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“We didnt want to leave!”

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Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana
Ranked #63 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
toronto
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“We didnt want to leave!”
Reviewed March 31, 2009

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.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank ortona48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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ontario
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2009

We travelled to this hotel with our three children ages 3, 5 and 8 for the march break. I expected it to be busy since it is the March break. We all had a great time - the kids love the pools and the beach. They didn't even ask about activites! We enjoyed the beautiful weather and the great drinks! We were able to try 3 of the restaurants and of course the buffet - all were fine. There were plenty of selections and thankfully plenty of "kid-friendly" foods. The shows were quite good - especially Michael Jackson and the LIon King. I would have liked more day-time entertainment or games for kids. Check -in was a disaster - it took over 3 hours to get our room! Our room was quite a distance from the pool/beach but we enjoyed the walk (bring a stroller if you have kids under 5). The grounds are beautifully kept and very clean. There are plenty of mosquitos so take malaria medication. We all took malarone (even my 3 year old) and experienced no side effects. My husband got up at 6am to reserve chairs by the pool.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank geniola
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BRAMPTON
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2009

This was our first time at an all inclusive resort and we were totally impressed by this resort. The food and drinks were excellent. Great variety. Our room was very clean and the service was great. The resort itself is extremely well kept and the staff are all very friendly. Only thing we found was the language barrier but next time we know to take a dictionary with us. All in all it was the best vacation we've ever had. The weather happened to be amazing while we were there and the beach and pool area were beautiful. We went with another couple who enjoyed it as much as we did.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank JRMack69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
aurora
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2009

We traveled with 2 other families for a total of 12 of us (6 adults and 6 young children).

It started out by arriving there at noon and not being able to have our rooms until 5:30. I thought checkin was 3??

The language barrier with the lack of English speaking employees made things difficult. One a la carte restaurant actually misunderstood our question of a drink they after they just handed out thus us thinking the drinks were juices for the kids... We were told no alcohol until were in them and then asked the other waiter for the adult drinks and he said that the ones we had were them......... my 5 year old just drank a mix of fruit punch, orange juice and peach snapps!

For a 5 star resort and to pay a $29 USD fee to have use of the safe in the room is unbelievable. But believe me you want this insurance.

The transportation from hotel villas to the beach were in frequent, from our room it was a 20 min walk, with the shuttles it ranged from a 20 min to 30 min duration. Without kids no problem cause 90% of the time I could walk faster then the shuttle.

We found the staff (90%) of them to be rude, not friendly and arrogant. No real desire to learn English, and if you couldn't speak French or Spanish forget it.

Food could have been a lot better.

Unfortunately we had a beach chair incident with 2 different families from France on two different days. If you are reserving beach chairs I recommend you bring brightly coloured towels from home to stack your chairs out in the morning. We found (and others said the same of the same families) that they will take your chairs and claim them.

The one positive I have to say is we lost our son's camera and one of the staff found it and returned it to the reception inwhich we tipped him for his honesty. But asking for lost and found was an adventure. The problem with this resort is it is too large. You have 4 main lobbies, and when asked at each lobby they all said to go to a different lobby as they would not have it there. I had to plead them to take my room number and description of the camera. The next day one lobby that said they do not have a lost and found was approached this time by my wife and thankfully this time it was there.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank rgAurora
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aurora
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2009

We just returned from a one week stay at the Golden Section of the Gran Bahia Prinicipe Punta Cana. The hotel is beautiful, well maintained and clean. No bugs. The location on the beach is fantastic.

We booked our trip through itravel2000 and flew with Air Transat. We upgraded to the Golden Section to be near the beach. Our first room was beside the construction site. We stayed in that room the first night, but needed to move the second night because of the noise. It took all of the next day to relocate our two rooms. The websites I checked before travelling did not indicate that there was construction. I also spoke directly to the itravel2000 travel agent and she did not indicate that there was construction. Other hotel websites do indicate construction activity. In addition to waiting for our rooms, the toilets in both rooms were not working when we first checked in. They were repaired, but again we had to wait.

Once we moved we were located on the third floor of Villa 26. Between 5:30 pm and 7:00 pm there was no hot water or water pressure in the shower.

The Golden Section has it's own reception area which is supposed to take care of all the needs of the Golden guests...they try hard but it doesn't work very efficiently. The facility is too large with too many people. The beach and pools are always crowded. You are always too close to someone else. I am still not quite sure what being booked in the Golden Section did for us except locate us closer to the beach and provide one extra a la carte meal. Having the separate reception area did not benefit us because you always had to wait in line to speak to a hotel representative. There are 4 desks, but very rarely were there four people there to serve you.

We found the food to be quite good. There is a lot of variety and many buffet restaurants to sample. The a la carte restaurants (4 choices if you are staying in the Golden section) were good but not fantastic, except maybe the Mediterranean Restaurant.

There are always activities taking place throughout the resort. There are beach/pool activities, theatre productions, outdoor bands, a casino, a disco and a karakoe bar. The main lobby of the hotel is beautiful, with many tables to sit at and have a drink.

There is golf available at the site. It is $145.00 US for the round with cart. Rentals of clubs is an additional $45.00 US...quite pricey.

Tips - Before choosing the tour operator check their policies on checking in and checking out. Some of the tour operators actually have your room key available for you when you are picked up at the airport. Air Transat does not. We arrived at the hotel at 12:00 noon. We had our first room at 2:45 pm and the second room at 5:30 pm. Check out was 6:30 am for a 12:00 noon flight. We spent a lot of time in lineups.

We travelled with our two teenage children and they did not agree with our assessment regarding the overcrowding. Our daughter indicated that as a student she is always waiting in lineups for things and waiting in buses, she was not put out by the waiting and the crowds.

While the resort and the rooms are gorgeous we found the place too crowded. There is so much that is positive about this resort and the concept of "taking care of the guests" is good, however it doesn't seem to quite work.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
2 Thank dgAurora
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2009

We came back from this resort on Friday. We were in the Golden section. Beautiful place. I cannot understand people that have complaints about this place. We have been to 8 resorts in Punta Cana and this one is high on my list. Food is great and I am a picky eater. Beach beautiful. Rooms very nice and maid service was excellent.
If you have questions please send me an e-mail, I will be happy to answer.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank paulettec
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver
Level Contributor
104 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2009

This was our first trip to the Dominican Republic
We flew with Air Transat which has more leg room now in economy and were checked in and received our key and map of resort etc, on the coach from the airport. We were taken to our room with our luggage as soon as we arrived.

Resort: We have stayed at other Gran Bahia Principe resorts so the buildings and landscaping at GBP Punta Cana were very similar. Everywhere on the resort is very clean and beautifully landscaped.

Room: We were in Royal Golden, villa #7, 3rd floor. Our room was very spacious and clean with coffee maker, fully stocked mini fridge etc. The bathroom was big and well lit with magnifying mirror, hairdryer and the water pressure in the shower was good. There was also bathrobes and slippers. Our maid Isabelle, kept the room very clean throughout our stay.

Beach: The beach was quite busy but we always found some beach chairs. We walked a long way in both directions. The staff keep the beach very clean. It's one of the nicer beaches along that stretch. The sea was quite rough during our stay so there was no water sports.

Pools: There was not many free chairs around the small pool in the middle of the resort. They were being saved with towels earlier in the day. I hate this!
We had no problem finding chairs at the bigger pool by the beach.

Food: From past experience we know it’s best to go for the cook-to-order stations in the buffet. This is the best way of insuring your food is hot. We had great omelets in the morning. The fresh bread was very good and there was a good selection of cheeses. On the whole there was quite a big choice and we could always find something to eat and never went hungry. We had no trouble booking the a-la-cartes, although the food was not great in any of them and the service in the Mediterranean was painfully slow. My husband got very sick with a high fever on our 3rd day there and didn't have much of an appetite the rest of the trip. We both ate much the same foods so not sure what made him so sick. It may have been nothing to do with anything he ate.

Weather: It rained all but 1 day of our trip. Some days only the odd tropical shower now and then but 1 day it rained most of the day. It was also quite windy so there was no humidity. There was also no bugs except some very tiny ones in our bathroom the day we arrived. We thought they came off some flowers that the maid had put around for decoration.

Trips: We went on 2 trips. Manarium and Bavaro Runners. We enjoyed both trips but found them a bit gimmicky. It's good to get off the resort though and see a bit of the countryside.
It is quite disturbing to see so much garbage along the roadside, pilled high in some places.

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Esgyen
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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