First, I'd like to start off by saying that I would give this property a 3.5 stars, not 4, if I could.
We chose this resort for our destination wedding because my husband and I are members of Club Viva and had a complimentary 8 day all-inclusive vacation to use. We had no idea what to expect but after staying at the Freeport Viva, I was worried about my guests' experience while they participated in our nuptials down in the Dominican Republic. (The Freeport Viva isn't very nice. Things were broken in our room and the food was not good.)
Anyway, the Viva Palace and Viva Beach resorts were only about 15 minutes from the La Romana airport which was nice, but if you fly into Santo Domingo, you're looking at 1–2 hours, depending on your method of transportation. I suggest you hire a private car or share a small private van with other members of your party, so you don't have to stop at other hotels. That seems to add on a significant amount of time according to some of my guests who decided to fly into Santo Domingo.
THE CUSTOMER SERVICE
• I think the guest service at reception sucks. They were okay for us when we checked in, but I witnessed some of the employees' poor attitudes towards my sisters and parents.
• So I agree with other reviews and would say their employees didn't really have the best attitude or treat people as well as they could at check-in and check-out. Personally, when we checked out, they didn't really know what they were doing nor could they answer why a charge was erroneously placed on our bill. It was a little frustrating but in the end we sorted it out.
THE CLUB VIP CUSTOMER SERVICE
• The VIVA Club VIP service is stellar, professional and such a contrast to the check-in/check-out people at the front
• The girl was always asking if we needed anything and how are vacation was going. She was very kind and courteous.
THE RESORT - VIVA DOMINICUS PALACE
• Located in the tiny town of Bayahibe, it lies right on the water next to it's sister resort, Viva Dominicus.
• If you stay in Palace, I hear you have access to the Beach side, but I never saw anyone really check bands or turn away guests from the other side. We had access to both sides with our reservation & membership.
• You can purchase with your reservation, the upgrade to have access to both sides.
• Viva Palace is definitely the quieter side of the resort and in my opinion, the nicer side, so I'm glad we chose this side and not the other.
• The night club is located in the front of the property, around the corner from the pizza spot, but it's rather quiet unless you are inside the club so I don't think it's a problem if your room is near that area.
THE RESORT - VIVA DOMINICUS BEACH
• If you are looking for more action during the day and a livelier bar at night, the Beach side is where it's at.
• They have cute thatched-roof huts and a quieter end at the opposite side, but in the center is the big bar and main pool which always had a ton of people.
• The VIP bar for both resorts is actually at the far end of the Beach property, but it's a welcoming, secluded area with chairs, jacuzzi and incredible ocean views.
• Viva Dominicus Beach is where the nightly entertainment performs, regardless of which side you are staying.
THE ROOMS - PALACE
• We were upgraded to the romance junior suite because of our wedding, so our room was nice and clean. It was spacious with a King bed and a jacuzzi for two.
• The bathroom functioned fine as did the A/C, so I was happy about that.
• It also had a mini fridge which was nice to keep some food in when I wanted to snack on fruit or have cold water).
• They replenish two bottles of water daily.
• We received wine (although not good; it was Dominican wine) and fresh fruit almost daily which is a nice benefit of the VIP membership and wedding package.
• We did take a day trip to one of the neighboring islands, Saona. We traveled by catamaran so it was nice to be on the water. We stopped to swim at the "natural pool" but it's just the ocean and not special. At the island, we lounged around in a private VIVA section where they served an excellent BBQ lunch. We were there maybe 2 or 3 hours then left to go back to the resort. Overall, the excursion was fun. I'm not sure how much it was because it was included in our wedding package, but I might pay $50–$60pp. Anymore, I'm not sure I would go.
• We were extremely lazy and only lounged in the bed/cabanas and by the water, but our friends participated in everything from kayaking to paddle boarding and the trapeze. They all had a great time without incident.
• This is where I was most concerned as I have a strict diet of no gluten, no sugar and no dairy.
• Luckily, I was able to speak with the head chef who told me what I could have from each specialty restaurant, so I knew in advance what I could eat.
• The main dining room Yuca served a buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner; I was surprised it had rather decent food. Now mind you, they don't really season with salt because of dietary limitations so you often had to add salt to things like the fresh omelets. However, in general, I was able to find a few things to eat when I dined there, and they have a great selection of fresh fruit and salad. I'd give the restaurant a B- for quality and A for diversity.
• We did eat at the Beach side's La Terraza which is like Yuca, but honestly, I didn't think the buffet food was as good as La Yuca.
• I didn't actually eat the salad because I was concerned about food handling, and I'm not a fan of iceberg, but they did offer some grilled vegetables and usually had a fresh pasta station for lunch.
• I didn't eat at either main pool's hamburger/pizza station, but my husband enjoyed the food, including french fries, hotdogs and a selection of sides.
• I loved the Italian restaurant on the Palace property, Il Palco. The gnocchi was divine! I had it made special without cream, just olive oil, garlic and herbs. I dined with two people who actually lived in Italy for several years and they both commented at the authenticity of their meals.
• The Mexican restaurant was surprisingly good. I ate the chicken enchiladas without the tortilla and just has a side of rice. The guacamole and chips were tasty...I didn't get sick!
• The restaurant 25 was just okay, but I really couldn't eat much on the menu, so I'm biased. My husband enjoyed his food fine.
• Viva Café is where our reception dinner was held. Our guests all said they enjoyed the set menu provided, and the wedding cake (although I couldn't eat it) was supposedly delicious. I thoroughly enjoyed the whipped yuca and a the caprese salad.
• The wine served at La Yuca is terrible (if you like good or even decent wine). It's reminiscent of grape juice. There is no body or aroma to it.
• There are two cash bars—one on each property—so you can buy wines by the glass to enjoy if you're thirsty for quality libations.
• Also, the specialty restaurants have a small selection of decent wines, so we purchased a few bottles during our stay.
• We bought a bottle of Grey Goose at the night club and were able to take what we didn't drink back to our room which was nice. The rest of the resort bars don't serve premium liquors, unless you go to the Club Viva VIP Bar.
Overall, we had a rather enjoyable stay. Our ceremony was perfect and the resort is meticulously kept. Every day I saw law maintenance and building maintenance being performed. The amenities are great and the views are gorgeous. I do recommend visiting if you are looking for a budget to moderate type of all inclusive resort. The Dominicus beach side had a lot of families and younger children while the palace side seemed to be more of an older crowd and couples. The staff didn't really speak much English, but I wasn't expecting them to. The only people who know multiple languages were the front reception, concierge or excursions staff, so they can point you in the right direction and offer suggestions of activities or provide assistance when needed. If you need people to speak English to you all the time, then stay in a U.S. or U.K. resort.
If you are looking for an above average to excellent vacation experience, then you will need to pay more and stay at a high-end resort. However, for the price and the nice amenities, I think Viva Palace is a solid 3.5 stars.
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- Also Known As:
- Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace Hotel Bayahibe
- Wyndham Hotel Bayahibe
- Wyndham La Romana
- Wyndham Resort All Inclusive Bayahibe
- Viva Dominicus Palace
- Bayahibe Wyndham
- Wyndham Dominicus Palace
- Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace Dominican Republic/Bayahibe