I had a very positive experience last year at the Gran Bahia Principe El Portillo resort, so this year, my (now) wife and I trusted the hotel chain to perform our destination wedding, which took place on October 23rd, 2013.
Overall, the experience was great. We are both very happy with the resort and would certainly head back in an instant. The weather was incredible, and we only saw rain a few times (for short periods of time), which was refreshing.
In terms of the rooms, we were in the Royal Golden section, meaning our rooms were situated closer to the beach and main pool. The rooms were large, and the A/C kept them cool at all times. The bell boys are also very hard workers, and will make sure your luggage gets to your room easily!
For food, I must first state that I must have gained 10 pounds in the week! I love the omelet bar for breakfast, and had most meals at the buffet, which is located in the main lobby building. We did have a dinner at the Outdoor BBQ restaurant, which wasn't terribly impressive (buffet style) and our wedding dinner at the Garden Grill Steakhouse, which was fantastic. We did not use any more of our "a la carte" reservations, because we enjoyed the convenience of the buffet and the lack of time commitments. The 24hr snack bar was also great for late night snacks, and drinks. At night, they only serve beer and wine though, which was not ideal. The bartender at the snack bar was amazing, and kept the drinks coming as soon as they got low, so we never had to order more. We both took dukoral before going, and had no issues with traveller's diarrhea, although members of our group did.
The beach is amazing. Yes, there were alot of guests there (its a huge resort), but we had no problems finding chairs at any point throughout the day. As we had a large group, we set a "rendezvous" point up on the beach every day, which was in front of the beach bar, where we can find other members of the group. If anyone is on the beach, that's where they would have been. It worked really well. Same idea for the pool...the main pool is very busy, but manageable, and there is usually some sort of entertainment happening there. There are more pools located halfway toward the lobby, which was much quieter and more family oriented.
The wedding was incredible. At first, we were skeptical based on prior email communications with the wedding coordinator, although they seemed very willing to accommodate our requests once we arrived. The gazebo was set up beautifully, and the dinner at the Garden Grill was incredible. We are very happy with our choice here. Minelous, who was our wedding coordinator, was amazing. We were, however, a little disappointed that nothing was done to our room after the wedding. We were told by our travel agent to expect a decorated room, etc, the night of the wedding, but nothing was done. My brother had also had this done at El Portillo. This was a big CON for our overall experience.
The staff were very friendly and outgoing, but you can easily tell that they are working for a tip, and it sometimes made it awkward not to tip them every day. They spent alot of time focussing on our baby when we were at the buffet, etc, which was great, but I did get the impression that it was all for a tip.
Another con was that there was no crib in our room for the first night. This was requested by our travel agent, and while I do understand it is only a request, and not a guarantee, we had booked it over a year in advance and this should have been taken care of. I escalated the issue to the manager, who was unable to help us out that night, but had a crib sent to our room the next day. As a result, my wife had to sleep on the cot with the baby for the first night. Finally, we were a initially frustrated because when we checked in (approximately 10pm on October 19th), we received a letter informing us of a meeting with the wedding coordinator the next morning at 11am. This didnt give us any time to explore the resort and settle in, and we were also forced to skip the orientation. While we do understand it was necessary, it was still a little frustrating because of the timing.
Overall a great resort, and we would absolutely love to return! We are now trying to decide if we should return directly to this resort next, or to try out another Grand Bahia Principe resort!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Facilities and services 2 lake-style pools Jacuzzi Sun terraces Lounger, sun umbrella and towel service BAHIA SPA (additional charge) Sports facilities: gym, tennis court, multi-sports court Water activity centre Motorised sports (additional charge) WiFi access in the lobby (24h per day free of charge) and in rooms (additional charge) Meeting and convention room 1 buffet restaurant and 5 speciality restaurants Japanese restaurant 16 bars Wedding gazebo Punta Blanca Golf Club: 18 hole Punta Blanca Golf Club (additional charge) Pueblo Principe: Shopping and Leisure Mall with local craft stores, live music, shows, stores, bars, disco and casino Rooms 756 rooms including two types: Superior Junior Suite and Club Golden Junior Suite Room facilities: King size bed or two full size beds Fully-equipped bathroom with Jacuzzi, hair dryer and a full range of amenities Balcony or terrace Air conditioning Ceiling fan Telephone Satellite TV Coffee-making facilities Mini-bar Safe (additional charge) WiFi (additional charge) Club Golden Junior Suite (See page 18 Club Golden, Club Hacienda). Children Bahia Scouts The hotel is perfect for families, offering a range of facilities tailored especially for children, including the following: Children's pool Mini Club for children aged 4 to 12 Baby Station Bahia Scouts Water Park Fun Area and Adventure Park (additional charge) Teen's club Other Services 24 hour medical service (additional charge) Pharmacy (additional charge) WiFi in the lobby (1h per day free of charge) and in rooms (additional charge) Specialised service for organising weddings, incentive trips, events and anniversaries Personalised menus (for celiacs, diabetics, etc.) Available on request and subject to circumstances ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana
- Punta Cana Gran Bahia Principe