This hotel is great. The weather did not cooperate but that happens. We stayed at the El Portillo from Jan 26 to Feb 2. This hotel is beautiful and kept extremely clean.
I want to start by saying that our Air Canada vacations rep Guy was great. I loved his idea to do the briefing on the bus during our 45 minute drive from the airport to the resort. What a great use of time. Also a huge thank you to Augustin at the pool bar. He was always friendly and learned everyone's drinks so they were there by the time you got to the bar.
Ana in the buffet is 7 months pregnant and she continues to work 12 hour days. What a great smile and alway happy to serve. The food was great. The buffet had a huge variety. The Seafood restaurant was not that great but the Italian and the gourmet were great.
The beach is beautiful and safe. We were able to walk for a long time both ways without being hassled by locals. The snokelling right off the resort beach was great when it was clear. Don't spend your money on a snokelling trip. you can see everything right at the resort. Eels, lionfish, coral etc.
We are divers an dove off Bacardi island. The diving was ok. Not the best that we have done. The water in Samana bay was not very clear but that could have been due to the weather. The 3rd dive we did off the resort was ok. We saw eels, stingrays and many more sea life. If you have dove in pristine conditions you probably won't enjoy it as much but I always say a day underwater is better than a day in the office.
We also were sitting on the beach when out of nowhere we saw two whales breech right out in front of the resort. It was spectaular.
Overall a great resort, great people and enought to do if you choose to. We travelled with our two sons 18 and 14 and they had enough to do. This is our 9th trip to the Domincan Republic and love the country. We would definitely return to this resort.