Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa
28 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
We were sad we had to leave!
"My husband and I just returned from a week's stay at the Dreams Resort in La Romana. We did this tour through Apple Vacations, and had no idea which of the three dreams locations we would get. We were pleasantly surprised once we arrived at the resort - we were a little concerned because the resort is nearly 2 hours from the airport in Punta Cana. The bus ride itself was worth it, though, as we were able to see how people live on the island, which was eye-opening.
The service was outstanding - the people who work at Dreams truly seem happy to be doing what they do. They are friendly, outgoing, and make you feel welcome and part of the "family." Our room was cleaned twice a day, and chocolates were left on our bed every night! The room was crisp, fresh, and clean - a definite must.
Our room was beautiful! We were lucky to be in building 5 facing the back - it was quiet, and had a view of the pool and the Caribbean Sea from our patio (first floor). The only issues we had with the room: there is not enough drawer space for clothing. My husband and I had to get creative when putting our clothes away...not enough hangers, too, so that would have helped. The second issue was that our shower did not drain very well. We called housekeeping a couple times, but the language barrier was an issue and they had a tough time understanding what we needed. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Overall, a great room in a great location. Our room faced the quiet side of the resort, so that was a plus.
Location and Amenities:
The overall location is just okay. If you are looking for tons of shopping to be close, this isn't the place. We took a bus to Dominicus for a bit, but didn't have a lot of time to scope it out. We also walked to the little TINY town of Bayahibe for some local food, but there is not much there. The amenities of the Dreams location were great - pretty much everything you want is there. The best restaurant is the Seaside Grille. Excellent steaks! We ate at Oceana, which was horrible. We also tried El Patio, the Mexican-inspired restaurant, and it was pretty good. The World Cafe buffet had a diverse selection, and was great for breakfast.
The relaxation. Just being lazy on the beach, napping on the beach, and doing whatever we wanted to do when we wanted to do it. The people were fabulous - not only the people who worked there, but the other guests, too! We met people from all over the world, and it was nice to get to know them. The bars were fun...
Pushy vendors on the beach between the resort and Bayahibe, the unnecessarily loud excursion to Saona Island (which also included pushy vendors), and the lack of beach space. A larger beach is something we would like next time. People would "save" beach chairs with their towels, and then not show up for hours. Not fair to others who were actually there wanting a chair.
Overall, we would go back to Dreams La Romana, and try other Dreams resorts. I miss it already...."
- Travel date: Sun 22nd of February 2009
A Dream come true Wedding and Honeymoon.
"First off I'd like to say we had a great time! Of course there were glitches that I will try to detail below, but I had my wedding and honeymoon at the Dreams Resort and I have absolutely zero regrets. We were there for 2 weeks.
Just to let you know that this hotel caters to Europeans. What I mean by this is that the European women will sunbathe topless. This can be a problem if you are American and are not used to this and you brought your children. American children are not used to this and it can be very distracting to them. Luckily we had no children in our group and while in Rome.....
Normally I wouldn't say this, but be prepared for the rudeness of other people. We noticed that the French seemed very rude to us. We did not have a party group. The youngest age we had in our group was 23 and the oldest was about 55. We were all there to relax. When we tried to talk to other people, the French were not open to speaking to anyone else. Several people in our party also mentioned being "nudged" out of the way when they were in the buffet by some of the French. I actually saw one women shove past a woman with a cane because she wasn't walking fast enough. We also had a couple reach over to our table to grab the sugar off of our table without saying anything. That is not to say that everyone was like that. It may have been also a culture thing.
Travel Time from Airport to Hotel
The trip from the airport to the hotel was very quick. We had no problems finding our Applevacations driver. For other trips the applevacations driver wore the requisite flower shirt. Our driver did not wear his shirt so I was a little concerned when he came up to us. After speaking with him and the fact that he knew our names and the hotel we were going to (and seeing his applevacations sign in the van), we realized he was from apple.
Check In was a little slow. I think they may have been training our customer service person, but this did not bother us because we were just happy to be in Paradise!
I thought the rooms were very nice. Very modern with a flat screen, stand up shower, and iPod docking alarm clock. The shower drain didn't drain fast enough so we were often standing in the shower water, but that was a small concern and we didn't even report it.
We were in Room 4226. It was one of the buildings closest to the lobby and overlooked the pool with a partial view of the ocean. Unfortunately, it was also right next to the nightly entertainment since it was held at the main pool every evening. This wasn't ideal since my new husband and I like to relax in bed and don't normally attend the entertainment. The entertainment usually ended around 11pm. Since we normally were watching TV during this time it wasn't too bad, but you can almost forget sleeping until after the nightly entertainment.
I wasn't impressed with the maid service. Several days in a room we had to go ask for wash cloths because they didn't leave us any and we had to use hand towels as wash cloths one day because they didn't have any wash cloths. The first week they were pretty good about coming in and cleaning the rooms before we came back to the room to get ready for dinner. The second week the maid hadn't even been to our room when we came back to get ready at 5pm. It was a little frustrating because we use clean wash cloths every day. We don't mind reusing towels because of the waste, but we refuse to use dirty wash cloths after they are already dirty from they day before. We actually ended up hiding wash cloths and asking for new ones every day because of this.
We tried every restaurant except for the Sushi restaurant since I do not like sushi. They were all excellent. I've been to all inclusives in Mexico and the food is always bland. We never expect good food, but we were very pleasantly surprised by the food. I recommend all of the restaurants. If I had to choose my favorite I would have to say the Mexican (the red snapper and enchiladas were excellent!) We had great service in all of the restaurants with the exception of the buffet. In the buffet we were totally ignored. I'm not sure why since we were always so polite, but I think it was because we were a younger couple. Most people there were older 40-55 range except for the families.
Pools and Beach
Fantastic. We spent most of our time on the beach. We brought our own snorkel equipment and snorkeled off the beach. We saw quite a bit considering that people were swimming. Around the pier there are a lot of tropical fish. We saw a lobster, fish, starfish, water snake, etc. I'm not saying that there is an abundance of wild life to see, but if you are patient you can see a lot.
The pools were always very clean. I read the post prior to mine. I take a little offense at saying the people making the noise were obviously Americans, but I understand. I think I heard those people also, but I think it was actually only one guy who got way too drunk, but I only heard him that one day. We are American and when we are on vacation we are actually more patient then we are when we are at home. At home if we got the service we got in the buffet we would have been speaking to a manager.
Absolutely beautiful. The maintenance crew worked very hard to make sure that the grounds were well maintained and did not bother the people staying there. They used machetes to trim the bushes.
You sometimes have to ask for "gasolina" in your drinks. The pina coladas and other fruity drinks are not always made with alcohol since they use a machine.
Isla Saona -- We took a trip to Isla Saona (Saona Island). Unfortunately, the weather was not ideal, but the trip was great. I would love to take that trip on a sunny day instead of a rainy day. We booked it through Apple and they should have cancelled it since the weather was awful.
Crazy Wheels -- We did not take this, but one of the couples with us did. They loved it. You do go through some very impoverished areas and the kids do scramble to the vehicles asking for money and anything you can give them. Candy, rubberbands, travel kleenex, etc.
Santo Domingo -- This was a very educational excursion. We got to see the Christopher Columbus mansion, Columbus Park and church, Faro a ColÃ³n, a cross-shaped lighthouse and some other sights. We went to Hard Rock Cafe for lunch and got to shop for a little bit. I liked this excursion, but I would have liked more time to shop. We were only given about 1 hour and the street with the shopping was probably over a mile long. We had just enough time to buy some rum and some cigars. I didn't get any time to buy jewelry. If you have an idea of what you want to buy, then do some research before you go shopping. My husband knows his cigars and they definitely mark up the prices of the cigars and did not like to negotiate in some of the stores, but we ended up with a good deal. We got a box for $70.00 US. It was supposed to be a box of Romeo and Juliet Dominican cigars, but after purchasing we realized that they were probably Cubans. A lot of times they will disguise the Cubans and Dominicans so Americans can get them back into the states. Coral necklaces...a store tried to sell me a necklace for $350.00 US. We didn't buy it because that is way too high. We checked the price when we got home and saw the same necklace for $15 US. The shopkeepers are very pushy. I don't know how many times I heard that his family was starving and we obviously had money so we shouldn't negotiate.
We walked from the hotel into Bayahibe and took a gua gua to La Romana. You don't have to speak spanish, but it can be helpful in some situations. The cost was 50 dominican pesos. We gave them $2 each way. You just walk to the center of Bayahibe which is a very small town. The gua guas are white vans and usually say La Romana Bayahibe on the front. If you can't see that you just say "La Romana" and they point you to the one getting ready to go. Safety laws are non existent. They pile people in. No seatbelts. No car seats for children. You become very close to the person next to you. Throw personal space out of the window. We mainly walked around and took pictures. Ate at a local restaurant that we found. There is a shopping area which are just tables set up with touristy type stuff. You can also go into Jumbo which is like a Walmart and purchase Rum. You don't have to negotiate in the Jumbo which was nice and we got a decent price on rum. We also picked up some snacks for our flight out like pringles and snack mix.
Altos de Chavon
We went to take pictures here on our wedding day. Gorgeous. I wish we had time to go back on our own just to look around. It really was a very beautiful area.
Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful. Most of the planning for this was left to the day after we got to the resort and met with our onsite wedding coordinator, Tiara. There are several locations for a wedding on the resort: the pier, beach, and the gazebo. We selected the gazebo. We choose this spot for several reasons. We wanted to get married at sunset which is around 6:30 pm. Surprisingly, people are still swimming or jumping on the water trampoline. It doesn't make for a very romantic wedding. Since the beach is also topless I really didn't want topless women in the background of my pics or a giant yellow trampoline. The gazebo is to the side of the restaurants so it is a little more off the beaten path. It overlooks a rocky shoreline. There is nothing in the water to mess up the pictures. You get a perfect sunset for family photos.
The resort can provide music for the ceremony. I brought my iPod so I provided the music I wanted for the wedding march and for my bridesmaids walk down the aisle. They played dominican music for the champagne toast. I provided them with a cake topper and asked for a two tier cake. I recommend having someone like a bridesmaid in charge to make sure everything runs smoothly. Apparently the iPod dock they were using broke. They kind of threw up their hands and my sister reminded them that every room has an iPod alarm clock that would work. She ran to my room and got ours. Crisis averted! We then had a private dinner in the Seaside Grill. It had been raining that day so we decided not to tempt the fates and moved the dinner inside instead of on the deck. It was a good choice even if it wasn't totally private since that restaurant has a self serve salad bar. The food was excellent. We had the following for our menu: Appetizer: Stuffed Avocado with Shrimp Salad and Dominican 'Sancocho' soup, Beff tenderline with potatoes and veggies and a Kahlua flan with coconut and chocolate sauce. We also had our wedding cake which was excellent. Our coordinator even printed out menu cards. I had two gifts for our guests, a sandalwood fan and a starfish wine cork.
That night at the bar outside of the restaurant there was a live band. My sister asked for them to play a song for us so we were able to have a first dance almost like a regular reception.
My flowers were provided through the hotel. I asked for white flowers for everyone. They were a little wilted, but beautiful.
The people from our group all said the massages were very good. I had a manicure and pedicure which were very good, but another girl who got one didn't get the same woman and ended up cutting her several times. I also had my wedding updo done, but I would not recommend it. I ended up showering and having my mother do my hair. So that was a waste of money.
- Customer service in buffet wasn't the greatest
- We got a notice twice that they needed to fumigate. They should have done that before we arrived, but we never had any problems with bugs our entire stay.
- Maid service was okay. Nothing to rave about.
- Hotel room was located next to the nightly entertainment. Not very relaxing.
- Customer service in the actual restaurants was great
- The employees at the resort were extremely friendly. They allowed us to practice our spanish.
- Pools and ocean were wonderful
- Never felt that we had to tip in order to get service.
- Food was very good.
- Wireless in the room is available or you can go to the Internet Cafe. We paid $25 US for 25 hours.
Overall I had a great time and would go back. I had the best vacation and my wedding and honeymoon were fabulous."
- Travel date: Sun 22nd of February 2009
Very good but could be better
"Just arrived back after spending 2 weeks at Dreams La Romana. First time to DR. The location is very good. The beach is excellent and rooms are a good standard. There are many good points which have been listed in previous reviews so I am just going to concentrate on how this hotel could be better.
Pool bar drinks served in plastic glasses which are re used, they are not washed in a dishwasher and are just rinsed out.. They are not clean, which give rise to sickness, which is common in DR resorts. They should use large clear disposable plastic cups which would be much more hygenic.
The bars are normally, staffed by one bar person serving, so service can be slow. Restaurants use the bars to obatin drinks and this slows down the service even more. There should be two serving bar persons behind each bar.
The bars are covered in flies during the day, due to the amount of cut fruit lying in the open.
The preferred club which we stayed at, is a very good idea, but they need to make it more exclusive. The preferred lounge should have a fully stocked bar which you should be able to help yourself. They advertise fine liquors in the club, yet all drinks have to be ordered and brought from the bars. The preferred pool, should only be for Preferred guests, yet no checks are made so anyone can use it. The preferred pool is NOT adult only, anyone can use it. If they want to charge a premium for exclusive extras, then they need to make it EXCLUSIVE and thus ensure they deliver what they promise.
The food is hit and miss. It is not gourmet food,. The reviewer stating the FRENCH restuarant is 5 star plus, must have been at a different resort. It is good, but the portions are very small. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR EXTRA FOOD. We would have steak, and once finished would order another one. The staff are more than happy to do this.
Food can be warm or cold, send it back and ask for it to be cooked again. The buffet is OK, but lack cooking stations, preparing freshly cooked steak or pasta. The Seaside Grill is good for lunch, yet in the evening the steaks are small. The Italian and French are great looking restuarants and food is average to good. The fish is also good and service is excellent. The Asian is not fully open and only provides sushi. The mexican is not good, service is below average and food very bland. The buffet is OK, but nothing special. The internet cafe is very good but small. Overall, the food is OK, but is much better in Mexico resorts. Do not expect great steaks and large portions. It is quite bland and ensure it is served hot.
Overall a good resort, but they could make it much better. It is at best a 3-4 star resort. You will have a good time, just do not belive the web site and reviews from regulars, who obvioulsy have never visited other better All Inclusive resorts."
- Travel date: Fri 20th of February 2009
"This was our second visit to this resort, we found this resort absolutely what it was iadvertised to be, a fabulous hotel, newly renovated for the most part, we had a room on the top floor, in bldg 7, with a partial view of the ocean, a very confortable king bed and all the amenities that we needed, the air conditioning worked fine for our 2 wks stay.
The a la carte restaurants are what we were expecting, excellent food with above average service, the house wine was acceptable, however, the wine card had excellent selections at very reasonable prices, we sure made use of the a la carte wines. Unfortunately, their trial at a Japanese restaurant is not to be commended, a sushi bar is available however, it was not realy to our liking. Since the a la carte restaurants do not require reservations, we made use of them for most of our suppers, we only went to the buffet twice, the Italian night, pastas to salivate over and another night which was also very good.
The bar service was excellent for the most part, particularly at the beach and at the lobby in the evening, we loved the personel working at both areas. The lobby bar has an outstanding selection of international liqueur even american beer... All drinks as usual were very strong so you had to request the bar tender to be subdued in his portions.
The beach is lovely, very little waves and cristal clear water, snorkeling right off the beach was possible and lots of fish and coral to be seen no more than 500 ft from shore in a small reef.
Constant animation started at 10am and carried on till 6 pm, Picasso sure made a good show of himself everyday. The nightly shows seem to be appreciated by most, we did not attend any of them as they are for the most part, a repeat of everything we have seen in the past in the DR.
They have a coffee shop with espresso/cappuccino machine that is excellent and running all day, they even have a snack area in the cafe with sandwiches and sweets.
The maid service was excellent, as usual tips and small gifts helped the cause i'm sure.
We did not make use of the spa, however people we met said they liked very much.
Overall, an excellent resort that I would jump on an airplane tomorrow to go back to."
- Travel date: Fri 20th of February 2009
Amazing time at Dreams LR
"Just got back from a week at Dreams La Romana and had a wonderful stay.
There were five of us in our group: My wife, myself, our two year old son, 16 year old daughter and her best friend.
I'm hoping to post a full review of the resort sometime soon, but in the meantime, I just wanted to add my star rating and say how much we all loved our week at Dreams.
We loved the food, the bars, the staff, the grounds and our rooms (7201 and 7328).
Managed to eat at all the restaurants, swim in all the pools, drink from all the bars, and use most of the amenities while we were there and other than a few insignificant annoyances (more a problem with our tour company than the hotel), we have nothing but praise for this resort."
- Travel date: Thu 19th of February 2009
Our fifth visit
"My wife & I have just returned from 2 weeks at Dreams La Romana; our fifth visit but the first since the resort's upgrade from Sunscape Casa del Mar. The fact that we've been 4 times before will indicate how much we love the resort. But now it is even better.
Whilst some things haven't changed; the beach (situated in a bay) is still the cleanest and most child-friendly (sloping gently into clear blue seaweed-free walm water) in the south & east; the big changes are to the completely upgraded rooms with new funiture, the new walk-in showers instead of bathtubs; and the excellent new restaurants.
Whether it's the buffet's breakfast lunch or dinner, or the a la cartes' dinners, the variety and quality of the food has greatly improved this year from last. Also, the Chilean house wines are a 200% improvment on previous years' wines.
The latest addition to the dining is the French adults-only Bordeaux restaurant. This is 5-star-plus dining and the waiter and wine service is excellent, provided you don't dine too late, when the ques start. The relocated italian a la carte (next to the French), is equally as good as the Bordeaux; as is the Mexican a la carte and American style Seafront resaurant. Still in its original place by the infinity pool is the Oceana seafood a la carte, which has an excellent menu. Then there's the Himitsu suchi dining and the Dominican jungle restaurant; neither of which we have tried but have had good feedback on from friends.
And, of course, the extensive buffet has an improved variety and quality of food, you will be hard pressed not to find something different each day that you will enjoy at lunch or dinner.
Unfortunately, the French & Italian resteraunts displaced the theatre and, for the moment, the nightly entertainment is by the pool until the new theatre is completed next to the up-&-running small casino.
Apart from the main pool and the beautiful infinity pool, there is now a private adults-only pool and bar between blocks 5 & 7.
Oh, I nearly forgot. The Internet Cafe is a wonderful retreat after lunch or dinner. Excellent expresso or cappucino, and a tempting selection of around 50 patisieries to choose from.
Have a great time at Dreams La Romana !
We have already booked to return in January 2010.
Alan & Sophia"
- Travel date: Thu 12th of February 2009
Relaxing Holiday in Beautiful surroundings
"We arrived after a 20 minute trip from La Romana airport . Check in was very quick and hassle free.
Our room was in block 2, not one of the newer rooms, but nicely furnished with a large comfortable bed & flat screen TV .The bathroom had not been refurbished as the taps were rusty and there were a few chips in the bath, however there was plentty of hot water at all times of the day. I had paid for a partial ocean view, but probably that was uneccessary as it was a very partial view from a very small balcony.
One tip regarding the room keycard, don't place it near anything digital, e.g cameras, ipods etc which I did and was locked out of the room twice.
On tallking to other guests it seems room allocation was a bit of a lottery. Several who had travelled with Thomsons had much better rooms at a lower cost, and one was evern upgraded to an Ocean suite because they were given twin beds instead of a King size. Overall we were happy with room apart from the noise from the other rooms which could be very disturbing in the early hours.
Breakfasts in the buffet restaurant were very good, plenty of choice and we were seated very quickly. Continental breakfast is also available in the Seaside grill.
We had long leisurely lunches everyday at the Seaside grill, which was in a beautiful setting overlooking the sea. The food and service were very good, with my wine glass being refilled very quickly.
We ate in the a la carte restaurants most evenings, and had some wonderful meals,but found that the food could be inconsistent particulary in the Italian restaurant. The first time it was fantastic but on the second visit the pork I had ordred was rare, and on the third all courses were inedible, particulary a very strange lasagne with a tiny amount of meat and an evil smelling cheese sauce.
The French restaurant was superb, and the Mexican and Jungle restaurant had great atmosphere with some interesting food.The Oceana (sea food) was personally a bad choice, as I was expecting more fish dishes but it was mostly squid and mussells, not my favourite, also the lemon pie dessert closely resembled a bar of soap, and tasted not much better.
Staff and Service:
The maids were very good, our room was cleaned every day usually before lunch. There were always clean fluffy towels usually more than we actually needed.
The staff were always smiling and eager to please. We both thought that the service was excellent.
Overall it was an excellent holiday, the beach was superb, always plenty of sun beds whatever time of day unless you wanted to be close to the bar and the activities. Snorkelling was good on the calm days but nothing like the Red Sea (last holiday) but interesting.
Apart from the petty niggles about the food and room, which certainly did not distract from our enjoyment of the holiday, the only real downside we have has nothing to do with the hotel, but with the appalling behaviour of several groups of from the U.S who took over the bars drinking all day, shouting and being extremely rude to the staff. They expected instant service no matter how many people were waiting to be served. One woman even refused to wait to be seated at the restaurant because she was an American!
Of course none of this was the resorts fault and they certainly tried their best to accomodate everyone.
I have visited the DR five times and stayed in some excellent hotels by Carribean standards, but this was certainly the best, and we would not hesitate to visit Dreams La Romana again."
- Travel date: Wed 11th of February 2009
the dream that was not..
"i arrived at dreams in the afternoon and was greeted with enthusiasm by the front desk employees.
but things went downhill fast after that.
i was booked in the last building of the resort with no view,bad housekeeping and most of the time forgotten for turndown, probably because of missing staff on the job.
the resort was in, i guess, renovation status for rooms, restaurants etc.
needless to say that the food was just aweful and without any resolve or notable changes upon complaints to rudy richardson, the apparent director of food and beverage in the property.
i am surprised to see more and more managers in all inclusive resorts that seem totally losed in their job, without having any flair, nor customer relations talents, nor any resolve or knowledge on how to go on to do their job and fix something that needs urgent attention.
it amazes me that this hotels who claim all this directors, are actually able to survive and get away with murder on service.
also i can not understand on how they can build a internet cafe and charge for internet services, in the days when all hotels give WIFI service for free??????
the general manager in the property is never available, nor is he present to see his guests. it must be a new thing!!!!
the employees do not seem happy, no wonder looking at the managers and rudy ( he seems very frustrated), especially the restaurants, where getting something to drink seems to be a question on how much tip you pay!!!!... the food is always cold, dry and overcooked, and last but not least, a chef seems to be also lacking.........
the beach is actually very nice, but has a terrible grill restaurant. the food is just nasty.
i would never recommend this hotel concept to anyone and i certainly will not go back.
in general, i would not go back to this resort"
- Travel date: Wed 11th of February 2009
A terrible resort - never again!
"Below is a detailed letter of my terrible experience with this resort.
To Whom It May Concern:
My girlfriend and I just returned from a six day / five night vacation at
Sunscapes' Casa del Mar in La Romana. We opted to spend our time at Casa del Mar because it seemed to be a flawless, romantic, Caribbean getaway where we would be able to relax and enjoy our time together. We did our research and read the reviews before deciding on your resort. We found out upon arrival, it was a major disappointment.
We arrived on Thursday, May 22, 2008 and departed on Tuesday, May 27th. Upon arrival, we checked in at the front desk had requested for a queen or king size bed in the room. They ensured us they had granted the request. Once we arrived to our hotel room (in Building #7) we found two full mattresses (covered in horribly stained and worn comforters) instead of the king bed we were ensured minutes earlier. We called to the front desk and they told us that out of the 750 other guest rooms, that there were no vacant rooms with king beds and that they would move our room the following morning.
While residing in Building #7 we experienced two additional disappointments. I had killed an array of spiders in the bathroom and our television did not function properly.
Later that night, upon entering the main pool area in the center of the resort, we were approached by a man in a red polo shirt. He greeted us, asked where we were from, shaked our hands etc. The conversation quickly turned into him harassing me into buying my girlfriend jewelry.
This was a regular problem at the resort. We planned our walk through the resort around the main pool area to AVOID these tables and people because of there over aggressive, rude, and on one occasion inappropriate physical contact. In no way shape or form should ANYONE put there hand on my shoulder to stop me or my girlfriend. On one occasion we were followed half way through the main pool area listening to comments like 'your girlfriend is so beautiful, she deserves jewelry, come look at this I'll give you a good deal, I promise, she deserves itâ¦." The only word that describes this is inappropriate.
The morning of May 23rd, we woke up early to repack our belongings and to change rooms. Only, we could not change rooms seamlessly. We had to check out of our room in Building #7 at 11am and would not be able to check into our new
room until 4 pm. We called the bellhop at 10 am, as instructed by the front desk, to collect our baggage and to have them put it into storage for the five hours that we would be without a room. He did not show until a quarter after 11am. Once he arrived, we went to the front desk, returned our keys and spent the afternoon at the beach.
We arrived at the check-in counter a few hours later to retrieve the key for our new room. The front desk warned we would only get one key because we did not return our other keys yet. This was false and we again spent time waiting at the front desk for them to catch up. We also discovered our luggage sat in the main entrance way near the unattended Bellhop area all day where it could have been easily taken accidentally or intentionally. We were very disappointed to have seen this because all of our belongings were in it and we were told it would be stored away in an office.
Upon receiving two keys, we had gotten upgraded due to the problems that occurred prior and it was indeed a beautiful room. After waiting another hour, our luggage arrived. Our luggage had ALL of our belongings in it (wallets, clothing, toiletries, etc.) except the bathing suits we were wearing. After rolling the bags into the room, the bellhop (who's name we do have, but will not include in fear of him losing his) stood in the doorway and put his hand out. We thanked him and told him we did not have anything to give him since it was all packed away. He then threw his hand out with more emphasis and expectation. We once again explained and he turned around, yelling curses in Spanish to us. I called out after him asking for his name. Once he supplied us with his name, he realized he should not have done what he did. He hesitantly apologized, but none-the-less was threatening and disrespectful. At this point we felt our safety was threatened. We expressed our feelings to a manager (whose name we have and will reveal if asked) and we were assured we would be ok and that nothing of this kind would ever happen.
Later that night we fell asleep only to be woken at 2:30am by a loud, rhythmic sound. It turned out it was one of the guests in the room next to us snoring. The walls were so thin that every morning and evening we heard their television, alarm clock, and of course the snoring.
Construction was another noise complaint about our stay in Building #2. We were awoken every morning at approximately 7am from renovations of rooms on the first floor directly below us. The men were breaking up tile, banging hammers and using metal shovels on the concrete terrace to toss debris into a metal wheel barrel. The construction men also had echoing voices and one could hear them arguing about things rather loudly and frequently. It was disappointing to not be able to sleep past 7/8am and to also not be able to take a nap in the afternoon after a day in the sun. We did opt to call guest services and ask that construction not start that early. We were told the complaint will be noted but they couldn't promise anything (We have the name of the person we spoke to at the counter). The noted complaint was useless as we continued to be woken up early by the construction.
On a side note, I wrote this letter on May 29th at about 9:00pm. I am sitting in a public area. As I sit here with intent to describe our experiences, a middle aged woman asked me if I was writing a novel. I smiled and replied explaining what I was doing. She looked at me with surprise and then commented on how she was looking on planning a trip to the Dominican Republic. She had already been to Casa de Campo and after our discussion I am sure she will opt not to stay at Casa Del Mar, and we wish we had made a different choice.
We regret to inform you that we agree our stay was a major disappointment and lacked almost all feelings of a vacation. Furthermore, we believe we are entitled to reimbursement of our expenses for lack of delivery of services from the resort. Our resort and flight costs are posted below as a reference along with my contact information. Our combined expense was $1445.80. We would happily discuss our experiences and possibilities with upper management to ensure this does not happen to anyone else again. Thank you for reading.
What was the result of sending this letter you might be wondering?
When it was all said and done, Kerri in guest services and there accounting department didn't have there stuff together either. After 6 months of going back and forth, I received a credit of two nights out of the five we were there. A whopping $254 out of the $1500 the entire trip cost. Did I expect them to refund my airfare? Not really, but the entire stay at the resort was a problem, not 2/5ths of it. They couldnât figure out how to credit my credit card so they insisted on wiring it to my bank which ended up charging me $25 to receive it. They also called my cell phone a number of times from a phone number outside of the US and I was charged on multiple occasions for âinternationalâ calls. They are lucky the water is beautiful there or else no one would stay!
I will NEVER go to Dominican Republic or Casa Del Mar ever again."
- Travel date: Tue 3rd of February 2009
First time Dreamy
"My husband and I spent 1 week in January 2009 at this resort after spending our first week at the Majestic Colonial in Punta Cana. This was our first time at a Dreams resort and our first time in the La Romana area.
We used IBK Servicios for our transfer from the Colonial on Jan 20. Our driver was excellent and took us to a few stops in the city of Higuey on our way to Dreams. Very enjoyable.
We arrived at Dreams about 1:30 pm and our room was not yet ready. We were told our room number but asked to come back to the front desk at 3pm to check in. We wandered around and had lunch and got to our room 5213 shortly after 3pm.
Very nice room as far as the decor and the pillows were nice and soft. The balconies though are extremely small. They do have a small table and two chairs and there wouldn't be room for anything more. We do prefer a larger balcony to relax on. The safe was not working. The bathroom was nice. There were not very many drawers to store things. There are no elevators at Dreams La Romana.
We were pretty tired that evening so we had an early dinner and returned to our room to find that the rockband playing infront of the main pool was directly facing our room and the music was VERY loud. The band played until 10:45. After that we were able to go to sleep.
The next morning we asked to be moved to the other end of the resort into bldg 1 or 2. Well to make a long story short, we ended up getting put into bldg 7 which was the premium club area. Our room was 7339 and when we saw it, we were glad we hadn't paid the 250.00 per night upgrade charge as it was exactly the same as the other room except it had marble flooring and a bit newer furniture and linens. Oh and the safe worked. But the balcony was the same and so was the plasma tv. The linens when we went to bed did seem to be of a better quality though. Other than that, we were allowed free internet, another pool and bar and thats about it for the premium club. I certainly am glad we didn't pay for it.
We only had one major issue with this resort which was that the walls in all of the buildings are very thin and we could hear everything from the rooms on either side of us. It started every morning at about 7am with constant coughing. (We find that a lot of tourists in the DR smoke). The noise didn't really bother us as we don't mind getting up early. But one day, one of the couples had a big fight with lots of tears. Of course, all of the couples were either French or German, so we couldn't understand anything (thank God).
The pools at this resort were very nice and we used the main pool the most. It would be nice to have a bit more shade options around all of the pools though. Most of our time was spent lounging on the beach. There are lots of beach loungers, however, many of them should be thrown out as the majority are in pretty rough shape. I hope that new beach loungers are on the renovations list. There were more areas at the beach where you could sit in the shade. The ocean was great for swimming, warm and calm. We didn't have too much luck with the snorkeling though. We did go out on one of the pedal boats for a look and the water is very calm and clear most days.
The entertainment team does a wonderful job and works very hard all day with activities, dancing, games and trivia challenges. They are great fun. They play the music on the beach too loud though. We enjoyed hanging out with Coca Cola, Miami, Picachoo, Alisa and many others. They are genuinely fun to be with and obviously love their jobs. I can't say enough about them.
The buffet food was fairly average for an all-inclusive. Although the selection was a bit smaller than some and the desserts were not that great. The staff here were very good.
We loved the No Reservations concept at the ala cartes. No lineups and no waiting. We ate most dinners at the french and italian restaurants. The red wine is not good. The French Onion soup was great as was the Beef with Pepper at the French restaurant. The pear and walnut salad at the Italian was delicious.
We thought the food in the ala cartes was definitely some of the best we have had at all-inclusive resorts. And all of the serving staff were very good.
The internet cafe has a lovely coffee/tea bar with pastries throughout the day.
The grounds are quite beautiful and the recent renovations are nice, great looking lobby area. The resort itself is set on beautiful property which is very mature in growth with a lot of natural landscape that makes you feel like you are experiencing natural beauty instead of all of the man-made beauty of Punta Cana. I think they need some staff for keeping the grounds a bit better maintained and also, they really need to have the hallways in all of the buildings cleaned regularly. They were very dirty and most days not swept at all, nor were the stairways to the rooms. There was a burnt out light in the stairway that wasn't changed the whole time we were there and it was very dark in that stairwell. We have noticed much cleaner common areas at all other resorts we have stayed at. The new bathrooms off the lobby were well kept and the lobby itself is kept spotless.
Overall, I loved this resort and would definitely go back. But I would ask for a room in bldg 1 or 2 or 3. Hopefully they will build a proper theatre soon and the noise will not be so loud in the guest rooms.
Finally, the sunsets are amazing and we got some beautiful pictures.h"
- Travel date: Mon 2nd of February 2009
Disappointing sum of all the parts.
"Dreams La Romana is a place we will not choose to return. But I will say, we had an "okay" vacation that met our goals and most of our expectations. I think the overall reason we will go elsewhere in the future is simply a "sum of all parts". There was not one single huge problem, but a LOT of small things (and a few medium-sized problems as well). I think that for the most part, travel agent set a good expectation about the level of resort this would be, and that it would not match our excellent experience at Sandals Grenada last summer.
The flight there was perfect (when did airplane seats get smooshed so darn close together! :-) ). We had no trouble with the shuttle or arrival. Everything was on time and BWI was easy and pleasant.
The flight home was delayed three hours because of the mandatory staff sleep requirements from the FAA. The plane wasn't as full, so we had more room to spread out. The airport and staff in DR was less than pleasant, but I've seen worse (JFK).
We had a little trouble getting our shuttle back to the airport on our day of departure. We attended the "meeting" that was said to tell us important information about our return, but really was mostly just a sales pitch with a mention that we should "Stop by our desk on the day before your departure to verify all your departure times and information. You can also check the book at the desk any time and see your return departure time based on your flight." We were also asked to fill out a slip of paper for our return flight/shuttle and turned it in as asked on the second day of our stay. We stopped by once two days before departure when we had time and were told to come back the next day. We returned the day before departure and the desk was closed (5 pm, apparantly). So we checked the book, found our time, and showed up the next morning 40 minutes early just to be sure we were okay (but the desk didn't open until 830 am anyway). As it turns out, the shuttle to the airport isn't even scheduled unless we stop by the day before. The slip of papers we filled out meant nothing. So they had to scramble a bit to get us a shuttle, causing only a 15 minute delay which wasn't a problem because of the three hour flight delay which wasn't discovered until we checked in at the airport. The staff member was clearly irritated with us and rude because of it. But it really wasn't made clear that the return shuttle isn't even scheduled for us if we don't tell them in person the day prior of our departure. MUCH different than Sandals. How can Dreams not know to schedule a shuttle (they certainly knew we were arriving), if they already had our full itinerary, we had filled out the paperwork onsite AND they knew there was a flight at that time needing a shuttle?
Overall, the food was okay at best. We each had several very good meals. We also had several average meals and more disappointing meals than all others. Every dessert was very bad. I did not finish a dessert all week (and I have ALWAYS been a girl to finish my desserts!). Even the kids noticed the food disappointments.
They ran out of a lot - beach towels (twice), cups (every day), cream cheese (all week), mint, seltzer, and one requested menu item.
I was also surprised at the quality of some of the GUESTS. A number of guests lacked manners, politeness and good behavior. I don't think I want to vacation with such foul mouth, rude attitudes.
The bar tending was the worst I have ever experience. At different times during the week, they could not provide a Mojito, Caprehena, or frozen drinks. Drinks were made incorrectly regularly (martini with ice?) and never in the right/same glass.
There was no wait staff service to speak of other than at the restaurants. Service in the restaurants was solid, but elsewhere, horrible. We only once had a waitress serve drinks in the lobby bar area one evening, but had to wait at least 15 minutes for her arrival. Most staff outside spent their time with large baskets collecting empty cups and food dishes laying all around by the pools and on the beach. There was garbage laying around the resort, beach and even in the water that surprised me. Everywhere we went, there were lines at bars.
What was a baby grand piano with impressive playing skills in the lobby in Sandals Grenada was a small electric keyboard with push button background music playing a one-handed melody in the Dominican. The entertainment was worse than I expected.
While we expected a language barrier, we were surprised that even "Where is the bathroom/restroom, please?" could not even be answered. We used Google to brush up on our Spanish.
There was a heavy-handed sales approach all week.. We dodged most of it, but found it too intrusive.
The wi-fi service was not resort-wide (a number of dead spots, especially on the beach) but the larger problem was that the service just dropped regularly. There was one day I couldn't make a phone call all day and we were never quite sure if messages were received between us because we often received "delivery failed" messages (but they would often get the message anyway). Luckily, our two teenage girls were very regular and reliable in keeping us posted so we could deal with it. It was nice to have the service, but it wasn't as reliable as I had hoped it to be.
It was much more uncomfortable temperature or humidity-wise all week than I expected after such pleasant weather in Grenada. Perhaps Grenada and DR climates are more different than I realized. The only place with adequate AC was in our room, and only two restaurants had AC at all. I loved the outdoor spaces in Grenada but found myself just sweaty and hot all week in the DR.
The only awful part of the trip was an issue with bugs in our room. It began with little quick moving bugs - a hundred or more of them, scurrying around on our counter/dresser. That night, I got up at 3 am to walk to the bathroom and STEPPED ON A COCKROACH! I maimed him enough for my husband to catch him but it gave me the heebie jeebies enough that we had trouble getting enough sleep. Another 50 plus micro bugs around the TV area the next morning left us with a request for the exterminator, and packing up our room and having our sheets all changed after the "smogging" so that we felt more comfortable about the bugs (I can accept some bugs in such an open/outdoor space, but the cockroach crossed the line for me). They offered us a new room as well, but I simply wanted assurances that the room we were in was sprayed.
As self-described grammar police, the poor quality printed language translations drove me crazy. They were EVERYWHERE - every menu and nearly every sign. Small issue, I know, but it spoke to the overall level of quality of the resort. How can an American-owned company get this so wrong?
For the good news, we REALLY enjoyed the water sports (three times on the Hobie Cat), but did notice that things included at Sandals cost extra here (training to be able to use Hobie Cat $30, boat to go snorkeling $30, no fins available for snorkeling unless you rented the boat). The spa was also enjoyable. We bought four massages and two pedicures during our stay.
The girls (two 14 year old) LOVED the place for the teen events and activity space. The facilities were not in great shape (missing shuttle pucks, worn out pool tables, not functioning/open trampoline jump, etc), but the teens didn't seem to care. This trip was a huge success with the girls and that was our primary goal with this trip. They were well balanced with alone time and together-with-us time, and it gave us a good couples vacation combined with a family vacation. The girls did report that some of their new-found friends that were 16 years old and others of that age went to the adult nightclub regularly and were easily able to get drunk. Parents beware.
We've learned that perhaps when we start with what must be among the best in the industry (Sandals), it may be difficult to vacation any other way. You get what you pay for and I now know that we will be willing and able to pay more in the future. Our travel agent found a trip to meet our needs (affordable and shorter and good for teens). Future trips will most likely be just the two of us and we will once again seek a higher quality resort."
- Travel date: Fri 22nd of July 2016
Dreams/ Nightmares La Romana
"Guys, they say they are a luxurious 5 star resort, but they really are 3 and a half, max 4 star resort. The People are friendly and the location is great: palms, Caribbean sea. The food is tasty, but you get food poisoning 2 times in 12 days. My stomach never knew food poisoning and I have traveled the world, until i met Nightmares La Romana. Rooms are average, Resort is old and needs reconstructing, facilities lack. ( no hot water during night, archaic fitness room, etc)
They have a complacent attitude when you make a complaint.
I would not recommend you going to this resort."
- Travel date: Sat 22nd of February 2014