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“Won't return...” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Bahia Principe La Romana

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Grand Bahia Principe La Romana
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Ctra San Pedro-Romana km 12, El Soco. San Pedro, La Romana, Dominican Republic (Formerly Santana Beach Resort)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 13 hotels in La Romana
Brampton, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Won't return...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

We travelled as part of 20people party for a wedding. Grounds of the hotel are beautiful and very well kept, you see people cleaning throughout the whole day. Food was ok....but my husband did get really sick in the middle of the trip as well as other people in our group. This put a damper on the whole thing since the wedding was towards the end of our trip. Good thing the bride and groom were ok! Our room was nice and kept clean. We were right by the beach in golden royal rooms. As per service, it was hit and miss. Some of them cared enough to remember your name and some wouldn't even make eye contact. In the morning, out of 7 breakfasts I was served 2 coffees...all the other times I had to fetch it myself...which I was ok with as long as I had a coffee... lol out of 3 a la cartes we decided to skip Italian as most of people in our group didn't enjoy it. We really enjoyed the Gourmet one!
The biggest dissapointment was the sea! ...murky is an understatement :o( I suppose we are spoiled by the beauty of Varadero, Punta Cana and Santa Clara's crystal clear ocean...but the water was just dirty and cold! Btw, get ready to pay extra for safe! that was a first.. If you get a chance, do the Saona trip! although weather was not so good it turned out to be great excursion!

Room Tip: building 26, nice...clean and super close to the beach and pool.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer S, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Bahia Principe La Romana, responded to this review, February 20, 2013
Dear czech66chic,

Receive a cordial greeting from Grand Bahia Principe La Romana,

We are so glad after having received your message letting us know your experience in our Hotel, and that you have enjoyed it, especially your room location and our gardens

In relation to the comments about the beach from our Hotel, it is important to remark that like many other beaches in the Dominican Republic, it does not corresponds to the image of turquoise water and white sand. However, it does not mean that Bahia La Romana is not a clean beach or not suitable for swimmers, since a very strict cleaning routine is done consistently and daily.. We would like to comment that our beach has dark sand and very fine in structure. Its color is due to natural effects of currents and tides that lift the sand and the constant movement makes the water dark and not turquoise.

Kind regards,

Customer Service La Romana
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (349)
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English first
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

We just got back from a wonderful week spent at la Bahia (Feb4-11th).

We were family of 3 adults+1kid+2 infants.I was so terrified after reading previous reviews about people getting sick and other terrible things about this resort, that I was ready to cancel my trip. Thanks God I did not do it. We had great time. Nobody got sick or anything like that. We did not do anything special, the only thing is we obviously did not drink tap water. However my husband used it to clean his teeth.
We loved everything about this resort, but sea water. We knew it's not going to be crystal clear, so we were ready for that.
All the rest is perfect! Beautiful beach! Food was very very good, huge variety. Rooms are good, bathroom may need some little reno, but is ok. Very-very nice personal. Always smiling, greeting you. I am in love with their gardens. Very well maintained and clean.
I would highly recommend this hotel for quiet vacation for families with kids or middle age couples.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer S, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Bahia Principe La Romana, responded to this review, February 15, 2013
Dear Mrs. Tamila C,

Receive cordial greetings from the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana Hotel, especially from our Quality & Customer Service department.

We very much appreciate your feedback and we are delighted that you and your family enjoyed your vacations with us. Thank you so much for taking the time to post and giving us such a good review of your holidays at the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana and we are glad to hear that you had a fabulous time.

We are looking forward to welcome you once again in your next family vacations at Grand Bahia Principe La Romana.

Kindest regards,

Customer Service La Romana
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Oakville, Canada
1 review
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

Four of us recently returned from the Gran Bahia Principe, La Romana (January 18th -25th). This vacation was a long time in planning and locations along with respective hotel reviews were carefully assessed. We have previously been to the Gran Bahia Principe Akumel, Tulum and Coba (all rated 5 star) thus we felt the La Romana destination would be comparable but it is definitely not a five star or even a 4.5. After our experience, we would be hard pressed to even give this hotel a 3.5 rating.
Overall, the food was, in our opinion, of sub-standard quality, both at all the a la cartes but especially at the buffet. There was very little variety and the same limited choices every day. No other five star hotel that we have ever been to would offer guests so many different variations of hot dogs, rice and cold cuts. Dinners centered on hamburgers, chicken and dolphin fish every day. Omelettes and eggs in general were never cooked properly – always raw in the middle and the bacon undercooked. Coffee station generally empty of either coffee, cups or spoons. Either toasters did not work at all or you had to put the bread through multiple times. We swear that the orange juice was actually Tang. We noticed at every a la carte restaurant; half the restaurant always had empty tables yet hearing from others that they couldn’t get reservations. In addition, the Mediterranean and Italian restaurants are not full a la cartes; you have to buffet your starters and dessert with basically the same food found at the main buffet. The food at the beach restaurant and bar was basically no different from the main buffet except there was even less choice. By late afternoon, many of the limited choices were not even being replenished but if you liked to dine on French fries, pizza or Tostitos then you were OK. I could go on but you get the picture.
The hotel we were told by a staff member was only 13 years old yet there were many signs of wear and tear particularly in the rooms. The most significant issue here (and I heard from others) were the number of patio door locks broken or missing. This, in our opinion is a definite safety and security risk. Rooms were on the small size. The especially small combo bathtub/shower had a dangerously slight incline. The television was the antiquated tube style and could not be any larger than a 24” size. Another very irritating issue were the room phones. The message light continually flashed and could not be turned off. The hotel management told us that the phone system had been changed (sounded like this had not just happened). They did not know how to get rid of the flashing so told us to cover the phone with our paper-thin bath towels – took several of them to block the light and flashed for all seven days we were there.
Water pressure was generally poor but more importantly was the issue of having no hot water for three of our 7 days there. For a short time, there was absolutely no water – hot or cold. Throughout our stay, the water was never ever hot but at least it was warm except for those 3 days where there was only cold water. If we had no hot water and at best warm water throughout our stay then I shutter to think how dishes, glasses, sheets and towels were being cleaned and properly sterilized. On multiple occasions, we received dirty cutlery, coffee cups with lipstick stains and otherwise soiled dishes. I witnessed a server drop a handful of dinner knives, pick them up off the floor then continued to set tables with them. It is no wonder that three of us came down with bouts of dysentery.
The hotel communication to it’s cliental about the hot water as well as the pretty much non-existent access to the “WIFI” was basically either “soon” , “later today” or “tomorrow”.
As a non-smoker, you definitely had to stay clear of the casino and the entertainment. We limited our time in these places because of the amount of smoke. The casino had no air conditioning only fans. The entertainment was in very poor taste and at times quite offensive – gun violence, female violence and racial stereotyping. Overall, we would categorize the entertainment as awfully amateur and not what one would expect from a “5” star hotel.
What was to be an enjoyable and stress free holiday was anything but. All of us have travelled extensively to the Caribbean and had wonderful experiences, so this is a first which has left has with a very negative opinion of the Gran Bahia hotel chains.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer S, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Bahia Principe La Romana, responded to this review, February 12, 2013
Dear Alson_palm,

Receive cordial greetings from all the team working at Grand Bahia Principe La Romana Hotel, especially from our Quality & Customer Service Department.

Our guests perception in regards to their experiences is extremely important and valuable for us. For Bahia Principe guest are the most important as well as their comments.

Concerning your comments about our food, please allow us to inform you that our menus are done taking into consideration the diversity of our guests. Every night, at our buffets, we have a different gastronomic offer. We must say that the level of satisfaction obtained, concerning the quality and variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner services, has always been very elevated according to the opinions reflected in our quality questionnaires.

We regret to hear that your perception in this matter was not positive, but be assured that your comments have been already brought to the General Manager and Food & Beverage staff.

We would like to have the opportunity to welcome you once again at Grand Bahia Principe La Romana Hotel to experience the hospitality of our people, the quality of our services and facilities and change any negative perception you may have about us.

Kindest regards,

Customer Service La Romana
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Burlington, Ontario
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

Just got back from La Romana (Feb. 2 – 9) and am happy to report we had an amazing time! We were terrified to visit this resort after reading so many reviews of sickness and parasites but we ate many different types of food and neither of us experienced any type of sickness. We did meet two people that had been sick but everyone else we spoke to were fine.

We absolutely loved the pool, the large palm trees in the middle make it feel so tropical! The pool is very big and we always had a palapa (although my husband got up early every morning to lay our towels on one). The beach is very nice to sit at, the sand is soft and the palm trees are beautiful but we didn't care for the murky water. It didn't affect us much though, we enjoyed the beach and would walk over to the pool for a dip, usually combined it with a visit to the bar and a top up on our cerveza's!

We were quite impressed with the food. We’ve been to a number of resorts and it has always been hit and miss with the food. Our favourite was the breakfast buffet and the Le Gourmet a la carte restaurant. The beach snack bar was okay, we preferred the lunch buffet (had the same food as the snack bar plus much more). Dinner buffet was pretty good as well, there is a lot of variety at the buffet but the buffet is nearly the same every day/night (even though they tried to switch it up each night with different themes).

Our room (in Villa #10) was lovely. It was not an upgraded room and did not have a very nice view but we were not in our room much so it wasn’t a issue. The room was very clean and the décor was nice, we did not see a single bug in our room. My only complaints about the room are that the glass shower leaked a lot of water onto the floor and for one day & night our air conditioner did not work. Also, we were in an adjoining room and did not know the other occupants – we could hear EVERYTHING in the next room. One night I woke up and heard a sneeze and thought there was an intruder in our room, turns out it was our neighbours. In our opinion, it wouldn’t be worth the cost to upgrade to the Golden or Platinum rooms. They are basically the same with a better view of the pool or maybe a piece of the ocean. The Bouganville (luxury) section, however, looked amazing and we would consider booking our stay there next time.

The staff are all incredible and make this place worth visiting again! The animation staff are very good at making sure everyone is having a great time, especially Daniel, Fransico, Smerlin & Andres. The evening shows were okay, your typical resort entertainment. Maximo the bartender was very good as well! The serving and cooking staff were all very good as well, they are very polite and go out of their way to make sure you have everything you need. We were impressed at how well most of the staff spoke English and kudos to them, they need to speak to people from all over the world…meaning they need to speak multiple languages.

My only recommendations for this resort are: bring your own travel mug, the plastic cups used at the bar are flimsy and small. If you enjoy floating around in the pool, bring your own inflatable mattress, they are way overpriced at the resort.

Room Tip: Ask for a non-adjoining room.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer S, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Bahia Principe La Romana, responded to this review, February 12, 2013
Dear Snoor Sun,

Receive warm greetings from all the team of Grand Bahia Principe La Romana Hotel.

We would like to thank you for taking your time to send us your positive comments which are highly appreciated; for us it is a real pleasure to read that you have had a nice time in our Gran Bahia Principe La Romana Hotel.

We take good note from your suggestions to continue working hard improving our quality in all our services. We would also like to thank you for your kind comments about our staff, especially to Daniel, Fransico, Smerlin & Andres, They are indeed good professionals and important members of our family, we will make sure that they and everybody at Gran Bahia Principe La Romana Hotel knows about it, we will gladly pass your beautiful words to all the team.

Kindest regards,

Customer Service La Romana
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Aurora, Wi
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

Very nice smaller resort with service like a large resort. Comfortable accommodations, good food and good service. Beach is beautiful. Pools are large and well kept. Activities programs are fun for anyone, any age. We traveled Jan 25-Feb 3. My mom is in a wheelchair and it was easy to get her around and the staff was very helpful and kind. Every where you look, inside and out, is clean and manicured. It seemed like near capacity a few days into our stay. The cleaning people worked above and beyond to make sure to get clean towels every day - including dropping them off up to 9pm. Wonderful, friendly staff!

Room Tip: If you upgrade to the Golden Club, it puts you in rooms bordering the pool or ocean. The resort is s...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer S, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Bahia Principe La Romana, responded to this review, February 12, 2013
Dear AmbAurora_wi,

Receive cordial greetings from Grand Bahia Principe La Romana and from our Quality & Customer Service department.

We really apreciate your kinds comments about your vacations, Our guests perception in regards to their experiences is extremely important and valuable for us.

It is very satisfaying for us to know that we exceed your expectations in your first trip to our beautiful island. For Bahia Principe, guests are the most important as well as their comments.

We hope to see you soon in our little Dominican paradise,

Kindest regards,

Customer Service La Romana
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New Paltz, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

We recently returned from a trip to the Gran Bahia Principe La Romana (Feb 5 - 10th) and we had, overall, a lovely time. The trip wasn't trouble or inconvenience free but all in our party agreed that we would consider returning.
Pros:
- beautifully maintained grounds
- private beach that was also maintained by the staff. There were sand bugs but we brought bug spray so they didn't bother us very much. Plus, the hotel sprays every evening which made a difference. The water, while not crystal blue, was not dirty or dark brown. Some days it was lighter in clarity than others but it was fine.
- animacion staff were fantastic. We especially like our spanish class each day with Daniel and Fransisco was an energetic host. There was volleyball, tournaments each day (darts, poker, mini golf), beach soccer, water aerobics, etc. Enough to keep my very active children busy in between visits to the ocean and pool.
- the food was fine. I read many reviews prior to our visit regarding an illness at the resort so I broughts lots of hand sanitizer. It did the trick - and plus, my kids now have decent table manners because we constantly reminded them to use utensils! There was lots of variety in terms of the food choices and if you are worried about food safety there are many stations where the cooks make the foods based on the persons specification (omelet station, pasta station, grilled meat station, etc.)
Cons:
- While the staff was very nice our needs were not always addressed in a timely manner. For example, our toilet broke on the morning of day three of our five day visit. After five phone calls it still never got fixed. Also, one person in our party was stung badly by a jelly fish. This could honestly happen anywhere. My issue was with the lack of response. Because I read in reviews that others had experienced painful jellyfish stings I brought my own vinegar - but it wasn't enough for the size of the sting (back of neck, down back, down one arm). The life guard was not around - away on lunch. The life guard station did not have any vinegar or any first aid supplies. When we asked for help from various staff around the beach or pool they kept sending us to another area of the resort. All we needed was vinegar! I finally had "words" with the front desk and they gave me vinegar to treat the now growing welts. It was very frustrating. Sure, we could have gone to the offsite health clinic but a jellyfish sting really only needs vinegar to treat the initial sting and then I could take it from there with some basic first aid. Thank goodness I brought my own med kit with antiseptic, anti bacterial cream, sting relief, etc or we would have been out of luck.
- Lastly, the resort has rules - no reserving cabanas, no topless sunbathing, casual dress for the restaurants. I have no problems with these rules but they are no enforced in any way. Just don't have the rules then so that everyone has the same expectations,etc.

Overall, the trip was just what we needed to get through the winter.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer S, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Bahia Principe La Romana, responded to this review, February 12, 2013
Dear P1A2G3,

Receive a warm greetings from Grand Bahia Principe La Romana Hotel.

We highly appreciate the time you took to write for us and also your positive comments, we want to inform you that we take good note from your suggestions to continue working hard improving our quality in all our services.

It is through communications of this nature that our customers give us an opportunity to assess and evaluate our performance, as well as to ensure we maintain and deliver the level of service expected from our hotels.

Your feedback and overall view of the Hotel allow us to better improve our daily commitment with quality to meet or even exceed your expectations and hopes while staying with us.

Looking forward to welcome you again in the Dominican Republic.

Kindest regards,

Customer Service La Romana
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Gloucester, Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

Resort was very clean and the staff was extremely friendly. The food could be a little better but nice variety. We had a wonderful vacation. Loved the staff and nightly dancing. Wanted to bring the staff home with us.

Room Tip: Our room was close to the main lobby, which made it most convienient.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer S, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Bahia Principe La Romana, responded to this review, February 12, 2013
Dear Saginawphil,

Receive cordial greetings from all the team working at Grand Bahia Principe La Romana Hotel, especially from our Quality & Customer Service Department.

Thank you for your recent review and you kind comments about your experience in your family vacations, also for highlighting the good aspects, such as our great staff and the cleanliness of the hotel areas.

Hope to see you soon on your next vacation experience at our little Dominican paradise.

Sincerely yours,

Customer Service La Romana
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Bahia Principe La Romana

Address: Ctra San Pedro-Romana km 12, El Soco. San Pedro, La Romana, Dominican Republic (Formerly Santana Beach Resort)
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Romana Province > La Romana
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 13 hotels in La Romana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grand Bahia Principe La Romana 3.5*
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Also Known As:
Gran Bahia Principe La Romana Hotel La Romana
Santana Beach Resort
La Romana Gran Bahia Principe

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