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Reviewed 3 March 2006

We stayed at the IHD from February 13- February 20th and found the resort to be immaculately maintained, not a single piece of garbage anywhere.

Flight - Air Transat was the carrier , this was a direct charter flight from Toronto to LRM.
Outside of the airport we were greated by Air Transat reps directing us to the proper bus for transport to our resort. Total travel time from airport to resort was just over 30 minutes including dropping people off at other resorts.

We arrived at the IHD just past 7pm on the 13th and were quickly checked in and given our information packages and the overview by Mickey.
We learned that the hotel was booked solid and there was no way of making any changes until morning . Upon arrival in our room we discovered that we had been placed in a room with 2 double beds which we made due with till the next morning. We contacted front desk and were informed they had no rooms with King size beds available but they would be happy to re-arrange our room and put the 2 doubles together. They tied them together and put king size sheets and everything on the bed making it just perfect.

The shower in the room was huge and the rooms were very well maintained with shampoo and soap dispensers on the wall in the shower area. Towels were provided daily by our maid without any issues. She made interesting animals and other floral arrangements daily

Restaurants -
The hotel restaurants were all very good quality we tried 3 of the 4 ala cartes. The only one we did not visit was the Japanese .
Mexican - Good food and excellent Service
Gourmet (seafood ) - Fixed menu so if you dont care for lobster be sure to let them know on making reservations , chef will make you chicken or steak.
Steak House - Steak was consistent with Dominican Standards and nice environment
Buffet - Good daily varieties ,nothing repeated during the week we were there so good variety

Drinks - well what can you say.. Rum and Rum and Rum.. Drinks were strong and ever flowing.

Beach lighthouse bar was very nice and busy during the day but never had any issues getting a drink.
The beach and ocean is very well maintained and bare foot friendly no worries about sharp stones or anything similar. Being man made beaches there are no sea shells etc to gather along the shore , out by the bouy lines they have sunk large pots to form a man made reef which is very abundant with fish. The fish will swarm you checking you out, for an interesting time bring bread from the buffet and feed them right out of your hands. they will be all over you. Made for some decsent snorkelling.

Guests - We found the majority of the guests to be french so it was a minority to hear english being spoken while we were at the hotel , most guests were very friendly and not rude in any fashion , but you could certainly tell when the change over to the next group came. The bodies went from darkly tanned to white .. Topless was fairly common on the beaches and should be for anyone that cares to tan this way.

Shows -

We attended the LionKing show which was very well put on by the animation team and the children staying at the resort. Recommend seeing it if possible.

We also saw the Miss Iberostar competition which my wife got convinced to be a contestant in. All i can say is the show and experience is definately worthy of video tape because it got a bunch of laughs and was a great time.

We loved the resort and would definately recommend it to anyone wishing for a nice vacation.

Departure - Customs gave us a hassle because you are not allowed to carry batteries onto a plane even though they were in hard cases for a digital camera packed in our carry on baggage.. They attempted to throw them out on us until we put up a stink about attemptin to throw over 100.00 worth of rechargables in the garbage and they took it back to teh ticketing counter to be checked. This is the first time we have ever encountered any issues with carrying electronic devices and thier power supplies , be forwarned to avoid any of this pack them in your checked bags.

Excursions -

Sanao Island - The island is beatiful with its white sand beaches ,however we did find that be preparted to be extra hot on the excursion day as it seems to get hotter there. The cat sailboat trip was very relaxing and enjoyable. THe trip back to the resort with the stop at the natural pool is something tha will not soon be forgotten. Its just so strange to pull up by boat to a spot in the sea that is only knee deep and abundant with starfish.

Crazy Wheels - 4 Wheeler ATV Excursion - This is a true 3.5-4 hour excursion which takes you around the area through the sugar cane fields , small neighbourhoods and really gives you a sense of how poverity is in this country. The children run out to see you as you drive by and will beg for anythign that you can give them , really makes you think about how good you have it when you see people living like this. They will definately ensure that you can ride before they will let you drive the atvs by yourself as they were giving my wife a hard time about it and had a guide ride on the back of her atv for approximately 30 minutes until they were sure she was able to properly handle the machine. You get to open the 350cc 4 wheelers up at various points so the ride is alot of fun compared to some US based operations which we have dealt with in the past. Definately recommend this.

Date of stay: February 2006
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27  Thank Adventure23119
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 28 February 2006

Just returned from one week stay at IHD with my wife and our two kids (4 & 6). This was our first stay at an All-Inclusive and we really didn't have any great expectations. My wife and I have had the good fortune of being able to visit a number of islands throughout the Caribbean and have stayed at some very luxurious and top rated hotels. We just didn't think that an All-Inclusive would be able to compare with some of the other resorts we had visited, but we were pleased to see that this one did. As many people have described, the grounds and landscaping (and swans and ducks) are truly beautiful. All of the main resort areas are very well decorated. All of the staff were extremely friendly - perhaps the most friendly we have encountered. Very few of the staff speak english (locals speak spanish). We really enjoyed the pool area, especially for our kids as there is a section that just slopes down gradually and hence is very kid friendly and safe. All the comments about the missing pool tiles are exagerated IMO. The pool is covered with probably a million small 1" by 1" square tiles and yes, maybe .001% are missing (which I'm sure they would replace if they wanted to drain the entire pool which would disappoint arriving guests...). The pools are not heated, and in these winter months can be a bit cool - especially in the morning before the afternoon sun starts to warm them up a bit. There was a jacuzzi but it does not have hot water (pool water with jets). The beach was very nice and even with my tremendous amount of beach exeprience I could not tell that the sand was brought in. The ocean entry/slope was great for kids, and they were able to walk out quite far on the flat sandy bottom. Ocean was calm (I was told it was calmer than in Punta Cana). The snorkelling was a disappointment as there is no real reef in front. Our kids, however, enjoyed seeing the flocks of fish (three species) that swarmed around us whenever we brought some food. The beach area was quite crowded though as there must have been around 500 beach chairs. Also, as there is another All-Inclusive to both the right and left it takes awhile to walk down the beach to an area that is quiet and secluded. If you are looking for a quiet and more secluded beach area (and hotel/vacation experience in general) this may not be for you. There were a few topless women. The food was good, nothing outstanding, but as expected for a Caribbean island where almost everything must be flown in. The various restaurant options provided for a nice change to the buffets. We left a few dollars on the table as a tip at each meal for the friendly wait staff who were always coming by to clear plates and refill glasses. We were glad that none of us got sick and we didn't meet anyone when we were there who was. Our kids didn't go to the Kids Club but we did see the kids group out and about although I don't think this is one of the resorts stronger points (but it is available). We flew into La Romana which was a breeze as 20 mins to hotel. Iberostar is a European chain and the majority of guests were European with a large percentage it seemed being from France. As our kids were young we opted not to go on/pay for any of the excursions. The weather was great - hotter than I expected during the afternoon - so it was nice when there were a few clouds. The entire resort from the hotel rooms to main areas, pool, beach, bathrooms, grounds etc...are incredibly well maintained and clean. Our hotel room was fine - nothing spectacular (people we met who stayed at other AI described rooms elsewhere that were bigger and/or more luxurious). Shower area was huge with the best water pressure I've had in the Caribbean. We didn't make it to any of the shows as we were all asleep early!
All in all an extremely relaxing vacation which we found to be of good value.

Date of stay: February 2006
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34  Thank Treepalm
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 21 February 2006

Hi everyone:
Not one disappointment for this resort---it was a top notch resort and totally worth every cent we paid to stay there.

First off--for those whose flight has been rerouted to land and leave in Punta Cana airport: we were furious when we heard we were rerouted but soon realized there was nothing to be concerned about---it is a great ride from Punta Cana, about 1.5 hours but it goes by real quick. We travelled to Bayahibe at night so the time literaly flew by before we knew it. On the way back it was late afternoon and the driver pointed out sights. You see how the people live, where they shop, schools etc.

Now to the good stuff---
The resort is absolutely beautiful. It is huge and takes a couple of days to get your bearings. The staff are wonderful and very helpful---especially in the restaurant and buffet areas---they can't do enough for you. Worth the money, worth the travel and we'd do it again!!

Weather---in the mid 80's to low 90's everyday, not one day of rain. It did rain 2 times in the middle of the night but it was dryed up by morning.

Flamingoes and other birds are awesome and you can feed them stale bread or buns in the middle of the resorts large pond by the wedding gazebo.

The food is excellent, we can't say enough about how great it was, our favourite was the steak house (fillets and ribs are best). You can have as much food as you want---even order 4 steaks like we did one night, if you wish. No limits in any of the speciality restaurants on amounts of food. Gourmet restaurant is seafood---lobster it was OK but it is different lobster than some of us are use to---cooked differently which changed the texture and lightened the taste. All the food was great---buffet food has so much variety that everyone should find something good to eat. NO STOMACH PROBLEMS WITH ANY OF US (4) AT ANY TIMES OR WITH ANY OTHERS WE SPOKE TO.

Beach---absolutely beautiful!!!! Water was warm for swimming and snorkelling. However, snorkelling was not that good right from the resort beach (no reef)---have to take tours to really see anything worthwhile. Get your kids to take a peace of bread into the water near the beach lighthouse bar and the fish will swarm them!! Papalas were plentiful and you always found one no matter what time of the day it was---4 chairs fit under one so if two were taken people did not seem to mind if you joined them.

Rooms---huge with everything you needed, very clean and the maids are great. We left a dollar a day on the bed for them. Bar fridge is always stocked full.

Bars---Beer is good (Presidente) and drinks at all the bars are also good---Best bar was the lighthouse on beach or the one in the front lobby as the "fancy" drinks were thicker/slushier at both.

Tours---bring snacks with you even though they advertise a lunch. Their lunch consists of a cheesewhiz or a one slice of ham sandwich with a drink, cookie or two for desert. All the booze you can drink but does not go well on an empty stomach.
Best tours, comparing with other guests, were swimming with the sharks & stingrays, Isla Seona, and the Seafood BBQ lunch of a private island after catamaran touring. Others were OK but the top 3 are above. Don't forget to take $$$ with you on your tours as they sell hats, t-shirts, videos of you on the trip, etc. Also money is needed to tip the people running the tour at the end of them.
Oh yeah---parasailing was cool--they took you so you floated over top of the resort and surrounding resorts. Beware the tours and extra activities are very, very expensive per person.

*Snacks are served from 12 midnight to 6 am. in the mexican restaurant, during the day in the steak house by the beach.

Overall---I would recommend this resort to anyone and we would go back in a heartbeat.
100 % top notch resort.

Any questions??? just add onto this thread and I will get back to you ASAP.

Date of stay: February 2006
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59  Thank taly
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 20 February 2006

We were at the resort Feb.13-19. Our charter arrived a day late due to a blizzard on the 12th. It seems that the resort knew our charter was a day late, so they sent a bunch of staff to the airport to check everyone in. It was incredible, they had a packet for everyone which included your room key, safe key and towel cards. They had us complete the paper on the bus ride to the resort. Our group was on the bus heading to the resort within twenty minutes of landing. We travel a lot and have been to many all inclusives but never experienced an arrival that went this quickly. I am sure the tour operated GWV Travel had a part in creating this express check-in. When we arrived at the resort, they had a bunch of dancers to greet everyone and made sure eveyone had a drink.
The resort is just how everone else described it:
Beautiful grounds, great beach and great pools. Food was decent,the mexican and japanese specialty restaurants excellent. Rooms were nice, big and clean.
The staff at the resort were excellent, some of the best that we have seen. The beach is excellent with clear water and white sand. It is not a great walking beach, more smaller bays than one long stretch and on a slope. We never had a problem getting beach chairs or seats at the dining areas until the last two days of our vacation. This is great resort with excellent staff and we thought it was managed extremely well.

Date of stay: February 2006
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29  Thank Foxboro
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 19 February 2006

I can’t go on enough about this place and more importantly the staff. We were a group of seven, celebrating a honeymoon, an engagement and a birthday. We range in age from 30-41.

The flight:
Skyservice was the carrier. Unless you are 5”5’ and under and you REALLY like cramped quarters, fly on a bigger carrier. The food was average and the staff was nice. We had a 6am flight and some of us slept anyway. Get what you pay for I guess. We flew into Punta Cana and drove for 2 hours to La Romana…more on that later.

Coming home…well all I can say is if I could find the morons at the Punta Cana airport if I go there again, they would hear it. They assured us we were sitting together, well it was far from it, we were in all different aisles, different seats, ALL singled out. Check your boarding pass and seat # before you leave the counter!!

Arrival and Luggage pick up
No problem, sailed right though

The drive to and from Punta Cana:
Be sure to have good life insurance…it’s completely insane. They basically do not have driving laws…try to avoid flying to Punta Cana first, La Romana is only 20 min from Iberostar.

Arrival at Iberostar…

Went well, we were greeted by Mickey who explained the hotel…we were just anxious to get going on our own. Our luggage was brought to our room no problem.

Seafood: Is the best, huge lobster dinner, great service.
Mexican: Yuck…service was great though.
Japanese: Very good, make sure to get the fried rice, not the steamed! You will see why when you get there, the fried rice is so good.
Steak: It’s not the Keg (very good steak place here in Canada), but I have had worse.
Buffet: Excellent, huge variety, pasta, salads, breads, meats (they had a variety of lamb, turkey, pork, fish) throughout the week. Be sure to check out the Banana shakes at breakfast…

The Hotel:
Stunning, well maintained, rooms are perfect, huge shower, very clean. Shampoo and Soap are supplied in the shower (not the sample kind) and there are samples of other toiletries supplied.

I have been to Cancun and the Mayan Riviera in 5 stars and this place was just as comparable if not better. The shops are reasonable; internet is available for $5 for 30 min. The computer keyboard is different though, make sure you know how to use the @ sign before you start.

The public washrooms are very nice and always clean. The towel service is excellent, don’t lose your towel though, it will cost you $10 US if you do.

The Pool:
Is nice, I’ve seen better but it served it’s function, Malfredo was the staff member at the pool bar, he’s a great guy and will accommodate any drink mixture. If you want a good pool seat, I would reserve your chair by at least 9am, we usually went to the beach first and were out of luck for the pool in the afternoon, well all 7 of us together anyway. The beach hut "seats" are quickly taken, get there early if you like shade.

The Beach:
Again, is ok. The lighthouse bar is pretty cool. It was noted the drinks were better poolside, but I didn’t notice. The sand isn’t Cancun, but is very nice…bare feet are safe on the beach and in the water..a bit of coral in the sea, but not too much. The sunsets are very nice…be sure to check one out. If you are going to check out the markets on the other resort, beware, they don’t leave you alone and it is very uncomfortable. Shop at the hotel. Be sure to grab some bread from the buffet and feed the fish...

The Staff:
Couldn’t say enough about them, they are just wonderful. Our star friends were Elvis, Alberto, Noiella (not sure if I spelt that right), Kelvin, Antonio, Alexandra, Mercedes, and Piky..there were more but I can’t remember their names. They are a wonderful bunch and truly work to make your vacation so much fun. They do work from 9am to 1am…long hours and you would not believe the energy they have. They entertain with dancing lessons, volleyball, beach parties (which you should not miss…great food), they hang out and entertain on the beach, they are in the shows (which we were a part of 3 of them), and then they dance at the disco until 1am. Great people, have never had the level of service they provided us at any other resort.

Have a great vacation, I would go back there tomorrow if I could!

Date of stay: February 2006
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35  Thank Nomad27729
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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