This was my first time staying at a DREAMS property, so I didn't know what to expect. I stayed for 6 nights.
FOOD: This was my first experience at an all-inclusive, and I was pretty impressed with the food choices. I saw some of the negative reviews and can't say I experienced any problems with getting sick during my stay, but since I visit a lot of L.American countries (and don't usually have any issues), maybe that is the reason.
World Cafe: I was really impressed with the selection here. They had something for everybody. For breakfast, they had doughnuts, eggs, bacon, a few different types of sausages, lots of fresh fruit, they would make you an omelette if you wanted, and they had cold cuts, cheese, and bread for the European travelers as well as Spanish-sytle omelettes, and to a lesser extent, Dominican food. The buffet was huge. I would circle around it once trying to decide what I wanted knowing that it would not be possible to try one of everything. Lunch is also nice here and they have the same wide variety of things to choose from. Dinner is based on a theme. Usually I went to one of the International places for dinner.
Seaside Grill: This was also a nice option where you could have lunch right by the ocean. Even though the brochure says this is for snacks, you can order a meal and besides that they have a small salad bar inside with nachos, fruit, cookies, and other items. I was pretty full after eating at the "snack" place.
El Patio: I loved this place EXCEPT for the mosquitoes. The food was good and so were the margaritas! I went here twice during my stay.
Portofino: I had the Lasagna and thought it was very good.
Himitsu: I had the Pad Thai and it was delicious!
Oceana: I did not eat there.
Bordeaux: I had the filet of boeuf and it was very good.
Jungle Restaurant/Barefoot Grill: Did not eat there.
Coco Cafe: I loved this place! I stopped in everyday. It's a Starbuck's style place with coffee and various types of beverages (mocha, cappucino, frappucino, etc.), and also plenty of pastries to choose from. The pastries are very small, so you can try several without feeling like you are stuffed.
The beach: Very nice, but smaller than I expected. It was very pretty, but not as pretty as the one in Cancun, but that is just my opinion.
The pools: Also very nice. There is a very large kids' pool.
Tours: There are a couple of very nice gentlemen who will arrange tours. Even though the hotel arranges them, they are reasonably priced. I really appreciated the help getting a Santo Domingo tour as it was the low season and there weren't many tours going to Santo Domingo on the day that I wanted to go. They do really go out of their way to try to help and get you where you want to go. I also went on a tour of La Romana.
Entertainment: I didn't participate in a lot of the activities, though I did watch Puss in Boots in English with French subtitles. If I have one regret it's that I didn't participate in many activities. If I had it to do again, I would have. I did not visit the nightclub or casino.
Rooms: I had two rooms while I was there. One was a partial ocean view and the other was a garden view.
Partial Ocean View Room: The view of the ocean was completely obstructed by a palm tree. Also, every time you would turn on the water in the sink, some bugs would fly out of the upper drain. Not all of the lights worked in the room, and the coffemaker was missing a part. There was a fake eyelash on the floor when I arrived (not mine!), and the maid must have thought it was mine because the next day she had placed it on the vanity...yuck! I ran out of washcloths one day and waited almost 2 hours for them to bring me one. I was ready to walk around and steal one from a cart...lol.
Garden View Room: This seemed like a better room, but not all of the lights worked, and there was no phone in the room. Right off the bat the toilet was clogged, and because there was no phone in the room, I had to walk to the lobby and tell them what was wrong. I waited for hours, but it was stil not fixed. I had talked to them around 2 or 3 pm and it was finally fixed around 9-10 pm. I guess there was a miscommunication.
Fitness Center: Kind of small and not open very late. I went once, but there was someone in there making a bunch of noise trying to draw attention to himself so I did not go back after that.
Property: Overall the property is very nice. Besides the things that I have already mentioned, they have a gift shop, ATM, flamingoes, and spa. I did visit the spa once while I was there to have my hair braided. Everyone there was nice. The gift shop was hit or miss as sometimes they were nice and other times it seems that they did not really want to deal with you.
Vendors: What can be a little annoying if you are not used to this, is a couple nights a week they have vendors onsite. This can be a plus for people looking to buy souvenirs, but they are a little agressive and I found myself going out of my way and walking a longer distance to avoid them. I know it is probably great for the locals, but if you really aren't interested in buying anything it can be annoying. Also, sometimes outside of World Cafe in the morning there will be people trying to get you to sign up for a breakfast where you will get some "regalos" and have to listen to a sales pitch from someone from the hotel chain. I was not sure why this gentleman was handing me coupons for the spa and other things, but then afterwards I got the sales pitch. I was really not interested and I'm not sure how long I was held prisoner there listening but eventually I found I had to be a litte rude and tell him I had to leave. Apparently they work on a cuota and have to sign so many people up to get paid. I saw him later on and he was laying this guilt trip on me for not having signed up but while he was holding me prisoner talking he could have approached some other people.
Noise levels: I guess where I was wasn't too bad. I could hear carts being pushed around, but that was about it.
A note for females traveling solo: I found in a couple of instances some of the male employees are overly flirtatious. This is most likely just a part of the culture, but it was a little annoying. I think this is probably because I was there by myself. I would say that 99% of the time people are just being friendly, but a couple of the employees were a bit overbearing. There was one who had talked to me several times and whenever he saw me would just call out my name, so I had to go out of my way to avoid him. I'm a very friendly person and I don't mind talking to anyone, but I think sometimes that gets misinterpreted. Also, since I speak Spanish, it is more likely that I will have more conversation partners. Some people just ask things like if you like baseball, and where are you from, and how do you like the D.R., but then when it starts getting to things like are you married and do you have a boyfriend, well then you know it's time to end that conversation.
Anyway, overall, I would say that I enjoyed my vacation, I learned a lot about the D.R., I got to use my Spanish (which is getting rusty up here in Maine), I enjoyed my tours very much and also the food choices and friendilness of most of the people I met. Overall, it was nice getaway from work and insight into a different culture.
Would I go back again? Maybe. I really liked the Dreams concept and now that I have had a taste of all-inclusive I don't think I would want to go back to paying for food and drinks, but I would most likely go to one of the other Dreams resorts next time just to get a different experience.
- 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