dominican Republic is an unforgettable adventure for singles, couples and families. Here, you’ll discover a tranquil world that gives you one of nature’s most pristine beaches, a sea of vivid turquoise and most importantly, the special feeling of being welcomed as a most honored with all attendant privileges of Unlimited-Luxury® — where everything is included.You will be transformed by the calming power of the tropical jungle and palm lined beach that borders your vacation hideaway. Lounging by our large crystalline pools, or wandering among our tropical gardens, you’ll soon feel time and tension melt away. From the moment we greet your arrival, you will be delighted by your surroundings and service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dreams La Romana Bayahibe
Dreams La Romana Hotel Bayahibe
Dreams La Romana Dominican Republic/Bayahibe

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