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Catalonia Gran Dominicus
Ranked #4 of 16 Hotels in Bayahibe
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Smiths Falls, Canada
Level Contributor
28 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Fantastic Value”
Reviewed February 23, 2012

I read some of the recent reviews of the Catalonia and they sound like they were at a totally different resort. I just returned (Feb.20/12) and my husband and I and the couple we were with, thought that this resort was amazing. We too arrived in the rain and had no trouble bringing our luggage inside while we registered. We had upgraded to the Privileged section. I suggest that you do this. You get a nicer room closer to the main area. There is also a Privilege station where you get the "better" booze and free use of the internet. You also get three 350 ml. of liquor, rum, vodka, and gin. (which you pick up at the Privilege Center.) The lady who works in the center is friendly and very accommodating. Her husband works at the scuba diving station.

Our room was certainly acceptable. The large walk in shower was a treat - but the ceiling showed some water damage. The only negative comment that I can say about the room is that the lighting was terrible. We had to draw the curtains in order to see what was inside our suitcases. There are in room safes and an iron and ironing board. There are also small bottles of shampoo etc. The fridge was stocked daily.

Food - The Italian restaurant is very good. Make this one a must. The attached Italian buffet/pizza restaurant is a great place to grab lunch if you have been on the beach. Look for Omar. He is a wonderful man with a great sense of humour.
- The Steak Restaurant was our least favourite.
- The Mexican Restaurant was also a very enjoyable place to dine.
- The main buffet area has something to please everyone. Diet before you come here
because the desserts are delicious. Each night there is a different theme night so the
menu is varied.
- There is also the availability of a dinner on the beach for Privilege patrons. Again,
don't pass this up.
- Another delicious spot to grab a snack was on the beach. Here you could order
crepes. Yum!

The beach did have a drop to it once you got closer to the water. We always parked ourselves to the far left. (down the beach and to the left of the massage hut) The beach was much flatter here and the ocean was soft sand - no rocks whatsoever. One can walk out quite a distance before the water even hit your waist. It was perfect.

The pool is huge. There shouldn't be a problem finding lounge chairs - here or on the beach. One end of the pool is great for little ones.

The nightly entertainment was enjoyable. It usually starts at 10pm.

Our only setback during our whole stay was our tour to Santo Domingo. We booked with our Nolitour rep. (Diane) She strongly suggested that we book only with her to ensure that our bus tour guide spoke to us in English. Wrong! There were only six English speaking people on the bus. Not only did we not get a running commentary about what we were passing along the highway, but we almost got left behind in Santo Domingo because he changed the meeting time and did not tell us.

Shopping - There are some shops on the resort and the prices are decent. A 15 min. walk takes you into Dominicus. If you are looking for larimar, shop around. There is one huge store with a fairly good jewellery selection and the prices are good. Of course you can barter.

Overall, I would certainly return to this resort. No high rise building with elevators - instead palm trees and lots and lots of flowers. It had a very calm, relaxing atmosphere.

Note: To get to this resort from Ottawa, Canada, we had to land in Puerta Plata and stay for an hour or so in the airport. Then we flew to La Romana. The airport is about 30 min. from the resort.

Bottom line, this resort is paradise. You won't regret your stay.

Room Tip: Choose the Privilege package. It gets you a nicer, newer room, closer to the main area and pool.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank Nunnan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (227)
Date | Rating
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English first
Ottawa
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2012

Hi , we stayed at this hotel for 2 weeks, we had upgraded prior to getting there, based on review on Trip Advior, it was worth it. The service was great, the room , especially the bathrooms was great. Any request were dealt with promptly. There is a concierge for privilege, it was a bonus. you can go to the concierge and use free internet, desert, special drinks and coffee etc, not that we needed it. there was lots of everything there.

The food is amazingly good for a resort, the wood oven pizza is so good, with so much variety that it made it hard to go somewhere else for lunch. They cook you a crepe bretonne on the beach, what else could you ask for. Was everything perfect, no but there was 4 of us and we always found something we liked. I

The hotel has a very European feel about it, Here are in order, the people that goes there. Italians, French ( France), German and Canadians. There are 3 Bocce court, 2 italian and one French. volleyball, pool table , soccer etc .
Went to eat to a la carte restaurant, Mexican was good, so was the Italian, the Roadhouse ( steak house ) is what surprised me, one person we met told us to order the Rodeo steak. it was a great steck, never had one in the Caribean before. Lots of fish, if you like it, lots of calamari, even crab one night at the buffet ! I do not eat fish ( allergies) but still found lots of things to eat. their vegetables were always plenty and very good.

The negative, the section where you can swim is not that big but big enough. The whole Romana has been hit hard a couple of years ago by a Hurricane, you see rocks on the beach in many areas that were not there before. there is a small hill that you have to down to go swimming, not great for some people but the area on top is very nice, not crowded with lots of shade if you want some. One of the thing we would have appreciated is washroom at the beach, you have to walk a bit to use the washroom but all in all I would recommend this hotel . La Romana is not what it used to be, it has become very touristic, so i guess it<s time for me to find a different place.

Room Tip: need to upgrade to privilege.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
8 Thank OttawaMlr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 19, 2012

When we got off the bus in front of the hotel it was raining so i wanted to pull our luggage under the hotel canopy the guy that was at the reception told me i had to leave the luggage outside in the rain while my wife was checking in ,so i insisted and then he hit his hand with his fist to intimidate me so i had no choice but to leave the luggage there until we had our bracelet bad bad bad to me you dont leave luggage in the rain,beside that food was ok room is good house lady do a good joband the garden are really beautiful

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank jfbouch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2012

We stayed at the Catalonia Gran Dominicus from Jan. 20, 2012 - Feb. 6, 2012. It was a nice place, small resort so easy to get around.
Room: We upgraded our room to the confort upgrade ($5 US per person per day), and it was worth it. The room was nice and clean and updated. Our room did not appear to need any upgrades. The safe is included with the room fees, so that was a nice bonus and we never had any issue with water pressure or hot water, plenty of both. Free wifi was also a nice extra.
Food: There was food available all the time. The food was typical resort buffet food, nothing spectacular, my only complaint is that the food was often not warm enough. There was a decent selction, but again, nothing too exciting. The main buffet always had 2 stations going with fresh food being cooked, so that was a nice option. I recommend the breakfast omlette station! The snack bar on the beach was also nice, hot dogs and other snacks, beer and pop available all the time. I tried the crepe snack bar twice, it was OK, not really to my taste. My favorite was the pizza buffet at lunch, lots of fresh pizza and pasta there. There are 3 a la cartes, we tried the Mexican, and did not like it at all. We also went to the Steak house, it was good.
Staff: The staff was fantastic. Their ability to speak so many languages was amazing. We had no complaints, but wanted extra towels and pilows which we received immediately. In the restaurants, they were very quick to clear your plates and bring you drinks if you wanted any. The room was always cleaned well, however the time of day they cleaned was not consistent, sometimes it was very late afternoon before it was cleaned. Not really a big deal for us. The animation staff worked hard to keep everyone amused with dance lessons, excercise classes, games and shows. The bar staff was good, we never waited to get a drink.
Grounds: The beach was not very flat, but there were lots of chairs available. When going in the water, it was really nice once you got past the rocks. We were never bothered on the beach by someone trying to sell us something, so that was nice. We played pool and tried the archery. If you wanted to shop, just a bit of a walk down the beach there were vendors. Shopping with them was really amusing, bargain with them, even if they tell you that they are cheapy-cheapy, you can still get a better price. There is also a gift shop accross the street with [pretty decent prices and a huge selection of items. The pool was nice too.
All in all, we had a nice time, it was a decent resort. We would probably not go back again but not because of the resort itself, but there were not many English-speaking guests, so we felt a bit secluded by the end of the trip.

Room Tip: Pay the $5 per person/night comfort room upgrade.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Erin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barrie, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed February 4, 2012

Our experience at this hotel was amazing!! The food, entertainment, accomodation and beach were fantastic. We found that there is ample sunny and shady areas so you don't have to search hard to find a nice spot to perch yourself for the day. We liked the area directly behind the life guard stand.

There are 2 beaches, the first is directly in front of the hotel, this one is rocky on the right side (looking out to sea) and less so on the left, however there is a beach on the other side of GriGri divers which is not rocky at all. I would suggest you bring water shoes if you are going to swim on the rocky side. I did not find the slant of the beach or the rocks a problem because I swam where there were no rocks.

The man made reef consists of large "pot-like" structures and it was fun to snorkle through them. I would definately bring a mask, snorkle and fins. Beware of the rope which cordons off the swimming area. The life guard told us there is an organism which attaches itself to the rope and if you come in contact with the rope it will sting you like fire coral or a jelly fish. I know this because my wife was stung and it hurt like hell. I would bring medication which counteracts these types of stings. A google search may suggest a spray or a tropical cream to ease these encounters.

We found the staff friendly and helpfull if you could speak Spanish, Italian or French.(To management, Alison was friendly, charming and very good at her job, I'd give her a raise !!!!) They put a lot of effort into the "Tribute to Michael Jackson" and the comedy show was entertaining as well. The entertainment staff worked really hard to try hard to include everybody in their activities.

The bedroom was clean and I found the bed comfortable. The only thing I found strange was that they only provided one key to the room, if you lost it, it was apparently $30 to replace.

The gardens are specular and very well maintained. The WiFi is handy for those who feel it necessary to stay in contact with the outside world while on vacation.

GriGri divers are proffessionally run and Margarita is a sweetheart. I found diving on the Caribean side of DR much more enjoyable than the Alantic side because the water is calmer and the visiblity was clearer. The Wall at Catalina Island is beatuiful and well worth it. The next time I am there I will do the St. George's wreck.

I found this resort clean, well organised and well maintained. I would definately return next year!

Room Tip: The Priveleged rooms are very close to the main entertainment area so it is very noisy at night if y...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Richard W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva, Switzerland
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed February 4, 2012

Really enjoyed the stay. traveled for two weeks with 18 months little boy in April 2010. The weather was nice and warm. The resort is friendly with nice animation. Rooms are really nice. The food is excellent with a lot of variety and fresh juices. The beach is beautiful. Guests are from all over. The pool is very nice with an area for children.
We had an excellent time and will return. My boy really enjoyed it and the kid's club is real fun.
As a single mother with little boy I had easy life. All is easily accessible and everybody kind and helpful. Babysitting provided through the resort.
It was nice to have shops selling many beach toys at a good price.
Sunbeds can be hard to find and all reserved by the sea.But it was not a great issue for us.
Expensive beautiful pictures from the photographers of the hotel turning around. I would definetely recommend it.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank CLSLV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gatineau, Canada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 1, 2012

Spend two weeks at this hotel with two young kids and everything went well. As many others will say major renovation in the bathroom is needed but room was always very clean and beds are confortable so giving the fact that this is a not a new hotel ...was really OK! Kids Club is AMAZING even if your kids are only speaking Italien, french, english or spanish Really WOW! Staff are very helpfull and most of them are really nice. we were entertained in spanish, english, french and italian. the show is done by the staff who does their best from 9 o'clock in the morning to 2 at night!!! Now the bad side, Food was really low average and the bar staff very young so... Beach is a good one for those who loved shade! but once you are inform of that and bring two or three good bottle of wine ...you ve good vacation !!!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank morinsori
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Catalonia Gran Dominicus

Property: Catalonia Gran Dominicus
Address: Bayahibe Playa, Bayahibe 10501, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Bayahibe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Bayahibe
#2 Green Hotel in Bayahibe
#3 Family Hotel in Bayahibe
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Bayahibe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Catalonia Gran Dominicus 3.5*
Number of rooms: 404
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Catalonia Gran Dominicus is an all-inclusive resort located on the south-east coast of the Dominican Republic and overlooks the white sandy beach of Bayahibe; 25 km. from the famous Caribbean art centre Altos de Chavon and 4.5 km. from the tiny fishing of Bayahibe, close to the Natural Park of the East, home of the biggest remains from the Island's first inhabitants, the Taino Indians; only 30 minutes by boat from Saona and Catalina both wonderful virgin islands. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Catalonia Gran Dominicus Hotel Bayahibe
Catalonia Gran Dominicus La Romana
Gran Dominicus
Catalonia Gran Dominicus Dominican Republic/Bayahibe

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