If I had to choose between these two resorts in La Romana - where should I stay? Thanks for the help!.
is the catalonial new or did it take over another resort?
Honestly, I don’t believe Catalonia is new but can’t confirm it or deny it. My main concern about GBPLR is this ‘murky’ water business and whether that will be concern as far as enjoying the beach and/or swimming.
ya i know i was looking at that place when it was santana but teh man made beach turned me off. we are not huge beach people, rather have a great pool but our flight are never to la romana only to p.c. so i don’t want to drive 2hrs to be disapointed…
At Catalonia (formerly Venta Club) you’ll find one of the best waters in area. A bit crowded the beach (not many palapas…) but excellent food and lots of activities And be prepared for lots of Italians as the majority of the tourists are from Italy.
venta clubs are the viva’s, right???
I don’t think so. Venta Club is a Milano (Italy) based company with hotels everywhere in the world. Not sure about Viva’s
I’ve been to both properties and can say that almost everything about them is different! You’d really have to decide what you want from your Dominican vacation to dictate which hotel would suit you better.
They are both small, with only 400 rooms. That may be the only similarity.
The beach at the GBP is extremely large with a lot of space to spread out. The hotel has its own private island that you can paddle out to for an afternoon. They closed the hotel for the month of May, 2008 to resurface the beach and brought in a bunch of white sand to compliment the natural golden sand. The murky water situation is unfortunate, but the water isn’t dirty, it just isn’t the beautiful aqua colour of Bayahibe.
The beach is a pretty standard size at the Catalonia and the only shade is offered by the low cover trees, palms and palapas at the back of the beach (inland) with the massive main beach not offering shade options. There’s lots of room for all guests in the 400 rooms, but not if they all want the shade (which is the same as other hotels, generally–the primo shade locations go first).
GBPLR offers a lot of luxury from the dining and mini bars to the junior suite style rooms, spa bathrooms, loads of bathroom amenities, premium liquor, and concierge services. The disco offers air-conditioned comfort and the theatre has plush seating. The Catalonia provides only drinking water in the rooms (beer and soft drinks available for a price), shampoo and hand soap out of wall dispensers, only a few dining options, shower only (in an open area bathroom), guest services which may or may not assist you (it took 3 attempts at my getting a remote control that worked before I abandoned trying) and you may or may not get a reply to e-mails. The disco is under cover but open air and the theatre consists of tiers of bench seating on cushions.
That said, I love love love the Catalonia! The number of stars attached to this resort have nothing to do with the great vacation that they can offer and the food in the buffet always gets rave reviews.
One is a higher class resort vacation with a deficiency in the beach water, and the other is a 3* resort with consistently happy guests when they know what they’ll be getting.
The GBPLR is about 25 minutes west of La Romana and the CGD is 25 minutes east of La Romana. That distance brings with it some distinct differences.
When I was at the GBPLR I’d say the majority of guests were French. As is often stated, the predominant demographic at CGD is Italian. So much so that the Italian owners of the property hire Italians to be on the entertainment team. They tend to come through in 6 month stints and may have better English than the Dominicans who know Spanish, Italian,
French and some English. I think when I was there, there were 4 Italians in Entertainment.
My album of pictures of the Gran Bahia Principe La Romana is at:
My album of pictures of the Catalonia Gran Dominicus is at:
wow what a idfference, is that b/c the beach is man made at GBPLR
I don’t think it is man made. I think it may be reinforced, as it is at Dreams La Romana and at other hotels too.
The cove at DLR has the great coral reefs that make it the best for snorkeling and the water is calmer than at Dominicus Beach. But the shape of the bowl can lead to other kinds of characteristics too and I think that the storms of October struck at DLR harder than the Dominicus coast. They had to reclaim sand and reinforce the beach at the end of storm season since a lot of the coral coast became exposed through the strong tides. Some people call that beach manmade too, but since the public beach is next door I think you can say that a beach appears very naturally in that location.
I think there is a natural beach at GBPLR but it may have been enhanced.
The water conditions are due to a couple of reasons if you listen to the stories. One says that the GBPLR area suffers from an estuary effect due to the outflow of 2 rivers, one on either side of the resort. That keeps the water silty no matter how hard they try. I also heard that at some point when the hotel was the Santana Beach Resort an underwater wall was constructed to ebb the tide. That ended up stalling the natural cleaning that waves can achieve. The muddy bottom just kept being stirred up without having an exchange of water. THEN…I’ve heard that it’s just the colour of the sand. When the sand is white, it reflects the colour of the sky differently and gives the blues and greens. If it’s black Hawaiian volcanic sand, it looks different and if the sand is golden, the water looks dirty. That’s why they spent last May spreading tons and tons of white sand. It has improved the conditions but they clearly have another challenge to conquer as well.
I haven’t heard one explanation that I buy more than the others or that refutes the others.
yes those are some of the things i have heard too… who knows… i think that if you are getting a great hotel with good service the beach doesn’t matter to me… i’ll go by prices i guess.