My wife and I stayed at Bahia Principe Bavaro from March 21 to March 28, 2013.
Before I decided to book this resort I checked trip adviser and other reports to see what others had to say. Of course, no matter how good a hotel might be there will always be detractors. I saw some of the reviews that complained about bugs, poor quality food, unfriendly staff, etc. I saw none of that while we were there. I came to two possible conclusions about these unflattering reports. Either the management read these reports and corrected the deficiencies promptly or the people writing the unflattering reports were being less than truthful. Whatever the case may be - we had a wonderful time.
Having said that, it did not exceed my expectations. The hotel rates itself as 5 star but it is a 3 star verging on 4 by North American standards. The hotel is safe, exceptionally clean and the food very decent and well prepared. It is a large facility and I tip my hat to the staff and management for running such a fine operation. The Dominican people are hard workers and, for the most part, very friendly. Everywhere you go at the resort there are workers painting, dusting fans, trimming the gardens, cleaning the roads. Walking by one of the closed pools at night time I could smell the chlorine disinfectant the workers were using to clean the pool surfaces, furniture, etc. Cleanliness, on a level we have come to expect here in Canada, is very much in evidence at this establishment.
On the negative side, and very minor at that, there are a few things the hotel could do to boost their ratings. The room upkeep was middle of the road. When we first arrived we decided to tip high ($5 per day) and stay that way for the duration. By Day 3 we stopped tipping altogether. The maid service left us with no towels on one day and on another flung a few towels unceremoniously up on the rack over the tub. Other little indicators like the soap dish never being cleaned pointed to a staff who were doing a less than stellar job. Please don't misunderstand - the room was clean and besides having to hunt down towels for the room I wasn't upset. It's just that these little things could have made for a better experience, the maids would have gotten $5 tip per day and I'd be singing their praises. Management might want to consider increased supervision - a supervisor with a checklist perhaps.
The other area that could use improvement is the way the food situation is handled. The food is safe, clean, well cooked - no complaints there. What I found a bit disappointing were the theme restaurants. Whether it was the Japanese, Mexican or Spanish restaurants - they all seemed to have the same food, desserts, appetizers. I actually enjoyed the main buffet restaurant more because you could pick and choose from a complete variety. If I can make a suggestion to the food services folks - I actually enjoyed the Dominican food theme night the best. The indigenous Dominican dishes were tasty and interesting and I picked a few new favourites while I was there (ie. the Casava, garlic and meat dish was one I liked!). People do best what comes naturally to them and I appreciated the flavours and textures of Dominican cooking - bravo!
So, in the end, a great vacation. Clean, safe, friendly. I would certainly recommend it to anyone. It's a large complex and there were about 7000 people while we were there. That might not be appealing to some folks but it didn't put me off too much. There are vendors on the beach and parts of the complex but they are generally polite and respectful. There are a few challenges management could address to make it a better facility but none of these should seriously detract from you having a great time.
- 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