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 :-)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Adults only ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Gran Bahia Principe Premier Hotel Punta Cana