Gran Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado

5 out of 5 stars5 Stars

Isla de Cayo Levantado, Bahia de Samana, Caribbean
Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado Don Pablo Collection
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Satisfaction Excellent
Very Good

Value Score Average Value

Similarly priced and rated as other 5 star hotels

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Good For Solo
  • Families92
  • Couples93
  • Solo95
  • Business87

More about Gran Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado

To Cayo Levantado...

by Spinka

There is no other way to get to Cayo Levantado as by boat...
It takes few minutes and than you can enjoy what you will see...
Remember to ask those one who bring you there to pick you back few hours later ;)

Take a trip to Cayo Levantado....

by saint_eve

Take a trip to Cayo Levantado. They have BBQs under palm trees and it is all very relaxed. Nobody lives on that small island and the locals bring all the food and booze over with the boat in the morning. Gives it a nice feeling.
Loads of pretty fish in the water as well and the drinks are very nicely mixed by old men with no teeth :)
Apparently this is where some Bacardi spot was shot, but they probably claim that for most beaches there.
Plus, no toilet or any other facility. They barbeque the food and sell drinks and that's it


by Spinka

If you want to bring some she-shells from Cayo Levantado you don't have to buy them from the vendors. You can easily collect them yourself on one of the beaches (left direction from the place where you disembark from the boat)


by Spinka

At Cayo Levantado you will find wide range of sea food mainly.
But it doesn't mean you can't get for example grilled chicken...
There are many outdoor restaurants at the back of the beaches that offer a really good and fresh meals... I recommend a light snack of lambi with lime sauce and grilled fish or lobster. Very tasty :)

Shame on this Hotel group

by TripAdvisor Member pretinha

We are a couple and love to travel to the best beach hotels worldwide. Since I was on business in the DR close to Christmas/New Years Eve 2006/07 we thought we try the new, as exclusive published Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado. The hotel had opened only a week prior to our arrival. We were pretty pleased at our arrival, nice villa with asian elements, the butler tells us that the safety box does not work yet, well not a big problem, the hotel only opened a week ago. But then the real problems started, no hot water during our entire stay. Why would you pay for 2 jacuzzis, one inside, one outside to enjoy the stars on your terrace ? We were sure that the Pinero hotel group would compensate for that. I wrote a nice letter to their head-office in Palma de Mallorca, Spain to ask for a 25% redemption for the lack of warm water during the entire stay. 2 weeks later we receive an apology letter from the resident hotel manager at Bahia Prinicipe Cayo Levantado, offering a room upgrade for the next stay, nothing else. We will never go back to any Bahia Principe hotel, we feel that we have been abused.

Quite nice but not really to our taste

by TripAdvisor Member michaelt

We stayed at Gran Bahia Principe, Cayo Levantado from 5 July to 19 July 2007.

We are a reasonably well travelled couple in our mid and late forties that have been fortunate enough to visit some beautiful places all over the world but admit that some of these places may well have coloured our judgement and for this reason I will try to take as much emotion as possible out of this review and to be objective. Please try to remember though that this review is based upon OUR experience only and others may have had different experiences so I will also post this review on the Samana forum in order to allow people to dispute our findings.

The bus from the airport is a smooth 50 minutes during which time the entire check-in process is taken care of - brilliant. Upon arrival you will be introduced to the Hotel Manager, Assistant Manager and Guest Relations Officer. Take good note of these people's names as they are three of very few people with any command of the English language. We were then directed to our rooms by foot up two or three very steep hills. There are regular buggies that perambulate you around the island because of the steep terrain so why they make you walk after a nine hour flight on your first day I have no idea.

The rooms are spectacular with a four poster bed, well stocked mini bar (always restocked daily), loads of storage space, three piece suite, TV, iron, massive Jacuzzi bath, etc, etc, etc. Unfortunately, ours had not been cleaned or made up but a quick call to reception put that right with a gratis bottle of champagne to follow as way of an apology. Most rooms are in villas that house eight rooms and ours was No 6 about six hundred yards from the main complex and the same from the beach.

There are three pools; one by the beach, one in the centre of the island and a Jacuzzi pool by villa number 5. The beach and the beach pool are inundated with very loud party music from about 10.30 until 15.00 when most guests take their siesta. This would be a good time to point out that at least 70% of guests during our stay were loud, rude and Spanish. On a couple of days the Jacuzzi pool became a rave with really loud garage type music played from lunchtime to sundown. Without doubt the best and most relaxing pool is the central pool where quiet music can be heard and there is a welcome break from the many kids at the Hotel. The beach pool was very dirty and many people contracted ear infections during our stay and me being me, ended up being one of them. The Doctor did help but at a cost of 194 dollars - it seemed like a production line at one time from the pool to the Doctor (great money making scheme).

There is a dive school but please do not waste your money as there is very little to see on the trips that are available. The snorkelling is ok but certainly not spectacular off the main beach - a few star fish, urchins and pipe fish but that is about all. The pictures of the beach on the website and brochures completely misrepresent this resort as the photo shown is the public beach and not the Hotel beach. The Hotel beach is split in two parts about 100 yards long in each place. It can get quite crowded at times but at other times you have it to yourself (usually between 15.00 and the end of the day).

The Hotel has four restaurants - Buffet, Mediterranean, Seafood and Gourmet. The food in the main buffet we found to be repetitive (stew, stew or stew), poorly cooked in most cases and always, always cold. The Mediterranean and seafood restaurants are slightly better but the gourmet (Don Pablo) is excellent. My wife and I were among several people that we met with tummy upsets but it is not really possible to say whether this was down to the food or something else.

Bars can be found on the beach, around the pool (which is also a snack bar), in the lobby, in the function room, and on the public beach. All except the lobby bar and public bar close at 18.00 with the other two closing at 23.00. The public bar charges for drinks until 21.30 when they become all inclusive. All the entertainment (and that is not much or good quality) takes place on the public beach.

An exemplary tennis court, spa, bike hire, hair dresser, shop, free internet access and 24 hour doctor are also available and the grounds and buildings are kept to an extremely high standard. The staff are always cheery and eager to help and there is an army of them trained on making your stay as comfortable as possible.

There are several trips available but to be honest these are not great in our opinion. Jeep safari (six hours travelling and two hours sightseeing), catamaran trip (which brings you back off Cayo Levantado), and a trip to Play Rincon (another beach).

All in all this Hotel just about deserves it's five star rating but we felt that if you just scratched the service of it's wonderful facade then there are still many teething problems to be addressed. Should you have any questions on issues that have not been covered by this review, please feel free to contact me at [-]

Paradise on Earth

by TripAdvisor Member islandlover11

I stayed at Cayo Levantado GBP from May 13-27 , 2007 for my Honeymoon and it was absolutely heaven on Earth.

This Island has very beautiful vegetation. The beach, ocean and landscape is just breath taking. This is truly an exotic paradisical place. Its alittle pricer than most places, but take it from someone who's been there -Its worth it!!

The resort has 3 Restaurants a la carte, Buffet and snack bar which all serve amazing dishes. The service is fantastic, most of the staff consists of local people from Samana. All very humble and sincere. This resort is new, just opened in December 2006 and is still under construction. However, the construction is nowhere near the Villas where the guests are staying so that was not a problem. The rooms are all very large and luxurious, with jacuzzi, safety box and mini-bar.

I would recommend this resort to Honeymoon couples, or couples in need for a tranquil and relaxing vacation. There is nightly entertainment located on the public beach every night which is hilarious and must not be missed!

November until the end of April is the best time to go as most major airlines offer flights into Samana. Off season you will land in Puerto Plata and then you must take a 3.5 hour taxi ride to Samana and then a 15 minute Ferry ride to the Island.

I would go back, and will this coming winter season.

Recent Trip - Great Place

by TripAdvisor Member atlasmom

A group of four of us stayed at the Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado from May 9-15, 2007. Overall we had a fantastic experience at the resort. I tend to disagree with some of the other reviews posted about it but they appear to have been written some time ago. That said, it is clear that it is a new resort and that kinks are being worked out, but I would say that they are substantially up and running.

SETTING: The resort could not possibly be in a more beautiful location. Ocean views from 95% of the rooms, great vistas, gorgeous water...We did not see much construction though they were building some steps along the main walkway. If construction was being done on the property, it was unobtrusive. Mosquitos were not an issue, they must be spraying.

ROOMS: We were in junior suites. The rooms were spacious, nicely furnished, and clean. We had maid and turn down service every day. The mini-fridge was stocked every day with plenty of water, two beers, and some liquor. We tipped $5 daily and were well looked-after.

SERVICE: It was great, we found the staff to be attentive and willing to help with whatever we needed. We did tip for service in dollars to waiters, drivers, and anyone else who lent a hand (about $1 to each staff for help to all four of us.) I took $100 in singles and actually came back with some left over after 6 days.

FOOD: The main buffet is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and is the primary source for meals. All meals are huge and have enough variety for anyone's taste. We all agreed that the food was great. The buffet has different themes nightly so we did not get bored with the selection. We did go to a specialty restaurant one of the nights, the Seafood. Abysmal. It was hard to get a reservation, it was the one instance where service was terrible, and the food was good but small portions. We went to the buffet after to complete our meal and vowed to keep away from the specialty restaurants.

SPA: The spa was nice, the masseuses were pretty good but not pros. For the price (about $60 US for 50 min) it was reasonable. The spa was newly opened and is a nice facility, they need to organize a bit, but it was good for relaxation and a fun feature of the resort.

ACTIVITIES: For some this may be a draw back, we were there to rest and relax so it did not affect us that much. The water sports equipment was rental and limited to an hour. The island itself is nice to walk around in, the pools were very good, the private beach very nice (albeit not long). You can take a ferry to the mainland (10 minutes) and arrange for a cab to take you anywhere you want to go. Most charged about $90 for a full day for four to go to the sights such as Salto de Limon and some of the more renowned beaches. Arrange for the cab with a waiter or someone local you have met. Nightlife was ok, there is a nightly show (I did not go so cannot comment) and there is no cigar bar though one can sit outside the bar and enjoy a cigar and drink service. Dominican rum (Brugal is the main brand) is great and Presdiente beer is good too. There was an extra charge for some of the specialty drinks (an aged sipping rum for example). We did not have a problem finding things to drink :). There are two bars at the main hotel and one at every pool (one of the pool bars is adjacent to the beach). There were people taking drink orders at the beach, but it was easy and fast to run to the bar to get a drink.

TRAVEL: We booked with a travel agent online (Travelive, very good) and got a great rate. In fact, we considered staying an extra few days and were told by management that rates were less expensive through agents than by the resort directly. We flew into Puerto Plata directly from Miami and had a 3 hour drive to Samana with Prieto Tours. Though the road is not great, the drive went by quickly, the van was new, and it was a good opportuity to see the country. The driver would stop if we wanted to see something, go to the restroom, or go to a store.

The resort is not one for people who have hanidcaps or cannot walk easily. If you do not stay in the main building (our rooms were in villas), you must walk. Trams are available and will come pick you up but are not always available at the end of the night. It is also not a resort for older kids (over 5), they would be a little bored though there were several young children who seemend to be having a good time with their parents in the pool and at the beach. Some had concerns about safety, we had none, there was security everywhere, the safe worked, and nothing untoward happened. We felt secure.

In short, it was a beautiful place, a great environment for R&R, and worth the trip. You have to tip if you expect good service but the good news is that you don't have to spend a fortune on tipping. I would go back again.

Excellent place to stay

by TripAdvisor Member keano32

We stopped at the Bahia Principe from May 25th to June 8th and had a wonderful holiday. We were a bit unsure leading up to the holiday because of some negative reviews (not only on tripadvisor), but the were all proven to be false in our opinion. Yes its a new hotel and we were only the second lot of british people out there but my praise goes out to the managment who are trying so hard to make this a 5* hotel, there are little niggles but they are corrected so quickly as long as they know about them.
The flight out with first choice was great (premier class) the airport is very small (Samana) but adiquate. When we arrived the heavens opened but still very,very warm. We arrived at the Hotels mainland base where we would catch the 7min boat ride across the water to the island, as we got there we were greated by dances dressed in traditional costume and a cold towel, well recieved.
As all the checking in had been done on the bus ride we were then escorted to our rooms. We had beach room villa which was very spacious and very well located.
The buffet restraunt was the main focus of the meal times and with pleanty choice was a pleasure. Some little things need to be improved on in there to make it 5* but didnt detract from the experience at all, unless you let it.
The staff were friendly and allways tried to be helpful without being pushy. We had our favorite waiter in the bar area who is Carlixtio (forgive my spelling) who couldnt do enough for you and makes the best cocktails ever.
Overall we met great people made some good friends and had a really good time, dont forget some people will complain at anything, yes there is some things that need tweeking but at the end of the day who can say they are perfect.

I would certainly recomend it and would go back and will do.


Cayo LevantadoCayo Levantado

Cayo LevantadoCayo Levantado

Cayo Levantado (Bacardi Island)Cayo Levantado (Bacardi Island)

Cayo Levantado seen from Samana hillsCayo Levantado seen from Samana hills

Forum Posts


by rubytuesday2005

I am travelling to the Dominican on Saturday and hope to do some beach combing. Can I bring back seashells found on the beach and not be in trouble with Canada Customs? How about jewelry with shells? Thanks so much!!

RE: SeaShells?

by ChristinaNest

I've been to many beaches in the Dominican and I hardly found any shells which was very disappointing. They sell shells in most touristy places, however. I don't know whether there are any customs regulations regarding shells.
Take care

RE: RE: SeaShells?

by alfredop

I visited lots of beaches and the only place I found shells was on Cayo Levantado island.

Good Luck.


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 Gran Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Cayo Levantado Samana
Cayo Levantado Dominican Republic
Gran Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado Hotel

Address: Isla de Cayo Levantado, Bahia de Samana, Caribbean