Beautiful Property, Charming Staff
My girlfriend and I just returned from the Gran Bahia Principe La Romana and had a wonderful time. For a reasonably priced, relaxing enjoyable vacation I would definitely reccommend this property. If you are looking for pampering, luxury and superior quality food, this is not the place for you.
The property is beautiful, immaculate, amazingly maintained and I can't say enough about the staff, super friendly, as helpful and warm as can be. You are made to feel welcome at every turn.
The food was so-so, but my opinion is to be taken with a grain of salt. I manage a restaurant and eat tremendous food and drink great wine every day, so I am a bit spoiled. The buffet is huge, with a ton of choices and there is clearly a lot of effort put into creating interesting options, The quality of the ingredients just seemed...iffy. Our stomachs didnt feel quite right all week. we werent sick and it didn't affect our experience, but it felt like there was a brick in our stomachs most of the time.
As far as the A la Carte restaurants, stay away from the Italian and seafood places and go to the French Restaurant only. The first 2 are simply the same buffet food served on white tablecloths. The French place is actually quite good.
Drinks are VERY week, you need to pester the bartenders to get any booze in them, which they will do, somewhat grudgingly. It makes little sense since I think Rum is probably cheaper than the mixers.
Incredibly beautiful property, wonderful staff, great beach, gordeous pool. if you want a mellow relaxing low frills vacation, then book this property today. If you want fine dining and pampering, probably not the place for you.
Bahia Principe LRM - LOVED IT...a great 5*****
We stayed at the Bahia Principe in LaRomana and we were delighted with this 5 star resort. It was renovated and reopened the beginning of November 2007 and we went in December. It was a beautiful resort, rooms were spacious, clean and nicely deccorated. The food at this resort was the best we have ever had in the DR. We have previously been to Puerto Plata and Punta Cana. The buffet had lots of choices, breakfast lunch and dinner were all terrific. The beach restaurant was nice too with the usual, salads, hamburgers, hotdogs, fries, spagetti (which is to die for).
The nightly entertainment was absolutely wonderful. The staff were excellent in dance and acting, they were fun and whimsical and their performance of the Lion King exceeded my expectations of a "caribbean performance". The staff at the resort were all very friendly, ready to help, clean up, get you a drink, etc.
We had a JR. Suite Room with our Gold Club accommodation, that was complete with hairdryer, ironing board, robes, slippers, etc. Everything was brand new, I dont think the sheets had ever been slept in, the robes were lovely and beautiful white and new as well. The toiletries were excellent, inroom bar and coffee was refilled each day, nightly turn was a pleasure to come back to after dinner, the maids did a wonderful job of making lovely swans and hearts with the flowers. The hairdryer in our room wouldnt stay "on" and we called down to the Gold Club Help Desk and the hairdryer was replaced by the time we got back from dinner. The staff was right on making everything perfect for your stay.
The beach was clean and nice, however the ocean was not the greatest. I ended up with "swimmers itch" and was in agony by the time I got back to Toronto, Ontario with large oozing bumps on my lower legs and feet and ended up in the hospital the night we got home with the itch and had to take oral antihistimines and antibiotics for a week and because I scratched, I have lots of scars. My husband had NONE! guess I was the lucky one! The ocean water temperature was nice, the bottom was rocky in some areas, sandy in others, not the best swimming water as it was dredged and they poured in truckfuls of sand trying to make it nice.
You could paddle boat or kayak, windsail across the ocean to an island owned by the resort. Not much there, but they had a cooler with water in it for your enjoyment and you could walk around the area, lay on the lounge chairs and have an island to yourself for awhile.....a sweet "survivor" feeling.
We went in San Pedro to shop at the local "Walmart" called something else ofcourse and if you go there, take dominican dollars otherwise they hugely overcharge you in American and give you lots of Dominican dollars back. We were going to buy a bag of cookies and a can of Pringles and they wanted $15 USD and were going to give us the equivalent of over $10 US in Dominican dollars. Thankfully a Dominican lady helped us with the "supposed language problem" with one of the floor managers and I made enough stink about just getting my money back and leaving without the goods, they finally....but reluctantly agreed.
Going through security at the La Romano airport to come back home was chaos. They put your carryon through the x-ray machine and then three or four guys start pulling your bags apart and emptying everything all over the table, everything gets mixed up and I'm positive while the security officer was keeping me busy by talking to me and keeping me looking at him, I saw him pocket something. I wasn't missing anything that I recall, but both my husband and I saw it, but we are not sure what he picked up from the table. They tried to stuff our belongings back in our bags and put a ladies jacket into mine that wasn't mine and I told them and they took it out. Turns out it was another person's and when she went looking for it, security said they didn't have it and we said it was on the table, that they tried to put it in my bag. About 10 minutes later, security came and got the woman, took her to a room, shut the door and showed her her jacket and asked if she had $20!!! She didn't give it to them but she did get the jacket back.
Despite the swimmers itch and the inappropriate behaviour at the airport, it was a really wonderful trip and I can't say anything negative about the resort, the grounds, the food, the staff, the entertainment, the cleanliness, etc. It was definitely a five star in my books!
If you go, enjoy! and say hello to Santiago at the lobby bar! He's awesome!
Nice quiet resort
Flew to La Romana via Air Transat Jan 21/08. Upgraded to club class for flite. well worth the extra $$$$. Usual great flite on Air Transat.
Arrived La Romana airport, got luggage & departed on bus to resort. Took about 1 hour due to excess traffic and a crash. Arrived resort. We had upgraded to golden club. Some confusion on arrival. Only 2 Bell hops on duty who just stood around talking. Found our own suite using map and took our own luggage to suite.
The suite: located in building 27 facing the beach. Ground floor as requested. Totally renovated and beautiful. 1 king bed, sitting area, coffee maker,huge closet (safe in closet. MAKE SURE YOU RENT SAFE) full bathroom including bidet. all ceramic and marble, double sink too.
The resort: beautiful extremely clean, lots of sitting areas in garden. Bar in lobby area as well as nitely entertainment. Grounds are immaculate. Only one thing "bad" every nite around 6:30 they would spray (fog) the grounds with some kind of pesticide. Left a lingering odour that was slightly offensive. Awful to walk thru to restaurants if you were caught outside during fogging.
Restauranst: Buffet amazing food of every description and taste. Ala carte restauranst. did all 3 very good. nice pampered service.
Beach: Lots of loungers and palpas for everyone. Beach bar too! Only disappointment was water very cloudy as mentioned in other posts. Took boat out to island very clear lots of loungers & palpas. water very clear.
Staff: every staff member we met was great.
Caution: my wife left a small jewelery box containing 6 pairs of pierced earrings. Went missing from room. Hotel was prompt in investigating. Seems maid performing nitely turn-down service & replenshing towels/fridge had a habit of opening doors to 4 rooms at a time. Someone walked into room saw box on hight-table and walked off with them. We should have put them in the safe with other valuables. Hotel made restitution in items from gift shop.
Return flite via Air Transat was delayed 4 hours. no big problem. that sometimes happens with charters. Great flite once airborne.
Overall a nice resort. Quiet and relaxing which is waht we wanted.
Would probably not return as we do a different city/country every year.
Santana Resort & Casino in La Romana, Dominican
"What You'll LIKE about Santana Beach Resort"
+ Santana Resort is a beautiful resort, loaded with palm trees and exotic flowers. Upon arriving, you'll first notice the grand open-air Lobby, with dozens of comfy sofas and chairS to relax. The first of many resort bars is here, as well as the casino, the main restaraunt, and the stage area where shows are performed nightly. Most shows are very entertaining (especially the 'Horror Show'). The Lobby is also where most of your excursions can be booked, with reps from different companies frequenting the area.
+ The Pool area is also excellent. Large and curvey and consistantly 4 feet deep, the pool has an adjacent jacuzzi, and the pool has set-ups for volley ball and water polo. There is also a swim up bar. The pool area has plenty of chaise lounges and dozens of umbrella 'huts' and trees to provide shade.
+ The pool staff provide a non-stop assortment of activities in and around the pool, from aerobics to archery to baseball. They are fun, friendly, and not bothersome if you decide not to participate.
+ The rooms are very nice, with two queen beds and a futon; dresser with chair and nightstands. The bathroom has a bidet (if it works) and a porch with chairs. There's also a fridge, stocked daily with water, soda and beer.
+ Catalina Island day trip. This is the island that features the best water for snorkeling. In addition, the lunch usually consists of lobster! The day trip also will take you to a cigar factory, a castle-like resort, and an alligator boat ride.
+ Negotiations. If you like to haggle, this is the trip for you. You can barter on practically every product and trip. Especially on day trips, shop around to all the reps until you get the best deal. Ex, our Catalina trip was $80.00 US each.
+ The temperature. It's the tropics. Every day was upper 80's and nights were mid 70's. It will probably rain a bit.
If you'd like more specifics, feel free to email: firstname.lastname@example.org
"What You'll DISLIKE about Santana Beach Resort"
- The Drive to the resort. You'll probably land at Punta Cana, which means you'll have a 2.5 hour bus trip. You'll stop once to shop, and it is interesting to see how the locals live, but over two hours of traffic and constant passing of trucks on the road gets tiring.
- The Beach. In a word...bad. The water is murky and the bottom turns muddy about 20 yards out. There are no waves and not alot of wind. Take the trip to Catalina to get some crystal clear water.
- The Merchants. No matter what trips you take, the merchants are there before you are. Most have the same stuff and some guys are a bit pushy.
- The Liquor. Yes, all the liquor is free at the resort, but the quality is low. All is made locally and all tastes the same. I really couldn't tell the difference between the rum and the tequila.
- The Room Key. Santana gives you your key with a piece of wood that you must insert into a slot in the room to get the lights and a/c working. When you leave, everything shuts down. The way around this is to bring your own keychain, take off the room key and leave the hunk of wood in the slot all the time.
- Things that Stop Working. During our week, the hot water was out for almost 3 days and the a/c for almost 2. The bidet didn't work. All the hover boats were out. Hey...things happen. Be prepared.
- Television. There are only 3 US channels that come through: ESPN, HBO, and E. And...the quality is horrible.
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First day in Dominican Republic
"Plane in Paris Charles de Gaulle"
Ok, it left for 8 hours plane before the paradise !!!
"The airport of Punta Cana"
"The entry of the hotel Santana Beach Resort *****"
Santana Beach La Romana Domenican Republic
Our travel agent has reccomended this resort to us but I can not find a picture of the beach anywhere? Can you give a website that shows the beach.
RE: Santana Beach La Romana Domenican Republic
RE: Santana Beach La Romana Domenican Republic
go and visit the webpage www.eatdrinksleepdr.com
is a excellent source to check great pictures and reviews. hope you find what you're looking for.