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Catalonia Gran Dominicus
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Catalonia Royal La Romana(Bayahibe)
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Reviews (6,643)
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Reviewed 8 February 2010

We travelled from Jan 18th to Feb 1st. My husband and I travelled with our 2 children 4 and 6. The second week a group of friends met us there..
If your looking for a great vacation this is the place to go!
This resort is beautiful the gardens are well maintained well up kept. Beautiful palm trees everywhere.
There was lots of lounge chairs on the beach and at the pool
The rooms as mentioned are a little tired and old looking but very clean we never saw any bugs or ants of the sort.
They gave you 2 free towels as where most of the resorts I visited they required a 20 deposit.
The pool was a good size it was great for all ages, I didn't have to worry about the kids as they were in the shallow end, they also had water polo, and basketball nets for those who wanted to play. They also did daily arobics in the pool which was great.
The beach was great the water was warm a little wavey which we didn't mind but certain areas of the beach was a little rocky which was hard on the feet and for the little ones. Didn't stop the kids from having fun.
They had constant activities all over the resort the ANIMATION group was FANTASTIC they were all so energitic and friendly and got everyone involved all the time. Special hello to Laura. They did arobics in the ocean, crazy games, darts, beach volleyball, pool arobics, step, dance lessons,they had trivial pursuit for the Italians at 2 everyday there was always something to do. Most resorts I have visited there wasn't this much involvement so I enjoyed taking part in all the activities.
The nightly shows were good some better then others the Tropicana and Micheal Jackson show was my favourite they did a great job performing.
At the Piazza which was in the middle of the resort with a bar they had several table and chairs, they played music from 6 to 10 until they went to the shows. They served all types of drinks cappucinos and expresso's and the Animation group once again would get people involved in dancing, they played all types of music.
The Food... Was very good. I don't understand how people can say they couldn't find anything to eat. Breakfast they had a variety of cheeses, salami's, breads, desserts, fruit, egg station and bacon and sausage station. At lunch they had the Buffet in which I only went to a few times and it had a variety , my favourite was the Italian Restaurant by the beach it opened at 12:30 to 2:30 it was AMAZING, 10 choices of Pasta, alfredo or tomato sauce made so many different ways, 10 different types of pizza thin crust to choose from, potatoes, and veggies, salad bar fruit bar, and chicken/pork or steak of the day. My kids never complained they always found something they liked to eat.
The beach bar, served french fries, onion rings, chicken, hot dogs and hamburger salad bar and variety of fruit. My favourite was self serve on drinks never had to wait for a drink at the bar, pop or water was always available juice at some stations and Self SERVER BEER my husband like that.
The Mini Club, Fantastic bunch of Ladies, Susy, Dina, Claudia and Anna were awsome.
In all the years I have travelled I have never left my children at the mini club and this time I felt very comfortable to do so. They entertained the kids with sports in the pool, or crafts played games. My kids wanted to go everyday. At night they had the mini disco in which the kids did a fashion show, played games, etc they even won prizes. You ladies are great!
There was alot of Europeans on the resort, people from Italy, France and Germany, some Canadians and Americans it was well spread out. The Alba Tours group had someone from the Animation group that could accomadate all languages the Dominican's spoke English, Italian, or spanish, the alba tours group spoke Italian, french spansih or english. They were very accomadating.
The service was very good. As Canadians we are a customing to tipping the Europeans don't so much but they always served you with a smile if you tipped them or didn't.
My favourite Bartendars are Enrique and Eric at the Beach Bar and Piazza Bar. They even had crepes at the Beach Bar which they made by special order they were amazing!
The Ala Carte Restaurants, they have Italian, Mexican and Rodeo Steak house. They were very good, all 3 were very good, we would always have an apetizer and an entree and it was excellent. The buffet Dominican night and oriental night were the only 2 nights at the buffet that the food was not so good and lacked variety. So the second week we made sure we went the restaurants. Best part is you don't have to make reservations you just go and its first come first serve.
People complained about the pillows and I thought that was a little strange but yes the pillows aren't comfy and they only gave us 4 for all of us, after a couple nights I asked for an additional 4 pillows and they were very accomadating.
Also bathrooms there isn't to many Bathrooms when your at the beach you have to walk past the snack bar or to the buffet and with little ones that was a little painful but they were cleaned every half hour and they always had paper. They could use a few more.
We also did a Siona day trip, it was good but your just going to another island 20 mins by boat, the water is much more blue and the sand is very white, but other then that not sure it was worth the money, only if you do the other excursion where it includes snorkling they may have more to see. They also provided lunch.
You have alot of vendors approach you to buy stuff they try to sell you necklaces for 25 and if you tell them 5 they'll take it.
Over all this is a Fantastic Resort, the people are cheerful and very friendly the resort is very clean, good food and Great Weather you definately get your money's worth. I would definately return to this resort.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled with family
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4  Thank dannyd01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2010

Stayed at this resort Jan 25- Feb 1/10 with my spouse. We are both 30 . We had nice weather with only one overcast day and some rain-all other days were hot and sunny. The guests were all age ranges-lots of families, older guests as well as younger people. As mentioned lots of people from Italy, France, French Canadians.

Positives:

-Beautiful beach: blue, clean, warm water with nice sand and palm trees. Lots of loungers available and we didn't have to get up very early to get a spot. We were always able to find shade.
-Lots of daily activities: Animation team leads activities from ~10-12pm and then ~4 -5:30 pm. Liked the fact that a lot of the activities were done on the beach. Activities included: dance lessons 3x/day, stretching on the beach, volleyball 2x/day, bingo, step class, water aerobics in the ocean and pool, tennis, archery, soccer, bocce ball, water polo, "crazy game" etc.
-Great wood stove pizzeria, open until 2:00am. The pizza man was so nice and made a personalized pizza for you if you asked him.
-Nicely landscaped grounds
-Pool looked ok but no swim up bar; never used it as we were on the beach
-Good layout of the resort, smaller resort
-Good food-we were a little worried after reading some of the negative reviews but we had no problems finding options we liked at the buffet and most importantly we didn't get sick. We especially liked the omelettes at breakfast, great salad bar at lunch and dinner, chicken breast, steaks and fish offered almost daily, good soups. The buffet has a different theme every day for dinner which was good. We only tried the steakhouse a la carte and it was not the greatest so we stuck to the buffet. We also liked the fact that there is a beach restaurant and you can pour your own water, soft drinks and beer.
-Disco on site open daily: some days were busier than others. Animation staff were always energetic and present at the disco. A few nights they took guests to discos off the resort ie: the casino disco which is ~ 2 mins from the resort
-Evening shows ok-best ones were the Tropicana and Michael Jackson show.
-Free safe in rooms
-Friendly staff
-Free internet access in rooms; ask for password at reception

Negatives:

-The beach is sloped as you enter the water making it more difficult for long walks on the beach if you enjoy that and may be difficult to enter/exit water if you have mobility issues.
-No windsurfing available. The windsurf at the Iberostar next door was broken so we walked to Oasis Canoa to the left of the resort and had to pay $25 for 1/hr (asked for $35 but talked them down).
-Average rooms. We called the resort ahead of time requesting a room in La Romana, Catalina or Saona only to a get a room in Duarte section. The shower water pressure was really bad so we had complained numerous times before we finally got moved to Catalina. If you want a renovated room in the "Privileged Section" you have
to pay $15/person per day which we didn't bother doing. Overall, yes the rooms were dated as everyone has pointed out but our room was clean, no bugs/ants etc.
-Although we knew that this resort would have a lot of Europeans, we missed not being able to meet more English speaking people. Also, many of the entertainment staff spoke limited English.

Overall, we had a great time-great weather, beautiful beach, happy with the food and lots of daily activities. Feel free to msg me with any questions.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank S2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2010

Pillow cases were smelly, Staff was a little unpleasant, photographers were racist
only Italian food . Front desk Manager is not nice to client after issue a room that wasn't ready to accomodate client. No professionalism

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank dominicusNew_york
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 January 2010

went with my wife and her girlfriend Jan 11-18,2010 had read many reviews and they were all positive when we booked on Jan 4th. Then 2 poor reviews came in-but after being there I can't see how a person could complain about the food. The little things I didn't know before we went were their snorkel equipment is not good so if you enjoy snorkelling take your own gear-they will take you waterskiing $40 for 15 minutes I never saw anyone go-beach volleyball they have the best court with a new net and ball and proper court lines that I've ever seen in my many trips to the carribean and they play several games every day-one night they had the disco on the beach which was excellant-the jacuzzi is only pool temperature,never heated-there is a pool table and popcorn machine near the pool bar-don't forget there are 2 bars on the beach,one with the friendliest bartender and all kinds of drinks and the other you pour your own beer from a tap,but they have beer only-there is a little less wind and waves here than most places I've been to and that's what I 'm always looking for. We normally try a different resort each trip but this is worth going back to.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank aguamanOntario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2010

We stayed for a week between Jan 11th and Jan 18th. First time to La Romana but we are well traveled throughout the Caribbean. Knew what to expect from reading the reviews, which have been pretty much accurate so far.
I will not repeat the stuff other people said such as bad food, old rooms etc. I will say that the beach and the atmosphere are amazing - this is what we look for in a family vacation.
It is true that 99% of the guests are indeed European and English is seldom spoken - but this added to the atmosphere we enjoyed. Great value.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled with family
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3  Thank scorpi11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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