Sunscape Casa del Mar Hotel

, La Romana, Dominican Republic
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Sunscape Casa del Mar Hotel

, La Romana
Bayahibe - La Romana - Dominican Republic Hotel Website | 809-221-8880
2054 Traveller

Reviews - Sunscape Casa del Mar Hotel

10/10
Heaven on earth
Submitted by: Nigel in 09/09/07
  • Age Group: 41 - 50
  • From: United Kingdom
  • Traveller type: Mature Couple
Stayed in august 07 it was fantastic the food brill and I'm a fussy eater any thing you wont all day. Beer always good and the wine very good .pics on the net don't show that there is a swimming pool built and the whole place was spotless. The beach was something to die for and never needed to reserve a chair, as there are plenty. Tues night the beech has a massive party where you can dine and drink .please take a day trip to Siona island £40 each the speed boat ride was worth it alone the best day I'm my life its 10am to 4.30 pm but haggle with the guys selling things on the island coconut oil is pure and paid £2.50 a bottle for the best tan you can get. Word of advice the shop in the hotel is a rip of fags £2.50 peanuts£3.00 and suntan lotions double what you pay in England airbeds £10.00.bring your own nibbles. Always give a tip to the waiters 1 dollar [50p] goes a long way. Nothing is too much trouble for the staff. Don't listen to rubbish about bad tummies every thing is washed in filtered water and so is the ice. Brush your teeth in the bottle water from your mini bar and wash your hands reg otherwise it's your fault. Would we go back? YOU BET YOUR BOOTS.

Historical Traveller Reviews of Sunscape Casa del Mar Hotel

Outstanding vacation destination

from pdamiano
We just returned from a 25th Anniversary trip to Dreams La Romana. We had never done an all-inclusive resort before (always liked flexibility and variety). This however was great and beat our expectations. Transportation from Punta Cana airport to La Romana area took about 1.5 hours but was a very interesting part of the trip. La Romana is away from most other resorts which was nice. The Dreams resort is on its own bay, next to a small town. They say they treat you like family and they do. No wristbands or dinner reservations necessary. Staff were very friendly and went out of their way to be helpful. Rooms were very nice and clean. Beach was nice with reasonable, not great, snorkeling off the beach. Food was excellent. Gourmet restaurants that were not crowded. We ate dinner at the French, Italian, Mexican and Seafood restaurants. All outstanding. They also have a World buffet which is nice for families where you get a variety of food (and bigger quantities if desired). We ate breakfast there and it was fine. Would recommend paying an extra $15 for grilled lobster for one dinner-really good. We also did two excursions which we really liked. The first to Saona island via a catamaran and the second an inland safari to see sugarcane and coffee fields. Both were reasonably priced (about $75 per person and included lunch) and allowed you to see parts of the area that were not otherwise accessible. Construction at the resort was not an issue anymore (as some had indicated on earlier trips). Would highly recommend this location for adults or families.

Beware

from WorldTraveler850
I am generally not a big fan of all-inclusive hotels, as I find the service, food, and amenities to be lacking. However, my husband and I were looking for a last minute Holiday vacation. We decided to try Dream La Romana in the Dominican Republic. After the reviews I read, I thought it would be different than my former AI expectations....well, I was wrong.

I'm not sure who is writing these reviews and if you just have extremely bad taste of lack of travel, but the experience at Dream La Romana is definitely not a 4 star experience. I would give this hotel 2 stars.

The grounds are nice, well kept, and generally pretty clean. However, the food and service were just horrible. One night we actually had to leave the Oceanair restaurant because the food was inedible.

The hotel also never seemed to have enough of anything. Not only did they not have the proper number of pool loungers available, but they ran out of beach chairs also. They also ran out of $ at the ATM, making it impossible to go to the Casino, bath towels for days, they ran out of plates at the New Years Eve buffet, and they ran out of champagne glasses for the toast.

The liquor was poor quality, I'm not sure where the "top shelf" comments came from. We found one bar that served Absolut Vodka, but that quickly ran out too.

While we had a good time, because we enjoyed the sun and time together, I would never return to this property. I wish I would have tried the Paradisus Palma Real instead, but then again, I might just give up on AI all together.

Great Vacation Place

from vissarion
Absolutely great vacation place. We stayed in newly renovated part, room quality was great. Service was great on most part. Food at the main buffet was pretty good, even that overall there are times when food is not easily accessible. Having a 6 yo makes it important, bit it never was a real problem. The only thing that was really upsedtting - long ride from Punta Cana airport. We were told that takes about hour and a half, when in reality it took almost two and half hours. Nevertheless, we recommend this resort and very likely we will be back.

Great Location

from Danoj10
Awesome Location and because of that : Great water. Average beach but with sweet and cool white sand and lots of trees, decent food, and good restaurants. Half of the hotel rooms are decent, the other half are too old and need work. Staff are great, maid service seems to be better in newer/renovated sections and tipping does help bartending and maid services. Overall, a place we'd go back to in a heart beat!

This was our first 2 week trip together to La Romana and her second trip to the Dominican. We stayed from December 4th to December 18th. I loved the crazy 90 minute drive from the Punta Cana airport to Dreams La Romana-which by the way is actually beside the village of Bayahibe - the place where all tourists depart for the Saona and Catalina snorkeling trips. Be warned, when you arrive at Punta Cana and you've collected your luggage, make sure you have a bathroom and/or smoke break BEFORE exiting the main terminal. Once you exit the main terminal, the taxi's WHISK you away immediately to your destination especially if you're going to a hotel where you're the only arriving guest.

Our arrival at the hotel was greeted by a warm smile and an orange juice drink. Our check-in was swift and effortless with the bell-boy carting our luggage to our room (on the 3rd floor with no elevators). We did switch rooms after 3 days because building 2 (original room) was old and seemed unrenovated. We moved to building 3 and had a room much cleaner, and in better condition although it didn't have an LCD tv which our first one did. HOWEVER, who goes to a tropical island to watch tv?? Speaking of tv, over half the channels are Spanish however there are a number of American channels like CNN, ABC, NBC.

One thing happened – I (Dan) got sick, some kind of intestinal viral infection which basically means diarrhea. I tried to self medicate with diarrhea pills I brought from Canada for one night. I was up basically every 2 hours ALL night. Late the next morning I couldn’t take it any longer and went to the on-site doctor. She examined me and within 30 seconds knew what it was and immediately brought me up to our room and put me on IV for the afternoon (2 bags). After the IV was done, I began taking antibiotic medication for the following 3 days. By the fourth day, I was back to normal. MORAL OF THE STORY – if you get diarrhea, GO TO THE DOCTOR right away. Do not wait, it could ruin your holiday. Luckily we were there for 2 weeks. Also something to note is that the doctor was very personable and provided great service. We purchased medical insurance which came in VERY handy!

Here are some pointers/FYI's:

- bring a pen - none in room and none available (big commodity?)
- bring antibacterial spray for the room
- FREE wireless internet in lobby (for you laptop addicts!). We brought ours and it was worth it
- Safe in room costs $3/day
- little to NO mosquitoes (we never used bug spray)
- bring own soap/shampoo (especially for you women)
- drinks were usually VERY strong: 75/25
- there are topless sun bathers
- LCD tv's have HDMI/Digital sVideo inputs and RF connections
- DVD player in room has rf inputs and Karaoke mic inputs
- smoking allowed everywhere except buffet area and indoor restaurants
- Sunquest rep is NOT on site, can be tough to contact
- There's an ATM in boutique store that dispenses Dominican Pesos which gives Canadian balance on receipt.
- Money exchange onsite
- Medical Doctor onsite
- iPod Nano (and above) charger and interface in room. It's actually an alarm clock that can play from iPod
- NO room service/stocked mini bar with Sunquest
- Sunquest rep has excursion list and will try and sell you them saying it's safer with him. We found that going through the local vendors was much more convenient and safe since Sunquest rep WASN'T on site
- Beach bar open from 9am-6pm
- Fresh fruit stand on beach
- Decent gym with 300-400lb of barbell weights, up to 50lb dumbell weights and a universal gym for legs/chest and back along with a bicep curl and ab crunch machines. 1 eliptical, 1 treadmill and a few bikes
-water sports (kayaking) free: go! There are some neat and very private places to kayak!!
-had a safe and awesome time taking a cab into the town of La Romana-would recommend
- Go to a place called Altos de Chavon – BEAUTIFUL and has shopping. It can be part of the trip to La Romana (on the way back) and is worth extra time (and money for the cab)
-lots of young families there-amazing kids club
-daily activity list (tennis, spanish lessons, dancing)
- it was quite cool at night: bring sweaters, pants--you can wear them there!

Great Beach and freindly service

from Larrythegolfer
My wife and I traveled with our 17 year old son and 14 year old daughter December 20-27. The trip from Punta Cana airport seemed interesting for the first 45 minutes, while it was light out. As we approached the resort about an hour and 45 minutes after leaving the airport we passed a roadblock with heavily armed amy guys, one car was stopped but we only slowed down and then proceded through the gate and down another mile road to the lobby. We were greated by about six smiling men offering us cold towels and saying welcome home. Check in was very quick at around 7:00 PM on Saturday evening.

We started out in Building 4, the rooms seemed to be remodedled. We booked the least expensive rooms, a garden view. We had very nice robes and a bottle of Champainge and a plate of fruit waiting for us. Directly next to our room was a foyer with tour operators stationed starting at 8:30 AM, not good given our two our time zone change. I would say that Building four was very centrally located, but we decided to try for a room change. We were told nothing was available the second day of our stay, but on the third we were moved to building seven, facing the boundry of the hotel, so quite quiet, althoug I do not think that the rooms are particularly sound proofed from hallway noise, there were no noisy neighbors. Getting into building seven was a bit ackward as when I arrived to check the room out, the TV was not hooked up and a power outlet needed to be installed for the mini-bar. This was all taken care of in about two hours. I suspect that we were the first to inhabit this room. I noticed that accross the hall the floors were marble, ours were tile. I suspect that the pool view rooms accross the hall were club rooms. We did swim at the new pool, opened mid-week. I liked the quietness of this and the bar had topshelf alcohol. I am not big drinker, but when I do, I prefer Absolute and Safire, which were available. The bartender at this 'Club Preffered' bar at the pool was quite nice. Hard to know if this pool will be sectioned off to lower paying guests, but there were absolutly no restrictions, other than finding the pool. It was not on any maps, which were in scarce supply.

We did go into the club prefered lounge, but were told that it was private.

All three of the pools had soft cusion chase lounges and there was a small number of actual day beds and sofas near to the new restaurants, which were not overy crowded.

We agree that the Hobbie cats were not in perfect condition, but we took one out (30 minute limit) nearly every day. On one day, as we had two rooms we booked an hour and were able to go around the bend to see the Ibarostar and other resorts for a few moments. The wind was good and it was quite nice sailing.

My son used the wind surfers everyday and they were always available, perhaps because old guys like me have trouble using them, I did try, without much success.

The beach is very nice, we love the fresh fruit which is provided during the mid-day from a small boat on the beach, it is cut up while you watch.

Lots of palm trees and white sand, nice water temperature and fairly clear visibility. We did snorkel, brought our own equipment, although they will loan this out to you for a short time. There were plenty of fish, near to shore, not too deep, but decent.

We ate at the French, Italian, Mexican and Seafood restaurants as well as the X-mas eve dinner, which was the same at each. I would say that the restaurants were very nice, perhaps being used for the first time. Service ranged from ecellent to very slow, it took about 30 minuted to bring our soup from a fixed menue. Language was sometimes difficult, but the staff definitly tries hard. I agree that the main buffet gets pretty repetitive, so we avoided it most nights.

We also played Tennis on clay courts, they provided rackets and balls. One of the staff asked to join three of us for doubles, and then expected $10 for his trouble we paid him, just wish he was more upfront about this. It was nice that they proved the gear.

My wife and daughter used the spa, it seemed very tranquil and nice.

We went bike riding, the bikes are poor, but it was a nice change of pace, and the guide took us to a roped off area called the ecological spa, it has a very pretty foot path with a small lake that is crystal clear, you can see many fish and a sea turtle.

They had a fair amount of activities and encourage you to participate, I did and ejoyed myself. I was disapointed that there was no teen disco, althogh there were pool, fooseball and ping pong tables available.

I think that this property will get better as they complete the upgrade, I hear from the apple rep that there are some new chefs now.

The weather was in the 80 degree F range with three sunny days and three days with spoty showers. I hear that Punta Cana was wetter and that it normally does not rain this time of year in La Romana?

Hope you enjoy your visit.

Close but no cigar or food at times

from mjmnyc_9
Just returned from a week at Dreams in La Romana. This is the second time my family and I stayed at this Hotel. The first time was in 2006 when it was owned by Sunscape. We returned to the hotel mostly due to the quality of the food and overall service at Sunscape.

There have been some nice additions to the Hotel since we first visited. The rooms have been upgraded and now include flat screen TV's with a decent selection of US stations. The rooms are clean and the hotel is very well kept.

The staff is very friendly but can use some training on how to handle the hotel when it is full. Service at the restaurants was very poor. Dinner sometimes became a test of wills (will we leave after an hour of waiting for food or will we just wait them out). Most of the time we waited them out and finally got served.

The quality of the food was fair at best. We did have a nice New Years dinner at one of the specialty restaurants but for the most part the food was of poor quality and very boring.

After spending so much money fixing and upgrading the hotel it seemed strange that they would overlook the food and service area of the hotel. They are a 4 or 5 star location and facility with a 2 star menu.

They better fix the food and restaurant service if they want repeat customers!

Dreams Vacation

from kt17sunshine
I just returned from La Romana on Monday, the 29th of December. I went with my best friend. We had a great time. The resort was beautiful. It is a great place to visit. I'm not sure if it would enjoy going there for a honeymoon. There are a lot of kids there. Don't get me wrong, I love kids but I would rather be at a couples only resort for a honeymoon.
I flew into Punta Cana. The bus ride took about 95 minutes. It wasn't too bad. They drive very fast and I took motion sick medicine, because the roads are not the best.
The room was clean but the service was not the best. I had to call for towels each day. The maid did not clean my room the one day. When I asked her why, she said you are leaving tomorrow. I told her I still needed it cleaned. I would suggest if you go here, to brush up on Spanish. Some of the workers can speak English, but not well. It is hard to understand them.
The food was not the best. I didn't starve though. I ate a lot of fruit. The main place to eat, had the same food each day. That became old real fast. For dinner we took advantage of the sit down places to eat. What's nice about the all inclusive places are that you can eat when you want and order what you want. Several nights my friend and I went to two or three places to eat. We would start with one and go to another after. That made it nice. The spa is nice too. They have a special right now, 30% off.
The drinks are very good. The bar in the back by the French restaurant has the top self alcohol. The one worker back there is named Bruce Lee. He is great. Plus, he speaks English very well. We went to visit him each night. Each night there is a show. The will put a paper under your door each night, for the following day. So, you can plan the events for the next day.
Overall I would rate this trip above average. I travel a lot and I'm very picky and I think it was worth it. I would go again in the future.

Very nice, still working on the upgrades

from lovetheDRAthens_OH
We stayed from 12-19-08 through 12-27-08

The property is absolutely gorgeous. There is one pool that overlooks the ocean and is very beautiful. The grounds were well maintained and things were very clean. The ocean is crystal clear and pristine. You can see fish and snorkel right off the beach.

The staff is very friendly and most seem to know quite a bit of English. The bars vary in terms of the alcohol you can get and sometimes it depends on the day. The beach bar, pool bar and disco do not have the premium liquors. While we were there the lobby bar got new cocktail menus so the bartenders are understandably still learning to make some of the drinks.

There were several transitions while we were there. The second pool went from having those blue lounge chairs to the nice wooden ones. The plastic cups also changed and now look like real glasses. Several of the a la carte restaurants opened and more.

Food: The buffet restaurant was okay, but lacked variety. The French and Italian restaurants took about 2 hours to eat in and about an hour wait. We are vegetarian so we aren't the best to ask about the food. The Japanese buffet place opened while we were there and that was our favorite. For lunch the Sea Side Grill was our favorite.

Room Service: We ordered room service several times and each time was an experience. At least one dish was usually forgotten and there was some definite confusion about the orders. One night we ordered a mixed salad & penne pasta in tomato sauce and got tuna salad and spaghetti in an alfredo sauce with tons of ham in it. Usually took about an hour to get the food. Meat eaters probably wouldn't have any issues.

My husband and I had a romantic dinner on the pier one night and that was definitely worth it.

Staff: The staff was excellent and super friendly. Check in was fast and the person quickly understood that my husband and I wanted a room that was not right next door to my mother-in-law and put us down the hall in a room with an ocean view. The servers were great and very accommodating. The bartenders were fabulous.

Extras: We did not get turn down service each night we were there and while one room had champagne in the mini fridge the other did not. Each night information is slipped under the door describing what is happening the next day. Sometimes we got it, sometimes we did not. The sheets were also not always accurate. There is supposed to be a snack bar from 10pm-6am, but we could never find it. Some rooms had beach towels already some did not. There is free wireless internet access in the lobby currently. Thought it was interesting you couldn't get the same drinks at each bar or even the same drinks at one bar on different days. Some bars did not serve coffee but I think that was remedied by the end of our trip.

Seems like the staff and hotel is getting used to all the different changes and my guess would be that after a couple of weeks any of the kinks will have been worked out.

Bayahibe is just a short walk down the beach and one can find cheaper excursions and souvenirs there.

All in all we had a wonderful vacation and have to say that this resort is the best we have ever stayed at. I only rated it a 4 instead of a 5 because I think folks who have stayed at resorts like Dreams would be expecting the premium service as described. It is definitely on its way. For those used to regular service it is already above and beyond.

re here

from saonafan
I am at Dreams right now.

I am in a prefered club room which is very nice. Last night, dinner for christmas eve was a superb 5 course meal including lobster which was cooked perfectly.

The preferred pool is open and the grounds are completed. We have had 3 dives so far with gri gri divers. We enjoyed them very much.

Because of the lack of information on Dreams La Romana, I thought I would enter a brief note, reassuring people that the rooms you booked are available now, and the new restaurants are all finished, although they are open on a rotating basis as the resort is not full.

Getting better, but a bit disappointing

from new-to-far-east
Well, after so much hype, angst and general concern, my holiday to the former Sunscape Casa de Mar, now called Dreams La Romana is over.

Despite everything that was said, and the things I say below which I hope will be of interest, we had a great holiday. There is no doubt that the spot that this hotel occupies is fabulous. The beach has soft sand, you can walk straight into the fabulous coloured water (no stones to hurt your toes on), and with a reef full of exotic fish you can snorkel from the beech. I am very inexperienced but went with my husband who pointed out some amazing sites – the highlight of which was a large puffer fish and the needle fish. Unlike at Punta Cana however, the reef is deep enough to allow some great sailing on the Hobbie Cats.

My husband is a keen and very experienced diver. We looked at the Gri Gri dive center at the resort, and walked into Bayhibi to look at Scuba Fun and Daniel’s dive center. Both the centers in the village seemed very well run and experienced. In the end he went with the Gri Gri as it was simply more convenient and the price difference was not great enough to merit the inconvenience for him. He enjoyed several of the dives including the wreck, the cave and a couple of off shore dives. He found Catlina Island disappointing. He found Mark at the Dive center to be knowledgeable and careful. He was one happy diver.

The hotel. I think that to take this in context you needed to be a fly on the window of the coach back to the airport. There were three couples discussing the hotel and we had three very different experiences, yet we had spent the exact same two weeks at the the exact same hotel.

There are still some building works going on. The theatre is not yet ready and the talk is that the end of January – but who knows! The actually work does not effect you at all, but it does effect the shows as they perform several shows part of the main restaurant. Not that I can honestly say that this bothered us as the shows were, well rubbish. There were to two shows which looked reasonable the traditional Taino Show and the Circus, but these were both on the beach, and I cannot be on the beach after dark as I am insect food, but I watched briefly from above. The rest – don’t bother. The other thing about the entertainment was that at other hotels we have stayed at they run a two week cycle which means you don’t see the same show twice. We saw some shows advertised three times in our two week stay.

The restaurants. The main restaurant (World Café) has the feeling of a large cafeteria. The food is good, but it is the absolute same every night. I have always had a rule of eating one type of food at a meal to avoid boredom. It simply was not possible as it was the same, night after night after night. The “themed” evenings were the same food as the other evenings. The cafeteria was impersonal and the waiters found it hard to lay tables up – we found it best to wait for it to be laid up before getting the food – otherwise it would go cold (it tends to be luke warm anyway) whilst you wait for a knife and fork. Having said that, they tried to be very attentive. We suggest that they divide the large space up to make it less noisy and more personal. We then discovered eating at the specialist restaurants in the evening – we had to work this out as it was confusing a complicated. The new restaurants were due to open on 10th and finally opened on 13th or 14th. Chaos. They need to open more than one an evening. The service was good and we enjoyed every meal except the last when it was so chaotic that people were waiting well over an hour for a table – and don’t forget the hotel was only two-thirds open.

Rooms – refurbished/not refurbished. We had one in Block 1 – we were very happy with it. We overlooked the gardens, could see the sea through the trees had a nice bathroom, great shower. We had an “even” numbered room. If you had an “odd” numbered room in the same block you overlook a kind of building site – not nice. Some other people then got moved into a refurbished room – great you may think – but they said no, there was builders dust everywhere and paint over the floor tiles. Other people complained about cracked tiles, rusty and loose showers etc etc.

Our maid was great – we left a couple of dollars a day for her – we always had lots of towels, plus a knock on the door each evening with extra towels. Other people complained they had no towels.

There was definitely a lack of consistency as to what was in the rooms, the quality of the rooms and the service received.

It was not nice having some of the areas “out of bounds” as they were working from block 5 down to 7, and you could not walk around the grounds on that side. The new pool there was nearing completion I think. They moved the nice new posh pool beds up there during our stay.

The beach was fabulous as was the fruit boat. Plenty of room, but when it is fully open and full I think it must be difficult to get a bed. The guys on the beach are lovely. They speak English and you can have a laugh with them.

Hobbie Cats – two working – need a bit more TLC and could do with another one. That being said, we never had a problem booking one.

Would I go back – possibly for the beach – but I must admit I was not that sad to leave this particular hotel. I think it is definitely undergoing a bit of an identity crisis (not the name) but in what it wants to be. The new restaurants are quite “high class”, but the rooms are not of a high enough quality. I think it will be interesting to see what it is like in a year or so – but on the other hand I don’t like the idea of club rooms, club pools and being a “second class” citizen for two weeks which was not the case whilst we were there as there were not really any club facilities open.

Top Local Tips for La Romana

Bugs Make sure that you take insect repellent with you. There are a lot of bugs. I used OFF with DEET each night. It helped a lot. There were a lot of people with bug bites, because they didn't have spray with them.

long drive from Punta Cana It takes well over two hours each way

Excursions Consider taking the Catamaran to Saona Island and/or the inland safari. Both allow you to see parts of the area outside the resort which was great.

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Other names for Sunscape Casa del Mar Hotel

  • dreams la romana hotel bayahibe
  • dreams la romana bayahibe
  • Address: Bayahibe - La Romana - Dominican Republic
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