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“Perfect Vacation”

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Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa
Ranked #6 of 60 Hotels in Samana Province
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Perfect Vacation”
Reviewed August 21, 2011

We just got back yesterday from a week in paradise. I went with my hubby and our six year old child. Let me just say, we have traveled quite a bit and this was one of the most beautiful places. The resort is on top a hill and the view is FANTASTIC.
The resort is actually quite small but very well looked after.
Let's see where to start.....
The bus ride to the hotel is a little scary and I tend to get a little car sick so it was the least favorite part of the trip. Nothing a little gravol won't cure.
When you get on the bus the will actually have you set up in a room already. All you have to do is pick up your keys when you get to the hotel. Very helpful!

We stayed in the main building, room 203. It was PERFECT!! The view of the ocean was breathtaking and our front door was right on the courtyard so we had easy access to everything. PERFECT SPOT! Ladies don't forget conditioner for your hair as the toiletries provided are shampoo and body wash only.

FOOD: The food here is very good!! We are not very picky and are well used to the food in Cuba, but it really is very good. I am not a vegetarian by any means but this resort is PERFECT for vegetarians!!! There was such a variety of delicious vegetable options that it seemed to be all I ate. I had the yummiest pasta and bean salads there. I loved all of the breads and the fish selection was the best I have ever seen. We tried all sorts of fish that we had never heard of and it was all great.
We went to two al a carte restaurants and they were both good. We ate at the Italian and the seafood one. Steak and Lobster Mmmmmm. Both restaurants had children's menus and my daughter loved everything. The seafood one has this apple tart with real vanilla ice-cream for dessert. Possibly the best I have ever had.
We heard excellent things about the other one but couldn't get a 7pm reservation and our daughter would turn into a monster if we didn't feed her by then.
**** MAKE YOU RESERVATIONS AS SOON AS YOU ARRIVE ****** We waited until after our orientation with our west jet rep and we didn't need to wait
There is a really good snack bar by the lower beach. We ate there once and the selection was really good.

BARS: We spent most of out time at the main pool and the drinks were always tasty. Remember you must specify if you want alcohol in some of your drinks because the will often make a non-alcholic version if you don't ask for rum in your pina-colada .
Angel and the bar in the main lounge is very kind and such a hard worker. We noticed all the staff work from morning to night EVERY DAY.

ENTERTAINMENT: The entertainment crew are VERY HARD WORKERS. The need to be "on" all the time. I could never do what they do. I would defiantly lose my cool on a few drunks who thought they were funny and kept trying to push me in the pool. There is a very sweet girl who runs the kids disco and she has the patience of an angel.
The disco "area" is very small and can be very hot but these dancers are trying their best and I really appreciated it!

SHOPPING: When we were arriving the hotel we were informed to be careful about going into town to d shopping. You must barter for everything by at least 1/2 of what their starting price is. I am a pretty savy shopper but I totally got rooked in town on a picture.
There is a small store right by the hotel. The man has two parrots outside of his little store. It is right across from the spa at the hotel. HE HAS THE VERY BEST PRICES FOR ART AND JEWELRY. His prices were 50-75 % cheaper than in town. I was totally shocked. I first stayed away because I thought that his prices would be too high since he is on the hotels property. I was totally wrong and he is very nice to deal with.
We went to the little food mart in town to pick up our vanilla and coffee. Way better prices there then anywhere else. It is about a 5-10 min, walk to the left of where the shuttle drops you off. If you can get past all the store owners trying to drag you in to their store it will be worth it.

We didn't go on any excursions because they were not really for kids, so we were plenty happy to hang out at the resort.

As far a tipping goes.... It is a very personal thing. We do tip as I want to, but not everyone does and the service is exceptional either way. I did like leaving school supplies for many of them for their children as well as pretty hair accessories for the ladies hair. They really seemed to appreciate it. My hubby brought several used baseball gloves and baseballs and we walked down the hill to see all the children playing baseball and we have the gloves and balls to the coach to hand out to the kids. They were very appreciative. We were treated to a little baseball game and I am quite sure some of those kids will be professionals one day. They were great!!

All in all we would go back tomorrow!

p.s. Make sure your suitcases are not over 50lbs as you will be charged at the airport

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Thank WinnipegBrett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
24 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2011

My friend and I travelled to Cayacoa from July 24 - July 31st. Check in was uick but the wait for the room was about an hour and a half so we headed to the bar :) The wait for the room was worth it with an amazing oceanview and a very clean and well kept room. The beds were great and we slept amazing every night.
The food was very good whether it be an a la carte or buffet. We are both picky and hard to please but were usually over full :) The drinks were good and servce was amazing. We tipped but it was never expected. I think we could count on one hand the number of people we saw in the 7 days that gave any kind of tip. Sad really!
The downfalls were the small pool and beach area. Also the disco is also where the evening shows are held which is probably the smallest we have ever seen. We stopped by one night to see the show and laughed so hard.....not because of how good the show was but how bad!!!! This area needs some major work!
Enjoyed our stay and glad we went but I don't think it would be a place I would return mainly for the lack of pool, beach and entertainment. If looking for great food, nice rooms and probably one of the cleanest resorts I have stayed in then give it a try!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Tiggersue2u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 15, 2011

My fiance and I just got back from a weeks vacation at the Gran bahia cayacoa. I have to say, I was pretty disapointed with my stay there. I did not have high expectations as this was my first trip ANYWHERE, but im pretty confident it could have been a lot better. This was my experience.
** I arrived at the hotel at around 8PM, extremely exhausted from the plane ride, but at the same time excited to get to my room and start my vacation. The employees at the front desk were alright, no complaints there. They assigned us room 220. The minute we opened the door to our room, we immediately were slapped in the face with a very moldy odor. We soon realised the odor was coming from the leaking air conditioning that was making a puddle on our floor. I refused to stay in the room so i returned to the front desk and told them the situation. We had to wait in the main lobby another 20 minutes, so they can clean another room for us to stay in. At the end of the night, we got in our room,EXHAUSTED, and went to bed soon there after.
THE FOOD: It is litterally the same food everyday, i found that the chefs kind of made no real effort with the food. After the 4th day, my fiance and I were buying chips from the gift shop because we really couldnt handle the hotel food anymore. It was one of the main reasons why i did not enjoy my stay.
THE BEACH: on all the websites ive seen, they label the beach as PRIVATE, but let me tell you its not. They'res tons of local kids in the water, and they are not shy when it comes to harrasing the tourists for money, each and everyday. It took away from the beach for sure.
THE ROOMS: The rooms were pretty nice, kind of small, beautiful views when your on the 5th floor. The best part of it all was that they're were COCKROACHES in our hotel room, as well as IN THE BUFFET.
At the end i was more than happy to be returning home, and I definatly would NOT recommend this hotel to anyone.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3 Thank Salemsbaby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 3, 2011

The hotel is not as big as the other resorts that I have stayed in DR but it is nice. Good service good food. The elevator to the beach is cool~ the beach is a bit small. I went during the raining season in August so the water wasn't very clear. It was clean but murky. We also had a hike to the island through the bridges. It was a nice walk but the view at the end wasn't impressive......there was nothing except more trees.....

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
1 Thank JWei00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed July 31, 2011

I stayed at this hotel in early June with my boyfriend and we both loved it! Best holiday we have had!.

On the 45min transfer to the hotel we checked into our rooms and was given our room keys and hotel information. When we arrived at the hotel there was music playing and everyone was given a fruit cocktail. We left our suitcases in reception for the bellboys to bring to our room – which they did 25 mins later. I would suggest getting a safe as while we were staying there other guests had money taken by maids. Don’t let this put you off as they work hard for very little money.

We had a room on the 5th floor in the main building – I would recommend staying in the main building as it is very close to everything. The golden suites are too far away from the complex and you have to get the hotel buggy to and from the suites, which can take a while for the buggy to arrive. If you can, try and request a non-adjoining room – you can hear the guests in the other room very clearly through the door.

The daytime activities are really good. Bingo is very fun and you can do it while you are in the pool. The entertainment staff are very friendly and are always putting on games during the day for you to partake in, they don’t hassle you if you say no. All the staff work very hard and very long hours. They are all very friendly, one in particular, Elvis. He was the best one, he made friends with everyone and always asked how you were. He always performed in the evening shows – which are a must see. You do need to reserve a sun lounger if you want to sit by the main pool, which I highly recommend, the beach isn’t what I thought a Caribbean beach would be.

The food at the buffet was similar every night so make sure you use up all of your a la carte night. The gourmet and seafood was our favourite. The waiters in all of the restaurants are very friendly and are always topping up your drinks for you. If you like pizza and chips – then you will like the buffet!

We only did one trip whilst we were staying here as everywhere else was too far or too dangerous (from what other guests said). We went to Bicardi Island which was beautiful – white sandy beaches and clear sea. The beach at the hotel isn’t that great so it was a nice surprise as the island is only 10 minutes by boat. You MUST wear sea shoes when on the island as there are urchins in the sea and jellyfish, so be careful.

This was our best holiday we have had – I would say go there with a partner as it isn’t a place for friends who want to party! Not a 5* platinum holiday which Thomsons said it was – I would say 4*. We will go back!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1 Thank DanielleA_D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2011

We went with friends and thought this far better then Gran Bahia Principle Levantado where we went September 2010. Superb sevice and helpful and friendly staff.
Only problem is if your're unfit or unble to walk up considerable amount of steps , as this hotel is set on a hill side, and teh pools are set apart.But the views are superb.
The beach is obtainable via a lift . On the whole a excellent hotel which well mets the star rating and full marks for the food and service. Would and will go again

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2 Thank dogers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
36 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2011

We travelled to this hotel with Thomson from Gatwick and following a number of reviews on this website - we were a little worried prior to our arrival! Our room was absolutely fantastic, we opted for a room with a sea view but did not upgrade any further - no need as the room was huge and perfectly clean. The food (as with most 4 star all inclusives) was repetitive but never poor. The food was always well presented and piping hot. Breakfast - plenty of variety. Lunch - our favourite meal of the day, lots of choice. Dinner - themed nights were ok, some nights better than others. We also ate on three of our nights in the A La Carte restaurants - personally we would suggest you not bother. Better food and variety in the buffet. The beach was small, and as a result lost the sun earlier than expected, however there was a beautiful sun terrace in another part of the hotel that I would recommend. The main pool is realistically on the small side considering the size of the hotel - we always set our alarms to get loungers. The pool side entertainment/hotel entertainment is both tedious and at times irritating - but these niggles should not take away from what was a well priced holiday in a hotel that was always spotlessly clean.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5 Thank citybreak17
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 Cayacoa

Property: Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa
Address: Loma Puerto Escondido s/n, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Samana Province
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection 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:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Samana Province
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Samana Province
#6 Spa Hotel in Samana Province
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 295
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Facilities and services: Main pool with Jacuzzi surrounded by a sun terrace 3 beachside hydromassage tubs Loungers, sun umbrellas and towel service BAHIA SPA (additional charge) Water activity centre WiFi access in the lobby (1h per day free of charge) Wedding gazebo Buffet-style main restaurant and 3 speciality restaurants 4 bars, cocktail lounge, chill out zone, 1 snack bar Sports facilities: gym Pueblo Principe: Shopping and leisure mall with local craft stores, live music, shows, stores, bars and disco. Rooms: 295 rooms including 4 types: Standard, Standard with Sea View, Superior Junior Suite and Club Golden Junior Suite. Junior Suites are larger than Standard rooms. Room facilities: King size bed or 2 full size beds Fully-equipped bathroom with hydromassage bath tub, hair dryer and magnifying mirror. Air conditioning Ceiling fan Telephone Satellite TV Coffee-making facilities Mini-bar Safe (additional charge) Terrace WiFi (no additional charge) Junior Suite: sitting area, sofa-bed and ironing set Club Golden Junior Suites (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: Park Mini Club for children aged 4 to 12 Evening Mini Disco Babysitting service (additional charge) Other services Medical service (additional charge) Pharmacy (additional charge) Bus stop opposite the hotel Auditorium for corporate meetings Panoramic lifts Personalised menus (for celiacs, diabetics, etc.) Available on request Specialised service for organising weddings, incentive trips, events and anniversaries. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gran Bahia Principe Cayacoa Hotel
Gran Bahia Principe Cayacoa Samana

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