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Dreams La Romana or Iberostar hacienda dominicus??

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whitley bay
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255 posts
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Dreams La Romana or Iberostar hacienda dominicus??

Hi, I'm looking to book 2 weeks in DR next November for me and my boyfriend.

I have been looking at the Dreams Resorts but have recently stumbles across the iberostar hacienda dominicus...

Just wondering on opinions between the two, are they similar or totally different resorts (and in your opinion which is best?)

We're in our early 30's, looking for a pretty relaxing holiday with the option to join in with activities if we choose so. We usually prefer the pool but have never experienced the Caribbean so think this time may be more beach based?

Are both resorts pretty much identical in size/food/entertainment?

Please help, we just cant decide!!

Thanks :o)

Easton, Maryland
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1. Re: Dreams La Romana or Iberostar hacienda dominicus??

I can only speak about the Hacienda. We LOVE it. We have stayed with Iberostar six times, and this will be our 7th since 2006. The beach and water are wonderful. I am all about the beach, and not so much the pool (we have pools here, but not the Caribbean). In January we will be going to the Hacienda and I can't wait. We have been to Punta Cana four times, and although I love it and we can get better flights there, I really prefer the Hacienda (relatively small).

Wherever you end up, you will definitely enjoy the Caribbean. The sunsets are spectacular, the water is warm, and the drinks are cold. The only tip I would give is take water shoes along. When you take out a Hobie cat, you have to walk on a very hard stone bottom to get to your boat.. I am taking my water shoes this year.

We have never had a problem getting lounge chairs and an umbrella, either,like some people say they do. We always go in winter, so maybe it is a seasonal problem.

Allentown...
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2. Re: Dreams La Romana or Iberostar hacienda dominicus??

I was wondering the same thing. We're going in October and I asked my travel agent. We're going with Dreams.

Easton, Maryland
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15 posts
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3. Re: Dreams La Romana or Iberostar hacienda dominicus??

I am sure Dreams is really nice, too. We have only stayed at Iberostars (three different sites in Mexico and the DR) and found them consistently good--not perfect, but suited our needs perfectly. Our philosophy has always been if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I would love to hear how your experience was at Dreams.. (We never have an agenda, either--just R & R, and a little diving. Most of the time it is just going to the beach, eating when we feel like it, and of course imbibing once in awhile.)

whitley bay
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4. Re: Dreams La Romana or Iberostar hacienda dominicus??

Thanks for the replys...still not decided tho - thought the christmas break may have helped but still no further forward!!

Actually leaning more towards Punta Cana now...the beaches in Bayahibe seem relatively small and i would rather not spend my holiday that close with the rest of the hotel population :-)

Allentown...
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5. Re: Dreams La Romana or Iberostar hacienda dominicus??

The beaches may be small but you'll have to decide if you want to swim in the ocean or not. The beach in Punta Cana (at Excellence) was rough and the red flags were up everday. From what I read the beach in Bayahibe is smaller but the water is much calmer for swiming. I've done the rough water so now I'm going for the calmer water. Good luck on trying to make a decision. It's tough.

Easton, Maryland
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6. Re: Dreams La Romana or Iberostar hacienda dominicus??

We have been to Punta Cana four times (Iberostar) and loved it each time. The beaches are the most beautiful we have ever seen. The water can be a little on the rough side sometimes. There is always a lot going on in the water (parasailers, banana boats, etc.) and it can get a little crazy out there if you want to sail a Hobie cat (which is great fun--just remember the boats down there don't follow US Coast Guard rules),

Punta Cana is bigger and more crowded and has lots to offer. We are going back to IB Hacienda tomorrow for a week and I can't wait. Although the sand is coarser than the sand in Punta Cana, the Caribbean Sea is so lovely and warm. The sunsets from the beach are truly awesome. Since the Hacienda site is smaller than IB Punta Cana, we never have had a problem getting lounges, palapas, etc.

Either place will be wonderful. Good luck.

Easton, Maryland
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7. Re: Dreams La Romana or Iberostar hacienda dominicus??

We have never been to Dreams, so we cannot comment directly about it. However, we have been to Caribbean Iberostars six times in the last six years, and are returning to Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus for the second time in three years tomorrow.

We have always been extremely satisfied with the Iberostars, which is why we continue to visit Iberostar resorts. We have found them all to be consistently four-star experiences. We are an "easy-going" couple in our early sixties, with a moderate sense of adventure. However, we don't take our Iberostar-Caribbean vacations for the adventure. We are mainly interested in relaxation and decompression. And there is plenty of relaxation and decompression to be had at Hacienda Dominicus.

We also will probably take one or two excursions. In the past, we've taken snorkeling and scuba excursions (we are both certified divers); Santa Domingo tour; Outback excursion. This trip we are going with some friends, and I (the husband) will probably hike to Bayahibe with our DSLR cameras for a photo exercise, plus I think we will try to visit the National Park East to get a better feel for the nature of the island.

If you want the best beach imaginable, go to Iberostar Punta Cana. However, Hacienda has a very, very nice beach too. Some people complain that there are too many rocks in the water (there are some coral heads that peek out of the sand), but anybody should be able to find plenty of sand and sun on the beach despite this. The pool is large with lots of room to lounge around too. And if you want both...the beach and pool are just a few feet apart.

As for food, we both have adventurous palates. We are particular, but not terribly picky. As long as you're not totally stuck on your local or national cuisines (like pizza and hot dogs in the U.S :), you'll find plenty to eat that you like. The restaurants are not 5-star, but they do a very credible job. I've never had a meal at the Iberostars that I did not enjoy. I enjoyed some more than others....er, just like at home.

The DR Iberostars (and I suspect the rest of the DR resorts too) are predominately visited by Europeans. As an American, I have always been a minority guest at these resorts. You will find a scattering of Americans, Canadians and Brits, but most of the other guests speak foreign languages and have differeing customs and behavior-isms that some Americans find hard to take. Smoking is one. Topless old women and fat old men in Speedo's are another. But, heck, I find things like that fun too, and I may just puff on a Cuban in public myself! Also, I relish the opportunity to hobknob with foreigners. We've met quite a few interesting people from all over the world in our past vacations, and made a few new friends, if even for only a few days.

The rooms may have a little wear to them, and the TV is mostly non-English language. We have always found the rooms to be very comfortable and adequate for our needs...once again, we are particular, but not picky.

The whole place is polished to a high shine, and the grounds are manicured perfectly. I imagine that the Garden of Eden was a lot like that.

We have never run into an unfriendly or unhelpful staff member. We tip generously (we will take 150 $1 bills and come home with few if any). We'll also take an assortment of Dollar General cosmetics and school supplies for the room maid gratuity (plus a couple of dollars per day, left each day). I''' also take a bucket of Walmart baseballs and give them to the staff for their kids....The Dominicans are baseball feinds.

In all the times we have been to the Iberostars, we've only spent a few hours in the night clubs (never seen a "show"), and have never visited the casinos. Those types of night life are just not our style.

I understand the health spas are adequate, but not special. I've never been to one, but then, who needs them. There's the Caribbean to swim in, plenty of paths to hike or run, jazz-er-cize by the pool, etc., etc, etc.

Because of the European leanings of the resort, you do have to be prepared to adapt in a few ways. I mentioned the food before. But be prepared for foreign electrical outlets. The rooms have 110 volts like the U.S., but the sockets require an adapter. Thus, you can use your U.S. appliances, but you can't plug them in without an adapther. If you don't already have adapters, you can purchase them for a buck or two in the lobby shop. I'd also recommend you take an "outlet multiplier", because there are not many outlets. There are also 220 volt outlets for the Europeans, so you have to differentiate.

Electricity is probably expensive, so there are lots of energy savers. For instance, if you open your balcony slider door, the A/C cuts out. And you'll never get the A/C down to 65 degrees F. The room lighting is dimmer. If you've ever been to Europe, the energy management is a lot like Europe.

The bathrooms are very European, which means more "different" than "hard to use." The beds are a little harder than most Americans are probably accustomed to. Personally, I love a firm bed.

Here's a little hint that you might appreciate. You'll read a lot about how people reserve lounges on the beach and poolside, and how unfair that is. Well, people do that, and you should just go with the flow and reserve yours too. Get down to the pool or beach at 7:00 or 7:30 and put your towel on your lounges. Don't leave your towels overnight, because the staff will come along and pick them up. Then, you'll be without a towel. When you check in, you'll get a card that you trade in for a towel. You can get fresh towels at the towel shack as often as you want. Before you check out, you'll turn in your towel and get your card back. If you've lost your towel, you'll be charged for it upon chenckout. Now, here's the hint...we have run into people who go out at night and pick up a towel somebody has left overnight. Then they have an extra card, just in case somebody steals their towel or they loose theirs. I personally have never practiced that....but I'm tempted. Personally, we've never had towel problems, but we've heard of them.

As for the reservation restaurants....Do not delay in making your reservations. After check-in, make it a priority. Otherwise you may be locked out of reservations and times that you might want. But it doesn't hurt to just "show up" without a reservation either. Most of the time, it seems like there are extra tables. Not every night and every restaurant, but often enough that it won't hurt to try getting into a reservation restaurant without a reservation.

I'm rambling. Sorry. In summary, I think you will enjoy the Iberostar. I cannot vouch for Dreams, but I hear good things about it too.

whitley bay
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255 posts
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8. Re: Dreams La Romana or Iberostar hacienda dominicus??

Thanks for a very informative reply! I shall take all comments on board xx

Edinburgh, United...
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9. Re: Dreams La Romana or Iberostar hacienda dominicus??

Laurr, Kaki's post (post number 8) on the following thread should be very helpful for comparing the two hotels...

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g147292-i243-k48…

10. Re: Dreams La Romana or Iberostar hacienda dominicus??

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