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“Stay away if you like animals or care for your kids! Poison!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Bahia Estela

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Bahia Estela
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Bahia de Coson, Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #30 of 33 hotels in Las Terrenas
HD
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Stay away if you like animals or care for your kids! Poison!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2008

We got the Bahia Estela by Viva on short notice as an exchange for another hotel we'd booked. It would have been an ok exchange and an agreeable vacation but for one thing towards the end that spoiled it all: On the beach of the hotel they repeatedly laid out rat poison and so poisoned the friendly dog family that lived there.

After the first dead dog the angry hotel guests went to search for the poison and found some green stuff on the beach. The vet confirmed that this was rat poison and that was what the dogs were dieing from. It would have been readily available for playing children just as well.

If that danger isn't enough, it will ruin even the most cheerful holiday to watch a puppy suffer for 3 days and then die by the massage pavilion.

For us at least, that was it. i was depressed for the rest of the stay.

For this warning it is irrelevant if the hotel's management ordered this treatment or simply tolerated it. According to the vet who was called for the last dog this happens every year and always on this beach, always at this hotel, repeatedly. Draw your own conclusions.

This way or that, the vacation was ruined, and I'd strongly recommend people with kids or with a heart for animals should not book that (or the next door Viva Wyndham for that matter because you'd have to watch the same thing) or accept them in exchange for another hotel.. Personally, I will never ever book a Viva hotel again in my life and I'll sure let them know why.

  • Liked — It was an ok 3-star hotel for the region. The food was good and no diarrhea.
  • Disliked — Poisoning of dogs on the beach and watching them die slowly.
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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18 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Umea, Sweden
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2007

I stayed at the Bahia Estela from February 17-24, 2007 and I’m FINALLY getting around to posting my review... so here it goes...

Rooms
We stayed in a Superior room, which is the hotel’s standard room. It was small, but clean. The air conditioning worked VERY well and the unit was quiet. I found that the countertops were higher than those here in Canada, which was a bit a bit of a nuisance (especially while washing my face in the morning) because I am under 5’0”, but it was something to laugh about. The maids kept the rooms very clean and restocked our water, 7up and cola daily.

Resort
It’s a small resort – you can walk from the beach to the lobby in 2-3 minutes. This is a great resort for people with limited mobility, as there are ramps throughout. The grounds were very nice and well-maintained. There’s a stream running along the main pathway to the lobby, which links a few small ponds with fish in them.

Food & Drinks
There was a great selection of for such a small hotel. I tried almost everything at the buffet and I liked everything I tried. For breakfast there was always bacon, cold cuts, cheese, buns (which you could toast) fruit, yogurt, and eggs (made to order). Lunch and dinner were different every night, but there was always a display of cold cuts, cheese, salad and soups. We also tried lunch at the beach grill over at the Viva Wyndham. Overall, I was very impressed with the selection and quality of food.
The drinks were GREAT – blended perfectly and just strong enough that the alcohol isn’t overpowering. After talking to Danny for a while he concocted some special drinks for us that weren’t on the drink menu. YUM! Overall, the food and drinks get two HUGE thumbs up.

Beach
The beach is fairly narrow, but since the hotel is small, it never feels crowded. There are a few rocky areas when you enter the water, so you need to be careful and walk slowly, but once you’re past the first 20 feet the bottom is all sand.

Staff/Activities
I was impressed with the variety of activities offered for such a small resort. Darts, beach volleyball, bocce ball, stretching, water aerobics, and bingo are among the daily activities run here. The winners get a small bottle of coconut rum as their prize. You can also use the beach club at the Viva Wyndham next door (it takes no more than a few minutes to walk there).

Entertainment
All of the nightly shows take place next door at the Viva Wyndham. The shows are very good – I especially enjoyed Grease. After the shows we headed to the disco, which is right beside the theatre. The animation staff does a great job of getting everyone dancing and having a good time.

Overall, I was very impressed with the great value of the resort. I had a great week and I’d like to return in the near future!

  • Liked — The food, drinks, service, and small size of the resort
  • Disliked — The rocks in the ocean
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Niagara Region
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2007

I'm afraid that previous reviewers got to this hotel a little too early. It was recently converted from a time-share and is just getting its legs as a boutique hotel as the owners advertise.
The result is a small, relatively quiet hotel which is precisely what we were looking for. You can use all of the services except for the buffet of the larger Viva Samana down the beach, if it's crowds and noise that you are looking for. The beach was great, the food was enjoyable, the service extremely competent, the rooms were clean. I'll assume that previous reviewers caught the hotel as it was getting into gear. We found no language barrier–perhaps because we learned a few Spanish expressions to get us by. (It is a Spanish-speaking country after all.)
That being said, there were a couple of incidents showing that the hotel was not up to cruising speed. One morning the water supply gave out for about an hour. Our room did not have the promised bar fridge. But if those things are going to give you a hernia, I suggest that you stay home and visit your local fast food.

Stayed February 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2007

This hotel has major issues. Some have already been posted. If you have no need for linens, beach towels, service, drinks or food then you will get along just fine. I would suggest skipping this hotel. Please see the large right up on this hotel in other sections of tripadvisor.

  • Stayed January 2007
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Las Terrenas hotels

Barrie on
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2007

We arrived dec.23 2006 and left jan.06 2007. There was a 2hr bus ride not 40 min. The reception was horrible no room ready and a strong langauge barrier. There was on the wall a award from RCI time shares for i think 2002 and 2004. So this put a smile on our face for the time being. The road into the resort is a muddy one with lots of pot holes. The room we were given was a ocean view with a balcony, there was no a/c no fridge half the room had no electricity,the water was a horrible sulfur sewer smell. No bed linens, or pillows ,when the pillows arrived they were blankets rolled up in a pillow case. There was a awful smell of mold and mildew in the room, upon futher investigation we found the mold growing in the drawers and on the furniture, so we did not unpack our clothes. THE beach was small but ok i guess, the food was hit and miss but the first week it was horrible. The alcohol was a very cheap brand, no iron or ironing board,or hairdryer, we did recieve all this during our second week though. Everything to do is next door at the wyndham resort, the kids club was so bad that our kid refused to participate. The pool is missing many tiles and looks bad, as does the resort in whole,it looks old and needs a lot of TLC. The service was bad, probably because there was no employees there to do the work, there was a real problem with beach chairs and towels. The bugs where really nasty there too, some guests had to get security to kill and remove large sewer rats NOT JOKING!! There is a lot of garbage around the area however the resort did not have garbage around. They did begin to make improvements during the second week, to little to late our christmas vacation was ruined and i feel that anyone going there should be warned by there travel agent. I know the travel agents know of this problem because everyone i talked was unhappy. With a lot of work and investment this place has potential. I have been traveling with my family at christmas for 7 years now and feel i do know what i am talking about, and this was our expieriance for the two weeks we spent there.

  • Liked — the view
  • Disliked — service and appearance
  • Tips/Secrets — please avoid until repaired
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
91 helpful votes 91 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2007

I just came back on 30th and came here to warn other people.

Place is a 2 star dirty hotel with 4 star food. In fact, in european vendors, that hotel is marked at 3 stars which makes it a lot cheaper comparing to Canadian vendor's 4 stars rating.

Rooms are moldy, smell like urine, uncomfortable beds, no hot water for 2 days, no phone (its there but does not work), no clock...

Beach is almost don't exist. Its there alright, a little hump with coco trees and around 8 meters of steep incline towards the water. A lot of stones in the water in many places so you have to navigate out to the clear area when you want to go for a swim.

"Licensed" vendors on a beach are pushy and offensive. I have ignored one, he came to me and started to swear in Spanish. I know few bad words in it and i heard them there for sure. Security is there but they can't understand English so good luck explaining that you were insulted to them. By the time you find English speaking person its too late.

In whole place there were 3 people who would understand English somewhat ok. Having said that, staff is pretty friendly and nice. They try hard and it sort of makes up for it a bit. Problem is that they are unreliable. Unless you grab one by the hand and take you to the site of the problem and stand over them until the fix it, its never gets done. I have asked for wakeup call 3 times in a week (because of the trips i took) and only was waken up last time when i was leaving hotel. standard answer: "I am sorry" and a stupid smile.

luckily i woke up myself, must be because i went to bed at 8-9pm due to the fact there was nothing to do in the hotel after you had dinner. There were shows in Viva Wyndham but they were at 9:30 (Dominican time, meaning, easily could be 10). The only 2 areas where you can spend time in are around the pool (metal uncomfortable chairs) just keep sitting in the restaurant (wooden uncomfortable chairs).

Another major issue that there was constant lack of beach towels and beach chairs. I have seen couple fights between people, a lot of heated arguments over towels...etc. After paying so much for the trip, i really did not expect this to be happening. 2-3 days with same beach towel simply because you can not get a replacement....

Sunquest lied about travel distance to hotel from airport. Excuse from Sunquest rep was that Sunquest have sent updated info to vendors and they failed to notify us. Problem with this statement is that i bought from Sunquest directly and it was stated that trip was only 40 min. As it is now, its 2-2:30 hours of driving on a very bad roads in a small crappy uncomfortable bus which is driven by driver like he is running away from police. I got airborne few times (lifted of the seat and slammed back). Could be fun when you expect it and sit in a comfortable chair instead of seating in a tight bus. As usually, they all very apologetic when you express your discomfort and nothing changes...

City of Las Terrenas located 10 min away from the hotel is a dirty little city filled with smog from mopeds and cars. In some places of it, all you think of is where to find a breathing mask. I went out to buy some presents and pretty quickly gave up on that idea, went back and just bought them in the hotel store.

The only saving graces of the place are food and nature in Samana. Food was great. Full of flavor and well prepared. Some people complained about lack of meat on couple days but i love sea food so no complains there. Nature it self in Samana is great. Trips to Lemon's Waterfall and National Park that i booked from hotel was very interesting and guide was very good.

All in all, i would not go back. I feel like i was ripped off by Sunquest and will be sending this to them as well with expectations to get some sort of reimbursement. This is definitely not 4 star experience and was not the worth the money i have paid for it.

  • Liked — Food was good
  • Disliked — Durty rooms
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Bahia Estela

Address: Bahia de Coson, Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Samana Province > Las Terrenas
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
#30 Top resorts Hotel in Las Terrenas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Bahia Estela 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bahia Estela offers you the opportunity to enjoy a truly unique beach front experience. Whether you are a property owner or a guest, you will be enchanted with the lush vegetation of our exclusive location, our pristine beach, our authentic cuisine, and our impeccable service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bahia Estela Samaná Peninsula
Bahia Estela Las Terrenas, Samana, Dominican Republic

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