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Grand Bahia Principe La Romana
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Reviews (4,510)
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2,009 - 2,014 of 4,510 reviews
Reviewed November 29, 2011

The area is very nice, but the hotel will disappoint anyone who expects a 5 star service. They say that they have 4 restaurants, but they told us the first day that all speciality restaurants are booked for the whole week. After strong complaints, we got one place in a speciality restaurant, only to find out that the food is the same as on the buffet. The gold standard does not help, it is worthless and only more expensive.
The sea is so dirty that hardly anyone dared to take a bath.
To sum up, this is a place for somebody who does not want to pay a lot, for whom quantity is more important than quality, who wants to drink the whole day and who does not mind very dirty sea water. Hands - off for those who want quality.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank gringo97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2011

If you are planning your vacation because you want to enjoy beautiful Carribean sea - this is NOT the place. The hotel is located in the bay, and apparently when it rains, the nearby rivers bring all the dirt into the bay. The water at the beach is somewhat brownish with a very strong "fish" smell. Most of the other hotels in La Romana (Dreams, Iberostar, Catalonia) are located about an hour away in the Bayahibe region where the water is actually clean. We actually got a taxi for a number of days and went to the other hotels to spend some time at the nice beach.
Also, that dirty water attracts more bugs/mosquitos, which we did not see at the other hotels.
Other than poor location, the hotel was fine: the food was OK, the staff was friendly enough (however, very few people that spoke english), the rooms were nice and clean. But we go to Carribeans for the beach, and here it was horrible.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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4  Thank mm97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 27, 2011

We just returned from 5 relaxing days at Bahia Principe. We arrived around 10:30 pm and were greeted with a delicious pink drink. The check in was a little busy but service was remarkably fast for the amount of people there. We went to our room, which appeared to have not been cleaned prior to our arriving. There were empty bottles, towels everywhere, bed unmade.... I returned to the check in desk where the manager was very apologetic and promptly upgraded us to a Royal Golden room.

We found our new room to be perfect; it was on the far side of the resort, away from the noisy pool and equidistant to both the main buffet and the beach.

We spent the extra $4/day on the safe for peace of mind- the extra fee in an inconvenience but certainly worth it.

All of the staff were very friendly. Varying shades of English comprension but nearly everyone we encountered greeted us with a friendly "hola!"

The buffet was fine- the food was edible but by no means spectacular. There was great diversity although most of it was bland and some things a little peculiar. Be sure to note the times the buffet is open and plan accordingly! I found the waiters to be very polite and quite attentive- my chair was always pulled out for me and water was quickly replenished. The house wine was not very good but I didn't expect it to be.

The beach was quite nice- the water was murky from the river but we took a kayak out around the small island in front of the resort and had a nice trip! The pool was the perfect temperature although it was definitely the hotel's hotspot! We spent the majority of our time on the beach and found it relaxing. The huts on the beach were perfect for shade and we liked the palm tree forest on the beach!

I did come home with 20+ bug bites- some large welts and others typical mosquito bites. My boyfriend had zero bug bites and we spent every minute together. It would be nice if they invested in something to cut down on the bugs as they were a bit of a nuisance.

There was free wi-fi in the lobby but it was very low signal and we kept losing it. Still, we didn't expect any wireless so that was a pleasant surprise!

Overall, we had a nice trip. We felt like we got what we paid for and would go again. We would not, however, go for more than a week. 5 days was perfect for us- much more and the activities would start to get old and the food would probably be very unappetizing.

Room Tip: Villas 34 and 32 are perfect for those who want to be a little bit away from the noise!
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Alison O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2011

First of all, shoudl you dream of clear Carribean sea as from catalogue pictures, forget about this hotel. The beach is in the bay, close to the dirty river. During our one week stay, we have never seen a clear water, I dare to go swim once in the sea but has not a good feeling from this, the water was realy dirty, you can not see more than 20 cm deep.. Bad, just bad..

SERVICE
The level of service provided was one of the worst I have ever seen in simmiliar type of hotels (comparing to for example GBP in Mexico). Mainly the service in main restaurant is terrible, you need to ask for your water or coffee five (5) times before you get a service, the same with ordering of wine (by the way, am I the only one who has the feeling that there was a water in the wine..?) An example of comming to the restaurant: By main door, a waiter "takes care of you" and will lead to you to the table (not asking for any of your prefferences for seating). Once arrive to the table, waiter helps to sit to first person comming to the table (regardless if this is man or woman), leaving the second person to sit by him/herself. Then leave the table, without asking for your order of drink. Than you must be very active to atract another waiter to place your order for drink. They made me realy angry few times by this.. To notice that in normal restaurant, you give a sign about finished/not finished restaurant by position of your fork/knife, here, you cross your fork/knife and you lost your plate, next time waiter makes sure 2 times if he can take out just empty plate..
The service in the bar (both main bar and pool bar) is just equal to how much you tip.
Normaly, you tip for a good service. Here, you must tip in order to get a proper service..
Service in the reception is just average, as same as knowledge of english spoken by receptionists.

SLEEP QUALITY
The beds are OK and comfortable. Walls thick engough to minimalize noise from other rooms. Because of outside corridors and good main dors, also the noise from out of the room is acceptable. We was only disapointed by very noisy outside aircondtion units, that was placed just bellow our balcony for whole building and was very noisy all day/night.


CLEANLINESS
Surrounding of the hotel is very well kept, there are all the time people cleaning all hotel premises. Room cleanles 4out of 5 good, just better attention to details would help (dirt in the corners of the room, dirty doors etc.. (but nothing that would make your stay unconfortable)

Main pool was nice, clean. Still, there was a lot of sand on the bottom of the pool all the week.

LOCATION
The hotel is in the middle of nowhere. This was ok for me as I was looking for a quite place just to relax. Should you like to have long walk on the beach or bussy shops, this will not be for you. There is just a bush all around. Furthermore, the hotel is in the middle of large land owned by one company, once the border of hotel finish, there are constructions going on on both sides of the hotel that may be bothersome.. Also going out of hotel beach, there is not much to go out, as you are limited by clifs on both sides of the lagoon aprox 500 m from the hotel.
There is no place to buy anything you need on top of all inclusive in the area, except overpriced small shop with essential things (price 3-5x higher than normaly..) so make sure that you have all you need with you..
The only way how to get out of the resort is to take a taxi, we was told a price 70 USD for return journey to nearest city (La Romana) with 2 hrs of waiting, add 10 USD/additional hour of waiting. In La Romana, there is big supermarket of western quality where you can buy all you need.
The point that hotel is in the bush brings one more issue - the bugs and mosquitos. I have seen in other hotels in Caribean to spray some chemicals around the hotel to avoid this, nothing in this hotel. My wife was baddly bitten by mosquitos, she had over 30 ugly bites all over the body. I am not saying this is a problem of hotel, it may happen in this part of word, but they do not do anything against this..

TRANSPORT
It take us quite a lot time to find a transport from airport to hotel. We found www.dominicanshuttles.com service and we was very satisfied. Price for SDQ to Bahia P. return 149 USD. You can find in their page all prices, final, 100% for sure. We was driven by their owner Thomas, a very nice guy with a lot of knowledge about the area. Thomas give us also a trip to La Romana for total 90 USD including short local walk and explanation of area that was definately worth of it.

ROOMS
Rooms are nice, all with balcony, spacious with all you need. Not much to complain about. Minibar filled every day (soft drinks, beer). No issues.
I WAS VERY DISAPOINTED ABOUT THE SAFE... You must pay aditional 4 USD / day to use a safe.. Something you would not expect in 5 star hotel that want to make sure you are 100% covered.. Make choice, pay extra 30 bucks/week for peace of mind or be stressed all holiday for your valuables.. not good.

FOOD
Food in main restaurant was very good, we have always found something for us (and I am very selective in food.. ). Only once I have agreed with my wife that food was not 100% good, in any other time, we was very satisfied with quality. Variety of food is just average, however they have thematic evenings, often you find simmilar food, mainly in cold buffet. But in general, the food quality would be for me the only reason to came back to this hotel..
Forget about thematic restaurant, food in this restaurant is of poor quality, service bellow average. We had 2 thematic evenings, in one of them, we have left after starter to the main restaurant (and have seen many of other people doing same thing that evening..)
There is one pool bar, service alla carte only (maybee becase we was during off season), burgers, pizzas. Food of good quality, also alternative for lunch by the sea.

ENTERTAINMENT
The are thematic shows every evening, but the quality is very low. We have seen two in all week, that was more than enough, just few people in every show, very basic.
There is also a live music in the loby, but this was horrible, false..

Room Tip: Avoid rooms the corner of buildings. Every building has outside aircondition units that are very noisy all the day/night.
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Skopik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2011

We couldn't have enjoyed our experience at the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana more. Travelling with a teenager at such a remote spot did scare us a little, but we all went away wanting to extend our stay and return again.

We found the staff very friendly - even though we didn't speak Spanish, we thought they went out of their way to help.. Treat as you would like to be treated!

We tried out each of the restaurants and thought the Gourmet very special - even for a fussy eater.

Booked a couple of trips - one through Robert in the hotel and one through the scuba guys at the poolside. Both were well organised although I would rate the hotel one higher.

The entertainment people worked so hard from early morning to late evening. If you didn't wish to participate they would quite easily leave you alone.
We had a couple of small niggles with our room which when reported were dealt with the same day and the manager then phoned us to check that we were happy with the service received.

All in all a brilliant resort - pleasant staff, very clean and a very good choice of food available to all.

Read up before you go here - it is remote with a long travel from the hotel and a mosiquito problem, but if you know this before hand and not willing to handle this - why book it!

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank Susan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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