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“Very relaxing trip”

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Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana
Ranked #63 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
new york
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Very relaxing trip”
Reviewed February 3, 2009

Hotel was nice, clean and staff very attentive. The layout was very confusing, very spread out with all the villas looking the same, hard in the dark to find your way. Poor nightlife, drinks watered down. Food was good, buffets had something for everyone again staff very friendly & attentive., It helped that I was traveling with 2 fluent spanish speaking friends. Beautiful beach and pool areas.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
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1 Thank newyorkmaggie17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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North Wales, PA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2009

My two friends and I stayed at Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana last month from the 17th to the 23rd. It was a total R&R vacation, going somewhere to get out of the cold, lay in the sun and do nothing. While I would definitely stay there again, there were some things that, I felt, needed improvement. First off, the language barrier that everyone talks about, very true! Generally the staff at the front desk spoke better English but as far as housekeeping and other staff goes, forget it! Do yourself a favor and learn some basic Spanish before you go - just even the basics will help you. You should know, Americans and Canadians are the minority here.
Room was beautiful, typical of Bahia, had stayed in the one in Riveria Maya, Mexico years ago and could see the similarities in room and layout of the hotel. The only real problem we had was with the towels. It was almost like they had one washing machine and only one set of towels for each room! Two days we didn't even have wash clothes for our shower and another day, bath towels. We were out of room all day and by 4 or 5 pm, you do sort of expect to be able to shower and get ready for dinner w/a towel!!! When you'd see one of the maids in the hallway to inquire, most didn't know what you were asking cause they didn't speak English but if you could communicate w/them, the answer was always "20 mins"... which really means two hours. Another time, our light in the bathroom went out, we called at about 4 pm, went out for the night, and by 11 when we got back to the room, it wasn't done. I called again and by 11:45 pm there was a knock on the door! I felt it was the principle of the matter. So response time to things such as linens, towels, water in the fridge, can be quite slow but the people who work there were very nice. They could also use better lighting in the room - very dim. It was hard to read even by the bedside light. Beds were ok, mine was very springy. But again, I am not that particular and these things are not so bad that I wouldn't go there again, but they were noticeable. Could be improved upon.
The beach and pool areas were fabulous... Very clean and even though it was not an adults only there were children there but not a whole lot. Not sure if it was the time of year we were there or not. Plenty of chairs by pool and on beach though if you want a prime spot, like closer to the water and a palapa!, you had to play the towel game like at all other hotels I have stayed at. You do have to get up a little earlier and get your spot reserved. My friend and I were out there by 7:30 a.m. and got nice spots on beach and at pool. Pools are so large you don't feel on top of one another. Beach is clean and water is absolutely gorgeous. We spent many hours in the water. Seaweed is an issue but they work very hard to see that it's not overwhelming but it's there but not a big deal for me. I was a little overwhelmed and surprised when I got to the beach that first day and saw the vast amount of loungers, people, etc. You don't see that many walking around the complex and when you get to the beach it's like everyone is there at once. It's a little bit daunting at first but it turned out to be okay.
Food - it's an all-inclusive, so with that said, I found it to be good and varied. They did what they could to offer a nice selection though I tended to lean toward the pizza and pastas. Not gourmet dining but fine. The one thing I would have preferred is to be able to eat at one of the restaurants on any given night, as many times as we wanted w/out reservations. I don't know how many do this, but Bahia does so keep that in mind. We were there 6 nites so we were allowed to eat at one of the 'finer' restaurants 3 times. You do need to make the reservations as soon as you get there but I did not like eating in the buffet restaurant the other nights. It was fine for breakfast, but I would have preferred to try the other restaurants we couldn't. My last all inclusive in Mexico allowed you to eat at any restuarant on any given nite w/out a reservation.
Keep in mind the resort is very spread out, lots of walking, which we enjoyed, but you could always catch the jitney which seemed to always be available. We had requested a room closer to the beach/pool area and this was accommodated. Shows at night were entertaining, again, not high quality stuff but good and that's what you get at an all inclusive. Something to do.
You have to keep in mind though that on my last vaca in April 08, my friends and I stayed at the Royal in Cancun. I think the problem was we got spoiled because the service there was impeccable and there was no language barrier. It was a few hundred dollars more, in April, and we went for a day less than this vacation! But we wanted to try something new. However, if I hadn't had that experience, I would have been over the top about the Bahia. Bahia is a good name and I've always found it to be above average. If anyone is planning a trip to the Gran Bahia Principe, please feel free to contact me w/any questions.

  • Liked — pool and beach; gorgeous scenery
  • Disliked — not having fresh towels in our room everyday w/out fighting and/or searching for them!
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank beachgirl396
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed February 1, 2009

Stayed here for 8 nights, upon arriving at the hotel we had to wait for the rooms as they were still being cleaned, not a big deal as it gave us a change to walk around and see the grounds.

Now, from staying at the Grand Palladium in Punta Cana and also at the Palladium in the Riveria Maya we are used to bigger resorts, which takes time to walk around. After about 15 minutes of exploring the grounds we realized we had already walked in a complete cirlce. The resort is not very big, so if you are a quaint resot person this will do fo you.

The Jr Suite was nice, very well made up everyday.

The food was good for buffetts and the gourmet resturants were nothing to write home about. It gets very quiet after 9:00 at night, not like the others which everyone would congregate in the lobbys for drinks and music.

The shows were amazing if you can see them go for it! We loved the Micheal Jackson show the best, remember it is outside and very hot when it is a full house.

The outside market area is nice, lots of haggling from the vendors but there is a kareoke bar and a stage with outside tables and wait staff when there are bands.

Excursions: The party boat was awesome, they take you to a beach area where there are more vendors and you board a flat party boat, lots of games, music and mamajana juice! You are off to swim with the sharks and rays. Then off to snorkle in a reef area with lots of coral, watch your toes! and loads of beautiful fish, back to the boat for more dancing and mamajuana.

The jungle safari, I was kind of skeptical but am very glad we did this. You will leave early in the morning and head to a horse rance for some horseback riding and history, after that you will be on your way to a dominican casa where you will see how alot of spices and fruits are grown, then off to another beautiful spot for the yummiest Dominican lunch! If you have the time, go for this one.

Overall the beaches were nice, the pools better, the drinks, al ittle watered down but a nice relaxing time you will find here.

  • Liked — the shows
  • Disliked — the size
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Nictore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ontario
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 31, 2009

Had a great time there second time going. Stayed in club gold close to the beach. The food was great. The beach was just beautiful. Only complaint was they painted our room and didn't tell us we got paint on our chothes in the closet. But they were quick to fix things. One thing to take in mind is they use power locks for the power in your room you have to put your key into a slot and it turns the power on in the room. So bring a card key from somewhere else...sit back and relax and enjoy.

  • Liked — beach and service
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank ejs428
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sudbury On
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2009

We arrived there on the 17th of January 2009. The weather was beautiful. Our bus was waiting to bring us to the resort. What I liked is that they had us pre registered and we just finished it on the air conditioned bus. When we got there they were waiting to bring us to our pre assigned rooms. That was great, as we were tired and just wanted to go to the pool.
The resort is huge but there are trolleys to bring you wherever you want to go..They run from 6am to 3am..Our room was right across from the lobby so we were close to the buffet. The only downside is that when they have theirshow in the theatre it is really loud so it is hard to sleep. Just don't stay at he 18000 Villa
We loved our room. It was immaculate..The washroom was a nice size.
The food in the buffet house was great. A nice selection for your choice. The waiters were very quick in getting your coffee etc. Very friendly. We went to the Cafe de Paris and Capriccio for our a la cartes. Food was excellent.
The only people that were not friendly were in guest services.
I would go back again..

  • Liked — The cleanliness of the resort
  • Disliked — The casino is a laugh-very small, the guest service people were not friendly
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank shem914
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
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.

  • Liked — The beach.
  • Disliked — The people.
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Shnibb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
1 review
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.

  • Disliked — The service I got from reception
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank mailjunk73
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

Property: Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana
Address: Crta. Arena Gorda, 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:
#18 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#24 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#39 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#55 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#56 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#57 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#59 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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