We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Could Have Been Better” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Paradise Samana

Best prices for -
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 6 more sites!
Save
You added Grand Paradise Samana to your Saves list
Grand Paradise Samana
3.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Las Galeras, Samana, Dominican Republic, Las Galeras, Dominican Republic (Formerly Casa Marina Bay)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Las Galeras
Edmonton, Alberta
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“Could Have Been Better”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2013

My husband and I, along with another couple and their 4 year old daughter, stayed at the Grand Paradise Samana from December 1 to 15, 2013. Previously, we stayed at the Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa and the Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo.

The hotel has some great qualities worth mentioning:

The grounds are absolutely stunning. We felt like we were in a tropical paradise. If you’re a fan of turtles, you will get a kick out of the little turtle pond by the beach.

Staff are incredibly friendly, possibly the friendliest we have encountered at any resort we have visited in the Dominican. Francis and Leocalina, 2 servers who work at the buffet restaurant, gave us fantastic service. We’ll never forget the day Leocalina had the chef make French fries especially for our table or the times Francis would reserve a table for our group for breakfast and lunch. Reception staff were also very, very helpful and made us feel very welcome. I also have to give a shout out to Benito at the cluster pool bar --- he was a fantastic bartender.

Most staff speak at least a little bit of English so don’t worry if you do not know. You won’t have trouble getting around.

The drinks are of high quality and not watered down like at most resorts --- the beer is cold and crisp and the cocktails made with Brugal rum, which is the good stuff. You can buy Coco Locos for a fee of $5, served inside a real coconut. They are tasty but not anything like the Coco Locos you will find at the Grand Bahia Principe resorts.

Our room was clean and very spacious. The mattresses are great and we even had a walk in closet. The safe was the best we ever had at a resort. Lovely bathroom with plenty of space for toiletries. The air conditioner worked well (too well, actually, which forced us to have to sleep under 2 blankets some nights). The room was very dim though…even with all the lights on it was hard to read or play a card game.

There were lots of horses around and places to rent horses from nearby if you want to go riding up and down the beach.

It’s open to families and the kids seemed to have a great time. Our friends’ daughter had a blast and was treated very well by other guests and staff. There is a kids centre which has a ball pit and games.

There is a massage centre on the resort, run by a husband and wife team. She doesn’t speak any English but he does (and possibly French, based on his accent). The massages were decent and inexpensive --- a complete 45 minute relaxation massage costs $45 US. You pay the masseuses directly. This is not a spa and no other services besides massages are offered.

We liked that there was a large green belt between the resort and the beach --- it reduced the size of the beach but it gave us the opportunity to get the sand off our feet before going to our rooms or to the restaurant.

Because the resort is undergoing renos at the moment, many of the rooms were out of commission and the hotel was not anywhere near filling its capacity. As a result, it was very quiet which made for a very peaceful vacation.

Unfortunately, the resort does have some real downsides, some which really diminished our enjoyment of the hotel:

All of the rooms have 2 double beds, which is not ideal for couples. We tried pushing the beds together one night but found it was not worth the trouble of doing this. So we opted to share a bed. Way too small for 2 adults. It would be nice if the resort offered different types of rooms, one for couples and the other for families.

You have to pay for a remote for your tv. I believe the charge is $5 a week. This seems like poor customer service. It is possible to operate the tv without a remote --- you will have to turn it on/off and change the channels manually…and if you do watch tv, the selection was exceptionally poor compared to the Bahias in the area.

No coffee maker or kettle in the rooms and no beer in the fridge. It would have been nice to have had the ability to prepare a cup of tea or coffee or enjoy a cold one while relaxing in our room. And frankly, the coffee served at the restaurants was not that great. If you are wanting to enjoy some Santa Domingo, you may have to do what we did and bring your own coffee maker and go to town and buy some.

No spa. Not a major downside by any means, but a nice amenity to have access to nonetheless, especially at a resort.

Although we received great service from Francis and Leocalina in the restaurant, the overall service wasn’t great. Some nights at dinner we were lucky if someone came by to take our drink orders.

Wifi was expensive (no free spots) - it was $50 per week or $16 per day. And it was not accessible in all parts of the resort. For example, while were able to get Internet in our room, our friends had to go down to the pool area to get it. Not very convenient.

The pools were frigid! This was a HUGE letdown, as one of my favorite things to do on vacation is spend hours lounging in the pool. But alas, it was too cold to even get in most days. And judging by how deserted the pools were, I’d say most people at the resort felt the same way. The weather was a bit cool while were there, especially at night, and we did experience some rainfall, so this may partially account for why the pools were so cold. But temperatures were still around 27 or 28 degrees on average, so the water really should have been more pleasant.

We were disappointed with the food, in terms of its variety and quality. The breakfast buffet was the same every single morning, which got boring fast. Lunch and dinner items did vary but I wouldn’t say they were terribly exciting. We found the quality of the food declined over the duration of our vacation --- at some points, the food was so bad it felt like the cook and management had given up. The biggest disappointment was the range and quality of fruit offered. Most days our only options were passionfruit, pineapple, and watermelon, with cantaloupe and bananas offered sporadically, and they were consistently underripe or overripe (I had never seen white pineapple before this trip). We were particularly surprised by the lack of coconut on the buffet, considering its abundance all over the island. (Sadly, you will have to walk down the beach road toward town about 5 minutes and buy your coconuts from a local for 50 pesos…he will cut them open for you as well. We also bought a papaya like this). So while we did not starve, we did not find the buffet enjoyable and are happy to have it behind us.

We got the chance to get off the resort a few times and ate at a couple of restaurants nearby. The Beach Club is about a 5 minute walk from the resort and serves fresh seafood (including lobster, which is the most expensive item on their menu and will run you around $20 US or 900 pesos), pasta, chicken, beef, pork, and appetizers like fries and tostones (friend plantain chips). They also have free wifi. The food is delicious, though a little expensive if you decide to eat seafood. We also visited El Cabito restaurant, which is about a 20 minute drive from the resort. It is an expensive restaurant but the food is good (btw, they served us fresh, ripe papaya which was delicious) the portions are generous and, most importantly, the table-side views of the ocean are absolutely magnificent.

If you want to shop for souvenirs, including rum, vanilla and coffee, avoid the town of Las Galeras --- not much there for supermarket options. For jewelry and knick knacks, you can buy them on resort --- a group sets up a table once a week and their prices did not appear outlandish. Or you can take a 30 minute taxi into Samana town and visit the shops and the big Supermarcado across from the Scotiabank, which is what we did. We saved a bundle on our rum, vanilla and coffee doing it this way. We met a great cab driver in town and we highly recommend him…his English was great, he was very friendly and trustworthy and a super guy all around. When we are back in Samana, we will likely look him up just to go for a beer. You can ask at reception for Fermin…or send me an IM and I can give you his phone number and contact info.

So although we had a good time on this vacation, we are unlikely to return to Grand Paradise Samana. I think if the hotel made some improvements to the food and the pool, and threw in some value added items ( a free remote for the tv, a coffee maker and coffee in the room, beer in the fridge, etc), it could be a great place worth visiting. But until then, we’d rather spend our money at resort like Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa, which is a budget all-inclusive resort in Samana with all the amenities.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

2,110 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    682
    811
    335
    177
    105
See reviews for
626
711
105
9
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (442)
Date | Rating
  • Czech first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ottawa
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2013

I stayed at this hotel for 1 week. I was looking for something low key and lay back environment. It exactly what I expected. The staffs are excellent from front desk to restaurant and around the hotel. They were all helpful and professional. In particular Dairoby Acosta Lopez and Yinauri Balbuena were very nice in helping me with my stay. I also like to thanks Benjamin Gonzalez for his help with the telephone. And last but not least Delianny Del Bois Vilorio who encourage me to dance. These four helped and entertained me during my stay at Grand Paradise Samana.

Thank You
CT

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Dominican Republic
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2013

The worst hotel I have ever visited!

First, check-in, waiting a long time and there was no other guests. The toilet did not work, the hair dryer did not work, the phone did not work, the refrigerator did not cool and finally the floor was dirty, full of dust.

NOT WORTH IT!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Kitchener, Canada
1 review
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2013

We just came back from Grand Paradise . 2 nd time in this resort and will come back.
This time much better than 2 years ago . Beach is clean and water is much nicer for swimming..
Renovation going on at the resort . Planned to end before Christmas. Food was great .
Manager of the restaurant - ROBERTO - prepared dinner for our group -was fabulous .
Mr. Zapata and All team were great with Entertainment and all day activities .

Room Tip: Building 7 ( 2 and floor )
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2013

I must start by saying Samana Is breathe taking!! The Hotel was very much what we expected and more!!
Before arriving to the hotel I called on several occasions to make sure our reservations were set. I spoke with Noris several times and every question and nerves I had about our travel she took care for me. She sent us up with our taxi driver who we used our entire trip and just loved him he was awesome. When we got to the hotel we met the front desk clerk Jeri who was friendly and sweet he always acknowledged us. he made us feel comfortable! When we got settled Noris called us and asked us to meet and helped us plan the rest of our stay in Samana! She made us feel important to them and that made our trip worth every moment and every penny!!

The hotel was clean, the staff was great.

Noris thank you so much for everything you did for us!! You made our trip Memorable.

Jennifer and Jimmy

  • Stayed February 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 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kirkland Lake, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2013

We spent two weeks at the Grand Paradise in September 2013 and they were fabulous. The staff works very hard and long hours. They deserve recognition. The language barrier is workable. There's usually someone around who speaks English, German, French, etc. There are some fun guys who go around the resort taking pictures and you can purchase them later if you like them. They're not offended if you say no thank you. The pools were clean. The beach was clean. |There was a little bit of seaweed, but hey, you're at the beach. The ladies who braid your hair and do manicures are really good and the scuba crew are very helpful. Take a ride on a catamaran!

There was a great variety of food. I am vegan and its often difficult for me to eat in restaurants but there was always something I could have. Sometimes the staff would join us for dinner and teach us about the country and their local area.

The excursions are good but make sure you're in good physical condition to see the waterfall. There are a lot of stairs.

We had a room in the first building, oceanview, and it was beautiful. Dozens of coconut trees and the waves rocked me to sleep every night. The resort was kept very clean.

We liked the Grand Paradise so much, we have booked another trip there in February!

Room Tip: Be careful walking on the stairs if you have an upper room. They can get quite slippery.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HAMILTON
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2013

Just returned from a great relaxing week at Grand Paradise,what a lovely place.The staff are all to be commended they all work hard and are always happy.Had a room in the 8000's rooms were clean and big ,plenty of room. The food was ok you will not go hungry you can find something.The animation staff try so hard and the pool show is a must see as well as Jukebox night hilarious. Bonito at the pool bar is such a nice guy,Ronnie at the front desk super.
I do not understand people that give bad reviews they chose this place they were not invited so to pick it apart seems a bit silly to me since this is the place you chose to vacation,also the complaints about the locals on the weekends I say so what this is their home would be the same as us complaining about tourists coming to visit us they were unobtrusive and I found quite enjoyable the kids are so cute people who complain should take a look at home first
The ocean does have sea weed ummm its an ocean and the grounds keepers did their best to remove it.
Dominga and Kaio's aquarium is so worth the 15$ to explore they are lovely people
I do not have a bad thing to say,the renovations never got in the way this resort has so much potential to be even better than it already is.
For the price of 704$ for a week no one should complain you get what you pay for and in this case it was an excellent deal and well worth the money spent.
Met some nice people from our flight
All in all a great time,the area is unspoilt and the town is safe.Please if you are travelling on a budget and want a nice relaxing vacation ignore the bad reviews and decide for yourself besides its your vacation you make it the Dominicans just make it a bit better.

Room Tip: I would say the 7000's or 8000,s but ground or first floor there are three floors and steps can...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Price Your Stay

Been to Grand Paradise Samana? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Grand Paradise Samana

Address: Las Galeras, Samana, Dominican Republic, Las Galeras, Dominican Republic (Formerly Casa Marina Bay)
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Samana Province > Las Galeras
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge 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 #4 of 5 Hotels in Las Galeras
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Grand Paradise Samana 3*
Number of rooms: 420
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Priceline, Orbitz, Despegar.com, Odigeo, TripOnline SA and Hotels.com so you can book your Grand Paradise Samana reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Grand Paradise Samana Hotel Las Galeras
Casa Marina Bay
Grand Paradise Samana Las Galeras
Grand Paradise Samana Dominican Republic

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Grand Paradise Samana, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.