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Reviewed 19 August 2012

I am torn between 3 and 4 stars, but I feel this resort really is average.
The good:
Entertainment:
The entertainment team really does try hard to be upbeat and fun. They never stop! A few of the nightly entertainment were misses, but we did enjoy them for the most part. During the day, they always had something planned or games to play.
Food:
We never got sick! The food was mixed with various cultures and some of it was very different from what I am used to but we tried some of it and enjoyed it. There are several restaurants to choose from but make sure you check the schedule because they are not always open and the meals are only offered at certain times. I like an early dinner, but the buffet didn't start until later.
Beach:
Plenty of places to lay that were covered. At one of our hotels, we had to pay for spots like this. So it was very nice to have it available for free.
The beach bar was awesome with hardly any waiting.
Bocce Ball- SO.MUCH.FUN!
The so/so:
Water on the beach:
Make sure you bring water shoes. There are areas that are quite rocky and while we were snorkeling saw quite a few urchins (the spiny guys you don't want to step on). The water got progressively rougher and less clear as our vacation progressed. I think a front was moving through-and that is not the hotels fault. We really enjoyed our snorkeling time and the water-I just started getting a little seasick from how rough the water began to get.
Our Complaint:
We did the privileged route and our room was hardly anything to be considered privileged. It was dingy, moldy and during our bed bug check we found lots of sand on the mattress. While we understand that we are staying at a beach resort and some sand is inevitable-the bed should be vacuumed or cleaned so there is not sand on the mattress. To me, it just showed a lack of thorough cleaning. When we requested to be removed specifically because of the mold we found-it took over a day to find us a new one.
Check in-it takes forever. I mean...forever!

All in all, it was a decent value. Drinks were okay and the food was decent. Would I go back? probably not. I'd rather try my luck with another hotel. Would I recommend it to a friend? I would, but hesitantly.

Date of stay: October 2011
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
5  Thank trish97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2012

Nice all inclusive with a variety of restaurants so you have options other than just the buffet. Breakfast buffet is large and has lots of variety. Highly recommend the beach side crepe shack for a great snack at lunch - crepes made fresh when you order. Coco loco drinks are yummy.

Beach is very clean, plenty of lounge chairs with shade - no towel games needed here, especially in the low season.

Tip: this is an all inclusive, so tipping is not required but if you want extra water in your room refrigerator or specific types of soda, put a note inside the frig (make sure note is in spanish) with a couple of dollars for the maid. We did this and got a fully stocked frig every day with what we wanted.

Be aware that there is very little to do outside of the resort. There is the town of Bayahibe near by but it only has a few shops. Transport back to Santo Domingo to see the capital is costly (up to $35 per person) and it is a 2-2.5 hour trip one way due to the traffic and road conditions. The onsite entertainment team puts on a show every night that is fun. There are also various contests each day such as bingo or bocce tournaments.

If you want lots of English speakers, English TV and fast nightlife, pick a different resort. If you want to relax on a beautiful beach or by a great pool with decent food and drinks, this resort is a good value.

Note this resort caters to Europeans, so many of the staff don't speak English or have very limited English. Exception to this is the entertainment team and reception. A little spanish will go a long way for English speakers.

We did take an excursion to Saona Island. The speed boat was not fun for me as it seemed a bit unsafe although we did all get life jackets. The island is nice but there is no snorkeling since there are no fish. The beach lunch was grilled fish and chicken - ok but nothing special. They don't provide bottled water but rather a large container that they say is filled with clean water - recommend avoid the water unless you know where it came from. The best part of the excursion was the 2 hour catamaran sail back to Bayahibe.

Date of stay: June 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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2  Thank SAHDenver-CO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2012

We stayed at this resort in July - three of us including a 4 year old. I would recommend this hotel to anyone who wants a relaxing get away that is not too picky about food and can speak some spanish. La Romana is not your usual tourist destination in that there are NOT many commercial flights directly into the La Romana airport - don't expect the same atmosphere as Punta Cana.

I really like this resort except on the weekend - we arrived on a Saturday to find a large population of locals which we did not mind the first day - we were able to get a spot on the beach under an umbrella but the pool was out of the question. On sunday we left our stuff on a few chairs by the pool's shallow end so our daughter could go in without us - locals moved our belongings and took our chairs we were gone 10 minutes to get her into her suit. I also noticed the food at the snack bar goes a lot faster due to the crowd and i found myself in an altercation with a woman who decided to fill all 18 of her family members plates with the grilled chicken - took me 25 minutes to move 3 feet and get some for myself.

Things were MUCH better Monday through Wednesday - the quality of the food at the buffet went up as did the spirits of the staff. So if we discount the weekend - i would recommend this place for a quick get away.

We arrived into La Romana airport and had a private shuttle with my dominicantransers so we beat the rush to the reception area - Brian was super helpful and upgraded our room to a privileged although it was not ready - we went to the buffet and got lunch. The room was great had no complaints - there was rain one night and the air condition unit started leaking in the morning but it was fixed by lunch time. We just went to the beach and relaxed. Our maid was very nice but spoke limited english - always left extra towels after we asked.

Beach - is beautiful - if you sit under the trees there is a climb down to the water - its is beach and tree roots but its not bad. The entry to the water is rocky in some areas - the best entry point is right in front of the snack bar/buffet on the beach. Water was beautiful and clean as was the beach. Never had trouble finding a beach palapa.

food - Rodeo is excellent food as are the crepes by the beach. The buffet is good if you arent looking for steak at lunch/dinner and bacon at breakfast. The meat here unless imported (like Rodeo) is tough - its not the cooking its the way the cows are raised on the island. We never had trouble find something to eat. The italian place is good for lunch but no swimwear is allowed as they don't want the chairs to get wet. The fruit was always a good bet.

Notes
1. Heavily french and spanish speaking - hardly any english
2. Tip if you feel you have had good service - it goes a long way. The staff does not want to be unfriendly but they don't speak much english. They go out of their way to help you when they can.
3. Veronica at the bar by the pool is very nice and always had a smile on her face
4. Drinks - they serve local alcohols included - dont complain the drinks we had were good if not borderline strong at times.
5. Kids Club is great if you little one speaks french or spanish. Our daughter loved mini disco and just followed along.

Overall i would probably stay here again but do wednesday to saturday instead of saturday to Wednesday to avoid the weekend.

Room tip: Privilege Rooms are close to everything except reception which you don't really need ot visit till checkout.
Date of stay: July 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
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1  Thank keroppiNyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2012

This resort was perfect for a romantic weekend getaway. The superior room had a nice bed and pretty balcony. I loved that they refilled the mini-fridge with beverages everyday for free. The beach was very nice and the cocktails were very good. While there is no shortage of food options, the food was not great. We stuck mostly to the pizza because we found it was the best of all the choices. Overall, I highly recommend the resort but if high quality food is important to you, you might want to look elsewhere.

Date of stay: July 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Jen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2012

This is a decent resort with a nice beach. Overall, one gets good value for the money, but the resort leaves a lot to be desired. Here are some points to be aware of:

- Entertainment at this resort is exceptional. The team is comprised of versatile, competent professionals and is definitely one of the highlights.

- Do go for the 'Privilege' upgrade, as everyone else has been telling you.

- Honemoon suites are so bad - bad location, bad layout, dark, moldy, and outdated. We asked to be downgraded to regular honeymoon rooms, which turned out to be much better.

- Restaurants are hit-and-miss, overall a satisfactory experience. Cappuccinos are formidable. Breakfast, for some reason, is consistently underwhelming.

- Staff are lukewarm towards those they perceive as Americans and most speak no English whatsoever. If English is your primary means of communication, expect to be treated as second-rate guests there. Dominicans outside of the resort, on the other hand, can be pushy peddling their goods and services

- Most horrific experience, by far, was a 'weekend with locals'. Come Friday evening, legions of Dominican families will swarm the resort and take over. They camp at the pool area turning it into a experience one has visiting a public pool in Brooklyn. It becomes extremely overcrowded and loud, with teenagers in their underwear hanging in the pool and small children in their diapers at the shallow end. Factor in 'all-inclusive' free alcohol and the result is a pretty rowdy and loud experience with some umbrellas and chair broken by the nightfall.

Room tip: Do not go for the honeymoon suites, as they cannot compare to even regular honeymoon rooms. Consider a beachside massage. Avoid weekends.
Date of stay: June 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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11  Thank Ters071
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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