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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.