Entering Hilton La Romana’s modern, bright lobby, I felt stress melt away like ice to water. Nestled in a lush, secluded spot on the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic, the former Dreams La Romana was rebranded by Hilton in 2018 as its first all-inclusive resort in the country, and given a head-to-toe renovation. The 356-room adult side, where I stayed, opened this past August. The 412-room all-ages side is scheduled to open in December. Following in the first few months of 2020 are a water park with lazy river and an expansive new spa and fitness facility.
Location, Location, Location
Most visitors from the U.S. and Canada take the 45-minute ride from the Punta Cana airport or the 75-minute ride from the Santo Domingo airport, with options to connect to La Romana airport 20 minutes from the resort. For clients seeking a secluded, luxe getaway with local flavor, it’s worth the trip.
Guests who travel to Hilton La Romana are looking to escape city life, says general manager Carlos Fresco. “We’re steps away from the picturesque fishing town of Bayahibe, which offers a rich cultural experience. And our proximity to offsite excursions is unmatched.”
A plus for water excursions is that boats depart directly from the beach. My group of travel writers hopped on a speedboat for a fun day that included stopping at a crystal-clear shallow pool in the middle of the ocean, plus lunch and leisure time at Saona Island—a touristy but mostly undeveloped area of jungle paths and white-sand, palm-fringed beaches in a national park. We sailed back on a catamaran.
But your clients needn’t leave the property to find a pristine beach. The beach at Hilton La Romana has Blue Flag Beach Certification, an eco-label award for strict environmental standards. Here, jungle-framed coves on the turquoise Caribbean sea are clean and secluded. While guestrooms on the adult side are not located directly on the beach, “every room on the property is within a 3-minute walk,” notes sales manager Angie Jimenez.
Two Sides Now
Overall, my experience bore out the observation of GM Fresco that Hilton La Romana’s “lush surroundings, sprawling oceanfront gardens, and private pools” offer endless options for relaxation. Guests on the adults-only side have unlimited access to five, no-reservations-required restaurants and five bars/lounges including a 24-hour coffee bar—plus no-charge access to the six restaurants and eight bar/lounges on the family side. Ditto for all adults 18 and over staying on the family side who wish to dine or drink on the adults-only side.
What both sides have in common are a large selection of room types and pricing ranges. All rooms have balconies or terraces. In high demand are the 34 swim-up suites in the adults-only section and the 11 premium suite oceanfront kings in the family section. Tying all the rooms together is a clean, colorful design esthetic inspired by Dominican painter Candido Bido, known for his use of tropical colors, bold lines, and simplified forms. “You’ll find Bido prints in all the rooms,” says Jimenez, “with colors and decor influenced by his style and his palettes.”
Weddings & Events
The property is gearing up for weddings with a newly built gazebo opened in October, extensive garden areas on the family side, and a robust package of incentives such as free weddings for two and limitless customized options. “There’s a wedding package for everybody,” says Jimenez. “We want travel advisors to know that we’re back on the books.”
What’s In it For Travel
As part of the Playa Hotels & Resorts family, Hilton La Romana is included in Playa’s agent cash program, offering travel advisors savings, upgrades, and resort perks. Visit agentcashplus.com.