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“First time in Dominican Republic”

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Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa
Ranked #6 of 53 Hotels in Samana Province
Certificate of Excellence
Montreal, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
33 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“First time in Dominican Republic”
Reviewed February 8, 2013

We were three friends travelling to Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa, Samana based on it’s the positive reviews from Tripadvisor.com. For two of us, it was our first time in Dominican Republic and we stayed from January 23 – 30.
We arrived the resort hotel around 2:30pm. The tour company kindly suggested that we check-in to our room later so could proceed directly to dining room to catch the lunch (which finished around 3pm). The hotel is very relaxed about meal times, so if you are late, don’t worry you will be served and no one will care. It sets a nice pace for our stay.
The first impression of the hotel is that the hotel dark and a bit dated. Maybe the darkness is a style to protect from all the sunlight and heat esp. in summer.
The resort has the 2 beaches are small but we found both have their own strengths. The main one is where all the action takes place. The water was warm and you could swim laps if you wanted to in the enclosed area. The water was calm, a bit cloudy but ok with a pair of goggles or mask. One improvement is that the hotel needs to enforce a policy of no staking out the chairs at the beach and the pool. The resort seemed quite full and there was a bit of competition to get the chairs at pool and the beach. There was a small pool in the Royal Golden section – a bit more isolated… like being on a quiet island. Very quiet this was a nice alternative to the scene at the main beach and the main pool. There was BBQ food and salads served each day at lunch at the bar located on the beach.

All through the resort you could serve yourself water, juice, ice tea which is a huge plus if you ever had to stay somewhere where you had to bother the waiter or barman for every little thing. If you wanted alcohol you had to go through the bar tender which may go a little to controlling the consumption of the aggressive North Americans who brought their own large flasks to fill and refill (and refill) all through the day. Wow, our culture must make quite the impression of the local people who rarely overweight and don’t overconsume 24 /7. Don’t worry….you are never too fat for a bathing suit or even a bikini when you go to one of these places.
The resort has one main pool, not overly large. Many people gather at the pool each day and that is where the activities take place. You either participate or watch these activities as you basically right there in the middle of them – no escape. On the other hand, you are always welcome to join. There are few small pools which are really more like large Jacuzzis in Royal Golden section. I like the idea having swimming pools in different locations; we enjoyed a piece of quiet from time to time. We also enjoy taking a walk to the path between the main building and the Golden session. We found they put a good effort to maintain the resort area.
The three a la carte restaurants - Dolce Vita, Orquidea and El Pescador, are standard. Personally I quite disappointed with the buffet restaurant. It was acceptable but did not exceed our expectations. Part of reasons is the high expectation I got it from the earlier reviews. I found the buffet had less variety. Sometimes I noticed that they‘re serving similar choices in the same day in lunch & dinner. They also have theme night for dinner; we found the Chinese night is the worst. But we loved the local food night. They should substitute the Chinese night for Mexican night because they would have better luck preparing that kind of food. Even by Canadian standards it was not real Chinese food at all. In the daytime, they only serve cookies in the Lobby bar in the main building. If you want real food for snacks you are able to go to La Casita over in Golden section area. They serve a limited buffet selection on a smaller scale until 6pm. At night, restaurant Dolce Vita (next to disco) serves snacks (sandwich, chicken baguette, burger & hotdog with chips…) start from 11pm. You have access to food basically 24 hours a day. You would never go hungry.
The room we stayed is right on top of the main entrance and opposite the disco. If you are light sleeper beware of these rooms (330 & 331; 430 & 431; 530 & 531). Although there was a beautiful view of the bay, we found the room a bit dark as well, only 2 wall lamp and 1 floor lamp. TV was too small, yes we wanted to watch the news and tennis on TV (AUSTRALIAN OPEN) but there was a large TV screen (Wii available) in the room across the lobby bar (along with two pool tables). And we have 3 beds, 2 double and 1 rollaway bed. Sleeping on the rollaway bed like sleeping on the trampoline. But sleeping with the regular bed doesn’t have any advantage. The hotel did call on day 2 to ask if everything was okay. They did not get around to changing the mattress on the bed but they did fix the weak stream of water from the shower.
Overall we found the staffs from front desk to housekeeping are very friendly. Besides the front desk, they speak less English that I would have expected but we improved our Spanish for sure we didn’t find any difficulty to communicate with them. They are very polite and smiling all the time. These are very warm and welcoming people who were not aggressive at all about tipping. Again, it really contributed to setting the right pace for a relaxing holiday. Tipping really seemed to be optional which is what it is supposed to be. We appreciated the service and left US$2 or $3 with each buffet meal and then a bit more for the a la carte restaurants.
At night, you can enjoy the shows put on by the animation team. Well worth it, we went every evening and it was something different every night. Another option is to sit outside on the large outdoor terrace which overlooked the bay and the town of Samana. Again, there is not much to do, so it is relaxing in my opinion.
We enjoyed exploring the bridge to nowhere. Spending half a day in Samana where is ok. I nice walk along the marina but not much to see….I would be important to take a walk to see how the locals live. It seemed safe enough. Sorry I missed the whale museum. I only realized it was there after our trip.

Room Tip: light sleeper beware of these rooms (330 & 331; 430 & 431; 530 & 531)
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
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3 Thank travelxiii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Blackpool
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2013

What a brilliant holiday resort for myself and wife. Nothing is too much trouble for the staff and they treat you as friends............ special mention must go to Jisselle, Franklin and Alba in the main restaurant, Juan making fabby cocktails at the small poolside bar, and the 4 amigos in the main bar.... Manuel, Angel, Victor and Dario
We had room 2105... great sea view but in a quieter part of the resort. Lunch at La Calista every day was superb.

Room Tip: get a room in the 2100 numbers, small complex... away from the vibrant nightlife but a mere phone ca...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank bromleyhotel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2013

Just returned on Feb 5/13 from a week at this hotel.It was just wonderful wished we booked 2 weeks. Overall the place deserves a 10 out 10 The grounds are well kept and the views are breath taking. All of the staff were very friendly and helpful.We stayed in a junior suite #3231 it was well worth the upgrade. very spacious and comfortable with a great view of the ocean. The maid service was very good They always left the room with some special touches like towel figures and flowers on the sheets They don't expect tips but a dollar a day was greatly accepted as was the hair clips and perfumes iI left. The buffet was good just a lot of the same types of food everyday. But we always found things we liked. The a al carte restaurants on the other hand we found were not very good they seemed very much the same a lot of fish dishes and there love candies, gum, and little toys so if you plan to go on excursions be sure to bring some of these things with you. They will break your heart.... We do have to mention one draw back not for us, it helped keep the holiday weight gain to a minimum lol but for some the amount of steps was crazy This vacation was worth every red cent we paid and if all Grande Bahia Principe hotels are ran like this one we won't hesitate to stay in another .. Hope this was helpful .

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Lynne P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beaverton, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2013

We stayed here from Jan 29 - Feb 5/13 in the junior golden suites with family, 8 of us in total, 6 adults, a 1 yrs old and a 3 yrs old. and we had a blast!! The food was amazing and the service as well. Tips are not expected but are appreciated. We found there to be no favortisim towards those who tipped and those who did not which mad us want to tip all the more!The Staff was very attentive to our young children and went above and beyond! lots of stairs is an understatement! if you are traveling with young children and staying in the junior suites forget the stroller it was more of a hinderence than a help and we did not use it all the whole week. The hotel grounds are beautiful and the bay of Samana is breathtaking!! we did 3 trips zip lining, whale watching and the national park all were fantastic and well worth the money!! If you have any problem the staff fixed it right away!! My parents had the shower from the suite above them leak into their bathroom, the problem was fixed right away and they received a bottle of rum and 2 t-shirts for the inconveince! the staff really works had to make your stay relaxing and carefree!! The staff all spoke english well enough to get by and understood any request we had! I had read before that people had difficulty comunicating with the staff due to language differences but we did not find this to be true! All and all we had a great trip and would go back!! If you are thinking about booking here don't hesitate you will not be dissapointed!!!

Room Tip: Leave a couple dollars in your mini fridge with a note and it will be exploading with with beer. The...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank JesseSampson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2013

We did the roulette and didnt know what hotel we were staying in till we landed in Samana. We had an excellent time, starting with the bus ride to the hotel. Joel, from air canada was very informative on the hotel and the area. The hotel is small but very clean. If you are looking to party than this is NOT your hotel. Very quiet night life, good place to go and relax. Food was very good, repetive by the end of the week. Favourite night was Mexicain. Our favourite waitress was Yissel, she took time to get to know us and always stopped by our table to say hello. Our last meal there she came over and hugged us good bye. All the staff was very pleasant, Dady and David run a tight ship, lol. The bar is a good place to hang out and meet people make sure you get to know Angel, Victor and Dario excellent bartendars, they make awesome drinks escpecially the pina colada. Enjoyed the patio especially in the afternoon, early evening drinking irish coffee and cappuccinos. Our maid kept our room clean, fresh flower on the bed everyday. The entertainment people try to keep you entertain from sun up to way past sun down. "hello Spagethy Boy, you were hillarious!!!" The beach area is small but never had a problem finding chairs, just ask and they'll place them on the beach for you. The pool is very clean, no problem getting chairs there either. We swam at the small pool one day and had it all to ourselves along with our personal bartendar "Sony " because everyone was at the main pool. We went into town our second day there found it to be a little bit overwhelming at first. Make sure you know how to barter. Second trip to town was alot easier. We had a great time, hoping to return next year.
PS dont forget to tip these hard working people, they work very, very long hours and really appreciate our tips.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank tacton1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guelph, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2013

We stayed at this hotel from January 29-February 5, 2013. We had a great time at this resort. Here are a few things that I would suggest after our trip:

1. Bring a watch for the week-sometimes hard to figure out what time it is
2. We had no issues with the buffet-we normally had lunch at the snack bar and it was great.
3. We tried the following a la cartes: the gourmet, the seafood and the Italian. The Italian and Gourmet restaurants were okay-they weren't the best but they weren't horrible either. The fish restaurant was, in our opinion, not good at all. My boyfriend had the steak and lobster and he said it was just okay. I do not like fish so I was worried what I was going to be able to eat but was happy when I saw pork on the menu. Not sure what the problem was, but my pork was terrible. The only thing I ate was the potatoes on the plate, tried one piece of the pork and couldn't eat the rest of it.
4. Went to Bacardi Island twice-much nicer beach and simply beautiful! You can also buy vanilla, cocca powder, rum, etc on the island for much cheaper than in the stores at the hotel.
5. Did the excursion through air
transit doing the quads (ATVS) and then to Rincon beach. If you have the time to do this, I would for sure recommend it. What a great trip. You drive the quads through the countryside and it was really nice to see everything. Rincon beach is one of the most beautiful sites I have ever seen-we paid $80.00 each US for this trip.
6. Rooms were great. We stayed in junior suite 3331. There were lots of stairs but we didn't mind them at all. Sometimes it was slow to get the rooms cleaned-once our room wasn't completed until almost 6 pm, however, they did a great job.
7. Staff was always very helpful and always try to help out.
8. Not a lot of night life but that didn't bother us at all. We spent almost all day, everyday in the sun and at the beach so by the time 10 pm came around, we were beat.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Amanda S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belleville, Ontario, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2013

This is the second time at Cayacoa and was just as good as the first. A 5 star resort with great food and a very friendly staff. Beach was clean and fairly private. They have 2 small beaches that are very relaxing., Great place too unwind.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Leon M
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
Amenities:
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 (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

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