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“NIce resort but needs improvement”

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Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro
Ranked #57 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“NIce resort but needs improvement”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2013

We had a great vacation in terms of weather, beach, pools, etc but there were so many things that bothered us.
1. The rooms are old so even though they're clean, the floors are stained and gross looking. The mattress and pillows were awful so it wasn't a restful sleep. My parents room had a bad smell to it and their shower was broken and when they called to complain no one cared and it didnt get fixed till the next afternoon.
2. We upgraded to Diamond club which was good because check in was fast and our rooms were closer to the beach. If you're far from the beach and pools you need to wait for a troller which sometimes took 10 mins to arrive. This was annoying because we have a toddler who was hungry and waiting to get to the lobby for meals was a pain if we were waiting too long.
3. The food was just ok. The buffets were easier for us because of the baby so we got to pick whatever we wanted but the flavours are just ok.
4. It's ridiculous that the restaurants are all booked by the time you arrive. They could barely give us 3 days unless we went really early or really late. But either way we enjoyed the buffet more cause there are more options.
5. The drinks were too sweet so we didn't love them.
6. The staff barely speaks english so it was hard to get what you wanted....like asking for milk for the baby for example.
7. If you tip the staff you'll get better service, for example tip your maid and she'll give you fresh towels everyday.
8. There are no chairs by the pool or beach unless you go put your towels on them before 8. If you show up at 9 you won't find anything.
9. We would have preferred a warmer pool but it wasn't freezing either like some places.
10. Overall it's very nice and well kept and the beach is wonderful but if you want great food and great service find someplace smaller because this place is just too big to keep everyone happy and taken care of.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sayeh d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Customer Service at Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro, responded to this review, January 7, 2013
Dear Guest,

Receive cordial greetings from all the team working at Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort, especially from our Quality & Customer Service Department.

We would like to extend our most sincere apologies for any inconveniences or difficulties you may have experienced during your stay.

In relation to your opinion about the cleanliness of the room, let us state you that they are subject to strict supervision. In fact, the health and welfare of our guests are our priority and we follow a strict program of cleaning and constant monitoring of all quality standards in our hotel.

It is important to remark that we have our customer service departments, such as Express Service where there is an operator 24 hours, Reception that also works 24 hours, and the Guest Service where there are Concierges available from 8:00hrs to 23:00hrs, in order to attend our guests' needs or reported failures.

Concerning your observation about our a la carte restaurants, we would like to let you know that, due to internal policies and operational reasons, dinner reservations are subject to availability and may not adjust to your exact request.

We apologize for the impression you could perceive for the language barrier with some of our staff members. Please allow us to inform you that we continuously work with our Human Resources and Quality departments to reinforce the training of our personnel. We strongly believe that our guest’s satisfaction depends of their daily performance.

We hope you will be willing to give us the opportunity to welcome you once again and be able to change any negative perception, demonstrating you the commitment and quality of service we have exhibited through the years.

Kind regards,


Karen Mantilla
Social Media Coordinator
Grand Bahía Príncipe Bávaro Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2013

This was a fantastic vacation!

Beach: The beach is absolutely beautiful. The water is warm and some days, the waves were pretty high, so they were loads of fun to play in. The beach area is large, but you still have to get there early to grab a chair. If not, you can ask one of the guys that work there to find you a chair for a small tip. There are lots of vendors, but they leave you alone if you don't pay attention.

The bars: there are so many! At the pool, Lidia and Geovanny were fantastic! The swim-up bars were a blast and we met lots of people just hanging around there. At the main pool, you'll find Santos, Francisco and others, who are very chatty and lively - a great bunch!

The animacion: The animacion guys were pretty fun, they seem to enjoy their jobs. Jose and Carlos (spaguetti) made a real effort to gather crowds and make the activities super fun. It's nice to have activities to do other than just sit around all day. They put on great shows at night and livened up the disco. The disco has lots of people. THere is also a karaoke bar. I'd say it's a party place.

the restaurants: You have to remember that there are thousands of people on the resort. Considering this, the food is quite decent. No one got sick. The only thing I would like to see is less fried and sugary foods. For example, the chicken was always fried. We ate in 4 restaurants, it's nice just to get away from the buffet. The service everywhere, including the buffet was always top notch. A special thank you to José who made our New Year's eve supper at the Capriccio restaurant a night to remember!

The rooms: We were only in our rooms to shower and sleep, so we were not fussy about it. The size was good for two people, but we didn't have a view on anything. But, we didn't mind, we barely spent anytime in the room. It was always clean.

the resort: The resort is really big and you take a train to get around. Walking to the beach from our rooms took almost 30 minutes! The train was frequent. However, I have to say I often saw drivers texting while driving people and was not impressed with that. The resort is only 30 minutes from the airport, so you get there quickly after landing.

My biggest complaint is again the tour representative on site from TMR (last year with Air Canada Vacations, the rep was as bad). I don't find this reps are helpful and they always get us to go solve our problem first before intervening. They literally say " go ask yourself and if it still doesn't work, I'll see what I can do". What is the point of the rep being their if I have to figure all of this out on my own anyway? They talk to you as if you were children and had never traveled anywhere before. Be resourceful and don't bother asking them anything.

We had an unforgettable trip, met great people, weather was beautiful and the beach was amazing. Highly recommended for a carefree vacation. I will probably stick to smaller resorts in the future, but only out of personal preference, not because there was anything wrong with this one.

Room Tip: The resort is 4 hotels. Bavaro, Premier and Punta Cana are furthest from the beach. Ambar (adults on...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank mtrlgrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Customer Service at Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro, responded to this review, January 7, 2013
Dear Guest,

Receive cordial greetings from all the team working at Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort, especially from our Quality & Customer Service Department.

First of all, we would like to thank you for bringing to our attention your comments about your stay in our Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro.

Please allow us to reassure that we are extremely proud to have provided you an unforgettable week, which reflects the commitment and quality of service we have exhibited through the years.

Thank you for your recent review and for acknowledging Lidia, Geovanny, Francisco, Jose, Carlos (spaguetti), and Jose from the Italian restaurant. They will be delighted to learn your wonderful comments.

We would like to have the opportunity to welcome you once again at any of our Hotels, especially either of our Luxury Don Pablo Collection, which are a superior category and offer you an even more exclusive service, and continue providing the most unforgettable experiences.

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Sincerely,


Karen Mantilla
Social Media Coordinator
Grand Bahía Príncipe Bávaro Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2013

Hate this resort, staff is terrible....stay away! Not worth it! Food and drinks are poor quality. Rooms are ok, no light beer. Buffet is ok. A la Cartes are horrible. The staff doesn't make any attempt at customer service. Towels are dirty. Kids escaped the kids club and they had no idea. Wow!

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank christopher_bertrand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Customer Service at Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro, responded to this review, January 5, 2013
Dear Guest,

Receive cordial greetings from all the team working at Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort, especially from our Quality & Customer Service Department.

Thank you for taking the time to let us know about your experience at our Hotel. We greatly appreciate your feedback as it enables us to continue improving and providing our service for our guests.

Regarding your comments about our staff, please allow us to inform you that your point of view has quite surprised us, since it is not usual that we receive those kinds of remarks from our clients, but on the contrary, we usually receive excellent feedback about their friendliness and attentiveness.

It is important to remark that we constantly monitor our Staff members through our Human Resources and Quality Department, in order to ensure that we provide our guests with the hospitality and professionalism that characterize them.

Concerning your observations about the quality of our food and beverage, we would like to point out that our menus are composed by carefully selected products. Indeed, our satisfaction’s questionnaires always reflect high punctuations.

In relation to your opinion about the cleanliness of our towels, let us state that we follow a strict program of cleaning and constant monitoring of all quality standards in our hotel. In fact, the health and welfare of our guests are our top priorities.

We would like to extend our most sincere apologies for any inconveniences or difficulties you may have experienced during your stay. We apologize if you felt you did not receive the service you were entitled to, but be assured that your comments have been taken in the highest consideration.

We hope you will be willing to give us the opportunity to welcome you once again at our hotel to demonstrate you the commitment and quality of service we have exhibited through the years, and that way be able to change any negative perception you may have.

Best regards,


Karen Mantilla
Social Media Coordinator
Grand Bahía Príncipe Bávaro Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
toronto
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2013

Good Points:
• Beautiful Beach
• Beautiful Grounds
• Shuttle Service to take you around
• Nice Pools
• Nice Staff
• Large Rooms
• Book rooms in Golden section if possible as they are closest to beach
and pools
Bad Points:
• Check-in process is very slow
• Resort is too Big 5 resorts in one
• Can’t go to all the restaurants for buffets
• Timing hard to get for sit-down restaurants
• Food is ok not great as it is produced for the masses
• Always running out of towels at the pools and the beach
• No elevators 3 story buildings
• Ensure you get what you paid for....
I booked the Bavaro and they tried to put me in privilege section that
is their worst section and orange band won’t allow you into any other buffet
restaurants.

Room Tip: Building 37 is walking distance to buffet restaurant
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jazzibtoronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Customer Service at Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro, responded to this review, January 5, 2013
Dear Guest,

Receive cordial greetings from all the team working at Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort, especially from our Quality & Customer Service department.

We would like to extend our most sincere apologies for any inconveniences or difficulties you may have experienced during your stay.

Concerning your observations about a la carte reservations, we would like to let you know that, due to internal policies and operational reasons, dinner reservations are subject to availability. In the Bavaro Hotel, for 7 and 6 nights of stay our guests may book 3 a la carte restaurants, for 5 nights 2 a la carte, and so on. It is important to remark that each Hotel has their corresponding buffet for their own guests.

We are glad to find out that there were some aspects from our Hotel you find worth to mention, especially our beautiful Beach, shuttle service, nice pool, courteous staff, and large rooms.

We would like to have the opportunity to welcome you once again at any of our Hotels, especially either of our Luxury Don Pablo Collection, which are a superior category and offer you an even more exclusive service, and that way be able to change any negative perception you may have about us.

Kind regards,


Karen Mantilla
Social Media Coordinator
Grand Bahía Príncipe Bávaro Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2013

To start off this resort is split into 4 sections (5 technically). The Amber and Esmeralda are 6 stars and on the outer sides. The Bavaro and Punta Cana are in the middle, which are 5 stars. The Privilege club is before the lobby, which is Bahia's timeshare. I feel that the Bavaro and Punta Cana area are treated like the ugly step sister. Everything falls short except for the common areas like the beach, pool, and bartending service.

Front Desk: Upon arrival the receptionist handed us a map, two keys, two towels cards and sent us on our way with no further explanation about the resort, restaurants times, services, etc. We had to figure it out on our own from the map with very small print. Safe is an extra 4USD a day.

Food: Possibly the worst food I have ever eaten. I have stayed at 3 star and 4 star hotels where you were able to find one item at the buffet to be edible enough to eat throughout the week. For this resort, it would be the bread. The seafood that is served is very fishy tasting or over salted. On one night only, the served shrimp cocktail and cold mussels. However, the mussels were not washed well and had sand so we stopped after the first bite. The only meat that was good was the beef if you found a piece that wasn't fatty, grizzled, or blood pink inside. This wasn't a daily item that was served. Pasta was al dente but was taken to the extreme, it was hardly cooked.

Ale cart: restaurants: The French restaurant was very good but you barely got any food. If you choose this restaurant make sure you eat at the buffet first because they do not offer a side with your meal. We went to this one because it was advertised as the only restaurant that offered lobster pieces. The pieces are about 3 bites. We also went to the Japanese hibachi restaurant. The food quantity is very large, but all items are very heavily salted.

Nonalcoholic Beverages: My biggest problem with this resort was the inability to get a beverage. There are no soda fountain machines at the buffet. The one at the beach bar was empty every day during our 8 day stay. The waiters will serve you water and/or wine for lunch and dinner. You can ask for a soda, but they never return with it. On one occurrence at breakfast, they didn't even have a juice fountain machine. We were only able to get coffee as water wasn't even being served until lunch. The juice fountain appeared at breakfast for the rest of our stay, but it is very watered down.

Room: We were on a ground floor so I'm not sure if we were unlucky or if this is how every room was. Ours was very DARK and old but close to the beach. They had 40 watt frosted bulbs so even with the lights on it was very dimly lit. They have a 15 inch flat screen and decent beds. The bathroom tub/shower had a door that ran across only half way. It was a struggle to shower without flooding the entire bathroom. As with all Punta Cana hotels, the air conditioning would shut off during the night and resume at 5am. We kept ours on full blast the whole time to keep the musty smell away.

Pool/Beach: As I said above, our room was closest to the beach so this was a treat. The beach is absolutely breath taking. They have plenty of sun and shade spots with palm trees and palapas. There was always a chair available and none of them were broken. The workers who keep up the beach do a fantastic job. They even assist you in finding a chair and taking it to where you want to be seated. The beach restrooms were emasculate all the time. Being close to the beach/pool, you would expect otherwise, but the attendant keeps it spotless and smelling beautifully any time you go in. The only negative thing about the beach was the hassling of timeshare sellers for the privileged section in Bahia. They do not take no for an answer if you repeat yourself several times.

Trolley system: A nice perk to this hotel is their trolley system. As I said before, we were closest to one end so we never had to wait for a ride. It travels nonstop down the entire length of the resort. They have two or three rows of them I believe.

Conclusion: There are too many other beautiful resorts to stay at than to return to this one.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Frutta00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Customer Service at Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro, responded to this review, January 5, 2013
Dear Guest,

Receive cordial greetings from all the team working at Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort, especially from our Quality & Customer Service department.

We would like to thank you for bringing to our attention your comments about your stay in our Hotel.

We would like to extend our most sincere apologies for any inconveniences or difficulties you may have experienced during your stay.

Regarding your comments about the food in our resort, we must say that the level of satisfaction obtained concerning the quality and variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner services has always been very elevated according to the opinions reflected in our quality questionnaires.

Concerning your experience about the inability to get a beverage, please allow us to inform you that we have fountain machines at our buffets and beach restaurants, and they are constantly restock. We follow a very strict program and monitoring of all standards of quality to maintain the level of service expected from our guest.

Thank you for mentioning our beach workers and trolley system.

We would like to have the opportunity to welcome you once again at Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort to experience the hospitality of our people, the quality of our services and facilities and change any negative perception you may have about us.

Kind regards,


Karen Mantilla
Social Media Coordinator
Grand Bahía Príncipe Bávaro Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa
Level Contributor
16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2013

I stayed at this resort with my husband and our two 20 year old daughters the week of 15-22 December 2012. This was in fact the second time we’ve stayed at this resort, the first being in March 2010 (pre-Trip Advisor days!). We rarely stay at the same location twice, despite how often we travel to the Caribbean, and this in itself gives you an idea of how much we like this particular chain and location.

You’ve already likely read many reviews and have a good idea of what BHP is like. I’ll add just a few comments.

1.Yes, it is MASSIVE. For our young and active family this was not a problem, and the trolley’s run with convenient regularity if you don’t want to walk the entire length of the resort (as was my case when I was in high heels for dinner!) It is also a very beautiful resort, lush and well maintained. I did not meet any staff member that was not kind and welcoming, and overall I was very impressed with the level of client service throughout my stay at the BHP.
2.The beach as you all know is spectacular. Although we were in high season, it was pretty easy to get a beach chair with shade up until about 9 or 9:30am. After that, things are getting tight. There were a couple of staff members that were running around the beach to find empty chairs for folks arriving late to the beach. I am not sure about how quickly the pool spots fill up as we were never at the pool.
3.We were in the Diamond Club (as returning patrons) and had rooms closer to the beach (building 26) and were able to eat at the Santa Fe restaurant for breakfast and lunch. We ate there EVERY day and the staff working there were fabulous. A special note to thank Jose, Luis and Wellington for their kind service as well as the lovely young lady that works at the front desk of the Santa Fe at Breakfast (sadly her name now escapes me!).
4.Make your a la carte reservations as soon as you arrive or you risk being disappointed. I am not sure if it happens all of the time, but it was quite challenging to try and get reservations at the restaurants that we wanted to go to, at the times that worked best for us. In the end, thanks to Yocalis who went above and beyond to help us out, we were able to try several of the a la cartes. Many,many thanks Yocalis!
5. The food was very good - lots of variety, fresh fruit, and plenty of options even for picky eaters. The coffee in the machines at the main lobby is the best!!!!
6.I would easily recommend this resort to anyone and would happily return to this location again.
Feel free to message me with any questions you may have,

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Tretski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Customer Service at Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro, responded to this review, January 4, 2013
Dear Guest,

Receive cordial greetings from all the team working at Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort, especially from our Quality & Customer Service Department.

We greatly appreciate that you have chosen once again one of our Resorts as your holiday destination.

Thank you for taking the time to post a review of your recent stay at our hotel. We sincerely appreciate all feedback.

Please be assured that your wonderful comments will be forward to Jose, Luis, Wellington, Yocalis, and Cornelis, the lovely young lady that works at the front desk of the Santa Fe.

We would like to take this opportunity to remark that, due to internal policies and operational reasons, dinner reservations are subject to availability and may not adjust to your exact request.

We are very pleased to read that you enjoyed your holidays thanks to our rich gastronomy, as well as the good service from our employees. At Bahia Principe our goal is to make your stay become an unforgettable experience.

Looking forward welcoming you once again!

Best regards,


Karen Mantilla
Social Media Coordinator
Grand Bahía Príncipe Bávaro Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2013

I am a picky person but this is a positive review. Although most of the complaints laid out in other reviews are valid, I view them as small flaws in the context of a reasonably-priced, relaxing, well maintained resort on a beautiful beach with friendly staff and decent eats. As you’ll see below, I attempted to summarize a "typical day” but as you read on, you’ll see it looks more like a typical review. And I gave up on consistent verb tense. (Sorry.)

We wake up around 8 with a loose plan for the day- grab an ideal spot by the beach and chill out. To do so, we walk five minutes to the sand or jump on one of the shuttle trams if feeling lazy. We say hello to our friend at the towel station (Hola Bascal!), grab some water and walk towards the sea. On our way we pass three large pool complexes and lush gardens, all immaculately maintained.

Once at the beach, there are many good seats but the best chairs come with umbrellas and people grab them early. Once claimed by throwing a towel down, we enjoyed our spot and found the service was great. While I never thought that sand on the end of my lounge chair was a major problem, I got a kick out of the friendly people (Hola Moises!) who came by to sweep it off at regular intervals. (Note- the pool chairs go quickly too.) Yes, the beach was crowded, but it didn’t take much work to find a good spot. (Note- there were between 7,000 and 9,000 guests at the whole Bahia complex this week, according to management.)

Eventually we'd head back to towards the lobby for buffet breakfast. There are a few buffets with basically identical food and ambiance. All buffet meals have a great selection and breakfast is no exception. There all always many egg choices including a few custom stations with freshly cracked omelets. They have everything- fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, smoked salmon, beans, etc. Later in the trip we discovered a smaller buffet breakfast offering at one outdoor cafe by the beach. Although the options were more limited, I wish we would have discovered it sooner because it was so lovely to eat in that setting.
Breakfast ends at 1030 and there is no alternative late breakfast spot (it seemed) If you can't wait until noon for lunch options to open, the only choice we found was the coffee stations, which have brewed choices, machines that make every fancy drink imaginable, and offer a pastry once in a while. (Ok… it might have helped if meal time and location info was provided in writing, but we never spotted any “info binder” or the like. We did ask, but never received a full answer.)

After breakfast, we might check email (since free wifi is only available in lobby areas and paid wifi is spendy) and head back to the room to stash our valuables and slather up the sunscreen. Then back to the beach (usually) or the pool if it looked like something fun was going on. Staff are very friendly and run silly programs all day, like in-pool or on beach "exercise" classes, dance classes, various pageants and contests. (Hola Ramon and Isaac!) But we enjoyed relaxing and reading and dipping into the warm water now and again.

There aren't many formal activities scheduled during the day but a schedule lists the various loosely organized pool and beach programs. I participated in a "marathon" (7k actually) one morning but nothing more complicated than that. (None of the wine tasting, bird watching etc., you might find on a cruise ship.) There is also a full schedule of activities for children including trips to the on-campus kid-sized waterpark. (Rumor has it they are building a larger waterpark for all visitors next year!)

All sports equipment is available for free, including tennis gear, kayaks and (a few) bikes. There is a little fake town with a number of shops (more on that below) and every few days more local vendors set up stalls. The casino is small and only opens at 4 pm. Many excursions are offered but we skipped them this time because we found that there was enough to do on campus. One day we had a driver take us to town to get some more sunblock and Yogen Fruz but otherwise we stuck around.

Lunchtime had a few more options in terms of ambience but with similar food. Although the buffets are open and offered great healthy yummy options, a few beachside buffets were high quality enough that despite the reduced selection, were more appealing than heading back towards the lobby. At the beach buffets we enjoyed salads, cooked veggies, pizza, anything slathered in fresh salsa and guac but mostly the really yummy gazpacho. If we went back to the big indoor buffets the selection was much larger and we would always start with “Rincon Vegetariano"- the vegetarian corner where there were a few special options. But there was plenty to eat besides that including freshly grilled fish and many more entrees that seemed like they were probably vegetarian. (Yes to the roasted eggplant and chickpeas, no to the bean stew and stuffed peppers.). Desserts were unexceptional, which didn't bother us since fruit was plentiful and we were full anyhow. We especially enjoyed ending a meal by slurping passion fruit seeds, though.

Besides all of that food, this was our first "all you can drink" experience. Alcoholic beverages are widely available from about 10 am (and there's always the in room mini fridge- at no extra charge unless you need to order extra refills besides the daily replenishment.). Besides bars in every pool, the lobbies, the beaches and other public spaces were replete with watering holes. Several daily specials (e.g. "Barbie"- sparking wine, peach juice and passion fruit puree) were promoted but you were welcome to anything (within limits) at any time (basically). Only cheap beer was on offer but both wine and liqueur were available in “free” and "charge it to my room" classes. We always opted for free (which included recognizable brands like Smirnoff and Stoli) but it certainly seemed like everything (including wine) was at about half-proof. Despite regular refills, the only time I came close to feeling a buzz was while sitting poolside, midday, choosing to treat dehydration with frozen rum-based Bahama Mamas. In an effort to get our money's worth, we sampled as much as possible (from morning Bloody Mary's to decaf Irish Coffee nightcaps) but barely scratched the surface on the booze front.

Tipping is not required and we felt no pressure to do so. However, on a friend's advice, we arrived with many dollar bills and usually tipped one per pair of drinks, for table service, and for various other services rendered. It was always greatly appreciated. The staff is mostly Dominican (with a number of Haitian and other international team members) and were friendly and helpful across the board. Although some struggled with English, we enjoyed interacting with them throughout the day. The language barrier was frustrating at times but if somebody didn't understand your question they usually were able to point out somebody nearby to help. This is a Spanish owned resort in a Spanish speaking country, so this was naturally part of the deal even though guests were mostly non-Spanish speakers. (I was told that most visitors of late are from Canada and Russia, followed by the US. But we met people from all over the world and were surprised by how far people traveled.) While the language didn't pose a real problem, we experienced some admin frustrations. Lost and found was an exasperating process as was changing a restaurant reservation. Otherwise things ran fairly smoothly and service requests were addressed quickly.

Rooms were modern and comfortable, if a bit musty from the humidity. Like the rest of the resort, clocks are nowhere to be found but otherwise all of the other amenities were offered including a nice patio area. We didn't spend much time in the room, however.

After the day outdoors, we'd wash up and dress up for dinner. Formal dress is never required but dressing too casually is a no-no in the evening. Although the buffets are open and offer similar fare as lunch, people all look a bit spiffier in the evening. Our package also included three nights at the themed a la carte restaurants of our choice, where an actual dress code is imposed. We especially enjoyed the food and atmosphere at the Japanese a la carte. The other two (bbq and southwest) were just so-so, but it was nice to have a change of scenery and an actual menu. (In truth, the bbq has no menu- just a buffet plus some specialty meats. Probably not the best choice for mostly-vegetarians, despite it being the only known evening option with outdoor seating.) We had no spectacular meals but plenty of good food.

After dinner, at least two different evening shows were offered each night in two theaters. They were well done but nothing I would personally seek out in the real world. The circus (trapeze show) was impressive and for all I know there were some amazing shows I missed. The open air theatre offered a late show in the area known as Pueblo Principe- a little "city" I referred to as "Epcot. " That's where you could find many little shops (some with reasonably priced gifts but mostly schlock), the casino (unimpressive) a bar and dance club.

The sports bar doubled as a karaoke bar after 10 pm and was a fun place to congregate. The staff were friendly and amusing (Hola Juan!) despite the same watered down beverages. One night we had the energy to visit the disco, whose doors open only at midnight. It was a fun scene and definitely drew the youngest crowd. It would have been nice to have a place to dance before midnight besides the occasional poolside lesson and impromptu merriment accompanying live performances at the various lobby bars, where people also congregated into the wee hours. Sadly, no nightlife at the beach after sunset-- around 6 pm this time of year. The mosquito warnings were valid and I learned the hard way that a good repellent must be applied every evening if one wanted to enjoy the balmy evening air outdoors.

Though a few things could have been improved, I was thrilled with this experience, especially factoring in the reasonable price point (including an easy, comfortable nonstop Frontier charter offered through Apple Vacations). We needed a warm, relaxing escape- and this fit the bill nicely.

Room Tip: Don't overthink this because the shuttle is very convenient. Closer to the lobby is good if you...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
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16 Thank srm5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Customer Service at Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro, responded to this review, January 5, 2013
Dear Guest,

Receive cordial greetings from all the team working at Gran Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort, especially from our Quality & Customer Service Department.

Thank you for taking the time to post a review of your recent stay at our hotel. We sincerely appreciate all feedback.

Your opinion is very important to us. It represents a challenge, an opportunity to improve our services, and maintain the magic that makes our dear customers choose for their holiday destination this paradise called Dominican Republic.

We also are very pleased you enjoyed the all-inclusive program, which includes a wide range of delicious food and beverage.

We thank you for taking the time of sharing your opinion with us which we will take in the highest consideration.

We would like to have the opportunity to welcome you once again at our Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro and continue providing the most memorable vacations.

Looking forward to welcoming you once again!

Best regards,


Karen Mantilla
Social Media Coordinator
Grand Bahía Príncipe Bávaro Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro

Property: Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro
Address: Arena Gorda - Macao Seccion Baigua | Arena Gorda - Macao, Seccion Baigua, Punta Cana, 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:
#34 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#35 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#38 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#50 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#51 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#51 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#53 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro 4*
Number of rooms: 744
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

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