We vacationed at this resort for a week at the end of February 2009. In total there were 4 adults and 3 kids, 7,6 and 5 in our party.
Upon arrival, the checkin was seamless. We had upgraded to diamond club and had our own checkin area where they served drinks and we received our maps and wristbands. From there, our baggage was loaded onto one of the small trams and we were taken to our villa maybe 2 or 3 minutes away. I think we were in #32.
The rooms were spotless, with tile floors and a huge bathroom with glass enclosed shower/whirlpool tub. We were on a ground floor with our patio right next door to our friends room. The power in the room functioned by inserting your room key into a slot near the door. Remember to bring a spare card with magnetic stripe so you can leave it in and have the a/c work when you are out. The fridge was stocked with beer and pop and was refilled daily. We went thru the beer quickly and just left a note for the maid "muchas cervesa por favor " and a few US dollars and it was stocked twice as full...We would usually leave $3 US daily and the room was spotless. Not much money to us but a lot to them.
As we had paid for the upgrade, we had a pool 50 feet from our villa that was for our use exclusively. ( great for 3 young kids who need pee breaks.) Much quieter than the other pools we went to. We also had a restaurant for our use only, just next to the pool. This was for breakfast and lunch only and it turned into an a la carte for dinner. This was very useful as it was so close to our rooms and it was far less busy than the lobby buffet restaurants.
We ate at the Mexican, Japanese, French and Italian a la cartes and enjoyed them all. The Japanese was in my opinion the best, with sushi, tepanyaki etc served as you sat around the chef. Very entertaining. For dessert you were then seated at another table. I loved it and so did my kids.
The buffet restaurants in the lobby were also good, with an excellent selection of dishes. There was something for everybody and the food was fresh, varied and abundant. It was generally busy, but we didnt wait for longer than 5 minutes to get in.
The most enjoyable restaurant for lunch was down at the beach. There wasnt as much selection as at the larger buffets, but you ate under huge thatched wooden umbrellas with a great view of the beach, surf and sun.
The service was generally good at all of the restaurants, your water glass was always full, and you never had to wait long for beer etc...
As our villa was located roughly in the centre of the resort, we generally walked everywhere, and were no more than a 10 minute walk from the restaurants or the lobby if you wanted to sit for a drink. We didnt take many of the trolleys that service the resort but they seemed to be quite frequent. All of the lobbies were beautiful, all open to the breeze, with high wooden ceilings and polished marble floors with fountains in the centre. I often went for a quiet afternoon coffee or tea to sit and relax. Again, service was good, with numerous servers circulating around, or self service for coffee tea, juice, scones and danishes. I went down to the Ambar adults only section of the resort to use the gym and stopped in their lobby for a drink several times. It was slightly smaller than the others and closer to the beach.
The beach was fantastic and we never had a problem getting beach chairs even though it was fairly busy. The sand was soft with the appearance of brown sugar. We walked for ages up and down the beach and played in the surf with the kids. They had never been to the ocean before and they had a blast.
The nightlife was good from the perspective of a family trip. I went to the karioke bar several times with my buddy while the wives stayed with the kids. ( We were the ones wearing the red hawaiian shirts singing AC/DC....) This bar was next to the casino, nightclub and shops in the town square section at the front of the resort. We had a good time at the karioke bar and only dropped into the nightclub once or twice.
I only watched one show in the main theatre, "Lion King", and it was done well and it was entertaining. Generally speaking, if you have been up since the morning, swimming all day, running around at the beach and so on, you will be tired come 9 or 10 and ready to relax...
We did one outside trip, the half day "Outback Tour" which was really almost a full day. It went into several small towns, toured a coffee and sugarcane plantation and a local school and ended at a beautiful beach where we went boogie boarding. Well worth it, the guides spoke perfect english, and they served ice cold Quisqaya beer whenever we stopped, along with pop in bottles for the kids. Very enjoyable day all in all.
We never had a language barrier with the staff and I really tried to use as much Spanish as I could. I made a little Spanish phrasebook before I came down and used it whenever possible. I could usually order dinner, ask for drinks, please and thank you's etc..People have to remember that if a Spanish speaker comes to Canada/UK/US, they wont expect that we will speak Spanish. They will have to try to get along in English. We are their guests. That being said, front desk staff, entertainment staff usually spoke English.
The grounds of the resort were very well taken care of. There appeared to be armies of groundskeepers watering plants, cleaning etc...I dont recall even seeing a cigarrette butt on the ground. There were palm trees all over the place and it was very pleasant.
The only minor negative is the 'pushy' attitudes of the vendors in the town square area, trying to get you to buy things. I just ignore them and move on, but some may find it annoying. That being said, I have seen that in many tourist spots from Jamaica, Bahamas, and Puerto Plata DR as well, so its nothing new. They are just trying to make a buck...
I cant think of anything negative to say as our group had a great time. Beautiful weather, blue skies, great beach and water, immaculate resort.I would have stayed for 2 weeks if I could. We would return to this resort again, no problem.
- 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