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“Beautiful Beach and Property”

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Catalonia Gran Dominicus
Ranked #5 of 16 Hotels in Bayahibe
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed May 20, 2013

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!

Room Tip: Get Privilege room.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Legaleaglenc
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 July 2, 2013

Dear guest,

we appreciate your nice comments about our hotel on TripAdvisor.

I will share with my teammates your positive opinion about our rooms, cleaning, staff, beach, bar, shows and our activities team.

We are going to send your greetings to Omar, Roberto and Wilson.

On the other hand we are nowadays working in a new hot water heater system.

Thanks for sharing your opinion with us.

We look forward to be welcoming again in a near future.

Best regards,
Iván Cunillera.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 17, 2013

My husband and I were there celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary and we cannot say enough wonderful about the resort. The staff were so accommodating and the whole experience was more than we expected. We'll definitely go back.

  • Stayed: May 2013
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3  Thank Manuelacosta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
grandominicus, Director de Recepción at Catalonia Gran Dominicus, responded to this reviewResponded June 26, 2013

Dear guest,

we appreciate your nice comments about our hotel on TripAdvisor.

I will share with my teammates your positive opinion about your experience in our hotel.

We are glad that you enjoyed your anniversary with your husband among us.

We look forward to be welcoming again in a near future.

Best regards,
Iván Cunillera.

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

Me and my husbad stayed there from 12.04.2013 till 26.04.2013. We had a lovely lovely time there. Stuff was friendly and helpful. At the concierge office u will get any information u need, its opened from 8 till 20 every day. We were lucky to know Katerina, she speaks good spanish, russian and a lit english and german. She helped me to order a cake for my husband for his birthday and sent some fruits to our room after she knew we just married. They print everyday the world most famouse newspapers for the ppl who like to know the last world news, u can have it for free. On the territory of the hotel there are few restaurants, we prefer italian and "buffet", food was always fresh and delicious.
Animators are also very friendly, i really loved those dance classes and step-aerobic. But if u that kind who just prefer to lay on the sun and relax u will find the area on the beach "no animators". Also, the hotel have a separated area for the privileged, it was queit and nice there as well.
We had a room with a terrace, it was lovly and clean, we had even a coffe machine i the room, but didn`t use it, coz u can enjoy different kind of coffe (and other drinks) in the bar all the day.
The beach was good, but it was a little difficulte to go down to the see, would be good to build some stairs there, its very nessecery for old ppl.
Gym is not clean and some equipment were not functioning.

Room Tip: Rooms on the west side are might be a lit noisy, coz there is a way for stuff and suppliers. Honeym...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank yacuhnoav
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 June 12, 2013

Dear guest,

we appreciate your nice comments about our hotel on TripAdvisor.

I will share with my teammates your positive opinion about our service, food, restaurants, rooms, cleaning and our Concierge and Animation department.

We are glad that you enjoyed your anniversary with your husband among us. Katerina sends you regards.

On the other hand we will work in order to improve our beach facilities and our gym. Thanks for sharing your opinion with us.

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,
Iván Cunillera.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2013

First, when booking the hotel make sure you don't settle for the "average" rooms. ALWAYS do at least the $8.00 upgrade. Highly recommended. My reservation didn't say anything about this and I was given this not-so-good room and obviously I levied up the following day. The room I was given was ugh! and nothing you would expect, or at least I expect (I don't remember the last time I got a hotel room key that wasn't a keycard). The new room was up to international standards (keycard included) and waaaayyyyy better than the previous one. BUT, upgrading doesn't mean you'll get all the amenities provided in the hotel. Oh no, those are only for the silver bands. In other words, the hotel sells on-line a BASIC package for you to UPGRADE when in the hotel. Does it sound like a rip-off? At least for me it does. The hotel grounds are well-kept and they do offer free wi-fi connection. You can see all the little antennas when walking around. Food? sometimes good, sometimes better than good. Go talk to Don Omar, he can hook you up with restaurants reservation and all that. I was one served this black spicy spaghetti that was really good. the pool was very nice, big with a round section that was really deep (which I like a lot). Now, the service around the pool can get sometimes annoying. Why? Because there isn't enough servers and to get a drink you gotta walk AROUND the pool, which is huge. My group is always willing to tip and avoid the hassle of getting up for a drink. Heck, it's vacation, right?! Other than that, I would recommend this place to someone whose never been to DR, but I don't think I'm going back.

Room Tip: level up, always level up!!!
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank omarlaffita
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 8, 2013

Dear guest,

First of all we would like to thank you for your comments

We appreciate you nice comments about our gardens, wifi, food, pool, etc. On the other hand we will work in order to improve our service in the pool bar.

Regarding our upgrade service we are going to check our on-line package to improve also the information.

We look forward to welcome you in the future

Kind regards,
Ivan Cunillera.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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.
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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 - $496 (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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