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.
- 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