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“A little Caribbean Gem”

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Catalonia Gran Dominicus
Ranked #4 of 16 Hotels in Bayahibe
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A little Caribbean Gem”
Reviewed 3 July 2014

I recently stayed at the Catalonia Gran Dominicus for a week on an All Inclusive basis with my partner and our two children (8 & 4). We had an absolutely amazing time and really did feel we were in paradise. I was slightly worried about the transfer time as many people had said 90 minutes but we were at the hotel (albeit in a transfer with no-one else) in about 45 minutes. We were greeted by extremely friendly staff upon arrival and were made to feel very welcome. Our room which was at the reception end of the complex was perfectly adequate for our needs and had amazing air conditioning (in fact it was so cold we had to turn it down a few times). The room was cleaned and the beds made every day with towels changed very regulalry which was lovely. We were even treated to some 'towel sculptures' on the beds whcih the kids loved. There was a well stocked mini bar too and a safe in the room for which there was no extra charges. The room even had an ironing board. Yes the decor might have been a bit dated and dark but it certainly didnt have any negative impact on our holiday.

I have to say I was worried about the food with two younger children but the range of food available was second to none and they certainly didn't go hungry while we were there. The fresh omlettes and fruit at breakfast were a firm favourite with all the family. They also have a childrens buffet (which had a smaller selection off the main bufet) which they loved as they felt very independent. WIthin our package we were given tickets that allowed us to eat at the speciality restaurants too. Whilst the food here was extremely good I didnt feel they catered to the children as well as the buffet - that said my 8 year old managed to eat her way through a New York steak with no problems! The pancake bar on the beach was a favourite spot for us all and just filled the gaps between meals. This was also a great place for the kids to go and get their own drinks.

There is no denying that this is not a resort that has many British people visit it (I think we were the only brits there over our week) so if you were wanting to go and meet lots of people from home then I diont think this is the resort for you. That said we see enough Brits at home so we loved the opportunity to meet the European and American visitors. As per usual they all put us to shame by speaking perfect English so even the kids were able to communciate with the French and Sapnsih speaking children.

We found all the staff to be extremely pleasant and hard working individuals. It is not uncommon to see the same staff that have served you at the crack of dawn still beavering away late at night. In my oppinion they do this with very little complaint. When walkig around the complex I was amazed at how many employees they have and they were constantly working on the gardens and grounds. Every single employee who we walked past said Hola without fail which the kids loved. The same can be said of the entertainment staff. Yes the entertainment was not to my liking but I am not a huge fan of holiday entertainment anyway but I thought that the staff worked tirelessly all day long. There was a huge array of activities for all to do from pool activities, to volley ball, to water aerobics in the sea, boules, dancing etc. I didnt find the entertainment staff pushy at all. The shows were a little late in my opinion if you have children as they didn't start until 10 o'clock but when the kids managed to stay awake for the Michael Jackson show they were spell bound!

Finally the hotel has to be in one of the most beautiful spots I have ever stayed and we have many picture postcard images of the kids sitting in palm trees, lying on beautiful white sands or swimming in the bluest of seas. A truely perfect holiday in my mind and certainly great value for money.

Room Tip: I wouldn't pay extra for the privilege rooms as soom of them were very close to the main buffet...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Tillymint1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
grandominicus, Resident Manager at Catalonia Gran Dominicus, responded to this review, 6 July 2014
Dear guest,

Thank you very much for your nice and extremely detailed review about all our services (food and beverage, rooms, entertainment activities…) . We are very happy to know that you enjoyed our resort that much. We are specially happy to read those wonderful compliments regarding all the hotel areas. Thank you very much again for your time and kindness. Best regards from Paradise!
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Sheffield
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2014

Had a nice week here from the 12th - 19th June. The best things have to be the beach and the price. For a cheap week in a paradise location then its great but there is little to do in terms of entertainment. Evening entertainment was lacking but they try. If you can't speak spanish then communication can be difficult, we felt that a lot of the tourists there didn't like us very much because we were English, but the staff were friendly and helpful. Rooms were comfortable and huge and served us well. Food was okay, had a few hit and misses but generally good. Overall a nice hotel in a lovely setting and for the price was decent value for money.

Room Tip: I would ask for a second floor room otherwise the balcony opens onto ground level.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank Fenners21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santiago
Level Contributor
41 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 June 2014

Me and my girlfriend spent 5 nights at the hotel, absolutely amazing! clean rooms and facilities, very good food and drinks and a very friendly staff, I would recomend this hotel for anyone

The only comment I can make is that there is not a lot of information about how to get there and it would seem as if there are only taxis when you can actually book a transfer at a much cheaper price

Go to the national park which can be reached by walking along the coast for about a kilometre and pay the 100 Pesos fee. Bring a lot of repelent and cover your skin to avoid mosquitos!

Room Tip: Maybe try getting an upper floor room to enjoy a bit more of the balcony
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank RodrigoCalcagni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris, France
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 June 2014 via mobile

Catalonia Gran Dominicus

PROs :
- Nice Beach (with "privilege" beach beds,and fruit shakes)
- Buffet food
- nice "privilege" bathroom & room, clean comfortable quiet & modern.
- Free open wifi in all areas (even on the beach 2 meters away from the water)

Cons :
- half of staff not very smiley and doesn t seem happy to be there
- Night' shows (@10pm) : not professionnal and not really for adult audience.
- people smoking in any area, they should have dedicated smoking areas.

Wifi : i got signal everywhere (beach, restaurant, room, tennis court, reception...). But speed was very variable (Download speed from 0,2 M to 3M, upload from 0,4M to 6M, ping time between 120 ms to 550 ms). In non technical terms, i would say : sufficient for browsing, emails, whatsapp,etc... But Youtube / Skype and other videos related application : you would need more luck for it to work correctly.

"Privilege":
Just for the bathroom it's worth it ! (i loved the modern shower).
When checking in we got 1 paper detailing what additionnal items we get in the room from being a "privilege", but half of the items were missing upon arrival. We had to talk to several people from the staff to finally get everything (chair, light, slippers, etc..).
We did not get any information of what benefits (services) we get outside of the room, therefore i'm sure we missed some of it.
What we ve found out ...by ourselves :
-there is a special dedicated beach area for "privilege", with nice beach beds. But since nobody monitor, i did see a few non privilege customers getting there too.
- dedicated restaurant by the beach (we have been once but not impressed by the food)
- dedicated area at the buffet restaurant... you don't get much out of it, except maybe a waiter bringing you some drinks. Food is the same as non privileged anyway.
- unlimited beach towels : we only asked for 2 towels per person, and some days they didn't seem very excited to give it to us. What s the point of being "privileged" then ?

Staff :
Half of the staff seemed annoyed to work there. They would cut off your path (even with full plate in your hand), not care about refilling an empty drinking machine at the buffet, would redirect you to 5 other people just to get a correctly inflated basket ball (we finally managed to get a basket ball on the 3rd day), we ve seen no staff at all at the sport and fitness area during the whole stay.

Suggestion for the hotel :
- At check in, give customer a complete list of all the benefits of being privileged (not only room benefits).
- have a brochure with all activities at the hotel (detailed activities, with opening hours)
- Have a better display of "today's program" and broadcast it daily to customers through a webpage (since there is already wifi everyhwere, better make good use of it)

I might seem very critical, but i would go there again. My desires when going to the DR is : nice beach, clean quiet comfortable room and lots of food choices.
These requirements were fullfiled.

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank iaf_22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
grandominicus, Resident Manager at Catalonia Gran Dominicus, responded to this review, 10 August 2014
Dear guest,

Thank you for your time and your nice and extremely detailed review, really it is an important and “constructive criticism” for us. We are sure that your review will encourage the readers of this site to spend their holidays in our hotel. Once again, thank you very much indeed. Of course, you will be very welcome if you decide to visit us again in the near future. Best regards the Caribbean.
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Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 June 2014

The beaches were amazing, lots of room, very clean, quiet (despite occasional, momentary staff dance parties). Go early if you want a grass hut/shaded area. People left their belongings there overnight to keep for the next morning which was a turn off. The grounds and landscaping was immaculate. The staff was extremely helpful and kind. We somehow got upgraded to the "Privileged" package, maybe because it was our one year anniversary? Either way, I highly suggest upgrading to that. Many upgrades with it! We originally had a room with two beds, unnecessary, and we asked to move, the front desk was more than happy to move us, and to an even better room. I'm personally a neat-freak, so the cleanliness was subpar. Food wasn't bad, for as much as you can have, as often as you like, I can't complain. Two downfalls, if they apply to you, was nightlife, there really wasn't any unless you buddied with a staff member. We went to the "Disco" one night, which was great, but once was enough for us. Second, humidity and the musty smell. Really though, you're in the tropics so it's to be expected and it was tolerable. Some people mentioned it was "too big", or "a lot of walking". It was good for us to walk because we laid on the beach for 9 hours a day. I liked that it was big and spaced out, it felt like you were in your own little town. In addition, the drive from the hotel to the airport is quite a haul. It was comfortable but not very quick, about an hour and a half. Overall, I would absolutely, in a heartbeat, go back. If you're looking to relax, take in the ocean, have a drink and get a tan, this is perfect paradise.

Room Tip: Request a room away from the kitchen of the buffet, it's the most loud there. Also, upgrading to...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank Amanda M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
grandominicus, Resident Manager at Catalonia Gran Dominicus, responded to this review, 10 August 2014
Dear Amanda,

Thank you very much for your nice and extremely detailed review about all our services (food, rooms, entertainment activities, beach…) . We are very happy to know that you enjoyed our resort so much. We are specially happy to read those wonderful compliments regarding all the "privileged" rooms. Thank you very much again for your time and kindness. We hope to see you soon in the near future for your holidays in Catalonia Gran Dominicus. Best regards from Paradise!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Las Vegas
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2014

I just returned from this resort. I stayed for 10 days, June 12th thru the 22nd. I had a different picture in my head when we booked this place. First off its huge. Hopefully you like to walk because everything is far from the rooms. There are no rooms with views. The rooms are all up front.We had to walk a long distance to the beach. The beach itself is ok, there is a drop to the sand that i fell down one day. not easy for the elderly or young kids. Lots of seating and plenty of shade. The room was nice, all tile and large. We upgraded to privileged and i'm not sure if it was worth it. The food at the buffet was delicious everyday, i must say. Shrimp, steak, fish. We went to Saona island and that was fun. I've been all over the Caribbean and honestly i wont be returning here. There is a huge language barrier and if you don't speak Spanish good luck. Go see Matteo at the shop outside he has anything you want. One more problem we had were Bees, Everywhere dozens of them. They hang around the bars and fly right into your drink. I could not believe this resort did nothing about this hazard and it is a hazard. I'm talking dozens of them . Choose wisely

Room Tip: There are no good rooms with views .Upgrade to privileged
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank kathy c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Silas, Alabama
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2014

The resort was clean, the staff was very friendly and the beach was beautiful. The speciality restaurants were not special and we ate at the buffet. The rooms needed an upgrade although the wi-fi was great. There was not an iron in the rooms.We asked for one and never received one.The stocked minifridge was three bottles of water.We were told there was a section that had been upgraded which would have increased the price by about $600 a couple.

Room Tip: The superior rooms might be better.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank jf7883
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
grandominicus, Resident Manager at Catalonia Gran Dominicus, responded to this review, 10 August 2014
Dear guest,

We are very sorry the hotel did not fulfilled your expectations. It is quite obvious we have not met your expectations 100% and for this reason we apologize. Regarding the iron, and even if we have a laundry service we offer it, just in the case someone wanted to have their clothes ironed without using the laundry service. What it happened when you asked for the iron is rather strange: all of them were in use. Please accept our apologies for it, as it was something we couldn't expect. After reading your review, we decided to buy some extra irons, to make sure that this is not going to happen again in the near future. Best regards from Dominican Republic.
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Additional Information about Catalonia Gran Dominicus

Property: 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 Romantic Hotel in Bayahibe
#2 Green Hotel in Bayahibe
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Bayahibe
#3 Family 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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