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“Amazing vacation!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo

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Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera las Terrenas, El Limon Km. 4, Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic (Formerly El Portillo Beach Resort)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 33 hotels in Las Terrenas
Oakville, Canada
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Amazing vacation!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

Could not imagine a better place to spend a week of vacation. The resort itself is beautiful, and we were treated wonderfully from the first day to the last. The beach is breathtaking, lots of chairs and tikis. Incredible snorkeling right off the shore. Food was fantastic. Lots of choices, including many kid friendly items.
We had a junior suite in building twelve, which initially seemed like a long way from the beach, but was a actually just a short walk. A huge bonus was the private pool with bar, and it was probably a little quieter than some of the other villas.
A special Thank You to all of the Animation Team. They really made an effort to make the activities and shows fun and enjoyable. It was such a pleasure to get to know them over the week, they played a big part in making our stay as wonderful as it truly was. Thank You Rosa, Nicauris, Sandra, Daniel, Ariel, Charlie and Carlitos! You're awesome!

  • Stayed January 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Jefe Calidad & Customer Service at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, responded to this review, January 31, 2013
Dear Guest,

First of all please receive greetings from the Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo; we would like to thank you for trusting in Gran Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts and for choosing us to spend your holidays.

We really appreciate that you have taken the time to give us your feedback on Trip Advisor as your comments are valuable to us in order to continuously improve our service and standards.
And want to thank you for mentioning our staff, especially Rosa, Nicauris, Sandra, Daniel, Ariel, Charlie and Carlitos. They are great ambassadors of service in our hotel and we will forward your comments to them and the rest of our staff.

We are looking forward to welcome you back again at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo.

Best regards,

Kisha Rodríguez Then
Jefe Calidad & Customer Service
Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (509)
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English first
Brantford, Ontario, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

Our vacation was okay. The resort seemed very unorganized when we were there. Our room also had no water pressure or hot water and our bed was very lumpy. When we asked if we could fix it they said they had which was not the case. It was hard to find a table to sit at dinner, it seemed like there were more guests than tables available. It was also hard to relax on the beach when people are asking you buy stuff which seemed like every five minutes.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Customer Servic... B, Jefe Calidad & Customer Service at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, responded to this review, January 31, 2013
Dear Guets,

Thank you very much for having taken part of your valuable time to share your experience.
All your comments are very important and we take them with responsibility and professionalism.

We are truly sorry that we did not fulfill your expectations and that we could not provide you with a more personalize service. We will review your opinions with all our departments. Expecting to have the opportunity to receive you again in one of our hotels to be able to offer you a more agreeable experience.

Receive our warmest regards,

Kisha Rodríguez Then
Jefe Calidad & Customer Service
Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo
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Saint Catharines, Ontario, Canada
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

Im a 29 yr old man this place was more then I expected, the resort is very nice and the staff makes your stay well worth every penny, carlos the hotel manager will go above and beyond for you and the bar staff and activity staff during the day make your stay so fun enjoyable, food is really good at all buffets and snack bars, the beach is simply amazing, thats all you can say about it, I give it a 5 out of 5 for me and would recommened it to anyone, I only do wish the had a swim up bar but really the bar is right beside the pool lol

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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 Servic... B, Jefe Calidad & Customer Service at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, responded to this review, January 31, 2013
Dear Guets,

Thank you for taking you the time to share with us your experience your last visit, for Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo all the comments of our guest are really important, It would be a pleasure for us that you return to visit us here at El Portillo.

Yours faithfully,

Kisha Rodríguez Then
Jefe Calidad & Customer Service
Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Bay, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

Whenever I plan a trip I read all the reviews prior to getting there, I usually go back about a year. El Portillo will be our 7th Annual Girl's Vacation and I'm wondering if I will even need to write a review when I arrive home. Doesn't look like I will have anything new to add. This is the first resort where I have seen such positive reviews, everyone praises everything about it, whether it be staff, beach, food, entertainment, gardens etc. Says a lot about the management, staff and overall operation of the resort. Thumbs up to Bahia Principe el Portillo. Keep the El Presidente cold,we'll be there in 3 days !!!!!

  • Stayed January 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Jefe Calidad & Customer Service at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, responded to this review, January 31, 2013
Dear Guest,

Receive warm greetings from Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo, especially from our Quality & Customer Service department. We hope this mail finds you very well.

It is a real pleasure for us to get your message about your next visit to our Hotel, especially knowing that you have chosen Grand Bahía Príncipe el Portillo as your holiday destination.

We hope to welcome you. Please do not hesitate on contacting us; we will be at your disposal for whatever you may need.

Kind regards,

Kisha Rodríguez Then
Jefe Calidad & Customer Service
Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

Who will like : People who want a relaxing quiet atmosphere, beautiful sandy beaches, calm waters and amazing snorkeling.
Who will hate: Partygoers and body surfers

This is our second time at this resort. The first time we've ever decided to go back to the same place. In the last five years we've been to resorts in Barbados, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Saint-Lucia and Mexico.

I will probably be repeating some of the same things as others, it will just serve to reinforces the truth.

Transfer and arrival:

Air Transat (flying Canjet) from Montreal to Samana was organized and uneventful. Took the new road that cuts the time in half to 45 minutes. Were were given our documentation for the resort on the bus. Getting off the bus we didn't have enough hands for everything the welcoming committee handed us: Cold towel, welcome drink and cookies. A special table was setup to give us our room keys, didn't even have to go to the front desk.

Royal Golden Junior suite:

For an extra 60$ per person we got the junior suite and though it was worth it. You get a bigger room, nicer bathroom (with single, not double, whirlpool bath and separate shower). you also have your bath robe, slippers and complimentary rum. The beach towels are already in your room. We also appreciated the Iron and board. Last time we were here 4 years ago, in a regular room, we had to beg the maid to loan us one for an hour. You also get turn down service every night. Only wish they left chocolates on my pillow instead of mints. You also get room service but we did not try it out.

You get access to The Club House. This is great on the first day to reserve you're a la carte restaurants. It also gives you access to 2 computers, this use to be useful, but no longer since they installed wifi in the main lobby for everyone having a laptop, tablet or smartphone.

The room upon our arrival was very clean. The maid were very generous with water ( 2 X. 1.5 liter bottles per day) The rooms were often only made late in the afternoon, so the day we decided to take a late afternoon nap, we didn't get room service.

The maids don't do towel art (exept the first day). Too bad, it's frivolous but nice.

My wife found that the bathroom sink was a bit clogged, she also though that the maids could do a better job of passing the broom.

Location of room:

We wanted a first floor suite close to the beach and got second floor in building 10 at the back end of the resort. We decided to try it out before complaining because it gave us access to a private pool between building 10, 11 and 12. We tried it and stayed. to pool only has 12 lounge chairs so the bar man is not very busy and very attentive. it is virtually empty until about 3 pm when the wind picks up on the beach.

The only disadvantage to our location was that you could hear the music from the outdoor plaza (pueblo principe) from 10 pm to 11 pm. Not that it was loud enough to stop us from sleeping (ya we're early risers).

Resort layout:

This is a smaller resort so even if we were at the backend (building 10) things were still close. Last year we were at Iberostar pareiso beach resort in the riviera maya, now that is a sprawled out resort (but still very nice). The resort is also in the middle of nowhere. you can walk for miles along the beach, with some houses but mostly just palm trees.

The staff:

This was the biggest improvement from when we were here 4 years ago. Staff were much more attentive, many more spoke english (and to our surprise, french). At some points, during peak hours, we had to wait for service, the waiters were running around trying to do their best , with the staff they had. Once they got to us they were always smiling and friendly. They work very hard, I always appreciated the efforts they made. It made all the difference to an agreable stay. At one point I noticed a LOT of supervisors making sure that everything was O.K.. Personnally, you could see the staff knew what had to be done. Fire a few of the excess supervisors and hire more waiters.

The beach:

Best snorkeling I've had off a resort beach, at low tide you can feed the fish without even being in the water. There are coral heads for the fish, yet between the coral you have a beautiful sandy bottom. Because of the coral, there are no big waves (great for small children). This also means it is not the best place for sailing but best of all, NO JET SKIES.

The food:

We found the food very good. It is not the most expansive buffet we've ever seen, but every day one part of the buffet changed depending of the theme. There was always fish, chicken , beef and pork in different international dishes which were very tasty. Yes, for the finicky (I say unimaginative) eater there is the pasta bar and the pizza bar. There was no grill for those that want hamburgers and hot dogs. you had to create them piece meal.

Gourmet restaurants:

we only tried the seafood and the french restaurant. They were O.K. (no more) but the setting was nice. Some items were very good, some not. At the french restaurant my wife had a great smoked tartar salmon. I asked for another and they gladly obliged. We had reservation for the italian, but when we went and read the menu, we were uninspired an chose to eat at the buffet. The Asian ( I think) restaurant was closed for renovation when we arrived. but at the end it had re-opened.

The clientele:

Seemed to be mostly Canadians (french and english) some german, hispanic,and on weekends, upper class (if i rely on the brand of cars in the parking lot) Dominicans. A lot of families with small children.

The pool bars:

At the main pool bar there is a self serve slush machine with piña colada and banana mama. and beside it a bottle of white and dark rhum, YYYYYYYYESSSS, Finally a resort that understands me. No I'm not a drunk, but I don't like my drinks watered down either. Also the pool for building 10, 11 and 12 has it's own barman. Since there are only 12 deck chairs, after our second day, he would see us and he knew our usual and would bring us without even asking. Now THAT is service.

The pool:

The main pool is small compared to some resorts where the pool meanders throughout the place.

Deck chairs:

Be it on the beach or around the pool, there were always chairs available. We were there during what I would think is peak season (December 26th to January 2nd) and we always wondered where everyone was, because it sure wasn't crowded.

Entertainment:

We saw the lion king musical and a Michael Jackson tribute but in each case left half way though. Looking at all the empty seats, the entertainment did not seem very popular.

Buying supplies:

if you want to buy rum, coffee, cigars, walk out of the resort, turn right, walk about 10 minutes (past the end of the disaffected runway and just past the curve). You will see a small grocery Store (with an El Presidente beer sign, if memory serves). Stuff is about 40 percent cheaper that in the resort boutiques.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Jefe Calidad & Customer Service at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
Dear Guests,

We are very happy to hear that you have found Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo a wonderful hotel and that the assigned rooms were suitable for you and your family.

Thank you for your review about the hotel. Your experience is especially valuable for us, as you can give us feedback along the time.

We hope to welcome you again to the Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo and to thank them in person. Contact us at our email address info.elportillo@bahia-principe.com.

Regard,

Kisha Rodríguez Then
Jefe Calidad & Customer Service
Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Can
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

We strongly recommended this resort. For first time traveller with young children it is the perfect place. The ocean is calm and very secure. This resort has everything you need. The accommodations were of high quality, the staffs are especially friendly. With or without tips, they work very hard to please you.

Everything you need is on the resort and there is no need to go elsewhere unless you want to sightsee or shops in the local flee market.

We meet someone very special whom we call our angel: Her name Maria Bonsenor, she is the second big manager of the hotel. It was my second time at this hotel; she makes sure I got my special gift. This person is always giving outstanding services to everyone. She is very friendly with a big heart, she always ensure all tourists have everything they need during their stay. You see her all around the hotel at the beach, restaurant and lobby. She ensured all tourist enjoyed they stay. She always takes the time to talk with tourist to ensure we have outstanding services regard the time of the day, she took her job very seriously and she is proud to work for this hotel. I hope to see you again Maria, thank you for your excellent services.

The food is very good, and the price for this hotel was excellent too.

The hotel has made some upgrade since my last stay especially for the golden guess. The office for golden guess is now in the main lobby before it was in a small house outside the hotel, this is much better than before. The staff which we make reserve for the restaurant could speak very good French, this is good if you do not speak English. The restaurants a la carte were better than before, the services a bit slow but we were on holiday so no stress. Staffs in all dining area were very friendly and always smiling. They make you feel like you’re part of their family.
The animation (Daniel) and all other were excellent and very friendly. Over all we had a wonderful vacation without any negative comment. We were very impresses and we recommend this place to any visitor.

Sincerity,

Sandra and Josée family.

Room Tip: I recomend the golden junior suite for all the extra and specially the check in in the bus.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Jefe Calidad & Customer Service at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking your time and write this comment about our hotel!

We really appreciate your nice comments regarding our hotel, rooms and services and even more the ones regarding our staff! Mrs. Maria Bonseñor will be so happy to hear the nice words that you have for his!

We hope to welcome you again to the Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo and to thank them in person. Contact us at our email address info.elportillo@bahia-principe.com.

Regard,

Kisha Rodríguez Then
Jefe Calidad & Customer Service
Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

We came here to celebrate new years eve with some friends that were staying near by. Rooms are huge and very clean but a bit far from the lobby and the beach which can be a pain when it rains but is still a nice walk an there are trolleys that can you a lift if you want to wait. The restaurants are crowded but the food is decent. Make sure you make a reservation before 3pm f you want to go for dinner to any of the other restaurants. The beach is a beautiful and quiet and bungalows are easy to find despite the amount of people. Wifi didnt work to well and you have to buy a $50 card if you want to have in your room.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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 Servic... B, Jefe Calidad & Customer Service at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your kind comment about your stay at the Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo.
We are very disappointment to hear that we did not reach your expectations regarding your recent stay with us and we would like to extend our most sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused. You can rest assure that all your comments will be taken in consideration and we really appreciate them.

Thank you for taking the time to share your opinion with us and we hope you could give us the opportunity to can host you in the future.

Please do not hesitate on contacting us in our e-mail address info.elportillo@bahia-principe.com

Regard,

Kisha Rodríguez Then
Jefe Calidad & Customer Service
Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo
Report response as inappropriate
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 El Portillo

Address: Carretera las Terrenas, El Limon Km. 4, Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic (Formerly El Portillo Beach Resort)
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Samana Province > Las Terrenas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Las Terrenas
#3 Family Hotel in Las Terrenas
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Las Terrenas
#6 Romantic Hotel in Las Terrenas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo 3.5*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Gran Bahia Principe El Portillo Hotel Las Terrenas
El Portillo Beach Resort
Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo Las Terrenas, Samana, Dominican Republic

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