My husband and I chose to go to the Bahia Principe in Punta Cana because we had been to the Bahia Akumal in the Mayan Riviera and had a really good time. The experience in Punta Cana was not the same. We stayed from December 25th to January 1st 2009.
We paid extra for the upgrade to club golden because after reading the reviews, most people said it was worth it and since we had done so in the Mayan and enjoyed it we as well figured it would be worth it.
Upon arrival at the hotel, we were expecting our "private check in" which turned out to be an nearly two hour ordeal where my husband was sent from one place to another while the bell boys were trying to get me to leave our luggage unattended and go with him. No one knew where we should go. Eventually we were given our bracelets at (of all places) the tuor operators office which was a few doors down from the club golden check in.
Being that it was Christmas Day (about 10:00pm Punta Cana time at this point) and we had been travelling all day...my husband and I were hungry. When we finally got to our room, we decided to go find a place to grab a bite to eat. The staff was unfriendly and did not speak english as we were actually using "caveman signals" to show we were hungry. No one could tell us where we could eat. I repeat...VERY LITTLE ENGLISH SPOKEN AT THIS RESORT!! After about an hour of walking around (and discovering we had no access...not even for a drink in th elobby to Ambar) we headed back to our room and decided to order room service. My husband called for room service and the man who answered barely spoke english and told him that we would have to pay for it. Club golden was supposed to offer free room service so my husband said forget it and hung up. A few miniutes later we decided we were hungry enough to pay for it and I called back and asked how much a couple items on the menu would be. The man then hung up on me. That was the end of our quest to end our growling stomachs. We went to bed (me in tears) and hoped that the coming days would get better.
The night we arrived we also noticed that the water in the rooms was not purified. This came as a shock to us as a 5 star resort in Mexico had purified water in the rooms. All the bars and restaurants have purified water and ice but the ice machines located at the villas and the water from the taps was no good. A five star should have purified water.
The restaurants all required that men wear collared shirts but when my husband tried to get an iron brought to our room...after three phone calls and an hour and a half wait...there was still no iron and he went without. This was the same situation when we switched rooms part way through our holiday (due
to an incident involving another guest below). It took three hours to get them to switch the room. They promised it to my husband at 1:00pm and when he left the beach to go get the new room key, she said it wouldn't be ready until 4:00pm. Then I waited for a bell boy the whole hour and a half my husband was gone and he never showed!
The food at this resort was horrendous (especially the meat). We never expect all inclusives to have the greatest food but this was extra poor. Very little selection and the taste was just awful.
Some of the shock of this place came from other guests. Europeans especially had the absolute worst behavior. One woman was standing by while her naked son peed in front of one of the restaurants! The incident I mentioned earlier happened with a European woman who attempted to attack me because my husband and I had music on at 10 at night.
The bars closed way too early. Pool bars at 5:30 and most other bars closed at 10:00pm. Lobby bar closed at 11:00pm. Only place to grab a drink after that was at the Pueblo. Disco was open from midnight to 2am which are the lamest hours. Opening at 11pm would have been better. By the time my husband and I ate all that nasty food, we were too tired by midnight to head to the disco.
There were positives. The rooms were super clean. The maids work really, really hard. We brought some lipstick from Canada and gave it to them with a couple bucks and they loved it. They would bring us extra towels or stock the fridge with extra beer. The beach is amazing....so beautiful. Since the beach is owned by the Dominican goverment, there are lots of vendors to ignore...just don't make eye contact and stay away from the beach after dark. The grounds were also kept amazingly clean. On our anniversary, the restaurant (the Grill) brought us champagne and a cake which was really nice (they also sang to us). I think some of the people genuinely cared about their job and did a great job.
Over all...we cannot recommend this place. Everything in the Dominican took ten times as long as it should. I understand "island time"...but this was a bit much.
- 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