Dreams La Romana maybe dream on
Having stayed at the Renaissance Juan Dolio some years ago I expected an improvement in visiting the Dominican Republic again, have the standards of all inclusive dropped,? or is it just Dreams La Romana,
They supply a reasonably comfortable room, poor house wine and a variable standard of service.We were not greeted with a drink on arrival,
It may be that we were the first in our room after refurbishment, so it was very clean. All the theme restaurants were operating, however generally the food was pretentious rather than of good quality, i.e. it looked the part but made of poor standard ingredients. There were exceptions in the Oceania and Jungle restaurants.
Service except for the Jungle ranged from poor to amusing, the best food was in the World Café as was the service.
House wine was generally of poor quality Argentinian red and a slightly more drinkable white, if you were lucky there was a drinkable Chilean white, the other option was to pay UK restaurant prices for very average new world or French wines e.g. Baron Philippe Rothschild branded Cote de Rhone $US30.00, California White Zinfadel $15
There was a cocktail and Martini list available in all bars, there was a reluctance to supply any other cocktail and not every bar stocked all the ingredients to mix the drinks on the list, it was unusual to get the same drink from the list looking or tasting the same twice. Generally the ingredients were of I think local brand Normandy spirits, though some bars stocked some international brands of spirits. The tonic was a most unusual taste and dry ginger was unavailable
Dollar travellers cheques could not be cashed for either dollars or Dom Pesos on the resort unless you were buying at the resort shops, we were directed to Bayahibe 10 minutes along the beach.
Despite being advertised, the robes were not supplied, apparently they had many robes with Sunscape logo in store, but the Dreams robes were not ready, we got ours 2/3rds through a14 day holiday with no logo after mentioning it to our rep.and he questioned the house manager who was passing.. Despite our room being only recently renovated, there was no cafeteria in the room (arrived 4 days later after much complaining, requests were ignored) the cistern lid had a chunk ceramic broken off ( glued together after4 days) The maid service knocked 2 small tiles from the shower ledge and were not repaired. The bathroom is a wet room, unfortunately the water runs away from the drain and collects by the wash basin and mirror.
More important was that the smoke alarms were not replaced after renovation in Block 5 when queried we were informed they were fully tested after renovation. ( perhaps they removed them for another block after testing, I checked 5 other rooms and checked with other guests in the block if they had them, rumour says Block 5 is part of the Preferred Club rooms)
Having said all the above, the hotel is in a wonderful setting and the buildings and gardens are very impressive, but as a dream luxury holiday Dream on. The thought of the resort adding more rooms to make a 1000 room resort when the staffing cannot cope with the present 750 room does not bode well for the future.
The Renaissance Juan Dolio 12 years ago gave better service better food and excellent wines in both its themed and buffet restaurants, if you add up the costs of trips and extras and standard of service at Dreams La Romana, then Couples in Jamaica all inclusive is probably a bargain at only £1000 extra .
Would I return? No definitely not
No Reseverations for Restaurants
Check in was quick. The room was on the ground floor as we had requested, by email. A good start to our stay and it didn't end there. The only thing we regretted was having to leave. The standard type room was very nice and maid service was good.
There's 7 specialty restaurants and unlike other AI resorts we've been to someone didn't have to get in a line early in the morning to make a reservation for dinner at any of them, to me that's a big plus since it was I that stood in the lines before. We dined at the French, Italian, Asian and Mexican and all were very good. Bring a good appetite to the Mexican they give you a lot of food. Note there's an additional charge for the wines on the list but, no charge for the house wines. There's also a very large buffet restaurant which is very good. Seaside Grill - A la carte restaurant serving grilled specialties. Open for lunch (11:30am to 5pm) and dinner (6:30pm to 10pm). No reservations required. Dress Code: Casual attire.
Jungle - A la carte restaurant serving Dominican Specialties. Open for dinner 6:30pm to 10pm. No reservations required. Dress code: Casual. Open air restaurant subject to weather conditions.
Bordeaux - Adults only, a la carte French gourmet restaurant. Open for dinner 6:30pm to 10pm. No reservations required. Air conditioned. Dress Code: Casual elegance- men must wear long pants.
El Patio. - A la carte restaurant featuring Mexican cuisine. Open for dinner 6:30pm to 10pm. No reservations required. Dress Code: Casual elegance- men must wear long pants.
World Cafe - Main International buffet style restaurant. Open daily for breakfast 7am to10:30am, lunch 12:30pm to 3:30pm and dinner 6:30pm to 10pm. Late snack bar from 10pm to 6am. Dress Code: Casual attire (swimwear & bafe feet not allowed)
Himitsu - A la carte restaurant serving Pan-Asian cuisine featuring Tepanyaki grill tables in an elegant Oriental atmosphere. No reservations required. Open for dinner 6pm to 10pm. Dress Code- Casual elegance- men must wear long pants.
Oceana - A la carte restaurant serving Seafood specialties. Open for dinner 6:30pm to 10pm. No reservations required. Dress Code: Casual attire.
Portofino - A la carte restaurant serving Italian homemade specialties. Open for dinner 6:30pm to 10pm. No reservations required. Dress Code : Casual elegance-men must wear pants. The beach is great with plenty of lounge chairs. There's a small reef very close to the beach area so bring a snorkel. The pools are beautiful with very comfortable lounge chairs. The Infinity Pool has a swim up bar. In the late morning /early afternoon the fruit boat is open on the beach. The bars are opened at 10am. They could stand to be larger with more bartenders.
Explorer's Club for Kids- Fully supervised club for kids exclusively for children 3 to 12 years old featuring a playground area and daily activities including sand castle competitions, arts & crafts and weekly campout adventure.
Applicable Ages: 3 to 12 years old.
Program Fees: Complimentary
Core Zone: For teenagers 13-17 years old. Sports and activities organized by the entertainment team in the sports area, board games, teen disco at the sports bar from8:30pm-10:30pm, sports area open for a late night Teen's Disco from 10:30pm-12am.
Euro-Bungee, ocean trampoline, inflatable climbing iceberg, ping pong, beach volleyball, Spanish lessons, Merengue lessons
Movies shown by pool, casino, Desires Nightclub, weekly special outdoor dinner, manager's cocktail party.
Dreams was a dream
We just returned from the Dreams La Romana Hotel and had an excellent time. The hotel was clean, and the staff was very friendly. Whatever we needed we had no problem getting. I am a very picky eater and I was never hungry and the drinks were always good. A little strong, but that's how I like them. We did gamble at the casino and had a winning streak every night that we played, but you do have to watch them, they seem to be training some workers and they were alittle fast to take your money without counting first. We found some of the other guest were rude and very impatient with the staff but most of them were European. I guess they don't know how to loosen up and relax. All and all, it was a nice sunny, relaxing vacation and we loved the resort. We would go back in a heart beat. Thank you to everyone who made our stay memorable.
Beautiful hotel - but very dissappointing
My family really enjoyed our holiday but it was not, in any part, due to the hotel. We are a pretty easy going bunch so it takes a lot to make us complain. The hotel was very disappointing and we have written to Dreams to complain. The review below is largely based on the complaint.
We booked a Dreams resort as our understanding was that Dreams were the top name in all inclusive Caribbean holidays. Members of our party have been on four other all inclusive holidays to the Dominican Republic (Bahia Principe San Juan and the Blue Bay Villas, Iberostar Playa Dorada and Ocean Blue, Punta Canta) and due to Dreams' reputation we expected this holiday to surpass our previous experiences in the Dominican Republic. Dreams La Romana was substantially more expensive than other resorts available at the time we booked this vacation.
However, Dreams La Romana did not meet the standards advertised or our expectations, particularly in respect of the food and drinks at the resort and as a result the vacation was very disappointing. As the vacation was an all inclusive package, this had a large effect on our enjoyment of the resort.
First the good stuff:
The beach and pool are fantastic. The infinity pool is nice and relaxed and the beach is lovely. The snorkelling around the hotel is ok - nothing spectacular.
The hotel itself is lovely. The decor is tasteful and the rooms are very nice and spacious. Having an I-pod dock/clock radio in each room is a nice touch. The decor in the restaurants is also very impressive.
And now for the bad:
We ate at six of the resorts restaurants, which according to the Dreams La Romana Website serve "gourmet fare"; the only restaurant which could, in any way, be said to have been of a good standard was Bordeaux. In each of the other restaurants, the food, the service and in many cases both were very poor.
El Patio (Mexican)
Our meal at this restaurant was a disaster. Despite the restaurant being almost empty, we waited in a queue for 20 minutes to be seated; eventually our party chose to seat itself. We then ordered. It was approximately an hour and a half before we received our starters. We then received our main courses, some 45 minutes after finishing our starters. All of the main courses were inedible. All of the dishes were cold, and looked as though they had been prepared by a blind chef with limited ingredients. One of our party had ordered the pork and instead was given red snapper and to compound the issue, the snapper was raw. A number of tables had already walked out of the restaurant as they had waited for hours for their food. Despite the terrible food and lengthy wait, the staff had the audacity to expect my father to pay for a bottle of wine that he had ordered. Given the poor service and dreadful food, any "gourmet" restaurant would see that it would be good customer service to provide some sort of recompense for this terrible meal, however this was not the case here. We complained to the hostess that evening about the dreadful food and service.
We ate at Oceana on New Year's Eve. The special menu looked very appetising, however it was very disappointing. The lobster bisque resembled and tasted like gravy. It was disgusting. The lobster main course was inedible, the lobster was over cooked and the sauce could not be accurately described as a "thermidore" sauce. The vegetables were raw and the dessert looked like something from a packet. It was another terrible meal.
The standard of food served at the Buffet was far below what I would expect from a hotel of Dreams' calibre. The salads offered were very salty and lacking in variety. The meat was often over cooked and the fish was generally under cooked. The service in the Buffet restaurant was also dreadful. In particular on the 30 December, when the Buffet was held by the poolside. The setting was beautiful and my father wanted to order a bottle of international wine. He asked the waiter for the wine list. It took around ten minutes before the wine list arrived and my father ordered a bottle of Chianti Ruffino. Then we waited. After waiting for twenty minutes we decided that we should begin eating. The "sommelier" then came and told my father the wine he requested was not available, but another Chianti was available at an extra $50 per bottle. My father, at this stage losing patience and agreed to the more expensive bottle of wine. By the time we had finished dinner, some 45 minutes later, the wine had still not arrived. We continued to wait and eventually over an hour after we had first sat down, the "sommelier" appeared with the bottle of wine. At this stage my father said to take the wine away as he had finished his dinner. In general the standard of the Buffet compared very poorly with the buffet at the Bahia Principe San Juan and the Iberostar Playa Dorada.
The food served at Himitsu can best be described as a bad Chinese takeaway. The food was either salty or completely flavourless. In addition, all of the dishes were cold.
Although the food was adequate at this restaurant, the service was very slow. On one occasion we waited for our lunch for over an hour.
This hotel is really lacking in any kind of atmosphere. The main bar is in the lobby and is just a bit "flat". The nightclub is hilarious and well worth a visit or two but again it can be a bit dead.
The Dreams website states that Dreams La Romana has "seven friendly bars and lounges serving unlimited premium brand beverages". This is not true.
Only three of the seven bars stock any premium brands at all, the Rendezvous bar (in the lobby), the Veranda Bar (by the Seaside Grill) and Desires. None of the other four bars stock premium brands and none of the restaurants. This meant that at dinner, when one was inevitable waiting for an hour for one's food, you could not get premium brand alcohol.
In addition, even in those bars that did stock premium brands in order to actually receive a premium brand drink you had to ask specifically for it and in some cases, you had to go to the bar yourself rather than have table service as otherwise you would be given the non-premium drinks regardless of any requests. We also found that the staff would often say that there were no premium drinks available when they clearly were available, for instance Brugal Rum (which is a Dominican Republic rum), but when we pointed out that we knew they were kept in cupboard under the bar it was miraculously discovered.
In order to be able to drink premium drinks at dinner time, my boyfriend had to go to buy a bottle of Brugal Rum from one of the beach vendors for $18. The rest of the party, had to wander across the resort to those bars that did stock premium drinks and then carry full glasses back and forth to our table. This is wholly unacceptable.
Customer Service (general)
We raised the above issues with Guest Services on a number of occasions, and although they attempted to assist us we found that nothing was actually done to solve the problem. As a result every meal time, we were subjected to dreadful food, slow service and poor quality drinks.
We found that, in our experience, that the staff at Dreams La Romana were far less helpful and obliging than the staff at the other resorts that we have visited. For example we specifically requested that our room was cleaned between 10.00 and 13:00. Despite this request, house keeping generally arrived in the morning before 10.00 or in the afternoon when we were likely to be in the room. As a result our room was only cleaned twice in seven days. If it is not possible to request a specific time for housekeeping I would prefer if Guest Services simply said that this was the case and did not over promise and under deliver. Another example is one of the other rooms, did not have an ipod docking station/clock on arrival. It took four separate requests to reception/guest services/house keeping before this was remedied.
The staff although somewhat un-obliging, they are not the ones at fault here. Dreams La Romana is a badly managed hotel, as evidenced by the poor quality of service we received. This problem starts from the top down. When we asked to speak to the manager of the hotel to voice our complaints we were told that the manager was based at another hotel and did not spend a lot of time at Dreams La Romana. This was not surprising, as I fail to see how any manager could run what is supposed to be a five star hotel in such a manner. Dreams La Romana is a beautiful hotel in a beautiful setting, however it is certainly not the standard of a five star hotel and falls far below the standard that we expected.
While at the resort we heard a number of guests complaining about the standard of the hotel. In addition, we were assured by Guest Services that each time we complained, and we complained several times, that the complaint would be logged. When we checked out of the resort we completed the feedback forms left at the front desk.
Loved The Fact No Reservations Required For The Resturants
Im Just Back From 2 Weeks At The New Dreams La Romana, And I Can Say That It Was A Great Trip.
First The Bad Points
We Upgraded To Preferred Club (Waste Of Money) It Sounded Great In The Brochure But You Actually Dont Get Anything Extra Apart From A Pool Which Anybody Can Go Into And Use, So My Advice Would Be Just Go To An Normal Room And Use The Preferred Club Pool As Thr Bar There Is Better And You Get Bottled Beer Instead Of Draft.
Would Also Recommend That You Take Most Of Youe Money In $1 Bills As The Hotel Did Not Like To Change To Money For Us.
Warning People With Kids - There Is A Shop On The Complex Most Of The Sweets Are $5 Eg Tic Tacs, Lollies, Chewing Gum, So I Would Recomment That You Take Sweeties With You.
Now All The Good Things
The Rooms Were Very Nice All Done Up To A Good Standard. The Maids Came In Every Day And Done A Good Job.
The Food Was Great, We Mostly Eat At The Buffet And Grill As I Had A 3year Old With Us, But We Could Not Compain About Any Of The Resturants And The Good Thing Is That You Dont Have To Reserve Any Of The Al A Cart You Just Go Along When You Are Hungry.
The Entertainment Was Ok, But I Think It Is The Same Where Ever You Go. The Entertaiment Team Worked Hard All Day On The Beach And The Pool But Didnt Hassle You To Much If You Wer'nt Up For It.
Also All The Pools And Beach Were Very Nice And Clean.
All In All We Would Go Back To This Hotel Again.
Hotel Amsha Casa del Mar
All-inclusive, weekly basis Pool+bubble bath,
4 restaurants + buffet,
tennis (excellent coaching),
diving (plenty of sleazy diving instructors..),
long white beach,
Casa Del Mar
Has anyone stayed at Casa Del Mar Resort in La Romana? How is it? We are getting married there in January. Any damage done from the hurricanes? Any info appreciated!!
Re: Casa Del Mar
Congratulations on the upcoming wedding! From all accounts, it sounds like the South Coast, including La Romana escapted any serious damage. All hotels and resorts are operating normally.
I haven't stayed at Casa Del Mar, but from what I've read, it sounds wonderful - tons to do! Try going to www.debbiesdominicantravel.com, click on "bulletin board", then on "south coast". Debbie's is a great source for DR info.
Re: Casa Del Mar
Congragulations on your wedding. You will have a truly amazing time. It is such a romantic area. I stayed at the Casa Del Mar a couple of years ago and was so breathtaking. I am a picky eater but had no problems with the food. It was delicious. The grounds of the hotel are beautiful and the rooms are good. The beach was so gorgeous. Crystal clear water and white, soft sand. The entertainment staff was great as well as all the other staff. You must try Banana Mammas and Pina Coleadas. I've heard they have since added a spa since my vacation so that should be worth checking out. I did an outback safari tour and it was alot of fun. Definately worth it. I loved the area of Dominican Republic so much, specifically the fact that the beaches are on the Carribean sea that me and my boyfriend are going to Bocca Chica in January. Pleae disreguard any negative reviews of Casa Del Mar. From my experience, only people with serious issues and personality problems could find something to complain about. That being said, the only thing I disliked was the horseback riding. It was off the resort, in mud trails, full of garbage. One word of advice, bargain with the people who set up stands off the resort to sell stuff. They always quote ridiculous prices.
Re: Re: Casa Del Mar
I was at Casa Del Mar last February for a wedding. It was perfect. Like most of their weddings, we chose to have it on the pier. Rosa was most helpful (she was a hairstylist in a previous life so helped with pinning flowers in the bride's hair), it was planned in a day, it was so relaxing, the bride and I had a meeting in the Caribbean in the afternoon (perfection!!), the best selection of locations for pictures (the beach at sunset, the swinging bridge in the spa area). I will be returning in January. When are you getting married? It was very charming the way the hotel guests become your wedding guests, people bobbing in the water and cheering when the deed is done! Very friendly and festive, and yet very personal at the same time.
As I understand it, there was absolutely no damage--except to some trees--from the hurricane. They were a bit more destroyed in 1998 and the rebuild had the resort well reinforced against future storms.