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“ecologically unfriendly all smoking hotel”

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Catalonia Gran Dominicus
Ranked #4 of 16 Hotels in Bayahibe
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Moscow, Russia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“ecologically unfriendly all smoking hotel”
Reviewed December 12, 2013

We are choosing Catalonia hotel for our second holiday in the Dominican Republic. And this time we are highly disappointed because of the smoking policy of the hotel which is really accute especially because of the hotel being fully booked. As non smokers we are feeling deprived here as whereever we go we get smoked into the face and feel the smoky smog hanging all over the hotel. Why not at least allocating some non smoking areas? in the bar, at the reception (we cannot even approach the reception desk to ask a question!), walking paths, some beach areas (we have to leave the beach territory to relax on the beach facing the sea). Moreover, there is no separation between smoking and non-smoking villas (when I booked the hotel via booking.com there was a choice between smoking and non smoking – where is it?) Both smokers and non-smokers are placed next door so you cannot avoid breathing in the neighbours' smoke staying in your balcony or entering the room.
PS
Although our booking had a non-smoking status we are placed into the smoking sector without being informed; only after three weeks when we made a complain we got offered the only possible room with a non-smoking sign on it but situated in the most popular smoking area.

Room Tip: 6non smoking rooms are situated in the most smelly garbage corner((((
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
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3 Thank melkrug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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The Hague, The Netherlands
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed December 7, 2013

I've had the pleasure to stay in this hotel (also known as 'Catalonia La Romana' from 22 November until 1 December. My stay was in one word fantastic.

I had booked the priviliged package, and it is definitely worth getting that. There's access to extra restaurants and a few other perks that come with the package. Even when adding this to your stay, the costs are still low compared to some other resorts and the price/quality is really very good.

The room was very close to the beach which was very good. It was quiet, and the rooms were cleaned every day. You can hear other guests above or next to you, but this is not very disturbing.

The staff at the hotel was very friendly and helpful, and almost all of them spoke 4 languages - really quite amazing! The service was very good; I was contacted regularly in my room with a call to see if everything was to my satisfaction. I've stayed in many hotels, but never had that before and though it was an excellent way to check customer satisfaction. Also there was some drainage problem in the bathroom, but this was quickly resolved without causing any discomfort.

The entertainment (or 'animation') was very good. The staff was enthusiastic, friendly, high-energy and there were many, many different activities at each time of day. Dancing, sports, making cocktails, towel art, free snorkeling, free boating, you name it! There really was something to do for everyone, whether you were alone, a couple, a family with children - everything and everyone was accomodated.

The food was very, very good. I remember reading some negative comments here when I booked, but I recognise none of it after having gone there. All the restaurants on the site offer something different. The main buffet restaurant (El Taino) was really of very good quality. There was so much choice, and even up until closing time of either breakfast, lunch and dinner, everything was restocked so that latecomers would still have full choice. I think in total there are 6 or 7 restaurants on the site, which offer plenty of variety for at least a 2-week stay. During the day (between opening hours for breakfast, lunch or dinner) there were two places open, the pizza restaurant and the crepe-place on the beach. Both were more than sufficient to provide enough choice if you managed to still be hungry between your main meals (which was virtually impossible considering the amount of food being served at the 'standard' hours). Drinks were available all day and night, so there really was nothing else I could have wished for.

The situation was great too; the beach was clean, the water very clear, and there were plenty of daytrips organised to several different places. I did a trip to Santo Domingo (an absolute must to see a bit more of the country rather than just the resorts), a boattrip to Soana island and a quad/dunebuggy tour through the nearby sugar cane fields and plantations. Absolutely fantastic and easily reachable and bookable on the resort.

All in all I've had a fantastic stay here,. weather was great, service was great, food and value for money excellent. I have absolutely no negative remarks about this place and would absolutely reconsider coming back when I feel like another relaxing all-inclusive deal in paradise.

Room Tip: Get the privileged package - you'll be closer to the beach and your room will be more modern.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank doortje_d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Crosse, Wisconsin, United States
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2013

We stayed at the Catalonia for a week in November 2013 and loved every second! It is about a 45 minute taxi ride from the Punta Cana airport. There are no shuttles available, you will need to hire a taxi right outside the airport. This cost us $100 one way to the resort and $100 back. The resort is beautiful! We were amazed by the gardens, very well taken care of. Our room was simple, we did not book the privileged package. There is no bathtub, just a shower. Our only complaint about our whole trip was that the bed was a little stiff for us, so we didn't usually sleep that well at night. Each room has it's own private terrace. We had a minibar, and a nice tip for housekeeping on our first day kept us stocked with water and beer! They also left fresh flowers in our room every day. The pool is beautiful and spacious, we never had trouble finding a spot. All of the activity happens at the main bar. The drinks were perfect, not too strong-not too skimpy. We were even able to get a decent Bloody Mary! We enjoyed frozen drinks, margaritas, Long Island iced teas. My husband drinks brandy and they even had that available. Thanks should be sent to our favorite bartender Luis, he always remembered what our favorite drinks were. There is a beach bar that serves alcohol along with espresso and cappuccino. They also make crepes there that are to die for. Best coffee I have had in a long time! We ate breakfast daily at the main buffet. Maid to order omelets, eggs and bacon, pancakes, fresh fruit...pretty much anything you could want for breakfast was there! We ate lunch most days at the snack bar. There you will find the best wood fired pizzas, fresh salads, pasta, hot dogs, steak(best steak of the trip was at the snack bar). We ate at the Mexican aka carte and the Rodeo steak house. Both were very good. I was able to have a burger and fries at the steak house, which was a nice taste of home after a week. There is a different theme at the main buffet every night, with a very serene and calm atmosphere. All of the desserts we tried were outstanding! Cheers to the pastry chefs!

The activity staff were very friendly, outgoing and talented. Dance, yoga, aerobics classes taught daily. The water aerobics in the ocean were fun! We played bingo a few times and ping pong. The activity staff also perform a nightly show that is just spectacular! The team works so hard and the shows are very entertaining. Do not skip the shows! Well worth your time!

The ocean is breathtaking here. It wasn't overly crowded. Crystal clear blue water, minimal rocks. There is an artificial reef off the shore that harbors lots of little fish for snorkeling. As a guest of the resort, you have free access to ocean kayaks and wind boats. We loved our daily kayak trip! On each side of the resort just down the beach a bit are shacks that vendors have set up with local merchandise. The vendors are very pushy, so if you don't like that sort of thing, stay away from that! Across the street from the resort is a small store where you can buy gifts, or anything that you may need(sunscreen, etc). The store is much less expensive than the shops on the resort. We did notice lots of mosquitos, so make sure to bring bug spray!

We also took advantage of the spa and got a couples massage, which was wonderful! We paid $70 each for an hour massage. We highly recommend the spa services!

The service at the resort was superb. Our first day we were greeted with a lovely plate of fresh fruit delivered to our room. We were also given two logo tshirts, also delivered to our room. On our last night, we received a beautiful plate of desserts in our room. Every single person here treated us so kindly, we felt at home! One of my favorite people to see every day was a lovely elderly man who took care of gardening. He always said hello with a big bright smile. Thank you Catalonia, for a wonderful trip! We hope to see you soon!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Amanda B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cranford, New Jersey
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2013

My wife and I just returned but we didn't want to leave. From the moment we arrived we were treated with courtesy and kindness. We did not stay in a privileged room and have not the slightest regret. Our room was spacious, quiet, well furnished, clean and comfortable. We were on the ground floor and our patio faced away from the walk paths. As for those, wow. The landscaping is beautiful. Around every curve there is a different plant or flower offering a lovely walk to the beach area. As for the beach, it is top notch. The staff constantly patrol and pick up empty bar glasses etc. There is no trash at all. There are also security guards that make sure the only people on the beach are customers. The water is very clear and calm. There is an artificial reef about 100 yards off shore. A quick easy paddle to some great snorkeling. Onto the food. There are several three restaurants that you can try with the voucher you are given at check-in. These are all very good, but we liked the Italian the best. Then there is the buffet. My wife and I were very pleased with the variety of food that was offered for each sitting. The choices provided for the breakfast, lunch and dinner left you wondering what to try next. There is also a beach bar that offers crepes throughout the day in case you get peckish after a long afternoon swimming. We can't comment on the bar scene or disco since we are early to bed, early to rise. That was helpful since getting to the beach early to claim prime beach loungers is a must. By 7:00am, most of the loungers are snapped up. If you can, get one under the mad made palm canopies. These are essential if you will be outside from 12:00-3:00. All in all we were very impressed with the place and will definitely come back. We did not bring children, but this is a very kid friendly resort. There is a day care and lots of kiddy activities including dancing by the pool in the early evening.

Room Tip: No place is very far from the water but I think the further from the bar the more quiet it will be...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank nufc-fan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moscow, Russia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 28, 2013

We spent 12 days staying an this hotel and I think it is a right place to stay if you look for not very noisy all-inclusive resort for a family vacation. The only unpleasant thing was slow guys at the reception. The beach and the sea were very comfortable for leisure and swimming. It is a local show to watch how the huge sun rushes to dive in the sea during a sunset.

I also liked that villa style of the residential houses - they certainly were designed by a talent architect.

Many people of the staff are very attentive to your needs. I liked Ekaterina of VIP concierge, Leon of the gri-gri diving center, cooks Eduardo and Sony.

Room Tip: it seems to me the rooms on the second floor are better. Your life inside is less public in this cas...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank SergeyO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clearwater, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed November 23, 2013

This was our first trip to DR and to the Catalonia as we were looking for a quick getaway for a few days. Catalonia is all inclusive...food and drinks...which we usually shy away from since we want to meet the locals and eat the local food. this worked out well however since there really isn't much in the area to see, and all you need is found at Catalonia! The bars, restaurants, beaches, staff are all the best. We really enjoyed ourselves. Our favorite restaurant was the Italian one...and Omar and Kayla really made our visit special ...thanks to them! I wouldn't recommend the steak restaurant....not much variety, meat was very tough, service poor. The beach is beautiful, the water is beautiful!! We could snorkel right off the beach to the reefs and there were so many colorful fish...you don't need to spend money for the boatride to other areas. We used the catamaran and kayaks for free, and if you walk down the beach to the left there are many local vendors with excellent prices (don't be afraid to bargain) as well as friendly and inexpensive massages...which we also took advantage of. We were not happy that all the nightly entertainment doesn't even start till 10pm which is really late for some of us, and the disco is even later....wish there was an earlier show at least a couple of nights a week. Also it was advertised that there was archery, but when we finally found the area it was all covered over and clearly not open or usable. The swimming pool is huge, many areas to kick back and well taken care of...just beautiful. We also didn't like the 'class' system where if you paid extra you were considered 'privileged' and this was marked all over the resort making us (as we didn't pay extra) (what for?) feel like we were inferior. Perhaps different wording for it or just make everyone the same. Also keep in mind it is easily a 2 hr ride each way from the airport!! And that was on a sunday morning. Overall we enjoyed our stay and would possibly return.

Room Tip: It appeared that most rooms were nice. Ours was on the ground floor facing one of the many beautifu...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank mainelymarti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hallandale Beach, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed November 19, 2013

This was our 3rd time at this resort & we're happy that we returned....everyone try's to make your vacation the best, from reception to chefs to entertainment & grounds crew, they all work to make you comfortable...we love the beach & local scuba diving, also.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ellen E
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

Property: 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 Green Hotel in Bayahibe
#2 Romantic Hotel in Bayahibe
#3 Family Hotel in Bayahibe
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Bayahibe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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