Friday, July 5, 2019

Dominican Republic: Dreams Dominicus La Ramona

We used Costco Travel to arrange the flights, lodging, and transport between the Punta Cana International Airport and the resort for our trip to the Dominican Republic. As part of this package, we stayed at Dreams Dominicus La Romana for all eight nights. We did not know much about this resort other than what we read in the Costco Travel materials and on their website, but we were very pleased with what we experienced there.

We arrived in the Dominican Republic late in the evening. It took a while to get our luggage and it's about a 45-minute drive from the Punta Cana International Airport to Dreams Dominicus La Romana, so we arrived at the resort just after midnight (technically the next day).

We were tired, but the employees at Dreams Dominicus were energetic and the first thing each of them said to us was, "Welcome home!" Indeed, in the days during our trip when we returned to the resort after a long day of excursions, it did feel a bit like returning home.

Dreams Dominicus La Romana is a beautiful resort with multiple swimming pools, interesting Italian-inspired design, beautiful beach access, and local vegetation.

Dreams Dominicus includes direct access to the beach and several water activities are offered including kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, and instructor-led exercise work-outs in the water.

Dreams Dominicus La Romana's Dreams Entertainment offered shows most evenings. We didn't always get to see these due to late returning excursions, but the ones we saw were entertaining. One show that was particularly entertaining was the acrobatic circus show. We had an excellent vantage point from the balconies of one of the rooms we rented as seen in the next photograph.

We enjoyed the food at the buffet-style World Cafe, at the convenient Barefoot Grill and Coco Cafe, and at specialty restaurants Himitsu (Hibachi) and Seaside Grill.

The World Cafe offered numerous types of entrees, sides and desserts and this "international buffet" did not require reservations.

The Coco Cafe offered simple snacks and drinks, but even its simple snacks were welcome when we arrived so late (early morning) at the resort and it was still open.

The Barefoot Grill is next to the resort's beach and so is convenient if one wants easy access to burgers or pizza without needing to wear anything more formal than one's swim suit.

Himitsu and Seaside Grill provided nice alternatives for more traditional served dinners.

Despite the hysteria surrounding traveling to the Dominican Republic at the time we went, we never got sick from eating or drinking a wide variety of foods in a wide variety of establishments within Dreams Dominicus. We did drink only bottled water at the resort (including that served at the dining establishments). The resort's welcome guide states, "Hotel water is purified but we recommend do not drink from the faucet. You will find bottles of water in your room without extra charges."

We enjoyed so much about Dreams Dominicus, but in the end two of our favorite aspects of this resort were its location and its people. The staff we encountered from check-in to departure were helpful and friendly and made us feel very welcome. The wait staff made helped make the meals special, the housekeepers made the lodging attractive, and the concierge and gate/guard staff were very helpful in helping us find the excursion contacts each day.

In other posts about this Dominican Republic trip, I have mentioned the convenience, relative quiet, and beauty of the Bayahibe location, especially when compared to the much more crowded Punta Cana. The Bayahibe harbor is gorgeous and conveniently close to Dreams Dominicus. The Bayahibe harbor is crazy busy in the morning and afternoon when the tour groups (mostly from Punta Cana) leave and return from excursions to Saona Island and Catalina Island, but it's much quieter in between those departures and arrivals.

One of the World Cafe's dinners on one of the evenings was an outdoor event. This was the only night that we sat at large round tables with other guests of the resort (small groups had their own tables inside World Cafe on most nights). We met some couples from the midwest that were just finishing their stay and they had never left the resort the entire week they were there. Although we really enjoyed seeing some of the beauty and history offered in other areas of the Dominican Republic, the fact that these couple opted to stay at the resort all day everyday for their entire trip is evidence of the appeal of the Dreams Dominicus La Romana.

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