I have been living in New York City almost all my life. I always wanted to visit Bayahibe, so I decided to book a three night stay at the Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach Resort in Bayahibe. The hotel atmosphere is horrible. My first experience with their staff was unacceptable. My family and I arrived at the hotel at 1:00 PM and were told that we would have to wait until after 3:00 P.M to check our room. ******* ****** the receptionist at the desk was very rude.
I had made reservations for two separate rooms with the same Confirmation Number, however she insisted on asking me to give her the voucher Number for the other room. I told her that the reservation was under the same confirmation Number and that I was the person who made the reservations on the Internet through a company named “Bookit.Com”. She told me that she could not do anything unless I gave her the second Confirmation Number. After several tries she told me that she would call Bookit and get it from them. I later discovered that this information was not necessary since I only needed the only Confirmation Number that I was given by “Bookit.Com. At about 3:30 P.M. I went back to the reception desk to see if our room was ready. She gave us the keys and a lock to the safe deposit box in each room. She then instructed the bell-boy to walk us to our room which was very far from the entrance and he left us behind rushing to get rid of us. After walking to the rooms, I discovered that they gave us the wrong room that I have reserved. I had reserved two rooms with two double size beds facing the ocean and instead they took it upon themselves to give us two rooms facing another building, which blocked the entire view. These rooms were so far from the entrance that I decided to take them and not complain, although they were not the rooms we had requested. Also, let me mentioned that I had asked for two rooms with double beds, however, one of the rooms only had a full-size bed. Let me also add that the service of the hotel is horrible. My daughter and I wanted to use the internet so we went to pay to use it and were asked if were paying by American currency or Dominican Pesos. Since we had so much money in pesos, we decided to pay the attendant in pesos. I asked her for the price and she told me that it would cost me 170 dominican pesos or $5 US dollars. When paid her with the Dominican pesos she told us, with an attitude that she did not have any change to give us. I was wondering why would she asked me what currency I was going to use if she did not give me an option to pay her with Dominican pesos. We paid her in US dollars since that was the only option available, according to her. She then gave us a receipt and sent us to the internet room to use the computer. The computers in the computer room were not only old, but they were not working, They kept eating out money and not given us any internet connection. After several attempts, we thought that perhaps something was wrong with the connection and went back to the same lady who originally attended us. She told us that she could not do anything about refunding us. However, I told her that we could not pay for something we did not use. She, again, spoke to us with an attitude as though it was our fault that the internet was not working. I asked her to go to the internet room with us so that she could see it with her own eyes that those computers were not working. She made a rude comment before given us back a refund.
The only good thing about this hotel was the food and a guy who served us in the dining room, who happened to be very pleasant and courteous. (His name is Jeffrey). When checking out of the hotel we encountered the same rude receptionist who told us that we had to walk back to our room and get the lock for the safe deposit box from the rooms. I told her that these rooms were too far away to walk around with our luggages and that perhaps she should send one of their bell boys who were not doing anything to check the rooms. She proceeded by lying and told us that she did not have any available staff. We then asked for her supervisor and when she came out she apologized for the behavior of the receptionist My daughter feels that after this ordeal we were discriminated against because we were Hispanics. We never had this problem at any of the other resorts we reserved in the country. I will certainly be telling my friends and my family about this ordeal and not to use this hotel. I also told this hotel that I would send a copy of my review to Bookit.com as well so that they could look into the services of this hotel.
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach
My 18 year old daughter and I went to the resort November 2007 to surprise my Father and Step mum who were already at the resort with my step sis, her husband, two others from CT (all six of those are from CT), two from Missouri and we are from ON.
I certainly felt that my 18-year-old daughter and I had value for money. When I chatted with others about how much they had paid to stay at the same resort (some 100% more). Shop around. It's worth it.
The resort is beautiful. Beaches are well taken care of (my legs were bitten on the beach so take bug repellent). Many loungers available and lots of shade if you want shade.
Grounds are well maintained and beautiful. There are many different pools to choose from and you can go to the Palace next door to use pool and eat.
Our room was a 'superior' room. It was clean, well taken care of and good storage. It even had a little kitchen - not sure what that was for (see pic) because, of course, no need to cook yourself because the resort is all-inclusive.
Food was average. I've had better at other resorts but for sure there was plenty to choose from.
There is a shopping area immediately outside of the resort and we went there in the evening and ate at a local restaurant. Had delicious lobster (I didn't see lobster served at the resort). There is a lobster special at this particular restaurant for $32.
We went on a trip off the resort. The ride down the river. It was great. Maximo and Richard hosted a fun filled adventure with lots of rum (see pic).
Some of the evening shows were great ... some need a bit of work. I appreciate how hard those kids work to pull the shows together.
Difficult to get a coffee in the morning in the buffet. Servers not entirely attentive. But that's probably the only thing that bugged me .... so, overall, we had a great time and I wouldn't have any hesitation in recommending this resort.
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach
I have traveled to the Dominican more than 10 times and on each occasion my girlfriend and I have heavily utilized your web site in evaluating and selecting our hotel destination. I am American and from Massachusetts and I just returned home last night from a week at the Viva Dominican Beach and Palace resort and would like to share my opinions and feelings about the trip.
We LOVED our time there, it was our second stay at the Viva Dominicus, last time at the palace side, this time the Beach side.Upon arrival at the front desk I notified the check in assistant that this was a trip to celebrate my 50th birthday and she immediately upgraded me from a superior room to a bungalow and gave us a bungalow that was in the front row, directly on the beach on the beach side resort! The stone bungalow was of ample size, nicely decorated and amazingly located on the beach, we fell asleep nightly to the sound of the ocean waves and woke daily to the same. For the most part the room was quiet and our little paradise, it was close to the center plaza so the music at night was a tad loud but because of type music it was tolerable and kind of fun to hear, we learned to love the Bachata sound!
I summary though the trip was an incredible value, the grounds very well maintained, the various restaurants offered a great atmosphere and tasty foods.The resort would benefit from teaching English to it's employee's so that they could better communicate with us...I will definitely go back!
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach
Wilmington, NC, USA
Flew into Punta Cana airport on direct flight form Charlotte, NC on USAir. Easy trip. Don’t’ know why more American don’t do it!
Raphael Sylva was there to pick us up (me, wife and 13 and 18 y.o. daughters) and take us to Bayahibe. Exciting ride for about 70 minute drive. He offered to stop and let us get a Presidente. He was twenty minute early when he returned four days later to transport us to the airport for our return flight. On the return trip he took us on a short cut through about 30 miles of sugarcane fields. It knocked off at least 15 minutes. I guess he didn’t drive us that way when we first got there because I would have been very concerned if it was our first experience in a strange place riding with an unknown driver 40 miles in the middle of cane field for the first time. But it was a good look at how Dominicans live and work. No extra charge for the tour!
The resort had gotten mixed reviews, so let me add to them. If you relax and actually get into a vacation state of mind it is great! If you are spoiled and need pampering 24/7 go to a Ritz Carlton. The staff was very attentive and we speak nothing but English. We had very little trouble communicating. A lot of Italians were there during our visit. Was beside a lady from the UK at the beach bar one day and she was very crappy toward the bartender for being ignored because she spoke the wrong language, so I told her from my experience it wasn’t the language, but possible the accent! It is difficult knowing who was there first when you have a bar with no line and some one shouts out a drink order in Spanish. As it turned out, the barkeep spoke English well and understood all the crappy things the lady had been saying, so the bartender apologized and helped the UK lady, for which she didn’t even receive a thank you. Now wander there could be anti English attitudes that develop. None was noticed by me however.
The animation staff was tireless at there efforts to make it a fun time for all. You see them at the pool and beach areas all day dancing with the guests, setting up games and competitions, and at night they provide dancing, comedy, and shows. They are very entertaining and give a sense that they enjoy the guests as much as we enjoyed them. After the show was over each night (about 11:00 pm) they would then play music and dance in the pool and bar area until early in the morning.
The food was as good as any night out back home. I don’t understand people that complain about finding something that they like to eat. My only complaint would be that ice is a short commodity during the buffet dining and they have trouble with keeping the drinks carbonated due to the number of guest that drink during lunch meals. But there is always the option of tea, wine, or beer.
Or youngest daughter,13, had a Fastpitch softball tournament she was to pitch in when we returned home on Friday, so we brought our ball and gloves so she could practice pitching every day. The Dominicans love baseball. One day she was pitching on the Soccer field and a Dominican bellman was walking by and he stopped to watch her pitch to me. She pitches very fast and the ball smarts when you miss catching the pitch. After watching me get smacked about a half dozen times by the ball, he stepped up and tried to communicate that her wanted my glove. So he then caught my daughters pitching for about half an hour. He was beaming with smiles the whole time! This was just one example of how helpful and friendly the Dominican people are.
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach
Chris & Missy Cincinnati Ohio USA
About us: Chris & Missy mid-30’s married couple from Cincinnati, Ohio USA who have been to Grand Cayman and to Nassau, Bahamas in the last 10 years. We enjoy snorkeling, photography, dining, tours & relaxation while on vacation.
The Good/Great: Beautiful location on the Southeast side of the Island (near La Romana & National park). The resort grounds are well-kept with lots of lush greenery and clean walks and beaches. The room (#1205 just feet from the main lobby) was clean and air-conditioned (almost TOO cold!) with no musty smell. Our maid appreciated the daily $3 tip and note saying “Gracias” by leaving us plenty of bottled water and by making beautiful arrangements using our towels and some flower petals from the plants outside our room. She greeted us with a friendly “Hola!” each time we saw her. The bar was well-staffed with multi-lingual bartenders who were very fast. Raynier was our favorite. He quickly memorized what I ordered each time (Vodka tonic with a lime) and by the third day, he would have it for me without my even asking! The food was delicious, if just a little different. My wife and I tried each of the 5 restaurants on the property and were most impressed with “La Scala” (Italian) and “Roca Grill” (beautiful ocean view). The main buffet was pretty good with a nice variety of fish, vegetables and even some excellent pizza, coffee, fruits and breads. The shopping inside the resort was good and pressure-free. The shopping just outside our resort was more extensive but also more exhausting mentally. After walking by 4 or 5 shops and being constantly urged to “just come in and look at my merchandise!” we were worn out! We did manage to buy a few items out there for what we felt was a good price so it was worth the hassle. We paid $40 for one of the larger brightly-colored paintings being sold by just about everyone in the area. The same size piece inside the resort was going for $60 or more. (Read the tips for negotiating elsewhere on this site for some good advice before you go). The “animation” staff was incredibly hard-working! They would be out on the plaza/beach giving dance lessons, leading aerobics, playing games and having fun all afternoon, put on a show in the evening (9:45pm every night) and then be out dancing with the guests again after the show! The Euros staying here (about 60% Italians) added an extra bit of exotic feel by sunbathing topless (bring your sunglasses men), sipping espresso & cappuccino after dark, dressing up and dancing into the early morning hours (well past our bedtime). Many guests were with their children (infants to teens) which didn’t bother us at all but might turn some travelers off. Ariel at “Guest services” was great and helped us set up reservations and sign up for the excursions!
The not-so-good: We flew into Punta Cana airport and thought we were in for a 40-minute cab ride to our resort. It was more like an hour and a half! While not unbearable, it would have been preferable to fly into La Romana airport (we tried but the direct flight from Cincy to Punta Cana was too good to pass up). Like almost everyone we’ve talked to, despite drinking only bottled water and not gorging ourselves at meals, we ended up with a little stomach illness while there but it wasn’t anything a little Pepto-Bismol couldn’t handle (bring a whole bottle!). Our cameras would get so cold in our room after a couple hours that they would be fogged up for an hour or so when we took them out into the humid air. We solved this problem by setting the camera bag outside on the patio when we were in the room so that they didn’t cool down at all. I carefully disguised the bag with chairs and towels and had no problems with theft but it was still a risk (we were on the first floor with a garden outside our room that had very few people using it). The two excursions we took were mixed results. The snorkeling/ starfish gazing/ sandbar visit trip we took was on a day with very rough seas which made for a brutal ride to our destinations but they were great once we got there! The other trip we took was on horseback along the beach in the nearby National park. Our guide who spoke almost no English, managed to show us a beautiful time even climbing a tree to get us a coconut which he opened and served us. The 3-hour trip was a little rough on the rear-end but, again, worth the pain. The theater where the “animation” staff put on the shows each night was terribly hot and humid with a full house. The shows were a little “cheesy” (a Michael Jackson lip-syncing spectacular, an abbreviated, lip-synced “Grease” and “Aladdin”… lip-synced of course) but watch able, if it weren’t for the overly-loud music and sauna-like conditions.
Comments: Tip your maid and bartenders daily and you’re likely to get great service! Bring Pepto-Bismol, sunglasses (mirrored for the guys), a stack of $ingles for tipping and a hat to avoid sunburned scalps and foreheads (ouch!). Learn a little Spanish… It’s very much appreciated. Say “Hola!” to Raynier at the main bar for us!
My wife, 2 daughters (10 & 12) and I just got back from spring break at Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach. WOW! We absolutely loved it!! This place is beautiful! Please help me spread the word. More Americans need to travel here, it's definitely worth the money. I just can't understand what I've heard about the complaints and bad reviews. The only thing was the 2 hour ride from the Santa Domingo airport and the lack of English-speaking people. I feel like if more people hear how great it is though, more Americans would travel here. I definitely recommend it.
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach
Mark and Kathy Chicago
My wife and I stayed at Wyndham Viva Dominicus the second week of August this year (luck was with us and hurricane Charley missed us), our feelings about the resort:
1. Americans are the minority (we're from Chicago). We thought this made the place more interesting since many of the European guests speak english. If hearing announcements in Spanish and Italien, before english, bothers you, this will be a problem. This also made it neat when you met other Americans, we had a great time drinking and hanging out with a couple from Dallas, and we had a great time on the sunset cruise with a couple from Indianapolis.
2. I read some negative reviews about the food before going and was a little worried. If your expectation is that the restaurants are going to be similiar to a Ponderosa buffet or a TGI Fridays, you'll be dissapointed. However, if you are willing to accept a different style of eating (order of courses, different preparation of vegetables, etc.) you'll enjoy the food. We experimented alot and were almost always very pleased with the result. Of the restaurant's requiring reservations, our favorite was the Mexican food place - it was awsome!
3. I can't say enough about the dive shop. The people were very accomodating about speaking english, even though we were the definite minority on the dives. In addition, the staff was professional, skilled, paid attention to safety, and all of them were very friendly. The dives themselves were great - and it was unbelievably inexpensive ($35 a dive, plus $6 for equipment).
4. The beach was great! The water was a very comfortable tempature and very clear. The sand was nice, clean, and there were always lounges available. It was interesting to us Americans that the beach would almost completely clear out from 1:30 to 3:00 for lunch. We took re-usable containers for water that we refilled at the bars, this was very helpful as it is warm and humid.
5. We had a junior suite room that was very nice. We had no problems with the maid service, cleanliness, or the air conditioning. Our bed was very comfortable and we slept better than we normally do while away from home.
Overall, we had a great and memorable time. We would definitely recommend Viva Dominicus to anyone!!
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach
Just a few short comments to add to the mix: A group of 38 from Shreveport, LA just spent a week there. We had stayed at Punta Cana before, and wanted to try the Caribbean side.
The Good - (1) beautiful grounds (2) beautiful clean beach (3) clean rooms (4) clear water, good snorkeling right there (5) friendly and helpful staff (though not all spoke English) (6) always lots of food, and it's good, but different. (7) day trip to Catalina - lot's of fun, divers liked the dives, and snorkelers had fun. Lunch on the beach was OK - similar to the resort (8) Funny boats (little 2-man speed boats)- some of group did those, and had a blast (9) Day trip to Saona - some of group did that, and liked the handling of the giant starfish (10) Altos de Chavon - very close and impressive - you oughta see it. We were disappointed in the artwork, but the place is cool. (11) I don't dive, but I think all our divers thought it was real good. (12) new Trane a/c units in the bungalows.
The Bad - (1) Day trip of shopping and Altos de Chavon - we went to a cigar factory (interesting), Columbus square (just a big souvenir shop), and El Supermercado (a giant Wal-Mart). The shopping was a disappointment. (2) A few of us had mild cases of "la tourista" and two were sick for 24 hours - cause unidentified (3) noise level at night - if your room is close to the main lobby, don't plan on going to bed early. The show runs from around 10:00-11:00 nightly. It is LOUD. The staff moved several of our group, so if it's a problem, just ask. (4) specialty restaurants - not really special, and you generally have to make reservations a day or so in advance (we liked the Japanese place best).
The Ugly - (1) For about 45 minutes right at dusk, there was an onslaught of tiny black gnats. They would spray, and it would be better, then the little beggars would be back the next night.
This may be seasonal. We solved the problem by altering our routine - going in a little later to clean up, and emerging around 7:45 or 8:00 to eat. It's short lived, but very disconcerting when it's happening, especially if you are eating. (2) One evening there was no hot water (anywhere). We all took cold showers, though that really wasn't too bad. Only happened once. (3) In the hotel type building (near the
Palace) a few of our group complained of a sewerage smell daily.
Didn't happen to me, and the staff moved everyone who wanted to.
So - I'd say go. Great location, beautiful resort, grounds, and beach. Friendly and helpful staff. Topless Europeans (and
thongs/speedos on both sexes). The food is good, maybe a little better
than standard all-inclusive. You will get a little tired of it after a week. A few minor glitches - but with a staff always ready to help.
Very similar to Punta Cana - the beach was not quite as pretty (not as much shade), but the water was better. I would be glad to answer questions - e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach
Just returned from the Viva Dominicus Beach Resort, and thought I’d add my views to the mix. Before I decided on the resort, I studied various reviews and was struck by the disparity in opinions. Some folks had exasperating experiences there, and some liked it just fine. Not sure my views are definitive, but the might help others make sense out of the wide range of opinions.
First, overall this is a moderate property, with some nicer features and some not-as-nice. The Dominicus Palace, next door, has facilities that are a notch above, but isn’t a “high end” resort, either. As has been noted, guests have use of most of the facilities of either resort.
The grounds are quite well kept, and the plantings are beautiful. I’m guessing that the oldest parts of the resort are 30+ years old, and show some age despite renovations and good maintenance. Construction is predominately coral rock and thatch… so the color scheme is overwhelmingly grey and beige, as opposed to newer resorts in other areas that are mostly bright and primary colors. The resort was obviously built in several different stages and styles, so it looks more like 4-5 different resorts smooshed together on the same property. Clearly not one of the newer McResorts, that kind of all blandly emulate one another’s setup and style.
The Dominicus Beach is run by Italians for Italians. Others are welcomed, of course, but make no mistake about it, this is an Italian resort. While we were there, I’d estimate 80-90% of the clientele was Italian. Dominicans working there have working Italian as their second language, and maybe English or German as their third. There were times when communication in English was a challenge, but it was not a consistent or insurmountable problem.
Some specifics: The property is sited on a sandy bay between two rocky promontories, with the Dominicus Palace on a separate, adjacent stretch of beach. On the promontories at either end of the bay, water access was either very limited or impossible, and this included several hundred yards of beach fronting oceanfront bungalows. (These rooms had gorgeous and uncrowded beachfront, but water access required a stroll down the beach.)
The “main beach” is quite unusual. Smack dab in the middle of the bay are several large patch reefs, consisting of rock outcrops and live and dead coral, in 3-6 feet of water. Actually decent snorkeling for neophytes, as the reefs (and bay) are densely populated by fish (lots of small parrotfish, sergeant majors and the like… but we saw stingrays, sennet and several octopi…). The water is so clear that on calm mornings, you can “snorkel” these reefs by walking around their perimeters, looking down into the water with polarized sunglasses, and watch a large variety of fish happily going about their fishy business.
We stayed in oceanfront bungalows, and the rooms are quite small, but have beautiful settings and views. If you get one of these rooms with two beds, as my kids did, they are actually quite cramped. We noticed a “musty smell” in one of our rooms that others alluded to, but it dissipated once the AC was turned on. One of the in-room ‘fridges was balky at first, and took a few hours to cool down to our liking. Bottled water and sodas replenished every day.
The food ranges from marginal to actually quite good. The Mexican Restaurant was our favorite, followed by La Roca Grill. I’d compare the Mexican food to Chili’s or Chichi’s, and the grill offers a mixed bag of freshly grilled seafood and meat selections (no steaks). The main buffet, at all meals, is heavily tilted toward Italian tastes, emphasizing antipasto and pasta choices at lunch and dinner. “Traditional American” fare is almost entirely absent, apart from pizza, which is unlike American style. Breads are excellent. Pastries and desserts are frequently sweetened with honey or raw sugar, and are not as sweet as Americans are used to.
Two of us came down with “la turista” for one day midweek. To put this in perspective, in multiple family vacations to Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, and the DR, we’ve never had a trip when somebody didn’t get sick at least one day, regardless of how rigorously we avoid local water. Go figure.
The main bar was quite good, and serves expresso, cappuccino, and pasties in the morning. There’s a snack bar nearby that served burgers, hot dogs, pizza and sandwiches from 11 AM until the buffet opens at seven.
The center of the resort is focused on a plaza, overlooking the beach, that’s encompassed by the guest services building, main bar and pool, snack café, buffet, and bandstand. The plaza has extensive seating in café style around small tables, and is a popular place for relaxing and sipping a cappuccino or El Presidente. As the sun goes down, many guests gravitate to this area for pre-dinner drinks and snacks under the stars (dinner reservations run until after nine…). Most evenings the resort provides meringue bands or local craft activities/shows. The best analogy that comes to mind is a big, open-air block party overlooking the Caribbean. Distinctive and charming.
The “animation” staff is enthusiastic and tireless. Meringue lessons, water aerobics, and various competitions all provide a full slate of activities. The evening entertainment doesn’t start until nearly ten, and we were all normally too shot by the day’s activities to go down and see it. There are several shops and a fitness center, along with an “Internet café’ and kid’s club.
Service ranged from attentive and professional to indifferent, and it seemed as though some of the younger and newer workers on the breakfast shift really needed some coaching on customer care. (Two mornings it was tough to get café con leche… and the waitress seemed to have had a bad night…)
Guest services and check-in and check-out are two large “improvement opportunities” for Wyndham, who now own the resorts. While the staff was hard working and helpful, the computer system obviously was inefficient and dinner reservations weren’t even automated. Check out time is one o’clock… if you have a flight to catch, try to check out at least an hour before then, as a line forms and moves slowly. The process is very cumbersome, and requires the clerk to navigate multiple computer menus, type in multiple inputs, and do some work by hand. These folks would be well advised to see how McDonalds has approached similar issues with computer presets and touch screens…
Overall, the resort is a higher-energy place with many activities and the feel of a small town in Italy. If you want to be pampered and spoiled in a low-key setting, it’s probably not for you. This is not your cookie-cutter-big-resort-chain property. It’s sort of offbeat and eccentric, with a distinctive personality, and European ambience.