We stayed at Iberostar Costa Dorada a month ago. Yes, there’s seaweed on the beach that is constantly raked up by a group of guys who begin their day about 8 am. There are areas where there is no reef, just sand, mainly within the area that’s roped in. Late afternoon, it was very windy for three days and of course the water gets stirred up as the tide comes in. Best to snorkel in the morning & early afternoon.
The water was so calm during two mornings that we spent a few hours snorkeling and swimming with all kinds of fish, even ones we recognized from Finding Nemo, a very small octopus, lots of sea urchins (make sure you have fins or water shoes), small crabs, small jellyfish.
There are many areas along the beach even past the resort property for swimming where there’s no reef, no rocks and lots of sandy bottom.
Definitely not as windy as Cabarete, but in mid afternoon you can rent 2-person catamarans, wind surfers, and so on. You won’t see the kite surfers here like you do in Cabarete.
Even if the wind picks up in the afternoon, the resort pools are refreshing, but it’s pretty hot around the pool area as the ocean breeze is blocked by trees and buildings. We spent most of our time on the beach and found the poolside to be way too hot, even in the shade.
Pool was lukewarm, which is great because it was so hot poolside, ocean was very warm, but generally cooler in the early morning, great for snorkeling just mere feet from the resort. You will have a great time and your son/daughter will enjoy the food, the entertainment - the Star Team has lots of activities just for kids of all ages - the beach. No reason to be bored, even if it does rain.
Flamingos, turtle pond and peacocks roam the property, too. Live entertainment every night starting around 8 pm on the main stage, audience participation and a disco for young people until 11 pm, then it’s adults only. Good music and geared toward kids of all ages. Plus, child care services so parents can spend some time alone and there were MANY kids of all ages there. The staff is exceptional and really go out of their way to make your stay enjoyable, especially for the kids.
Wait until you see the look on his/her face the first time that you go into the humungus buffet restaurant! Make sure you bring your camera with you.
Our first time to Iberostar was unbelievable, and I highly recommend paying the extra $ to experience this 5-star resort.