by Diana Lambdin Meyer
The Hacienda Dominicus is one of six properties in the Dominican Republic owned by the Spanish company Iberostar. It is located on the southeastern or Caribbean side of the island of Hispaniola near the small fishing village of Bayahibe. The property has 10 buildings of no more than three floors each with a total of 502 rooms, 21 of which are junior suites. Each room has either a spacious patio and/or balcony. Building 4, located closest to the ocean, was renovated in late 2010.
Each building is centered on an open courtyard with a distinctive Spanish flare. Abundant flowers and greenery provide a backdrop for Moorish architecture. The brightly colored ceramic tiles, fountains and seating areas give a distinct feel for the Andalusian region of Spain.
The courtyard or hacienda design of each building contributes to the intimacy of the property and the feel of additional private space for each guestroom. If the kids are ready to go and you need a few more minutes, allow them to play outside in the courtyard, a safe boundary but lets them start burning some energy and exploring independently.
All of the buildings are connected by a lighted breezeway so in the event of rain, it is possible to walk from any guestroom to the primary entertainment areas of the Hacienda Dominicus without getting wet.
Located within the breezeway of each building is a concierge desk, which is staffed throughout the day. This individual is on hand to make any arrangements you like for off-property excursions, dinner reservations, spa appointments and the like. Any questions or needs you may have can usually be handled right here without the need to walk to the front desk or primary concierge desk, thus allowing you more time to enjoy the amenities of the property.
The focal point of the beach area is a large black and white striped lighthouse. It would be nice to say that it is authentic to the time when fishing boats in this area relied on lighthouses, but sadly, that’s not the case. It was built as a point of interest on the beach and serves as a beach bar reaching right out above the water. However, it still makes a great backdrop for family photos.
To learn more, visit IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts.
Our Editor Loves
- Hacienda-style buildings
- Beachfront location
- Kids club for ages 4 to 12
- All Inclusive Rates
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Kids' Pool
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
The Hacienda Dominicus is a spacious property with 10 hacienda-style buildings and 504 guestsrooms arranged at an angle toward the ocean. At the time of your reservation, state your preference if you would like to be closer to the ocean, the pool or the dining areas. Rooms are entered via a spacious courtyard. Elevators are available for second and third floor rooms. Some adjoining rooms are available. Each building has a combination of standard guestrooms and suites, each with the option of one king-sized bed or two double beds.
The guestrooms feature a private balcony with a garden view, flat screen TV, air conditioning and ceiling fan. The bathroom offers a shower/tub combo. A dedicated on-call concierge is also available to guests.
The suites are a little more spacious and include a separate living and dining area with a kitchenette. Families will love the private balcony with ocean views too. Shower/tub combos can also be found in the suites but not all rooms have bathtubs, so you must ask for that in your reservation.
The quality of the shampoos and lotions offered in the baths were of good quality and the water in the guestrooms was safe to drink. However, each room is equipped with a mini-fridge stocked each day with soft drinks and water at no extra charge. Cribs are provided at no extra charge, but bed rails are not available. If you require a crib, a junior suite is highly recommended.
This is the fourth time we visit this resort. We checked in today and we are very disappointed. I gave it two stars only for the beach, beautiful gardens and the service offered by our concierge Enrique. He’s been very helpful with our restaurant reservations and assist us with anything we needed. Other than that, it’s 11 pm and there’s no restaurant open. Literally, there’s nothing to eat. They used to have the Mexican restaurant open as a buffet for people who need a late snack. Now all they have is the bufet open with only one station which prepares only burgers and old French fries. We went to front desk and ask for the room service menu. Only to find out, the room service menu also includes burgers, French Fries and Cesar Salad. This is outrageous! 11pm and not at least some chips or sandwiches available.
All we can do is to wait until next morning for breakfast.
We used to come to Iberostar Hacienda and have a great time. Now 2 of the blocks are under construction, the rooms are old and dirty, and mediocre food if any food at all.
Unfortunately, this is my last time staying at this resort. If you don’t care much about food and rooms, this resort has one of the greatest beaches. But I’m not sure it’s worth the money they charge.
I just came back from a 5 getaway with my fiance at Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus. Service was great! I was in touch for 20 days with Martin (Public Relations) even before going to Bayahibe. He provided the best service I've ever received. I wanted to surprise my fiance with an exclusive romantic dinner at the pier to get engaged. Btw, she said YES :)
Martin was on top every single detail. From menu, wine/champagne to music, etc. Through our stay, he was always following up helping us with dinner reservations, room ambiance, and transport. I would give him 100 stars!
On the daily service, Marcia (Lady that provided the towels for beach/pool) was another high note. She was full of joy, always has a smile on her face, and ready to help!
The buffet was overall good since the variety was ample. Ynocencio was fantastic! Besides serving great on the spot cooked food, he also interacted with guests with the best of the attitudes.
5 Star Friends were great too. Made guests at the beach feel happy at all times with a huge smile. "Chocolate", one of them was always cheering people up and made our days fun
Beach and Pools
Its location on the Caribbean side of the island of Hispaniola provides the Hacienda Dominicus with calmer ocean waters and a soft, powdery sand-filled beach. Therefore, the beach and water activities become a primary focus of all activities here. Some of the options include snorkeling, sailing on catamaran, kayaking and beach volleyball. Your building concierge can also make arrangements for windsurfing and sailing on a catamaran.
There are three swimming pools and a separate zero-depth entry children's pool. Each day, the onsite scuba diving vendor offers free introductory diving courses in the pool for those 12 and older.
In addition, to the beach and pool activities, there are archery ranges, tennis courts, Ping-Pong tables, mini-golf, horseshoes and several other similar activities.
Children between the ages of 4 and 12 may enjoy time in Lucy's Club, the children's program that operates each day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. offering games, activities, arts and crafts and entertainment for the children in a camp-like setting. The name Lucy is not a person, but a take-off of the Spanish word "lucir" that means "to shine." Iberostar's logo is a bright yellow starfish, therefore, Lucy's Club is the place where children shine at any of Iberostar's resorts.
Teens will love this mini dance club, which is located in the theater.
One of the advantages of visiting the La Romana region of the Dominican Republic is its proximity to islands of Saona and Catalina that are a part of the National Park. These are great spots for snorkeling and exploring. Your concierge can make arrangements for you. Ask the concierge about visits to nearby fruit and sugar plantations that offer tours via ATVs.
Four onsite restaurants, plus a buffet and plenty of snack bars will keep bellies full while staying at Hacienda Dominicus.
Japanese is the specialty at this restaurant and sushi is the highlight. Reservations are required and dress is casual to formal.
Mexican flavors are featured at this family-friendly restaurant where dress is casual to formal. Reservations are required.
La Goleta Steakhouse
Located next to the pool, this American-style steakhouse is resort casual and requires a reservations.
Children over the age of 10 are welcome at El Colonial, where dishes from around the world can be discovered. Dress is resort casual and reservations are required.
Guests at the Hacienda Dominicus enjoy a majority of their meals at the huge international buffet that is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. White linen tablecloths for each meal create an air of elegance, especially in the evening when many guests and their children choose to dress a little nicer. The buffet staff is also quick to respond with drink orders, but you and the kids are on your own to explore the many offerings on the buffet. You'll always find the basics of American cuisine to keep kids happy, but with so many European visitors visiting the Dominican Republic, the buffet also accommodates their cultural tastes. Therefore, if you're lucky, the kids might try something new and actually like it.
The buffet area gets crowded in peak periods. You'll want to accompany your children to the buffet and help them out choosing their foods. The tables are out of the reach of most children and many of the dishes are quite hot.
There's also a snack bar at the beach that serves a continental breakfast and snacks throughout the day, such as hot dogs, burgers, nachos, and the like. You can also get some great ice cream here.
Room service is available to guests 24/7.
None of the restaurants have a designated children's menu. In the off-season, the speciality restaurants occasionally close for a night or two, so check the schedule to confirm that you'll have time to enjoy. High chairs are available and the staff quickly responds when they see a family enter with children of that age. However, booster chairs could not be found at the resort.
Planning & Tips
All about the Extras
Your building concierge can make arrangements for anything special you need in your room or throughout the day to accommodate a special birthday or event.
The concierge can also arrange for in-room babysitting, but you need to make that request as early in the day as possible.
Wi-Fi is available in the rooms, lobby, other public spaces and the Internet cafe for an additional fee. Different rate plans (per hour or per day) are available.
At check-in, all guests receive a plastic wrist bracelet similar to hospital admission bracelets. These wristbands allow access to all amenities without further identification requirements.
The first floor gym overlooks one of the pools and is outfitted with a sufficient number of cardio and weight machines. The gym is reserved for those 16 and older, but children as young as 8 may enjoy the adjacent hot tubs. Instructor led aerobics and yoga classes are scheduled throughout the day, usually around the pool area. Early morning exercise classes on the beach are worth setting the alarm for.
The Art of Smart Timing
When the weather starts getting colder in North America, basically December through March, is when the rooms begin to fill in the Dominican Republic. Thus, the rates will be higher, but your toes will also be warmer basking in the soft, powdery sand, rather than crunching through cold, icy snow. During these months, the average daytime high is 82-degrees F. At night, temps drop to about 70-degrees F. For the best prices, come in the off-season, which is September through November. Unfortunately, that's also hurricane season in the Caribbean. Trip cancellation insurance is a good investment any time, but certainly if your trip coincides with events entirely out of your control. And for the record, temperatures don't vary much this time of year either. Daytime highs near 86; nighttime lows near 73.
The closest airport is La Romana (LRM), about 15 minutes away. The resort does not offer a shuttle service, so a taxi will be a necessary expense. You may also consider flying through the Santo Domingo airport (SDQ) if the airfare is better. It's about an hour away and will cost about more in taxi fare.
There's no need to leave the resort. But the concierge can set up transportation if your family decides to venture offsite for some exploring.
For Mom and Dad
For adults only, the spa is great place to relax. Couple can even enjoy a beachfront couple's massage. Parents may also simply enjoy an evening at the casino located on site.
Note: Topless sunbathing is common among the many European visitors to the Dominican Republic. The Hacienda Dominicus allows female guests to be topless at the beach, but not at the pool. Depending on the ages of your children, you may wish to discuss this with them in advance or choose accordingly between time at the pool and at the beach.