This was my second trip to the Catalonia in Bayahibe. I went 3 years ago. First, unlike many schemes to upgrade that are not worth it- Do yourself a favor and spend the extra couple hundred of dollars and upgrade to privilege- it is defintely worth it as past comments have noted. We were in the La Romana Villa and we had a beautiful room facing the inner grounds of the property. Note- Make sure you get a room facing the inner grounds as they are so beautifully kept and some of the rooms facing the outer portions of the property have less than desireable views. Extra touches in the room; a brand new bathroom; 2 dinners at the Terrace Restaurant in addition to all lunches there which are exclusive to privilege members; discounts on dinner on the beach; plus access to the privilege lounge and concierge with free Internet are some of the benefits you get for upgrading. Internet is suppossed to be free and available on entire property but it's hit or miss getting on and staying on- mostly a miss-don't count on it. Also, the rooms were fantastic and very clean- as was the rest of the property except just one issue- the showers were ice cold between 5pm and 7pm when everyone else was showering. All other times we did not have a problem but that is the time you need to shower before dinner- so- it was an issue-maybe the property needs an upgraded hot water heater system. The resort staff are some of the nicest and most accomodating of anywhere I have stayed- always trying to meet your request and please you. The beach water is absolutely one of the best in the Carribean- hands-down; however, some erosion from a Hurricane has worn down the slope from the beach lounging area a foot or two and washed away part of the beach. However, aside from that, the beach water is crystal clear without seaweed or rocks; truly a gem for swimming and relaxing in the water. This swim beach is right at the top of the best in the Carribean in addition to Negril's Seven Mile Beach. There is even a reff about 100 yards offshore with some pretty good snorkeling-so bring your gear. There is never a dull moment on the beach as the activities team is always on the go and getting people involved- Aerobics, Volleyball; Soccer; Bocce; Merengue dancing etc etc.... The food was a bit of a dissapointment. We did not have a good meal at the Mexican Restaurant but the Italian Restaurant was pretty good with Excellent service from Omar and Roberto! The Italian Restaurant and Pizzaria has some great Italian Food and Pizza in my opinion- stick with this restaurant whever possible. The Buffet in Tanio is also pretty good but you will need to look around to find something you enjoy. If you upgrade to Privilege, you will get two nights to eat per week at The Terrace Restaurant overlooking the water. The, atmosphere, food was excellent as was the house red wine. Wilson was our server 2X and is excellent. Every evening after the beach and after dinner expect to find most of your friends and neighbors on the resort around the main bar which I call-Main Street- Merenguero! It truly is a meeting place for the resort and dancing and good fun is seen everywhere. Note- The resport has mostly European guests still- Italy, France, Germany and Russia- so you will have some language barriers with the guests and staff (if you do not speak Spanish); however, it truly made the trip that much more fun learning about other cultures. After dinner and drinks at the Main Bar, go watch a show at 10pm- I saw a few good ones- Michael Jackson show was really really good- I was a bit surprised to be honest. Excursions- we took the Catamaran excursion to Saona Island- great day even though the weather was stormy at times. Make sure to bring bug repellant as we saw several people with huge welts from the mosquitos there- the barrels set by the Dominican Government to ward off the buggers is a step but not enough! Make sure your excursion stops at the natural swimming pool in the middle of the ocean. A truly inspiring scene- you will know what I mean if you do it. We also walked into the little Italian Town of Dominicus- Down the Beach to the right and behind Wyndam- it's like being in a European Village in the Carribean. Lots of shops and vendors who will get you to take a look as it "cost nothing to look." :) Overall, this really is a great value for a resort on one of the best beaches in the Carribean for swimming and snorkeling. If you are a Foodie, use caution as it is mediocre. But, if you are OK with average food and like Italian and Pizza as well, this is a great place to spend a week or two. You could easily spend many times the price and not get a better beach or resort- especially when upgraded! I highly recommend it!
- 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