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“Value and Comfort April 2013”

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Catalonia Gran Dominicus
Ranked #5 of 16 Hotels in Bayahibe
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed April 23, 2013

The grounds of this hotel are beautiful! As other reviewers have noted, it is an older hotel - especially if you do not upgrade to privilege. I did not upgrade, but that is because I don't mind the quirks of age. For me, the room was just a place to rest my head at night and for that, I found the beds to be very comfortable and an adequate sized room. I never had trouble getting hot water for a shower, but it was a little difficult to regulate. Once I figured out the quirks, it was fine. We stayed in a villa in the eastern center of all the villas on the ground floor. As others have said, although the privelege rooms are closer to the restaurants, they are noisier and I was happy to have a room away from it all that felt very private. It was nice to hear the birds sing and just sit on the terrace. Overall, the resort is small so it is easy to get from one place to the next.
The beach was fantastic! It is by far the best in the area. As a warning, there has been some erosion, so there is a drop (maybe 1ft +/-) from the palm treed area to the open water and another small step down in the water from where the waves hit. I mention this because I was travelling with my elderly mother and it was a little difficult, but not prohibitive. The best part about this beach is that it is not sandwiched between resorts like the neighboring Iberostar. One end has not been developed, so there are not thousands of bobbing heads in the water. Rather, you can look out to a beautiful open expanse. There are few rocks for most of the beachfront (also much unlike the neighboring Iberostar). We were late risers and never had trouble finding a nice spot by the ocean or pool (pool is great for kids). The resort has so many nooks and crannies that you never felt crowded.
The only thing that keeps me from giving this place 5 stars is the age and the food. I always found something that I liked to eat, but the quality of what you choose is highly variable. These are my top pics: fresh fruit juices at breakfast buffet, pizza/pasta lunches at Sorrento, Crepes for late afternoon beach snack (awesome), whatever is being made fresh at dinner buffet (usually a fish and a specialty), poblano soup and texas steak at Rodeo, and chicken tacos and fajitas at Mariachi (sorry, I forgot what I tried at Toscana that was good, but I was not disappointed). There is always awesome fresh fruit. I am not a big drinker, so I thought the beverages were fine (including house wines with dinner).
Finally, there is a lot to do if you choose to do it. I played bingo at the bar and took some dancing lessons, but mostly I wanted to swim in the ocean (found some of the best shells of my life). The evening "showtime" is fun, but not broadway. I enjoyed it. The performers work day and night - in this regard, they are amazing.
I booked this trip for 7 days for less than $800 per person including airfare out of NY. At that price, I think it would be difficult for any other resort to come close in terms of comfort, entertainment, or choices.

Room Tip: Rooms to the east and central are quietest.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank EarthSearch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 18, 2013

Had an excellent week. We upgraded to the privilege once we arrived at the resort. We really enjoyed our week. The food was excellent, good choices, the staff, animation. The beach was lovely to walk on and to swim. Bring your snorkeling equipment a lot of fish to see. An excellent choice, would return...

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Louise D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2013

Travelled with my husband April 1st to 8th 2013. While searching for our vacation, we really didn't want to head back to the Dominican Republic due to our last two trips in Puerto Plata and Punta Cana. We were bugged many, many times everyday and throughout the day by sellers on the beach and even staff members. We ended-up on a deal for this resort and decided at that moment we would try one last Dominican destination before making it final. No regrets at all !! :-) No local sellers on the beach at this resort, peace and quiet which made an even more relaxing holiday. Beach is beautiful, just as beautiful as the one in Punta Cana. Beach chairs for everyone... The frustrating thing is those people who have the nerve in putting a towel on a chair early morning and not showing-up until mid-afternoon, YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED of yourselves. As for the people complaining about languages spoken on the resort, stay home if you're not happy. It's part of travelling, if you can't handle a slight culture shock, you might want to spend less for a trip and travel within your own country or at least inquire more about the place you're going to. Throughout my stay I heard Canadian/European french and english, german and spanish.

Food is great, though we didn't enjoy the buffet as much for lunch and dinner, breakfast is awesome though. ''À la carte'' restaurants are all great, my fave was the Italian one. The crêperie on the beach is really yummy, ate some everyday, I was hooked. You have another one (beside the Italian rest.) opened all day until 2:00 am, they serve hotdogs, nachos, pastas, french fries, salads, fresh fruits etc... Went there for lunch everyday, it's very good. Drinks everywhere on the resort were great as well. Standard rooms need some revamping, shower is not that great, not always good pressure and sometimes had issues with the control of the hot/cold water. We would let the hot water run for a while, seemed to help a little. If you have an issue with that, you might want to pay extra and get a privileged room, with that you get a way nicer room, a later checkout (2:00 pm), a restaurant/bar on the beach that's exclusive to privileged clients and open all day, even for dinner. I've seen better when it comes to room keeping, we didn't get any creative towel sculptures, first time ever, they didn't change towels unless we threw all of them in the shower (even after tipping). Fridge not stocked-up generously, they did so every two days or so in my case. Didn't have any beer all week, saw it listed on the fridge as being included, not sure what's up with that. If this was a bigger resort and the bar being far, we would of complained about that part for sure. The bar at the pool was about three minutes away so we didn't bother, it was all about a stress free vacation.

The resort is smaller than what we're used to, loved this concept better as everything is accessible, takes about 5 minutes to get the furthest point on the resort. Staff was amazing, always very helpful, some of them speak multiple languages which impressed me. This was the first resort in the Dominican where we heard staff speak french, very impressed ! Animation staff were great, they work so hard all day to entertain us. The Michael Jackson nightly show is a must see ! Didn't find tipping was necessary in order to get better service, though I do recommend doing so once and a while as everyone works so hard there, they do show appreciation for it. This resort is super clean, always some maintenance being done, everything is beautifully arranged. The pool is clean and huge, spent my last day there, should of went more often.

We booked through Nolitours and had a Noliplus package (free gifts and BBQ dinner on the beach which was awesome). Totally recommend booking through them, our rep Pauline was the best we've ever seen. We booked a half day trip through our rep for the Blue Lagoon speeboats excursion, 140.00$ US for two, it was great and very safe. This excursion is around 2:30 hrs, we navigate along the Beach Club and the famous ¨teeth of the dog” Golf course of Casa del Campo, the Marina, houses of some famous people (Madonna, Michael Jackson, Shakira etc.. ) and the Chavon River. We took a small break with tropical fruits and soft drinks at Boca de Chavon (River´s Month). Being that I celebrated my birthday, my husband decided to pay extra for the romantic dinner on the beach, service and setting are awesome but the lobster is not the best at all. For a little less I would inquire with your rep about local restaurants which serve the same thing, heard is was way better. Sorry I don't have the names of those restaurants, we should of took note of them, one of them actually pay for your taxi ride back to the resort !

Had a great time, actually the best trip we've had in a few years. Would totally recommend this resort and would for sure return in a heartbeat !

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank natty_d77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
grandominicus, Director General at Catalonia Gran Dominicus, responded to this reviewResponded April 24, 2013

Dear Guest,

We appreciate your comments about our hotel on Tripadvisor.

One of our main goals is to have loyal customers as you.

I will share with my teammates your positive opinion about the grounds, food, drinks, crêperie, beach, pool, animators, shows, bar and restaurants staff, etc..

Thanks for your tips that will help us to improve our service.

We look forward to welcome you again in a near future.

Best Regards,
Ivan Cunillera.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2013

Well, Let me tell you. First of all my husband and myself travel 5-6 times a year. And over 30 yrs of travelling to many of the resorts in the caribbean, so we know our stuff.

We have been to Punta Cana several times over. Its Great, but Bayahibe is a hidden gem with calm water and crystal clear. We stayed at Dreams, Viva Dominicus, and Viva Palace, and this place beats them all.!!!! WE ARE GOING BACK !!!!

Beach: The Best. The first week was rainy, but thats Life. Second week, perfect weather and there are tons of Palapas for shade and many cozy plam trees. And if you want sun, lots of that too.Now we always bring down Blow up Air Mattress's to float out on the sea. This tans you well and keeps you cool.
We got black and the water was so clear and calm. They keep the beach very clean and lots of chairs, and these cool white lounge chairs that are very comfortable.

Food: WOW is all I can say. They had everything in the buffett, even steak each day on the grill for lunch and dinner. Giant shrimp,sushi some nights with real nice sauce. Everykind of pasta with tons of seafood, clams, mussels, etc etc.
Nice cheese's and different meats. Pork, chicken is so so good. The pizza place is always open for lunch and all night long. Great different kinds of pizza and homemade. Salad bar is wonderful.
We give the food 5 STAR PLUS for sure.!!!!!
Steak House is the BEST, but the buffet has everything anyway. You can have lunch by the beach which is more casual or the main buffet. We put on the pounds. Thats for sure.

Rooms. They are older, but real Clean and big. Nice big pillows, and we had a King size bed and it was very good. Pillow top mattress.( The only thing I missed was a bathtub), but with the resort being so great who cares.

The grounds are so nice and not too much walking, as its not too big. And when we checked in the guy from the front dest took us to see if we liked our room. That was a first. We got a ground floor corner unit. So I was happy right from the Start.

STAFF: The VERY BEST WE HAVE EVER SEEN, EVER.!!!!! Not one staff memember was rude or lazy. They all go way out of their way to make you feel so welcome. They call you by name after just a few days. They all seem to love their jobs. We think the owners must treat them well. Either that or they screen very well. Everyone there was so happy with the staff. The bartenders are really great. Eveyone of the staff is top notch.!!!!!!!!!!! The waiters in the special restaurants, All of them just wonderful and so so nice.

Drinks. AGAIN GREAT!!!! Most hotels give you plastic cups and they are horrible. They use nice glasses to drink out of. And drinks are made very well. We got good and drunk many times, and the staff just lets you have fun!!!!

The late night pizza guy even walked me home with a pizza one night as I was a bit drunk.
Now we do tip dollar bills to all, as they work so so hard and for so little. This is the right thing to do.!!!! But they treat you well anyway there.

All I can say is right from the front desk when we arrived to the last day when we left, Everything was WONDEFUL. Anyone who puts this resort down is out of their mind.

This is our favorite place from now on. CANT WAIT TO GO BACK!!!!!!!!

Room Tip: Some say the Privileged rooms are better, but we noticed, the balconeys are close to people walking...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Heather092
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
grandominicus, Director General at Catalonia Gran Dominicus, responded to this reviewResponded May 15, 2013

Dear guest,

we appreciate your nice comments about our hotel on TripAdvisor.

I will share with my teammates your positive opinion about our grounds, food, drinks, beach, bartenders, cleaning, rooms, and our front desk team.

Our main goal is to make our guests feel like in home. We are glad to know that we achieve it.

We are delighted to note that you enjoyed your stay with us and we look forward to be welcoming again in a near future.

Best regards,
Ivan Cunillera.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2013

If anyone has bad reviews about this hotel they shouldn't bother travelling. OR spend extra $ and go 5 star. I recently stayed at the Catalonia Gran Dominicus. Loved it!
Yes it's not a 5star and some of the rooms are not perfect. But who cares? The grounds were impeccable. The staff amazing. Animimation team worked so hard day and night to entertain us. Loved their smiles energy and talents. The dancers worked hard and made a great effort. Keep in mind they don't have the training we have in Canada. Just hard work and determination! I greatly appreciated all the efforts from hotel staff. When I had an issue with water pressure and hair dryer - they fixed it within 10 minutes of my call. The bartenders at the pool bar were fantastic!!! Smiling and making any request. They even managed to make a dirty martini as per my request and for their first time. It was an amazing drink with lots of olives! The staff goes above and beyond. Some people complain about their limited english - who were they talking to???? All bar, servers and entertainers and animination spoke great english along with italian, french and german....they are talented and smart people. don't criticize. They put us Canadians to shame and they ask for so little in life. I felt like i was with family all week. the ocean was great. The beach had a bit of a dip of two steps but i got over it fast....it was still nice. loved that the resort played latin music all week. I loved the schedule of activities and games all day and dancing at 9 outside and then 10 at theatre back to dancing outside then disco...every night. i had a blast. the guests were italian, french, chilean, argentinian and a few american and canadians. i didn't mind at all. got to meet people from all over the world. everyone was friendly. the resort workers are very trusted. we lost our glasses and someone went out of their way from resort to find us to return them. i felt safe leaving the resort and going to la romana for a day. i rented a car for $80 us (don't pay more than that) including insurance and it was a blast and very humbling to tour the area. anyways if you are looking for an inexpensive "european" feeling resort this is the place to go. It's quieter but still lots to do. If you are looking for an american/canadian loud party place this is not the place to go....but i don't think you can be disappointed....embrace this hotel. it's clean - found no bugs at all and the food was great. i didn't bother going to al a cartes since i went alone -but the buffet was great different theme each night.
I miss the Catalonia and the smiling staff already ....gracias por todos- Mickey, Lilo, Hola Hola Baby, Copy, Alex la Fiesta, Ramon. Alexis, Luis Alexander and the rest of the staff!!!!!!!!!

Room Tip: try and get a newer room - i didn't do privilege and not sure it's worth it - but i have no...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank anna g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
grandominicus, Director General at Catalonia Gran Dominicus, responded to this reviewResponded May 15, 2013

Dear guest,

thank you for your excellent comments about our hotel.

I will share with my teammates your positive opinion about the grounds, food, drinks, beach, animation team, shows, activities, maintenance staff and bartenders.

We are glad that you enjoyed your stay and look forward to welcome you very soon

We are going to send your greetings to Mickey, Lilo, Alexis, Luis Alexander, Ramon, Hola Hola Baby, Copy and Alex la Fiesta.

Sincerely,
Ivan Cunillera.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

The all inclusive package is so worth it. Travel to Saona with the catamaran and enjoy lunch by the beach. Lovely rooms with great spa treatment. Great entertainment for everyone. Great service. Dancing lessons offered too

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank JemKiiru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
grandominicus, Director General at Catalonia Gran Dominicus, responded to this reviewResponded April 24, 2013

Dear Guest,

We appreciate your nice comments about our hotel on Tripadvisor.

We are delighted to note that you enjoyed your stay with us and we look forward to be welcoming again in a near future.

Best Regards,
Ivan Cunillera.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2013

Catalonia Gran Dominicus was a wonderful resort. My wife and I had never been to the Dominican Republic and the staff made us feel comfortable and welcome. English is definitely the third language, but there are enough people who can speak English that it is no problem. Food was excellent, booze tasted great and the beach and pools were beautiful. Would highly recommend this resort to anyone!

  • Stayed: March 2013
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1  Thank Mpc868
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

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 Top resorts Hotel in Bayahibe
#3 Family Hotel in Bayahibe
Price Range: $154 - $498 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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