I originally stayed at this resort Feb 2012, while there I had a wonderful time. I was most impressed with the selection of food, activities, restaurants and pools.
Unique Quality: Fast forward to April 19th 2013 and I've had $2000 taken from my ATM Visa Account, the very ATM account I used at the ATM machine located in the lobby of the Grand Bahia Principe resort in Punta Cana.
While I dispute the charges with my bank, I've contacted the hotel and submitted all the documentation to show them of this concern. The only thing I've asked of them is their sincere investigation into preventing and perhaps apprehending the thieves responsible. Despite the ATM being on their property and in their lobby they inform me they are not responsible and the cloning of my ATM card and its between my bank and the BHD bank in the Dominican Republic.
I've read on the US consular affairs website the following travel warning about the DR: "You should use credit cards judiciously while in the Dominican Republic. Credit card fraud is common, and recent reports indicate that its incidence has increased significantly in Santo Domingo as well as in the resort areas of the country."
I'm hoping VirualTourists posts this as a travel advisory to all my fellow travelers. For some reason TripAdvisor will not post !!
We are fortunate enought to be have been able to travel to Bavaro Beach, our favorite destination, and have returned to Gran Bahia Principe a total of 14 times over the past 6 years (sometimes for 1 week and sometimes for 2 weeks). Thats right, 14 times, I respectfully submit that they are certrainly doing something right.
When I read some of the less than favourable reviews, I can not help but think that the authors of the reviews have something seriously lacking in their lives that they feel that they need to feel superior to those trying to enhance their vacation.
The grounds, the food, the staff, everything has been superb. We email guest services well before we arrive and that helps to ensure that check-in is seamless, booking all our reataurants is a breeze.
I also believe that attitude contributes an enormous amount with regards to the outcome of any vacation. I suggest the authors of those previously written reviews would not be able to be pleased wherever they went.
Gran Bahia Principe should be at the top of your list as a possible destination.
Unique Quality: Food : 10 of 10
Pools : 10 of 10
Lounges : 9 of 10
Shows : 9 of 10
Rooms : 10 of 10
Cleanliness : 10 of 10
Beach : 10 of 10
Friendliness : 10 of 10
The only good things about our stay at the Gran Bahia Principe were the beautiful beaches and the weather and neither are things the hotel itself can take credit for. Everything from check in to check out was an ordeal. WE HAD BED BUGS!! The resort was overcrowded and they do not have enough facilities to service their customers. The pools and beach front were overcrowded. If you want a lounge chair be prepared to get up and out there by about 7 am to stake your claim. The food was mediocre at best and most of the time stale and breakfast was usually whatever was leftover from the day before. Aside from a horribly designed map attempting to provide details about the various restaurants, pools, bars, and other facilities, there is zero explanation from hotel staff on how to navigate the massive hotel grounds. Do not bother asking for help either because nobody is really willing to answer questions, especially if you are english speaking. As promised there are various restaurants spread around the grounds that is so spread out trolly's have to take you from one place to another. However, actually getting a reservation and eating at one is almost impossible, and once there the food is usually the same as what is served at the buffets. Good luck getting a drink if you can find a bar that is open and you better have money to tip. I would not reccomend this place to anyone, nor would I return even if the trip was free. Very disappointing. We started to call it Hotel California.
Unique Quality: Some of wait staff (usually the bussers) along with housekeeping were the most friendly and helpful. They outshined the managment and front of the house staff by far. Most of the people at the desk were rude and dismissive. The women who worked in the guest relations office were somewhat helpful as well. We actually had to leave the resort to get a decent meal and Punta Cana is not as scary or dangerous as described. After a lot of persistence we were finally able to get in a cab and go into Punta Cana for an amazing lobster dinner at a place called Captain Cooks. That was the best meal we had all week.
My husband and I stayed at this resort in June, 2010 and LOVED it! We had traveled to Punta Cana twice already and and fell in love with the people, but this trip we fell in love with the resort and the people! We had the opportunity to return in November and we had no trouble deciding where we'd go. We went back to Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana but upgraded to the Diamond section. We enjoyed our stay again!
Unique Quality: The other resorts that we had stayed at had outside dining. That might sound romantic, but with the heat it was a wonderful relief to be able to eat inside with air conditioning at Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana. We also found that more of the staff speak English than the two other resorts that we had visited. The current was great at the beach. The way the beach is curved at Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana you get a bit of waves. You can also walk either way on the beach for a long way and have resorts on the beaches near you.
To my experience, whenever I have stayed at a comfortable place, I have enjoyed my trip. My experience on my first trip to the Caribbean was not going to be less. I was travelling with my family and we were expecting the best. We booked out the BAHIA PRINCIPE BAVARO after having a very positive experience at our stay in their resort in Tenerife in the Canary Islands. We were not mistaken. A fantastic hotel structure, lavish gardens, freindly people, the finest service, very good entertainment, comfortable rooms and excellent room service, delicious food in large varieties, did the rest. We had a great time and fantastic vacation. I did not mention about the other facilities such as family entertainment, the pools, the bars th the pools, wow, it was all just too goo. It is a 100% satisfaction guaranteed resort with public from all parts of the world, Spaniards, Portugese, Americans, Russians, Germans, many latin American nationalities, Canadians and people from many other great places.
The Travel Slut Top 10 Tips for Bahia Principe Resort & Spa in Punta Cana:
1) Upgrade to the Royal Golden Principe club which entitles you to a room closest to the beach area and several other worthwhile amenities. If you do, remind your driver to drop you off at each special lobby.
2) Bring a "coozie" or insulated cup if you plan beach or pool time. Ice in your drink will melt before you can reach your lounger.
3) Expect staff to greet you with "Ola" and a smile no matter where you are on property.
4) Different color wristbands identify your classification as regular, diamond or gold members.
5) Bell service is essential. They are quick and friendly and run 24-7.
6) Be sure to check out the Principe "Village" of shops, casino and outdoor entertainment near the resorts' entrance.
7) Ask for two room keys. You can then leave one in the power socket so when you exit the room the air conditioner remains on.
8) Make your dinner reservations for the theme restaurant of your choice early in the day as they tend to be filled up after 3 PM
9) If you want to check daily activities or check a map of where you are on property, look for the large marquee-type signs at various tram-trolley stops along the resorts central walkway.
10) Be sure to allow plenty of time for check-out. You will need an exit ticket from reception indicating you have settled your bill prior to leaving
This resort came recommended and I can see why.
Unique Quality: The resort's 1,500 junior suites on 3 separate but adjoining properties all have modern amenities, are spacious, & clean, My room was #1101 & closest to the beach & pool. 24 hour room service included.
There are 6 bars including a swim-up bar. Odalis is the best bartender @ the lobby bar. He's funny, charming, & makes a great "Dirty Monkey".
There are several themed restaurants: Japanese, Mexican, Steak House, Fish & Spanish. All require reservations & dress-up.
There are 5 pools, a childrens section and all are very nice.
Non-motorized sports & activities are included @ 1 hr. per day. There's an activity director w/staff who keep people busy poolside/beachside if so desired. All watersports are offered. Remember at latitude 17, you will sunburn quickly. I didn't use the spa/gym this trip but they are full service and new.
The resort property is HUGE. It's 1/2 mile long trolley-tram service between lobby & beach-pool area is in a loop so excessive walking is not a major concern.
Food: good variety & selection, above average quality, & choice of buffet or reservation-only/sit-down dinners. The teppanyaki-style Japanese dinner I had was OK & similar to a Benihana's.
Drinks: Domestic beer & rum offered. Top shelf liquor was available but not included. NOTE: premium wine was not available. Someone found me a "premium" bottle @ $24 U.S.. It was a $5 Woodbridge white zin. Pool bar drinks were not as good as other bars on property.
There were enough loungers & beach/shade.
Entertainment: Staff did nightly shows outdoors & while the music & dancing was fine, it was too hot & some people left early.
A few things I did not understand:
1) The in-room safe required an extra charge
2) The available wine was limited to primarily 1 brand
3) The outdoor entertainment was uncomfortably hot at night.
4) Why are the pools shut down at 8 PM?
Directions: One of the furthest resorts from the airport at the far southeast end of the Dominican Republic. The Bahia Principe is located between the Riu & the Superclubs Breezes on the beachfront.
We had a great time at this hotel. We had to squeeze in lots of fun because we only had four days and three nights there. The choice of food and drinks was extensive and we were pretty surprised as it was all inclusive.
Unique Quality: They stock the mini bar daily and this is included also.
Directions: punta cana, dominican republic
I definitly recommend this resort to anyone who wants the All-Inclusive experience to be laid back.
Resort is only a couple years old!!
The staff at this resort was fenominal. The room was always clean. The bar was always stocked. The food was wonderful. The beach was pristine.
This resort has several sections and grades which entitle you to access to different portions of the resort. We found that no matter what designation you were, you were welcomed everywhere. We stayed in the Premier Club, which is closer to the bottom of the Totem Pole, but were treated like gold all week. Premier Club is an adults only section of the resort, with it's own pool, buffet, and bars. While it is quite a way from the beach, there was always a trolly waiting to drive us down to the sand, often without making any stops.
Tips: While this resort is all-inclusive (including tips) bring some money to tip your maid, bartender, waiters...These people make dirt compared to us. For the maids, bring cheap make-up (stuff from K-mart, the Dollar Store, etc...). Your room will be so clean when you come back that you could eat off the floor. Tip your bartenders and waiters. When you want a drink, you will become front of the line without any trouble at all.
Unique Quality: There are very few rooms with an ocean view on the resort. These rooms are much more expensive, and, in my opinion, not worth it.
Directions: Dominican Republic...Somewhere close to the Water
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We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
Address: Areana Gorda-Macao, Seccion Baigua, Higuey-Provincia La Altagracia, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic