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“Bring strong antibiotics and ear plugs...” 1 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 #9 of 13 Hotels in Bayahibe
GreenLeadersGold level
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Bring strong antibiotics and ear plugs...”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

We just got back from Dreams La Romana. It was our third time in Dominican Republic, we do travel often. After 3 days there, I became extremely ill...I waited a couple days to see the doctor thinking i had some basic food poisoning but it was much worse, I saw the doctor, required strong antibiotics for a severe gastroenteritis. My mother and my 5 year old son also got sick from eating the food at the resort.
They have a doctor on site but our vacation was ruined. I must be honest this is the worst food i ate in a resort.

Also we were constantly nagged by the vendors (even more when it was just my husband and myself walking around the resort) and a simple "no thank you" often wasn't enough. This really put a damper on the whole experience.

We stayed in building 4 and had a nice room compared to my parents that stayed in building 3 (theirs wasn't renovated, they had an old TV and old uncomfortable mattress). Beware that you will not be able to sleep until the show is over, also the walls are paper thin so you will be woken up several times at night and in the early morning when the cleaning ladies sing/yell/talk in the halls.

The PROS : we had the best frozen coffee drinks at coco cafe and the pools are quite nice. My son also had a great time at the kids club.

However we will most likely never go back there. The Iberostar resorts are much better and we should have got back there !

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rudy R, Manager at Dreams La Romana, responded to this review, January 16, 2013
Dear Natacha77NYC:
Thank you for posting your recent comments regarding your vacation stay here at our beautiful resort. We are so pleased to learn that you enjoyed our Coco café as well as our onsite Kids club. We take this opportunity to comment regarding the above mentioned review. We are sorry to learn that your family had fallen ill while vacationing here. Please be aware that many factors can contribute to developing an illness while traveling abroad. Such factors can be lack of proper water consumption, excessive exposure to sun/heat, over indulgence of foods/foods not usually consumed, difference of the oils foods are cooked in, foods known to be natural laxatives such as pineapple and coconut, etc…We are very pleased to report that our onsite medical facility has had no cases or diagnosis of food poisoning. As vendors are located on the property throughout the week, this is offered as a courtesy to all clients who do not want to leave the resort grounds to shop for souvenirs. For those not interested a simple No thank you will suffice. Lastly, as our resort offers different room categories, building three holds our standard deluxe rooms while building seven holds our premium room category. We hope to have the opportunity to serve you once again in the near future.

All the best,

Rudy Richardson
Resident Manager
Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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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San Jose
Level Contributor
17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

I went with my family to the VIP Preferred Section, which is actually perfect. The room is very comfortable, though it is not that big. One of our friends went to the suit and it was amazing, it had a really big room and it was just very amazing! In my room I had no tub but the shower was very comfortable. The beds are very soft and the TV has a very good resolution. The air conditioning is very nice, though you can't change the temperature. The staff is amazing, they are always smiling and always willing to help you, which is something every hotel needs. It has 7 or 8 restaurants and I went to each one of them, and they are delicious, the food is so yummy and it is all included so you don't have to pay for the amazing food you eat. Also for children there is a pizza stand where they can go get pizza any time of the day, and the bartenders are amazing, and give you any drink you want and how many you want. The beach is absolutely beautiful and the sand is white as snow. I totally recommend this hotel for a family trip now that you will have fun wherever you are. Totally recommended and so worth the money!

Room Tip: I would go to preffered VIP club because it offers much more and the rooms are more comfortable, but...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
79 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

I recently stayed here for a week and had my anniversary here, i previously made the hotel aware of my anniversary but they didn't upgrade my room or do anything special for us so was a bit disappointed, seing any hotel i stay at tend to look after people that have anniversarys.

Rooms- Very basic stayed in 7124 , no view at all and rooms were abit cold and damp. The room and bed was comfortable and sleep quality was good. Only thing that was bad was the curtains to block the sun in the morning was abit annoying.

Food- I was relieved to know i didnt get food poisoned like alot of others said and was great selection of different types of food wth 8 restaurants. The asian restaurant was my favourite and had best quality food. Breakfast had plenty of choice and was very good, couldnt complain.

Beach - nice beach area but no umbrellas which is not good , as no much places to hide from the sun if burned.

Entertainment- good , plenty of shows every night so plenty to do in day and nighttime, such as volley ball , water aerobics, workouts etc.

Stalls- The hotel need to ensure that guys selling from the street that come to the hotel should indicate their prices and not charge more than their own shop prices, this could damage the hotels reputation if they dont sort this out.

Overall experience was good but not a 5 star hotel , more 4 star id say but still enjoyable all the same.

Prefered Club- Waste of money if anyone is thinking of spending 65 dollars etc per person per night .

Tours- Went to santa domingo for the day which was good day trip , did a boat trip to one of the island on the el fieston boat trip and it was terrible and would not recommend at all.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Cliffside Park, New Jersey
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

have just come back from a wonderful 7 days at Dreams La Romana. First let me thank Anita from Dreams for triple checking on our satisfaction throughout the trip. The staff, starting with Alba at the front desk, couldn't have been nicer. Their continuing greetings and inquiries to our enjoyment were over the top. We ate at all of the ethinically themed restaurants and loved them all, our favorite was the Bordeaux and our waiter Confident. Although their were over 500 people on the property, we never felt crowded not did we stand on any lines. The pool and the beach were very clean and cocktail services continuos. Our rooms were clean and wonderful thanks to Maria Theresa. Anytime we sought for something, it arrived, promptly. Our heartiest recommendation.

Room Tip: Seniors should ask for first floor since there are no elevators to 2nd or 3rd floor.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
31 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

We spent a week at Dreams over Christmas 2012, as we had other family staying elsewhere in the area. What a mess! I’ll start w/the many negatives. Although I paid Dreams $25 extra for wifi on my phone, it only worked about 25% of the time. Tried to get my money back for this, but finally decided it was not worth the aggravation. Also had trouble w/cell reception (we have I-phones & AT&T), making it difficult to reach family staying elsewhere, although I did turn my roaming on. If you do use your cell for calls there, know that there is a brief wait for the international connection. The 1st time I heard it, I thought it was a disconnect. What annoyed me more than the money, was the amount of my vacation time I had to waste trying to make the both the wifi and the phone work. Suggest if you go, leave your mobile devices at home!

For the most part, the food was bland, fattening & awful. Menus were pretty much the same each day. Soups at the buffet were this fishy smelling grotesque broth most days. (I normally love seafood.) Hot dogs & sausages were awful. They only had bacon at breakfast 1 day out of 6 & never had relish for hot dogs by the pool. The pizza was basically a soggy mess of dough. Scrambled eggs were like rubber. Fried & boiled eggs were good. Omlets were ok, but the choice of what to put in them was odd. They usually had both “cream” cheese & “Philadelphia” cheese on the buffet. (The Philadelphia is like what we get in the US.) I expected to see some shellfish… It was pretty limited—I only saw crawfish once & what they called “langoustines” that looked like crawfish to me. Tasted ok, but looked kind of funky… They did offer lobster on the beach several times at a considerable extra charge. The buffet on Christmas had a whole pig, rabbit & some things most Americans are not used to eating... This all just looked too gross for my American brain. The best thing at the buffet was usually whatever kind of beef they had, or fruits & grains, in my opinion. (Most of the fruit looked like it was not ripe, but tasted ok. I'm guessing it's different there...) You can also make your own sandwiches late night, which were not bad. We used room service once-it was awful & not what we ordered at all. We ate at the Boudreaux the 1st night. Grouper was this awful mushy mess. Steak tips my husband had were very good. Rest of the meal was mediocre. The Ocean Grill was generally the only place open for lunch, besides the buffet & the hot dogs & pizza stand by the pool. Lunches at the Ocean Grill were a little better, but not much. Our last night, we finally got to eat at Oceana & it was good-gorgeous view. Very limited menu, but my snapper was excellent. (Snapper I tried at the buffet days before was awful. Ordered this because I’d seen a spear fisherman bring a bunch in fresh from the beach.) Unfortunately, the “surf & turf”, as they called it, that my husband & son ordered was not so good. Also, the sickeningly sweet "boat drinks" they encourage made us all nauseous after a day or 2 of them & seemed to contain little liquor. I recommend drinking bottled water, soda or beer or (bad) wine only, or something they can't change like rum & coke or a white Russian. Those were all ok. All of their juices seemed sickeningly sweet to me. For some reason, I felt the need to drink water constantly while there. Hotel says their water & ice are filtered, so we did use ice & drank bottled water & I did not get sick. Bartenders were very nice & tried, but my impression was most really did not know much about bartending. One poor guy kept trying to make me a special drink I'd like, & they just kept getting worse... (I'm not that mean. I smiled & tipped him anyway, after I realized he was only pretending to understand what I wanted.) There was always plenty of food, but don’t expect it to be gourmet by any means. Meals at Dreams (especially the buffet) reminded me of cheap cafeteria food.

Especially frustrating was that the hotel advertised many amenities that were often closed. My favorite pool w/the swim up bar was closed 2 of the 6 days we were there (on Xmas & the day after, when we had guests come who paid $85 per adult for day passes which included 1 meal only). Several nights at least half the restaurants were closed & one night only the buffet & one lunch/sandwich type place were open. So I recommend you try whatever restaurants you wish to ASAP, as they may not be open the next night. We had guests coming for Christmas Day. The hotel advertised a special menu for “Christmas.” Turned out they meant that dinner was for Christmas Eve, which is when we were later told they celebrate there. But no one explained that until it was too late for us to change our plans & the ads all over the resort showing the menu said “Christmas” on top of them. Also, the activities for kids (i.e., bungee, batting cages, etc) may only be used at certain times of the day, when staff are supervising. The "free" boat & snorkel use on the beach was closed the 2 times I asked about it & all day on Christmas, so we never got to use it. The pools & hot tub close at 8 pm, which stinks! Many nights I'd have loved to have used them. Also, there's only 1 hot tub for the whole hotel, unless you go to the "preferred" rooms (which looked like a waste of money to me). (They do have a 2nd hot tub & a 3rd pool that were always empty there.) The pools are NOT heated. It was very cold to get in, but ok, once we were in the water. The beach water was warmer & very nice (nothing but sand on the bottom-nice!), but crowded. On Christmas day, I was surprised to see several topless sunbathers... I inquired, but there is no specific area for this. Chairs & lounge chairs by the pool & on the beach were made of cheap plastic & very uncomfortable. Entertainment was mostly bor--ing. Their main show-the Sweedish tap dancing band-was decent & we liked the Santa parade on Christmas.

Few staff spoke English, although many pretended to! This is understandable in many positions & I tried to speak the little Spanish I know & have fun w/it. But I think the front desk staff, the concierge staff & the resort doctor should speak good English & they did not. You would think a doctor at a medical clinic at a resort would be bilingual or have a translator. Not so. My (adult) son became very ill w/a stomach virus or something (still sick & still undergoing tests in the USA) on Christmas Day. She told him the visit would cost $90. It ended up costing over $200 w/medication she gave him for nausea & an antibiotic. We mostly communicated w/her through signs & our limited Spanish… My son was later told by another doctor he saw a few days later in a nearby town that the medicine she gave him actually made him sicker. I have no idea if that’s true. That said, she did recommend he go to the hospital for tests, but he refused.

As for rooms--we were originally on 3rd floor in the 500 building. Moved to 1st floor in 400 building, which was much better for us, as the stairs were killing my back. Hotel staff was very good about accommodating us for this. Toilet ran in the 500 room, minifrig was not cold, & no shelves for soap, etc in the shower. The cathedral ceiling was pretty (only on 3rd floor rooms in certain buildings), but not worth the other issues. The 400 room did have a shelf in the shower & was close to the pool & most things, so was great for us. It was noisy the last night only. I heard people yelling just outside our door around midnight. Think it was just drunk tourists… Not a big deal… They did have what appeared to be a guard stationed at end of our hall I noticed that night-no idea why. Don’t know if all the buildings had guards or not. Only issues w/the 400 room were despite the AC & no windows open, natts or no-see-ums or something kept biting us at night & the shower was prone to over flowing. The hotel did send a note that they were planning to use some nontoxic insecticide the day we left. I was under the impression the rooms in the 500 & & 700 block were renovated & others were not. I don’t think this is correct, as our 400 room looked as good or better than our 500 room. Also, just as an FYI, from what I could see, what they call ocean front/ ocean view rooms are quite far back from the beach. I love an ocean view, but in this case, I was really glad we elected not to pay the extra for it. Both of our rooms were roomy & beautiful & we stayed in the standard rooms. I saw sleep quality was terrible below because the natts drove my husband crazy & the mattresses & pillows were not the greatest.

Back to the guards--the 1st day, we walked down the beach to the village of Bayahibe (a 15 minute walk). Just outside the hotel property was a sign in Spanish-something about it being a “Military Zone.” Part of the property was fenced w/barbed wire & an armed guard dressed in combat fatigues walked up & down. Have no idea if this info is correct, but staff at the hotel told me that is good, because the military is more reliable than the police & they are just there to stop the drunks from fighting…

Security was, at times, ridiculous. We had family members who were staying elsewhere during the trip. When my son arrived sick on Christmas & was too ill to stay for the day pass as planned (he was dropping off his daughter, who we did buy a pass for), you’d have thought we had breached the DR national security. It was just ridiculous. My son was so sick he could not stand & white as a ghost. Anyone who took a good look at him could see he had no interest in eating or drinking… Yet, we had quite an argument w/staff just to let him go into our room & lie down for a while. He really was too sick to drive back to his apartment & that was when we ended up bringing him to the onsite Dreams Medical Clinic. What makes this even more ridiculous is that we saw numerous people walking on & off the property through the beach & there is nothing to identify who is a guest or not. Security is apparently only an issue if one drives into the property & is honest enough to pay for passes.

Our maid was phenomenal. After we switched rooms, she actually came to greet us. She put fresh flowers in our room daily & always wore a sparkling smile. I found most staff & even the local vendors to be very nice. You don’t have to tip the staff, but if you do, they will knock themselves out for you. Vendors were occasionally annoying, but I found they generally left us alone once we told them clearly we were not interested.

We booked our trip through Expedia & also bought transportation to & from the airport from them. Expedia uses a company called “Blue” at Dreams. What a mess that was. Representatives from Blue (Angel & Eddy) called us & sent us a note insisting we meet w/them in the lobby to confirm our transport to the airport for the ride home. (We already had paid for the transport & had our printed vouchers, so we could not understand why we needed to meet them.) My husband became very angry over this, as he figured it was just a sales pitch, since they also sell various local excursions. I finally went & met them by myself, just to get them to leave us alone. It was very annoying to spend so much time on a vacation having to deal w/these guys (was afraid if I did not, we’d have no ride when it came time to leave) & to waste so much time on the cell phone/email issues. Also, the driver who picked us up for our ride to the airport our last day was very pleasant, but spoke about 2 words of English & got us there 4 hours early. I had the sense that Dreams wanted to get departing guests out ASAP. God forbid they should eat one more awful inclusive lunch or have an extra crummy drink!

I got a massage at the spa because my back hurt-worthless. Spa could be beautiful, if they would just bother to clean the leaves & debris out of the spa pool.

The hotel did accept DR pesos, but things in were priced in US dollars. I had $300 changed to pesos in the US, before I left. The rate they gave me for it in the DR was less than what my bank gave me at home. Also, I found different places gave me different exchange rates & the airport staff conveniently could not make change for US dollars or pesos. My advice is don’t change more than $100 or any money at all, unless you plan on going off the resort a lot & bring a lot of small bills. Also, don’t buy anything at the airport, as things are priced quite high there. The gift shop at Dreams gave me a better price (by $10) on a pricey resort type shirt I bought for my grand daughter if I agreed to pay w/US cash. Prices for some things are quite high in the gift shop, others, not so bad. A bag of chips is $6 there.

I left the DR w/a very strong impression that most everyone was trying to take the tourists for all the money they could. I realize it’s a poor country. I don’t mind paying for things, but I don’t like feeling like I’ve been taken advantage of. My impression was that Dreams is trying to be a 5 star resort on a one star budget. Although we have been on several cruises, this was my first experience with an all inclusive resort. I seriously doubt we will ever go to another one.

There were some things we liked about Dreams. The property is gorgeous. The flamingos are neat. The beach is nice, even if it is crowded. The vast majority of the staff was wonderful; they just need more who speak other languages. (Ironically, I ended up translating for a lady from Paris at the spa & my French is only a little better than my Spanish….!) We much appreciated that they celebrate a simple, but beautiful (Spanish) outdoor Catholic Mass in one of the patio restaurants every Sunday & on Christmas.

Room Tip: Depends what you want. The lower numbered rooms (100's) are closest to the the village of Bayah...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

Our first time stay at an all-inclusive resort in DR. Enjoyed it thoroughly, would recommend to friends, and would stay again. Having said that there were some annoyances, the worst being the pesky timeshare sales people. They badger you at every turn with their sales pitches. Eventually you have to learn to outsmart them by claiming you already own a timeshare or heard the pitch by one of their peers.
My other beef was with the main concierge. We wanted to take a day trip into LaRomona for some sightseeing and begged him to provide us an English speaking cab driver to show us around. No problem he said. Unfortunately, our cab driver did not speak a word of English so that excursion was a total bust. Also, the recommended snorkeling excursion to the Marinarium was a waste of time and money.
However, the resort itself was beautiful and the pools and beach were awesome. The food was about as good as one can realistically expect at a large all inclusive. The atmosphere at many of the outdoor situated restaurants was very pleasant. The resort staff in general were very friendly and accommodating. The rooms were nice (we stayed in building 4) and clean with good accommodations.
To our surprise most of the clientele were non-English speaking Europeans. Not a problem at all, just made it a little more difficult to meet and speak to people.

All in all a very enjoyable and memorable vacation and stay.

Room Tip: stay in building 4..Don't waste money on the "preferred club".
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chappaqua, NY
Level Contributor
22 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 188 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

Dreams La Romana is a hotel owned and managed by AMResorts, the same chain that operates the Secrets, Now, Zoetry, and Sunscape brands. AMResorts is owned by Apple Leisure Group, which also operated vacation package vendor Apple Vacations and destination management company Amstar. Hence, by booking with Apple Vacations, taking transfers from Amstar, and staying with Dreams, you become one of the company’s most profitable customers and, as a result, they take particularly good care of you.

The resort was formerly Sunscape Casa del Mar. In 2008, the entire resort was gutted and renovated to its current state.

When you arrive at the airport, you must purchase a $10 tourist card (only to hand it in a few minutes later) clear immigration, retrieve your bags from baggage claim, and pass through customs. Once on the other side, you will meet the ground transportation company that is taking you to the resort. Transfers are not a part of the Dreams all inclusive package. Since we booked through Apple Vacations, we simply looked for the company representatives in Hawaiian shirts and were directed to the Amstar bus. We found it odd that Amstar would use a large bus to bring guests to the resort rather than several vans for two reasons: (1) they could better control the check in process at their resorts and (2) some guests, like us, waited over half an hour before we departed the airport. Taxis are also available if you choose not to pre-book transfers.

The hotel is an 18 minute drive from the airport; 6 of those minutes are the resort’s 1.3 mile long driveway. We arrived at about 3pm (on the JetBlue flight from JFK), and our room was not yet ready. Our bus dropped us off at the convention center, not the lobby, for our check in. When you arrive, a bellman will assist you with your bags and set them aside as you make your way to the reception desk. There, you are greeted by a cold towel and glass of champagne. Perhaps it was because we checked in at the convention center, but the check in process was a complete mess. We were directed to a table to get our welcome kit and registration card. Oddly enough, they didn’t take a credit card imprint which I usually expect from a hotel, but they did make you sign a waiver agreeing to pay your bill and not sue if you’re injured while participating in activities. When we finished filling out the reservation card, the front desk agent snatched our keys from us and told us our room wasn’t ready. No other welcome to the resort; no explanation of the activities or amenities. We identified our bags to the bellman and were told to go to our building, Building 4, in 30 minutes to get our room.

While stalling time, we got stopped by the first of many timeshare salespeople. At first, you think you are having a nice conversation with a staff member genuinely interested in hearing about where you’re from; soon after, they begin trying to get you to sit down for a full meeting on Unlimited Vacation Club. After a few days, we got good at avoiding them. Don’t say “no thank you;” they won’t take no for an answer. Instead, take one of the following approaches: (1) say you’ve already spoken to another person at the resort about it. I remember one person was named JJ, so you can sound authentic by saying “oh, JJ already gave us the full run down.” or (2) avoid anyone in a khaki suit. The two people who wear these suits are bellman and Unlimited Vacation Club salespeople; there is no need to interact with bellman other than at check in and check out, so avoid these employees during the rest of your vacation and you should be fine.

The resort has 750ish rooms split among 8 three-story buildings without elevators. The buildings are numbered 1 – 8. Most of the buildings are rectangular with the short edge facing the water; buildings 6 and 8 are smaller squares set back from the beach. Building four is the most central of the buildings, facing the main pool and gardens. Buildings 5, 6, 7 and 8 are the “Preferred Club” buildings. Guests staying in these buildings get yellow towels to differentiate themselves, access to the Preferred Club pool, upgraded in-room amenities (though the rooms are identical), private check-in, free WiFi a private portion of beach, and access to the Seaside Grill for a la carte breakfast. The Preferred Club is a part of Preferred Hotels and Resorts, a hotel representation company that provides marketing services to hotels. The Preferred Club rooms are not near anything; their beach also does not have direct water access. Although we thought that Preferred Club was stupid while staying at Dreams Palm Beach, we agreed that it was even worse here.

Near the lobby, there is a currency exchange booth. Next to the lobby are some shops, the infirmary, and the CoCo Café, a Starbucks-style coffee shop. Along the main driveway, are the casino and convention center. The spa is just off of building five, with the tennis courts and fitness center set beside it. A large stretch of beach borders the property.

We stayed in building 4 in room 4319, a Deluxe Tropical View Room. Building 4 is the Apple Vacations building; in addition to being recently renovated and in the best location, the building is the only one with a concierge downstairs to take care of any requests. All rooms have a patio or balcony with two chairs and a small table; some of the suites have double patios or balconies with this setup on one outdoor space. The balconies are somewhat small and triangular shaped ensuring that you have a view aimed towards the beach from both the bedroom and the balcony. The patios are square and nearly twice the size of the balconies.

Our room had one king bed and one queen bed (which, although being a cot, was actually a true bed), a rather small flat screen television with lots of channels (some channels in Spanish but many in English, including CBS and ABC out of New York City) and good reception, a table with two chairs, a fridge restocked daily with bottled water, juices, sodas, and beer (additional beverages can be added to the fridge if you ask!), coffee maker, iPod dock clock radio, DVD player, slippers and robes, and electronic safe large enough to fit a small laptop (my iPad fit fine). Although there were only two small drawers for the three of us, the closet had a full length shelf and plenty of hanging space (though not many hangers). Although Punta Cana can be rather humid, we found that not to be the case in La Romana; we never felt that the room was damp or uncomfortable. Our room faced the infinity pool with a sliver of ocean view. We could also see building three. Note that rooms in building four on the even side of the building overlook the main pool, which is noisy until 10:30pm when the shows are finished.

The bathroom was among the nicest we’ve encountered at an all inclusive resort. There was a stall shower with a handheld shower head; the shower got decent, but not great, water pressure. Yes, the shower is nothing more than a partial glass wall, but unless you remove the showerhead and spray outside of the shower, very little water gets onto the floor. On the vanity, Dreams provides guests with toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, sewing kits, shower caps, and combs in addition to the typical bottles of shampoo, body lotion, shower gel, and soap. There was even suntan lotion! All of the amenities were decent. There was also a scale on the shelf below the sink; not exactly what you want to see on an all inclusive vacation, but a nice amenity for weighing luggage for the flight home. As Apple guests, we also received beach towels in our room, in addition to the towel cards. However, there were three guests but only two beach towels provided for us; we opted to use the towel cards instead and leave the beach towels provided in the room on the shelf all week.

Every night, you receive turndown service and a copy of the following day’s activity schedule, called the Sundial. As Apple guests, we also received a “regalito” or “little gift” from the gift shop each night, which I won’t ruin the surprise here. You also receive little Dreams chocolates.

Note that the water in the Dominican Republic is not safe to drink. Use bottled water to brush your teeth and drink. In the restaurants and bars, all water is filtered and safe to consume, but do not drink straight from the tap in your room.

My parents were celebrating their 28th wedding anniversary during our stay; I let Apple Vacations know ahead of time. When we arrived at our room, our door featured a “Honeymoon” banner and our room was decorated with balloons. We also received a fruit plate and bottle of champagne. We found it comical that my parents were celebrating their “honeymoon” 28 years late.

There are several restaurants on site. The welcome pack outlines your dining options. Although we stayed just after new years, several restaurants were closed each night; check the Sundial to see what is open on each day.

This hotel has a no reservation policy for the restaurants; that is, unless you’re an Apple Vacations guest. Apple guests can make reservations at the Apple Concierge in building 4. We took advantage of this infrequently. In the situation that you arrive at a restaurant when no tables are available, you receive a beeper (a la Cheesecake Factory), and can go away until your table is ready.

The food at the resort is inconsistent. Depending on the restaurant, some portions were decent and others were quite small. We had our favorite restaurants at Dreams Palm Beach—Seaside Grill and Portofino—but were disappointed to find that these were among our least favorite restaurants here. Likewise, we hated Bordeaux at Dreams Palm Beach, but were surprisingly satisfied with the meal at Dreams La Romana.

At Dreams Palm Beach, we really wished that there would be more outdoor or open air dining options; after all, we didn’t come to the Caribbean to sit in air conditioning! Fortunately, Dreams La Romana better fit our tastes by offering a larger number of outdoor dining options.

24 hour room service is also available. The binder in your room lists the room service menu. The menu seems to be pretty expansive; it included most of the items on the buffet at any particular meal. We didn’t try it.

WORLD CAFÉ: The main buffet restaurant, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The restaurant is open-air, but we didn’t see any birds flying around the resort. Each meal offers several action stations, such as made-to-order omelets at breakfast, and made-to-order pasta and grilled meats at lunch. Soft-serve and hard ice cream is available at lunch and dinner. Overall, the food was above average. Open air.
HIMITSU: Asian a la carte food for dinner. Unlike Himitsu at other Dreams resorts, there is no hibachi here. The food here is Asian fusion, and we were pleasantly surprised with the food here; we really like Asian food and were expecting the worst. Open air.
EL PATIO: Mexican cuisine, a la carte, open for dinner. The food here was above average and stereotypical Mexican food—quesadillas, fajitas, and the like. There wasn’t a wait on the night we went; perhaps this is because the restaurant is located in the middle of nowhere. Open air.
PORTOFINO: Italian cuisine, a la carte, open for dinner. The food here was disappointing; I don’t know why there was typically a line! The chicken parmesan was just an undercooked chicken breast sitting on a small amount of tomato sauce with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. We had a great meal here at Dreams Palm Beach, so I was disappointed that the restaurant didn’t live up to its reputation. Indoors and air conditioned.
BORDEAUX: French cuisine, a la carte, for guests 16 and older only, open for dinner. Although the food here at Dreams Palm Beach was inedible, here everything was great. The only downside was the portion size was very small; shrimp cocktail had four mini shrimp, the lamb chops had two thin pieces. Overall, we thought this restaurant redeemed itself. Indoors and air conditioned. Indoors and air conditioned.
SEASIDE GRILL: Serves a la carte breakfast to Preferred Club guests only and lunch and dinner to the entire resort. We ate here our first night because it was one of our favorites at Dreams Palm Beach. Boy were we disappointed! Everything was unbearably overcooked and inedible. Although the setting is pretty—the restaurant overlooks the ocean and Preferred Club beach—we started to get nervous about the rest of our meals at the resort. Fortunately, the lunch service redeemed itself. They serve pizzas, sandwiches, and pasta at lunch which we had twice and were satisfied. Lunch service has a salad, nacho, and dessert bar in addition to the a la carte options. Open air.
OCEANA: A seafood restaurant serving dinner only. We all had the blackened snapper and it was among the best meals that we had at the entire resort. The setting is pretty, set on a deck above the beach. Open air.
THE JUNGLE: A Dominican restaurant serving dinner only. We didn’t have the chance to try this restaurant due to the days that it closed during our vacation. Outdoors.
BAREFOOT GRILL: A beach grill serving hot dogs and hamburgers ONLY. We were disappointed in the limited menu at this beach grill; we were hoping for chicken or fish as we’ve seen at some all inclusives.
PIZZERIA: A pizza and hot dog hut located near the main pool. Pizzas and hot dogs sit in a warmer, so be sure to get there when they are taking out a fresh pie. Good for a quick afternoon snack.
COCO CAFÉ: A Starbucks-like coffee shop open. They serve coffee drinks (hot, cold, and blended), as well as an assortment of snacks, sandwiches and pastries throughout the day. The pastries were okay at best.

The resort had a special dinner for Apple Vacations guests on the beach; we were treated to lobster tails, steak, shrimp, chicken, and more at no additional cost. Other guests wanting lobster would have to pay $39 per kilogram.

The resort has a stretch of beach which takes less than 5 minutes to walk from end to end, but is relatively deep. Since the beaches are all public in the Dominican Republic, you can walk down the public beach towards the fishing village of Bayahibe where there are a few shops, but long walks on the beach are not possible. The water was very calm and a little bit shallow due to its place on the Caribbean Sea. There is no seaweed. The bottom of the ocean was relatively smooth until it rained; then it got a little rocky. There are some sticks and shells in the beach which make it difficult to walk barefoot at some portions of the beach, but not impossible. There are a few reefs just off the beach.

The Preferred Club guests get their own private beach area outside of the Seaside Grill; there is no direct access to the ocean; you have to walk around through the main portion of the beach. Personally, I thought the Preferred Club section was the worst portion of the beach.

There is beach beverage service on both parts of the beach.

We didn’t find the need to play the beach chair game. We got to the beach around 10:15 every day and had no issues getting chairs; palapas go much earlier. If you don’t mind moving your chairs to find shade, there is no need to wake up at 3am to stake a claim; there is plenty of shade on the beach. They tell you they will remove items after an hour, but that is not the case.

The watersports services were outsourced to GriGri Divers, a watersports outfitter. In my review of Dreams Palm Beach, I expressed my initial concerns but overall satisfaction about this arrangement, but at Dreams La Romana, I was incredibly disappointed.

Dreams subsidizes the costs of Hobie sailboats, kayaks, pedalboats and windsurfing. The equipment is in particularly poor condition, and the staff running the place couldn’t care less. You are required to make a reservation for equipment; hence, you can’t make an impulse decision to go kayaking right now. We waited for a pedal boat reservation; the customers came in half an hour late and had broken the pedal, so we weren’t even able to use the equipment.

In addition, guests can take advantage of Gri Gri Divers other services at an additional charge. They offer fishing trips, snorkeling, scuba diving, tubing, and waterskiing.

There are towel cards given to you at check in. Towels are available at a hut on the beach.

There were four clay/sand (some type of soft surface that we couldn’t determine) tennis courts, two lit for night play. There were rackets available, as well as balls. Racquets were in good condition. You need to make reservations for tennis courts a day in advance to guarantee your time. You can get racquets and balls from the tennis shack near the courts. There are several pros who will hit with you or act as ball boys at an additional charge. We found them to be particularly lazy, generally preferring to watch TV in the shack rather than accommodate guests.

There was a small but sufficient fitness center located in the spa area. There was one elliptical, treadmill, and stationary bike, as well as several weight machines and free weights. They had a few TV’s to watch while training. It was air conditioned, which was nice. There is a personal trainer who provides water, towels, and assistance if you need it.

There is a small casino on property, which we never visited.

There is a basketball hoop outside of the Core Zone. There are several ping pong tables; two on the beach, and a few near the Core Zone. There is a corn hole board on the beach as well. There is a batting cage with a pitching machine that we never saw used, but apparently it operates on some afternoons. There is also an archery target near the tennis court which apparently gets used, but we never saw anyone use it. The Core Zone area also had foos ball and several pool tables indoors. Although the Core Zone is meant for teens, none of the staff was kicking adults out. You can also take out board games from the beach towel hut.

There is a bungee trampoline for Explorers Club members (kids under the age of 12), but none of the kids looked like they were enjoying it; the bungee was tightened so much that the kids were floating, not even jumping on the trampoline.

There are several bicycles, located near the tennis court. At 9:30am, a staff member leads a bike tour around the property. The bike ride takes about 20 minutes. The bikes were in okay condition, though some were having issues with the chain. You can also take out bikes at your own leisure, but you cannot leave the resort grounds.

There are three. All of the pools are about 4.5 feet deep at their deepest, but shallower areas as well (some areas are as shallow as six inches, which makes lying in the water comfortable). The infinity pool has a swim up bar. The main pool has the “ice berg,” an inflatable rock wall for kids up to age 12, as well as a volleyball net and water polo net. There is also a kiddie pool and hot tub near the main pool. The Preferred Club pool also has an infinity edge. These were among the best pools we’ve seen at an all inclusive resort.

There is poolside beverage service at all three pools.

Several located throughout the property. Most of the bartenders were friendly and were very willing to serve. This resort was not a heavy drinking resort, despite being all-inclusive, though people were definitely drinking the top shelf liquor. Presidente was the only beer on tap, but Corona and Budweiser are available in bottles. Wine was available for purchase if you do not like the house wine options (which were a bit too sweet for our taste).

There is a nightclub, the Desires Disco, but we never went, mainly because we couldn’t find it. We think it might be in the Casino, but we’re not entirely sure.

The daily activity schedule is posted by the entertainment shack, and provided to you during turndown service. A favorite of the entertainment staff is aerobics; they do regular aerobics in the morning, water aerobics at noon, and step aerobics in the afternoon. They also organize bingo, dance lessons, towel folding lessons, cocktail lessons, Spanish lessons, and water polo—the activities are almost too numerous to count for. Most of the staff wasn’t very “in your face” and didn’t pressure you to join the activities.

Every night, there is some type of show—sometimes it’s dancing, sometimes it’s karaoke, sometimes it’s magic. The shows were relatively boring so we didn’t go to them much. However, we were pleasantly surprised that Jeerk, an internationally known performance group was performing at Dreams through Easter. The show is like a combination of Stomp, Blue Man Group, and tap dancing and definitely should not be missed. Shows are typically held by the main pool, but occasionally in the convention center theater. Each night the resort plays two movies on a screen on the beach; during the football season, when there is a big game, they opt to show the game instead of a movie.

Bugs were non-intrusive. We found some small bugs in our room, but killed them relatively quickly. They spray the room for bugs once a week to try and alleviate this issue.

There is a spa on site, though we didn’t take advantage of this.

For kids up to the age of 17. There are two groups: the Explorers Club (for ages 3 – 12) and the Core Zone (for ages 13 – 17). They seemed well attended, but there were still a ton of people on property that did not utilize this free service. We did not, as our son was too old. Parents are given beepers to keep track of their children throughout the day.

There is a nurse on site, and her consultations are free of charge. There is a cost for any doctors visits or medication required as a result of your consultation. The nurse is located off of the main lobby.

There is internet available at the resort, at an additional charge, from the vendor in the CoCo Café. We took advantage of $25 for 25 hours, which we didn’t use all of. You can access internet at all parts of the resort, even the beach. If you are a member of the Preferred Club, you receive free internet.

The photo shop photographers roam the property taking pictures. Once a day, they have a different small animal for you to take pictures with. Photos can then be purchased from the photo shop near the main pool.

Check out is at 12pm. You may use the amenities of the resort until your transfer to the airport, and they will hold your bags until you are ready to depart. You must proceed to the front desk to check out by 12pm.

This hotel, unlike all inclusive chains like Breezes and Beaches, does not have a no tipping policy. We never felt pressured to tip and saw very few people doing so.

Most of the staff at the hotel were all very friendly and nice. Since La Romana isn’t as touristy as Punta Cana, we found that a lot of staff did not speak English that well. That being said, yes, they speak Spanish, but it’s their country and that’s the language. If you speak Spanish, even a little bit, they appreciate if you speak their language. That being said, it wasn’t impossible or difficult to talk with the Spanish speaking staff.

The clientele here is mostly Europeans; menus are in English, French, and Spanish and the entertainment staff translates everything into as many as five languages. We rarely found people speaking English around us, which was fine, just more difficult to meet people.

We didn’t see any weddings at the resort. They have a wedding gazebo by the Preferred Club, which isn’t particularly roomy for a lot of guests. Wedding packages are outlined on the Dreams website.

If anyone has any questions, you may feel free to message me!

Room Tip: Book with Apple Vacations to get a room in block 4!
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Bayahibe
#4 Romantic Hotel in Bayahibe
#4 Family Hotel in Bayahibe
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Bayahibe
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Bayahibe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Dreams La Romana 4*
Number of rooms: 756
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set amidst a world of pristine beaches, lush tropical jungle and turquoise sea on the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic, Dreams La Romana is the perfect resort for singles, couples and families. Unlimited Luxury Enjoy the many amenities of Unlimited-Luxury at Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa, where nearly everything is included. Every gourmet meal, every fine wine and cocktail, and so much more. At Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa, these amenities include: •Elegant accommodations with incredible views •Gourmet dining at eleven specialty restaurants •24-hour room service •Unlimited top-shelf spirits at seven festive bars and lounges •All day and nighttime activities and entertainment •Option to upgrade to Preferred Club privileges •Free WiFi and international calling with Unlimited Connectivity (coming soon) •Full breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks •Unlimited natural fruit juices and soft drinks •Unlimited international and domestic top-shelf spirits •Complimentary mini-bar refreshed daily with soft drinks, juices, bottled water and beer •24-hour room service •Specialty restaurants with no reservations required •Themed parties, oceanfront bars and entertainment venues •Pristine swimming pools •Pool and beach wait service •Endless daytime activities and live nightly entertainment •Explorer's Club for kids with supervised activities •Core Zone Teens Club with teen activities •Fitness center •No wristbands required •All taxes and gratuities Unlimited Top-Shelf Spirits Enjoy international and domestic top-shelf spirits, fine wines and ice-cold beer at any of our seven bars and lounges. Then keep the party going with 24-hour room service and your own complimentary mini-bar. All of your favorite drinks are served without limit or expected gratuities at Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa. World-Class Spa Indulge and invigorate your senses with a day in the Dreams Spa by Pevonia. Spanning more than 21,000 square feet, the on-site spa at Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa offers a la carte treatment options ranging from the traditional to transcendent. ... 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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