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Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana
Ranked #64 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Reviewed January 28, 2009

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.

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Shnibb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 26, 2009

BEACH
- Excellent
- Beautiful water and sand

POOLS
-clean
- many different pools

FOOD
- If you're picky you may not like it
- Enough choice at the buffets to find something you like

SERVICE
- On our third day , there was a pretty big leak coming from the bathroom ceiling. I called it in around 5pm. No one came. At 6pm I went to the lobby and told them about it and they said they would send someone to fix it and I wouldn't have to wait in the room. So I went for dinner, drinks, etc. Got back around 12:30am and sure enough the leak was fixed but the mess left by them was still there and floor was a mess from the leak. I couldn't use the shower as the ceiling panel was resting in the shower and the floor was all wet. I went to the lobby and complained and asked them to at least give me another room to use so I can take a shower. Of course, they said no and that they couldn't do anything about giving me another room because they were full. BS! After a half hour of arguing with this guy, the other person who had been working and was listening finally gave me a room key to the room next door. The arguing I had to go through was unnecessary. So, they couldn't do anything about it or somehow help me out? By 2:00am someone had finally come to fix the washroom and he cleaned it himself, not a chamber maid. Not to mention that I had 2 kids and my wife waiting to use the washroom. If it wasn't for this I would recommend this hotel, but I must say that this incident really turned me off so I really can't recommend this hotel. No one even took note of the incident so they can somehow apologize for the situation. There are many other resorts on this beach that I will look into next time.


HOTEL
- Huge
- Get a room by the beach or by the main lobby. I found the people in the center of the resort sometimes had to wait longer for the tram as it was full. You're either close to the beach or close to the night life. Take a pick.

SUNWING
- Great flight.
- Check-in was done on the bus and didn't have to line up to check in.
- Sunwing books the PREMIER area of the resort which is farthest from the beach but closer to the night life, stores, spa, etc.
- I decided not to ask for a room closer because my kids enjoyed the tram ride.

Read all the reviews from AMBAR, BAVARO, PUNTA CANA and PREMIER they are all within the same resort just different sections.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with family
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Thank mailjunk73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2009

We spent two weeks at the Bahia Principe during our winter break. The resort was enourmas and the transportation was provided by small trains. Luckily, our building, villa 10, was located not far away from the beach-just a two minute walk through the gardens. The rooms were very clean, large, and with comfortable bedding.A slight set-back was that in order to set up the safe, we had to walk down to the lobby. We also brought our lap top; however, in order to use the wireless internet, we had to pay $15 a day. But in the end it was worth it because we could use skype to call our family and friends.
I can not understand how anybody could say that the food is bad...We didn't really like the A La Carte restaurants but the buffet pleased us very well. There were fruits, veggetables, meats and everything was tasty and fresh. We were escpecially impressed by the Christmas Eve dinner. The waiters were always polite and helpful with finding tables for our group of 32 people. The beach was very nice and we enjoyed the waves but there were never enough surfing boards for everybody to use. Also, there was only ONE volleyball court and every time we tried to play, there would always be a huge line up. There was a huge problem with beach towels...they stoped handing them out at random times, once we were stuck waiting for an hour and a half. We didn't always particiapate in activities on the beach but every afternoon, we organized a tennis and soccer game using the resort's facilities. After dinner it was always nice to spend time in the lobby, while all of the kids went to watch the nightly show in the lobby theatre.

  • Stayed: December 2008
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3  Thank Julia_1997
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2009

This hotel was nice, it is large but that was no problem as they provided trams to get you from A to B. The staff couldn't speak english very well, which really created a huge language barrier. For example one waitress spilt 4 shooter glasses of alchohol on my husband, never apologized, she was to bust worrying about a drop or two that hit her skirt. Meanwhile it was all over his pants, and shoes. She never returned to clean up the floor or him, which I found very ignorant and frustrating. Getting served a drink was a huge deal at any meal. Half way through the week I figured out where to go and get it myself. The rooms were nice. The a la carte restaurants where really good and the food was tasty, the steak being on my favourites. The buffet was always nice as well. Although the buffets didnt open till 6:30 pm which is way later then I prefer to eat. The beach was the best part, gorgeous sand and the water colour was unbelivable. I would recommend this resort, with the most negative being the language diffilcuties between the staff and the people staying there, again being very few english speaking people.

  • Stayed: January 2009
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2  Thank justreviewing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2009

Me, my husband and my two sisters went to the Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana for six nights beginning Jan. 12th of this year. This is our second trip to Punta Cana. The first time we stayed at the Bavaro Princess Resort in Punta Cana. At both hotels we upgraded to the VIP package. The Gran Bahia is every bit as beautiful as the Bavaro and both places had beautiful beaches and pools. The Gran Bahia’s pools were meticulously clean and the food was excellent. A little bit of everything to appease all nationalities. The shows were great, we enjoyed them immensely. The staff was outstanding. We had a few problems with check-in but nothing that was not readily resolved. The property is huge but a tram runs 24/7 so getting around is easy. We were a bit disappointed with the VIP amenities. My sisters did not upgrade to VIP. Their room was the same as ours. We were close to the beach and one of the pools but they too were within walking distance to the beach. We had a separate check-in which was also the same place they considered the VIP lounge. It was a very small room with limited seating. The staff had their desks in there, along with computers for internet access. The bar did have top shelf liquor but the several times we went there, no one waited on us and it didn’t say help yourself so we didn’t even use it. At the Bavaro, they have a huge room for the VIP guests with a person who waits on you, a large fridge with food, water, champagne, and wine. They also had coffee and some type of dessert or food there at all times. (Ranging from sushi to sandwiches). The hotel personnel were located at another area outside the lounge. At the Gran Bahia, we had a stocked refrigerator that had canned beer, sodas and water. The canned beer was a turn-off. They did provide us with a bath robe and slippers which was a nice touch. At the Bavaro, we had bottled beer, liquor (scotch, vodka and rum – full bottles), cigars, a wet bar, a massage for each of us, snorkeling for two and scuba lessons for two, and the use of a safe in the room. Even though we were VIP at the Gran Bahia, we had to pay an additional $26 to use the safe in our room. Also, the electric in our room was activated by our hotel key card so if you took your key with you, the electric went off and therefore if you were gone all day, the room was hot when you got back and the beer was warm. Not the case at the Bavaro. The casino was very small but we still had a good time there. We chose this place because we wanted to try another resort. There are so many places to choose from in Punta Cana. If you stay here, you will have a wonderful time and it is beautiful. You will not be disappointed but I don’t think the upgrade is worth the extra money. I will go back to Punta Cana but I will try another resort.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with family
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3  Thank telecomnc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2009

I will start off by explaining the confusion. The Bahia Principe is a huge resort split into many sections Bahia punta cana and Bavaro are mirror images of each other that run side by side in the same complex. These are the standard Rooms. In Addition Ambar is an adults only section close to the beach and club Premier being furthers from the Beach. Within BAvaro and Punta cana there are upgrades available (club Hacinda Club Diamond etc ) THey tend to offer rooms closer to the BEach and there is a pool dedicated for their Members and possibly there may b more facilities in their rooms. I don't Know.

This Resort can Cater for over 6000 Guest at full capacity so this should give you an indication of the size of the resort. That said don't think that it is crowded it is not. There are some 1250 Staff looking after you. You will not get that personnel touch that smaller resorts offer but the staff there are extremely efficient and are constantly on the go. Room maids gardeners etc don't speak English but Waiting Staff and BAr staff do perfectly.

Depending on where you stay you will be allocated a Buffet Restaurant within the resort. Here You will dine breakfast, Lunch and Dinner The breakfast generally remains the same throughout the week but there is so much to choose from its unbelievable.

Again Lunch was fantastic

Dinner ran a theme. 1 night Spanish the next Italian , then carribean etc What you have each evening is an extensive salad bar. Some 20 vegetarian options 2 soups An american corner just plain roast chicken and steaks. an Italian Corner Varied Pasta an sauces. Then you have the themed counter some 20 choices from that evenings choice of cuisine. Plus there are 20 puddings to chooses from.

There are 10 Ala carte restaurants on site. Theses are available to everyone. You get to go to 3 per week. These give you a break from the buffet style and you get Waiter Service. We chose the Japanese. This was excellent. THe French Gourmet. Ok but a bit drab, and THe Brazilian BBQ this was a let down I would advise you to Avoid this. We ended up going to the Buffet Restaurant. Speaking to other Guests They raved about the Italian and the Mexican. On the Whole the food is Fine safe to eat. Fresh and Hot. I would recommend you book your Restaurants the day you arrive.

Each Evening there is Entertainment. This is of decent standard. Not the West End but enjoyable and re hearsed, Nevertheless

Getting around the site is easy there are constant lets call the trams running from the beach to reception with your stop along the way. Walking from reception to the beach takes 5 minutes

Behind the reception area you find a huge square surrounded by little shops Internet cafe and Discotheque. stalls selling crafts etc and the casino. Here is where the late night entertainment is. We didn't think much of the bands and the atmosphere there was a bit dull. The Casino looked Ok. The disco was a bit Tired and dingy there were also a couple of pool tables around there and some sort of games room. Again this was a bit tired .

Our Room was a standard one We had a fully stocked Inclusive Mini bar. Jacuzzi, Balcony Overlooking the Pool and some Gardens. King Size BEd ,sofa Table and 2 chairs Air con. Safe and Satellite TV. Very Clean, Fresh and Maintained.

With regards to the Safe this is a must for peace of mind and is Charged at $30 per week However before you sign up check to see if its open because its easy to set up the code and you could save some tip money!!!

Your Tour operator will always be on site so booking excursions is easy. We did a few Saona Island was Great and speed Venture was a thrill

Money: I would Recommend taking Us$ for excursions and Peso for everything Else

In a nut Shell I f your going to spend your holiday at the resort playing pool and In the Nightclub then this is Not for you.

If you want a stunning Beach and you like to get out and about then this Hotel will do everything else you need right.

Hope this all Helps

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank VoyagerMV1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2009

My husband and I stayed here in 2005. I t was our first trip to the carribean and we had a great time. The staff was super friendly the service was good. I would definetly go back and I have recommended it to friends and they also had a great time.

  • Stayed: February 2006, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank amberleehamilton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana

Address: Crta. Arena Gorda Macao, Punta Cana 9999, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#10 Best Value Hotel in Punta Cana
#18 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#24 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#40 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#55 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#57 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#58 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#60 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $122 - $397 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana 4*
Number of rooms: 756
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

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