Hotel Review: Hilton La Romana All-Inclusive, Dominican Republic
While we have been down in the Dominican Republic, we have come to absolutely love, trust and adore the Playa Resorts collection of hotels. This includes their Sanctuary Cap Cana, Hyatt Zilara and Ziva Cap Cana and the Hilton La Romana properties. Particularly during this unusual time, we’ve found their covid precautions to be excellent, their service to be wonderful and the experiences to be unparalleled. We were ecstatic to have the opportunity to try their Hilton La Romana property last weekend and can’t wait to tell you everything you need to know.
The Hilton La Romana is made up of two separate properties: the Hilton La Romana Family hotel and the Hilton La Romana Adult’s hotel. They are technically two separate hotels, but they are located directly next to each other, much like the Hyatt Ziva and Zilara properties. The Hilton used to be the Dreams resort complex and Hilton acquired it just a few years ago and completed a massive renovation of the resort.
The Hilton La Romana is situated on an incredible bay about 1 hour from the Punta Cana airport and about 90 minutes from the Santo Domingo airport. This is particularly convenient for travelers scouring for flight deals as these two airports are major international airports. The other thing to note about the location is the hotel is located on the southern coast of the Dominican Republic. The primary trade winds and current run offshore for the most part, with exceptions for rare weather and storms. This means that the property does not suffer from quite the same sargassum invasion as the rest of the Punta Cana area. This is particularly excellent news for guests traveling during the warmer summer months, where beaches like Bavaro are absolutely pummeled by sargassum.
The bay itself a small with calm waters and features only one other public beach area as well as a marina. Travelers from Punta Cana and the rest of the tourism area even have to come to this specific marina to take the tours to Isla Saona and Isla Catalina. This gives guests of the Hilton incredible access to two popular tours.
Lobby & Check in experience: 5/5
We were booked into the Premium Swim-up King room, meaning we have access to the club level on the adults-only side of the resort. Often, when we have showed up to resorts with a club level reservation, there has been a lot of confusion around the check in experience. However, this was absolutely not the case at the Hilton. We arrived at the lobby and were immediately assisted by the bellmen, who thanks to the security gate, knew our reservation was club level and directed us straight to the lounge. Since two other couples were checking in or out at the time, he took us towards one of the many seating areas to wait to check in. While we waited we were served a welcome drink of our choice (obviously, Rosé was in the picture).
We were checked in shortly after and the experience was excellent. Every detail of the property that was important to know about was shared, including the COVID-19 insurance guests can purchase for $29 per guest in the event they test positive before flying back to their country. This would entitle a guest to stay for free until their quarantine is over. They also explained how the complimentary Antigen and PCR testing worked and how to schedule an appointment. Max and I were not leaving the country so we did not need to go through the experience, but we wanted to know all the details to share with you.
After getting a thorough explanation of the property, what we can access, and what we need to know, we met our butler and were off to explore the property.
Both the Premium Club and the lobby itself are stunning. The property has undergone an excellent renovation that brings to light the beauty, lightness and “modern-caribbean chic” aesthetic that makes this Hilton incredibly unique. The lobby is airy, bright and features both a bar and a cafe with ample seating, gorgeous lighting and our favorite furniture company that we keep seeing across the high end hotels in the area. The Premium Club has a similar aesthetic and provides a wonderful retreat for guests to either work, enjoy cocktails or beverages or grab a snack.
We were checked into our Premium Swim Out Garden View King and overall, we really liked the aesthetic, use of space and modern amenities. The room is certainly on the small side, coming in at 411 square feet and this is the standard size of every room in the complex, with the exception of the few suites available. The suites come in at just around 828, about double the size of every other room type. Every room at both the Adults or the Family hotel are the exact same in terms of size, amenities and aesthetic. There are no “unique” rooms or shapes to be found, so what you see on the website is exactly what you’re going to get. The difference you will find is simply the views. The Swim Out rooms on the premium adults side face away from the resort and are incredibly private. There is no walkway or building on the other side of the pool, making this a very desirable swim out room. I typically tend to steer away from swim outs due to their, usually, very public locations on walkways or main areas of the resort. While this is what some people do like, it’s usually not our go-to. The other swim out rooms around property were similar, with fairly private locations, compared some of the other hotels we have stayed at.
All the rooms feature Crabtree & Evelyn bath amenities, a large rainshower, comfortable bed (king or two doubles) and a small seating area. The TV is large and does offer many English channels. However, we did find the menu to be clunky and difficult to operate. There is a master switch located next to the bed for convenient access to turn off all the lights and the AC is excellent.
The aesthetic between the Adults Side and the Family Side are similar, but there are a few unique decorative elements in each. What you’ll notice is that the rooms looks the exact same in terms of size, angle on property and overall “bones”. The only difference is the cosmetic look.
You can see our Premium Swim Out room:
Versus the Standard King room on the Family side:
Now, the difference between Premium level and standard is primarily service and facility based. While the rooms are the exact same, there are valuable “extras” that made the Premium experience worthwhile.
First, the check in experience is exclusive, private and relaxing. There is no concept of a “check in line” in the lounge. Even with a wait, we relaxed with a welcome beverage in a comfortable seating nook instead of standing in a line. This lounge is also available to guests all day as they do have a full bar and some snacks (which aren’t as exciting during COVID, but the bar makes up for it). The Premium Bar features liquors like Campari, Aperol, Bacardi, Brugal, Morini, Dewar’s, Evan Williams, Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, Tanqueray, Absolut, Bombay, Gordon’s and more. While the liquor selection varies a bit on the standard bar side, I wouldn’t call it dramatically different. The wine selection is the same across the entire hotel, which is Duc Oliver sparkling wine, Revero white wine (standard low end chardonnay), Cayo Sol Rosé (standard low end rosé) or Virtuoso Rosé (standard low end rosé) and a couple of standard low end reds. I was a little surprised to not see a higher end choice of wines in the club level as we have seen at resorts like Hyatt, however, the wines were fine for an all-inclusive.
Arguably the best reason to upgrade to club level is the access guests have to Noor (on the adults side) and The Grill (on the family side) for breakfast and lunch. Hotel guests not staying on the club level have access to the buffet restaurants for breakfast or room service for $5. Lunch, hotel guests not in club have access to a pop-up grill, pizza restaurant and the buffet. However, with club level, guests have access to two additional a la carté restaurants for both breakfast and lunch (with the same menus). The Grill was our favorite due to the stellar location on the edge of the water and we really enjoyed being able to enjoy a plated, served breakfast. Guests on club level also have access to complimentary room service.
Additionally, club level guests have access to purchasing a butler service for their stay, an amenity that standard rooms do not have access to. We find that the property does not do a great job advertising this incredible service, but it’s very worthwhile. Club level guests can purchase this service for $200 USD for 7 days (+$15 each day after that). The butler provides a range of services, such as planning restaurant reservations, romantic dinners and they can bring you anything you want at the pool and beach. Despite not serving food at the pool or beach, a butler can bring you lunch or drinks, wherever you are. We saw a number of butlers running around with menus and beverages for their guests. In the post-COVID world, they will unpack your luggage and coordinate a romantic breakfast on your balcony. One of the best features that I saw from a butler was that they can even reserve your pool or beach chairs for you. This is a really nice perk that I didn’t know about until I saw a “reserved” sign on the beach and inquired. If you’re looking for the “pinnacle” experience at the Hilton, it’s the addition of the butler. To purchase this service, you do have to book a club level room and then pay the property directly for the service.
Here are photos of the Family Side Club Lounge. It’s not quite the same “wow” factor:
The service at the Hilton La Romana was excellent all around. From the excellent arrival experience through to the food and beverage, housekeeping and front desk agents, we really didn’t have any negative service experiences at any point. The service was attentive, careful and refined. It is very clear that management is extremely focused on providing a higher level of service than what most would probably expect from an all-inclusive experience.
The butler service was a very unusual way of operating, in our experience. Instead of a butler being automatically added to Club rooms or suites, guests can opt-in to purchase the service separately. While it seems odd, we can 100% see value in the service as a whole. Our butler was accessible at any hour, it seemed, despite his work hours being only during normal 9-5 hours. We would message him requests here and there, sometimes late at night, and were always met with a friendly response. This is a stark contrast to what we’ve come to expect from most “butler services” in this price range at other Caribbean hotels. My one note around the butler service would be to ensure you understand all the benefits going in so you can take advantage of them during your stay.
There are a large selection of dining options available at the Hilton La Romana across the two properties. It’s important to note that children will not be able to access the adults-only restaurants, but adults can access all restaurants. We did have the opportunity to try a number of their outlets:
Noor – Adults Side
Noor is their Mediterranean style cuisine in the evenings and it is the Club Level a la carté available for breakfast and lunch. For breakfast, they serve standard options such as pancakes, waffles, omelets, bagels with lox, breakfast burritos and more. For lunch, they serve sandwiches, pastas, salads and similar “American” style options. We thoroughly enjoyed our lunch at Noor and felt the presentation of the food was better than The Grill. We did not go to Noor for breakfast, however, due to the location. We preferred breakfast at the Grill thanks to the oceanfront location.
The Grill – Family Side
The Grill serves Seafood and American-style grilled food for dinner and it is the Club Level a la carté restaurant available for breakfast and lunch on the family side. The location is superb, sitting right on the edge of the water, making it the perfect breakfast spot. It was worth the additional noise from families as a couple for this reason. They offer the same exact menu as Noor for breakfast and for lunch.
The Grill is also where all the romantic dinners are held. There are a number of more private nooks and crannies around the restaurant that enable guests to dine with incredible sunset views. We had a romantic dinner on one of these perches with a stunning sunset view and outdoor living room setup. The food was excellent. We had the choice of two items for each course and we tested our all of them. We thoroughly enjoyed the steak, salmon, calamari and ceviche.
Mare Grill – Adults Side
Mare Grill is situated on the adults side and features delicious seafood. We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner here, with a spectacular sunset view.
Sakura – Adults Side
Sakura is the Japanese restaurant on the adults side. They do also offer a hibachi experience, which looked like a blast! We did get to sample a few different items and I’d really like to go back to explore the menu at our leisure because we absolutely loved the sushi and would have liked to try a few more rolls as well as the hibachi experience. One thing to note is that there is no outdoor dining at Sakura so our recommendation is to go to Sakura after sunset hours so you don’t miss out on the perfect sunsets on property.
Pizzeria – Family Side
There is a pizza restaurant on the family side that is open for lunch that services a small selection of pizza. We really enjoyed the pepperoni pizza and could have done without the ham pizza. They were not the most interesting pizzas in the world – but if you’re looking a quite bite, I’d say this is a great option.
There are also cafes in both lobbies that service delicious espresso beverages, frappes and iced drinks. The sweets were ok – I preferred the croissants at the Grill.
Room service is also available on the property. Club Level guests do not have to pay a delivery fee, while standard guests pay a $5 fee for each delivery (whether you order 1 dish or 10, it’s the same). The room service during COVID-19 arrives in to-go style containers.
Between the two Hilton La Romana properties, guests really do have access to everything they need for the perfect beach vacation and more. Combine that with the pristine, flat bay that allows for water sports any time of day and you’ve got it all.
We really enjoyed the fact that the Club Level featured separate massive pool areas that did not feel like an afterthought, but rather, a planned and well executed feature on property. The Club lounge on the adults side was built from the ground up during the renovation and provides adults with a stylish, relaxing place to rest, work, drink and enjoy. The family side does feature a club lounge, but it has not been upgraded to the same stylish level as the adults side. That being said, they told us it was because families don’t spend much time in the club lounge overall. The Club Level also features separate beach areas for Club guests, with the adults only club side being the farther away from action and noise. Guests looking to be more secluded and alone will find a lot of peace and quiet on the Adults Club pool and beach section.
The Spa was also not updated, however, we did enjoy our massage down in the pagoda on the beach and would highly recommend the service. The prices were reasonable and the massage quality was very good. We did not spend much time in the spa otherwise, as it was a bit dated and set back on the property.
We mentioned this previously, but the property is very large so it has many little nooks and crannies to explore. One facility we thought was really a wonderful add-on is the “Romantic Corner”. Guests can book this romantic corner for $75 per person (or $250 per couple with a catered lunch) and it allows you to be able to spend the whole day in a private corner of the property overlooking the ocean with a private pool. This is a great option, particularly if you have a butler, because you can order bottles of house wine, sparkling wine, beer and food to your spot.
There is also a waterpark on property – a great perk for families. They also have a large kids club and teen club area. There are dozens of activities guests of all ages can take part in, including work out classes, morning yoga, water aerobics in the bay and more. They have nightly entertainment, typically on the family side auditorium as well as a musician in the adults lobby.
Overall, we enjoyed that guests have the chance to as bored, or as active, as they want.
The renovation that brought the Hilton La Romana to life was tastefully done with beautiful decor, modern and chic amenities and a true feeling of belonging in its location. Due to the older nature of the property, the flora, gardens and even the flamingos add an incredible touch of “jungle”, making the property feeling much smaller than it actually is. The trees are taller than the three story buildings, making this feel much more like a boutique property than the massive 768-room hotel that it is. We were constantly in awe, admiring the beautiful decor in the lobby, rooms and restaurants. We truly enjoyed the style and appreciate the attention to detail the designers had when developing the property post-renovation.
Overall, we would 100% recommend this property. If available to you, the club level + butler experience take the vacation to the next level. However, even just as a standard guest, we truly feel that this Hilton La Romana is one of the areas best kept secrets. The Bayahibe bay with its calm waters, spectacular sunsets and the excellent service from staff make this a true winner.
COVID-19 Safety Rating: 4.5/5
The Playa Resorts brand plus Hilton’s CleanStay policies are exceptional. From social distancing at restaurants, staffs visible precautions in front of guests and the fact that occupancy is capped at 70% maximum make this a very safe place to stay. Masks are required in all public areas for guests and staff alike and for the most part, guests did a great job. Housekeeping was excellent and we always love the “seal” of cleanliness of the guest room door, indicating the room has been disinfected and verified prior to your arrival.
We also love the fact that both PCR and Antigen tests are covered by the hotel, enabling guests to have a stress free vacation without needing to leave the property to get tested. The added insurance for $29 is also a great option for nervous travelers. The feeling of relief many guests have knowing that in the worst case, they are fully covered for the duration of their stay and quarantine is truly something that can make or break your vacation.
Overall, we felt incredibly safe, comfortable and relaxed throughout or stay and never felt that the COVID precautions were taken lightly. We can 100% recommend this property as a great option for any guest who may be anxious taking their first trip during the pandemic.
Disclaimer: We were hosted by Playa Resorts on a media stay. Please know the opinions expressed are all our own and may not reflect the hotel’s own views.
Thanks for the helpful review! Quick question – if you choose the butler service, do you still need to pay an additional fee to book cabana/bali beds? Thanks again!
Thanks for your comment! Yes, that is correct. You do still have to pay the fees to book the cabanas/bali beds. However, with butler service you do get the added benefit of enjoying lunch on your bali bed instead of having to leave to go get food at one of the restaurants. The bali beds are really nice if you like shade or hanging out by the pool. We didn’t really run into any issues getting pool chairs or beach chairs at any point :). Let us know what other questions you have!
Thanks for the amazing review! Question, we are confused between hyaat ziva and this hilton la romana. We are a family of 4, with a 3 year old and 7 year old. Which hotel do you think would be better for us, considering hyatt ziva is about $1200 more. Also how bad is the seaweed at hyatt ziva/zilara? Is the ocean swimable?
Thank you so much for your comment! The seaweed was not bad at the Hyatt, thanks to their amazing seaweed barrier around the Hyatt and the Secrets Cap Cana. The water was incredible- warm, calm and VERY shallow. I think you’d love either one, in general, I think the Hyatt is a bit more refined in their service and their food & beverage, but if it comes down to budget, you’ll really enjoy the Hilton La Romana. It feels smaller, even though it’s not, and the beach is lovely, calm and family friendly. Happy to answer any questions you have!
Thank you for a great review! I have a question regarding premium level on the family side. Do adults staying in a premium room on family side able to use premium areas on the adult only side? Thanks Michelle
Thank you for your comment! Yes, correct- adults staying on the family side premium club can access any premium amenities across the entire property. If you are with kids, they won’t be able to access the amenities, however. We personally preferred breakfast on the family side because the views were spectacular :). The premium club on the adults side was definitely nicer.
Question: My husband and I are thinking about booking a room there for our anniversary should we get a room on the family or adult side? (looking for a quiet/relaxing place for a few hours a day and nice views). Also, is the butler service only available for premium rooms or any? and what is a club level?
Hello! Thanks for your comment :). Regarding the adult versus family side, I personally think booking the adults side for a romantic trip is better because it is quieter and you won’t hear screaming kids next door, either. There aren’t that many rooms with ocean views, so if that is important to you, I would consider the family side, just know the pools and neighbors will likely be a bit louder.
Regarding butler service, that is available on any room at $200 for 7 nights and is a nice option. You have to book it through the hotel directly after you book your stay. Premium is what they call their club level. Club level is great- it includes access to a private bar as well as two a la carte restaurants for breakfast and lunch. The breakfast is my favorite part of club level because otherwise you’d have to go to the buffet.
Let us know any other questions!
Thank you so much!! Your review and comments have been very helpful!! 😀
Anytime! Happy travels!
Thanks for the detailed review, it’s very helpful! I have a question about dinning.
Are there any other restaurants for diner options aside from the 4 mentioned ( noor, mare, Sakura, the grill)? Sounds like there is only 1 option for diner if you are dinning with children. Is that correct?
Hi Stephanie! Thanks for your message – there are actually quite a few restaurants on the family side- they have a French, Italian and their main restaurant. They also have a lobby bar and pizzeria and buffet :). They basically have equivalent services on the family side. Let us know if you have any questions
Marie Claire Arrieta
Thanks for such a detailed review. I am travelling with a 9 and an 11 year old. Any reviews or information about their kids club?
Hey Marie Claire, thanks for your comment! I hope you have a wonderful time. The kids club is located in the main building that contains most of the restaurants on the family side and is super centrally located. It’s also really big- they have tons of activities and we saw SO many kids doing different activities, like learning baseball in the batting cage, playing lawn games and many were inside playing other games. They seem to have a good amount of coordinated activities so the parents can drop them off and enjoy themselves :). If you do drop the kids off, you have full access to the adults only side if you’re looking for some peace and quiet ;). Let us know if you have any other questions!
Thank you for a great review!
How does one purchase (order) a premium club stay? How much is it for 7 nights? It feels like I have searched all over Hilton’s website and cannot seem to find it. Thank you for your help!
Hi Katie! Thanks for reaching out :). So the premium club level is just a room type name, so when you look at a set of dates, you’ll see “deluxe garden view” and then when you scroll down, you will see “premium garden view”. It’s not very obvious, unfortunately but the premium in the name gives you access to club level. It’s typically about $150-250 more per night and you get access to the club level, a la carte for breakfast and lunch and a nicer check in experience. Let me know if you still can’t find it! You can send me your dates and I’ll see if it’s available online 🙂
Thank you so much for the thorough reply!
We are looking to stay in a premium garden view – king room. So, it sounds like we will have full access to the premium club? When we called the resort directly, they made it sound like there was an additional nightly fee to pay during check-in to be upgraded to premium club status.
Side note: You should check out the Grande Luxxe at Vidanta properties 🙂 We have been there dozens of times! We are new to traveling and staying at Hilton properties.
Hey Katie! That’s so weird that they told you no- I contacted my contact at the property and they confirmed if you book the room with a “premium” tag you will have access to the club :). Let us know if you need anything at all!
Hi 🙂 Thank you for your answers!
I have a quick question re Premium Club. Is it possible to buy it directly at the hotel as an upgrade after booking Deluxe room? Would you know how much it is by any chance?
Aslo, do you know if it’s possible to buy it just for couple of nights, and not whole stay?
Hi Liana, anytime! Regarding Premium rooms, you can upgrade on check-in, but if they are full, you won’t be able to change it. The rooms are in a different building that the standard rooms so they are limited in number. The rate does change depending on the price of the room in general, but it’s typically between 50-100 USD more per night. My personal opinion is it’s worth it thanks to the benefits. Regarding having it a few nights versus all nights, most likely yes, but you will have to change rooms so worth considering if you don’t mind a room change, I suppose! Let me know if you have any other questions 🙂
Thank you for posting this. We are thinking of getting married here, so I enjoyed reading about this!
Thank you for your comment! That sounds wonderful- they have some gorgeous wedding venues on property, particularly on the cliffside pagoda near the spa pagoda – stunning!!! Let us know if you need anything or have questions 🙂
Nous nous rendons du 16 au 26 janvier à Hilton la Romand Adult only et nous hésitons à prendre un majordome pour la durée de notre séjour.
pouvez vous nous en dire plus sur les prestations faites.
Sinon, que comprend l’assurance COVID à 29$ de l’hôtel.
Merci pour votre retour.
We are going from January 16 to 26 at Hilton la Romand Adult only and we hesitate to take a butler for the duration of our stay.
Can you tell us more about the services provided.
Otherwise, what does the hotel’s $ 29 COVID insurance include?
Thanks for your feedback.
Hi Laurent! Thank you for your comment. You can decide to add the butler at any time. When we were there, it was $200 for 7 days. They can make reservations for you, reserve pool chairs and cabanas, organize special events, unpack your luggage and bring you drinks or food on the beach or at the pools. They are basically able to get you anything you want when you want. We really enjoyed that experience, but it certainly won’t ruin your experience if you don’t do it.
The COVID insurance will allow you to stay on property for free in a hotel room with all your meals if you test positive upon departure. So basically, if you pay the $30, you won’t have to pay them to stay longer if you get COVID. It’s a good deal, worth considering since hotel rooms can be really expensive if you have to stay for 10 days.
Let us know any questions you have!
Thanks for you review! When booking, was that the final price including the all inclusive? Or is that just the room price and they add the all inclusive price later on? Besides personally adding additional gratuity for servers/bartenders/doormen, did you inquire other charges at checkout like a “resort fee” etc.?
Hi Jason! Thanks for your comment :). The price listed on their website does include the all inclusive as well as all your fees and taxes. There is no additional resort fee or anything unexpected that you will pay on property, which is amazing! The beauty of booking this property is that you won’t have a big bill at the end 🙌🏼. Let us know if you need any other questions!
Thanks for the thorough review! Do you know if there are connecting rooms on the club level?
Hi there! thanks for your comment! They do offer *some* connecting rooms so I would definitely call to make sure you can request that if you need that for kids etc. They can block rooms that would be ideal for your scenario :). Let me know if you have any other questions!
We are going to this location in April, do they have keyless entry to the rooms?
When vacationing at the Hyatt they offered bracelet for room entry.
Hi Mike, Thanks for your comment! The Hilton did not have keyless entry at the time of our stay- they still used traditional room keys. I hope that helps!
Hi! I love your reviews. Seconding between Hilton and Hyatt Zilara for me and my husband. Hyatt looks so much nicer but getting a pretty good deal on Hilton due to honors 5th night free – which one would you recommend? Also big lovers of fitness. Gym at Hyatt looks much nicer and area looks nicer to run outside.
Hi Alessia, thank you for your comment! That’s a great deal with Hilton. I’d say overall, the Hyatt Zilara is definitely a higher end property in terms of service, amenities and food quality. However, we REALLY enjoyed the Hilton’s beach, low-buildings and club level. I felt the food was definitely better than its competitors and there was a lot of choice when it comes to types of cuisine. The gym at Hyatt is fantastic- better than the Equinox I used to go to in San Francisco, to be honest. They have TONS of classes, space and amazzzzing facilities. The gym at Hilton was definitely not comparable. One thing to note about Hyatt as well is if you have a Chase Sapphire card, you can transfer points to Hyatt and nights at the Hyatt Zilara are 25k per night so that can be a great value as well.
Either way, I don’t think you can go wrong, but for a fitness lover, Hyatt’s a winner.
Thank you for the information. I called the resort and have had a difficult time communicating with them. I have 7 rooms booked six are deluxe and one is an ocean suite. I did ask for the butler service for all the rooms but they did not say anything about the premium room status being necessary to have the butler service. Any help is appreciated.
Hey Emma! Thanks for your comment and I’m sorry you’ve had such a hard time!! I really hope you were able to get in touch with them. What I do know is that you do not need a premium room for butler service. They should be able to add that service on when you arrive, if not before!
What sort of benefits or amenities can Hilton Diamond members expect to receive at this property?
Hi Mason! This property does give out upgrades to elite members, I have heard of many Diamond members getting upgraded to club level. I would say it’s based on availability so if you really want the room, I’d book it in advance. However, you do get upgraded if it is available. Otherwise, breakfast is already included since it is all-inclusive so that doesn’t really apply here. I hope this helps!!
Thank you for your very detailed review!
I was wondering if you took any tours of the island via the resort? Any recomendation?
Thanks a lot
Hi Stephanie, thank you so much for your comment! You can absolutely book tours through the concierge. In fact, a lot of the tours leave from the pier literally next to the hotel- it’s very convenient. I would recommend doing the Isla Catalina or Isla Soana snorkeling tours- they are fabulous and the water is spectacular. The boats leave right from the dock so you don’t need to pay extra for a bus transfer :). Hope you have the best time!!
We have a 30-Year Anniversary trip planned for the end of June and I’m curious how much the romantic/private dinner is? Is there an extra fee for this dinner if you have the Premium/Club Level and Butler Service? (Which we plan to get.) We have watched your YouTube videos and are excited for our trip!
Hi Steve! The romantic dinner is an extra charge, even for club level folks but I do believe it ranges depending on the menu (I think somewhere in the $100-200ish range). Definitely an amazing experience to have though!! Have a wonderful trip!
Thank you for your great reviews of the Hilton La Romana property. My wife and I are planning a 30-Anniversary trip next month and are really looking forward to visiting this property. One thing we are interested in is scheduling a romantic/private dinner but can’t seem to find out how much extra that will cost. Is there an extra cost for the beach-side private dinner? Does it matter if you’re a Premium guest with Butler Service? (both of which we plan to upgrade to.) Also, I am a Hilton Diamond member and we are using points for our stay. Please advise.
Hi Steve! Thanks for your comment! That will be so wonderful – congratulations!!! A Romantic dinner is a fantastic option! I honestly cannot recall the exact cost of the romantic dinner, but I believe it’s somewhere in the camp of $100-200 USD. I believe depending on the menu, the price ranges a bit. If you want to schedule in advance, I’d recommend calling the hotel directly, but you can also schedule it directly with your butler and pick your favorite spot to do it while you’re on property. They have a number of options that you can choose from so I’d recommend waiting to pick your favorite one. The butler will take care of everything for you!! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions at all!
Steven J Ellison
Thanks to the Voyager Guru and your recommendations. We just got back from our 8-night stay at the Hilton La Romana All-Inclusive Adult-Only Resort and we had an amazing time! We took advantage of several of your suggestions: Premium Club, Butler Service, Private beach dinner and rented the Romantic Corner – all of which made for a memorable 30th Anniversary vacation.
We can’t wait to follow your other reviews and start planning for next summer’s vacation. 🙂
Hi Steven! Thanks so much for that amazing feedback- I’m sure all our readers will really appreciate the first hand recent experience!! Also super glad you had an amazing 30th- congratulations!! Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need anything, anytime!
Prof. Tilo Theis
Hello, I have visited three hotels in La Romana, I would like to know if you understand that as a PHD in Anthopology, why you do not advertise the country local guisine? When a person with education visist another country, it is not about staying in the resort eating scrambled eggs, pancake for breakfast. If I wanted that I could have saved the money and gone to IHOP. It is as important to give credit to the locals by featuing them in your advertisement as well. We have studied how in this country especifically, white people are portrayed in your advertisement, even the locals you choose the lightest sking person. The Dominican Republic is already under world scruitiny due to racism and exploitation. Picture this, you tell someone you visited the country yet know nothing at all about their music, because in my stay the violin wa s played. Listen, the other professors some of wich comes from different parts of Europe and Asia, noticed this in the hotel’s advertisement. We would like to visit again for a study, however I cannot find one hotel which states or have closeup pictures of the local foods, or typical dances. Kind Regards, Prof. Tilo Theis.
Hi there! Thanks for your comment – I totally agree with you that I wish more hotels features local cuisine more prominently across their properties. Sadly, most in tourist destinations, this isn’t the case. I believe the Hilton did have a restaurant with local cuisine, but I’m not sure if it reopened. When we were there, it was not available, but it was supposed to feature the traditional style BBQ so hopefully they bring it back :).
Thank you so much for you review! Was the menu for the room menu extensive?
Hi Dorothy! Thanks for your comment. The menu did offer a good selection for both breakfast and all day dining. They had a variety of more snack-style dishes for afternoon snacks and then things like pastas, burgers, tacos for dinner. I hope this helps!
This was a really amazing review, thank you. I have been looking at reviews obsessively for the past week ranging from Cancun, Jamaica, Turks, and Bahamas, planning a trip for our family of four (possibly to include a Grandma and my sister’s family). I had punch list that honestly seemed hard to meet: expansive pool/water park that is family friendly and kid forward (kids 8, 11), updated accommodations with some options and levels, and SWIMMABLE beach with some snorkeling (please no seaweed if possible!). This location at La Romana just seemed to hit all the boxes, measured against Moon Palace resorts, Dreams locations, and Beaches Turks/Jamaica. Am I missing something, or does this proprety really hit the mark? If a Grandma is in the mix, can you share handicap accessible features if any, like zero entry pools, handlebars, walk in showers, etc. Thanks!
Hi Brian! Thank you so much for your comment! You’re totally right- Hilton in La Romana actually does hit the mark. The family side has a fantastic pool, the water park is located just behind the main buildings so it’s super accessible, great kids program, love the rooms (though small) and the beach is incrrrredibly calm, particularly when you compare it to Punta Cana, Cancun and Cabo. I also personally really did enjoy the service, which I have heard Dreams and Beaches don’t quite hit the mark there. No seaweed here either thanks to the offshore wind and current!
In terms of accessibility features, while I’m certainly not an expert here, they did have ramps on walkways and the rooms on the 1st floor do not have any stairs. I would definitely call the hotel directly though to make sure your needs are met before booking and also to make sure they can put grandma in an appropriate room since they don’t really have any bookable ADA rooms.
Let us know any other questions you have!!
Hi there! I love reading your reviews, they are so helpful!
We are planning a 40th bday trip for 2 couples and are trying to decide where to stay (Mid Jan 2023). We are between the Hilton and Hyatt Zilara and Excellence El Carmen and then I just saw your review on Sanctuary… and feel like everything had different pros and cons. (Or if there are others that you think we should consider, we are open to any ideas and none of us have been to the dominican.)
Some things that we really would like:
– enjoy the ocean, not sure if the seaweed is something of a problem in January? We also would love to do some snorkeling – maybe even a boat outing
– definitely a foodie group, but also would love to try local cuisine not just tourist food
– perhaps even some other type of excursion
Always so overwhelming when you start to dive into a new vacation location! Thanks so much for your help!
Hi Stefanie! Thanks so much for reaching out!! How exciting and what a wonderful birthday plan :). Seaweed won’t be an issue in January, particularly at Hyatt Zilara. The beach at the Zilara is spectacular with gorgeous white sand and blue water. Hilton has a nice beach as well, it’s more rocky with beautiful rock formations that protrude over the water so the water is super clear but it is smaller in terms of space to be on the beach. Based on your priorities, I would say the Zilara is likely going to be the best option. The rooms are sizeable, there are so many restaurants and they are all excellent, the spa is massive and brand new, overall, it’s a fantastic choice. The Hilton spa is much older and not “impressive” from an amenities standpoint so I would definitely pick Zilara based on that alone. I like Sanctuary, but they have no real beach. We have not yet stayed at Excellence El Carmen but I’ve heard very mixed reviews about the food from other travelers. I hope this helps!!
Hi There! Thank you so much for your review. You have lovely pictures!
I have a question related to the room and services. We booked a Premium garden view room (adults only). At the hotel, Should we pay if needed with a credit card, or should we bring American dollars or Euros? Even staying in this room, do we need to pay around $200 USD if we want them to get us some drinks at the beach or in the room? Besides, that, is the water from the pool warm? Thank you so much!!
Hi Adriana! Thanks for your comment :). So if you are going to pay for any excursions, spa treatments or other facilities via the hotel, you can pay by card. So for instance, if you book a couples massage, it will get billed to your room and you can pay that at the end via credit card.
If you want to tip the waiters and people like that, then yes, I would recommend bringing some cash. You can use dollars to tip for exceptional service after meals or at the end of your beach day. If you want to use Pesos, you can use the ATM at the airport to pull out DOP at a more favorable exchange than if you were to convert it in the US and bring it down. They accept both DOP and USD for tips :).
The swim up pool was not heated when we were there, but the air was so hot it was pretty refreshing. I did not spend that much time in it though, because it was pretty cold!
hello!! it is hard to tell if there is a private adults only beach for the adults side? and is there a white sand, typical calm water, super turquoise beach here? debating here or the hyatt. fitness and cuisine isn’t a must… beach and ambiance ando excursions are more important to us. thank you!!!
Hi Susan! Thanks for your comment! There is a private adults only seating area on the beach, it’s a touch smaller than the family side. Of course, there were kids in the water right next to us but the actual seating is calmer and more enjoyable. I like the view/setup of the family side more due to it being more spacious but it was very nice to have a bit more quiet on the adults side. The water is SUPER calm and the beach has very beautiful rock formations along the edges and very soft sand on the beach. The sand isn’t powder white, it is more of a golden white.
If you are looking at hyatt versus hilton and care mostly about the beach and ambience/excursions, I would say the Hilton is going to be the best option. Hyatt has a GORGEOUS beach that is very big, but in the summer you will find a hint of sargassum there. While their overall service experience is better at Hyatt, Hilton has the advantage of location for excursions. If you plan to go to Catalina or some of the snorkeling tours, the pier is literally next to the hotel so you can easy get on a tour out there. There is no sargassum on this coast either because the wind is offshore as well as the current. You can’t go wrong with either hotel, but I would go with Hilton if you’re looking to do some excursions and spend your days moving between lounging in the water and lying on a beach chair!