Having been to a 5-star resort on the Mayan Riviera strip, I wasn't expecting as much from Catalonia Gran Dominicus. However, my friends and I (group of 6) had quite wonderful experience and really enjoyed the various activities, friendly staff and nice beach.
- Lots of activities including scheduled sports, dance lessons, fitness exercises and mini events throughout the day
- Friendly entertainment staff who keep you engaged from morning until night. Thanks to Anthony, La Crema, Beba, Maite, Juan and everyone else for great fun!
- Salsa lessons at night, fun nightly shows with lots of dancing and a disco
- Privileged rooms had modern furnishings, in-room safe, stocked mini bar (and more) and was close to the pool and beach. BUT there were issues with insects. If you left any food in the room or remnants of food, tiny ants would gather in that area. We're not sure where they came from because we would normally not see (that much of them) otherwise. We noticed that the flowers the maid left to decorate the room actually brought in the ants. Mosquitoes were in the room which made it hard to sleep at night (because we kept getting bitten)!
- Privileged room guests have perks such as discount on romantic lobster beach dinner (or complimentary beach dinner, no lobster), complimentary couples massage, privileged area for snacks and use of internet, no reservations for a la carte required, tapas restaurant etc
- The best was the pizza at the pizzeria! Especially the pizza at night made by Antonio! We all had at least 3 slices every night. He hand tosses the crust (nice and thin) and cooks them perfectly in the wood oven (making it light and crispy!) and serves them up fresh.
- The buffet was fine as there was always a lot of variety; salads, sandwiches, fruits and vegetables, meats etc. My favourite were the pastries in the morning and desserts in the afternoon at night. The hours were a little short though; breakfast (7am – 10am), lunch (12:30pm – 2:30pm) and dinner (7pm – 9:30pm).
- The crepes by the beach were a nice treat. If there are a lot of people, there may be a little bit of wait since there is only person and two crepe makers at any given point
- The snack bar by the beach wasn’t anything special and we didn’t have much food from there except for the nachos and cheese. It could satisfy during the times when the buffet is closed and there are no other food options available
- We tried two of the a-la-carte dinners and were disappointed with both. The steak at the steakhouse did not taste good (I didn’t even finish my steak and that NEVER happens). There were also issues with our orders such as getting the wrong steak and having the restaurant manager doubt us. The Italian restaurant was also uninspiring (we had high hopes) with the risotto being overly salty and the rice undercooked. The seafood pasta was okay though. Because of these 2 experiences, we didn’t even try the Mexican restaurant.
- My friends said that the mojitos were the best. Some of the cocktails were too sugary. The strawberry daiquiri used slush as a mixer but ended up tasting like medicine more than strawberry. The pina coladas were decent as it tasted like coconut and pineapple.
- There was only one main bar (central bar) that could serve all the drinks; the “bar” at the snack bar only had beer and a limited selection of drinks, the bar at the crepe station had a slightly wider selection but still limited. At night, drinks were also available at the disco, but were watered down.
- The house wines were all mild and easy to drink – which may not be to the taste of those who enjoy full-bodied wines
- Beautiful white sand, tall palm trees and clear blue water
- For those who enjoy tanning, the front part of the beach near the water is perfect as there is less shade
- For those who enjoy a bit of shade, the back part of the beach is slightly higher up and has tons of huts and palm trees to provide cover and shade
- The left part of the beach is flatter and the water gets deeper gradually (vs. a steeper drop in the center and to the right of the beach)
- There are vendors from way down the beach (left) that come over to the resort beach to try and have tourists visit their stalls; they are harmless
- The grounds are well-kept with minimal amount of garbage
- The rooms were cleaned everyday (pretty good job) except for the fact that there were still tiny ants and mosquitoes
- The excursion to Santo Domingo was alright; nothing too exciting.
- The excursion to Saona Island is a MUST SEE!!! We booked it through Transat and enjoyed ourselves in the speed boat, natural shallow pool in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, private beach and lunch and a relaxing catamaran ride home.
Overall, I would return to this resort again (maybe at a different time because we went during high season) at a lower price and hopefully with better rooms. The plethora of activities, beautiful beach and wonderful staff are what would make me come back!
P.S. There are a lot of Europeans at this resort and the staff mostly spoke Spanish, Italian and French. Far and few between could speak English (except for the names of drinks!).
While privileged rooms are closer to the pool and beach, it is also close to the main bar and theref...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.