The Dominican Bay perfectly symbolises the success of the "all inclusive" service - an inexpensive and ideal hotel for families who, despite their limited income, have managed to come on a Caribbean holiday.
This hotel review is a translation from the French by the agency Traductéo.
The Dominican Bay is located in Boca Chica, a former fishing village, which has been transformed into a lively seaside resort, about 12.5 miles from the international airport of Las Americas. It combines the pleasures of the beach and a relaxed stay, as it is less than 19 miles from the capital and its fabulous colonial zone.
Champion of the "all inclusive" service, the Dominican Bay is one of the few hotels where you can really dine for free 24 hours a day. Indeed, the grill on the beach is open from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. for partymen and night birds.
Built in 1987 and renovated in 1995, the hotel has been recently repainted (2001) to give a little freshness to its unpretentious neo-Creole architecture. The buildings of 2 or 3 floors each are distributed around the four swimming pools, two tennis courts and a water sports centre, in a tropical garden with many trees, which gives it a rather pleasant ambiance. A kid's club is available for children aged from 5 to 12 years.
The hotel has 437 rooms with a maximum capacity of 1,115 people. The rooms are relatively large (323 ft²) and bright, while being quite modest in terms of decor and furniture. Most of the rooms are equipped with two large double beds, individually controlled air-conditioning, satellite TV (without remote control) and telephone with direct international dialling. There is neither a mini-bar, nor a fridge. The bathroom is very pleasant.
A buffet is served at the Hibiscus, the main restaurant, which has 2 large dining halls and a medium-sized non-smoking area. The quantities are generous enough, but you may notice a lack of variety and taste in the menus. For variety, two restaurants serving a la carte are at your disposal (Italian and Chinese cuisine). The main restaurant has entertainment a few nights during the week perfomed by a group of musicians who sing and play from table to table.
To get to the beach, which is 985 feet away, you have to leave the hotel, cross a street, walk through a garden and cross a bridge that steps over half of the district by the sea. Follow the walkway, which is not necessarily short or romantic. But upon arrival: ? small and secure private beach, free bar, snack bar for lunch and barbecues in the evening, a water activities counter, friendly activity coordinators, deckchairs and tall shady trees offering refuge from the tormenting heat. Frankly, these small benefits make up for the fact that the hotel is not situated on the water's edge. In order to bathe, you have to walk out for about 165 feet before reaching the lagoon, and a slight slope of another 165 feet before the water reaches higher than your belly. The hotel is ideal for children, but less so for swimming enthusiasts, who will have to go a lot further to find some depth. Be careful of the few motor boats that frequent the neighbourhood. Just before the coral reef, small coral islands await the more adventurous or more athletic swimmers who can get there with flippers or by kayak.