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
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.
- 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