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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, BookIt.com, Booking.com, TravelUp, Hotels.com, TripOnline SA, Travelocity, Orbitz and HotelQuickly so you can book your Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Dreams La Romana Bayahibe
- Dreams La Romana Hotel Bayahibe
- Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa Dominican Republic/Bayahibe