We stayed 2 weeks - purchased the roulette deal offered with Air Canada. Please note that if you book roulette you have to pay for the room safe ($4/day) and you don’t get AC’s complementary bath robes and slippers like the rest of the Air Canada vacationers do.
If you are flying from Vancouver or Toronto you do not get a free meal on the flights. So be prepared to pay if you are hungry (they take credit card).
AC rep Joel was nice enough. A bit abrupt at times but honest as he refunded our excursion as promised when I became ill. You can book excursions with Raymond at the end of the beach under the bridge to nowhere; he will charge much less for the same thing – he is trustworthy.
We walked into town and shopped around without incident. Larimar is their “national stone” – you will hear this from each vendor (about a million times) by the end of your trip.
The resort: I would say a 4* overall.
The beach and ocean are littered with garbage after any amount of rain as there are storm drains nearby that empty into the ocean. It was quite gross at times. But after it cleared it was okay but still unnerving if you saw garbage floating around as we had the very first day we arrived. They work hard to keep it clean but it should not be there in the first place! The beach is also public. Not a big deal but overall the beach was a 3*. Go to Cayo Levantado “Bacardi island/beach” – well worth the extra cash to spend time at an awesome beach!! Gorgeous over there!
Our standard room was a 4* with a miniature washroom - as a couple we didn’t mind but it was tiny! The room itself was okay, nothing great. Everything worked, even the air conditioning; we had heard that other people’s toilets, AC, and patio door were broken. Mini-fridge was always well stocked with pop, beer, and water. Bring an extra worthless card with you, (Safeway or expired BCAA card), to insert into the electrical panel on the wall near the door. This is required to keep the electricity running in your room (AC, lights and mini fridge), otherwise they stay off. We were on the second floor near the lobby bar and yes it was noisy at times but we were not vacationing at a busy time and it was bearable. If it had been high season the noise would have been torture. But the second floor is a great location – close to everything.
The gym: not bad, not great – typical for these resorts. Old rusty equipment/machines, but functional. One treadmill – hopefully it lives on…
This resort is VERY CLEAN! And the staff are lovely. They really do work hard and are quite friendly. One thing though – the review “nice for the most part” is accurate – the Maitre'D at the gourmet restaurant is very rude and some of the males are aloof. And the tall dark pool activities guy does hit on women!
Most things undesirable with this resort is in the hands of upper management – not the regular day staff who work so hard to make you happy. We tipped the bar staff and maids extra.
Premium drinks cost extra which is ridiculous for a supposed 4.5/5*!! In Cuba we stayed at a 3.5/4* and never paid extra for premium alcohol! It was quite disappointing as they use Normandy brand alchy which is cr*p. Fortunately Smirnoff and Stoli were all-inclusive. But any liquor like Frangelico, Kalua, Baileys, Remy, good whiskeys, etc were extra $ L
Coco Locos and Mojitos are the best. The Sangria wasn’t bad either.
Food: Buffet is excellent! I would say 4.5* - way better than the a la carte (3.5*) - we even cancelled one of ours so we could enjoy the buffet. They have different themes each night – Canada, Spain, Mexico, DR, Oriental (with sushi), Italian, and Gala. Mexican was the best – lots of chicken breast dishes. A fresh salad bar, pizza, French fries, omlettes, fresh fruit… Desserts all suck – too many gelatin based – very bland! Ice cream was great of course.
I recommend you try the El Portillo resort instead as I think it would be better even if only for the nicer beach!! No, I would not return here – It’s a beachfront resort and the beach/ocean were disgusting at times. We paid for a 4.5* beachfront resort expecting something really nice – and it was disappointing, even on the good days. If a nice beach is important to you – do not come here!
Take extra copies of the declaration and blue forms when you are entering as they are required again when you depart and completing them ahead of time will save you time and hassle at the airport. AC paid for the departure tax which was nice so didn’t have to worry about that. Yes they are picky about what you take with you in your carry-on on the way home so just put it in your luggage if you have the room and extra weight.
Feel free to message me with any questions.
- 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