I'll start off by saying that we did have a good time. The shows and the activities were not really to our tastes but it was all in good fun and the staff was always giving it their best effort.
The beach? Amazing! We just got back and it wasn't a very crowded resort - it must be off season. The guy that spoke with my father said that the week we were there the number of guests was around 300 and on the weekend, with the locals coming to visit with day passes the number doubled to around 600. Still - not that crowded. Which we were happy with.
The food? Eh. I'm not a foodie or a food snob. I've had my share of cultural cuisine so I can appreciate almost anything and I pretty much like anything but the food was really not that great. Coming from a person like me, that's saying something. Though the pizza bar by the beach was great. The pizza wasn't that good but when you're starving and have just spent hours in the ocean and the sun....it's pretty much the most amazing food on earth.
The buffett had ENDLESS variety and I think they really knocked breakfast out of the park. I think that was the best meal they had. The Rodeo Steakhouse had a really good burger as well. I did get sick on the trip - most likely from the food as I barely drank -I should say that i've been home for 6 days now and I'm still suffering gastric distress.....to say the least. Not fun.
Priveleged upgrade? Everyone says it's worth it and maybe it is. We weren't very happy with the room (more on that below) but we got use out of the priveleged beach restaurant (for Priveleged only) and used the private section of the beach every day. BEACH BEDS!!!! Awesome. And Priveleged conceirge was amazing. The staff pretty much went above and beyond there - all of them. And I would know because my impossible to please father was bugging those poor people every day. LOVE THEM!
The rooms? This is where I can't be very nice - sorry Catalonia. The bedding smelled like vomit. It was intense mildew, but still....the smell was so strong it turned our stomach. We had to complain and they changed our bedding. The smell was still strong. So we put towels down on our pillows so we could sleep at night. 1/2 way through the week they changed the bedding again and it was improved. Cockroaches, cockroaches, cockroaches. We killed about 4-5 every night and saw more. It was absolutely disgusting. We never had food in our room either. We spoke with some other guests before we requested to move rooms and they said they had the same problem and they were also in priveleged suites. Yea - not good.
Security - 5 stars! The housekeeping staff was so lovely and polite. We really enjoyed talking to them. My dad left his wallet out, stuffed with cash, almost every day on the dresser and it went untouched. His passport too (he's not the smartest). Would I recommend doing this? NO - but it's good to know that if you do you most likely will not have a problem.
So...overall - did I have a good time? Yes. But I wouldn't stay here again. It's a fair-priced hotel and maybe they're doing the best they can but it's just not enough.
- 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