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“You've been warned...” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Paradise Samana

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Grand Paradise Samana
3.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Las Galeras, Dominican Republic (Formerly Casa Marina Bay)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 5 hotels in Las Galeras
Queens
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“You've been warned...”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

First of all I’d like to say that anyone who’s writing that you should not expect any comfort or service in DR is simply wrong or didn’t get to compare to. There are beautiful hotels and restaurants competitive even to Manhattan’s ones. Grand Paradise Sanama is not in the list, but its prices are comparable. We stayed at GP Bavaro: at least, they have “guests services”. The hotel chain belongs to Dominican Republic: it sets all the standards. You can clearly see two opposite categories of employees: hardworking auxiliary low grade and managerial VIP ones, who won’t notice you. From very first moments you start to understand that they don’t care about vacationers, they simply don’t want you to come back. Only “friends & family” get good treatment. The beach is miserable comparing to any in Punta Cana: there is no “white powder sand”, a sign says “Do not swim close to the rocks”. Someone has complained that no one cleans sea grass - you’re lucky if they cleaned up the horse manure. All negative reviews are true: just one key for a room; local people, horses, dogs go thru the beach; no bacon; we arrived on Saturday and got yogurt only on Tuesday; long lines in the buffet – they do not serve tea or coffee (DIY); the only respond to your basic needs – “tomorrow” day after day; water sports – deposit $50; there are two local liquor brands: “Classic” and “Royale”, so they use the worst one “Classic”; out of 78 TV channels 72 in Spanish; etc. The receptionist Geury when you're asking about some basic needs besides usual "maniana" or "no" says something in Spanish to your back, making his collegues to laugh: this is a top of hospitality & service. Did I mention that food is horrible?
Just read the review "Second visit, still pleased": We stayed 01/26/13 - 02/02/13 and out of 8 days have only two last days sunny: every day of rains (even our driver told us that he's sorry about everyday rain: January is a rain season???). Just wondering: what did JeenM49 mean "real rain"?

Room Tip: Don't take first floor
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (360)
Date | Rating
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English first
Fredericton, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

We flew out of the Halifax Airport on Air Canada Vacations. Due to the strikes going on at that time, it was a little hairy near the date of travel, but in the end we left and were only delayed on the plane for an hour while the captains were striking for some reason. We did take off. Never again will I travel Air Canada, though.

We arrived in the morning and were greeted with a fruit punch cocktail and a smile. We paid for a room safe, and were escorted to our room which was just up from the beach. It was really large, a big bathroom and bedroom with a balcony looking out at the Turtle Pond. The curtains were frighteningly dirty and the bed sheets did not go all the way down to the bottom of the bed. This didn't really bother me (I laid out my towel at the bottom), but I'm sure my sister lost more than a night's sleep over it.

The beach was lovely (no bees, people kept saying there were bees/hornets in reviews before we left, but we saw none!). Lots of shade, lots of chairs. The water was full of seaweed beds, so if you are one who likes to walk out to deeper water you may be disappointing. There were a couple of sections where you could stand on sand and be up to your hips, but that was it. Far to the right there is a man (he looks Hawaiian?) who runs a snorkeling area just off the beach. Worth the $15 for sure, deep and sandy so you can swim and see the fish!

The food was GREAT. We never went hungry, and one day actually ate lunch twice just because it was so good. Pasta, pizza and salad and sandwiches could be had at the beach buffet which was our favorite. The main buffet had a different theme each night, our favorite of the week being Mexican - so good! We didn't eat once at the A la Cart restaurants as we were happy with the buffet. They served really cold beer in cold steins in the buffet as well which we loved. Breakfast was by far the best, the best omelettes I have ever eaten in my life. The drinks were cold and they had many to choose from!

The grounds were clean, friendly staff, Roberto made us the best cafe Americano and drinks of the whole place at the pool bar. One day he wasn't there and noone else knew how to make them. We missed him! :)

We had one day of some tummy troubles, but nothing too serious and we weren't room ridden. Come prepared with pepto and some tylenol and you should be fine. We did get a prescription of anti-biotics before we left just in case, but didn't have to use them! I have been to the Dominican once before, and we were really sick. So not the case this time!

We slept well and ate well. We did walk down to the small town and purchased some paintings from a store there. I felt sort of pushed into buying something, so unless bargaining is your thing I wouldn't recommend it.

We paid approx. $900 per person for the week taxes in, and it was a great value and well worth it.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sudbury
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

Just returned on Jan29-30 from Grand Paradise Samana. We stayed one week, flying out of pearson in Toronto... This was our second trip to this resort (last year with our kids)... and going again next winter!!!( If they didn't sell the resort to Gran Bahia) Looking at some of the negative reviews, I am not sure what to say!!!... Except that you only reap the karma you sow!!... We have last year and this, recieved NOTHING but the very best in service and smiles... For the price of this resort, accept that there will be little "quirks", and you will not get glitzy, or shiny like a Bahia or Riu in Punta Cana and if that is what you want, go there and pay for it!!... If you do not look down your nose at staff, if you realize that EVERYWHERE in the Carribean smells musty, if you make an effort to tip, and say GRACIAS... your time here will be enjoyable... If you like rugged beauty, and can actually enjoy the outdoors, the REAL outdoors... you will enjoy your time here. This is the type of resort you can walk off of and actually be safe. Explore the coastline... find some geocaches... If you learn a little spanish, the locals are so friendly and willing to talk with you...Go fishing... Go zipline... Go catamaran... Go quadding... All worthy excursions... If you do the half day to El Limon by horseback, a couple detractors... One, if you are a rider at all, you only get crowbait here, it is not a western pleasure tour, and second, the horses only go halfway, and you have about 1/4 to 3/8 mile of stairs over about 400 ft elevation... between 750 and 1000 steps... be prepared.
The Sunwing Rep, Ramon, went above and beyond, arranging excursions...and the fishing trip!!!
Wife and I met another couple in the security line at Pearson, and we pretty much spentthe rest of the vacation together... So Pete and Garry, being the tournament anglingcrazy canuck fishing nuts that we are, had to get out, and brother, you GOTTA try this!!!... Imagine the WILDEST musky fishing you ever done, and then give it a heaping dose of steroids and you might come close to what fishing for Dorado and Wahoo is about!!!... We brought one fish back to the resort, and Ramon brought it to a gal, Morena, who prepped and cooked a meal for all four of us the next night at her bar, a two minute walk off the resort towards las galleras.
Running out of time, so gotta cut short... The food is really good here, lots of it... but if you need it hot, go at opening time... the drinks are soso, but cycle through, find what you like and stick with that... Animation crew are great people, all wonderful and approacheable... go here with the all this in mind and you will have a fantastic time... and tip the workers, they work hard for it... remember, look to Ramon if you want to go fishing, or anything off resort... tell him Cowboy sent you

  • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Gananoque, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

This was my husband and i"s first resort trip and it was amazing.(jan 22 to jan29)The rooms were amasing the staff was so good with us. Our rep Ramone was so friendly and helpful. We met some amazing people and created a lot of new friends, The beach was gorgeous. If you love the outdoors then this is the place for you. The shows were great. My husband and I participated in at least three pre shows never laughed so much in my life. The excursions were great and within reasonable prices.Thanks to Ramone setting it up, My husband was able to go deep sea fishing with his new best friend pete from sudbury and caught 6 fish between the two of them dorado and wahoo. They caught a 25 pound dorado witch was able to be brought back. A local cleaned the fish and we had a private supper outside her restaurant thanks Ramone for the amazing experience. The food at the buffet was great better then some of our canadien cuisine. love to wake up every morning to wild horses grazing in front of our room with the surf befind them. It was the best trip ever hated to come home but cant wait to go back so much more to do.

Room Tip: ocean view are the best we were in 1117
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  • 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
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Rockwood, Canada
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

Went for one week, Jan 22-29, 2013. The weather cooperated, only one day of real rain. The resort is around 25 to 30 years old and a bit "tired" in some ways but for the price I can overlook the old, well-worn towels and the stopper in the sink that was cranky. Many of the taps in the resort were new however. The housekeeping was good, the room was always promptly cleaned. We asked the desk for another chair for the balcony and got two very quickly. We were in Building #5, third floor, part of the newer part of the resort; room was newly painted. The airconditioning worked. Hot water came out of the tap quickly.

The oldest parts are one-story "garden-style" rooms ("villas") and are more money. The gardens are beautifully maintained, leaves swept up constantly. The beach is beautiful and there are coconut palms close to the shore. Immediately outside the hotel property is "jungle" - you are surrounded by nature. Walk east down the beach and you enter farm country with cattle, horses, and some private vacation homes (some can be rented). No one tries to sell anything. Go west into the small town and there are some of the vendors who are "mildly" aggressive but nothing compared to other resorts I've been to.
There is a reasonable selection of food including local foods like red beans, yucca, and nama (?). Chicken is served at every meal, even breakfast. Salad fixings are numerous and safe to eat. Always a selection of cheese although I found the local cheese salty. The grill was open for every meal as well. I eat low carb and found plenty to eat altho I couldn't eat most of the desserts which looked yummy. Breakfast is repetitive but the dinner buffet changed daily. There are four bars conveniently located. You can get coffee and tea any time of day. There is a small library, mostly books in German (the resort caters to Europeans), and games like scrabble. You never have to fight for a beach lounge chair. Ever. I mean it.

I did not go to any shows. there was a kiddie play area and house in the middle of the property but I never saw anyone in it. On the weekend there seemed to be local day-trippers and they could be noisy, esp in one of the pools but it was easy enough to change locations and go to the other pool or to the beach.

There are only about 4 excursions available so if you want parasailing or waterskiing, this is not the place for you. Virtually no shopping so if you are a shop-til-you-drop person, don't come here. If you want North American food, don't come here. If you object to placing used toilet paper in a trash can instead of in the toilet, don't come here. If you want historical sites like castles or churches, don't come here. If you want 25 selections of Scotch whiskey, don't come here. If you don't like people around you speaking european languages, don't come here (I would guess at least three-quarters of the resort guests were from Europe or South America).

If you want a relaxing garden atmosphere where you can walk the local roads, do a little birding, and take in the countryside without being hassled (and even take a horseback ride with the locals), this is for you. I wish I spoke Spanish because the locals are friendly and more than willing to chat. I'm not sure Arturo the goose speaks anything but he is friendly too.

Room Tip: No elevators in the newer three story buildings. Rooms in the three story buildings overlooking the...
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  • 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.
Barrie, Ontario, Canada
1 review
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

i want to start by saying that i travel every year ateleast twice a year and have never once written a bad review... but this is definatley needed!!!!!! DO NOT GO TO THIS RESORT!!!!!! i will start off by saying they rate themselves as a 4 star, i wouldnt even consider them a 3 star on their best day!!!!!!!!!! when we arrived we were informed that we only get one key to our room and if we wanted another one it was 5 dollars per day. you have to pay for your safe (15 dollars.. and your lucky if it works!) we went to our room and found that our safe didnt work( AS WELL AS THE TWO OTHER ROOMS THAT MY FAMILY WAS IN). we called to reception and they said they would send someone. after 1 hour and no one showing up we called again and they said they would send someone again. no one showed up so we left to go for dinner after a long travel day. after dinner we went to the bar to play cards and didnt return to our room until after midnight. the safe still hadnt been fixed. when we woke up the next morning i showeredd to get ready for breakfast and when i went to get clothes out of my suitcase i grabbed a t shirt to realise it was soaked. SOMEONE HAD PISSED IN MY SUITCASE AS WELL AS MY ROOMATES SUITE CASE!!!! after going to our rep and telling her what happened she got the hotel manager. to make a long story short the manager said no one went into our room and that we were in our room at 11 pm. when i told him we were not their at 11 and he could confirm this with his bar tender he completely disregarded what i had to say and told me i had to pay for them to do my laundry! i was treated like a no body! this was just the start of my vacation it never stopped being hell!!! i went with 6 other members from my family and we had a total of three rooms in two different buildings. none of our doors locked.... had them fixed after waiting hours for staff to show up to fix them then the locks stopped working the following day. the bed linnins and towels were discusting and stained. BRING LOTS OF SMALL BILLS TO PAY FOR THINGS AND TIP BECAUSE THEIR IS NOWHERE TO EXCHANGE MONEY OR GET CHANGE! THEY EITHER DONT SELL YOU WHAT YOU WANT BECAUSE THEY DONT HAVE CHANGE OR YOU HAVE TO OVER PAY! THEY DO NOT CLEAN THEIR POOLS AND THE FILTERS DONT WORK!.....THE BAR BY THE POOL IS HORRIBLE ( THE BAR TENDER IS ALMOST NEVER THEIR AND YOUR LUCKY IF THEY HAVE WHAT YOU WANT BECAUSE HE IS CONSTANTLY GIVING THE SUPPLIES TO THE STAFF MEMBERS THAT ARE OFF SO THEY CAN DRINK) IF YOU ARE ENGLISH SPEAKING I WOULD SAY THAT 90 PERCENT OF THEIR STAFF DONT UNDERSTAND ENGLISH OR HAVE "SELECTIVE UNDERSTANDING"..... THEY DONT CLEAN THEIR BEACH THAT OFTEN SO THEIR WAS ALWAYS SEA WEED ALL OVER THE BEACH. the resort just seemed to be very understaffed and the staff that was their didnt seem to care. then the night before we left my cousin had realised when she was packing that her carry on suitcase had been STOLEN!!!! when we went to the front desk to tell them and to get security the staff actually started laughing and found it funny!!! and again nothing was done about her stolen suitcase and they again tried to say that no one was in her room, that no ones key cards worked except theirs. so when my aunt then said so how does the maids get in every day? they didnt seem to understand what she was saying ( selective understanding again" This resort also opens to the locals on weekends... so when the locals are their dont be suprised when the staff serves them first and completely disregards you!!!! the only good thing i have to say about the resort is that the food was pretty good even though we waited over an hour for our dinner at the italian a la carte and Roberto at the disco bar is really nice and makes you feel welcome and makes sure you have a good time!!!! ( he is one of the only ones i met out of the staff that understood english) and im sure their will be other posts on here soon as when i was their i met other travelers that were not having a pleasant stay either!!! Over all this place was dirty, understaffed, had horrible customer service, DID NOT MAKE YOU FEEL SAFE OR WELCOMED. I HAVE ONLY PUT SOME OF MAJOR BAD THINGS ON THIS POST BUT THEIR WAS MORE!!!! I WILL AGAIN SAY DO NOT GO TO THIS RESORT IF YOU WANT A CLEAN, SAFE, FRIENDLY PLACE TO VACATION.

Room Tip: stay out of the 5000 or 6000 building
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

this hotel has the most amazing beach ever. quiet, beautiful, relaxing, is a quiet small hotel, where the food tastes great. bread is amazing and desserts are awesome too.
We had a villa and it was great, AC worked just great, you can walk to the beach straight from your balcony and the grass couldnt be greener.

the hotel surroundings are beautifull, very green, with lots of palm trees. We had Noris that was a great help, she booked the room for us and was a delight.

I would certainly recomend this hotel to anyone seeking to go to the best beach at the best place in DR.

Room Tip: if you can pay for an ocean front villa, definetly do so
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  • Stayed January 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
    • 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.

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Additional Information about Grand Paradise Samana

Address: Las Galeras, Dominican Republic (Formerly Casa Marina Bay)
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Samana Province > Las Galeras
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 hotels in Las Galeras
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Grand Paradise Samana 3*
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Also Known As:
Grand Paradise Samana Hotel Las Galeras
Casa Marina Bay
Grand Paradise Samana Las Galeras
Grand Paradise Samana Dominican Republic

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