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“Well Worth The Money”

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Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa
Ranked #3 of 16 Hotels in Bayahibe
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed October 11, 2012

This was our first AI resort stay since Disney World in '96 so my opinions are based on this lone experience and are not compared to any other resort. Overall my wife and I were very happy here. We were treated like royalty by everyone; everything was clean; grounds very well maintained; people (staff) are happy and helpful; beach is beautiful; plenty of lounge chairs and towels, bars and food stands/restaurants; pools are very nice and clean. The room was spotless and seemed brand new. The camarista (Mariana) was excellent - we always had good service. Servers, concierge staff - all staff - were all extremely attentive, helpful and friendly.

Being our first time in a resort like this we had no idea what to expect and were a little overwhelmed at first from the landing in Punta Cana until we were in our room. It really wasn't clear what we were supposed to do (which line to enter) upon disembarking. Once we determined we had indeed picked the correct line (by following the majority of our fellow passengers) and made it through the initial check point (immigration) we were able to follow the signs to retrieve our luggage. But then what? There were plenty of people willing to help (for tips) but we weren't even sure what to tell them. We finally found the correct kiosk for our travel agency (the agency's emblem was tiny and one of about twenty on the small kiosk sign) and were able to secure our provided ride to the resort. The brand new highway from Punta Cana to La Romana is a dream and the trip took about 40 - 45 minutes. Our driver was excellent and was learning English. He did very well - and was genuinely excited to practice by engaging us in conversation. Everyone we met seemed to be genuinely happy to see us - and I suppose the fact that about 60% of the country's income is from tourism has something to do with that. But they seem to generally be genuinely happy there and that made us feel welcome. Upon arrival we were greeted by a concierge who asked us to come back to see him the next morning to tell us about the resort. We had no idea that we were being introduced to a time share type of presentation. But the concierge was very nice and helpful and we were happy to help him by listening to the presentation (given by someone else) which took place the following morning. There was no pressure to buy anything after the presentation, but you never feel comfortable going through the whole thing and then saying no. If I had it to do over again - knowing what I know now, I would not agree to the presentation since I have no interest in paying an exorbitant amount to "join the club" for cheaper rates in the future that I may or may not take advantage of. Unless you are interested in such a deal, just say no thanks. Give the concierge a tip (he makes a commission if u agree to the presentation) instead and save the time for yourself.
Restaurants: We were disappointed that the restaurants were open only on certain days and we didn't know which restaurant would be open the following day until the 'Activities' letter was delivered to our room each night. I suppose this is because we were there during the off season and there aren't enough customers to fill every restaurant every evening. I understand that and have no problem with it - if we had been informed of this up front. No one explained this to us - we had to ask after finding the third restaurant we tried closed on our first evening.
Also, we were not made aware of the included watersports available via Gri-Gri divers until we talked to Suzi (of Gri-Gri). She was so sweet and extremely helpful.

[I should mention here that none of these 'cons' are deal breakers. I consider them more helpful tips than negative feedback]

Only two more helpful tips I'd like to share...

We took a catamaran ride to Saona Island (which is beautiful and might be worth the trip in a speed boat both ways. However, there is really nothing to do there except walk the beach and take pictures; eat a decent lunch...). The catamaran ride was about an hour too long at two hours and was kind of a booze cruise. And by booze I mean 2 liter bottles of a cola and a sprite type of beverage and rum, and beer. The crew passed out bandana type hats (tied them around your head) - "Isn't this fun?" Only to come around later and tell you how much you owed them. I ran into this a lot. I learned after the first time that when anyone offers you something for nothing they will then demand payment for it, or try to shame you into buying something else of greater value because, after all, you owe them. That was my biggest complaint about the resort. There were occasionally vendors around who would do anything to sell you something. You have to be firm in saying no - or, if you're interested in purchasing something... always barter. They like American dollars and will come down considerably in price if you stick to your bottom (but fair) offer and walk away if they say no.

Regarding the Saona Island trip, make sure you talk to Suzi at Gri Gri Divers and be specific about what you expect from the trip and ask specific questions about what they offer. There are other outfits that run some of the excursions and I have a feeling (though I honestly don't know for sure) if our trip was through Gri Gri or not as it was arranged by our travel agent rep.

Food: Overall quality was good, though it's all inclusive. Don't expect thick steaks and fresh lobster. We both encountered tummy issues, but have no idea what caused them. We didn't ask for bottled water in the resort restaurants and probably should have. We ate fresh fruit and vegetables and probably shouldn't have. We didn't drink much alcohol at all, but we did have ice in drinks we did have. It's hard to say what the deal was, but neither of us lost any fun time as a result. And I can't blame the staff or the resort - we probably were just not careful enough.

It seems like I've written this as a review to dissuade one from visiting this place, but I assure you that is not the case. I just want to make sure that everyone who reads this will be able to fully enjoy the wonderful experience we had without the few and small negatives we encountered because of our ignorance.

Overall, this was a fantastic resort and we would not hesitate to return - especially knowing what I now know.

Room Tip: We were on the top floor of building 7 (preferred club) with an ocean (and pool) view. The extra few...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank AbzThePoolBoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,384 - 5,390 of 11,222 reviews

Reviewed October 11, 2012

All our party experienced the same symtons during our second week of our stay. The only difference from the first week to the second was that we went from swimming in the sea at the beach to the infinity pool and swim up bar.
I have visited Thailand 5 times,India,Brazil and all A/I 3 * upwards. We have eaten the local food, fruit,curries,various cocktails etc, and returned with lovely tans on all our holidays over the last 20 years and have never experienced anything like this illness or been religiously squirted with anti bacterial hand wash every day.
Room was not very good and definately not 5* and not unlimited luxury or refurbished.
Plus points, food was very good in French and Itailian resturants, staff pleasant, surroundings good and coffee/cake bar a plus.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank vwd_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rudy R, Manager at Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 18, 2012

Dear Vwd_12,
Thank you for taking the time to post your review in regards to your recent vacation stay with us.
We are sorry to learn that you did not feel well during your vacation stay with us and certainly hope that you are feeling better at this point in time. When traveling abroad, many factors can be taken into consideration when falling ill, such factors that can certainly attribute to this are as follows: excessive heat/sun exposure, difference between the oils that certain foods are cooked in, lack of proper water consumption, excessive alcohol consumption, foods made with less preservatives that normally consumed, foods which are rich/natural laxatives such as pineapple or coconut, over indulgence of foods not normally eaten as well as many others. At certain locations throughout our resort we have chosen to be proactive with offering hand sanitation visible to all guests, this is to help prevent the spreading of bacteria, especially within a main buffet setting. This gesture can certainly be declined by any guest and is never of any imposing. We hope to have the opportunity to serve you once again in the 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.
Reviewed October 11, 2012

After visiting the Dominican Republic two other times, I had no real desire to go back. Took a chance on this resort as it was a inexpensive vacation. Wow. What a surprise!! The resort was beautiful, the beach and water exceptional, the staff was as nice and accomidating as possible.

This is not a resort for "Party" people. There is not alot of nightlife like some other resorts. It is great for families, but better for honeymooners, girlfriend vacation, or couples who want to eat well, enjoy the beach and pools and get away from the hustle bustle of life at home.

Top of my list for my next vacation!!

Room Tip: upgrade to their "club" for $100.00 each....get own private pool, bar, consierge and is in...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank SouthBeachSue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2012

My partner and I went for 2 weeks! Sept 13th-28th an extra day due to Thomas Cook problems! delayed 28 hours! the hotel was fantastic with regards to the delay we kept the same room no hassle what so ever cannot thank them enough for that as it could of been a nightmare moving rooms if not worse moving hotels!

The hotel was just unbelievable it was the best I have been to especially for the service of the staff!! They were all very polite and couldn't do enough for you! You'd say thank you and you'd 9/10 times get 'its a pleasure' which is really nice to see.

Bar staff/ waitresses in the bar area would top up your drinks when your empty you didnt need to move from your seat! Many thanks to Mary I don't know how she was doing it with a baby bump!

Waitresses/ waitors on the beach is not something I have come across before niether! empty glasses were constantly being picked up and replaced.

7! a la carte restaurants the variety in food available is brilliant most deffinately recommend the seaside grill :) and no messing with reservations niether! Also they had an all inclusive coffee shop with all confectionaries and speciality coffees just fantastic!! never seen this before

Entertainment where do I start! shows were very good I was even in one of them lol thanks to Eddy Murphy!! :) he was brillaint always came to find us on the beach. We even had the pleasure of Eddy and Chocolate sit with us for breakfast! 2 very funny people but all the entertainment staff were brill and many laughs with Mr Picasso

The room was lovely and very clean! and everything you need even a toothbrush and paste lol oh and even a little sewing kit! now if thats thinking of everything I dont know what is.

A big disadvantage is trying to avoid the market days! these happened too frequently and I think it would be better for them to attend less as the same people would grab you over and over again and they try and charge soo much that you can even get cheaper in the shop!

I would deffinately recommend this hotel to others! and I will deffinately think of returning and possibly trying other Dreams hotel's. We obviously went in September which is hurricane season weather was very hot up to 39 degrees some days!! and we had about 2 days of rain and storms but they are so fascinating! they are an experience in themselves.

thank you Dreams La Romana for an unforgetable holiday!!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank katie d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2012

This is the fifth AI my husband and I have been to. I did my research and read the reviews however I like to keep an open mind and see the glass as half full. We flew into Santo Domingo and it took almost 2 hours to get to the resort. I didn't mind as I like to to see what the "real' Dominican is like outside the resort. When we arrived we were immediately taken to the Preferred check in. This was so nice as the check in lines were out the door! We booked a room in the Preferred section top floor of building 7. The room was very nice and had no problems with noisy neighbors or woodpeckers. The grounds are kept very clean and most of the staff were very friendly. We were very thankful we spent a few extra dollars for the Preferred section. We spent most of our days in the preferred pool as the others were quite noisy and rowdy. It would have been nice to have a "preferred beach" closer to the preferred section but that is just to avoid getting hassled by people who want you to listen to their 'time share" lecture. It really did get quote annoying day after day.The food at this resort is so-so. I ended up with stomach sickness on day 3 and am glad I listened to other reviewers who said to bring the Immodium!! We thought the buffet was horrible. I found myself only able to eat boiled potatoes and roll/breads. We did try every restaurant except the Sea Side Grill for dinner. The best are the Bordeaux and the Portofino, ordered steak both times. Do not not waste your time ordering room service. We ordered it twice thinking it would be better the second time around, unfortunately we were disappointed again. I do have to mention that Hector the bartender (from the Preferred) is fantastic and goes the extra mile to get you whatever drink you desire. All and all it was relaxing vacation but probably won't go back.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank cassbugs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rudy R, Manager at Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 16, 2012

Dear Cassbugs,
We take this opportunity to thank you for having chosen our beautiful resort and for sharing your feedback in regards to your recent vacation stay with us. We are quite pleased to learn of your satisfaction of the services within the preferred club section. We are sorry to learn that you did not feel well during your stay and do hope that you are feeling much better as of now. As our resort caters to many different cultures we do try to offer cuisines from all parts of the globe in the hopes of obtaining client satisfaction. For this reason we do offer different theme nights such as American, Asian, Italian, French, International as well as others. We do hope that you were able to enjoy the cuisine within the World Café as well as our Specialty restaurants. We hope to have the opportunity to serve you once again in the future.

All the best,

Rudy Richardson
Resident Manager
Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2012

GREAT resort. Just came back from a 10 night stay. Great time of year. SUPERIOR service at all reastaurants..Impecable grounds. Tons of entertainment (adults and kids). Great beaches and plenty of beach loungers. Had 2 beach towels for each of us. No reservations needed for the specialty restaurants (huge plus for me).
We will definitely go back next year without a doubt. Only difference will be that we might stay longer.
Book your trip via Punta Cana. A new highway was just inagurated Aug. 8th 2012 so the drive time is now only 45 minutes. If you book air to Santo Domingo, you will look at close to 2 hours from Santo Domingo to La Romana.
Hope this review is helpful to you.

Room Tip: Building 5 if you want a little bit more quiet. There are really no "bad" areas.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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4  Thank Cristina J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2012

just come back (sat) after 2 weeks at this hotel. the beach is fantastic the girls work hard on the beach getting drinks constantly always have a smile on their faces. swim up pool bar is great except when there are gangs of people shouting and screaming after to much drink. rooms are nice and clean the bed was so comfortably.room service is good (thats the only time you can get some chips with the meal). breakfast good but other meal times in buffet restraunt terrible, i lived on boiled potatoes (when they were not hard) and slices of tomatoes. entertaintment was terrible lobby bar ok if you like piano music all the time.cut my finger on piece of glass on seat asked girl for tissues as there was blood everywhere and she just looked at me and walked away, asked wan the male waiter and he was very helpful,went to seaview grill to try as it was open when we got there it was closed even though it was advertised as open om that evening, complained to the men on the conseige desk and was told it was a printing error, took my room number and was told it would be reported to the hotel manager did not hear a thing from him, so i dont think he was bothered at all would not go back to this hotel again and would not recommend it.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Irene C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa

Address: Bayahibe 22000, 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 Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Bayahibe
#3 Spa Hotel in Bayahibe
#3 Green Hotel in Bayahibe
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Bayahibe
Price Range: $206 - $541 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa 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 Resort & Spa Dominican Republic/Bayahibe

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