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“Fantastic resort but not for a beach lover” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Bahia Principe Premier

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Grand Bahia Principe Premier
5.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playa Bavaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #35 of 100 hotels in Punta Cana
Milton, Canada
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Fantastic resort but not for a beach lover”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2012

Everything about this resort was absolutely great except for the size and location of the beach.

The beach was way to far away from the Premier part of the resort and to make matters worse our room was the furthest possible room from the beach on the whole entire complex!

The beach was far to small for the number of guests. I have travelled to many many beaches and although beautiful, this one was by far the most crowded one I have ever seen. The chairs were lined up in rows side by side along the full width of the (common area) beach to the point that you couldn't really move or have any privacy. If you were a few rows back from the waterfront it wasn't possible to have a clear view of the water at times.

The part of the beach that seemed to belong to Esmerelda and Ambar was roped off from the main area in the centre. Those restricted areas were representative of what I am usually accustomed to at most places I've been but at not extra charge. If you are a beach lover this is not the place for you.

Now - having said all of that regarding the beach I must tell you that the rest of the place was great. The accomodations, the food choices and quality of food, the amenities in the room, all of it was perfect and more. I felt that this chain of resorts has the business of people/traffic flow management down to a fine art. This resort lacks for nothing in my opinion. Some unexpected surprises:

Machines in the lobby with a great selection of perfectly brewed specialty coffees - no need to wait at the bar

Umbrellas- large ones - in the room (sadly we had a rain day)

Hot, fresh, yummy foods at the buffet - crab legs even! My favorites: Home made salsa, fresh passionfruit, great bread selection and they even did a cheese tasting night.

Gorgeous gorgeous grounds. The view from our ground floor room was beautiful.

The "jacuzzi" pool which was just outside our room in block 52. Check that one out!

Rainshower head in our bathroom

Ornamental size banana tree (with clusters of bananas) right out side our room's patio.

Sheltered bus stops all over the resort

Tons of palm trees on the beach - lots of shelter if you want it.

Good house wine!!!

Ample wait staff in the lobby area to serve drinks in a timely fashion. I am used to waiting at the bar and here you can just sit down on a sofa or big wicker arm chair and be served within minutes!

The public courtesy room (which is like a large washroom) for those people who need to check out early but leave late in the afternoon. It has 3 shower stalls contained in one room with a lock on the door so you can shower without worrying about your stuff. The only downfall of this space is that it is not air conditioned like your hotel room was, so it's hard to get dry and have a good hairdo for the flight home.

The few negatives IMO: The desserts on the buffet - palm oil filled squares similar to that of M&M's desserts. I suggest you try what's in the silver dome at the end of the dessert table. It's warm and yummy most times.

Every drink was sweetened beyond my liking. Even the lemonade was too sweet! It took me 5 days to figure out where to find soda water so I mainly stuck to bottled water for the entire trip.

TIP: If you like a quieter beach check out the beach next door at the Riu. You might be able to drag a chair over there or sneak a seat or sit on your towel there for a few minutes. Also some good shopping at the Riu's beach shops :-)

Room Tip: I liked the ground floor - after walking long distances the last thing I want to do is climb 3 level...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Manager at Grand Bahia Principe Premier, responded to this review, July 15, 2012
Dear Localyocal2,

Receive warm greetings from all the staff of Gran Bahia Principe Club Premier.

I would like to thank you for your comments on Tripadvisor, we appreciate comments which are very important for us, and we will take them into account as a manner to improve the quality of our services and facilities.

I really hope that there are many other visits yet to come and that we will have the opportunity to meet. Please remember than here in the Dominican Republic, we will be at your disposal for whatever you may need, and that here you have your second home.

My best regards,

Luis A. Ocampos
GBP Club Premier Management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (61)
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English first
Moncton
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2012

Hi, Just got back from one week in Punta Cana at the Grand Bahia Principe Premier. We are so desapointed as we were expecting (and paid for) a five star which it isn't. We were told we would have full access to the resort including buffet and it wasn't the case. When the employee called to see how our trip went, I asked why we couldn't go to the other buffet and she told us that it was because it was our first time there. Nothing to get me back to their resort. I will never go there again. I felt like a second class guest. Even the employees were like 'oh...premier, no!'. The attitude was bad, the food at the buffet at our resort sucked, no variety, and aweful taste. I am not fussy with food but that was very bad. We fed on chicken, fries, pasta and bread. By the end of the week, we were jocking and were saying: what' s new for lunch/supper? We'll have something new: chicken/fries. It was bad. It's too bad because the resort itself and the beach is super nice but for me, a huge part of my vacation is how I am treated and the food I eat and it was horrible. Not going there ever again!

Room Tip: Avoid Premier at all cost. The other resorts/sections are great.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 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
    • 2 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.
Toronto, Ontario
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2012

My friend and I stayed in the Premier and we were really nervous because of all the bad reviews. I had nothing to worry about. I just want to say that overall the hotel was wonderful. I understand why some people had their issues, but it really was a wonderful and relaxing vacation. I would go back in a heartbeat.

The grounds were so beautiful and clean. The staff there worked very hard to keep it that way. With 7,000 people at the entire resort, you would be surprised how well it was maintained. We were nervous because of high season, but being at the premier felt like it was our own private resort. We never had a hard time finding a spot by the pool. We had a lovely lobby that we hung out in everyday and everything was so close! After checking out all the sections, we concluded that the Premier really was the best section. Most private.

With being on the ground floor, I was terribly worried about security (I even brought my own piece of wood to put to jam the sliding door) – but the sliding door has a pin that you stick in that prevents you from opening it and it has a lock on the handle. I didn’t have to use my stick it at all ;)

We loved the drinks (so yummy). On the rainy days, we enjoyed the lobby and satellite TV in our room. Otherwise we just read and relaxed. There were a ton of activities to do (pool exercises, dance lessons, pool volley ball, ping pong) so you can’t get bored.

The food was delicious and a great variety. Of course there is something for everyone so you won’t love it all, but there was enough of a variety to go last the week. We did 3 out of 4 a la cartes: Italian (yummy), Mediterranean/Seafood (not good) and the Steakhouse (fabulous!). Take advantage of the snack bars. Their food is really good and you have more variety (calamari was fabulous!).

CONS:
- I really wish that they had room service. Sometimes you just felt like sitting on the balcony and eating something small rather than inside at the buffet.

- Coffee service outside of the buffet didn't start until 10:00am (My friend is a coffee-first-thing-in-the-morning kind of girl and even though we had a coffee maker in the room, a good coffee was needed.

- Beach was lovely, nicely shaded, but it was crowded with chairs which took away from the waterfront.

- Service -- You have to keep in mind that people run on Caribbean time. I have seen this a few times but forgot, everything moves very slowly! The service was not good-- however, the people are so nice. All of the staff member were so kind, but it was a bit chaotic and sometimes we didn't get our drinks in the buffet (or service at all-- I had to grab my own fork and knife!). But the people were so friendly so you have to learn to relax a bit and have patience.

- The nightlife! Okay -- I know I am getting older, but when you are on vacation, it is hard to fill in the time. The karaoke bar didn’t open until 10 pm and the disco didn’t open until midnight - so we just couldn’t relax all day and stay up for that – good luck to those who can.

- The premier is the furthest away from the beach – but with the train that was no big deal and things are closer than you think.

Room Tip: Premier is the way to go. Get something in the 40, 41, 42 and that has a view of the pool (more nois...
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  • Stayed March 2012, 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barrie, ON
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2012

This was our second time at this resort, the first time I did not like, I could not find my way around and thought it was too big, this time I went and I studied the grounds before i went, I had no problem finding anything this time, lots to do, pools were awesome, 15 minute walk to the ocean on foot or you can take trollies. We toured Esmeraldo and what a great new part of Bahia. There are guys on the grounds from the privilege club want to show this new side but it is to buy into the privelege club, we just got the free gifts no pressure. Once you know the resort set up was very easy to follow. Great variety of food, Japenses buffet was more of what we liked. open for lunch at 1:30 and breakfast.

Room Tip: We did not have a good view we were on 3rd floor 47, but had view of the new building they are build...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2012

Feb 23-March 1st , I am so trying to be fair on this review.. Room was clean but way to far from everything. I think if they had somewhere to have coffee for early risers like myself It would nhave been a little better. IF THEY GOT A BETTER SUQUEST REP it would be better as well. I didnt even get to our room at check in and knew it was not going to work for us, the desk clerk brought me to sunquest and we asked to be moved (offered to pay more even) He was just nasty to us ! He even said we should go back to mexico or jamaica if we didnt like it here. (sure wish we could have) But we had no choice but to stay there. We also were the only ones that were not told our flight was delayed . We went to airport for 6 am and were told to get back to the resort as we were delayed 5 hrs. (had to find our own way back to resort . then when the airtransat rep opened at 9 am . They told us it was not cancelled and we should have been to airport Just total messed up. ended up we had to pay an extra 80.00 for taxi cab for this mistake. Just one more thing that went wrong.
Other than these huge problems. I do have to say the rest of the week was ok (altho i was still upset we got thru the week. and made the best of it. i found the buffet staff, food, bartenders, servers, all to be very friendly and helpful. pools and grounds were clean , Did smell sewer on the tram to the beach in a few places but held our breath till we passed it. wasnt to bad.
Will I go back to Bahia Premier ?? NOPE NEVER. ( we did stay at Iberostar Punta cana the week before and will definitley go back there..) SO very hard to rate staff and service we got when checking in and the rudeness from the REP at SUNQUEST>

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Sarnia, Canada
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2012

We, 4 couples have just returned from our second time at the Gran Bahia Principe Premier Section. We stayed here from February 20 until March 2. We had a wonderful time! We love this area and even though we booked in the Bavaro Section, we requested the Premier Section. When we arrived, we were quickly checked in, given the white bracelets that allow us to use the entire resort, except the Ambar and Esmerelda sections.
When we got to our rooms, in the requested villa #53 we found welcome t-shirts, rum and a fruit tray!
The food in the buffets are good. We are Canadian and there are some foods we are not used to..but there are hotel guests from all over the world staying here, so they try to satisfy everyone..If you don't like something or are'nt willing to try...there will always be something you can find...you will never starve here! We went to the Japanese, Garden Grill, French Gourmet, Italian and Seafood Al la Cartes. The food was excellent at all of them and we were given excellent service! Don't be shy about tipping...they deserve it!
Our room was cleaned beautifully each day and we tipped our maid. We found if we left a dollar every other day or so in the beer fridge..that was filled as well!
Even though we could use all the pools...we did try them out last year...we like the Premier best! It's large and not crowded. JeanPol makes yummy Coco Loco's!
We also like hanging out in our lobby..though we found this year they wer'nt putting rum in our drinks even if we asked. We had to take our drinks up to the bar and get the bartender to add some...We don't remember this being an issue last time?!
The Premier Section is the farthest from the beach...but..it's close to the other lobbies and the shopping centre and other main areas of the resort. If you want to go to the beach..it's about a 15 minute walk or a 5 minute tram ride. The trams run from 5 a.m. until 3 a.m...and you may have to wait 5 or 10 minutes in this beautiful resort in 85 degree weather..so...no complaints there!
The staff is wonderful. They're funny and helpful...sometimes a small language barrier..but it always got sorted out. We would definately stay at this beautiful resort again!

Room Tip: If you want a quiet room..stay in villa #53....closer to the pool...#41 or 40
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  • Stayed February 2012, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wisconsin
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 29, 2012

My husband and I along with another couple just returned from a 2 week stay on Feb 24th at this resort. Overall we had a wonderful vacation, but this resort is just too big. This was our second stay at a Gran Bahia Resort. The first one was last year with our family of 8 at the Gran Bahia in Tulum, Mexico. We stayed in the Premier section which is the section farthest from the beach. After our 2nd night we got a message that we could be upgraded to the Bavaro Golden section which was closer to the beach. We declined the upgrade because on the first full day of our stay we had walked up to check out the beach and it was so crowded with all the beach chairs one on top of the other. No personal space in between what so ever. We knew we wouldn't want to spend our days at the beach because of this. Our villa #41 in the premier section was only steps away from the lobby, pool, buffet, shopping area and Theater. We had no crowds at the pool next to our villa and decided to just stay where we were. We like to walk on the beach so everyday we would walk a leisurely 15 minute walk down to the beach and walk for miles in either direction along the waters edge. There are trams that come along about every 5 minutes or less and we could hop on one if we were too tired to walk back to our section of the resort.

We were a little apprehensive before leaving and reading all the negative reviews, but found that those people must be very hard to please because we thought the resort was lovely other than the size. The rooms and landscaping were amazingly beautiful and the food was just fine in the buffets and wonderful in the ala carte restaurants. We did have some difficulty with the language barrier because not too many of the staff speak much if any english, but we always got a smile and great service from all. If anything we found several of the the other guests, especially the hispanic guests, to be very rude, butting in front of everyone and very pushy.

We would not return to this resort simply because of the size (7,000 people while we were there). We are really beach people and would return to the DR to try a smaller resort that doesn't have so many people and more space at the beach. We passed by many nice resorts on our daily walks that we took note of to check out for another stay.

Room Tip: Stayed in Villa #41 with a room facing the pool on the third floor. Very quiet and close to everyth...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Grand Bahia Principe Premier

Address: Playa Bavaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#9 Best Value Hotel in Punta Cana
#26 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#26 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#29 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#29 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#29 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#35 Business Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Grand Bahia Principe Premier 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Adults only ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Gran Bahia Principe Premier Hotel Punta Cana

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