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LA ROMANA-BAYAHIBE, Dominican Republic All-inclusive resorts, by
their very nature, can seem familiar similar buffets, similar
activities, similar services.
At the Viva Dominicus Palace here, however, the all-inclusive
concept has a lot of attractive differences.
Located along the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic, the
332-room Dominicus Palace is an expansive resort that will surely
impress your clients. With a multitude of activities from archery
lessons and bocce ball on the sand to poolside merengue lessons and
an ambitious lineup of alternative dining options this is a
well-rounded all-inclusive property.
Even as I lazed on a chaise longue on Day 4 of my visit, it
occurred to me that I didn’t feel as though I had covered the
4-year-old resort. And I never had the urge to leave the property
(Santo Domingo, the nearest tourist destination, is 90 minutes
away). In fact, I never felt like moving from the beach, where
palms provided much-needed shade from the midday heat (the average
temperature is 77 degrees.)
But on most evenings, my wife and I did walk next door to the
resort’s sister property, the 530-room Viva Dominicus Beach, which
has three more pools, more bars, additional restaurant choices and
lighted tennis courts, among other activities.
Dominicus Palace guests may use Dominicus Beach amenities, but
not vice versa (a wristband system is used).
At night, the action was at Dominicus Beach. A short walk past
its beachfront bungalows led us to a piazza where a deejay was
spinning dance music and guests of various nationalities were
Two weeks before Christmas, the resort was at 95 percent
occupancy, but only a few guests were U.S. and Canadian
vacationers. (Viva Resorts is a privately held, Italian-owned
company with three properties in Mexico and one in the
Guests certainly won’t lack entertainment. Both resorts offer
commendable live musical productions and cabaret shows. We caught
an entertaining Michael Jackson tribute at the Dominicus Beach’s
1,000-seat theater one evening and a Moulin Rouge-themed
performance on another night at the Dominicus Palace’s open-air
venue. There’s also a free-standing, air-conditioned disco.
In addition to the daily breakfast, lunch and dinner seatings at
the La Yuca buffet restaurant, Viva Dominicus Palace offers three
other international eateries.
We enjoyed a four-course Italian meal at La Scala and fajitas
and flaming coffee drinks at Viva Mexico, but the best dinner
experience was Bambu, the resort’s newest restaurant, which serves
Guests may also book a table at La Roca, the waterfront grill at
Reservations are required for all restaurants.
For late-night snacks, we tried a tuna-topped pizza at La
Pizzeria. There are 168 superior garden-view rooms, 92 superior
oceanfront rooms and 72 junior suites in a series of connecting
three-story buildings. The rooms, which feature two queen-size or
one king-size bed, have balconies, satellite TV, mini bars, safes
and hair dryers.
The package includes meals, a room-service option for
continental breakfast, snacks, alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks,
motorized sports, activities, the Viva Kid’s Club, taxes and
The resort spa, Metamorphosis, offers a variety of treatments at
an additional cost.
As one Canadian woman lounging on the beach put it: “You can do
as much or as little as you want, day or night.”
Hits: The grounds, beach areas and energetic staff in charge of
the daily activities and nightly entertainment.
Misses: Rigid rules for returning/exchanging beach towels.
Be Aware: Use the 2-year-old La Romana Airport, a 15-minute
drive from the resort. In contrast, Punta Cana Airport is
approximately 1 hour, 15 minutes away.
Rates: From $76 to $241 per person, per night. Children 3 to 12
are free, if they share a room with two adults.