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“So big, it has outgrown its workforce capabilities”

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Grand Bahia Principe Turquesa
Ranked #62 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Farwell, Michigan
Level 4 Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“So big, it has outgrown its workforce capabilities”
Reviewed January 2, 2010

The headline says it all.

Check-in lasted too long-- about two hours. A tall, thin man asked for my "voucher", so I gave him some paperwork and he told us to stand over near the entrance to the Gran Bahia Punta Cana lobby and just walked away with it. I caught up to him about an hour later to ask for my papers or at least a copy.

He told me that we are being put up in a different part of the complex (this place is too huge) and that we can wait where he told us to wait. I watched him for a bit and he was collecting "vouchers" from other customers and trying to get everyone started on the check in procedure, but he never seemed to finish with any one group.

Eventually, we got to the "Premier" section of the complex and they wondered why we were there. Only one person at the Premier desk new what he was doing. Others would come to you and ask to help, but if your request was more complicated than asking for a map of the place, you were quickly referred (along with a dozen others waiting at the desk) to the only person who knew anything.

The grounds are in immaculate condition. The flora is truly special (and I am not a "flora" kind of guy), the rooms are very nice, the food is tasty (I am a food kind of guy), the pools cool and clear, drinks go down very easy, the beach has great sand and a shoal (natural or man made??-- I am not certain) to knock down the waves and many of the service people did a nice job.

It just appeared that the organizational type of worker (check in desk) is in short supply. We've been to many other resorts like this (several in Mexico and one in Jamaica) and have never seen this amount of disorganization. If they hire/train individuals who can handle organization in a better way, this could be a wonderful experience in a resort.

If not, they may not be able to carry the burden of their size.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Chadrock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Lisbon, Portugal
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed December 3, 2009

Nice Hotel with great social areas.
The food was fantastic at the beginning, but you kinda get home sick after a week or so...

The sea is great as well, if you snorkel dont forget to bring your own gear.

Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank diversbest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sintra, Portugal
Level 6 Contributor
266 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 191 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2009

Hi all !
I stayed with my girlfriend in this hotel complex (Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort - PREMIER CLUB) last month (Punta Cana, Dominican Republic).

At the end, i think i will give a positive review for this holidays and for this hotel complex.
The negative things were few comparing to positive ones.
This was my second time in Punta Cana. I was there some years ago, and things were little different. There are much more people now there, its really touristic now.


Lets start with the complex itself.

1-) RESORT COMPLEX: This is far as i know the biggest resort i've been in my life. The complex has about half milion of square meters area, its really HUGE!
I had to take two different bus to get from my bedroom into the beach. Walking should take about 20-30 min.
The guys from the bus/train are rude and are always talking each other, keeping the clients waiting.
The Resort has Bahia Principe Bavaro and Bahia Principe Punta Cana both inside. Then, inside both hotels, you have AMBAR, PREMIER, ROYAL GOLDEN CLUB, DIAMOND CLUB, etc...

2-) PREMIER HOTEL / Bedroom: The bedroom itself was great. It was like a Junior Suite, always clean, the bed was huge and the bathroom OK.
We asked our travel agent to book as Honeymoon, and so we have special gifs and decorations in our bedroom.
The resort has 5 or 6 hotels all inside the Grand Bahia. They put us in the PREMIER hotel, which i didn't like at all. It was the part of the complex farthest from everywere! Its in the oposite way of the beach!
If i would come back again i would stay in AMBAR HOTEL, near the beach and KIDS FREE!

3-) BEACH: I was there in July. The beach was overcrowded after 11h30AM til 5PM. I was always waking up at 7AM and going to the beach til 11h30.
The sand is white and clean

4-) SWIMMING-POOL: heavy overcrowded. The complex has something like 8-10 different swimming pools. Only in the beginning of the morning i could get into the pools. After that
The only pool i saw with less people was the private pool from AMBAR, which we could not get in as its exclusive from AMBAR hotel.

5-) STAFF: Mostly staff are nice and try to help. There are only a few very rude, but there are hundreds of people working there, so i must give positive review to this one also.

6-) FOOD/RESTAURANTS: At the end i should give a general positive review for food also. As soon as you arrive, you can make reservation for 4 tematic restaurants. That's something i don't like, having an exact day and hour to dinner when i'm in hollidays.
I recommend the japonese restaurant and the french one.
About the main buffet (internacional buffet restaurant), it has lot of variety and also big.
Sometimes they didn't let us in, when it was overcrowded, and send us to the buffet from PREMIER resort.
The variety of fruits is bad, we are in a tropical place and didn't like to have only 2 or 3 kind of fruits every day.
Also didn't like to NOT HAVE natural juices at breakfast, neither lunch or dinner.
The snack-bar near the beach is OK, but everyday same food.
When i stayed in RIU BAMBU earlier, it was much better in food quality.
Did like a lot the coffe and capuccino in the lobby, with some cakes. Very nice.

7-) TRIPS: Went to ISLA SAONA DELUXE TRIP, with chavon river boat safari included.
I went here also last time, ISLA SAONA is great, its a natural island inhabitated. This is really caribbean island, with transparent water and white sand.
Lunched lobster in the beach, which was ok.
Didn't like the chavon river trip, it was too noisy with people drinking and dancing all over the boat
I missed the diving/snorkel trip this time, which i recommend.

This is certainly a resort for holidays with friends or large family, not for romantic and quiet holidays.


Some tips: don't take EURO into Dominican Republic, just take American Dolars or take cash in ATM right there.
The exchange rate there is 1EURO = 1USD, and so you can loose 300EUR for every 1000EUR you spend, if you pay in EURO.
Renting a car is not recommended in DR, there are no traffic rules and people are crazy there.
Don't forget to leave all your money and docs in the safebox, and if you give some tip to the waitress and others workers, you will be served fine :)
I took about 100USD in 1USD banknotes to tip.


Enjoy your holidays, my final review for this hotel is positive, but if i return someday to Dominican Republic, i would go to SAMANÁ or other place less crowded.
Anything just PM me.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank GFLX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coquitlam BC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 2, 2009

This was our first trip to the Caribbean, so we didn't know what to expect, and it was a great pick! We were upgraded from Bavaro to Premier. Yes Premier is as far away from the beach as you can get, BUT there is a bus that takes you to and from the lobby and beach. Not a bad deal as you have your own pool with a swim up bar, your own lounge and buffet. If you're worried about crowds, Premier is really nice. The rooms were nice, thank goodness for air conditioning, we had no problems with our room, it looked just like the picture.

The beach was amazing, as expected. The main pool was always busy, if you want a lounger by the pool or a palapa on the beach, you have to get up super early which is to be expected. There was a 'snack bar' for lunch so you din't have to leave the beach at all during the day along with a beach bar. The food was actually great. The buffet had so much variety with a special theme every night. The a la carte restaurants book up fast which makes it easy to see which ones are good. Japanese was booked solid (the best a la carte) so we went to the BBQ (right on the beach, very nice) and Mexican. I would not recommend the Mexican, not a lot of variety and it was nothing special. There are a slew of shops about 30 minutes down the beach, and you must go on atleast one excursion while you are there.

We went to Dolphin Island (So worth it!) and Saona Island. If you want snorkelling-Saona is not your best choice, but you do go through Higuey, the beach is pristine, and the Catamaran is AWESOME! Excursions are well worth the money, and you get to see what life is really like there.

As far as service, if you speak a little spanish, they are much nicer to you-even if you speak it horribly, atleast you tried! Maid service definitely improves if you leave tips on the pillow. There were a lot of mosquitos but I only saw one spider in the Premier lounge. Geckos are everywhere, so cute!

All in all, if you are friendly and courteous to the workers, they will be friendly to you. The resort was big, but the buses ran very frequently so I was not put off by that at all. It was beautiful and well kept. I would definitely recommend this resort!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank LadyKAR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
truckee
1 review
Reviewed April 19, 2009

We spent 10 nights at the resort. The resort is beautiful but enormous. The size is a bit overwhelming at first but after a day or two it is easy to figure out. The food overall was good, not great. The place was spotless and the staff was great. The only true disappointment is the kids club. My five year old was very excited as he had been to another kids club last year. We picked him up 3 hours later and he was very upset. The 2 women running the kids club spoke no English and made no effort to try. They changed the scheduled activities to ones easier for them and my son was disappointed that they had not done what was scheduled. We never went back which was no big deal as there was so much for the kids to do with the pools and beaches.

Overall the resort is very nice and I would recommend it.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank doddjs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2009

We stayed at the Gran Bahia Principe Premier with 10 couples of family and friends from March 28- April 4. Check in was quick and bellboys took us to our rooms guickly as we arrived around 10:00pm and there was not much traffic at the front desk. Well let me start by saying as we got going in our first morning and walked around, we knew this place was big going in but it is HUGE. A good 15 minute walk from our room to the beach as we were located at the front of the resort. They have carts going around all the time and we did take them but the exhaust fumes and the speed bumps can make you sick. Beach beautiful as always, food was excellent in the buffets and the Japanese, BBQ on the beach and the French were amazing. The rooms were big and clean but had a problem as someone went thru our luggage on our fourth day. I always set my zipper on my luggages a certain way before I leave the room and when we came back to our room I noticed 1 of my luggage zipper moved and niether my wife or myself were in the room all day. I did complain to the Manager and he, security and the head maid came to the room and asked us what if anything was stolen. We had no valuables in the suitcases just your everyday stuff and could not tell if anything was stolen. I really don't care if they stole a pair of underwear or socks my point to the Manager was I just wanted to let them know that someone was in my suitcase and they shouldn't be. The last day we were there I was at the front desk and there was a gentleman complaing about the same thing and it just happen to be the same gentleman who had heard my conversation with the Manager and I asked him how he knew someone was in his suitcase and he said he heard what I do with my suitcase with the zipper and he had done the same and his zipper was also moved. I had read in previous reviews about this problem and I guess it is true so I think the best thing is to lock your suicase everyday. This was our fourth visit to Punta Cana and we found the workers not as friendly but I think it has to do with the size of this place as there was over 6000 people at this resort at one point in our week there and I guess they must get a little tired of rude ignorant people. Although the place was packed the line ups at the buffets and bars were not long as they have buffets and bars all over the place. Our flight back was delayed four and a half hours which was fine as we got to spend more time in the beautiful weather. Overall this place is great but I would not return because of the size. Been to Ocean Sands twice and Majestic Colonial once and would return to either one of those again in a hear beat as our vaction seemed to be more personable at these places. I would recommend Bahia beacuse it is well taken care of, clean, food and drinks fantastic and if you can handle the size you will have a great vacation.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank MATTYGAZOO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sask/Canada
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2009

We stayed at the Gran Bahia December 24th to the 31st 2008. Three of us went myself, my 14 year old daughter and my 27 year old son. Before we went we had googled a map of the resort and knew what area in the resort we DIDN'T want to stay, which was the Premier which was as far away as one could possibly get from the Beach and main pool. When we arrived that's exactly where we were put, and they told us we had paid more to be there! Good Grief. At first it was disappointing but after a few days of getting used to waiting to take the trolley down to the beach and not being in a big hurry we realized there were some positives to the area we were in. First off it was a brand new building (our room was 49203 had to write it on my wristband so I wouldn't forget) and wasn't even on the map yet. We had a jaccuzi tub in our bathroom and the room was immaculate. Although the beds at first felt hard as rocks we quickly got used to them. One problem I encountered was I use a sleep apnea machine to breathe at night and we tried to find an extension cord but even after going to Guest Services and explaining the problem ( they seemed very concerned) they were unable to come up with one. There were no electrical outlets close to the beds so I ended up pushing the little couch/day bed over to the other side of the room where the floor lamp would normally be plugged in and sleeping there. I was quite happy. We had to explain to the cleaning lady to leave it there because she kept moving it back. But she got the idea. She was awesome by the way. We had a plugged toilet one evening and a few minutes after calling down to the front desk she came to help. I explained to her what was happening and then we headed out for supper she got the handman to come and it was fixed by the time we got back. I have noticed from going to several hotels now in the caribbean they all seem to have problems supplying cloths and this was the same. We never did see one. Our area had its own pool and buffet (So did all the other areas!) And it was impossible to get a lawn chair either at the pool OR down on the beach. One big plus of being in that area was our building was right across from the Principe village which was where the young adults would congregate after 11:00 and go to the Disco and Karioke. There was a casino there and several stores around the outside of a little square with tables and chairs . The Trolleys would shut down at 3:00 AM so if you were partying there you now had to walk and find your way back to your room. This could be difficult, I actually got lost (completely sober) a couple of times. Anyway he didn't have far to trek which made me feel better. The food selection was outstanding in all the buffets. But the food AND service was out of this world at the A la Cartes. We enjoyed the Spanish, French and Japanese. The buffets are only open at certain times and the snack bar at the beach only had ham buns out until noon. Then they would put out a buffet. There was EXTREMELY limited food selection until regular eating times like noon, and 6ish. You couldn't even get a potato chip or fries. Nothing! People were a little miffed about this. I was shocked really. This really sucked when we arrived at the resort at 4:30 5ish and hadn't eaten since early morning on the plane when we had some shriveled resemblance of an egg mcmuffin and couldn't get into the buffet until 6:30pm. Someone in my family had a minor meltdown, I'm not saying any names! But you know who you are. We never saw the entertainment staff at all at this resort except during the evening Show. This was kind of disappointing, again I think it was just the size of the resort which made it seem very impersonal. Now alot of people like this, we spoke to many who wanted the anonymity. We prefer a more homey atmosphere and would not go to another big resort like this. We enjoyed the Viva Windham Tangerine in Puera Plata in January of 2008 more because they were a smaller more intimate resort. The pool and ocean were mere steps away and you didn't need to take a trolley ride for 8 minutes to get there. Don't believe it? Well try looking this resort or any other up on Google Earth before going. That gives you a really good idea of what size and layout your resort is before you go, and I will use this little tool before taking another vacation. We didn't do alot of side trips this time exept Swimming with the sharks and stingrays which was kind of interesting but more sad than anything. ($90.00 American each) They are kept in a little fenced off area in the ocean, didn't seem very humane. My son did the Parasailing ($90.00 american for two people) which was very exciting. We took a taxi to a shopping area to try and get a better price on some of our souvenirs but it was a total waste of time. Although we got our rum ($12.00 american for a large 1000cc) for a much better price than what they had on the resort. The little Principe village had vendors with carts in the middle and you could really dicker them down by just walking away so we ended up getting the same stuff for the same price. There really is no "town" to go to in Punta Cana not like at the Viva Tangerine in Cabarete where you can walk down the beach into Cabarete and mingle a little more with the locals. Of course one of the best things about travelling is meeting new people and we were once again able to meet some really wonderful people from all over the world. We were invited to a lovely wedding on the beach and got to know the maid of honor Crystal quite well. She was a peach as was the entire family! Hi everyone! One last little negative was the signature reps, they sucked! Had the little meeting where they try and sell you the side trips the day after you arrive and then never saw them again. They were totally useless. There side kick Henry was there but he was not a signature rep. Anyway we really enjoyed our vacation once we got the hang of the trolley cars, and figured out when the buffet was serving and when the snack bar was open ( and this is NOT 24/7 people!) but we would not go back because it was waayy too BIG! Email me if you have any questions. I wished I had before I went.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank SaskSandy
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 Turquesa

Property: Grand Bahia Principe Turquesa
Address: Crta. Arena Gorda-Macao | Playa Bavaro, Seccion Baigua-Higuey, 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 Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#26 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#29 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#38 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#54 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#55 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#56 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#58 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Bahia Principe Turquesa 4*
Number of rooms: 502
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Facilities and services 1 Pool 4 Jacuzzis 1 children's pool Lounger, sun umbrella and towel service BAHIA SPA (additional charge) Sports facilities: gym, 3 tennis courts, bicycles, football, volleyball, petanque, darts and mini-golf Water activity centre (snorkelling, canoeing, windsurfing, fishing) WiFi access in the lobby (24h free of charge) 1 buffet restaurant and 3 speciality restaurants Japanese restaurant (exclusive to guests) 5 Bars 18 hole Punta Blanca Golf Club (additional charge) Wedding gazebo Pueblo Principe: Shopping and Leisure Mall with local craft stores, live music, shows, stores, bars, disco and casino Rooms 502 rooms including three types: Superior Family Junior Suite, Family Master Suite and Premier Junior Suite Room facilities: King size bed or two full size beds Fully equipped bathroom with hydromassage bath tub, shower, hair dryer and amenities Sofa-bed Sitting area Air conditioning Ceiling fan Telephone Satellite TV Ironing set Coffee-making facilities Mini-bar Safe (additional charge) Balcony or terrace WiFi (additional charge) The Family Junior Suites and Family Master Suites also include: Bath robes and slippers for all the family for use throughout your stay Children's bath kit Welcome basket with sweets Mini-bar for children stocked with juices, shakes, milk and soft drinks Two separate and connecting rooms (Master family suite) 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 (located in the Grand Bahia Punta Cana hotel) Baby Station 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) WiFi in the lobby (24h free of charge) and in rooms (additional charge) Specialised service for organising weddings, incentive trips, events and anniversaries Personalised menus (forceliacs, diabetics, etc.) Available on request and subject to circumstances. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gran Bahia Principe Premier Hotel Punta Cana

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