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“You won't find better than this place”

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Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #2 of 53 Hotels in Samana Province
Certificate of Excellence
Ottawa, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“You won't find better than this place”
Reviewed May 10, 2011

I traveled here may 1st with 3 other ladies, and from a fequent vacationer everything about this resort was 5 star.Our room was stunning,jaw dropping even. The maids kept the rooms in immaculate condition and even came in the evening to tidy up and leave a night time poem and chocolates.
The pools were clean and they never seemed over crowded. Never had a problem finding a lounge chair. The towels were unlimited, and the pool bar and chips and bar snacks all day long. And the pool boy "miguel" was very accomodating and easy on the eyes!
The best part of this trip was the staff, a special thanks to Maximo, veronic and Walky. These people and ALL the other staff members were amazing. They socialized with us gave us great service and always had a smile on their face. These people deserved every tip we gave them and it upset me to see that about 80% of people didn't tip at all..not even a dollar every few drinks, and these staff members deffinately deserved it.
Over All a great experience, i will be aa returning guest and highly recommend this resort to anyone looking for low key,beautiful views, clean and comfortable accomodations and friendly staff and the food well lets just say i gained quite a few pounds, DELICIOUS.

Room Tip: 318 in my opinion was the best room in the house
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
10 Thank kt5454
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Toronto
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed May 8, 2011

Customer Service:
The staff are very friendly, always smiling and saying hello. They are very professional and when asked for something the service is delivered in literally no time. I cannot think of a single moment during my stay at Levantado that I experienced bad customer service. As a side note, Maximo is an amazing worker. If you need anything, ask him, and he will deliver with a smile! The head boss is always there, you will see him and recognize him right away, he is always making sure everything is running smoothe and he even helps the staff by doing their jobs for a few breif minutes. Talk about customer service, but he never smiles - always serious.

The Hotel:
The hotel is made of small single floor villas which are scattered throughout the hotel and a main building that is several floors high. Unfortunately, if you are in the main building expect to share your balcony with your neighbour because they are not devided. Rooms and landscape is very clean and the staff work hard to keep everything looking neat and tidy - they even powerwash the sidewalks! Did I mention free wi-fi? Anywhere on the hotel, including your room! If you don't want to drag your laptop with you on vacation then why not use 1 of the 4 free computers at the main lobby to get some work done or just surf the net. However, the internet was not as reliable, expect to be have about 60% chance of reliability when using the internet. Room service is 24/7 which includes a food menu.

The Food/Restaurants:
The choice is far and wide, the food selection ranges from seafood and sushi to italian. Lobster was served twice during the week at dinner, but you if you're a lobster fanatic then you can dine at Don Pablo (A La Carte) every night - the A La Carte restaurant reservations are unlimited, and there are 3 A la Carte resturants.Dessert is incredible, from cake to puff pastries to different sorts of mouses. If you are a beach bum and hate being far from the beach then head to the beach grill located right on the beach at the private beach.

The beach:
There are 2 private beach locations. The beach which overlooks a little island is very calm with lots of shade, hammocks, and clear calm ocean water. The second private beach is very very windy, no one swam in the water at this beach, a few jumped around in the high waves. The public beach is the biggest and by far the most beautiful. With views of the dominican mountain side and open ocean. However, nothing is free at the public beach because it is not owned by the hotel. To rent a reclining chair costs $3 USD and $2 USD to buy a cervesa at the bar. All of the beaches are exceptionally well maintained. I never saw garbage floating in the water or laying on the sand. There is no club/disco, but at night the hotel offers a beach party at the public beach after 10:00 PM.

In Conlusion:
I recommend this hotel to anyone, it is very quiet and exotic. Just the right recipe to make a vacation be a vacation.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank MrHotSpot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swindon, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
26 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2011

When we saw the view from our room in villa 10 we knew the decision to book a deluxe junior suite was the right one. The large sitting room opened onto a patio with table & chairs, sunbeds, outdoor jacuzzi, and a superb view over an islet and sea to the mainland. By the end of the two weeks Cayo Levantado largely lived up to our expectations.

Grounds

The grounds are wonderful, a small army of gardeners keep them constantly tended. Rather than just walking past, take time to examine some of the plants and flowers in more detail. There's a wide variety, with our favourite being a fan type tree.

Food

All meals can be taken in the main buffet restaurant. A good selection is always available, with many regular offerings such as burger and hotdogs at lunchtime. Down by the main pool a smaller place has buffet at lunchtime and serves snacks at other times.

Of the three a la carte restaurants Don Pablo is the best with a refined ambience, good service, and very good (not quite gourmet) food.

We didn't enjoy the Mediterranean, once was enough. Portofino (Italian) was okay, nothing special. You can eat outside at these two restaurants. As they're by the pool and beach it's not the best spot though, some people in swimwear are still about after 7pm. Also, a meal would sometimes be served which didn't quite match what the menu said.

You certainly won't go hungry at the resort unless you're very picky. A limited room service menu is available free of charge which is a nice touch for an all inclusive resort.

Service

We didn't have any real problems with the service, most staff are friendly and helpful. It helps to know a few basic Spanish words as some waiting staff have limited English. Treat them with respect and they'll do the same to you. Unlike a previous reviewer we never had any issues booking the a la carte restaurants. The resort appears to be well managed which shows in the attitude of staff.

People who work in hospitality get paid low wages and work long hours. Tip little and often is my advice, they appreciate it. A couple of hundred dollars or so for tips during a two week holiday isn't going to break you, but it means a lot to workers in a poor country like Dom Rep.

Pools & Beaches

Of the three pools we preferred the top pool and occasionally the jacuzzi pool which was often the quietist spot for relaxing. The top pool was a wonderful area, had a bar and toilets, and you could sit on a sunbed watching pelicans and frigate birds flying over. Thankfully the music played tended to be easygoing songs and not normally loud.

Both private beaches are okay, if small. The calm beach is the busiest and also the best for a swim and a bit of snorkelling. Rough beach can be fun for a splash about in the waves. When the public beach isn't full of cruise ship visitors it's lovely and has great panoramic views. Various shops, a bar and restaurant are down there too.

Top tips

For a quicker transfer from/to the airport arrange a taxi rather than the coach. If you can afford it book a villa room, the best ones being the deluxe junior suites. If you don't want to be disturbed by the evening entertainment don't get a room in the main building or villas 1 and 2. The beachfront rooms, though the most expensive, have little privacy because they're located where people often walk past.

An imperfect world

In recent years we've become more careful about researching our choice of hotel and resort, so the main problem we encounter on holiday tends to be other guests. Besides those who can't go through life without a burning stick hanging out of their mouth and inflicting smoke on those who don't want it, the sunbed hoggers are a massive problem everywhere. At CL many people were putting towels and belongings on sunbeds but then not using the beds for hours on end. At the top pool some people were even “reserving” a cabana and sunbeds at the same time. It's these selfish people that spoil one aspect of the holiday for others. The hotel has a rule about not reserving sunbeds but does nothing to enforce it.

Would we go again?

Definitely.

Overall Cayo Levantado is probably the best resort in Samana, if not the whole of Dom Rep. If they were to up the quality of food a bit, and perhaps become adults only, it'd be a boutique resort to rival or surpass Sandals. It's certainly much better value, to the point that Gran Bahia Principe are underselling it.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank Beanerd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2011

We have just returned from a weeks holiday on this wonderful island. We upgraded to a junior suite in villa 7 which was huge and a bit more private than being in the main building. The room was immaculate. It was beautifully cleaned in the morning with a turndown in the evening. Wi-Fi, room service and the mini-bar was included in the price so over the week we did not spend anything! Plus if you're feeling lazy there is a golf cart which will pick you up and drop you off anywhere on the island.

The food was very good - I would recommending getting the freshly cooked meat and fish from the grill as this tends to be better than the food sitting at the buffet. The selection at the main hotel is fantastic. I would recommend it over the pool restaurant in the day. The al a carte restaurants varied. Don Pablo was fantastic and I very much enjoyed the Italian, however was less keen on the fish restaurant. It was not a problem to get reservations as long as you weren't fussy about times.

The beaches and pools were fantastic! The big public barcardi beach was really quiet in the mornings (and most days bar Sunday when the locals come over en mass) and was incredibly idyllic. The hotely beaches were also beautiful with clear seas and golden sands. I would recommend the banana mamas served at the beach bar. Delicious! The cabanas were often reserved with towels which was frustrating as they were rarely used, however this isn't really a problem as there are so many sun beds to relax in.

Don't hesitate to book this hotel. It is so much better than any of the photos. The only negative is having to travel with Thomson who only give you one small water on the 8 hour flight and are generally rubbish. As per the lady below, my boyfried and I were unable to get seats together on the plane which wasn't ideal.

This hotel has everything. There is a beach party till 2am if you want to party but if you are after a quiet, romantic time the island is large enough to enjoy the beautiful sunset on the beach and idyllic scenery.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank allieandwill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston, Ontario
Level 5 Contributor
27 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2011

We were at this resort from April 23-30. This was our first trip to Samana and our 5th trip to Dominican Republic. We always stay at 5 star all inclusives. Originally I booked this resort to try another area of the Dominican. I was looking for somewhere quiet, beautiful and had great reviews. CL is everything that you would expect. The pools, landscaping and rooms were the best we have seen. We stayed in villa 10 in a deluxe superior room and would highly recommend it. The views were spectacular!
The service far exceeded any other resort we have been to and a special "thanks" to MIguel at the main pool! He made sure we always had drinks and brought us fresh towels without asking. Service with a smile!
The towel game does not really exist here but all of the "deluxe" sun beds ( these are the canopied beds) are gone by early morning. Most days we had no problem getting a lounger anywhere.
The food was just OK. You could definitely find something you like but the variety doesn't change much and the buffet was the smallest that we have seen. We only went to Don Pablo and my husband loved the food but I didn't. I guess it is personal preference?? Also, the restaurants do not open until 7pm. I found this late to be eating dinner every night but that is just me.
Room service was very good. It arrived hot and they even prepare a table for you in your room. This was a nice option when you didn't feel like heading out for dinner.
The beaches were small but beautiful. We expected this going in but we did miss the long beaches in Punta Cana.
The maid service in the rooms was good but they come in twice a day and often it is too late. One day they made our room up at 5pm and then came in again at 9pm! They come in later to place chocolates and a poem on your pillow and to turn down your bed.
The views on this island are amazing and make it unique. This is the reason why we chose this resort. You really do feel like you are in an amazing exotic location.
The one complaint we have is not with the hotel but it is with Sunquest. Our rep told us that we had to take the 9am boat back to the main land and our flight didn't leave until 3pm. We took West Jet and the other passengers also ended up waiting at the airport for over 3 hours for their flight back. The airport was not even opened when we arrived!!
We would highly recommend this resort to anyone and you will not be disappointed. It has a laid back and romantic vibe. We like to try different resorts every year but may be back someday.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank canadianseekingsun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hampshire
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed May 1, 2011

Don't hesitate to book this hotel it is amazing. We only went for a week definitely wish we had two.

Beaches and pools are lovely. It was refreshing not to have to worry about getting up early to get sunbeds as there were always plenty available.

We are 26 and were looking for a week of relaxation, it was perfect for us. There is not loads to do but plenty if you just want to chill out.

We were not that impressed with the Italian or Mediterranean restaurants but Don Pablo's restaurant was amazing. Never had any problems booking the restaurants.

Food and drinks were really high quality, branded alcohol. No dodgy tummy's either! I would recommend that you pay to upgrade to Junior Suite Superior, it was only about £50 pp more and definitely worth it as the villas seemed much nicer than staying in the main hotel.

Our week was slightly ruined at the end as Thomson took us to the airport way too early, we had 5 hours sat in an airport when we could have been at the hotel longer. Not sure how much a taxi would have cost but might be worth looking into.

Feel free to ask me any questions

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank Gemma67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2011

I'm still here at Bacardi island but love it so much I wanted to write a review right now!!
You will instantly fall in love with the views, the rooms (we r in villa7), the happy helpful polite staff, the food, the beaches and the cocktails! Everything is truly beautiful and the design of the island is genius.
Thomson r the only ones to have let us down, firstly when we got to the airport there was no room on the flight for my bf and I to sit together so we had to pay £20 each to have extra leg room near the emergency exit. It was in the middle of the plane and everyone used the space to walk through. This was very irritating! Secondly the transfer between the plane to the ferry had no water! My bf and I were so thirsty and the heat an lack of water was very frustrating.
However, this island certainly makes up for it, would b a great place to get married!
Definitely come here, u won't be disappointed, and ignore any reviews complaining about staff not talking English or the food being bland. This is a Spanish island, therefore learn some Spanish and don't be so ignorant and expect the lovely staff to talk English!!! The food has plenty of variety and there will always be something to enjoy!!!

  • Stayed April 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Fefa01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado Don Pablo Collection

Property: Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado Don Pablo Collection
Address: | Bahia de Samana, Isla de Cayo Levantado, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Samana Province
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Samana Province
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Samana Province
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Samana Province
#2 Spa Hotel in Samana Province
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado Don Pablo Collection 4*
Number of rooms: 268
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Facilities and services 2 pools 3 Jacuzzis with bar Large sun terrace and gardens with loungers and sun umbrellas Pool and beach towel service BAHIA SPA (additional charge) Sports facilities: gym, 1 tennis court Motorised water sports (additional charge) Store Heliport WiFi access in the lobby and in rooms (free of charge) Main buffet-style restaurant and 3 speciality restaurants 4 Bars Cocktail Lounge Snack-bar Wedding gazebo Rooms 268 rooms including 5 types Superior, Junior Suite, Superior Junior Suite, Deluxe Junior Suite and Beach Villas. Superior Junior Suites, Deluxe Junior Suites and Beach Villas are larger than the Junior Suite and Superior. Room facilities: King size four poster bed Air conditioning Ceiling fan Sitting area with desk Balcony or terrace Fully-equipped marble bathroom with hydromassage bath tub, separate shower, bidet, hair dryer and magnifying mirror Telephone in bathroom Don Pablo Collection amenities Bathrobe and slippers Radio alarm clock with iPod docking station Direct phone line (additional charge for external calls) Flat screen satellite TV Safe Mini-bar with alcoholic drinks Wifi (free of charge) Coffee-making facilities Ironing set 24 hour room service Evening downturn service Outdoor Jacuzzi (Deluxe Junior Suites) Butler service Pillow menu Aroma menu Beach Villas: Seafront location with outdoor Jacuzzi, pillow menu available on request, baggage unpacking and ironing service, laundry service (optional) Other services Medical and pharmacy service (additional charge for both) Stores in the hotel Heliport and private boat (available on request for an additional charge) Mainland reception and transfer by boat (included in the booking fee) Specialised service for organising weddings, events and anniversaries. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gran Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado Hotel
Cayo Levantado Samana
Cayo Levantado Dominican Republic
Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado
Cayo Levantado Hotel Samana

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