Take a look at the best kid-friendly hotels in Bayahibe.
Located on the D.R.’s softest and calmest stretch of beach, the highly active Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus is a pretty solid family option -- three clean pools, attentive service, and excellent scuba diving (though for a cost). But because the rooms are dated and poorly maintained, and the food is only good (not great), the newly renovated Dreams La Romana is a better option for the same price.
The 756-room Dreams La Romana is an upscale all-inclusive in Bayahibe, a small town about 50 minutes from Punta Cana airport. Though there isn’t much to see or do in the area, Dreams is situated on the island’s Caribbean side, which means the ocean water is clearer and calmer than that in Punta Cana, and the sunsets are unbeatable. The hotel itself is spread across a large property, and has four pools, a great beach, and an awesome array of restaurants and bars. Food and drinks here are noticeably better than at most all-inclusives, and reservations are not required for a la carte dining. There are different sections of the hotel — one for families, one for adults-only, and one for activities — allowing Dreams to appeal to all types of travelers. Those who would prefer to be directly in Punta Cana should check out sister property, Dreams Punta Cana Resort and Spa, which has similar rooms, rates, and amenities.
There are just a handful of resorts on this particular stretch of beach about 20 minutes from La Romana, and this mid-range, 415-room property is a solid choice that draws an international crowd. This all-inclusive's best attributes are the beach (with great waves, snorkeling, and sunset views), and the food and drink spots, which are spread out over manicured grounds. It's a popular option for both families (children get their own section at the main buffet) and couples, especially honeymooners, who receive an instant upgrade when suites are available. Room types vary greatly: Non-Privilege are as basic as it gets, but Privilege rooms have canopy beds, stocked minibars, and sightly more contemporary decor. Plenty of sports activities can be enjoyed on-site and excursions are available for those who get a case of claustrophobia. Free Wi-Fi is spotty at best.
This 330-room mid-range resort for all ages attracts a European crowd (expect to hear Spanish and Italian) and has about half the number of rooms as its sister property next door. Fewer guests, expansive grounds, and full access to features at both resorts make this the slightly higher-priced option. The rooms are nothing to write home about, but have been upgraded with white comforters and flat-screen TVs; bathrooms have either tub/shower combos or walk-in showers with removable nozzles and limited toiletries (there's a convenience store on-site for the essentials). Kiddos stay busy with shallow swimming on the beach, a children's pool, and kids' zone next door. There are limited reservations for a la carte restaurants, but a late-night wood-fire pizzeria stays open all night.
This family-friendly, 613-room all-inclusive resort has a mostly European clientele. Basic rooms have received a slight refresh (no more patterned bedspreads), and the limited all-inclusive amenities help keep prices low. Three pools, trapeze lessons, and tennis are available, but most guests flock to the beach. For drinks, guests will have to take turns standing in line to get small pours in plastic cups, and repeat the process until the (beautiful) sunset. Food is not a highlight: there’s a limit on a la carte reservations, and the main buffet seems to have a crowd at all times. Overall, though, this is an affordable choice for families. Romantics should consider the VIP upgrade.
Dreams Dominicus La Romana is a four-pearl oceanfront all-inclusive along laid-back Dominicus Beach. The resort’s 392 air-conditioned rooms have modern interiors with huge flat-screen TVs, daily restocked minibars, and balconies -- some with plunge pools or ocean views. The white-marble bathrooms are sophisticated and sleek, but have poorly designed stand-up showers that inevitably flood the floor. Dreams’ seven restaurants include French, Asian, Italian, and a buffet spot that are open late, but often have waits for seating. Amenities include a beautiful beach, three freshwater pools, a spa, and separate kids' and teen clubs. For a nearby oceanfront alternative with a gorgeous sunset-view beach, multiple restaurants, and lots of sports activities, it's also worth checking into nearby Catalonia Gran Dominicus.
Mimicking a Spanish fishing village, this upper-middle-range, 69-room resort at the end of a long, resort-filled road in Dominicus Americanus is a quiet, mellow respite from the crowded, club-like atmosphere that Dominican resorts are often known for. Stylish, airy rooms include condo-style options with kitchenettes, the pretty (if short) white-sand beach has a long pier, and the main restaurant has a great view of the ocean. The most notable feature might be the water park near the entrance, a hoot for kids. Those looking for an activity-filled mega-resort with all-inclusive rates should consider Be Live just down the road.
This 871-room mid-range all-inclusive resort just outside the sleepy tourist town of Dominicus Americanus caters to an army of families. There are dizzying array of options for eating, drinking, and playing -- specifically, seven restaurants, seven bars, a disco, a big main pool with a swim-up bar, and a beautiful beach. The downside to all these features is that the resort can get crowded and loud. Rooms range from slightly dated to stylish and beachy; most guests consider the VIP amenities well worth the upgrade. Those who want a quieter, mellower vacation that's still geared toward families may want to consider the Cadaques Caribe just down the road.