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“Nice Beach-Service was Hit or Miss” 3 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 #5 of 33 Hotels in Las Terrenas
Buffalo, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Nice Beach-Service was Hit or Miss”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2013

Let me start by saying that there were some people at this hotel that really went out of there way to give you great service. That being said there were also others that gave horrible service. It was like they worked for two seperate hotels. The maid service was terrible in restocking the rooms. We had to ask for wash clothes, shampoo and toilet paper several times. Yes toliet paper! We asked for ice one night and never got it. The rooms were cleaned well though, and the resort as a whole was very clean and maintained.
. The entertainment was awful and after two times we never went back. The vendors on the beach sell junk but they do go away if you say no. We were the only americans at the hotel and it seemed that they catered more to the canadians and europeans. We stayed in a Golden Club room, first in villa 8 and were moved to villa 1 after we requested a change.
There were some good points-I celebrated my birthday there and we ate in the seafood restaurant. They put flowers on the table and made hearts out of the petals in every corner. The staff that night went above and beyond to make the evening special, as opposed to the night we ate in the gormet restaurant and were ignored, served the wrong food and waited for 2 hours.
The beach was beautiful and the ocean clear most days. Most of the bartenders were friendly and the drinks were ok.
We traveled with friends and only my husband spoke spanish, thankfully! There were several times when no one understood english. He actually translated for other people we met on the trip as well.

There are a few things I would change at this hotel that would make it more appealing. First, I would put liquor in the mini bar along with juice. They need to make the ironing boards full size. The maids need to replenish everything every day without having to be asked. The service staff in the dining rooms need to be reminded that they are there to serve the table they have been assigned. We are great tippers but only if the service warrants. Also, I do wish there were ocean view rooms.

Room Tip: We liked the location of Villa 1. Close to everything.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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, December 4, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write us such a detailed review about the Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo. It will certainly help us to find the satisfaction and fulfillment of our hotel standards.

We are very concerned to read about your disappointing experience and we are sorry to hear that we could not fulfill your expectations of a five star hotel. The problems you mentioned are totally under our standards of services, we will take actions in order to improve the areas indicated by you.

It will be a pleasure to assist you for your next visit.

Receive my warmest regards

Kisha Rodríguez Then
Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo
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3,315 reviews from our community

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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 (559)
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English first
Port Washington, Wisconsin
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2013

I stayed at this place when it was under the name El Portillo Beach resort. At that time it was known only by the local people and the place was great to relax and away from everything. On those days they had no phone on the room and TV only in the reception area. You will never see people from the USA and mostly were Europeans with a stay of average 4 to 5 weeks. I could stay only 2 weeks the most and it was fantastic. I enjoyed the resort very much and we always booked the Cabana. My wife loved the place so much and she told me: if you take there again, I quit my job. I did and she really quit her job. She said that it would take her 6 weeks to go back to normal life after staying 2 there. I have not being since they changed but the place was fantastic. I am sure that you can not experience what my wife and I did when it was under El Portillo Beach resort. I can write 10 pages about it.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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, December 7, 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.

Kisha Rodríguez Then
Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo
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London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2013

Me and my boyfriend stayed here at the beginning of October for 2weeks.
We are in our 20's and this hotel was perfect.

For the price we paid I was extremely happy with what we got for it.
we stayed in the junior suit which was very nice, big and bathroom was gorgeous.

The people there couldn't of been more helpful and brilliant customer service, they take there work seriously and do a brilliant job with everything they do.
The entertainment team were very funny and friendly especially Carlos ( david rodriguez ventura) some shows were a little boring but other shows made up for it, the circus show and Michael Jackson show was amazing out of the world.
also the Italian restaurant manager which I forgot his name :\ was very very helpful and a lovely man.

The food option was amazing especially me being a vegetarian, I have been to the Caribbean before and struggled with the food but this hotel was amazing for options and so clean.
also THE DESERTS ARE AMAZING !!!!!!!!!!

We also visited the main spa at the end of the resort which was lovely, a little pricey but completely worth the price. with purchase of treatment you get to use the spa facilities/ water showers/hot bath/sun loungers.

The beach was beautiful, could get a little crowded sometimes but was a beautiful view, also if you have a walk on the left side there is more beautiful scenery for photos. apparently the right side of the beach to walk down isn't most safe) so wouldn't recommend.

MY ONLY PROBLEM with the whole holiday is the locals what try to sell you things everyday at the beach at the resort,I understand they have to make a living and it isn't a private beach but every 5minutes every day gets rather frustrating during your holiday while your trying to relax and sleep.


LITTLE TIPS
-bring dollars ( we only got pesos when we got there but dollars as easier to use )
-go on the catering trip amazing !
& upgrade to junior suit CLUB was lovely and you get 10 or 20% off your spa treatments when being in the junior suit category ( different colour band).
- have some dollars ready for safe which you can pay when you get there.

Room Tip: junior suit club brilliant
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 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, December 4, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to give us such a good review of your recent stay at Gran 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.

Enjoy an all-inclusive holiday as a couple with Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts

Kisha Rodríguez Then
Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2013

The resort is absolutely gorgeous.. However! You do get harassed on the beach by the locals, and you have people in the reception area that like to try and convince you to buy things like local lottery tickets etc. I was approached by one guy who claimed he worked for the hotel, he offered me everything from excursions to drugs. Bring plenty of toiletries because the gift shop prices are stupidly high! The staff on the whole are amazing! Pleasant and will do anything to meet your needs, had. A very lovely time

Room Tip: If you can get one, get a junior superior suite.. Amazing
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • 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 2
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, December 4, 2013
Dear Guest

Thank you for taking the time to express your concerns regarding your recent stay at our Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo.

We apologize for the inconvenience with the club privilege your comments have been tried with the up most diligence and have been referred to the General Hotel Manager as well as the Club Privilege Manager to take the appropriate measures in your case. Comments such as like yours are what we strive for everyday to improve the quality of our service which we provide.

Kisha Rodríguez Then
Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo
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Guelph, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2013

We booked this getaway after careful review of the comments on trip advisor and I have to say that both my wife and I were not disappointed by the hotel or the wonderful staff that work so hard to make guests happy.
We took the advice of previous travellers and upgraded to the Junior Suite - thanks to Franklin at the front desk for looking after us there! I called down to the resort the week before and Franklin answered the phone - he was friendly and assured me that he would look after us when we arrive. So when we got to the resort, we simply went to the front desk and asked for him and he came out from behind the desk shook our hands and set us up in building 1 which was really convenient for us to the beach, dining rooms and bar. Our room was clean and spacious and it had a very nice bathroom which we both really appreciated! We got bathrobes, slippers and beach towels in the room and other than a couple of very small misses by the hotel - it was a great experience! In case you are wondering they didn't give us a key to the safe and we didn't get a welcome gift which we didn't realize until our last day at the resort.
Each day that he worked, Franklin would call us to make sure everything was okay with our room and that we were happy with the hotel and I have to say I have never had that kind of treatment before and we really appreciated the extra effort! As an 18 year old man he impressed the heck out of me with his maturity and sense of delivering excellent customer service. On his days off he travelled many hours to attend school to learn English and the hotel is lucky to have him on their team!
The beach is great and while we had some rough days from the wind and waves, we had some great days where we could snorkel and see the reef and tropical fish! We walked the beach several times over the course of the week and you can walk for miles along this beautiful beach and I can never get enough of that! We met the stray dogs that people mention - and being dog lovers my wife tried each day to sneak them out something to eat and they never really bother the guests except to look for a little food or water for those who are willing to share the love.
We spent a lot of time at the quiet pool and really enjoyed that!
We also took a couple of excursions and I just want to mention these so people know what to expect. We did the trip to Limon falls on horseback and despite the hard rain we encountered totally loved the trip. Our guides were great and man do they work hard to ensure you get there and back safely! We didn't swim in the falls due to the rain but many others did and one of the locals did a couple of high dives which was pretty cool! One word of caution for those who are thnking about this - it is quite a climb up and down to the falls so you need to be preapred for that. The meal they served at the end was a local buffet and we totally enjoyed that with our group! The second trip we took was the Zipline and we were so fortunate to meet the gentlemen who dared to dream of this and make it happen. His name is Bart and he was an inspiration to both of us that he was building his dream! It is no wonder why this trip is rated #1 in the Carribean and we didn't even know that when we booked it! I highly recommend that people do this and I want to assure you that it is very safe and a ton of fun! Bart has built out a resort and he is almost done and ready to open. It is built at the bottom of the Ziplines and is comprised of a eco-friendly construction made with local material and labour. He has built a series of treehouse rooms designed to give guests a luxury stay in the midst of the tropical forrest. At the end of tour we walked all through his property and we met his family and his staff and I was touched by the personal service he gave us. The people who work with and for Bart were wonderful and I feel we got to know a little more about the wonderful people of the RD! Do this trip - you will not be disappointed!
Back to the resort - we ate at four of the specialty restaurants and they were very nice. I want to mention Santos at El Pescadora, who provided us with excellent service on our last night at the resort. The only thing we found with the hotel is that we got a little tired with the buffet. So what we did to break up the trip is go into Las Terrenas for lunch and dinner and I highly recoomend that if you are looking to switch it up a little. In the main buffet we met a wonderful server named Anna who really went out of her way to look after us. She is a wonderful person who really stood out to us and made our trip special!
We like to tip and one thing I can tell you is that it is really appreciated! Tip what you can afford, and try to help the people that work so hard in the background to make your stay at the resort. This is and beautiful place to spend your hard earned vacation dollars! We will definitely come back next year!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 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, December 4, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for taking your time to write this nice review about our hotel!
We are really happy that you have enjoy your holiday in El Portillo and at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo.

We are really glad to see that you have enjoyed every minute with us, we work hard to succeed our guest needs and we are so happy to see that we did it with you and you have a memorable holiday with us.

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, all-inclusive hotels in Samana

Kisha Rodríguez Then
Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo
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1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2013 via mobile

We were there for a wedding with 35 other people. At the beggining we had some room issues but the manager sorted it out wonderfully. The beach is beautiful, the buffets are always full of fresh food. The employees work so hard.. And make you feel like you belong! Very nice people.

  • Stayed November 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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, December 4, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your kind comment about your stay at the Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo.

You can be sure that there is no biggest reward for us than to get a message like yours knowing you are really blissful with the product of our effort to do everything to make your wedding dream reality.

We are glad that you have enjoyed your visit with us. We are delighted to share your comments with the rest of our staff.

Enjoy an all-inclusive holiday as a couple with Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts

Kisha Rodríguez Then
Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2013

We stayed from Nov 9th-16th. This was our 3rd time in the Dominican, we've stayed in Punta Cana before. Have to say I prefer the beach in Las Terrenas. It's beautiful, no other way to put it. Take a mask and snorkel with you as the hotel only has a few sets and you are given an hour each day (if you are lucky enough to get them). There's coral right in the swimming area with lots of beautiful fish to look at. Unfortunately, the coral its self isn't very healthy, probably due to the heavy traffic of the tourists. The first time we went into the water, it was rough and we couldn't see the coral, we both got bashed into it and ended up with cuts.There's about 10 wild dogs that seem to roam the length of the beach. They weren't a problem for us and they know to run from hotel security. The hotel grounds are lovely. The staff at this hotel were fabulous. The wait staff in the restaurants are attentive beyond any expectations and extremely polite. Thank you to Mireyla in the main buffet restaurant and Jean Miguel in the Portifino. The 3 al la carte restaurants were very good, the Orchidea the best.The main buffet was very good, lot's of variety, always fresh fruit. The mango was incredible, nothing like what we get in Canada. Our room was nice, unfortunately 2 double beds not the king sized one we had expected. The main pool is small, I had expected a bigger one, but we spent every day on the beach so it wasn't a problem. There was usually music in the lobby bar in the evenings, mostly very good. We went to a couple of the evening shows with Dominican themes and they were fine. We just avoid all of the Americanized stuff, we're there to see the Dominican culture. We traveled with Sunquest and booked a trip to the National Park through them. The trip was ok, You see the park by boat and they take you to some caves and a mangrove swamp then over to Cayo Levantando for a few hours. It was $200 US for the two of us. Our tour guide spoke 4 languages and the boat staff were very good. The "photographer" from a company called PXL got a little annoying as he was in your face a bit. My camera wasn't working so we decided to purchase the disc of photos. $30 US. What a waste of money, many are out of focus, the disc jams, there's clearly something on the camera lens. Don't spend your money on this!! I enjoyed the day but wouldn't do it again. My only problem at the hotel was large numbers of German tourists smoking everywhere!! Even beside the no smoking signs and no one said anything. We had a great week at this resort. We plan on returning here again with our kids. It's not a 5 star, but we didn't want for anything, staff were great, we always had a deck chair on the beach and Oh man what a beach!! We're taking our own snorkeling equip. next time and will be checking out some of the coral off the main beach. I would recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 5 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, December 4, 2013
Dear Guest,

Firstly we hope you had a good trip back home and we are very grateful you have taken the time to express your views in our Tripadvisor community. The reviews help us to improve and raise our service.

We hope to have you back in the near future at the Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo and I take the opportunity to send a very warm greeting.

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, your best hotel in Samana

Kisha Rodríguez Then
Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo
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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 Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Las Terrenas
#3 Family Hotel in Las Terrenas
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Las Terrenas
#4 Spa Hotel in Las Terrenas
#5 Romantic Hotel in Las Terrenas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo 3.5*
Number of rooms: 582
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Facilities and services 2 pools Jacuzzi Sun terrace with loungers and sun umbrellas Pool and beach towel service BAHIA SPA (additional charge) Sports facilities: gym, tennis court, basketball court, volleyball net on the beach Water activity and scuba diving centre WiFi access in the lobby (1h per day free of charge) and in rooms (additional charge) Entertainment theatre Main buffet restaurant and 3 a la carte restaurants 4 Bars Snack-bar Pueblo Principe: local craft stores, live music, shows, bars and disco. Rooms 462 rooms including 4 types: Standard, Club Golden Junior Suite, Club Hacienda Junior Suite and Superior Junior Suite. Junior Suites are larger than Standard rooms. Room facilities: King size bed or 2 full size beds Fully-equipped bathroom with hydromassage bath tub, shower, hair dryer and magnifying mirror Air conditioning Ceiling fan Terrace or balcony Telephone Radio alarm clock Satellite TV Coffee-making facilities Mini-bar Safe (with additional charge) WiFi (additional charge) Ironing set (available on request) Superior Junior Suite: balcony or terrace, sitting area with sofa-bed, ironing set, coffee-making facilities, private guest service phone line, umbrella, VIP amenities. Club Golden and Club Hacienda Junior suites (See page 18 Club Golden, Club Hacienda) Children Bahia Scouts The hotel is perfect for families, offering a range of facilities tailored especially for children, including the following: Children's pool Mini Club with daytime activities Evening Mini Disco Babysitting service (additional charge) Bahia Scout Water park Other services Medical service (additional charge) Pharmacy (additional charge) Bus stop opposite the hotel Personalised diets on request and subject to circumstances Specialised service for organising weddings, incentive trips, events and anniversaries ... more   less 
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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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