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“Excellent Holiday” 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
Munich, Germany
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
“Excellent Holiday”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

Two weeks are not enough time spent in this excellent resort. Friendly staff and great food and
perfectly kept grounds will make you want to spend more time here.
In other words: we want to come back!

Room Tip: The junior suites are worth the extra monies!
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, 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
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, February 14, 2013
Dear Guest,

First let me inform you that your opinion is valuable to us, therefore we are extremely proud and happy for having left a pleasant memory. We are especially appreciating your positive comments about the quality of our service and our staff. Comments like that you send us, are what motivate us as a team every day to improve the quality of service we offer.

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.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (496)
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Minnesota
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

We just returned from our stay at The Gran Bahia El Portillo. It was a quick trip that we'll definitely make longer next time. The grounds, the villas, the dining and the staff were top notch. We couldn’t get enough of the long expansive, beautiful beach with calm waters and beautiful breezes.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
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, February 12, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for your kind opinion about our hotel, we really appreciate it because it helps us to learn about our guest needs and satisfy them.

We are really so happy that you have enjoyed your stay in our hotel and our beautiful beach we hope to welcome you once again in Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo.

We hope to welcome you again to the Grand Bahía Príncipe 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.
Paris, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

We went to El Portillo Samana , Jan 26- Feb 2. Had a great time the resort was beautiful & well maintained,clean .pool was nice, we sat by the pool in the a.m. then in afternoon went to the beach, to hot by the pool .It did rain a little during the week but overall it was a great vacation.Martin Vimenez was a great guy he was very helpful,when we needed anything we went to him ,he made it right.He was the Bell Boy. Maria Bonse was very helpful has well.The food was great ,Itilian lacarte was good lots of food.The only downfall was the room didn't get cleaned until late in the day when we were back to get cleaned up for dinner. we would go back to this resort again,At the beach we were always able to find chairs in the afternoon.

Room Tip: we just had standard room it was fine for us we were only in there to clean up & sleep
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 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, February 12, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to give us such a good review of your recent stay at Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo in our Tripadvisor web page and share with our fans your experience with us, we are totally agree with you, we are blessed with one of the most beautiful beach. We would love to welcome you back soon in the near future whenever you are planning to come back to visit us.

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.
ontario
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

what an excellent vacation we stayed jan 29-feb 5- great hotel - beautiful area- unspoilt by development-most amazing beach- can walk forever- good food- al-carte restaurants were great-special thanks to hotel porter ismael gil- this man needs to be commended for his special attention to helping us woman with our heavy luggage both upon arrival and departure--definately will be coming back

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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, February 11, 2013
Dear Guest,

It is truly a pleasure for us to learn that you enjoyed your stay at our resort, especially the services from our front desk department and that you appreciated the professionalism of our staff, we are aware that it is only because of them that we are able to achieve our goal- the continuous improvement of our services. We are very proud to have received your excellent comments regarding our employees.

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

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.
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

Just returned from Bahia Principe, El Portillo last week. This was the second time we had spent our vacation there. We went last year, same time, with friends. The food and drinks were excellent, as was the staff. I was a little disappointed in the snorkeling, plenty of things to see, but the reefs appear to be dead. Beach was very nice, but a little crowded. Could walk for miles on the beach. Things were a little different this year. Food still very good, but selection has been decreased, no shellfish this year. Drinks seemed to be less potent this year also. The snorkeling is about the same. The staff is great, all though the Priviledge Club staff are a little pushy and annoying. When we arrived this time, we were warned not to walk too far on the beaches as there had been some armed robberies of tourists. There were guards armed with shotguns and sidearms. We even saw armed guards patroling the resort it self. Last year we had a junior suite, this year we were given a small ground floor room. Not sure if it happens to all ground floor rooms, but when the rooms on the upper floors flushed their toilets, our room would fill with the smell of flushed toilets. No good!
When we were making reservations for the resturants one day, we were offered a stay at one of the other resorts on the island. We decided to accept their invitation and spent three days at the Cayo Levantado resort. It is a true 4 or 5 star resort! Staff was excellent, and almost all spoke English. The resort it self is beautiful and the grounds are awesome. Food was excellent with much more selection than El Portillo. El Portillio is rated as a 4.5 star resort, but at best is a 3.5. One of the Privilige Club sales people confirmed this himself. It is doubtful I will vacation again at El Portillo, but would love to go back to the Cayo Levantado resort. The only drawback to the Levantado resort was the snorkeling, but we didnt get a chance to snorkel all the beaches, so we may have missed the better ones.

Room Tip: The junior suites are nice, avoid any room on the ground floor
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 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, February 11, 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.
Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

Booked the AC Roulette and found out upon arriving in Samana that we were going to El Portillo. Forty-five minute transfer on the new highway, and a beautiful drive. Recommend sitting on the drivers side on your way to resort for the best view. On the bus, Guy, the AC Rep gave us alot of useful info on the resort and also let us know he would make himself available to us, he actually lives at El Portillo. Check in done on the bus, braclets and room allocations given out.The room we got was on the 1st floor with 2 double beds in building 24. We requested a room change and though they couldn't accomadate us the first day we were able to move to Bldg 10, 2nd floor with a king bed the next day. Thank-you to "Valentine" working the front desk and Guy the Air Canada Rep. for making it happen.
Room:
Everything was in good working order, always had hot water, bed was comfortable. You will probably want to request extra pillows, they are small and flat. We got 3 extra and that seemed to work well. Balconys are tight and no matter where your building is located you won't have an ocean view.
Maid Service:
Very good, the room was always cleaned to a high standard. If there is something you would like, perhaps your room cleaned at a certain time of day, or more towels, just talk to the maid or write a note and leave it with your tip on the bed. If they can accomadate you they certainly will.
Resort Layout:
We really liked this resort layout, everything was very handy and nothing far away. Great lobby and lobby bar set-up. We had alot of rain when we were there and it was so nice to have a roof over the sitting areas, but still be open air. I imagine it is much better for the staff as well, as with out the roof they would have spent a lot of time wipping tables and chairs after every shower.
WIFI
We purchased the $49, unlimited WIFI card from the lobbyshop. Connection was great and would definetly recommend if you want WIFI in your room, pool or beach.
There is free WIFI in the lobby, and it appeared to be working fine, always lots of people on their devices there.
Pools:
Main pool is small for the size of the resort, however since the beach is so expansive and most people prefer the beach perhaps its big enough. This is where the animation staff can be found during the day, pool towels, ping pong, darts, tennis raquets etc can be found here.
The "Piscina Relax" located by Bldgs 10, 11, and 12 is where we spent our pool time. Great lounge chairs and palapas, and wonderful service from Alexander at the bar there.
Buffet
Always something we enjoyed, just not the higher end items, no lobster, no good cuts of beef. However everything was fresh, hot foods hot, cold foods cold and we never had one stomach issue the whole week.
The table service at the buffet was very good, no problem getting refills of coffee, water, beer wine etc, plates were usually cleared in a timely manner. We also were able to get a capuchino after dinner, a nice way to finish with dessert.
The gentlemen working the egg station and grill were also a pleasure. Never a problem for me to get an egg white omelet, or for them to put your hamburger patty back on the grill and make a proper cheesebuger, complete with grilled bun and onions. However if you do make special requests please show your appreciation.
Ala Cartes:
Service and food for the most part was pretty good, however it can be inconsistent. We went twice to the Italian, one time it was the best meal and service, the 2nd time it was our worst food and service.
Liquor:
Better selections at the lobby bar, but mostly national brands, they did have Tanquary gin and Smirnoff vodka. If you like Baileys order the Barcelo Creme, included in the all inclusive and very good. They did run out of this 3 days into our week, and we weren't able to get it again till the last day of our holiday.
Tennis:
There is one tennis court there and is in excellent condtion, we played 4 times and would have played more if the weather was better. No need to bring your own equipment theirs is just fine.
Beach:
Great beach, this is what attracts most people to El Portillo. The snorkelling is great right in front of the hotel, as well kayaks and Pedlos are available, the water is quite calm so no issue getting in and out of kayaks. Always lots of people on the beach, but we were always able to find a lounger.
We definetly would recommend this resort, and would not hesitate to return ourselves. It is a great resort and an exceptional value.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 11
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, February 11, 2013
Dear Guest,

We would like to thank you for taking the time out to communicate the impressions of your vacation with our Tripadvisor community. We would like to think we are not a smaller hotel, we are a family hotel and we do everything possible to make feel our guests like part of this great family. In the name of our staff , we would like to thank you for vacationing with us at the Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo and we hope see you very soon in our property.

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

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.
Cabarete, Dominican Republic
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

We are repeat visitors to the Samana peninsula but this was our first time at El Portillo. We are a regular middle-aged couple who like to get away "just the two of us" for a week in the sun every January. We are simple in that we require a clean room, quality food with a good selection, a clean beach with lovely water and friendly, helpful staff....and that is exactly what we got.
Once again we booked through Air Canada Vacations. In my opinion this is the way to go. They offer amazing deals if you wait for them and don't mind perusing their website regularly. This year we paid just over $700 each all in. Last year was even less. Plus you get the huge bonus of having a detailed briefing by either Joel or Guy (the Air Canada Vacations Reps. who actually live there year round) while on the bus ride from the airport. Having the local knowledge helps maximize your time and avoid risks.
Like I said last year when I reviewed Grand Paradise, please make an effort to learn a little Spanish. The staff really appreciate the effort and they are happy to politely correct your grammar. I've only stayed a total of 2 weeks in the DR and am able to engage in most simple conversations. It allows you to feel confident to wander into town on your own and be able to stop for lunch or order a beer. Then you get to experience the real Dominican people, who are kind, gentle and very hospitable despite the obviously lower standard of living. Also, I think tipping is a nice thing to do. We bring $100 in US $1 bills and tip a dollar each time we order drinks. It is a very generous tip and with the amazing deal we got on the vacation itself, it's a no brainer. Believe me when it gets busy in the lounge, they remember the tippers. Your glass won't be empty....ever!. Plus Canadians are the only ones that tip. When we were there, the other groups were Germans, French and French Canadians. The Germans are rude and grumpy but the French and our fellow Canadians are cool. The food is varied and of excellent quality. You would have to be extremely picky to not get something you liked at every meal. They even had a kids section with hotdogs, ckicken nuggets and pizza. Of course the fish is amazing. Same for the typical Dominican rice and beans. The breads are to die for (I guess that's the French influence) and they have ice cream, yogourts, etc. The omelettes are made before your eyes and are delicious. The package includes 3 meals at the a la carte restaurants but we only did the Italian. It was nice but the food at the buffet was just as good. Quieter and more romantic at the a la carte though. The grounds are very well kept. Staff is constantly sweeping and tidying up. The rooms are large and clean although there is no bathroom fan which we thought was lacking, especially on those really hot, humid days. We also got a free couples massage at the BahiaSpa because we agreed to sit through a 1.5 hour timeshare presentation. We didn't buy the timeshare (although it seems like a good deal for some people) but the massage was the best we've ever had and next time we will gladly pay the regular rate ($90). We tipped each girl $5 and they were over the moon with gratitude. One last thing...don't get upset if you go back to your room at 3 pm and it hasn't been cleaned yet. They start on the 1st floor and work their way up so it takes all day to do all the rooms. They have a small refrigerator in the room that they stock with 3 beers and 6 pops each day but it really didn't cool very well. Didn't bother us though. We just went down to the bar anyway. This place is great for couples who want to relax on the beach all day, eat well and be treated kindly. Not the best for those looking to party all night. Also great for kids although we only saw a few all week. Well worth it!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
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, February 13, 2013
Dear Guest,

We appreciate your preference in visiting the Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo and taking the time to write your positive impressions and suggestions. Thank you for your recommendations for other guests.

It is very nice to read that you have appreciated our atmosphere in the hotel and the variety of the buffet.

We look forward to receive you and your family again in our resort and hope you do not hesitate to contact us with any requests you may have: info.elportillo@bahia-principe.com

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
#7 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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