Walls in the rooms are very thin; we had a very loud American couple next door who seemed to be nocturnal.
Food was definitely 3 star, remove the fancy trappings of selecting a different themed restaurant (there are about 6)each night and you are left with very average food and pretty awful wine. The Mexican was the worst restaurant we ate at, the Dominican eatery on the beach looked awful and fly infested so we didn't attempt that one.
The large 'World Cafe' was poor for breakfast, we really struggled to get a cup of coffee or tea, it usually arrived when we had finished eating which took a considerable time due to the endless lines of folk waiting for freshly cooked omelettes etc, which were excellent by the way! Tried it once at night and found it to be your average 3 star fare and luke warm at best.
All inc drinks were local brands and you could drink them all night with little effect, trust me I tried every night. Beer was OK but wine was awful.
Entertainment was non-existent and night times were very quiet. We met up with another couple and spent the nights sat by the pool drinking and having a laugh.
Beach area was nice but very busy and suffered from the usual towel/sunbed issue despite literature and signs asking people not to do it. Manmade beach area which was thinly spread on concrete base so not that comfortable under foot but plenty of shade from the masses of trees. Sea a little cloudy because of the manmade beach but very clean and gently shelving.
Beach/pool bars very good and bar staff very friendly and a good laugh. 'Fruit boat' on the beach was really good, fresh pineapple, mango, bananas etc etc served by a lovely lady who was forever smiling and nothing was too much trouble.
Didn't try the pools as I find them to be dirty and unhygienic places at the best of times. My 'fears'were confirmed one day when the swim up bar in the infinity pool was rammed full of very loud Americans who spent the majority of the day shouting and drinking. By late afternoon we noticed that none of them had left the bar all day to visit the loo.
Would return to DR but not to this hotel which we think is very over-rated. After 2 - 3 days we both wished we were back on the cruise ship which really was a 5 star experience, Dreams La Romana comes a very poor second.
All over the complex there is a wonderful little walk round a freshwater pool in some woods which no one seems to visit, but we went every single day to it.
My family and I would go back tomorrow no problem! The staff everywhere round the hotel were great could not find fault with anything.
We had requested a newly re-furbished room on an upper floor and that is what we were given. Only problem was, there was only 1 bed, we didn't want to share with our son. Quick phone call to reception by the bell boy secured a single bed that was brought up by housekeeping within half an hour. We were very happy with this solution as the room was so lovely, and after a long journey you don't want to tramp around rooms checking them out!
The room was in building 7 of the preferred section, room 7302. We found the room very quiet, maybe we were lucky. We only had neighbours on one side and the only thing we heard was their phone ringing sometimes.
The outlook of the room was great for us as we loved to watch all the birds in the trees from the balcony (humming birds and their lovely woodpeckers) We chose not to pay the extras for the preferred club as we really felt it was not worth the extra for us. We would not have used the extras you could have for this money. I am at a loss why anyone would sit on the preferred bit of the beach, it was absolutely horrible but people did!!
We found the grounds beautiful and immaculately kept, and my son loved the flamingos. Everywhere was spotless, the staff never stopped cleaning. We tipped our maid and the man who filled the mini-bar and we always had excellent service from both, but are sure even without the tips the service would be the same.
We loved the beach but did find the sea quite cloudy, this meant you had to go quite far out snorkelling to see anything, this was one small disappointment. You could see some fish from the pier though. We enjoyed both pools for different reasons and flitted between the two and I loved the drinks service at the pool and beach. (Lazy I know but fantastic).
The entertainment staff worked so hard and were lovely. They really made the effort to talk to you, my son thought they were amazing. They made so much effort with him, hi-fiving him and giving him nicknames that the holiday will remain in his memory for a very long time. He is already asking when we are going back! On the whole the entertainment of a night could be improved, maybe by bringing more acts in. Mostly it was the resident dancers putting on a different show, they were good (we were very friendly with one of them, Williams, lovely guy!) but it did get a bit repetitive, but then we are not big dance fans.
Because of our son we did not utilise the a la cartes as much as we could of. The Buffet was the easy option for us and on the whole it was good, couple of times I didn’t think it was great but I am fussy. We ate at the Asian and found this good and also enjoyed the Seaside Grill a number of times. We especially liked the Seaside Grill for lunch, as the aspect over the sea was so nice and we liked the menu of a day time more than the night time menu. The pizzas by the pool were a big hit with my son and we enjoyed the fresh burgers on the beach. We had breakfast in our room one day (for my birthday) and thought the room service was excellent, how that poor member of staff carried that tray up the stairs I have no idea, it was sooo heavy!!
The resort is made by the excellent staff, attention to detail and the beautiful surroundings. We would definitely visit a Dreams resort again
We had a fantastic holiday, weather was great and we even had an extra day there due to a flight cancellation, courtesy of the bad weather in Britain (bonus!)
So here goes!:-
PROS - Service excellent everywhere, bars,restaurants etc - really good service at the beach bar and on the beach itself.
Food mostly very good - Oriental a la carte the best, but Mexican,Italian & Dominican also good.Disappointed with food in the French restaurant - tiny portions and my wife's Beef Borguinon was very tough.Buffet OK - better some evenings than others.Get to the Seaside Grill early - it was very popular (due to the casual dress code in the evenings) and the service suffered later on.The "fruit boat" on the beach was great for a late morning snack of fresh pineapple,melon & papaya.
Beach lovely and clean, soft sand, few rocks.
Sea warm,calm and very clear, seaweed cleared in the early morning
Snorkelling good (especially if you were prepared to swim out well beyond the roped off areas)
Maid service very good (fridge always restocked) - the room was kept very clean and tidy.
CONS - Shade by the pools and on the beach almost impossible to find unless you played the towel game!(up before it was light)
Loungers were at a premium - we saw several very large parties (E.European) reserving beds at both the beach and the pool - they rarely used more than 25% of them at any time - but when one of the Entertainment staff tried to take a couple for someone who couldn't find any - WWIII broke out - shouting and screaming. They also "forced" out anyone who dared to sit in "their" areas by shouting across them, lighting and passing cigarettes around and generally making it very unpleasant.
I actually spoke to the Reception about it - their response was a shrug and a suggestion that I could take a lounger if it wasn't being used ( I don't think so!!)
Another smallish negative -sound carries very easily at night in the blocks - we were on the top floor but an "enthusiastic" couple kept us (and several others) awake into the early hours (until one morning someone actually got up and went and banged on their door!!) - take earplugs!!
One tip re bites - if you go to the Jungle(Dominican a la carte) make sure you put insect repellent on - virtually the only bites I got all holiday were in a ten minute spell when we first sat down from tiny sand flies.
Hotel is the only one on the stretch of the beach which runs round to the village of Bayahibe and their public beach.Its quite a long transfer from Punta Cana so either book a private taxi transfer or (better still) fly into La Romana airport.
Travel operator: Thomson
I will start with the negatives of which there weren't many. I can't really put my finger on it but I didn't feel that the reality of the resort lived up to the 'luxury' status the website describes. As the Thomas party stated, the staff at the restaurants seemed unable to cope with the amounts of people waiting for tables. On a couple of occasions we were told that we'd have to wait as they were full, when in fact we could see that almost half the tables were empty but hadn't been cleared/layed. However, we never waited too long and on two occasions were given pagers so we could go for a drink in one of the bars while we were waiting.
Our favourite restaurant for quantity and variety was the main buffet - World Cafe. we also tried the Bordeaux, Portofino, seaside Grill, El Patio (Mexican) and the Asian. The food was really tasty in all but the Asian, where we were very disapointed with our main meals. We had to wait ages for our drinks and in between courses at the Mexican as again they didn't seem to have enough staff.
The evening entertainment was repetetive. Although we really enjoyed relaxing in the lobby bar to the sounds of a duo (saxophonist/flute player and keyboard), they didn't have a large 'set'and played the same tunes night after night. Apart from these, there were shows lasting anything up to one hour around the pool or in the main theatre, but again the shows were very similar to each other.
A very clean hotel positioned directly on a beautiful beach with a fantastic range of eateries and bars. There was waiter service around the pool and on the beach with a good variety of drinks.
Our room was large with a canopied king size bed, TV and DVD. OUr mini fridge was re-stocked daily with water, soft drinks and beer. The bathroom was a decent size with a powerful shower and a hairdryer. we were supplied with shampoo, shower gel, and even factor 15 suncream. Maid service was daily, supplying towels and sheets were changed regularly.
We went for a short walk along the beach, calling in at some shacks, selling your usual holiday tat at, I have to say inflammed prices. We went in to Bayahibe (about 10 mins walk) and enjoyed a drink at one of the local bars.
There are a couple of shops and a money exchange desk. At the start of the holiday we experienced some money problems when I tried to change some large denomination dollars into smaller ones to give as tips and was told they had none. Not to worry I thought, I'll go and buy something small in the shop and get change that way. The cashier asked me if I had the right money because she didn't have change either. When I asked her what I was going to do she told me I could charge it to my room. I didn't want to do this as I was only buying to get change. I eventually had to change money into pesos which was much easier all around.
We had a brilliant 2 weeks with no major issues and feel that it was very good value for money.
Travel operator: Thomas Cook
The main restaurant - World Cafe served excellent food although it could be a little repetitive, but there was always something for everyone. We tried a few of the speciality restauarants - Bordeaux-long trousers only, strictly enforced - Air conditioned - serving mostly French food from a set menu - Very tasty, but like all the speciality restauarants, the portions were very small. Portofino - Italian - strictly long trousers. Beautifully presented food, but again very small portions. Mexican -casual dress code. Food was very bland and had to wait ages between courses. Seaside grill - mainly English food - the best of the speciality restauarants for children, as they had nuggets, pizza etc. The Beach snack bar served very tasty burgers, hot dogs salads etc from 12 pm. All speciality & the main restaurant seemed to suffer from a shortage of staff. There'd be a huge queue of people and loads of empty tables, but not the staff to clear & lay them. This was a big failing in this hotel.
There was the usual programme of entertainment throughout the day, boules, skittles, volleyball, spanish lessons, dancing lessons etc, & we joined in with a couple of activities. The nightime entertainment for adults left a lot to be desired. There was a duo in the reception lobby playing keyboard, saxophone & flute. These were excellent to listen to with a pre dinner drink, although the same music was repeated night after night. The main show of the night was around the pool or in the theatre. These were amateurish, and finished at the latest by 10.30. Unless you wanted to go the disco or casino the entertainment was then non existant. On two nights the show only lasted from 9.30 - 10pm. Luckily as we were in a group it didn't bother us, but if it had been just the two of us it would have became very boring.
There were good facilities for kayaking, diving, speed boat trips etc. We did the outback safari with a local company, & had a fantastic day, visiting a sugar & coffee plantation & a church. It was fantastic seeing how the Dominican people lived. I would certainly recommend taking little bits & bobs for the local children if you intend doing this trip, as they run after the trucks in the hope of having something. The looks on their little faces when you gave them some sweets or some crayons were unbelievable. They desperately need pencils & biros for school.
Overall we really enjoyed the holiday, but for a 4* hotel there could be quite a few improvements.
Travel operator: Thomas Cook
Pretty much all the bars had excellent service appart from the swim up bar where tips and nationality certainly helped with the service.
Travel operator: Med Hotels
It's a fantastic place to go, can't fault it in any way.
With 7 A La Carte restaraunts, (& a buffet one too) they really have got in going on here. You don't need to pre-book to go in them & it's all part of the All Inclusive. (Mexican, French, Asian, Italian, Dominican, Seafood, & Steak Grill). We ate at a different one every night for the week we were there.
They may give you a wine list so if there is a particular bottle of wine you fancy, you will have to pay for that, but house wine is all inclusive & it's actually very nice wine too. That's available with every meal.
It's a big hotel (751 rooms) & because there's a lot of people there, they have the facilities to cater for them all, large swimming pools etc.
It's right on the beach too.
Worth paying a bit extra before you go to get a 'limited sea view' rather than just a garden view too.
The only thing we DID pay for while we were there was the 'Romantic meal on the beach'. It was $100 per couple but well worth it. It was a 6 course meal, on the sand, at night, with your own waiter, champagne, candles etc. It was a lovely experience.
Champagne, cocktails, house wine & premium spirits are all part of the All Inclusive here so you really wont need any extra money unless you want to buy gifts etc.
Never had any problem getting a sunbed at any time of the day & the sunbeds were lovely too. Wooden ones, (with wheels so they're easy to move around) & mattresses on them with pillows, so they're very comfortable. They even have a pull out drawer on them for your cocktail!
There is waiter service round the pool and the beach so you don't even have to leave your sunbed to get a drink.
The disco was quite good too, with a great outdoor area at the back that had 4 poster beds you could lie in. That's open until 2.30am & the buffet is on till 6.30am if you're a bit peckish after all that dancing.
Even though it's a bit of a trek to get to this hotel, (long flight, 1hr 50min transfer), it's worth it, & besides, you know it's a trek before you book, so I'm not going to complain about that bit.
I'm surprised it has a 4+ status & not a 5* & I would definately go back. Can't comment on the resort because we didn't actually leave the hotel.
Travel operator: Thomson
The sea is not as good as in Bavaro (where we went last year) but overall we much preferred it to the more expensive hotel we went to before. Here's our report!
Transfer: Yes, it's a bit long (nearly 2 hours from Punta Cana) but you get to see a bit of the country (and real life there) on the way. For people who wouldn't venture outside the resort otherwise, you will see things you need to see. Just don't look if you are afraid of scary driving!!!
Rooms: Totally adequate and if anything is amiss, they will get it sorted. Much better than I expected for what we paid. Good TV with a reasonable range of channels.
Food: We don't go away for eating so weren't bothered that the food was not great. But it was fine and certainly in abundance - you can eat 24/7 if you want to! Great choice of restaurants (no reservations needed and no limitations on use) but we preferred the more relaxed buffet. Room service is included in the all inclusive - limited menu but great if you want a lazy night watching TV in bed or breakfast without getting up and showered.... or wine, etc., when you're watching a late night film or being up late for anything else!
Location: Great! On the south of the country so you get the sunset over the sea - lovely if it's not cloudy. Prevailing wind is from the north-east (over the land and out to sea) so you don't get chilly sea wind which kept us off beach areas in Bavaro (NE coast) at night last year). The hotel beach is not huge but is more that enough for hotel guests even at times of maximum occupancy - the hotel was full when we were there and we got our chosen place on the beach every day - nobody within 50 feet of us and still only a few minutes' walk from our room and less to the nearest bar! The village of Bayahibe is only a 10 minute walk along the beach - there's not much there but we met loads of people in the hotel who didn't stray off the private beach - they missed out!
Hotel staff: I can't think of enough superlatives!! They were fantastic in every way. We saw every side to it, from the amazingly friendly service from everyone through to something beyond. An elderly man in the room next to us had a fall outside our door which resulted in a brain haemorrage and which put him in intensive care in the local hospital. His wife is in a wheelchair and it was a horrible situation for her but the hotel staff were just amazing - some of them coming to the hospital on days off and being brilliantly helpful in the hotel. We befriended the wife (being with her, going to the hospital with her etc.,) and so perhaps got special attention for looking after 'Mama' - but I don't think it was about this as they were the same with anyone who afforded smiles and friendship.
Entertainment: If you like glitzy shows the entertainment (something every night) might appeal. Not our thing at all and so we didn't bother (but the 'warm up' with a clown getting little kids dancing was great). But don't go to this hotel if good night-time entertainment in a proper theatre is your thing - and I hope it stays that way!!
Excursions: We did less than planned due to helping 'mama' but thoroughly recommend the trip to Sanoa Island. Rum & coke flowing freely from about 10.00am adds to the beauty of the island and the dip in the 'swimming pool' afterwards - this is the sea but you have to experience it yourselves to understand!
Would we visit this hotel again? Absolutely!! We've only been back home for a day and I am already looking online for a good deal next year! We never thought we could find a place outside of our favourite totally unspoilt Greek island (am not giving that secret away!!)that we would feel 'at home' with but the kindness and friendship of the staff at Dreams La Romana has made us want to return there next year. Yes, there are places we've been to before (e.g., the Maldives) and other places we want to go to that are better but until I get the lottery numbers right we have to holiday on a restricted budget and our fortnight at Dreams La Romana was incredibly good value for money.
Travel operator: First Choice
Travel operator: thomas cook
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