An extremely good resort for families with older(ish) children looking to relax and have fun with lots of food options with appealing pool areas, excellent beach and plenty to keep all entertained.
Let's start with the highlights - all restaurants provided a good quality of food and service with only one disappointing evening meal (Seaside Grill) in the 2 weeks we were there. Lunchtime choices were even more impressive with pizza bar, BBQ burgers and hot dogs at Barefoot Grill, Seaside Grill (much more impressive at lunch time than in evening esp calamari!), World Cafe buffet as well as additional ad hoc food events on the beach. Breakfast buffet was also impressive, good quality and wide variety.
Lots of bars too with decent quality and variety of drinks. Entertainment team worked hard - we saw and participated in a number of daytime events aimed at both kids and adults. There was no pressure to join in but the relaxed but exuberant atmosphere in these events made it a pleasure to sit back and observe or get involved - the daily water aerobics in the turquoise sea or the one off Dominican sunset party were particular highlights. Can't judge evening events as we tended to retire to our room early but our kids didn't and they had a great time making friends at core zone and enjoying the entertainment.
The resort grounds were also impressive, large and well maintained gardens with maturing planting as well as a really gorgeous beach (snorkelling right off the beach was particularly enjoyable, starfish as well as other species) - this was probably the stand out highlight for us.
Downsides? A few but nothing substantial and in truth, if I could rate this resort a 4.5 then I would.
Our room was OK - comfy beds, decent bathroom and excellent air con but the rooms could do with an overhaul. Decor is looking a little dated and the fixtures and fittings are not to the higher standards we have experienced in Mexico.
In addition, in 2014 free wifi really should come as standard in a resort that markets itself so highly (although I do admit that making the decision not to pay for wifi and going internet/email/Facebook free for 2 weeks was a wonderful retro experience!).
Service was largely a hit but occasionally missed - one or two staff seemed less than happy in their role but this was the exception.
My main gripe was the lack of air con in some areas in the evening. Some shared areas (lobby bar, Mexican and Asian restaurants) are open sided buildings with fans to circulate air. In a hot and humid climate this could make for a less than comfortable time. Not a lot can be done about this (esp if the building architecture is already in place) and we were there in August but it was often a cooling relief to step back into the air conditioned loveliness of our room later in the evening.
On the whole I would recommend Dreams la Romana to families esp those with older kids (ours are 14 and 11). It gave us oldies a chance to relax in a high standard resort and on a wonderful beach enjoying good food and drink while also providing our kids with lots to do, many new friends to make and activities to keep them entertained in a beautiful place.
Coming from the UK we have tended to take our family holidays around the Med before (albeit we have visited Mexico as a couple a number of times). We choose DLR because we felt (largely based on TA reviews) that it gave us much more variety in resort experience and at a higher standard than resorts in Spain/Greece/Egypt could. When we priced up these holidays we were pleasantly surprised to find DLR coming out at only slightly more than these Med resorts in August so we decided to go for it. I'm very glad we did, we got much more holiday bang for our buck and I doubt we will ever return to the Med for a family holiday again.
- 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