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“Excellent food and service - recommended!”

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Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana
Ranked #61 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, ON
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Excellent food and service - recommended!”
Reviewed March 6, 2009

Went for a week from Feb 26 to Mar 5. This is our second time at the Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana. We found everything met our expectations -- the room, food, service and the weather.

We booked our vacation on line with Air Canada Vacations. The package we booked translated into the Diamond Club package. Transfers to and from the resort were on time and uneventful. Morning/early afternoon arrivals usually wait for their rooms as check in is 3:00pm. If you have to wait, just enjoy the bar and soak up the atmosphere.

Room: The room was comfortable. We asked for the top floor ("ultimate piso"), but got the 2nd floor (there are three floors in the building we stayed at). There are no elevators. The bellboy will carry your luggage. We stayed in building villa 10, which is between the beach and the main building. The room has a small sitting area, table and chairs along with a balcony. The TV in the room is a 20" color flat-tube. Lots of satellite channels to choose from, including a Spanish cartoon channel. The bedding on the king-size bed was comfortable, and the bath was well stocked with towels, toiletries, soaps, bath gels and shampoo. The bath has a hand-held shower and jacuzzi tub. We did not use the tub. The bath does not have a bidet.

Beach (Playa): The beach has lots of palm-tree huts for shade. There is a pine tree in one area that provided shade but the needles from the tree was annoying. It is not allowed to reserve any sunbeds at the pool or beach, however, guests did reserve sunbeds. If you want to get a good spot, you may have to 'hold' your spot before 7:00am. But is you do not mind, you can always find a spot to enjoy the sun/shade. Currently, there is new construction (ran for the duration of our stay) on the east side of the resort, near the beach. We were not told about the construction. The area is fenced-off. The noise from the construction site tolerable, but not ideal if you were looking to snooze quietly on the beach. The noise did not bother us during our stay, but it was not expected or wanted. Try looking for a beach spot towards the Ambar side of the resort (or the left side of the resort if you are facing the ocean).
The weather during the week was sunny, hot and humid (as expected) but comfortable because of the breeze. There was one day that was overcast all day. It was stormy a few nights. Note: the water was designated with yellow flags every day due to the under tow and strength of waves.

Food/Service: The food and service is very good at both the buffet restaurants and a la carte restaurants. On a couple of occasions, the waiter replaced my near-empty glass of beer with a full one between courses without asking me. Not once did either of us become ill due to food or drink. The table is always set and the table cloths are always clean. The napkins are soft cotton napkins.

Tip: Instead of getting breakfast at the buffet restaurant in the hotel where everyone goes, we discovered they served breakfast at the "el pescador" restaurant, located near the beach and closer to our room. The breakfast selection is not as extensive as the main buffet restaurant -- smaller selection of items and no made-to-order omelettes, but it's much more convenient.

Entertainment: We did not partake in the evening shows this time. The pathways in the resort are well lit so you are able to enjoy an evening walk before or after dinner.

Shopping: The Pueblo Principe is an open air mini market enclosing many cart sellers, who are very aggressive, but do not be intimidated into buying anything.

Health tip: My partner gets mosquito bites whenever we visit tropical climates and takes precautions to limit the number of bites. Mosquitoes bite in early morning and evenings, it is advisable to wear a light insect repellent.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank SunnySiderToronto_ON
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Hamilton, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2009

Just returned from a week at the Gran Bahia Punta Cana with my husband and two sons. We had an amazing trip and would highly recommend this resort.
I had followed Trip Advisor prior to leaving and was ready for anything. I knew that this was a large resort and there would be wait times, but I was very impressed by the service. On the occassion that there was a line-up for the buffet, it moved VERY quickly and the staff was very efficient and getting people into the restaurant.
The room was spotless. I was concerned that we would not have enough towels based on some of the reviews that I read. The second day we only received a couple of towels. But every other day the towels were restocked...and, at least three times over the coarse of the vacation, a maid knocked at the door to provide even more towels.
The service was excellent too. On the second day of our trip, the air conditioner stopped working and I was very worried that we would get no help. My husband cannot live without his air! We made a call to the front desk and within 20 mins of the call someone was at our room and quickly fixed the situation (tip - the sliding door to the patio is connected to the air conditioning, so if the door is not closed or off its tracks, as in our case, the air conditioner will not come on). The service man quickly put the door back on its tracks and the situation was fixed. We thought this was pretty good service for such a large hotel.
I am now an expert at the "towel game": On the first full day of our stay, we went to the pool closest to our Villa after breakfast and only managed to find one lounge chair in the sun for all four of us. The second day, I had my 10 year old son run to the pool before we left for breakfast - he managed to find two lounge chairs, but they were both in the sun. We like our sun - but are a pretty pasty family (lol) and would prefer to sit under an umbrella. So...on the third day, my son and I set our alarm for 5am and quickly ran to the pool and had the pick of the crop. Needless to say, for the rest of the vacay we had the BEST seats at the pool! My son and I loved this game and the early morning hours were beautiful and quiet.
We were in Villa 17 - so we were located close to the lobby and further from the beach. We couldn't play the "towel game" at the beach since we were so far - although my son wanted to. So, we spent the mornings at the pool nearest the room, had lunch and took a break. Then, headed to the beach between 2 and 3 pm. We had no problems what-so-ever finding a lounger at the beach. The breeze on the beach was beautiful - my husband and I enjoyed the ocean and a good book. My sons had a great time going between the ocean and the large pool (they totally enjoyed watching the drunk people and entertainment at this pool - the pool by our room was much quieter and more sedate).
We had dinner at 3 a la carte restaurants: Our fave was the Dominican Restaurant - the shrimp entree was fabulous and the ambiance was great - eating under a thatched roof with a cool breeze blowing. We also enjoyed the Seafood Restaurant - the appetizer buffet was super, you didn't need an entree after that! And, the French/Gourmet restaurant - we loved the lobster entree.
People who complain about the "language" barrier really need to get over themselves. A lot of the staff didn't speak English, but they were trying. Part of the reason that we go away, is so we can experience other cultures. I loved saying Hola! to everyone and "gracias". We always managed to get our point across and understand the response. It was all part of the fun!
My only complaint would be the venders in the Market Square. I found them to be a little pushy and I'm not good at bargaining. At the beginning of the trip I found it quite frustrating, because I like to "window shop". I had planned to look and see what I liked and at the end of my trip purchase something. Well - it was difficult to get near these guys without them trying to sell you ANYTHING. All I wanted to do was LOOK. After the first couple of days I got use to it and was less frustrated. I guess it is just all part of the experience! lol.
I would definitely recommend this resort to anyone. Because it is so large it has something for everyone. The resort is beautiful, the beach is beautiful and the staff is great. So go and enjoy!!!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank 4Lease
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
canada777_9
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed March 3, 2009

I went to the Gran Bahia last year with a friend and from the moment we arrived at the hotel, our problems began. We had to wait for a few hours for our hotel room to be ready, even though everyone else's was ready. When we finally got our room, it was a smoking room, which we requested a NON-smoking room. The television didn't work, the shower didn't work, the air conditioner was broken, the lock box didn't work properly. We called the front desk many times for assistance but we ended up waiting and wasting our first night their with no help. Not one employee could help us with selecting restaurants for the week, we were giving different explanations each time on how to go about and do this. We both woke up a few times in the mornings to bug bites all over our legs and feet. Again, called for service to maybe have the sheets changed or something, but they didn't do anything. The food was good, sometimes the service was slow, but overall, a variety to choose from that was always fresh and hot. The beach was nice and big, however, if you wanted to stay by the pool, good luck finding a chair. The extra curricular activities were a blast! This resort is definitely more for families, so if you're looking to get away from that crowd, try another resort. I personally wouldn't go again but I wouldn't tell anyone to not go. Everyone has their own experiences with resorts.

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank canada777_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fargo, ND
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2009

We stayed at the Gran Bahia from Feb. 18th to the 25th. We had a great time. The place is kept up really well and very clean.
No one spoke english, but it's a spanish speaking country, so I can't really complain.
The pools were beautiful but you could NEVER find a chair unless you woke up at 7 a.m. and put your towel on one. Our towels were also stolen several times.
Another annoying thing about the pool is that the bars closed at 5 every night.
The food was pretty good for the most part. The buffet had a great selection but got a bit redundant after a few days. We went to the French restaurant for one of our meals. It was really good. Great lamb. The second one that we went to was the Seafood restaurant. Just okay. The last one that we went to was Japanese, which was our favorite.
This resort is huge. There are trolleys running all the time which was nice otherwise it was about a 15 minute walk to the beach.
We took a day trip to Saona Island. We really enjoyed it except for we were not told that it was a 2 hour drive each way to get to the boat. The boat was not exactly "luxury" like we were told either. The island was BEAUTIFUL though and it was the highlight of the trip.
I would definitely go back but I think that I would upgrade to the Diamond club just because there were LOTS of kids everywhere, especially in the pool area.
Overall, the staff was really friendly and the place was beautiful and clean and we hope to return!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AnnaFargo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2009

My beau and i stayed a week at the Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana during the second week in December 2008. We loved it completely and i'm returning with my mother in March 2009.
First i must say that the resort is on Bavaro Beach, which alone is worth 100s of dollars to be near. The beach is wonderful.. you don't have vendors strolling by bothering you, and the sand is pristine as is the water.
The resort grounds are pristine as well and i have near zero complaints about it.
They do have a tendency sometimes to overcook (to be precautious) or undercook (and not notice) the odd thing but hey, if you don't like it, just send it back like you would at home. That only happened at the a la cartes, the buffet was viturally flawless.
We had 3 a la cartes, the seafood was nice but overcooked. ask them to cook it a little less and you will be in heaven. i will next time.
the dominican restaurant was also nice and not crowded.
the japenese is where my beau got ill on the last day.. he suspects (and only suspects because we don't know for certain) that the fish was undercooked. he was in pain for many days after but does not blame the resort... accidents happen.
be sure to get your food cooked to your satisfaction, or not overcooked and you should be fine.
the nightly entertainment was fantastic, the nightclub was fantastic, the place is overall a wonderful resort. the rooms are great, our only problem was the coffee machine was on the blinks but hey, its all you can drink coffee at the buffet so no wurries.
Don't listen to the negative reviews.. i think they are made by people who know this places is a gem and want to keep it for themselves so it doesn't get too crowded.
I loved the Bahia Principe and will be returning with my own mother this month... so that shows how highly i view this resort.
I have heard complaints about the Ambar section so don't bother upgrading, it doesn't live up to the hype.
P.S. Also do the Bavaro Runner day trip, its fantastic. great buffet lunch, beautiful horse back riding, great scenery, great guides, its worth the $80 bucks...

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Erieswan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland,OH
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2009

I did not expect much because it was only 5 apples, but it was very nice! The only thing I reccomend.....do not sit in the chairs by the raised ledges in the pools because the kids spend all day jumping off of it. Oh, and if they have no more towel cards and you are checking out the next day...just take your towel to the front desk when you check out.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank scohen29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2009

This was my second trip the D.R. The first time we went, we found that most of the resorts were too big for our liking, but this time, I surprised my husband and my sons with a trip for Christmas. I knew that my teenage boys would love the space and variety of things to do that this resort offered. We are NOT picky people, and can easily find the good in really ordinary things. We've never had bad weather and have been blessed on all the trips that we've been on.
That being said, I'll tell you my thoughts in general on this resort.

Resort rooms and grounds- People need to get over and quit mentioning the mustiness of the rooms. It's lush, humid and tropical. What do you think?? I am still washing my clothes to get the "Dominican" smell out of them. It's part of travelling. If you don't like it...go to Vegas. It's dry there. The rooms were nice, clean, and well taken care of. We stayed in the Royal Golden area, so we were in building 4, a hop to the beach. We asked for ajoining rooms with our sons, and were given exactly that.
Food- I've travelled all over to all-inclusives in the Caribean, and the food is virtually identical. People complain, but there is soooooo much to eat that to say that you couldn't find anything, or didn't eat when you were there is ludacris. It's embarrassing actually. If you want 5 star dining, with perfect food, stay home and visit your favorite restaurants. Here...they do the best they can to accomodate all different cultures and tastes, and I thought they did a great job.
Beach- The sand is lovely, water is clear and beautiful. Hands down. Walk down the beach to the corner, and see the stinky seaweed, and you'd be grateful for our beach.
Entertainment- The nightly shows are exactly, again, as at other resorts. The lip-syncing gets old, but they work hard to entertain. Some are better than others, but it's not Broadway people!

Now...the truth. Remember...I'm not picky.

Never...yes...I said never...will I visit a resort this big. I'm no dummy, but finding your way around this place, is way too time consuming for me. Not to mention, that if you forget something...you are always riding a tram somewhere at a cost of 15 minutes one way. Not a bad diesel smelling ride. Readily available. Just not for me.

Royal Golden just means that you get a room close to the beach. That's it. Free internet time. The only other perk is 24 hour room service, which my sons used for nachos at 3 am. But you are a million miles from everything else. So what's the difference?? Don't glorify it. That's it.

People get sick here. Again, I've travelled to lots of different all inclusives and I'm sure that there are incidences of over indulgence of coconut drinks and sun, but I've never been anywhere with as many incidences of people missing out on most of their vacations because they are in their rooms or on and IV. That includes our last trip and this one. Good friends who were there the same time as us spent 3 days not enjoying the trip after a meal at the Mexican restaurant. So beware.

Drinks suck. Sorry. I'm not picky...but a five star all inclusive should cover premium liquors and nice drinks with fruit. When you can' t find anything you love to drink...it's bad. They were not short with giving you lots of what they had...you just didn't want what they had. I learned to love Tangerauy and tonic for a lack of other things to drink. I would have chopped off my left arm for a beer and Clamato. I know that's not available...but it's been available in lots of other all inclusives.

The a la cartes were really good. Our favorite night was at the grill. Great steaks. The sushi at the Japanese was ok...but the rest was just ok. The experience is cool though. Our chef didn't speak any English...so that wasn't fun.

My oldest son is 19 and he loved loved loved the disco. Spent every night partying with the young folk. We went one night and it smelled like barf, and was jam packed. Not my favorite. The karaoke bar was supposed to be fun, but we missed out on the nights that was available. I suggested to the support guys that they open the disco from 8-12 for the tweens. My younger son is 16, and was not allowed in the disco, even though he really just wanted to dance and meet people, and there is really nothing else for them to do other that watch the shows. My husband and I visited the casino almost everynight and did alright. If you start losing...leave. And the women at the casino desk were the most obnoxious, mean women in the D.R. I'm a nice smily girl...and I think that they are bitter inside that you have money to spend in there. Don't win and smile when you go up..cause they are rude rude.

Ok..so here's the kicker. As much as we pay for our trip, we almost spend again in tipping. We believe in it. We tip the maids, the waiters the bartenders the towel guy and almost anyone else we think might need it. I usually take ziploc bags filled with necessities like tampons, tylenol, and school supplies. So...needless to say, when we came home and I checked my luggage only to arrive back in Saskatchewan to see that all my jewellery, makeup and straightening iron were stolen from my bag...I was a little pissy!!!

I recieved a very special perfume decanter from my birthfather when I met him last year. Of course, I didn't take it on the plane with me, because it contained liquid, so I was sure to pack it in my checked luggage. Of course, it was pretty, so it was stolen along with all real and not real bling that I own. I always buy full coverage insurance when I travel to ensure that I am covered for baggage, cancellation and medical, only to be told that they don't cover most of the thing that were taken from me. Especially jewellery. My perfume decanter was a special edition...so of course I was devasted that it couldn't be replaced.

All I can say, is that if anything at all is special to you, be sure, even if you lock your luggage, that you carry it on the plane with you. If they take a curling iron or something it can be replaced. But I've talked to lots of travellers since my return and been told that they have experienced the same thing. One woman told me that she always puts her wedding rings in her checked luggage because her fingers swell on vacation. I consider it an educational lesson in travel.

Over all...the Gran Bahia is a beautiful property and definately has some high points, but it's over crowded and too big for my liking, and the D.R. in general is not somewhere that I will visit again.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank angelcuts6
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
#38 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#54 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#54 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#55 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#57 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 (1h 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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