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Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro
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Reviewed July 28, 2013

This is our second time visiting this resort, so we were very familiar with what to expect with the layout of the resort, how the various colours of bracelets work, etc... ,We also knew that this was a very big resort (4 resorts actually joined as one), so we knew how to use the trolley to get back and forth, and which parts of the resort we were able to use.

We arrived around 2:30pm (travelling with WestJet Vacations) and were escorted as a group to a separate check in area. We filled in some papers, then got our bracelets right away. When we then checked at the counter, we were told our room was ready for us. We immediately went to the room, with the assistance of a bellboy. We were a little disappointed this time around with the room. First of all, we were travelling as a group of 4 (two adults and two children) but were given a room with a single king bed and sofa bed. We called the front desk and were told, in a quick tone, that all the rooms with 2 beds were gone and that was it. But they offered to have a separate bed brought in for one of the kids. Oh well, make the best of it. The room itself was also a little run down. Old tube style tv, outdated furniture, bathtub stopper missing. The tv remote had only up/down buttons (no numbers) so changing channels was horrific. And the tv reception was so fuzzy you couldn't watch anything after channel 20 or so. Also, the AC was really not great and the whole room felt damp and smelled a little like a basement (dampness). But still, we didn't go there for the room, so we decided to move on.

We went back up to the lobby and I decided to enquire about a new room. This is when I met Orquidea. She was unbelievably helpful with us (and everyone else that I saw her serve). She explained that the resort was very busy but to check back the next day after 1pm to see if a double room became available. She also called for us to make sure the other extra bed was sent to our room asap. Also because we were repeat guests, she also informed us that our bracelets were going to be upgraded from yellow to silver (which would give us an extra a-la-carte and more pool accessibility). The next day I went back around 3pm but was too late to try to get a new room. This was my misunderstanding because I thought she had meant to come back "anytime after 1 pm" but she had actually meant for us to be there at 1pm (right after people check out). Then the next day (now the third day) when I went back, another staff member was trying to help but not really having much success. Then Orquidea saw me and came over to help out. She then worked for about 20 minutes and managed to get us in a new room. When we went to the new room, we were delighted to feel that the air conditioning was much more effective than the previous room. Again, a little disappointed that the room was outdated, but at least the tv worked and the reception was good. The towel rack in the bathroom was hanging off the wall so we had to be very careful with it. Again, the bathtub stopper did not work, and the water pressure of the tub faucet was barely more than a trickle. But the pressure was fine when the shower was on (so this was good).

The maid service was ok. The room was cleaned well, but she kept taking our towels even though they were still on the rack. Then we didn't get fresh ones brought to our room until after 6pm most evenings. I don't think this was her fault but an issue the resort has with their laundry service. I noticed trucks delivering bags of fresh towels to all the buildings in the late afternoons. The maid in our second room never replenished our little fridge not one time. She brought us new water, but that was it. Also, we never got face cloths the whole time we were there, even thought I asked on several occasions. I had read in other reviews that this was the case so I actually brought a few of my own. Not sure why, but I'd suggest to hotel management to make a change here.

The food was good. The buffets offered lots of choice, but was a little repetitive. The kids' section of the buffet was the same every day, for lunch and dinner. But we tried to vary our choices from day to day because we had remembered it being this way the last time too. For the most part, the servers really ignored us for breakfast, dinner and lunch. When we ate at the beach buffet, we served ourselves everything and only saw the wait staff when they were clearing the table. But we found this buffet to be great for us because it was close to the big pool and the beach, and we didn't have to worry too much about changing our clothing, since we were eating outside. The food here did change more frequently and we were pleased with it. When we ate at the Bavaro lobby buffet, getting seated was always so rushed and confusing. One lady shouting numbers to another lady who was half way across the restaurant who then started waiving her fingers at us to follow her. We also ate at the Bavaro Premier buffet and experienced much the same. However one evening we were there for dinner and had a fantastic server. Jose was just awesome. He came to our table, introduced himself, asked us all our names, made small talk, and then checked in on us several times during the meal. This was awesome service!!

One a-la-carte was Il Capriccio. The service was adequate and the food was ok. I was a little disappointed that there wouldn't be more authentic Italien selection on the menu. Another a-la-carte we visited was the Santa Fe (tex mex). It was great. The food selection was great and the taste was awesome. The waiters in this restaurant were fantastic as well (but I forget his name, sorry). We decided not to bother with our other a-la-cartes because the buffet was giving us enough choice (for our kids especially).

The grounds: immaculate! They were kept pristine and workers were constantly chopping away dead branches, trimming the grass and shrubbery. Very great job to those folks!

The pools: I really enjoyed going from pool to pool over the week because it was a nice change of scenery. The big pool by the beach was great with its gradual entry. It was large enough for the crowds, the aerobics class, etc... The pools in the middle of the resort were quieter. The pool in the Bavaro premier section is also nice and was very quiet (not busy at all). The best of all was the kids' water park. This is a new addition since the last time we visited and was so welcomed. Our kids loved it!!!! The slides were fun and the structure was cool. We did notice though that LOTS of kids were coming off the slides saying "ow". I think this is because the slides are a little fast and the water below is not really that deep.

The beach: awesome! The sand is great, the water was warm, any trace of seaweed was constantly getting raked up and taken away by staff. Great work! I also walked down the shoreline past a few of the neighbouring resorts and I can honestly say that the Bahia Principe's beach was by far the nicest.

The shows/performances: we attended several. The Mr Bahia was a little inappropriate for our children as they had men from the audience up on stage doing strip acts and dirty dancing, all to get votes. But we did really really enjoy the Circus show and the Michael Jackson show. The skills of the performers in the Circus show really blew my mind. I've been to Cirque du Soleil shows and I can honestly say that a few of the performers (specifically the two men that did the strength/balancing act together) were of equal or higher caliber.

One thing that frustrated me a little was how little English the staff could speak. The front desk staff were great, but the waiters/servers/maids could not speak a word of English most of the time. That's not all of them because a few could, but I'm speaking of the majority. When we were approached poolside by the folks trying to get us to sign up for an excursion, or purchase a photo shoot package, those folks spoke great English. Some of the vendors spoke English, Spanish and French. But yet the waiters at our table (most times) could not speak any English.

Check out was a breeze. Again, when Orquidea saw me approach the desk, she came over personally to serve me and thank me for my visit. I certainly hope my review gets passed along to her, as she deserves much praise.

One note to future travelers: US money is the main currency used. Also, take LOTS of sunscreen with you. You'll really need it and you don't want to run out. To buy a small bottle of sunscreen in the stores on the resort, you'll pay about $28 US (yes, $28), for something you'd buy in Canada for $5 or $6.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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5  Thank Tanya F
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 reviewResponded July 30, 2013

Dear Tanya,

We are happy to learn that you had a fantastic vacation during your second visit to Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro.

Thank you for praising Orquidea, she will be pleased to hear that her work is so well appreciate.

Family holidays with Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts.

Hoping to welcome you back again!

Best regards,


Karen Mantilla
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2013

My 15 year old daughter and I took a mother/daughter trip to Punta Cana from 7/20/13 - 7/26/13. Before going, I read all the reviews - daily. In retrospect, I would tell anyone who has already booked their hotel to STOP reading the reviews after you book, and rest on the reviews you've read.

Before leaving I read reviews of bed bugs in some of the buildings (10 and 26). I was devastated as my daughter has an allergic reaction to bug bites, not to mention I got the creepy crawlies thinking about it. But here's what I figured. There were at least 10 good reviews for ever one bad one, so I took my chances. I also bought a big can of Bed Bug/Flea spray and took it and plenty of Benadryl for the trip just in case.

When we got to the resort we were immediately sent to Diamond Hacienda Club for private check-in and had been upgraded. I had emailed ahead asking for a room close to the beach since I have trouble with my knees. They placed us on a ground floor in building 4, which was very close to the beach and the pool. I had later asked for a higher floor to get a better view of the ocean, after finding out the resort (nor any others on the beach as far as I walked) did not have any ocean view rooms. Marisela, our concierge who checked us in, tried her best to accommodate us, but the buildings upper floors were all full. In retrospect, we ended up liking the ground floor with no stairs, and my knees did not hurt all week. It was also right around the corner from Santa Fe, a breakfast restaurant that we also got to eat at having been upgraded to the Diamond Club.

I asked Marisela about bed bugs and explained what I had red online in the reviews, and she said no, that they had not had this problem, and that my room was "safe". I did look at everyone else's legs when we rode the trolleys up and down the resort grounds, and not once did I see bites. So...if they did have them at one time, they did resolve the matter quickly.

But when we got to the room that night, I was still freaking out at the thought of tiny little critters biting me. I immediately stripped off the bedding, checked the seams of the mattresses, looked behind the beds at the base boards, and around the sides of the mattresses for any black matter, which indicates bed bugs. There was none, but I felt just creepy. I sprayed the room all around the beds, behind the beds, etc... The bedding itself needs replacing. Though the sheets are white and clean, on two occasions our pillow cases had holes in them. The bedspreads are old, and the insides of them had burn marks and were more on the gray side than white. This is something I only bring up because it would take less than $100 a room for the hotel to replace them, and it would mean a great deal of difference in how I felt about the rooms. White bedding = clean bedding to a guest. Stick with white, it's bleachable.

That night I was so tired from travel, and we ate at the BBQ buffet. I was not happy with the food. Sweet sugary BBQ was not what I was use to, and I was hungry. We quickly left there after finding nothing else we liked (although many other reviews LOVED the BBQ place, so it could be our personal preferences). We tried the buffet Bugavilla near the main lobby. The food there did not look appetizing, mostly because I was SO TIRED! And then that night, worried about bed bugs, I could not sleep!!! I fell asleep crying, worried I'd made a big mistake.

And then the next day we went to breakfast, which was good. Coffee - the best I've ever had! Fresh pineapple, watermelon, mimosas, and assorted pastries (although as in most tropical countries, they're more crunch that moist like we Americans eat them). My daughter LOVED their eggs - probably because they were always made from fresh eggs. On one day we avoided the eggs because for some reason some of them were gray. But there was plenty more to eat. The one way breakfast could be improved is simple: lay the bacon on paper towels to dry out the grease before putting it in the buffet trays. Many times the bacon, which is cooked not on a flat top like in the USA, but in a deep fryer in bunches, would stick together, not get cooked all the way through, and the bottom of the buffet tray would have a good 1/4" of grease in it. And the servers at breakfast were FANTASTIC. My coffee cup barely got empty before I had a fresh cup. Miguel and Angel, aka "Justin Beiber" were wonderful. My daughter even got her picture with Miguel before we left.

We also went to the buffet Bugavilla one day for breakfast and had fresh omelets, which were very tasty! But for the most part, the food is the same there as at Santa Fe, so we chose to eat at Santa Fe because it was close.

The servers throughout the entire resort are WONDERFUL. We never met a single one who was rude, save a few that just weren't as friendly in the "French" restaurant, Le Gourmet. I put that in double quotes because I know French food, and this was not it. That meal was disappointing. Likewise, the Spanish restaurant El Meson, was also disappointing. The food was just, well, strange. I had "Fish and Seafood Pan", which was fried pieces of fish and seafood in what seemed to be beef gravy. My daughter didn't like her dish, which was chicken, either.

But on the up side, the Italian restaurant, Il Capricio, was wonderful! And likewise was the steak house, Garden Grill. But by far our favorite was the Japanese restaurant, Maiko. The entertainment by Jose "Kawasaki", the hibachi chef, and "King Kong" kept us laughing. And the food was excellent! I recommend the sushi even if you don't think you'll like it - you will!

The resort is HUGE. When you check in you will get a map. You'll need it for the first couple of days to get your bearings. If you can, call ahead and get a room close to the pool (buildings 20, 21, 23, 4, 2, or 1 are in the Bavaro section). Note that this is not one resort but three in one. You have the Bavaro section, the Luxury Principe section, and the Ambar section. But your little wrist band says where you can go. It didn't bother me one bit that it was three in one. I don't see this as a disadvantage at all. And you can catch a trolley to go from the beach to the lobby every 2-5 minutes. There are little bus stops along the way. I would have to guess the distance between lobby and pool at the beach to be around 1.5 miles. So if you're into exercise, walk! There are plenty of sidewalks to do this and the grounds are absolutely beautiful with tropical flowers of all kinds, many different shapes and sizes of palm trees, and an area in the middle that is a preserve for Macao birds. We saw them one morning.

And now the best part...the beach. Bavaro beach is big, but the best part due to the clean water and just beautiful palm trees has to be in front of Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro. The beach drops gradually under the ocean waves, so you have lots of very shallow water you can walk out through. And the water is so very clear! I walked out till it was chest high and could still see my toes! And the water is not turquoise, but a sort of tiffany blue. It is breathtaking! And if you get tired of looking at the waves and the sea foam (really? could you? LOL!) you have the shipwreck of the Astron/Esmeralda out in front of the beach to look at. Read up on the shipwreck and you'll find there's some mystery to it that make it intriguing.

Housekeeping speaks almost all Spanish, so if there are things you need from them get a person that can translate. Our concierge's were great at that. I will say housekeeping needs a check-off list, as things were continually forgotten. We had to call two days in a row for wash cloths, towels, and toilet tissue. The air and electrical in the rooms run based on whether you have a room key in the entry way wall holder. Without the key - the air is off and so are the lights and TV. No problem for us as we had two keys so we just left one in. But one day we came back and it was gone. The housekeeper had mistakenly taken it out - probably thinking she'd put hers in. It took us a while to explain to her what we were looking for, and then yes, she found it, and was apologetic. The housekeeping staff is very kind, always smiling, and you can tell they are working hard. But they really need a check-off list for each room to give them a plan for cleaning, and to know when they are done.

We didn't use the pools much. We have pools in Kentucky but not beaches. What we did find is if you want a chair on the beach you have to play the towel game. Bring with you an old pair of flip flops, an old book, and get your beach towels from the stand by the pool the day before. Early in the morning, around 6:00, people are already placing them. Go stake out your spot, put your towels securely on your chairs using the bungee rope at the corners, and put down your book and flip flops. Then you can go back to bed, and come to the beach on your terms. Otherwise, when you get there and most of the chairs are gone, find one of the many guys working there sweeping sand, and continually cleaning the beach and ask for chairs. We did this two days, and tipped the young man who was so kind as to find them in the back area, and drag them all they way to the front of the beach as close to the water as we could go. And - one even brought us a table for our drinks to sit on. They are very sweet people, always wanting to make you feel welcome.

The nightly entertainment is so-so. We're easily entertained so we enjoyed watching TV in our PJ's more than the shows. But we did notice the night of the Michael Jackson show, and the Circus show, when we decided to try it for a while, that it was PACKED. If you want good seats, get there early - say 30 minutes before it starts.

I hope I've covered everything. This was our first trip to Punta Cana and I'd most definitely go back again. The two things it offers above what the other places I've been had were the crystal clear beaches, and the people. The Dominican people are happy people, and they welcome tourists.

And, for the record, not one bite on either of us. The bed bug scare really freaked me out the first day, and robbed me of a good night's rest. When reading reviews, always value those from folks who give multiple reviews in multiple places over these one time reviewers who may just be the resort's competition. Just sayin.

The grounds are immaculately clean. They pressure wash the pool area every morning, and are continually washing (with soap and water) the sidewalks throughout the resort. The hostess will give you hand sanitizer at every place to eat when you walk in. I liked that as it was to make sure any sickness anyone had, since we do live all over the world, did not travel from one person to another as we touch all the serving utensils.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Thank limeadelover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2013

Love this place, the service it amazing and the food is fanomanal. The grounds are extravigant and so clean... The staff is friendly and accomodating. There are shops near by and the entertainment is fun. The disco is great the the shopping plaza it great.
The only downfall is how HUGE the resort has got over these short few years but never the less it is still a great place!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank cabincrew_polak
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 reviewResponded July 29, 2013

Dear Client,

We are very pleased to read that you enjoyed of a wonderful holiday thanks to our rich gastronomy, as well as the good service from our employees.

Thank you for your comments and looking forward to seeing you soon in paradise!

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, all-inclusive hotels for your holidays in Punta Cana.

Best regards,


Karen Mantilla
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2013

the hotel and staff were outstanding. from the moment we arrived to the moment we left nothing was too much trouble. we used the buffet restaurant every evening as there was a different theme each evening. our room was cleaned every day and our maid was very polite and friendly.our room was huge and the bed was the biggest weve ever slept in. i could go on for ever but as this was our first time in the dom rep i would not try and look for anything else when we return next year. many thanks to the hotel management and staff.

Room Tip: we could have gone for the upgrade but trust me you dont need to as our accomadation was more than enough.
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank 616mikef
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 reviewResponded July 29, 2013

Dear Mike,

It is wonderful to hear that you enjoyed in Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro an outstanding experience, thanks to the friendliness and kindness of our staff. They will be enchanted with your positive comments.

We are looking forward to see you back again in!

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, your best hotel in the Dominican Republic.

Always at your disposal,


Karen Mantilla
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2013

WOW!!! We just got back yesterday from a perfect family vacation. It was our first trip to Punta Cana, and our first time taking our 7 year old daughter out of the country. I set up a TripAdvisor account just to be able to recommend this resort and locale to others. Of course, with international and family travel, we were nervous about what to expect. But when we got there, it was all good! Everyone was incredibly friendly and helpful. We don't speak Spanish, but they all spoke English wonderfully (we've decided to take classes because we plan on going back!).

When we got to the resort, we were immediately impressed. It was BIG, clean, and inviting. There are five hotels on the resort, 9 restaurants, and a great little shopping area. When we got there, we were offered cool drinks and towels, as well as a helpful orientation. We had a great location for our villa (#34). We were in between the lobby and the beach. We had two pools directly next to us (with swim up bars and towel exchange). It is crowded sometimes, so get your pool chairs early if you prefer shade. The rooms are large and the maid staff is so fabulous! They stopped by every night with chocolates and little gifts for our daughter. They even folded her favorite little blankie into a swan (which she wouldn't unfold, even to sleep with!). They offer an amazing water park for the kids to play while mom and dad relax under umbrellas.

The restaurants are varied and the buffet was always stocked with great options. We got our dinner reservations (and were gifted with an additional meal for our anniversary!!). We tried the Italian, Japanese, Spanish, and Mediterranean. All of them were delicious (though the Japanese took a little long and not everyone gets to sit at the grill). Our favorite was the Mediterranean (try the beef fillet).

We did two excursions--the trip to Saona Island and the Outback Safari. So worth the money!! We got to see land and sea and learn so much about the culture and the country. The guides were knowledgeable and friendly. Check those two out for specifics of what is included.

I read CarleneCecilia's review just posted, and I cannot agree more. If you are wondering where to go next, I highly recommend Punta Cana and the Grand Bahia.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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7  Thank Dorean 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 reviewResponded July 27, 2013

Dear Dorean,

It is wonderful to hear that you enjoyed in Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro a perfect family vacation and the best trip you have taken.

We are looking forward to see you soon and we hope to have the honor to practice Spanish with you and your family.

Family holidays with Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts.

Always at your disposal,


Karen Mantilla
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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