Stayed for 6 nights starting June 22, 2014 with the family (wife and I and two kids 9 and 12) . The first impression was fantastic: beautiful location, perfectly maintained grounds and very nicely designed Hacienda type architecture that blends in perfect balance with the lush surroundings. The beauty, diversity and sounds from the fauna making its home on this property (birds, turtles, etc.) adds a perfect touch to the overall feel of the place.
Check-in was a breeze and the front desk staff set the tone for the extremely courteous and attentive treatment that was consistent throughout our stay. We were very impressed with how nice and welcoming the staff, and people in general in the DR, are at all times. We only had an isolated incident with a maintenance person that came to check our room's A/C that had stopped working in the middle of one night. It turned out that their A/C system is designed to not work when the room doors aren't perfectly closed. Apparently our balcony door wasn't, and the guy seemed put off by the fact that we had to bother him in the middle of the night for something he probably thought was an obvious problem. He fixed the problem and started to leave without saying a word to us. I asked him how he fixed it so we knew next time and not have to bother him, and he somewhat curtly said our balcony door was open. Again, this was a small isolated incident and I really want to emphasize that it did not detract from the overall service spirit of this resort's staff and would like to congratulate all of them for that.
The rooms were quite comfortable and very clean. They were typical in comfort and decor for an AI resort of this price range. We asked for an extra bed for the kids and our request was fulfilled immediately. My young daughter really loved the cleaning staff for leaving animal figures made with the towels. She left thank you notes for them and as a result the number and complexity of the figures increased. She really looked forward to returning to the room every day to see what the cleaning staff had left for her. I really want to thank them for that (my daughter made a point of leaving well-earned tips for them too!).
The food was just OK in my opinion. The buffet restaurant food was not exceptional but we always found something that we could eat. Just a recommendation to the resort: you should have more ingredients available to make omelets. I always enjoy an omelet for breakfast with many and varied fixings at this type of resort. Your variety of fixings was just too small (cheese, ham and onions). As with everything else, however, the staff really made the experience more enjoyable. Special kudos to Jose and especially Altagracia who was always just a real sweetheart at the buffet restaurant that opened early; note here: this restaurant closed at 10:00 AM every morning and another buffet restaurant opened for breakfast for late risers, which was nice; however, the variety of food between one and the other was dramatic, with the later one being very basic. This was OK with us though as it served as an incentive to get up early and enjoy a full day!
The specialty by-reservation only restaurants were kind of hit and miss. The Geisha Japanese food restaurant put on a good show (our preparer was Luis and he was a total blast!) but the tepanyaki food could have been better. The Steakhouse restaurant was good and the Mexican food restaurant was a total flop for us. Living in Norther Baja / Southern Cal region we really know and love great Mexican food. Unfortunately this restaurant really missed the mark and the food wasn't even close to genuine Mexican food; while there, I was told that the head Chef for the resort is Mexican! (puedes mejorar mi amigo!!). Since kids were not allowed at the "Colonial" gourmet restaurant we did not get to eat there but I heard good things about it from other guests.
The beach is gorgeous and their set up of chairs and palapas were plentiful and nice. If you go in the ocean (water is beautiful) consider wearing water shoes as the floor is rocky and some of those rocks can be sharp for bare feet. The Beach bar was great and would like to give special thanks to Marcelino the barman whose great attitude and friendliness made our time there truly great!!
The pool area is large and nice. The pool is cleaned at all times during the day but we found some maintenance problems. Some of the tiles are broken and have sharp edges that when stepped on can cut into your bare feet (it happened to my son). Here, as in the beach area, the palapas and chairs are plentiful and you can always find one at any time of the day. The swim-up bar was nice and very nicely staffed by "Mr. baseball", Manny Morla who was a great guy who really made the place enjoyable, especially in the afternoons when people congregated there and made for great conversations. The pool area could have more activities, especially for kids, but we realize that a lot of people prefer peace and quiet which is nice and had plenty of.
The nightly entertainment could be better. Most people congregate at night in the main lobby bar and they have entertainment acts in the theater area, which were a little cheesy for our taste and so we mostly hung out in the lobby. A great touch there is the employees that are dressed as characters (batman, Kiss, Elvis) and roam around having fun with guests. The lobby area is the only place in the resort where you had free wi-fi and so that was an added attraction for people to gather there at night.
One small negative about the resort is the extra charges (wi-fi, room safes, local telephone calls, there are probably others...). It would be nice to visit an AI resort where these small things could be included. I believe it probably wouldn't break their bank and would be a big hit.
All in all it was a great vacation for my family in a great resort where people really try hard but has some important areas where improvements could be made. I do, however, highly recommend the place.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Directly on a fantastically beautiful, fine sandy beach. Around 5 km from the finish village of Bayahibe. Top 5-star luxury. Tropical gardens. Varied gastronomy. Water sports galore. Spa & Health Centre. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus Hotel Bayahibe
- Iberostar Hotel Bayahibe
- Iberostar Hotel Hacienda Dominicus
- Iberostar La Romana
- Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus Dominican Republic/Bayahibe