We chose Bahia because it has palapas on the beach (a must for us), and did not sound too bad by description, so we decided to give it a try, because we never went there before, but like the area.
Three reasons why we will not come back:
1. Not enough facilities for the number of guests: you cannot get a la carte reservations, there are lines in the bathrooms, the reception area in the evening is full, they run out of towels at the beach after 4- 4:30, they do not serve tea/coffee during dinner in the main area to cut on time people spend there. If you like to end your dinner with a cup of tea with some cheese or dessert, you have to either take food out in napkins to reception area (plates not allowed out), or smuggle a cup of tea or coffee in (use a side door, cups are not allowed in)
2. Noise. At the beach, the activities people have loud amplifiers that cover the whole pool, beach, and swimming area. In the evening in the reception area, very loud music prevents any attempt to relax.
3. Multitude of small things that you expect based on experience in other places but do not get.
Beach: palapas indeed plenty there and at the pool. Due to huge number of guests compared to the size of the beach, the density of people is much higher than what you see on abutting resorts when you walk along the beach. I saw people trying in vain to find available seat. The activities guys, even when counting 1-2-3 for a dozen people, use amplifiers loud enough to carry their voices over the whole pool, beach and swimming area. The women's bathroom often has a line, there is a nearly constant puddle at the entrance to it. There are no towels available after around 4:30 PM. No changing cabins, which adds to the lines in the bathrooms.
Room: Large and clean, large balcony. The balcony has no rack to dry swimming suits, and the bathroom has no forced ventilation, so swimsuits do not dry there. Good quality bed, awful pillows. The "jacuzzi" tab has no holes in the back, only on the sides. The toilet and bathtub are not separate, so if one person is taking a bath.. The shower was a hand held that you could position as an overhead.The TV was an old 19-inch one. There was an ice bucket, but no ice machine. AC is a fiction: the temperature was never below what it was outside, although we closed and locked the balcony as instructed. The clock turns off when you go out, and needs to be reset every night. If you are a beer drinker, it was not Presidente, but some cheap alternative.
Service: in the general area, it takes 15-20 min to get water and wine. After getting served at the end of the meal early in our stay, we made a point to stay put at the table until wine is not only ordered, but also served. Service is better in the a la carte places, but not in Santa Fe during lunch.
Drinks: Twinning tea (pleasant surprise), but coffee is not good. Nescafe instant decaf is available, but not the regular one. The machines in the bars brew very weak mixture even when you use espresso button. Red wine is quite drinkable, but I did not like their white wine and beer. They make very good sangria. The cocktails are so weak, that we got into a habit of ordering the rum, brandy, etc neat alongside every cocktail to fix it at the table. Asking the barman to do it results in even weaker drink.
Breakfast : usual stuff sufficient to have any kind of British, continental, American, etc. breakfast. The main variety was in the condition of boiled eggs : it could be anything between hard-boiled and liquid-whites-and-yolks. Decent bread in the main area (but not Santa Fe, there was no cutting board and breads that go with it), poor choice of cheese. Daily appearance of lox (at Santa Fe).
Lunch: eatable. Good choice of fish, meat usually tough.
Dinner: ditto in the common area.
A la carte restaurants. Definitely reserve ahead of time. We came on Monday around 4 PM, could not get reservations "because the system is down". On Tuesday, the first day we could get a reservation was Friday!
The French: Lobster bisque, shrimp appetizer, lamb, chocolate dessert were very good and beautifully plated. Onion soup was not what you expect in a French restaurant.
The Garden Grill has decent appetizers, rib eye and tenderloin, but when I ordered "shrimp skewers", I got a single skewer with five medium-sized shrimps on it.
Seafood place: the best appetizers we had in the resort. The omnipresent rib eye was good, but you would expect different food in different a la carte restaurants. The lobster casserole was not much different from the seafood stew that was served for lunch. I had to use lime, salt, and pepper to give it some taste.
Santa Fe: the appetizers are different types of fillings wrapped into dough. The mixed grill comprised a small piece of chicken grilled to a crisp, a piece of lamb about a square inch mainly consisting of a bone, and a small but well-grilled meat.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Facilities and services 2 lake-style pools Large sun terrace New relaxation zone with Bali beds, sun umbrellas and loungers Pool and beach towels BAHIA SPA (additional charge) Sports facilities: gym, 3 tennis courts (floodlit for an additional charge), multi-sports court Water activity centre WiFi access in the lobby (1h per day free of charge) and in rooms (additional charge) Entertainment theatre Wedding gazebo 1 buffet restaurant and 17 speciality restaurants Japanese restaurant 10 bars 3 Snack Bars Cocktail Lounge Punta Blanca Golf Club: 18 hole Golf Punta Blanca Golf Club designed by Nick Price (additional charge) Pueblo Principe: Shopping and Leisure Mall with local craft stores, live music, shows, stores, bars, karaoke, disco and casino Rooms 816 rooms including two types: Superior Junior Suite and Club Hacienda Junior Suite Room facilities: King size bed or two full size beds Fully-equipped bathroom with hydromassage bath tub, hair dryer and magnifying mirror Sitting area with sofa Air conditioning Ceiling fan Telephone Alarm clock Satellite TV Minibar Coffee-making facilities Safe (additional charge) Ironing set Wifi (additional charge) Club Hacienda 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: Mini Club for children aged 4 to 12 Evening Mini Disco Babysitting service (additional charge) Bahia Scouts Water Park Fun Area and Adventure Park (additional charge) Teens' Club (11-16 years) Other services 24 hour medical service (additional charge) Pharmacy (additional charge) Bus stop opposite the hotel Meeting and convention room Personalised menus (for celiacs, diabetics, etc.) Available on request and subject to circumstances Specialised service for organising weddings, incentive trips, events and anniversaries ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Gran Bahia Punta Cana
- Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana
- Bahia Principe Dominican Republic
- Gran Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort
- Punta Cana Bahia Principe
- Gran Bahia Principe Bavaro Punta Cana
- Principe Punta Cana
- Bahia Punta Cana
- Bahia Resort Principe
- Gran Bahia Principe Dominican Republic