I stayed at the Cayacoa from March 17 to March 24, 2012. This was originally a solo trip but a friend decided to tag along at the last minute.
WestJet: The service was great but the rep insisted that we sit through a long presentation on the very first day. This presentation was about the excursions but he was also going to tell us when we were going to be picked up on our way back (so essentially, you have to go to the presentation to get this information). I was already aware of all the tours offered in the area so I found this part a little annoying.
Room: I was in room 511 (main building) which overlooks the pool and the small bay. The room was very nice and clean. As per my request, I got a king size bed (personally, I did not find the bed and pillows too hard). Since the room is right above the main pool, you hear the music all day. As such, it is not a good room for someone who likes to take naps during the day but there is no noise at night. I would not suggest that people stay on the second floor as it is the main artery between the lobby and one of the elevators going to the buffet and the pool/beach. This means that it is noisy all the time and you can hear everything through the doors.
Service: Inevitably, I managed to block the toilet. This was fixed immediately. However, the ringer on my phone did not work. I mentioned it twice to the reception and this was never fixed. Generally, everyone was nice but some staff acted overly eager and some were a little indifferent (i.e. talking amongst each other/on the phone while you're waiting, etc.).
Grounds/hotel: Since I read the reviews, I knew about the stairs. However, I stayed in the main building so it only affected me when I went to the snack bar. The hotel, the grounds and the surrounding area are beautiful and very well kept. If you stay in the main building, it is actually pretty compact which is my preference. The hotel layout is a little confusing at first as the lobby, the buffet and the pool/beach exit are on different floors. It took me a while to get used to it but it was a breeze once I got it figured out. The beach is pretty nice and clean (not the nicest but again, I knew this from reading reviews).
Food: Here comes my only real complaint about this place: you cannot take food out of the buffet/restaurants. I don't know why and because of the language barrier, I never really found out why. This is the first time I encounter this. There is no patio in the buffet and I wanted to have breakfast on my patio. They eventually allowed it (for a tip, naturally). The food at the buffet was really good in general. There was something for everyone. The theme nights were a bit of a joke. For example, the Canadian night had a "poutine" dish which consisted of fries with melted cheese on them. That was it. I only went to the Italian à la carte and it was delicious. My friend went to the gourmet restaurant also and loved it. The snack bar only serves the leftovers from lunch and unless you're really starving, it's not worth the trek down the stairs.
Entertainment: I would say that the average age of guests during my visit was 45-50. This is not a party place and I was aware of this when I booked. We went to the disco three times and it was pretty empty all the time. I only saw the magic show and it was pretty entertaining.
Overall, I loved the place but it's a little too regimented for my taste: no 24-hour bars, no food in rooms. I chose the place as I was going to be a solo traveler but ended up going with someone. I would suggest this place to solo travelers, couples and people who like to have fun but within limits (this is a pretty classy joint, afterall). Also, I strongly recommend the Walk the plank zipline and the Los Haitises national park (I'll post reviews of those separately).
- 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 (24h 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 (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