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“Would definitely go here again!” 4 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 6 Hotels in Las Galeras
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Would definitely go here again!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2014

We arrived in Samana just before lunch and were greeted warmly by our Sunwing Rep, Rapmone. He gave us our welcome pkgs from the resort which included our keys. He also gave us the basic information we would need to get our vacation started ie/ towels in rooms, buffet open until 2:00 so that when we got to the resort and were greeted by the staff and given a cocktail we could go directly to our rooms, change, have some lunch and get to a pool or beach.
Our room was very nice, the beds really comfortable with lots of pillows and the shower always had plenty of hot water. Our fridge was restocked daily with Coke, Sprite and lots of water.
The grounds are spectacular and beautiful to wander around and enjoy. There is also a path from the resort to the nearest town, Galeras that runs right beside the sea. I would not go there alone but in a group as there are many vendors that try to get you to buy, just like any other resort area. The view from the beach is incredible.
The beach area is mainly grass with palm trees. You have to move around a bit to find shade throughout the day but there are ample lawn chairs, they are just old and need replacing. Not a big fan of the water as there were a lot of weeds but even then there were places to walk without weeds. The breakers further out take the brunt of the waves so that the area we swam in was pretty calm and great for floating.
The pools are small and there is definitely a "kids" pool and an "adult" pool. Very rarely did we have trouble finding a lounger and some shade. Both areas have bars very close.
If you are going for the food, you will be disappointed as the selection is not great but there was always something to eat.
They need to work on the evening entertainment although their Music Box night was hysterical.
There is just something about Grand Paradise that makes you feel welcomed. We met some really great people on the bus on the way in and spent many a great meal with them.
The only problem we had was that the air conditioner leaked into our shower. But at least it worked great!
Elvido, in the buffet treated us like royalty! Thanks!

Room Tip: We were in the block closest to the reception, ocean view. If you like to walk the distance to the...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 4 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
  • 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 (382)
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sherbear_65
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2014

I found the staff to be very friendly and helpful from Yinauri and Emilio at the reception (He helped me figure out the wifi on my BB10) to Benito our favorite bartender at the poolside bar and Juan and the female bartender (I don't remember her name) at the Sports bar on the beach!

Our room, 1201, was clean and had a view of the ocean. The hot water was not on when we got there but a word to the staff and it was taken care of. The grounds were well kept and Raphael on the beach did a good job of cleaning up the seaweed that washed ashore. There were always plenty of lounge chairs and we never had to get out early and "save" some either at the pool or on the beach.

I would not recommend the a la carte restaurants though! The service is VERY slow and the food quality just isn't there. You're better off to stick with the buffet!

Las Galenas is a short walk west and a short walk east will take you to Rudy's Ranchero where you can take a horseback excursion.

I highly recommend Tour Samana with Terry for a ziplining adventure! They pick you up and drop you back off at your resort. Raphael was an awesome guide and $95 per person included the ziplining, an amazing lunch on the beach, a presentation of Dominican culture and all the Presidente, rum or water that we wanted to drink!

Room Tip: Room 1201 was a good room for me although if you are a light sleeper you might want a room farther a...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 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.
Ontario
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2014

My wife and I stayed at Grand Paradise Samana from January 11 to February 14....it was our fourth visit to this resort and the second year in a row that we stayed for one month solid. If we had the time and money, we could easily have stayed two months, we never get bored, always something to do both on the resort and off. We appreciated the many renovations and improvements that were new this year and we certainly met a great number of people who, like us, were repeat guests. A warning however, if you are the type who wants the absolute royal treatment, the best of the best in everything, lots of lavishness, flash and over the top excessiveness.....this place is not for you because you would be put on my list of chronic malcontents, always finding fault with something and always comparing the place to somewhere else they've been and received more. These folks in my experience are a minority and in my opinion should just do everyone a favour, including themselves, and NOT COME BACK. My wife and I absolutely love the Grand Paradise because it is NOT all those things.It is not lavish nor extremely fancy but the rooms and all other areas are very clean, the food is plentiful and varied and the staff do their jobs well, some extremely well ad I will mention some of them later in this review. We love the fact that we can leave the resort and go off into the nearby village or venture off to Samana city, after four visits here we have learned how to take the gua-gua (local transportation) to Samana and other areas, very cheaply and very safe.We have made many friends and acquaintances in the nearly village of Las Galeras, a ten minute walk away. Many of the villagers and resort staff always remember us from previous years and they absolutely embrace you with friendship and kindness, a few of them have invited us into their homes, including resort staff. Should you want to do some excursions I recommend my good friend Rudy Reyes who is very reasonably priced, as honest as my own mother and he does small groups on very personalized and informative trips. He has a website Rudy's Rancho and brochures for his business are available in the village at a small internet café just a block up from the beach on the right side, run by a British couple Paul and Dianne who are just the best folks you'd ever want to meet, very helpful in many ways. Now back to the resort staff, a lot of people come to mine and I consider them to be friends. The entertainment and activity people are truly amazing, they work such long hours and never complain. I would like to acknowledge my good friends Yesenia, Daniel, Mikkiki and Youseff in particular; these four are incredible assets to this hotel, from our very first visit they have gone out of their way to be helpful, informative and to make each day a special one for us; they are incredibly talented and just GREAT people, with excellent English speaking skills.
On the reception desk I have to acknowledge the Manager Julio who goes out of his way to solve problems, offer information and advice and do his job well. Gina, with her wonderful smile, excellent English is equally helpful at reception, along with her co-worker Eury. This year he immediately recognized me when I was checking in and even remembered my name from previous years; THAT is impressive! Finally I would also like to mention the restaurant staff, they work so hard, our absolute favourite person is Leocalina Trinidad who works the main buffet. Leo always embraces us each year when we return and we have become very good friends; she has worked at the hotel about ten years and no one is better at her job than Leo. If I were in the restaurant business I would hire her in a heartbeat, hardworking, wonderful smile, great English and goes out of her way to be helpful.
My wife and I look forward to our return next winter, again for a month. With no other resorts within 20 miles, the Grand Paradise Samana is situated on one the last unspoiled areas of the Dominican Republic, there is a massive lack of western commercialism and the hotel is surrounded by beautiful countryside, wonderful beaches and fantastic people. We walk and travel about both on and off the resort and never once worry about our safety. I highly recommend this hotel for anyone looking for simplicity, quiet, beautiful surroundings, great service and great value, dollar for dollar.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2014

Scenario is spectacular, they assigned me a cabin where nothing seemed to work. Air conditioner was dripping water right on the bed. Little light in the room and any in the closet. Remote control still doesn't work after 3 trips to reception. Air conditioning was repaired at 11 pm. 5 hours after reporting it several times. Food is terrible. Night activities horrible. During the day too but it doesn't matter as beach compensates it. The cabin for my kids the air conditioning didn't work at all and we're only moved to another room after several requests. The second room they got is in good condition but my husband and I couldn't get a good one. We are leaving tomorrow and I'm glad of doing so. Towels were not changed nor the room was cleaned.

Stayed March 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklin, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2014

Went to this resort in January/2014 - After our 2nd day we all contacted a virus along with many others on the resort to which we all had for over 2-weeks. Beach was not made out to what it was suppose to be a lot of seaweed etc. Not near enough lounge chairs, most were broken. Food was not appetizing at all especially when you get sick - ate bread and rice. Had to see doctor on resort to which still have not received compensation for. Apparently 2-weeks before going to this resort they had problems of sickness to which the tour company had advised everyone of. We were not advised at all!!!!! Will never return to this resort ever!!!!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2014

Just spent a week here with my wife and 7yr old daughter and had a pretty good time. This is our 4th vacation in the DR and have also been to Venezuela, Jamaica twice, and Mexico twice so I do have some good reference for comparison.

The resort is large but well laid out and kept pretty clean. I had the impression it was very underbooked and the ratio of services to guests was perfect and can mean the difference between an ok vacation and a great one. Rarely had to wait behind more than one or two people for a drink and the buffet or other services wasn't overcrowded.

The beach is pretty nice although limited to an area that doesn't have coral underfoot. Never had a problem getting a beach chair or some space in the ocean. No need to be up at 5am to put out a beach towel. To me this rates higher than most other qualities because I do not go on vacation to suffer the inconvenience of crowds and line ups. Again, we might have went on a severely underbooked week so take this with a grain of salt.

The rooms (we were in 1203 with an ocean view) were standard fare but clean and more than functional for our needs as a place to sleep and get changed. It was a bit inconvenient not having stairs at our end of the building but a little extra walking is probably a good thing.

The food. Ok, this is one of those things that reviews are not very good at getting across because everyone is so different in their expectations. I happen to be very adaptable to different types of foods and enjoy that aspect of traveling whereas many people need to have access to hamburgers and french fries as a staple. I always was able to find something decent to eat, and if you need something more North American the beach buffet is surprisingly good for lunches.

But to be perfectly honest, in comparison to other comparable resorts, I have to say I was disappointed in the food for a couple of reasons. For one, bacon was only out for breakfast once that I saw throughout the week. I was also looking forward to fresh squeezed orange juice and they seemed to only have some mixed drink with pineapple in it although the watermelon juice was real, and pretty good. Crepes and waffles were excellent if you didn't mind waiting an average of 5-10 minutes in line, same as the omelet station.

In general though, the food was a bit sub-par and cheap at the buffet (but again even picky eaters could usually find something,) so we were looking forward to the a-la-cart dining.

Unfortunately that was a HUGE disappointment. First of all you don't get to book your own times, THEY do that for you. The two restaurants (Italian and Seafood) were basically two sides of the same open buffet building in the beach buffet with plastic chairs and tablecloths thrown over tables but not a big deal. You place your order for an appetizer and an entree then WAIT FOR 30-45 MINUTES TO GET YOUR APPETIZER! Astonishingly, this happened all three times in an almost EMPTY dining room with maybe three out of thirty tables seated!

Seriously, skip the a-la-carte altogether and eat at the buffet. The food you've waited an hour for is pedestrian at best, despite the fancy names, and over-cooked or blandly seasoned at best. No wonder the a-la-cartes were eerily empty all the time. They really need to work on this! And it's not like we have sophisticated expectations but seriously, my 7yr old daughter could make a better lasagna of all things.

Ok, so it's not like the food is a vacation destroyer or anything. The staff were by and large very nice and accommodating as you would expect, and it doesn't hurt to throw some tips around but hardly necessary. Benito at the pool bar was a great guy so let him know Steve from Canada (he has a son named Stephan incidentally) gave him a shout out on Tripadvisor.

For excursions we did a zip-lining tour with Tours by Terry and I highly, HIGHLY recommend it. First of all we had Raphael as our guide and he was incredibly accommodating, genuinely personable and probably the best guide we've ever had on any trip, and we've been on a lot of them. It helps that my family group of five people were the only ones on that day's excursion so it was like our own personal tour. The ziplines are very safe and no need for any training instructions or self-braking as it's set up to do that on it's own, so just...go. Upside down if you want to. ;)

We stopped at a private/empty beach afterward and it was very relaxing and stunningly beautiful although the waves that day precluded anything more than a shallow wade out. We got to eat a traditional DR lunch cooked for us on the spot by "Mommy" and it was simple but very good. The fish which was pretty unexciting at the resort buffet did not compare to this.

Oh, I forgot the drinks. I don't drink as much as I used to and pretty much had to stick to the Presidente cerveza on tap. It's a decent enough beer when compared to the alternative of one of their mixed drinks. Of course you don't get any top-shelf alcohol which is fine but I can't stand all the cheap flavoured sugar mixes they use at this (and many other) resorts. I managed ONCE to notice the beach bar using real bananas so I got a Daiquiri but otherwise don't expect real fruit for your drinks.

Background music at the pools and buffet seemed to be an endless loop of the theme to Young and the Restless and (I'm serious!) a symphonic rendition of "Lullabye", for most of the day until they pump it up a bit with a contest or two that you might win - of all things - a bag of coffee. Not a forty of rum or anything insanely expensive like that (/sarcasm).

One more bit of a disappointment was the Kid's Club. More like _what_ Kid's Club??? The facility looked closed all the time and my kid didn't want to go to the playground because it was apparently infested with bees. One day ONLY throughout the week did someone come around to collect up the kiddies for an hour to work on a fashion show they displayed later that evening. We were fine with this but don't expect to spend much time away from your kids down here. Perhaps there just weren't enough of them this week to make it worthwhile.

In conclusion we had a good time, as you should always try to do by not getting too hung up on one bad detail or another. If I am being clinical about my comparison to other resorts of the same value I'd not rate it as high as some others, and we've had better value for the same money (around $1100+/person) before but each experience is unique and none of the negatives I mentioned were deal-killers by any stretch since it's largely about the people and experience. Don't expect much of a college party experience here or lots of hot topless bikini babes to look at if that's your thing. Also, don't expect an amazing experience for kids (like we had last year in Jamaica) with Kid's Club activities and such the like.

I'd rate this resort as a solid 3 based on my experience in comparison to other similarly priced resorts, but would still recommend it as we had a good time, great weather, and good amenities. If you can get this for under a grand (we had 2 friends surprise us down there getting a last minute for something like $400/person!!) you are getting a great value. If money is no object and you require a higher end vacation, you'll probably want to skip this one and hit something like the Grand Bahia Principe, but being on this part of the island has many charms that you won't get at the over-touristed Puerto Plata and Punta Cana and the Grand Paradise Samana is definitely not a bad way to go.

Room Tip: The 1000 block is nice and clean, quiet, with rooms that can see the ocean. Two floors with no elev...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2014

I would thoroughly recommend the Grand Paradise Samana. The staff are so lovely - Mikiki in particular made us feel so welcome and always had a smile in his face. The location is brilliant - right beside a gorgeous beach. We went in October when there was plenty of space on the sunchairs by the sea and the lovely pools. Food was great. Really couldn't fault the Grand Paradise Samana.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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.
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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 6 Hotels in Las Galeras
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Grand Paradise Samana 3*
Number of rooms: 334
Reservation Options:
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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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