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Hilton La Romana Resort in the Dominican Republic

Planning to book Hilton La Romana resort? Eyeing the 5-star luxury all-inclusive resort on the beautiful Caribbean Island of the Dominican Republic? In this post, I share my Hilton La Romana review.

After binge-watching episodes of Caribbean Life on HGTV during the lockdown, we dreamed of getting away to the Caribbean again. Actually, we dreamed of moving to an island after the pandemic was over.

Alas, the pandemic never really ended and we went 2 years without traveling anywhere. Anyone else can relate?

Not that we were waiting for the pandemic to end to travel. But with the pandemic came other issues, like finding someone willing to dog sit. Eventually, we did and started planning our annual big vacation.

When our friends invited us to their wedding in New Orleans, we took that opportunity to travel from there to Islamorada in the Florida Keys, and then to La Romana, Dominican Republic.

We were away for 16 days. While exhausting, it was also glorious.

We talked about visiting the Dominican Republic many times. Growing up surrounded by the cuisine, culture, and a few traditions introduced to me by friends and family, I’ve always wanted to visit. While this visit was less exploratory and more of a luxury vacation where I sunbathed at the beach most of the week, it was definitely one I’ll never forget.

A leisurely vacation with a touch of luxury, in a beautiful location on a beach, is exactly what we needed. Hilton La Romana provided everything we were looking for during our week of relaxation. There were a few things that could use some tweaking.

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In this Hilton La Romana review, I’ll provide our honest experience. Hopefully, it will help you decide whether to book this all-inclusive resort for a future vacation.

How did we choose Hilton La Romana All-Inclusive Adult Resort?

The Dominican Republic has a variety of all-inclusive resorts to choose from. The majority of them are in Punta Cana.

While I’m sure Punta Cana is beautiful and definitely offers great value, I wanted to go somewhere slightly less touristy with fewer resorts. La Romana is also on the Caribbean coast of the Dominican Republic.

The Hilton La Romana is one of the few all-inclusive available. We compared what the Hilton La Romana would offer against the other all-inclusive nearby, Dreams Dominicus.

After stalking Trip Advisor, YouTube, and other online reviews, we decided it was the best choice for us. It offered a tad more elevated and relaxing experience we were looking for.

We booked an all-inclusive package that included flights, our resort stay, and transportation to and from.

We ended up booking a partial oceanview room and upgraded to a premium package. Well worth the upgrade.

palm trees against pink and blue skies and the waves of the ocean at sunset
Playa Bayahibe sunset welcomed us home for that week after dropping off our luggage in our room.

Is Hilton La Romana safe?

Yes. We absolutely felt safe during our stay at the Hilton La Romana. We walked the grounds at all hours of the night and never once felt unsafe. There is also security throughout the resort that you only notice if you’re looking for them.

In regards to Covid-19 protocols, everything throughout the resort is kept impeccably clean and sanitized. All employees wear masks at all times. Guests are required to wear masks in common areas. Hand sanitizers are provided throughout the resort.

Is Dreams La Romana now Hilton?

Hilton La Romana was formerly known and owned by Dreams.

Which popular attractions are close to Hilton La Romana, an All-Inclusive Adult Only Resort?

From Hilton La Romana, you can book a boat excursion to Catalina Island and Sanoa Island.

Can I park a car at Hilton La Romana All-Inclusive Adult Resort & Spa Punta Cana?

Yes, there is parking available at Hilton La Romana. Parking is included with your daily resort fee.

What are some of the property amenities at Hilton La Romana, an All-Inclusive Adult Only Resort?

At the Hilton La Romana adult-only side you can look forward to enjoying many amenities that include all-inclusive bar service, pools, beach, restaurants, spa, and a casino.

Traveling to La Romana, Dominican Republic

We were happy that we were in Florida and able to take a short flight out of Miami to Punta Cana. From Miami to DR it is a two-hour flight. From Los Angeles, it would have been a 10 hour travel day with a connection.

Landing in Punta Cana airport was great. I was baffled by how efficient it was to through their immigration and customs to enter the country.

I can’t say the same when we departed, though. Unless you’re booking first class with VIP service, I suggest you arrive early at the airport, 3 hours minimum before your departure flight.

Expect long lines to check in or drop off your luggage. Don’t be surprised if airline agents are as confused as you are.

view from plane flying along the coast of dominican republic
The first peek of the Dominican Republic coastline.

– Don’t Miss: Pack These Must-Have Travel Essentials in Your Carry-on Backpack

How far is Hilton La Romana from the airport?

  • From Punta Cana to Hilton La Romona it is 43 miles, close to a 50-minute drive.
  • From Santo Domingo, Las Américas International Airport to Hilton La Romana it is 70 miles, close to 1 hour & 30-minute drive.
  • From La Romana Casa De Campo International Airport to Hilton La Romana is 10 miles, an 18-minute drive.

While there is an airport in La Romana, flights there are limited and far between. You should look for the dates you plan to go just in case you do find a great flight.

Otherwise, it is best to fly into Punta Cana or Santo Domingo. You’ll probably get a better package deal if you book a flight to Punta Cana or Santo Domingo.

What are the Covid travel restrictions to enter the Dominican Republic?

For US travelers, you do not need to have a negative Covid test or a vaccination card to enter the Dominican Republic or to stay at any of the resorts. however, you will need to have a vaccination card in some cases as you’re exploring the islands. For further information, please click here.

Returning to the US, all US citizens MUST have negative covid test results within 24 hours of departure. The Hilton La Romana will provide a covid test.

Is there an entry and exit form required?

You are required to fill out an entry (and exit) form prior to departing. You can find the form here. They will ask to scan the QR code as you’re exiting customs.

Tip: Fill the form out the night before or the morning of departure. Make sure to save a copy of it. If you fill it out too early, it does expire.

Hilton La Romana Review

Hilton La Romana is an all-inclusive family resort and also an adult-only resort located in Bayahibe. This all-inclusive resort has two sides. As guests staying on the adult side, you are welcome to use the amenities and attend activities on the family side of the resort. Children are not allowed on the adult side.

If you are looking exclusively for an adult-only hotel and never expect to see a child, I suggest considering a different adult-only resort. You will run into children when you leave the adult side.

Hilton La Romana is promoted as a 5-star hotel, but I’d say it is more of a 4-star resort. The resort is gorgeous and the level of service they provide is great, but for a 5-star resort, they could make a few improvements.

Due to the pandemic, they are 50% capacity or less, as I write this post. Making our experience, pretty fabulous. We never felt at any point that the resort was overbooked or crowded.

I have a feeling I would have had a different experience finding seats on the beach if the resort was a full capacity. We did pay for butler service that reserved our seats every morning. When we’d get there early, most of the beach chairs were already taken.

dock at the hilton la romana
You can have a romantic dinner (pre-fixed menu) set up at the dock of the Hilton La Roman for an extra cost.

Overall, we had a wonderful week at the Hilton La Romana. The resort is impeccably clean, absolutely gorgeous and the landscape throughout is a work of art.

All the staff we came in contact with were so incredibly kind, warm, and helpful. Some would go above and beyond for the smallest things. Like running to the next closest bar to get hubby coffee because they didn’t have any at the restaurant.

They are short on staff in some areas, but the staff at the resort is hustling and trying to provide the best service. It’s really on Hilton to staff the resort appropriately. Of course, with everything going on in the world, staffing shortages seem to be a common problem everywhere.

Premium Partial Oceanview room

Premium Partial Oceanview Room at the Hilton La Romana

When booking, without a doubt, we knew we wanted a view of the ocean. It didn’t have to be oceanfront, but some sort of view of the ocean. The partial ocean view room we were given at check-in did not disappoint. We had a view of the pool, palm trees, and Playa Bayahibe.

Bathroom inside the premium partial oceanview at the Hilton La Romana

We also booked a Premium room that was part of the Premium club package.

pool and beach view a sunset
Sunset view from room 2246

The room was spacious, modern, and very clean. We loved our view from the furnished balcony. The fridge was replenished daily with water, beer, and juice.

swim-up rooms at the hilton la romana

The swim-up resort rooms looked like fun and a neat way to sort of have your own private pool space. Keep in mind that if you book a room with a swim-up, you’re basically sharing a pool with your neighbors. Which means they can swim up to your room’s lanai at any time.

Is the Premium Club worth it?

The premium club is worth it if you’re looking for slightly more personalized service. Take into consideration the benefits below.

The wonderful concierge alone was great. We were escorted there upon arrival to check-in and were welcomed with glasses of champagne. At the concierge, you can add the Butler service to your stay when you check-in.

Hilton La Romana Premium Club Benefits:

  • Private Premium Pool
  • Private Premium Lounge (located next to the premium concierge service desk)
  • Premium Beach Area
  • Private Concierge Service
  • Daily Snack, desserts and premium liquors in the Lounge
  • Premium breakfast at the Grill Restaurant (family side) and “Noor Restaurant” (adult side)
  • 5% off at gift shops
  • Complimentary room service delivery
sandy beach with beach chairs, bed and ocean
Premium Club Exclusive Beach Area

We did find that the downside of the premium benefits is that there is nothing to distinguish you from a premium club guest from a standard guest. No wrist bands. Never once were we asked whether we were a premium guests.

Anyone could walk into the premium club sections at the beach and pool to enjoy it. Not that I want to leave anyone out, but you do pay extra for premium service.

When you check in, one of the first things you should do is seek out the Premium Lounge. See where the Premium pool bar is. Get lay of the land and familiarize yourself with your Premium benefits so you can take full advantage. Nobody will walk you through it all – one of the things that need improvements.

In my opinion, for a 5-star resort, it should be premium service for everyone that books a room at this hotel.

Note: The waiter service at the beach is not making your cocktails with the Premium liquor you paid extra for to stay at the resort. You have to walk all the way to the Premium Pool Bar or to the Premium Lounge.

Butler Service

  • Bulter service is an additional cost of $199 for 7 days. A butler is assigned to you and you’re in communication via Whatsapp (mobile app) throughout your entire stay.
  • Planning to spend it by the beach most of the time? It’s worth the extra cost just to have the butler reserve and guarantee seats for you every morning at the beach. The beach chairs are all taken by the time you make it there.
  • Poolside and beachside, they set you up with an ice bucket full of beer, water, soda and-or champagne. As well as fresh fruit daily.

    They can not bring you cocktails from the bar. But they may surprise you with fresh coconuts as drinks.
  • The butler will coordinate dinner reservations for you at all the restaurants and any special dinner or events.

Beach Packing List

Get beach-ready with this packing list! Whether you’re heading on a day trip to the beach or taking a beach vacation, this beach packing list comes in handy each and every time. Don’t miss packing any of these items. Printable included!

Restaurants at the Hilton La Romana Adult Only Resort

Does Hilton La Romana All-Inclusive Adult Resort & Spa Punta Cana have a restaurant on-site?

The Hilton La Romana Adult Only Resort is welcome to use the restaurants on the adult side and on the family side. Between both sides, it has a total of 10 restaurants, not including the 2 cafes.

The best meals we had were Adult Side of the resort. We were not always impressed by the food but nothing was unedible, except anytime we got anything that claimed to be filet mignon. Be aware, if you’re a red meat eater, the quality is not great.

The staff across all the restaurants are very attentive and we always left a small tip on the table. We did notice that sometimes they were stretched out a bit too thin amongst the tables. Again, something that the Hilton needs to work on.

Adult Side Restaurants

restaurant on the beach
  • Chinola Restaurant
    This is the Dominican restaurant and the best restaurant in the resort... in my humble opinion. This restaurant is located on the beach. I was afraid that they’d americanize their cuisine, but thankfully they did not. The food served here was phenomenal.

    I highly recommend the sancocho as an appetizer and the chivas (the goat stew) for the entree. The dessert literally brought me back to my childhood. I wish I had eaten here more than one.

    Tip: Make sure to book this one early in your arrival as this restaurant is not open daily.
check serving and cooking over hibachi grill
  • Sakura Restaurant
    This is the Japanese hibachi restaurant and the 2nd best restaurant in the resort. We’ve been to Benihana’s and other similar hibachi restaurants many times. This one definitely was just as entertaining and delicious.

    The menu is prefixed, so if you have any dietary restrictions make sure to let them know ahead of time.

    Tip: This restaurant seems to be always booked. Make sure to get a reservation early in your stay.
  • Noor Restaurant
    Since Noor is part of the Premium club we ate here a few times for breakfast and for lunch.

    I always ordered the typical Dominican breakfast, which consist of fried eggs, magu (mash boiled green plantains), fried salami and fried cheese. It tasted exactly what I remember from my youth.

    Lunch here is delicious. I loved their ceviche on the menu.

    This is the only restaurant that I noticed had a nice chartercurterie plate as an appetizer on their dinner menu. Which was quite nice to have on the last night there. I made the mistake of ordering the chimichurri steak and the meat just didn’t taste real.
typical Dominican breakfast:fried eggs, magu (mash plantains), fried salami and fried cheese
Typical Dominican Breakfast
  • Mare Restaurant
    This is a lovely restaurant with a view of the beach. They mostly serve seafood.
  • Caoba Buffet

Family Side Restaurants

  • Ausangate Restaurant
    The Peruvian restaurant was also another surprising delight and the only restaurant on the family side I loved. I wasn’t expecting much, but the Lomo Saltado was excellent. The red meat served in the dish was surprisingly tender and delicious.

    I did ask for a side of white rice, so I suggest you do the same if you order the same entree.
  • The Grill Restaurant
    We ate here on our first night, in which I had the jerk chicken that didn’t taste anything close to jerk chicken. However, it was flavorful. This is a lovely romantic spot by the water which great for a special night or perhaps a beautiful premium breakfast with a view.
wooden deck with string lights and restaurant tables
The Grill Restaurant’s Beautiful Dining Deck
  • Restaurant Moustache
    This is French restaurant and I was told this is their top restaurant. While the food was good, it wasn’t exceptional. If you’re expecting anything close to authentic French cuisine, go in with low expectations.
  • Azzuri Restaurant
    This is the Italian restaurant in the resort. We skipped it to save ourselves from disappointments. We are serious about our Italian food.
  • Spice Market Buffet
  • Pizzeria
    This is on the family side by the pool. The pizzas are pretty good for what they are. Great mid-afternoon snack. You’ll have to walk overthere to get it. Unless you get pizza delivered to your room (we did that one night and it was not as good).
  • Beachside Grill
    You’ll find burgers and hot dogs here daily. Sometimes they’ll have special lunches like tacos or paella. The tacos and paella were actually pretty good. Get ready to stand on line for this.

Cafes at Hilton La Romana

There are two cafes at the Hilton La Romana. One is on the family side and the other on the adult site. As an adult-only resort guest, you can take advantage of both. They are open from 7 am to 11 pm.

  • Aroma Cafe
  • Las Tres Hermanas Cafe

If you have read my blog, then you know coffee is important to us. We were at the cafe every morning and a few times throughout.

The coffee in the Dominican Republic is strong and will wake you up. The good news for those that need it, they do have lactose-free milk available.

Along with coffee, they have snacks throughout the day. From baked goods to quick sandwiches that are great for a quick snack.

Playa Bayahibe

blue waters, beach coastline with palm trees

The Hilton La Romana Resort is overlooking and set on Playa Bayahibe. This sandy Caribbean beach will not disappoint. The moment you lay your eyes on the cerulean blue water, you will instantly feel at ease and you will glow with happiness. The water is also so warm and yet refreshing on those hot and humid days.

With the Hilton La Romana all-inclusive package, the following water activities are included. Scuba Caribe (tour company that works with the Hilton) is right on the beach behind Chinola Restaurant and they will help set you up.

  • Mask for Snorkeing
  • Paddleboarding
  • Pedal Boats
  • Kayaking

We spent the majority of our days on the beach if we weren’t on a tour. While we do live in California with a beautiful coastline, the water is normally freezing and it’s not in the Caribbean. All we wanted was to spend our time on the beach relaxing, snorkeling, and swimming.

Tours and Excursions

The resort will have tours and excursions team members walk around at the beach selling you tours they offer. While friendly, we highly suggest you go directly to Scuba Caribe on the beach for any water-related tours.

Most of the tours like the sunset tour, a day trip to Catalina Island, or Sanoa Island that involves a boat will be led by Scuba Caribe. You can book directly through them for the same price or sometimes less.

The Scuba Caribe staff is amazing. We went out with them a few times. Each and every time, we had a fabulous time.

Hubby even decided on our last two days to get his Scuba Certification through them. They did a great job explaining everything and making sure he was safe.

The diving and snorkeling tours are well worth it.

Amazing Isla Catalina Tour

Stunning views, intoxicating crystal-clear turquoise waters, and a day of relaxation, swimming, or snorkeling… your choice. See why you should book a day trip to Caribbean Catalina Island.

Pools at Hilton La Romana

We spent hardly any time by the pool because we are blessed to be able to do that at home. This vacation was focused on enjoying the beach amenities.

path leading to the premium pool area
The path leading to the Premium Pool area.

As you walk the property you’ll find they have many pools throughout. A couple of them are even private pools for premium club members and even smaller ones that you can book for 2-4 people overlooking the ocean.

Swim-up bars can also be found at the main pools. Due to the pandemic, they were closed.

Main Pools on the Adult Side

  • Infinity Pool
  • Premium Adults Only Pool

Main Pools on the Family Side

  • Family Pool
  • Premium Family Pool

Hilton La Romana Spa

The grounds at the Spa in Hilton La Romana are quite lovely. If you get a moment to walk around behind the spa, you should. There is a koi pond, a lovely area with a private pool, and another with a hot tub – that is an extra charge to use.

We booked a body scrub and massage. The coffee scrub they used on us smelled so good and I swear my skin was softer after. The massage was exactly what we needed.

I didn’t really think of this spa as a luxurious world-class spa, but I have to remind myself that this is a tropical destination. The vibe is not going to be the same as a luxury spa here in Los Angeles.

Hilton La Romana Water Park

pool, water tubes and palm trees from a waterpark

The Hilton La Romana an all-inclusive family resort has a small water park. We spent an afternoon here and it was a blast.

I highly recommend going even if it’s just to sit in a tube and lay back in the lazy river. Especially on a hot day, it is quite refreshing.

kathy on a tube enjoying the lazy river

The slides are exhilarating and for everyone.

Shockingly, there weren’t many kids there in the afternoon and it was relatively quiet. Not sure if it’s always like this since it is sort of disconnected from the main resort area. You have to actually walk out the family resort main entrance to find it.

The Best Beach Drinks

A beach day goes together like pineapple juice and coconut cream in a piña colada. Check out the best beach drinks that scream, “I’m on vacation,” even if it’s just for a day.

Nightly Entertainment

The nightly entertainment is lacking. Some nights they’ll have a DJ playing at the adult side lobby. Or they’ll have a local singing popular songs. You also have the Casino that was pretty sparse of machines due to social distancing. There is a discotheque that seemed to be closed during our time there.

For a 5-star resort in the Dominican Republic, I would have enjoyed seeing a live band playing some merengue and other local traditional music.

On the family side, they’ll put on shows and trivia that is probably more fitting for families. We weren’t into it.

But if you’re out basking in the sun all day, you’ll be too tired after dinner to stay up all night.

Tips For Planning and Staying at the Hilton La Romana

1. Consider the Premium Club Benefits when booking your stay at the Hilton La Romana.

2. Consider the Butler service for the week. He or she will definitely smooth out any kinks with dinner reservations and beach chairs.

3. Book La Chinola Restaurant and Sakura for some time during your stay on day 1 as it gets booked up quickly.

4. On day 1, familiarize yourself with your premium club benefits.

5. Take a day to walk the property past the family resort. There are some beautiful views along the rocky coastline.

6. Bring enough cash for tips. We had to take out money from the ATM a few times and obviously, you will only receive Dominican pesos from it.

7. Pack mosquito spray! You will need it. I list our favorite brand in my Beach Packing List.

8. Also, do not forget Reef Safe Sunscreen. You’ll need it, but the gift shop also charges $30 for a bottle of it.

9. Pack eco-friendly or reusable straws. They do not provide straws with your beach drinks. While okay for some drinks, it’s not easy to drink a piña colada or any other frozen cocktail without a straw. The only straws available are paper straws given to you with your iced coffee as the coffee bars and they are guarded by the baristas.

10. You will be given towel cards upon check-in to redeem for beach towels. Don’t lose the cards or the towels, or you will be charged.

11. The Wi-Fi can be spotty by the beach. If you absolutely need the internet, make sure to have a data package for those weak Wi-Fi spots.

12. Bring a couple of masks for you use to wear in common areas. Note: disposable masks are provided in your room amenities and they are also provided throughout the resort.

13. To book your Covid test, speak to the concierge. They will provide a QR code for a form that each guest must fill out.

We departed Hilton La Romana with heavy hearts, but with great tans and beautiful memories. Without a doubt, we’ll return in the future.

I promised to return to the Dominican Republic to properly explore it. It’s a beautiful country and there is much more to see outside of the resort.

Hope this Hilton La Roman review helped you decide to book this resort for your next vacation, anniversary, babymoon, or honeymoon… whatever it is you’re celebrating.

Have you traveled to the Dominican Republic?

If you have any questions I did not answer in this review, feel free to ask me in the comments.

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Lauren Elena

Friday 7th of January 2022

It sounds like you had the best time here. It looks so beautiful. I would LOVE a leisurely vacation like this with a few excursions. I can’t wait to take a trip like this one day. Maybe go here! That butler service sounded like you guys were living the life! I would want that too. Might as well go all out to make your vacation the best it can be with little hassle and fabulous perks. Yes, sign me up! That swim up resort at first I thought how cool but yeah I don’t think I’d want anyone up in my lanai. When kayakers pull up on our side of the lake, I’m like keep going hiiii byeee. Our part of the lake is apparently good for fishing and once I did have 2 guys in their canoe fishing for an extended time right in my backyard (lake)! I’m in my bathing suit sunbathing and reading and slinking away. Yes, first world problems. I know.😬 Anyway…a coffee scrub is now on my bucket list! I’ve never heard of that before but that would be amazing!! I’d be in Heaven. I’m going to google coffee scrub + NYC to see what I can find. Maybe + hot guy because why not? These are the kind of comments you get from me when it’s waaay past my bedtime. Omg. I will regret this word vomit in the morning!😉

This was an awesome post. So informative! It will be so helpful for when I plan my trip to the DR. Can’t wait!!

Kathy

Thursday 13th of January 2022

This vacation was go big or go home after two years of no travel by plane. We were so ready to just enjoy it. We feel so fortunate that we could.

I do hope you get to try a coffee scrub. I honestly think it was mix of coconut oil and their local coffee grounds. It smelled amazing and I swear my skin was so soft after. You'll definitely need a massage after the scrub.