Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Families and couples looking for a more relaxed pace
Located on a near-empty stretch of highway between San Pedro and La Romana, this resort trades in raucous late-night discos for a more relaxed setting. With more than 400 rooms, this is actually one of the smaller Bahia Principe properties. Some guests are disappointed by the less-impressive entertainment, limited amenities, and calm bay water. But the small size does have its advantages -- it’s quieter. Romantics will probably like the low-lit dock at night, which can be reserved for private dinners.
It's not all quiet, though. The animation team makes frequent visits to the pool and beach areas, and there is evening entertainment for those interested. Otherwise guests can simply stay horizontal on the beach lounge chairs, palapas, and hammocks. Though there are a few choices for evening bars, the place as a whole quiets down after 11 p.m. –- even the disco and casino, which don't get much of a scene despite staying open later. That’s because most of the guests are more mature. Young partiers looking for action are better suited for Punta Cana.
Peaceful surroundings, though it may require an expensive taxi ride
Though the resort titles itself as La Romana, the massive entrance is actually past La Romana on the highway towards San Pedro -– an expensive 50-minute taxi ride from either the Las Americans International Airport in Santo Domingo or La Romana International Airport (Punta Cana is even more expensive). There is not much to see around the resort entrance -- not even neighboring resorts -- so it’s best suited for guests who want to stay put and relax on the property. Excursions are available for scuba diving and visiting the Cave of Miracles. Some excellent courses, such as Teeth of the Dog at Casa de Campo, are within an hour's drive.
The beach here is not along the sea or ocean, but along a bay, and the water is different than what people will find in Punta Cana resorts. The calm waves have some algae, but it is still swimmable and the resort keeps the beach spic and span.
Basic but clean rooms have canopies and older furnishings
This low-key resort has 400-plus rooms spread out among two-story buildings or "villas" close to the pool and beach. Not many, if any, rooms are directly on the beach, and most are separated by the large pool area. Since it is a smaller resort by D.R. standards, guests will find that most everything is within easy walking distance from all the rooms -- a golf-cart shuttle is not needed.
There are 128 Club Golden Junior Suite rooms in eight buildings. These are more expensive and offer more services, such as separate check-in service, welcome drinks, better views from the rooms, slippers, bathrobes, and coffeemakers.
Junior Suites are pretty basic and have either one king-size bed or two queen-size beds, and a separate living room area with a sofa bed. These can accommodate two adults and two children, or three adults. Balconies look out onto the manicured gardens or pool. Large bathrooms have dual sinks, bathtubs, and hyrdo-massage showers.
Wi-Fi and use of the in-room safe will incur additional charges.
A fun pool scene and romantic beach for long walks
This resort centers around one major pool that branches into three sections, which include a kiddy pool and swim-up bar. Though this is a popular place, especially since most guests choose to swim here rather than the ocean, lounge chairs are usually available and don't require an early race to reserve a spot.
The a la carte restaurants are typically uncrowded (though Bouganville guests also have access to these, so it's best to make reservations early) and have the usual all-inclusive cuisines of Italian, "gourmet" (French), and seafood. The main buffet in the lobby is open for all meals, and snack bars situated in a few different areas of the resort help keep kids happy during the off times.
Adults can make an appointment at the full-service Bahia Spa for couples massages, facials, and body treatments. The adjacent fitness center is not large. There are tennis courts and a golf course available for an extra fee.
The Internet center is situated across from the main lobby in a small shopping area for souvenirs and knickknacks. Guests with their own laptop can try to use the one hour of free Wi-Fi in the lobby, though connecting is not always easy.
Most guests retire early, so attendance is pretty low at evening events. A sizable number of guests do show up to the theater, which sits next to the lobby bar and offers variety shows with singing and dancing numbers. The lobby tends to wind down around 11 p.m., but there is a late-night disco, casino, and snack bar available for those who want to stay up.
This 400-plus-room resort on the coast west of La Romana has sunset views, a calm bay, and zero neighbors, except for its sister Bouganville resort next door. (Getting here will require a pricey taxi ride from any airport.) Though lacking the iconic turquoise waves of Punta Cana, this is a relaxed environment for families and couples (the latter can schedule a romantic private dinner at the end of the picturesque dock). The decent food choices (including uncrowded a la carte restaurants), bars, entertainment, long shoreline, and sizable but basic suites help make this a great value. Guests have access to an on-site golf course and spa for additional fees.
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