A bay versus ocean setting (no turquoise water or waves)
Resort may feel too low-key for young couples
Service overall can feel a little lethargic
Connecting to Wi-Fi in the lobby or rooms can be a challenge
This 244-room adults-only resort is adjacent to the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana and falls under the brand's more luxurious Don Pablo Collection. The property has colonial-style architecture and spacious, cheerful accommodations. There are plenty of opportunities for romance -- there is a long beach for strolling, a pretty dock for private dinners, and sunset views of the bay. The downside: The turquoise waves and beaches in Punta Cana are better for swimming -- it's a fact. That being said, those in search of peace and quiet will be attracted to the elegant lobby area, the stunning pool overlooking the beach, and access to great golfing and day trips to nearby islands.
Attractive property catering to couples who want peace and quiet
The main entrance of this resort on a remote area of highway is so massive, it’s hard to believe that any sense of peace and quiet is found within. The long driveway winds through a nine-hole golf course and takes guests to the Grand Bahia's main lobby entrance. Expect a little confusion here -- many staff do not speak English -- and the guests who need to continue on to the Bouganville side will be escorted to a private outdoor area before they are finally transported, via smaller vehicle, to their own lobby next door.
Here, guests will enter a quieter and more elegant area that feels devoid of crowds –- the hallmark of the property. It is a relaxing place with the occasional couple milling about. During the day, guests are usually either reclining at the beach or pool, which has a swim-up bar as well as an open-air snack bar offering impressive spreads. At night, the scene doesn’t change much. Guests have choice between having drinks here (service is a little slow), the main buffet, the beach restaurant for themed nights, or the a la carte restaurants at the property next door. Party-hearty couples can take part in the bars and nightlife next door, which is pretty low-key as well. Punta Cana is a better choice for those looking for more action.
This resort is set outside of the town of La Romana, in one of the country’s 32 provinces known for sugar production. Guests can either fly into Punta Cana International Airport (over an hour away) or Santo Domingo airport (45 minutes away) -– both will require an expensive taxi ride. While this area is less crowded than Punta Cana, making for a more peaceful environment, it does lack the oft-desired turquoise ocean and swimming waves. However, the beach here is spacious and there's never a fight for lounge chair or kayak. It has plenty of length for romantics walks, especially at sunset. There’s nothing much to do outside of the resort for miles in either direction, but day trips can be arranged for snorkeling and scuba diving. Golfers will appreciate having some quality options nearby, especially at the famous Casa De Campo Resort.
Cheerful accommodations with plenty of space to spread out
This smaller resort has 244 rooms, categorized as either Junior Suite Deluxe (facing the pool or gardens) or Junior Suite Oceanfront (some with spectacular views of both the pool and beach). The attractive three-story buildings are yellow and white, and interiors follow suit: decor is mostly white with yellow accent walls. Each has a white canopy beds, lounge area with couch, flat-screen TV, desk, stocked minibar with snacks and beer, a small dining area, and 24-hour room service.
Bathrooms -- spacious, like the rooms -- have dual sinks, separate jetted tubs for two, and showers with rain showerheads. Guests have can use the safe for free, but Wi-Fi comes with a fee in the rooms and it can be a challenge to connect. Power outages in this remote area of the country can occur, but usually do not last long.
A peaceful pool and beach area, nine-hole golf course, and a spa
The Bouganville side of the main resort shares amenities with the Grand Bahia resort next door, including the long beach area with lapping waves and the dock for private dinners; both spots can provide a special moment, especially at sunset with pre-dinner drink in hand.
The Bouganville side of the resort, which is adults-only and only for the Bouganville guests, has an attractive pool area with swim-up pool bar, and views of swaying palms. Guests at Bouganville can use any pool at either resort, but non-motorized water sports (snorkeling, kayaks, catamaran, windsurfing and boogie boards) are limited to one free hour per day. For an extra charge, guests can arrange a snorkel diving tour, scuba diving course, fishing trip, or day trip to Catalina Island or Saona Island. A spa, tennis courts, and fitness center are also offered.
Golfers can use the on-site Playa Neuva Romana Golf Club, a nine-hole, par-three executive course built into the attached residential project. Other courses nearby include Guavabery Golf Course and famous Teeth of the Dog at Casa De Campo.
For dining, the resort has two buffet areas, one in the lobby called Jazmin and a poolside snack bar called Los Crales, which has an extensive spread to keep beach and pool guests well-fed. There's also the main lobby bar with drink service, though service can be slow.
For sit-down restaurants, guests can walk along the beach to get to the a la carte options next door (guests have unlimited use), which include Italian, seafood and gourmet options. Nightly entertainment, usually in the form of dancing, can be found in the lobby, or next door at the main theater and late-night disco.
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