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Catalonia Gran Dominicus
Ranked #5 of 16 Hotels in Bayahibe
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 28 August 2012

Our trip was from August 16-23rd, 2012. We are from California and are in our early 30’s we choose Catalonia base on the price but predominately the reviews so I hope I can help you with your vacations as well …. So now that we are back from Catalonia La Romania these are my findings, pro, cons, etc. oh by the way Catalonia La Romana is the same as Catalonia Gran Dominicus

We arrived in Santo Domingo at 10pm and instead of rental a car like we thought we were going to do we ended up taking a taxi which was a much better idea considering it is a different country, it was dark and the road was under construction. Had we rent a car who knows where we would’ve ended up and how long it would’ve taken us to get to our resort…. Thankfully there was plentiful of taxis outside the airport. LOL Anyhow, we bargain our price down from $120 to $90 for 4 people from Santo Domingo to Catalonia. Don’t be embarrass or shy to bargain!

It took us about 2 hours from Airport to our resort and once arrival they automatically upgraded us to Privileged which was definitely awesome but wait until you hear the rest…..
My friend and her husband were also upgraded to privileged as well but when they got to their room, it smelled like mildew, and had to change rooms the next day. My privileged room was fine (Villa Saona 2241).

We enjoyed our first meal deal which was the pizza but couple days after that we realize that food was not good at all. Perhaps we’re not use to eating their food and it wasn’t our taste. We kept an open mind with trying all the food but nothing was appetizing besides pizza and breakfast but soon we just got sick of that too. Keep an open mind and try their food. Who knows you might like it.

The pool was so busy on the weekends (Saturday – Sunday) with locals. They literally ran out of towels for us. One of my friends was so upset and had to complain in the privileged concierge and they told my friend to go to the house keeper! Hello! We a lot of money for this resort, least they can do it get it us towels. So they finally got us towels only after my friend yelled at them.

Likes:
Resort itself was very nice. Most of the staff was very sweet and helpful. Pool was pretty big only when the locals aren’t around. The beach was beautiful! There is a live show performed every night at 9:45pm by the staff which was awesome!! Bachata was their main dance and it was lovely! Giovanni was one of the dancers whom was very nice and sweet. Very pretty as well. Love her company! Dominican has the best coffee way better than starbucks or any other coffee I've had in California. Did i mention the beat was absolutely gorgeous!

Dislikes:
Not enough towels and food. Privilege didn’t come with slippers. In order to get slippers we have to pay for our upgrade. Since it was a free upgrade we didn’t get any slippers. Not everyone speaks English so learn Spanish before you go.

Excursions: Sandy (Usher look alike) was the guys who help us with our excursions. We booked our Zip lining (Bavaro Zip lines) and party boat to Isla Saona which was very fun!!! Definitely recommend this.

Sorry for writing a story but I hope this helps you decide what resort to choose. Although the food was tasteful I still love and enjoyed it at Catalonia! I left DR learning how to Bachata, Salsa, dance to Michel telo song (Portuguese song) and knowing that I had a blast in Catalonia!

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
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8  Thank Stasteek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
grandominicus, Director General at Catalonia Gran Dominicus, responded to this reviewResponded 4 September 2012

Dear customer,
Let me take de opportunity to thank you for your feedback that it really help us to improve. According to your experience, we are grateful to know that you enjoyed our installations, beach, animation shows, a good coffee accompanied by our nice staff and your stay overall.
We have 6 international restaurants with an enormous variety. It was a shame that you didn`t like the taste of some of them and we take good note in order to improve this part.
We appreciate your willingness to share your experience and we hope to see you soon in our hotel
Best Regards
Ivan Cunillera

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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.

Stayed: October 2011, 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.

  • Stayed: June 2012, 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 ti...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, 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.

  • Stayed: July 2012, 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
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Additional Information about Catalonia Gran Dominicus

Address: Bayahibe Playa, Bayahibe 10501, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Bayahibe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 Top resorts Hotel in Bayahibe
#3 Family Hotel in Bayahibe
Price Range: ₹ 8,933 - ₹ 32,262 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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

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