My cousin got married down here in July and the wedding was beautiful. It was a perfect beach wedding and the staff did an amazing job with the set-up. There were so many on-lookers and tourists taking pictures, we are joking that this wedding was an international affair! We had about 40 people down there for the wedding. The reception desk was very accommodating as we each received wedding bags and champagne (left by the bride and groom of course). However they ensured we received everything. They were the friendliest bunch of people.
Very nice rooms. The buildings were set-up was beautifully.
I was not so crazy about them, I’ve been to several all inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic and while there is a good selection of food, I just didn’t think the quality was as good as other resorts. The main buffet in the Beach resort was not set up for a lot of people. Everyone was bumping into one another. Our waiter didn’t even bring us drinks. If one person asked for a drink he would bring back ONLY ONE and he did not look very happy about it. He never asked the table what they wanted to drink.
We went to several bars on the property. The best was the one in the middle of the 2 resorts. Those bartenders were friendly. The bar by the pool at the Palace and the smaller Bar at the Palace had awful service. You waited forever for a drink.
Beach and Pools
The beach was beautiful and had the most crystal clear water that I have seen in quite some time. You could walk forever out there and the sand was perfect. We hung out at the pool at the Palace. The pool was beautiful. One of the things I will remember is that the top of the pool had beveled sides so it looked like a zero degree pool. It was awesome. However what I did not like was that you could not bring drinks into the pool. I understand that people might spill etc. However having drinks in the pool is ‘vacation’ to me.
Beautiful property and well kept.
Activities and Entertainment
I only saw a couple of activities going on during the day. There was nothing that they really promoted. They did not even come around the pool to try and sign folks up.
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace
Claudia and Steve
- Rooms: The rooms are ok, but not definetly 4*, but you do come for the beach and not to stay in the room. It is time to change the mattresses, they are old and back breakers! The toilets and sinks need renovation and sometimes replacement.
- TV: Very few English speaking channels, hard to catch up with news or sports.
+ Beach: Water- beautiful, calm and warm in wonderful colors, sand white and nice, not good for long walks, since the sand is soft. Bring your snorkeling equipment, there are some fish to see, not spectacular, but worth bringing a mask.
- Beach cots need cleaning, they are full of bird droppings. You can always find an empty cot, but some areas are crowded.
+ - Restaurants: Are ok, but not worth the time you need to stand in line at guest service in the morning to get a reservation. The buffet at the palace offers different theme evenings, the food is great.
- Dining area and bar:
The worst are the guests touching the food provided - for example cake or fruits which can be eaten all day. I did get quiet sick before, you watch the guests, they touch their private areas and then touch the food with their hands- and the staff working there does nothing about that and the management does not give them instructions to stop these nasty guests. There are pliers provided, but a lot of people use their hands. The management stresses the fact, that they have a working food management system, but the details are not enforced. I have talked to a lot of guests, each one got sick at one time or another. So beware where and what you eat!
- Dresscode: In the evening you will find people with bathroom slippers and shorts, as well as couples dressed up for dinner. It would be nice if a minimum dress code would be enforced. After all, it is supposed to be a 4 * hotel- with a one star dress code. Management claims they cannot enforce a dress code, but it is a lack of interest.
- Smoking: Be prepared to be smoked in, everywhere and anywhere, the only place you cannot smoke are in the restaurants- at any other place- you sit down, you will get smoked in by chain smoking Europeans. It is very unpleasant- do not try to see a show in the evening- because you won't see much because of the smoke!
+ People and Personnel: The staff is nice and they are one of the reasons we keep coming back to this hotel, there are wonderful people working there, that try their best to make your holiday special.
- Entertainment and Sports: There is an ok Gym at the viva beach hotel, also they offer some aerobic lessons- which is mostly done without shoes and the same, same music every single day, so if you want to do sports bring your sneakers...you can also do Merengue and Salsa classes with the animation team. Don't expect too much, though....
- music- be prepared to hear music - any and everywhere, the same tapes over and over, the animation team has their favorite 5 or 6 CD's, or bring you own music....
+ Garden: Simply beautiful, wonderful flowers, thanks to the many garden workers from Haiti, that are paid even less than the hotel personnel by a sub lease company and they are the reason the place is as nice looking as it is, they clean up after the guests, collect cups and plates at the beach, left behind by many guests, they cut the flowers and bushes, they pick up the cigarette buds out of the sand.
People act very careless, leave everything and a lot of them have no respect for the work done for very, very little money and bad food. When you see these garden workers give them your sneakers before you leave, or soap, even t-shirts - since they get paid practically nothing and food is very expensive in the Dom.Rep. Often they support their families in Haiti, which is one of the poorest countries in the world. Help where you can, a tip to a garden worker would be nice too, since they do not get any tips. They are also happy to get a cold soda while working for you in the sizzling sun. Beware to be discreet in front of Hotel staff and give them good things - they have their pride too! You will feel like you made a difference and leave with a smile on your face.
Most people speak no English, so brush up on your Spanish and bring a honest smile!
All together, be prepared to meet a lot of different cultures, Italian, French, German. You will see how different people are...
We will be back, don't get us wrong, we like the place.
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace
Hi Debbies.. let me start by saying this is my 8th time at this lovely resorts since 2001... we booked with Go Travel Direct out of Montréal Office, February 17th to 24th. Flight were both in and out of Punta cana so we had 90 minutes bus ride... not a big deal... travelling with another couple and there 2 boys 7 and 10 yrs old... my spouse and our 5 yrs old girls (7 total ) the Flights were perfect Zoom airlines B757-200 on time good service, the seat pitch is better than Transat. tcheck in was fast... already been there... i had send some email to people i know and had a number (free) Whyndam by request we had probably the 2 best located room bloc 56 rooms 5641 and 5642 our room had a king plus a single bed add on for our daughter, the other rooms had 2 queen beds was perfect with the 2 kids and couple. Rooms had a free safe, fridge with beers, water and soft drinks. It was late arrivals so we put the kids and wife to sleep and firend and i went for Pizza the Pizzeria is open until 7 am and pizza is amazing... wood oven pizza... Got to ask the front desk for beach towels cards and a second key to the room. the next morning.
Over the yrs few things change animation still amazing, even if the turnaround is huge only 2-3 people left from 2001. But would say without hesitation that the dancing show are the best in the Dominican Republic they are held at the sister resort viva dominicus beach 2 minutes walk on a lovely pathway... the Palace add some shop on the resorts... the palmtrees on the beach since the last time a was there, the food is great for the DR dont expect samething as you would at home... 2 Buffet la terrassa and la yuca 5 a la carte restaurants: Le grill, Le bamboo (japonees) , mexican, viva café (mediteraneen), Palco (italian), + Pizzeria which is almost always open... the reservation system for a la carte is a bit crasy... you got to lineup at 7:20 for guess service that open at 8:00 to reserve for the night and the next ??? was woth it but a major pain if you ask me... no body in our party had problems with the food... for lunch there is the pool usual Hotdog or Hamburger, you can go to buffet or la rocca Grill for luch without reservation... very good and nice view... As for wine i personnaly dont like the wine that the resorts provide so in a la carte restaurant i order and pay extra for a bottle of wine that is still cheaper than in our liquor store. There is now a small bar in the lobby with top shelf brand very good.
animation is plenty... dart, Bocce, volleyball, water polo, soccer, meringue, salsa, free sailing, kayak etc... no need to reserve beach chairs plenty... on the pool side be there before 9:30 or you wont find any. Drink were good and plentyfull service was great bartender, maid, gardner, animation everyone was smiling. the beach had change a bit some rock 2 feet at the begining to get into the water... probably hurricane last fall that tooked some sand away? but still you put your feet on it, than jump 6 inches and you are ok, no need for sand shoes of any kind, it is still easy to get in. Crystal blue water... to your right you can walk to the viva beach resorts, to the left you will find in order public beach, some vendor, iberostar hacienda Dominicus, Catalonia ventaclub, some vendors, oasis canoa... something (resorts?)in construction. You can snorkel right on the Palace beach. we did the snorkeling tour to bayahibe 5 minutes of boat trip 50 minutes of snorkling 15$ for adults and 7.50$ for kids was fun...
We had 7 days of sunshine like always bayahibe seems to be the place that gets the less rain year in and year out. the few clouds were great for a break of the strong sun... bring alot of sun screens lotion the sun is wow... we saw no bugs, no mosquitos. evenings are warm no need for a long sleeve shirt or long pants unless for a la carte restaurants. For cigars fanatics there is a shop call bayahibe fines cigars in front of Palace reception in the street, great cigars great prices.
There is now in Bayahibe area a Casino Dominicus Casino only been open a few months...
... would say good size for dominican republic... Shuttle services is provide from 4pm to 4 am by the casino the the resorts in bayahibe. There is 2 table for texas holdem poker... beware of the first table open 2 dominicans play together speak spanish and have sign so to let know each other what cards they have and so on... be careful if you play them.
Viva is a italian chain of hotels so italians are the majority of guess at Beach and Palace resorts there is alson alot of french people. Less people from Canada, Nolitour and transat holidays stop selling this property... sunwing, GTD, sunquest and TMR sell this hotel from Montréal/canada... this time we didn't see alot of american... some people from Argentina
Overall we had a wonderfull vacation and we will return again to Bayahibe and the Viva Dominicus Palace, that is a 4 stars hotel by DR standards... If you can try to land in la Romana airport it is only 15 minutes away for any questions dont hesitate to contact me... email@example.com
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace
We just returned and have following comments.
We have found your website very useful and perhaps this will guide some guests.
FOOD – buffet was good – great selection but busy at times
– the alacarte restaurants were excellent – great service – great variety – clean – no stomach issues – tipping is appreciated as they do go out of their way to serve you – line up for VIVA restaurant is tricky since it books up early
DRINKS – wine is ok and beer is fine – fancy drinks are average – did not need to line up too much for a drink – self serve water, soft drinks and beer in some locations
SERVICE – people are very kind and try their best – fluent in many languages
PEOPLE – the Dominican people are good hearted and try to assist where possible – usually a kind smile and light conversation breaks the ice anywhere you go
GROUNDS – immaculate and well manicured
ROOM – we had a king bed – comfortable and nothing fancy – maids were great
BUGS – none in the rooms that we could see – few on the grounds of course, but we have certainly seen much worse in other islands
ENTERTAINMENT – pretty good – mostly lip sync plays to music – it is entertaining and nice way to wind down after dinner
WATER – very nice – warm and generally clean
ACTIVITIES – lots to do – salsa dancing and volleyball on the beach – yoga near the water – great tennis courts – archery – basketball and soccer
BEACH – nice but not a long walking beach since it is slopes steeply into the ocean – a flatter harder beach is preferred since it makes walking a little nicer – lots of chairs for everyone but palapas are rare and you need to play the early morning towel on the chair game – too bad idiots choose to use the beach like an ashtray and butt there smokes where ever they feel like it – few ashtrays – butts washed up on the beach
LANGUAGE GAP – we would estimate the resort is 70% Italian , 20% French and remaining is everything else – therefore the primary language spoken at the hotel is not English but they do try – can be a bit much at entertainment events as they repeat everything in multiple languages and this takes a great deal of time to communicate with the audience – guess you need to try to please everyone
POOLS – did not spend much time there but they were clean and refreshing
INTERNET – don’t recommend using hotel services since they will only sell you 15 minutes at a time and they will not extend – makes it hard since you need to log off and reconnect – computers were slow – no high speed for your personal computers (this should be improved!) – recommend going outside the hotel and using the local service at half the hotel price but again slow service
TIME SHARE – they do get on your nerves trying to sell you time share
EXCURSIONS – do not recommend the external snorkeling tours offered by the hotel – water was polluted with plastic and no one was cleaning up – reef was pretty lifeless – have seen much better aquatic life in places like cozumel and aruba – the tours are very expensive too for what you get – the scuba diving was ok but again not much aquatic life – the wreck dive was best – have seen better
NIGHT LIFE – crazy chain smoking Italian and French makes finding fresh air a challenge – but there is a lot going on and they like to have a good time – found some to be rude by jumping in line etc . our kids mingled well and met some new friends.
Overall – we had a good time but no rush to go back. There are many other places to visit also. I think it rates between a 4 and 4.5 . Price for value is pretty good.
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace
Smooth flight ,customs went well. Very poor directions from Sunwing counter as to where our bus was, she pointed to parking lot said there.200 busses in lot.Stayed at this resort April 2007
Changed rooms 3 times,1st room walls covered in mold roof leaking paint peeling.Second room only one bed and couch . My 2 sons were traveling with us. Third room had fantastic view but room was could not even pass as a prison cell. To even get this good of a room cost me $40. american to get the front dest to look again if there were any rooms left as they kept telling me no rooms.They rooms consisted of a mattress on a concreat foundation. The night table was a block of cement sticking out of wall.The TV table was also a concrete slab sticking to the wall. Two beat off chairs and a small round table. No dressers to put ypur luggage on . The bath room had enough silicone around tub,sink and toilet to choke a whale. The taps wre origanally white but now were just a mess of chipped paint. The door to our room had such a tilt and gap under it at night we had to stuff it with towels to keep the ants out.I will email pics if you like. Not even a 1* resort.Contacted Wyndham resorts and was informed resort is privatly owned and beyond there control.
Foood was average ,no comparison to other resorts we have stayed at in Dominican
Drinks were very good
Beach and Pools -
Best beach we have ever had , pool small and dirty
Grounds were well kept Except pond out sie of main buffet. This was totally RAW SEWER. I am a plumber I know what sewer is!!
Plenty to do
Went parasailing and snorkeling ,both very good
Worst hotel have stayed at in Dominican. We have been coming here since 2000 and have never incountered any properties so discusting. Tried to use Canadian $ to make purchase and was told my money was NO GOOD.Heading back to Punta Cana this year
Nous sommes partis avec 3/4 d’heure de retard car le système informatique de l’aéroport était en panne. Les cartes d’embarquement étaient donc faites manuellement. Nous sommes arrivés à l’hôtel vers 23 heures.
L’AÉROPORT DE LA ROMANA
Arrivés à l’aéroport de La Romana, tout se déroule assez rapidement. Nous obtenons nos bagages, passons l’immigration et repérons le représentant de Vacances Sunquest qui nous remet notre enveloppe et nous dirige vers l’autobus qui nous conduira au à l’hôtel. Il fait super chaud en cette soirée et une douce brise nous caresse tout en faisant valser les branches des palmiers au dessus de nos têtes. Le trajet entre l’aéroport et l’hôtel dure environ 20 minutes. L’autobus est confortable, avec air climatisé.
Tout se fait très rapidement car il n’y a qu’un autre couple qui descend à cet hôtel. On nous remet les clés notre chambre et les cartes pour les serviettes. Nous arrivons rapidement à notre chambre avec le maletero qui apporte nos bagages. La chambre est située exactement dans le bloc que nous avons demandé, le 64, au 2e étage, avec vue partielle sur la mer, la piscine et un magnifique jardin avec étang où se trouvent plusieurs flamants roses.
Elle est décorée dans les tons de jaune et bleue. Assez spacieuse, 2 grands lits séparés par une table de chevet, un fauteuil, une table avec télévision et une salle de bain complète assez grande. Le balcon n’est pas très grand, mais on y trouve 2 chaises et une petite table. Le mobilier de la chambre est assez sommaire mais cela nous importe peu. L’espace de rangement est suffisant. La climatisation fonctionne très bien de même que la plomberie, ce qui est plutôt rare dans les Caraïbes. Eau toujours très chaude et excellente pression de la douche. Un petit frigo était rempli tous les jours (coca, 7up, eau,). On trouve aussi dans la chambre une table et un fer à repasser, un sèche cheveux et un téléphone. Le ménage est très bien fait tous les jours. Les serviettes sont changées aussi souvent qu’on le désire. Un coffret se sûreté avec combinaison que l’on choisit est gratuit. Le seul problème au niveau de notre chambre, c'est que directement derrière le bloc se trouve le début de la plage publique avec un restaurant et un stationnement. Mais des poules et 5 coqs se promènent sur ce terrain de stationnement. Nous avons donc eu droit à des réveils très tôt tous les matins au chant des coqs!!! Bien que nous nous soyons plaint, rien n’a changé. On nous a offert de changer de chambre mais nous avons refusé, craignant avoir une chambre où l’air climatisé ou la douche ne fonctionneraient pas.
Nous avons toujours assez bien mangé. Ce n’est certes pas de la cuisine raffinée comme on en trouve chez nous, mais c’est très acceptable. En réservant au Dominicus Palace on a aussi droit à tous les restaurants du Dominicus Beach qui est adjacent. Il y a donc 2 restaurants de type buffet et 5 restaurants à la carte en plus de la pizzeria. Pour les restaurants à la carte, il faut réserver le matin à partir de 8 heures pour le lendemain soir. Nous avons souvent réservé vers 9 heures et nous n’avons jamais eu de problème. On n’a jamais eu à faire la queue pour réserver. Le port du pantalon long pour les hommes est exigé dans tous les restaurants à la carte le soir mais cela est loin d’être respecté, ce qui nous a déçu. Parfois des gens arrivaient habillées comme s’ils allaient pique-niquer sur la plage. Interdiction de fumer dans tous les restaurants et les buffets.
La Yuca (au Palace) et La Terraza (au Beach)
Ces restaurants de type buffet sont ouverts pour les trois repas. La nourriture y est bonne et très variée. Selon certains, la nourriture est meilleure et plus variée au Palace. Je ne saurais dire car je ne suis allée qu’une fois à La Terraza. La vue y est magnifique car ce restaurant est directement en bordure de mer.
Aucune réservation requise pour ce restaurant ouvert de 19 heures à 7 heures. On y trouve d’excellentes pizzas, de la bière et des jus, cola et 7up. On se sert soi-même.
La roca Grill
Un autre magnifique restaurant en bord de mer avec vue magnifique. Ouvert le midi et le soir (avec réservation). Nourriture excellente.
Restaurant mexicain décoré comme une véritable hacienda. Il est ouvert seulement le soir avec réservation. Mon conjoint a aimé mais moi moins. L’entrée y est cependant délicieuse.
Restaurant italien ouvert le soir seulement avec réservation. La nourriture y est excellente. Nous y somme allés souvent. Les portions sont généreuses. Décor à l’italienne avec des affiches de la Scala de Milan.
Le restaurant asiatique ouvert le soir seulement avec réservation est aussi très bien. Nous y sommes allés 3 fois. Les sushis sont excellents. Une seule fois je n’ai pas apprécié mon plat principal. L’atmosphère pourrait y être plus intime avec un éclairage plus tamisé.
C’est un nouveau restaurant entre le Palace et le Beach. Ouvert le midi et le soir avec réservation. Nous y allions souvent le midi alors que c’est un petit buffet. Le soir un menu à la carte est disponible avec service aux tables. C’est un site enchanteur sur le bord de la mer, sous un immense chapiteau blanc. La bouffe y est encore très bonne.
La Papaya Bar
Près de la piscine du palace, on y sert le jour des hot-dogs, hamburgers, pains fourrés, fruits frais.
La langouste n’est incluse dans aucun restaurant. Mais on peut en commander à l’avance dans tous les restaurants au prix de 25$US.
Donc en ce qui concerne la bouffe, on y mange assez bien. Le service des buffets et restaurants est courtois. En plus, le service aux chambres est offert gracieusement pour le petit déjeuner. Je dois préciser que mon appréciation de la bouffe est une question bien personnelle et que je ne suis pas difficile. Lorsque je vais dans les Caraïbes, je ne m’attends pas à faire un voyage gastronomique.
Ils sont nombreux et on y trouve une très bonne variété de boissons internationales. Le service est cependant inégal. Il n’y a pas de bar dans les piscines mais il y en a toujours un tout près.
Beau et très chaud durant les deux semaines!!! Une seule averse en fin de soirée. Vraiment la température idéale!!! Pas besoin de veste le soir.
Très peu de moustiques. Nous avions apporté de la crème insecticide mais ne l’avons pas utilisée.
Le site est très vaste. La végétation y est très mature. On y voit beaucoup de fleurs, d’arbustes. On a parfois l’impression d’être dans un jardin botanique. Les jardiniers entretiennent très bien le site. Près du buffet, il y a aussi un étang aménagé avec beaucoup de fleurs et une dizaine de flamands roses et des canards.
SPECTACLES ET ANIMATION
Il y a des spectacles tous les soirs et ils sont annoncés à l’entrée du buffet. Ils ont lieu au Beach où c’est beaucoup plus animé. En ayant déjà vu beaucoup par le passé, nous n’y sommes pas allés. Je ne peux donc pas me prononcer sur leur qualité.
Pour ce qui est de l’animation de jour, encore une fois je ne peux vraiment me prononcer car nous ne participons pas aux activités de groupe offertes. Nous faisons surtout de la plage le jour et aimons la tranquillité et relaxer.
Elle est très belle! Le sable est fin et blanc. L’eau est turquoise. Il y a suffisamment de chaises et de parasols pour tout le monde, peu importe l’heure à laquelle on y arrive. La mer était toujours très calme. A noter que les transats sont en tissus ce qui est plus confortable.
Certains secteurs sont très achalandés mais nous trouvions toujours un endroit plus tranquille et où les gens ne sont pas côte à côte.
Le secteur du Viva Café est une splendeur. On y trouve de véritables lits avec des rideaux de voile blanc qui bougent selon le vent, un jacuzzi et le Viva Café sous son chapiteau.
La plage est très propre. Beaucoup de poubelles, cendriers, supports pour déposer les verres qui sont lavables et non jetables. On ne retrouve donc pas ou peu de verres de plastiques, mégots de cigarettes, pailles sur la plage.
Les sports disponibles sont le kayac, la planche à voile, le petit catamaran et petit voilier. Le personnel du club nautique est très gentil. On y prête aussi masques, palmes et tubas pour faire de l’apnée.
AUTRES SERVICES OFFERTS PAR L’HÔTEL
On trouve sur place un service de location de voitures, une bijouterie, un magasin de cigares et de rhum et une autre boutique de souvenirs et d’articles de toilette. On offre aussi un service de blanchisserie et de nettoyage à sec. Un coin Internet est aménagé avec plusieurs postes pour les clients, moyennant un supplément. Une discothèque est ouverte à partir de 23 :30 heures. Mini-club disponible pour les enfants de 4 à 12 ans. Un spa et une salle d’exercices avec appareils sont à la fois au Palace et au Beach.
Sur la rue piétonnière de Dominicus on trouve de tout. Pour les cigares et le rhum, on trouve la plus grande variété au Bayahibe Fine Cigars Shop. On y montre comment sont faits les cigares et on peut aussi y déguster du rhum et des boissons à base de rhum.
Pour l’ambre et le larimar, c’est à la boutique qui s'appelle Image'in qu’il faut aller. C’est tenu par une Française, Nadine, qui est fort sympathique. Sa bijouterie est tout près du Dominicus Palace. Ses prix sont très raisonnables (beaucoup moins cher qu’à l’hôtel, Altos de Chavon ou Santo Domingo) et elle nous explique comment reconnaître le vrai du faux, etc. Fermé le dimanche. Tout est vendu accompagné d’un certificat d’authenticité.
Sur cette rue on trouve aussi une série de vendeurs de peintures et de souvenirs de toutes sortes. Il faut négocier beaucoup avec les Dominicains. On nous a conseillé de commencer au 2/3 du prix demandé.
Nous sommes allés mangé un soir à Bayahibe, au Cafecito de la Cubana. Restaurant directement sur le port avec magnifique vue. Délicieuses langoustes à 600pesos. Ce fut une très belle soirée avec un accueil très chaleureux.
Comme l’an dernier nous avions visité Santo Domingo, Altos de Chavon et fait le Outback Safari et Catalina, cette année nous avons fait seulement Saona, la magnifique, avec Patricia (Captain Pat). Nous avons aussi visité La Romana. http://captain-pat-excursions.new.fr/
Nous partons en guagua encore une fois pour aller au port de Bayahibe. Une fois chez Captain Pat (le groupe se forme peu à peu. Nous partons finalement à 9 :30heures. Nous sommes une vingtaine, sans compter Patricia, Ricky, Yasmina et Nelson, le capitaine. En longeant le Parque del Este quelle ne fut pas notre émerveillement de voir une bonne douzaine de dauphins nager et sauter tout autour du bateau. On prend des photos, on les observe. C’est vraiment génial de les voir si près de nous, dans leur environnement naturel.
Il faut environ 1heure 15 pour arriver sur une plage idyllique, la plage du docteur. Une plage profonde de sable blanc fin, l’eau cristalline, les cocotiers à profusion. On s’y installe pour 2heures30 à 3 heures. Baignade, farniente, apnée, observation des oiseaux sont au programme, tout en prenant des vitamines et de la noix de coco fraîche!!!
Puis on se rend à Mano Juan, charmant village de pêcheurs aux maisons de couleurs vives. On mange de savoureuses langoustes grillées accompagnées de salade et de bon vin dans la cour d’une maison typique. Le repas a été préparé par Yasmina, la meilleure des cuisinières!!! Ensuite c’est la visite du village, son église, son école, quelques maison. Yasmina nous conduit chez sa sœur Maribel qui est artiste. Elle vend des peintures et des souvenirs. On visite ensuite la maison de son autre sœur qui vit à Mano Juan.
En quittant Saona, on longe la Mangrove, on arrête pour plonger et voir les étoiles de mer et on finit dans la piscine naturelle en mangeant des fruits accompagnés de rhum encore une fois. Finalement c’est le retour au port où on termine la journée en prenant un coup tous ensemble. Ce fut vraiment une journée mémorable. Merci à Patricia, Yasmina, Ricky et Nelson pour avoir fait de cette journée un souvenir inoubliable. Vous avez contribué au succès de cette journée.
Nous y sommes allés seuls en guagua (40 pesos/personne). Nous sommes descendus au Jumbo. De là nous nous sommes rendus au Parque Central devant l’hôtel de ville (mairie). Nous avons vu la cathédrale. Nous avons circulé ça et là en nous imprégnant de l’ambiance locale. Finalement nous sommes entrés au Jumbo pour voir les produits disponibles. Nous avons été agréablement surpris de constater les coupe de viande et tous les produits disponibles à un coût parfois comparable à ce qu’on paie au Québec. On y trouve même des fromages européens comme le Camembert, le Brie, la Raclette. Après ce que j’ai vu, je pourrais très bien vivre quelques mois par année en République Dominicaine à ma retraite!!! Retour à l’hôtel en guagua, tassés comme des sardines : 18 personnes, 2 immenses sacs de provisions, 3 valises!!! Une expérience en soi!!!
L’avion a décollé avec 45 minutes de retard, à 22:30 heures. Nous avons pu garder notre chambre jusqu’à 18:00 heures, moyennant un supplément de 50$US. Mais ça valait la peine pour profiter pleinement de la dernière journée. Vol sans problème.
Nous avons adoré notre séjour et avons profité de chaque instant. L’hôtel était très bien. Clientèle en majorité italienne qui peut être bruyante et parfois impolie et sans gêne mais c’est à nous de prendre notre place. Beaucoup de Français, des Allemands et des Québécois. Le point négatif concerne les vendeurs de time-sharing. Ils sont partout sur le site et vous sollicitent pour la réunion d’information sans vraiment dire ce dont il s’agit. Puisque nous étions au courant nous n’y sommes pas allés et pour nous en défaire nous leur disions ouvertement que nous n’étions pas intéressés au time-sharing. Voyant que nous savions de quoi il s’agissait ils nous laissaient tranquilles et après quelques jours ne nous importunaient plus. Un couple de Québécois pour qui c’était le 1er voyage aux Caraïbes s’est malheureusement fait avoir et a signé le contrat!!!
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace
My family just returned from this beautiful place. We found the resorts (the Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach is adjacent) to be clean and breath-taking. The beach is long with white sand, clear water and reefs. We spent most of our time at the large Palace pool (1 of 5). The food was quite good but the buffet became very predictable.
Our few complaints were:
- the limited English caused some communication problems and we decided to not put our two children (ages 4 and 6) into the Kids Retreat. The kids in the club looked like they were having fun but we felt the lack of English and number of kids to staff ratio did not make us comfortable.
- The babysitting available was limited to members of "housekeeping" who spoke only Spanish and Italian.
- the one day of rain saw a leek in our room. It ran down the wall and caused one of our queen size beds to become wet. We called reception three times. They came up twice but it looked like they only washed the wall down.
- bring your own toiletries as there were no bottles of shampoo, conditioner, or body lotion in the room. Also only one bar of soap was provided.
- the Viva Recruiters were annoying. They wanted you to attend their presentation and commit to a package. You quickly learned to say "Hola" and remove all eye contact... just keep walking.
- the two hour bumpy bus ride from Punta Cana Airport
- the resort would cash traveller cheques into DR Pesos only and you could not exchange from pesos to dollars. There is a money mart outside the resort to do exchange.
Otherwise, we enjoyed the clean room, breathtaking view from our balcany, gorgeous beach, great pools, fantastic spa (pedicure, AWESOME massage and braids), good food, reasonably priced gift shops, and friendly staff. We'd rate this a 4 out of 5.
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace
We travelled to this resort by flying into Santo Domingo (SDQ) airport and were transported to the hotel by their contracted transportation which was on time and reliable. The ride is about 1hr 45mins and we got to see the "real" DR on the way. Transport will run you $52 round trip for adults and $26 for kids. Flights to SDQ are typically several hundred dollars cheaper than flying to La Romana airport (LRM), which is about 30 mins from the resort.
We chose the Viva Palace based on a previous visit to the Viva Maya in Mexico, so this review is based on comparing the pros and cons of the two resorts. Overall I should say that the Viva Maya was a more pleasant experience.
Lets start with the basics. Do yourself a favor and become a member of Wyndham-by-Request before you book a room at any Viva resort. As members (membership is free) we were immediately upgraded to a junior suite (ocean view) for the price of the basic room. This is done upon arrival, ask to speak to the By-Request manager Jose Luis at the front desk. More importantly, as a By-Request member, you can make reservations for your entire stay as soon as you arrive. This is really a big deal because each morning there will be a long line at Guest Services to book restaurants for that night. Reservations are REALLY limited, in fact by about 9am all restaurants get full, and you will be stuck eating pizza or the buffet.
We ate at La Scala (Italian), Bambu (oriental) and Ibiza (temporary venue for Mexican while the original rest. is being remodeled). We highly recommend La Scala. Given that 70% of the guests are from Italy/France, they have made this rest. really good. Good vegetarian choices here good main courses and desserts. Vegetarian choices in the main buffet rest. (lunch) are limited to pasta with tomato sauce, side veggies and fruit/dessert. Bambu is more Japanese than chinese, so be aware not to expect the standard US chinese fare. Also, there is nothing on the menu for vegetarians here or in the Mexican restaurant. Quality of food at the main buffet La Yuca is not great but reasonable. Good chicken and pork dishes and fruit/dessert choices.
Overall the biggest complaint we had was the service. Language is a big problem here compared to Mexico. Very very little english is spoken. Because of the guest mix, Italian is fluently spoken by most staff. Even with the little spanish we have picked up living in Florida and Texas, we had a really hard time. Staff tended to be rude and unhelpful, especially when they could not understand you. The resort was completely full, finding seats for breakfast and luch was a real problem. Same thing with the wait at the bar for drinks, because of the crowds. Note that drinks are mostly local brands, poor wine/beer. Tropical cocktails were above average. While most problems we had ended up being fixed, it meant going back to the Guest Service Manager or the By-Request Manager.
Rooms are very clean and beds are comfortable. An electronic safe and minibar (free) are available in the rooms. The beaches were really outstanding, and we tried archery, kayaking and went on a snorkel trip arranged by the dive shop. The snorkel trip was really good, about an hour of snorkeling and 15 minute boat ride, + gear all for $10/pp. Beautiful white sand beaches, and palm trees really make this location a tropical paradise. Crowds however detracted from the experience.
Overall it was a decent value, but would go back to Playa del Carmen in Mexico rather than here. We felt that the people in general and the staff were more friendly and accomodating in Mexico.
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace
Room: We joined Wyndam ByRequest before arriving and phoned to have our RCI Points exchange reservation upgraded. We got the studio size room we paid for, but top (third) floor, ocean-front in the conveniently located Manati/Lambi building. The room was modest -- two double beds, functional bathroom with hair-dryer, coffee-maker, in-room safe, small terrace; like a Best Western or Holiday Inn. No elevator. Small TV with good choice of cable channels (CNN, HBO english movies with spanish subtitles, etc.) Air conditioning adequate but not super. No smell of smoke. Phone only calls internal numbers. No internet in room; pay US$6 for 30 mins access at an air-conditioned room near Palace buffet.
Food: Exceeded expectations. The buffet on the Palace side has a great ocean-front location (unlike the Viva Beach buffet) and wider choices. Neither buffet is air-conditioned so the ocean breeze really helps. Viva Beach and Viva Palace guests all have free run of the property, and although there are lots of different bracelet colors I saw no hint that it matters. The evening restaurants are a welcome break since breakfast and lunch are both buffet. Somehow at checkin we were allowed to sign up for multiple days in advance, maybe that was the upgrade, since we saw people queued up every morning. Our favorites were open air Roka Grill and air-conditioned La Scala. But don't expect prime steak, grilled shrimp or other high-class fare. House white wine surprisingly good.
We were careful about hygiene--everything cooked or peeled; no salads; no raw meat or fish. And we took a Pepto Bismol pill with each meal.
Friendly bartenders, wait your turn and you'll be fine. But no name brands, except for J&B and Dewars scotch. Presidente beer on draft. We were disappointed to find no Brugal or other local brand rum.
Beach: Wonderful, and about four times the beachfront of the much fancier Iberostar next door. Three crescent beaches with ample choice of sunny or shady, noisy or quiet, never a shortage of chaises. Part of the ocean floor has tropical fish, rock and old coral, glad we packed our snorkel gear. The noise (if you want it) comes from the enthusiastic animation staff -- dance lessons, aerobics, volleyball, water balloon contests, etc., etc., etc. Also four or five swimming pools spread around the property.
Service: Except for the cranky Guest Services guy who doles out the restaurant reservations and lobby telephone access, the staff is great--eager to help, happy to smile. Of course many speak little or no english but if you know or can learn 20 words of spanish you'll be fine. You'll quickly spot the Viva Club salespeople - - give them a happy hello, a quick excuse, and keep walking.
Guests: Mostly Italian and French, some South American. Very few German, US or Canadians. In October, mostly late-20s to late-30s, mostly couples, only a few with young (well-behaved) children. Of the women maybe 20% sunbathe topless at the beach, the rest wear bikinis. No drunks (despite the open bar), no louts. Certainly a more attractive and respectful crowd than you'll find at Disneyworld. Many people smoke but not bothersome except in the nightclub show where your eyes will burn from it.
Weather: We took a chance mid-October. Luckily Hurricane Wilma missed and gave us a hot, humid, sunny week. Tropical Storm alpha came through the day after we left.
Club Viva Dominicus Palace - Bayahibe
Roux Francis Poitiers, France
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace à Bayahibe du 8 au 22 juillet 2005
Arrivée à l'aéroport de LA ROMANA, des gros bras locaux profitent des touristes pour grappiller quelques dollars pour déplacer les valises entre le tapis roulant et la navette, voir même simplement entre le chariot et le coffre a bagage du bus ! Il faut environ 20mn pour rejoindre l'hôtel. Check in efficace et rapide.
Nous avions deux chambres communicantes avec mes enfants dans le batiment au fond du jardin (superbe). Nous avons souhaité changé pour nous rapprocher de la mer, mais nous sommes ravisés car nous avions l'avantage d'être loin de toutes les animations musicales nocturnes.
L'intérêt de l'hôtel réside dans la coexistance avec l'autre hôtel du groupe VIVA DOMINICUS "le BEACH".."Le Palace" est plus dans une ambiance famille alors que le BEACH est plus jeune donc plus bruyant.
En lisant tous les commentaires, j'avais noté que ce point ne faisait pas l'unanimité des rédacteurs.
Certains sont trés satisfait d'autres beaucoup moins. Pour ma part, par rapport à l'ensemble des belles prestations fournies par le séjour, (plage, animation, bars...) c'est effectivement sur la nourriture que je suis resté un peu sur ma faim.
Du choix, mais rien qui vous fait vous relever pour aller en rechercher une autre assiette. Cela a au moins l'avantage de ne pas accélerer la prise de poids déja compromise par les cocktails à base de rhum. Le statut de 4* sup me semble sur ce sujet un peu exagéré.
Le système de la réservation des restaurants à thème (grill, mexicain, italien) chaque matin lasse un peu et au bout de quelques jours nous avons régulièrement utilisé le réstaurant buffet de l'hotel. Nota : Langoustes ( 2 moyennes par personnes) au resto grill pour 25$US par pers
Pas attiré d'habitude par les spectacles de danse, j'ai trouvé l'équipe particulièrement professionnelle et nous avons toujours essayé d'aller voir les spectacles au cours de ces deux semaines (rotation toute les 2 semaines). Certaines danseurs et danseuses sont véritablement de niveau professionnel.
Multiples activités dispo, 4 piscines sur les 2 hotels. Celle du Palace est particulièrement adaptée au enfants à partir de 6 ans. Approcher des poissons exotiques ne nécessite aucun matériel, les petits récifs de la plage du Palace et du BEACH permettent de prendre beaucoup de plaisir. Les poissons vous entourent littérallement et si vous apporter du pain, c'est carrément extraordinaire, ils vous sautent dessus ! Bien sûr avec un masque et des palmes le plaisir est plus grand.
C'est le point noir du séjour. Elles sont trés chères, 60$US par personne, pour aller à Santo Domingo ou pour la journée sur l'ile de Saona. Mais comme l'on vous déconseille fortement de vous déplacer par vous même (voiture ou scooter), c'est alors le seul moyen pour sortir un peu de l'hotel. Sinon il y a la formule taxi mais là aussi attention aux tarifs affichés à l'hotel et pas négociable (dans la mesure ou vous n'avez pas d'autre alternative) 60$US pour aller à Altos de Chavron (2h de visite) et retour à l'hotel après un stop à BAYAHIBE. Je pense que c'est un moyen pour l'hotel de récupérer au moins la moitié du prix affiché.
CLUB DE PLONGEE:
Trés pratique d'avoir les personnes et le matériels sur place mais le budget doit être prévu à l'avance. 15$US pour un petit tour en snorkelling, sinon c'est 39$ pour des déplacements plus lointains. 79$ pour une journée avec bouteille ou 230$ pour 2 jours avec brevet.
Alors que nous étions en saison des pluies nous avons eu trés largement beau temps. Nous n'avons essuyés que quelques orages, 2 ou 3 en 15 jours (il pleut pendant 1/2h et ensuite tout se remet au beau) et une seule journée vraiement pluvieuse.
Par contre nous avons évité deux ouragans, DENIS passé au sud le jour même de notre arrivée et qui a fait des morts sur HAITI et EMILIE qui a finit sa course au mexique entrainant l'évacuation de CANCUN (130.000 touristes !!). Sur ce point c'est un peu la roulette russe.
Séjour trés agréable, condition de site superbe, belle plage, eau poissonneuse et limpide, baignade facile et sécurisante.
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace
My family and I visited Viva Dominicus Wyndham Palace from June 12, 2005 until June 18, 2005. The resort is quite attractive to look at and affords many amenities including numerous pools, restaurants, watersports and a beautiful beach.
Initially I thought that our stay at this resort was going to be very pleasurable. Unfortunately, after we had been at the resort for 72 hours, my family became quite ill. We each, in succession, came down with the most terrible stomach illness that I've ever experienced. Getting sick was obviously terrible but what made it worse was the response of the resort to our illness. At numerous times, usually in the late night, members of my family began to dehydrate quickly due to frequent vomiting and diarrhea. Since we could not drink water from the tap (as mandated by the resort), we called the resort staff for a delivery of water. Twice they told us that a water delivery to our room was not possible (and there was nowhere at the resort for us to go retrieve water either). Only after my wife suggested to the staff that I or one of my children might die of dehydration did they relent and provide us with drinking water.
Additionally, the resort medical staff was of particularly little assistance during our illness. There were quite a few other guests (and a few staff members) with the exact same symptoms as us and each were told to walk out into the small commercial area outside the resort to a pharmacy and just purchase anti-diarrheal meds. One staff member who was particularly ill with this stomach infirmity had to be provided anti-diarheal medication by one of the guests!
Although, Viva Dominicus Resort has a lot to offer its guests in the way of amenities, I would not consider ever returning there and suggest that other potential guests reseach the resort thorougly to ensure that there have been improvements to the sanitary and custormer service situations at the resort.
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace
Our mini bar when we checked in consisted of one 16oz bottle of 7-up and one of Pepsi. That pretty much set the tone for the whole stay. The all-inclusive amenities were there but, in general poorly done.
The most popular activity at the resort was getting up at 7:30 in the morning to stand in line for a half-hour to get a reservation at a "non-buffet" restaurant for that night (strange that they were rarely more than half full). Not that it really mattered since the food at the restaurants was often repackaged buffet fare. I would recommend the $8 upgrade for the fillet at the Grill Restaurant.
Some of the staff was friendly others seemed annoyed by your presence. Some spoke some English, most not. Sometimes there was cable TV (HBO etc.), but mostly not. Sometimes you could find or buy diet soda, but mostly not. Sometimes there would be flavors of jams/jellies other than orange marmalade but mostly not. Most of the time, the bar areas and several high-traffic walk-ways smelled like rotting food or trash. Beer was warm "Presidente" draft only (try ice and a lime to make it palatable). You have to request alcohol with your mixed drinks or you will be served a virgin.
The facilities look great in the pictures but close-up are often dirty and in disrepair. The rooms are similar to a marginal hotel / motel in the US. The gym in the Palace was pitiful, small and smelled like an arm pit. The beach was nice however, though crowded.
In general I got the feeling that the resort was trying to cut corners and minimize the amount of money that you, as a guest, were costing them. It was an ok experience, but I would not recommend it and would not go back myself.
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace
Gary Hickory, North Carolina
My wife and I and our two daughters spent the week of July 24-31, 2004 at Viva Dominicus Palace. The resort was fantastic; in fact we enjoyed our stay so much that we have already made reservations to go back this August. After reading some of the reviews on this site I was more than a little worried, but now that I have experienced this resort for myself I have nothing but good things to say about it. Anyway, here is what we experienced during our stay at the Viva Dominicus Palace.
Arrival: We flew into the La Romana Airport from North Carolina. We had not pre-arranged any kind of transportation from the airport to the resort. But that was not a problem because the young man who carried our bags from the airport terminal helped us to secure a taxi to the resort. After paying the $20 fare for the four of us it was only a fifteen minute ride to the resort. Once we arrived at the Palace everything went smoothly; the check-in was fast and the people who greeted us were very friendly and helpful. The only delay we experienced was getting our daughters away from the jewelry counter in the lobby.
Room: The room was great. It was large, clean and everything worked. Best of all it was ocean front, so the view from our balcony was beautiful. The room stayed clean all week and we always had plenty of bottled water and soft drinks in the room's refrigerator.
Beach and Grounds: Both the beach and the grounds were beautiful. The grounds were very well kept and very clean. The beach was gorgeous; the sand was white and the water turquoise blue. There is plenty of shade on the beach and we never had any problems finding lounge chairs. There are some coral outcroppings just, and I mean just, off shore that are home to beautiful tropical fish, stingrays, urchins, etc. and provide for some awesome snorkeling.
Pool: There are three pools at the Beach resort and one at the Palace and you are free to use any of them. We stayed at the Palace pool most of the time. Unlike on the beach, lounge chairs at the pool can be hard to come by. There is a bar at each pool that serves free drinks (both with alcohol and without) and food (mostly hamburgers and hotdogs) all day, which is nice if you don’t feel like going to the buffet for lunch. There is also filtered water at each of the pools so you can bring a bottle of water from your room and keep it filled throughout the day.
Animation: This was the best part of our stay. The animation staff is great; they’re funny and very friendly. And they always seem to have something going on; whether its salsa lessons, water aerobics, water polo or soccer you’ll never be bored. They also do a pretty entertaining show each night in the theater at the Beach resort’s main pool.
Activities and Excursions: We enjoyed the resort so much that we only went on two tours, Crazy Wheels was the best, you get to drive your own four wheeler, it's about three hours and it takes you through the sugar cane fields and other places in the countryside surrounding Bayibe and La Romana. One thing that I suggest and that we plan to do when we go back in August is to pack a suitcase full of nothing except small items to be given away. We had a few items and some money on us that we were more than happy to give to the children … but, as I said, this time we are going to be prepared. The people that you will come in contact with anytime that you are away from the resort really do live in poverty and the children’s faces light up when you have something that you can give them. The other excursion that we went on was horseback riding to the cave that serves as the source of Bayibe’s (and the resorts) fresh water. Once you get to the cave you are allowed to go down into the cave and swim in the underground river, which was cool. There were several other excursions that other guests told to try that hopefully we can enjoy when we go back. But, honestly, you never have to leave the resort if you that is what you want. Between all that the animation staff has to offer plus other activities such as sailing, wind surfing, kayaking, banana boats, snorkeling, etc. you’ll never lack for anything to do.
Food: Despite what I had read before going the food was not that bad. Some things may have been prepared a little differently than what we were accustomed to but we never lacked for anything to eat. And I can honestly say that I enjoyed every meal. We ate breakfast each morning at the Palace buffet where we could choose between cereal, eggs (you can even create your own omelet), bacon, pancakes, potatoes, toast, croissants and plenty of fresh fruit. I also strongly recommend the fruit smoothies that are available every morning. One other thing to do each morning is to make sure that you use the room service to get your morning coffee and enjoy it out on your balcony (especially if you are on oceanfront). For lunch we did a variety of things; the pizzeria is wonderful, the buffet is also available (both at the Beach and Palace resorts) and, as I mentioned earlier, there are some food items available at the pool bars anytime during the day. So I guess it just depends on what you want to do that day. For dinner you can choose between the buffets, the pizzeria or from one of four different themed restaurants (for which you will need to make reservations two days in advance). We tried all of the restaurants and were pleased with all of them. As for getting the green apple splatters, since we have traveled in the Caribbean before we knew to start taking Pepto Bismol tablets a week prior to going and continue to take them while there; so we had no problems.
In Conclusion: Overall we had a wonderful time. Our daughters, ages 23 and 20, both said that they enjoyed this vacation more than any we had ever gone on (and we have taken some nice vacations). Maybe we have been to “nicer” places but never to any place that we enjoyed as much as the Palace and Beach resorts. (See our pictures here http://community.webshots.com/user/gaswa ).
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace
Hi - my husband and I just returned from a week at this resort. We left hpme after reading some of the reviews on this website, wondering just what would greet us. We vere VERY pleasantly surprised with the resort, its cleanliness, and the food. I don't know where some of these reviewees were staying, but they definitely must have been at a different place! Our very clean room, in one of the hotel buildings, on the second floor, overlooking the beautiful waters of the Caribbean. We had a fresh fruit plate awaiting us, as well as bottled water and soft drinks in the refrigerator. The maid service was excellent, with cleverly done up towels in the shapes of various birds, etc., interwoven with fresh flowers, on our bed each day. The maid was thrilled with a $1.00 US each day, and a $5 tip when we left. It cost us so little, and she was so pleased.
We tried every restaurant except the Mexican, and found the food simply delicious. The only thing we would say that they could do better on was the beef - it wasn't as tender as Canadian. But the Italian, Japanese, and the Grill restaurants could not have been much better. The menu selections were excellent, and the quantity in abundance. The waiters were very professional, buth in their dress, and in their attention to detail. Reservations had to be made, and the men were asked to wear long pants - understandable, given the type of restuarant it was. The two buffet restaurants had ample choices, with no reason to go away hungry - quite the opposite, unfortunately. The resort is mandatory all-inclusive, $350 US each, including all beverages.
We found the bartenders very hospitable, friendly, and polite. I don't know where one of the writers found people that were not friendly to Canadians - quite the opposite, actually. The resort was about 90% European, but that just makes for a more interesting holiday. You can always learn something from another culture !
We also inquired and found out to our satisfaction that all water used in the kitchens for preparing food, ice cubes, etc, is either distilled or spring water. We saw only 3 mosquitoes while there, so the info that one needs to wear long sleeves in the evenings, and carry bug spray certainly was not necessary. It really was too warm for long sleeves, except maybe for one night.
One writer complained that the beach was not nice, and you couldn't swim in the ocean. Again, I don't know where she was but the beach was BEAUTIFUL. One end of the beach was a type of lava rock, but that was only 5-10% of the entire beach front. There was no problem swimming in the water. Many many people were in, including us, and enjoyed it immensely.
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace
Hello!! I am from Pennsylvania, USA. My boyfriend and I travelled to the Dominican March 4-9, 2004. We are both in our early 20's. We stayed at the Viva Dominicus Wyndham Palace. We had a GREAT trip and tell you all about it!!
ARRIVAL: We flew into the Santa Domingo Airport from Florida. We didn't realize that La Romana had an airport or we would have flew into there. After about an hour and a half cab ride, we arrived at the Dominicus Palace Resort. We walked into a marble filled lobby, with a person at the front desk who spoke english very well. After about 10 minutes we were escorted to our room.
ROOM: Our room was very big. We were located in the main building, which the lobby is connected to. Despite what other reviews said, everything was great. The air conditioning worked, there was LOTS of hot water, and the room was cleaned everyday. There was PLENTY of space and a cute balcony.
BEACH: Once we got changed we went right to the beach. It was around 5:00 and the sun was getting ready to set. It was AMAZING!! Great pictures!! There was white sands and blue water. There was some coral on the ocean floor, but mainly sandy and shell-free. The coral was actually really neat because there was AMAZING fish that lived there. We bought a snorkel set at the gift shop for $17.00 and it was well worth it. We brought bread from the breakfast buffet every morning and fed the fish. There had to be atleast 100 tropical fish around us. It was awesome.
POOL: Between the beach and the palace resorts there was about 5 pools. We mainly stayed at the pool at the palace. The water was clean and wasn't over crowded. Everyday at 11:30 was water aerobics, which was fun. Throughout the day music was playing and there are different activites to partake in. We played tug of war.
FOOD: The food was what I expected. Okay. The buffet at the beach resort is better than the one at the palace for dinner. There is a variety of different foods available. I mainly stuck to chicken, pizza, and pasta. Fruit and desserts were everywhere. Everyday for lunch we ate at the pizzareia. The pizza was really good!! There was fruit there as well. For dinner we ate at The Grill and La Scala-The Italian Restaurant. Both were VERY good. I heard that the mexican and oriental wasn't too good, so we didn't bother to make reservations there. For breakfast, we only ate at the palace buffet. It was good. They had cereal, eggs, pancakes, breakfast potatos, toast, etc. MAKE SURE YOU ORDER ROOMSERVICE in the morning. The orange juice and crossants were SO good!! I mean REALLY GOOD. The crossants were also available at the buffets.
BARS: As for the bars...there is plenty of them. About 4 or 5 I think. The bar over at the beach side was more populated at night. There was plenty of music and dancing. There was a dance party of the beach every other night at 11pm with a bon fire. It was a fun time. The bar on the palace side was more laid back, less populated, and had an older crowd. The disco was fun as well. We went there around 1am and had a blast!! My favorite drinks were Melon Balls, Sex on the Beach, and their Frozen Strawberry Daquaries!!
OVERVIEW: Overall we had a wonderful time. I don't know if some of the people that wrote reviews were at the same resort we were at. We are both in our early 20's and went on this vacation to relax and have fun and thats exactly what we did. The resort is filled with many couples, some familes, and few teens. It was hard to find people that spoke english, but that didn't bother us at all. Remember that a dollar goes a LONG WAY down there, especially with the bartenders. Everytime our drinks had 2 sips out of them, the bartender had a new on ready for us. He even went back into the bar when it was closed to get us a beer! You'll have a great time!!!!!!!!!!
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace
If you’re interested in the opinions and experience of an evangelical Christian family in the D.R, read on. If not… We flew into Santo Domingo, because it was considerably cheaper than La Romana, and learned some valuable lessons. The flight arrived after 11 pm, and though the airport was thronged with available transportation, our pre-arranged service was nowhere to be found. Luckily for us we brought one of our nieces with us, one who had previously spent 18 months as a missionary in the D.R. She spoke Spanish fluently (including the local dialect and slang) and negotiated another ride for us. The downside? We’d already spent $35 for the pre-arranged service (which was not refunded) and had to spend another $80 for the ride we negotiated at the airport. The four of us and a driver got stuffed into a Ford Escort station wagon and taken on a wild 90 minute cab ride. We arrived at the Viva Dominicus at 2 am, tired, bedraggled and ready for some sleep. Sadly, the hotel claimed to have no record of our reservation (!?!) and had no room ready for us. Of course we had our confirmation package with us at the time, and after a few phone calls and a 20 minute wait at the desk we were given a room. The upside? We were given a room with a beautiful view of the ocean, but charged only for the garden view room we’d originally booked (about a $20 per day upgrade).
We’d read a lot of horror stories about rooms at the Dominicus Resorts on this website, but our room was great. It was on the third floor, was clean and comfortable, and had an awesome view of the beach and ocean. We brought along some cosmetic items (lipstick, makeup, etc.) for our housekeeping staff. The $$ value was very small by US standards, but the ladies were very thankful and kept our room immaculate every day. We regularly had fresh flowers and decoratively folded towels on the beds. There bathroom was above average size for a hotel and we had plenty of hot water.
We woke up the first morning and stepped out onto the balcony to take in the view. The place is truly gorgeous and is every bit the island paradise shown in the brochures. It was 9 am and the beach was still nearly empty, with only a few groups heading out. Along with the beautiful blue water, white sand and palm trees we were also treated to the sight of a tanned, overweight, 70 year old man in a Speedo, along with his equally exposed wife. Welcome to the world’s hot spot for vacationing Italians. Very revealing swimwear was the norm for both men and women, and topless women were a regular sight when walking the beach. We were grateful that we’d brought our 11 year old daughter, who was oblivious to all the skin, rather than a son. My wife also found it odd that many of the little girls went topless, up to the age of about 8 or 9. We’re hardly prudes by American standards, but we were the most demurely dressed family on that beach.
The food at the buffet was plentiful at all meals, but wasn’t ‘awesome’. We took a cruise last year and enjoyed the food aboard ship more, maybe because it was more ‘Americanized’. The main dining room at the Palace was never packed, and eating at the buffet there was quick and easy. We ate one lunch at the Dominicus Beach Resort (adjoining on the beach) and found it to be much busier and harder to navigate. Our favorite evening meal was at the Italian restaurant. The selections there allowed us to be adventurous if we wished, but still get a good, solid meal. Even our daughter (very picky) enjoyed it. We ate at the Grille twice and found the meals there to be just ‘okay’. We never got to the Indian or Mexican restaurants on site, so we can’t comment on them.
Lots of smoking,
Lots of skin (attractive and otherwise)
‘The Castle’ theatrical performance (very dark and depressing, with a demonic theme)
Intestinal distress: Everyone got it at least once. Bring Immodium and/or Pepto Bismol. Both worked wonders.
Poverty away from the hotel grounds.
Very little drunkenness (remarkable considering alcohol was plentiful and free). We must give the Europeans some credit for moderation. A similar resort filled with our US brethren might have been a drunken zoo.
Natural beauty: Everywhere you looked. I was once a Navy Diver and had never seen the kinds of beauty we saw just snorkeling off the beach in the DR. Fish, stingrays, coral, urchins, flounder, etc. Awesome.
Hotel Staff: Both Dominican and European. They were friendly and helpful. Most were multi-lingual including one gentleman who spoke five languages fluently.
Weather: 80-85 degree highs each day, 70 degree lows. Moderate humidity. Overall, just about perfect. (Note: We were there in December).
Catalinita Snorkeling Excursion: Moderately priced ($35 per head including equipment, drinks and snacks). An unhurried morning to take in the local flora and fauna.
People wore various colored wristbands. We were never sure what they all meant. Ours were yellow, which was the same color as those worn at the neighboring Iberostar Hotel. We took the liberty of walking over there and found it to be the most beautiful hotel and grounds we’ve ever seen. Next time we’ll pay the extra $100 per day and try that hotel.
Poverty is rampant when you get outside the hotel grounds, and slapped us in the face in Santo Domingo. We took this trip as a combination pleasure and mission experience. We sponsor a child in Santo Domingo through World Vision and spent a day visiting her and the World Vision headquarters there. It was very humbling and we’ve decided to sponsor two more children in the same area. They’ve done amazing things with the small amount of money they’re given per child.
If you have the time, Old Santo Domingo is an interesting place. We visited the oldest cathedral in the Western Hemisphere, as well as the original burial spot for Christopher Columbus (his body was later moved to a lighthouse in the city). We also toured some shops selling amber and Larimar, a local semi-precious stone. Street hustlers were plentiful, but generally left us alone if we just said ‘no’. It helped greatly to have our niece with us. We know just enough Spanish to be polite and wouldn’t have been able to get around easily on our own. It helped even more that our niece’s boyfriend surprised us all by flying in on our second day. He’s 6’7” and also speaks fluent Spanish. As a side note, he proposed to her on the beach the day before we left. Very romantic for them both.
We will go back to the DR next year, but will probably stay in the Iberostar rather than either of the Dominicus resorts
Club Viva Dominicus Palace - Bayahibe
Ninon, Lorraine Canada
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace à Bayahibe du 5 au 19 novembre 2004.
L’arrivée s’est très bien déroulée, très rapide. Nous avons eu nos chambres rapidement.
Très bel hôtel. J’ai eu une chambre face à la mer. À deux pas de la piscine et de la plage. Seul inconvénient il y avait une porte communicante dans la chambre. Nous avons dû rappelé à l’ordre notre voisine qui parlait très fort au téléphone à 4 hres du matin, ensuite nous n’avons plus eu de problème. On entendait dans la chambre la musique du bar ou du spectacle quand il y en avait un mais je l’acceptais vu le bon emplacement de ma chambre. Pour ceux qui aime dormir la porte ouverte, il y a une porte moustiquaire. J’ai trouvé les petites maisons en pierre au Beach très belles. Elles avaient le toît recouvert de feuillage ça ressemblait aux maisons aux toîts de chaume en Angleterre. C’était très agréable d’aller prendre le café à leur place centrale au bord de la mer, c’était très joli.
Étant au Palace nous avions droit à quatre restaurants et au buffet du Palace et du Beach. La nourriture est bonne mais je l’ai trouvée répétitive par contre les desserts étaient très bons. J’ai connu mieux ailleurs. Une personne étant déjà allée à cet hôtel a dit que c’était beaucoup mieux avant. Il y a le restaurant mexicain ordinaire, chinois bon, italien bon, grill ordinaire.
J’en ai vu seulement trois. Grease bon, Moulin Rouge bon, El Castillo moyen et vu par mon conjoint I live dancing très bon. La plupart des spectacles avaient lieu à l’hôtel Beach.
L’animation était limitée. J’ai beaucoup aimé les tournois de pétanque le matin et l’après-midi. J’ai joué contre des allemands, français et italiens. Pour les personnes qui veulent de l’action c’est au Beach que ça se passe.
J’ai fait du catamaran avec mon conjoint plusieurs fois, mon conjoint en a fait tous les jours. Que c’est agréable de voguer tous les deux sur la mer, les couleurs de l’eau sont tellement belles.
Ce que j’ai grandement apprécié c’est de pouvoir faire de l’apnée à quelques pieds du bord de la plage. Les meilleurs moments sont le matin et en fin d’après-midi. J’ai vu plusieurs variétés de poissons turbots, raie etc. Quand je fais de l’apnée le temps passe sans que je le remarque.
J’ai apprécié mes vacances et j’y serais restée une semaine de plus.
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace
The new Mrs. MKG
For our honeymoon, my husband and I spent one week at the wonderful Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace. The week was a gift to us from his parents who are RCI owners. We flew into Santo Domingo and scheduled a cab with Rafael Silva as recommended by other reviewers. The ride was 2 hours from Bayahibe where the resort is located. Rapheal’s service is prompt and efficient. Flying into SDQ saved us several hundred dollars in airfare.
Upon check in, we were greeted with glasses of champagne. Our rooms were not ready yet, but we paid our all-inclusive fees and checked out the “Yuka” dining room. The food was pretty good with local flavor. The meals had many different appetites in mind from Italian to American, low fat to local style… At 3 we checked into our room. The rooms are very standard hotel rooms with balconies. They were clean and had a nice view of the ocean and beach/pool areas. We lounged around the pool and returned to our room to find a plate of fresh fruit on the table.
We loved the resort- bottom line!! The employees are friendly and eager. They have smiles on their faces and say hello as they pass you. The animation team is tireless in their activities and ensure a fun or relaxing vacation. I never found trouble finding an employee who spoke English when I needed something. The resort is beautifully laid out. The water was incredibly warm and a beautiful hue of blue. We enjoyed the all inclusive drinks. My favorite became the Coco-Loco and my husband loved the Rum and Cokes.
The food was good, and just as I expected from an all-inclusive resort. It was not 5 star dining, but the food was pretty good for buffet dining. I was sure to bring Immodium for us which made our honeymoon more enjoyable. I recommend starting your day by the pool for cappuccino or order room service for OJ and croissants (delicious). Breakfast is at “La terrace” or “Yuka” with a wide selection of light to heavy breakfasts. Lunch is in the same dining rooms along with “the Grill” (never made it there) or burgers and hotdogs by the pools. For dinner we branched out. Mike liked “La Terrace” dining room better than the “Yuka.” RCI members eat at “Bambu” “La Scala” and the Mexican restaurant for free. Make reservations at least one day ahead. The pizzeria is open all night long. The pizzas are wood-fired and very good. The dessert selection is incredible and delicious at all of the dining rooms. Also the decorative fruit carvings are impressive.
We spent much of our time crossing over between the Dominicus Beach and Palace. “la Terrace” and the Grill are located on the Beach side. We found the beach side to have more nightly activity, but appreciated the quiet of the Palace side when we were too tired to party. There are nightly shows in the theatre on the Beach- just fun cabaret routines. Mon Wed and Fri are bigger shows at the Palace theatre. One show was a musical review of “grease” where they used many vacationing guests in the show.
During the days we spent time in the beach or the pool. We got certified for open-water SCUBA diving which took three days. The cost was unbelievably inexpensive! It was the highlight of our trip. The instructors are wonderful and each speaks several languages. WE went on four dives.
I can’t say enough about the resort. We plan to go back next year. We tried the sailing and canoes. We had trouble locating other English speaking guests as it is a primarily Italian and European resort. But we ended up speaking with many interesting people from all over the world.
Here are a few tips about the resort to help you enjoy your trip better:
Bring sunscreen and immodium- these are expensive in the hotel store
Bottled water is stocked daily in your mini fridge in the room
Internet access is slow and a bit costly- although it is more dependable than the vendors outside the resort.
Bring enough cash or traveler’s checks for your needs. An ATM is located off premise, which made me nervous
Bring a coverup for dining if you are coming straight from the beach
Make any reservations as soon as you arrive to ensure you get to try all the extra restaurants
Make a point to visit a show and the disco. We never made it to the disco
Enjoy the many nationalities you will encounter during your stay. We enjoyed meeting people from all over the world.
Have a great time! We can’t wait to go back.
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace
California, United States
My family and I stayed at the Viva Dominicus Palace from June 18 thru June 26. After reading all of the reviews, I was a little hesitant about what I would find. I have to say that I am VERY happy with everything except the food. The beach is excellent. The cool crystal blue water was a sight to remember. The pools are very nice as well although 5 ft. is the deepest they go. Service was GREAT. All employees are very friendly and greet you with a smile every time they see you. Service at the bar(s) was great although a dollar tip went a long way. Rooms were nice. Housekeeping kept the room clean with fresh water and towels everyday. My check-in and checkout were quick and easy. Shows were cool and the pool and beach activities kept you busy, watching or playing. All excursions were very inexpensive compared to other resort prices.
Now for the food: it was bad. I was surprised that a resort of this caliber cannot offer their guests good dining, even decent dining would have done. The Mexican restaurant was good but all others sucked. The buffets are bad as well. The pizza place was ok as long as you stuck to the plain cheese pizza. I am not a five star restaurant diner and did not expect five stars dining from this resort but what I got was no star dining. I was dying for an in & out Burger (for west coast readers). I managed to survive on buffet french fries and cheese pizza. I got a bad case of the green-apple splatters that I am still trying to kick. DO NOT even think of eating hotdogs at the bars by the pool. The hot dogs are horrible (I actually just gagged from remembering the unforgettable taste). The burgers are not too far behind.
Anyway, enough bashing. I will repeat, if you take away the food, this resort is excellent. The environment, people, service, drinks were grade A. I also did not run into any rude Europeans. I have to say I was kind of looking for it after reading some reviews but they were nothing but nice. Great resort to visit if you can work around eating there.
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace
>Edwin & Rosa Halifax ., Nova Scotia
Me, my wife and kids returned from Viva Dominicus Palace on April 22nd. The resort was excellent. I still don't understand the horrible reviews some people gives to this resort in regards to the food or the rudeness of some employees, cleanliness of the rooms, etc. I DID NOT SEE ANY OF THESE. The beach was A+, nice white sand and turquoise waters with some coral reefs
(small) that my kids and myself enjoyed plenty of.
The rooms were always clean, with plenty of water and soft drinks in the room's fridge. If you consume more than the usual amount, you just have to request more of it to the maid when you arrive. The food is plenty, there are 5 restaurants and 2 buffets, for the restaurants you need reservation, we tried them all and we enjoyed them (specially the Mexican, the Italian and La Pizzeria). The buffet caters for every taste available, they have pizzas, fish, pastas, salads, french fries, local Dominican dishes, beef, pork, chicken, fruits (mostly tropical), desserts (tropical and north American type), bread of many different kinds, etc. The pools (4 in total) were all clean and with different daily activities, if you like noise you could go to the Beach resort area pool where there were activities and music almost all day long, the pool in the Palace side was a little more quiet but still with some noise but if you didn't want noise at all you could go to the pool by El Trago Bar where it was very quiet. Overall the pools are for all kind of moods. There was a show at the theater every night. Before and after that, most of the people conglomerated at the Plazita bar where there was either a band or a D.J. playing music and the people were dancing, having a drink, talking or simply enjoying the night there. I found it very exciting there every night I will say in my own opinion, the highlight of the resort. For parents with small children who could not go to the disco at night, they had the opportunity to have some night life too, in which children could tag along to La Plazita. There is a Bank on the Beach side where you can do your transaction as if you were back home, or if you just need to change high bills to small bills, it was very convenient (Advise: Bring U.S.Currency, since our Canadian money is exchanged unequally compared to the U.S. Dollar and the current exchange rate we have. For example: one Canadian dollar is worth 27 Dominican pesos and one U.S Dollar is worth 44 Dominican pesos., you do the math). At the Beach there are all kind of gears and activities you can get involved on, either you can go sailing, scuba diving, play beach volleyball etc. There is a whole street with shops that goes from the entrance of Palace Resort to the entrance of the Beach Resort where you can buy souvenirs, a roll of film, jewelry , a bottle of rum or anything you run short of while on the trip for a very reasonable price, they are all clean and safe to walk, you never feel unsafe. The employees at the resort in general were good, well manner and polite, always smiling never rude as some people otherwise say, they try to blend in with the tourist as it's their job to make you feel welcome, if you have a problem either at the restaurant, your room or elsewhere, they try to solve it right away I found them very helpful and I thank them through this review. There is also an English speaking person at the Palace front desk 24 hrs in case of problems. Obviously there were also things that I did not like, for example, the Dico-Bar, the music there I found it a waste of time, they played more techno-music that anything else I felt like I was at a rave dance more than if I was in the tropic, I was hoping for Merengue,Salsa,Rock,etc. everything, or different kind of music for all ages (I am 45 but I appreciate hip hop music as much I appreciate music from the 70's). I went twice but didn't enjoyed both times, the acoustic was also terrible. Also at the pools the only thing that they serve as food where Hot Dogs and Burgers and after two days there you get tired of the same, hope they can change the menu or expand it and serve grilled fish, pork and beef for all taste. Adding on I went to la Romana Town and Los altos de Chavon village one day and I was overcharged after I was told different price at the beginning at the front desk so if you go there make sure that you confirm with the driver the price before you hop in. But in General the trip was excellent, unforgettable and I will recommend this resort to any person looking for a good place to stay. I should also mention that there were lots of families with children as well as couples with no kids. In other words it was a Resort for all kind of taste.
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace
Yana & Mike
Just came back from Viva, here are some of our impressions on the scale from 1 to 5:
Food 1 (Horrible, always empty trays)
We did not eat anything for about a day (some bread and boiled eggs) After less then 24 hours at this resort we asked our Apple rep to move us to Sunscape or Iberostar. He was able to move us to Iberostar next day (paradise) Our advice, stay away from this place, we were told that Applevacations will be dropping Viva from their service in the nearest future, that should tell you something about this resort.
Club Viva Dominicus Palace - Bayahibe
Du 20 octobre au 27 octobre 2003 au Club Viva Dominicus Palace. Nous avons
voyagé avec Air Transat en Club Transat qui, d'après nous, au delà du siège,
n'en vaut vraiment pas la peine, la nourriture et le service y sont très
standard. Les vols fûrent à l'heure et sans turbulence. Je ne sais pas si
c'est moi, mais les films dans les avions sont de plus en plus plates. De L'aéroport de La Romana vous prendrez 20 minutes à arriver à Bayahibe. Le check-in se fit rapidement et sans problèmes, ils vous remettent la clef,
le remote, les cartes pour les serviettes de plages, et vous indiquent le
chemin de la chambre.
Les chambres sont supérieures, 2 lits queens, un réfrigérateur, un
téléviseur avec cable, un balcon/terrasse, une salle de bain complète, un
air climatisé performant. Il y a des chambres avec lit King et un coin
salon, ainsi que des suites junior, avec petite dînette. Toutes munies d'un
coffret de sûreté à combinaison numérique (gratuit).
La plage est magnifique, le sable y est blanc et doux, la mer est d'un bleu
turquoise, la plongée en apnée est magnifique, si la mer n'est pas trop
Les restaurants. Au Palace il y a deux restos, le buffet et la Scala
(Italien), on a accès aux 4 autres restaurants du Dominicus qui est juste à
coté. Le grill, la terrassa, le mexicain et la pizzeria. La nourriture est
diversifiée et très bonne, les pâtes sont excellentes, la scala et le grill
sont recommandés, mais le système de réservation est, disons,... absurde. Tous les matins il y a un line up de 45 minutes pour le soir même, il n'y a
pas de limite quant au nombre de fois que l'on peut aller à un resto à la
carte. Alors levez vous tôt ou bien aller au buffet. À la piscine il y a un
bar où l'on sert des expresso et capuccino excellent. Le matin il y a
yogourt, croissant et fruit à compter de 8:00 am.
Les activités débutent dès 10:00 am avec le dart et l'enfilade: jeux fou à
la plage, aquagym, leçons de merengue, water-polo, soccer, volley ball,
aérobie, etc...Les cours de meringue sont excellents, et vous feront
apprendre leurs chanson VIVA!
L'ÉQUIPE D'ANIMATION EST FANTASTIQUE, ils travaillent 16 heures par jour et
sont toujours là pour vous divertir. Les spectacles de danse au Dominicus
Beach sont formidables à ne pas manquer: Michael Jackson, Dancing Alive,
Chicago 38, Brazilian, etc... Les lundi et vendredi il y a les talents show
où se sont les touristes qui font les spectacles, très drôles. Après les
spectacles, il y a toujours un thème au Placita bar (Place centrale du
Dominicus Beach) vers les 11:00. Soirée Mexicain, Gitans, Bikini, Paréo,
piano bar etc et ce jusqu'à 12:30 am, après les gens marchent et se rendent
à la Disco jusqu'à 2:30 am. On a participé au tournoi de waterpolo, la
finale a eu lieu à 11:30 pm à la piscine centrale du Dominicus, et nous
avons cette fois perdu 5-4 en overtime, devant près de 300 personnes. L'animation au Palace est superbe, Javier,Manuel, Saulo, et Ariel sont
formidables. Si vous y allez dites leurs un gros bonjour de la part de
Stéphane de Montréal. Surtout à Javier, qui est en charge de l'animation. Ce
sont tous d'excellents danseurs, ils sont très puissants. L'équipe au
Dominicus avec Alfredo et le chanteur du piano bar sont tous aussi
excellents. Comme ils disent là-bas: Shooobydoo yy Shoobydoo ha animation
La température est superbe, le soleil est de plomb, apportez beaucoup de
lotion solaire avec vous, vous ne le regretterez pas. Participez à tout ce
dont vous pouvez vous allez avoir les vacances de votre vie. Nolitour donne la cote de 5 étoiles à ce resort, je dirais plus un 4 étoile
dans le devenir un 5 dans quelques années. Nous avons rencontrés des gens
Nous avons tous acheté le CD d'une quinzaines de chansons de merengue de la
place, que j'écoute encore pour me remémorer de très beaux souvenir. Encore une fois:Shooobydoo yy Shoobydoo ha, Animation PALACE
P.S.: Dites Bonjour à Javier de ma part SVP! et à toute l'équipe fantastique