If you missed part 1 start here!
We left off with some swimming in the ocean, I believe! Mazen LOVED jumping the waves in our arms. They weren’t too rough, so we were able to bob up and down gently.
Breakfast time!! M loved the watermelon and french toast and sort of like mangoes when he was in the mood. He also liked his milk in a coffee cup like the grown-ups.
A few days in of heavy eating, I was ready for some healthy, refreshing food and was excited to find spinach juice in the juice bar! Mixed with a little banana juice it was just like a green smoothie ; )
With yogurt, fruit and peanut butter!
We did lots more playing in the sand and the pool. It was fun to go for a walk on the beach with Mazen hand-in-hand!
These two German boys were digging a big fort and Mazen wanted to play. The older boy took one look at him and said “NO!” (Universal language!) It was sort of cute. M and Karen dug them a moat instead.
I read the book Spring Fever and enjoyed the light-hearted read.
I love the feeling of being gritty with sand all day and then taking a hot shower and dressing up! It made the evenings so much fun.
I think I took a day off of food photography in the middle here : )
Back at the beach…I made an epic sand road for M. He loved the table “tunnels” and sand mountains.
He also loved the foot bath to shake the sand off your feet. It was hard to convince him that this was not a baby pool!
There was also a playground that was fun to visit a few times.
We had reservations at the a la carte seafood restaurant on our second-to-last night.
This was the only night we paid for alcohol and upgraded our wine bottle. The house wine wasn’t terrible, but this was still very refreshing!
We started the night at the salad bar
And then were served 3 courses – a lobster soup and then this grouper that was pretty tasty
Followed by a hazelnut cake that tasted nothing like hazelnut! Oh well!
Our last full day was New Year’s Eve – starting with eggs, pancakes and fruit.
Followed by lots of this:
The thatched hut umbrellas were LIFESAVERS for shade! I wish all beaches had them!
I did fit in 4 workouts during the trip (I would have loved more but just didn’t get around to them.) I did some kettlebells and cardio one day, went for a 30 minute run another, squeezed in some elliptical and weights another and finally went for a beach walk. The gym there was quite nice!
Lunch by the beach – half a burger + salad. Plus guac that Matt made with some fresh avocado slices, salt and lime!
The resort did a great job with New Year’s Eve. They were pouring champagne in the lobby and had a huge array of appetizers. We had a scheduled seated dinner, and the food was extra special. I am sorry I didn’t get any photos of the buffet or my meal! My favorite part was the giant 2015 ice sculpture.
Mazen, Matt and Karen went to bed early that night and Andrew and I stayed up till the clock struck 12. It was fun to count down the New Year in Spanish! Balloons feel, noisemakers were passed out and it was a full-on jumping party. Such fun!
We had a great time overall, and he’s a short review of the trip:
Resort grounds – The grounds were really nice and beautiful! The resort was easy to get around. I loved the beach area with lots of chairs and umbrellas (although it could get competitive to get a chair if you waited until 11 to get out there). The ocean in front of the resort was nice enough, although rough at times. Lots of people swam in it.
The Guests – There were a lot of people there, but it never feel too crowded to me. The other guests were way more international than I had expected, which was really fun. Walking around you heard many different languages, and we met people from all over the world. There was a good bit of public smoking, which I wasn’t a fan of, but it wasn’t excessive. I would say most of the other guests were families or groups with some couples mixed in.
Rooms – Our room was nice and clean and spacious. We requested adjoining rooms and because they were all taken they upgraded us to small suites that were big rooms with a couch. We tried to get Mazen to sleep on a trundle bed and had some trouble. He slept with us most of the time. The bathrooms were especially nice!
Amenities – The pool was freezing cold and the hot tubs were secluded off near the gym, so that wasn’t great. The baby pool was big and nice. The gym was pretty nice, although not huge, but it had great views. The spa was nice (I got a massage!). There were shops where you could buy things from sunglasses to art work right on site. We didn’t do any excursions, but there was a lot to choose from (for extra $$) The restaurants were all very nice.
The Staff – They were awesome! SO friendly and fun. Mazen finally warmed up to giving high fives by the end. The service in the restaurants was top notch.
Food – Here’s the downfall. The food was just not that good. If I had to put my finger on what was off I’d say it all tasted like it had been cooked and reheated. The selection and presentation was great – no complaints there – but the taste was just a bit off. We felt the food at other resorts we’ve been to was better. I also thought the desserts were lacking a bit. The a la carte restaurants just weren’t up to par, but the buffet was decent. They served fancy food like sushi, lobster, carved meats, and lots of seafood and the variety of other foods from salads to pate to fruit and cheeses was great. We just felt overall the food was a little bit of a let down.
Drinks – The alcohol was just about what I’d expect for an all-inclusive resort. Some of the wine was pretty good and other times they had different bottles that were quiet bad. It just depended. The mixed drinks were hit or miss too. The Manhattan I had at the lobby bar was great, but some of the fruity drinks were just meh. Not much alcohol to taste. The champagne was my go-to!
Entertainment – The shows were good, although they were a little late for our group. I never went to the casino or disco, but Andrew and Matt did and enjoyed both. The pool area always had a workout class or dance lesson going on. There was a beach party one night that was very impressive with a live band and big stage. I only wish I had stayed out later to enjoy it longer!
Did I cover it all?
Overall, we all decided we probably wouldn’t recommend Iberostar Dominicana to friends, but if you’re already planning a trip there you will have a good time! There wasn’t anything too negative, but it didn’t impress us enough to return either.
Happy New Year!