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Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa
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Reviewed July 26, 2013

Having just spent two weeks in this hotel I can highly recommend this resort. Although the beach is not really "Caribbean Quality " the pool areas are excellent and range from a large lively environment to a quieter calmer area down the windy and steep paths. The staff were very friendly and helpful and every area of the hotel was spotlessly clean, (even the pool area toilets )

My only gripe is with the constant selling around and towards the entrance of the pool in the form of scuba trips, boat trips to Bacardi Island, Photos with monkeys and parrots.

For a country that derives most of its income from tourism I am astounded the local police/hotels don't educate the local population that if they hassle people whilst out walking / browsing / shopping it will drive the tourists away. We personally didn't venture into Samana because of feedback from other tourists saying the locals would hassle/tug/follow and generally make them feel threatened whilst out and about and I know we weren't alone with this decision.

The food is very nice but the same (Re-Used) items seemed to crop up a couple of days later deep fried or coated in some other type of garnish.

We went on a few excursions and I would highly recommend the Zip Lines (Unless scared of heights) but I wouldn't let this bother you as they are very safe and there is more than enough supervisors to calm any fears and support the nervous.

Alcohol is very poor quality and very watered down but there is enough bar staff to cope with the amount of patrons requiring their daily beverages.

Overall very enjoyable and relaxing holiday and would definately return.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank simdog635
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
División Cuarto... B, Public Relations Manager at Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa, responded to this reviewResponded July 29, 2013

Dear TripAdvisor member.

All feedback from our guests is valued, to ensure that we maintain and deliver the level of service expected from us. We greatly appreciate the time you have taken to post your experience and beatiful photos.

It will be a pleasure for all of us to host you once again in Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, all-inclusive hotels for your holidays in the Dominican Republic.

Greetings,
Albis Corredor
Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2013

we stayed there for 2 weeks and there were no day when we would be bored. At first - small but very nice beach. As hotel is on top of rocks, there is a lift by which you can easy get to the beach. All clean, not noisy beach and with attractions organised by animation team and beverages available all the time. There might be days that all beds at the beach are occupied.

Hotel's location is in great place with beautiful view to the beach and town Samana (depending where the room is). There is shuttle each our available to Samana.

Very friendly staff, especially at restaurants. All the dirty dishes removed quickly and quite. It feels like they take care for each guest. Choice of food and beverages was good. Hotel is offering to have a free dinner at three restaurants (beside main buffet). We tried fish restaurant and gourmet restaurant and concluded that somehow it is better to go buffet. :) the best thing I enjoyed regarding food - were fresh fruits each day like mango, papaya, pine apple, passion fruit. The taste of fruits was real not like in the ones in UK supermarkets.

Main pool was nice but during the day fully occupied and noisy due attractions arrange by animation team. Some times music was too loud so we left the pool. There is available also small library in case you forgot take a book with you to read.

At the evenings there are life music at terrace where animation team teaches local traditional dance bachata. As I love dancing and I enjoyed time there a lot. Also I suggest to attend evening shows. Some of them were interesting and funny. Be careful with animation team as sometimes there go over limits what makes situation uncomfortable.

Speaking about attractions outside hotel - we were very disappointed about Thomson/ First choice representative. We booked much in advance trip to Rincon beach but it was canceled in a last minute. The reasons were too suspicious. We were not sure anymore if all the rest trips will be as planed. Also the prices are much higher then for example for trips organised by local guys Raymond and Gregory. That's way we canceled all trips organised by Jessica and booked them from the locals and for much lower prices. Also, during shuttle from airport to hotel I expected more and detailed information about Samana, local people etc.

Tip - when ever you by something from locals or photos from trips you were, try to bargain otherwise you will spend much more money then it is worth.

One warring - even if you have paid for all the services you have, everyone still expects tips. We gave few tips when the service was really outstanding and with special care.

Overall - each pound we paid for whole trip was worth it and 2 fabulous weeks spent in a little piece of paradise.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Ilona_De
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
División Cuarto... B, Public Relations Manager at Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa, responded to this reviewResponded July 29, 2013

Dear TripAdvisor member:

We are delighted to know that you had an awesome time with us during your last visit to Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa. This is what is allowing us to make a difference in each guest experience and motivate us to continue striving towards excellence.

Looking forward to welcoming you once again!

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, your best hotel in Samana.

Greetings,
Albis Corredor
Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa

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Reviewed July 24, 2013

We were moved to Cayacoa from El Portillo and stayed there two nights and one full day. The best thing about this resort was our room. We were in room 510 with double ocean views, amazing! This was the highlight of our trip for sure. Beach is small and not much going on the beach. Main pool was nice but can get busy there. I would really do my homework to see what rooms I was booking before as some of the locations of the villas are not that nice. If you have trouble walking this is not resort for you. We were disappointed as we were promised reservation to the restaurants would not be a problem when we moved and at the end we were not able to get it. Food was OK. It was good to stay there just for a day and compare to other resorts.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank agpic9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
División Cuarto... B, Public Relations Manager at Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa, responded to this reviewResponded July 25, 2013

Dear TripAdvisor member:

We feel so sorry to hear that our service has not reached your expectations. We thank you for taking the time of sharing your opinion with others on TripAdvisor which we will take in the highest consideration.

We agree with you about our views, all our hotel have a privilege location.

We hope to have another opportunity and honor us with your visit in order to change any negative perception about our services.

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, all-inclusive hotels in Samana.

Greetings,
Albis Corredor
Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa

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Reviewed July 23, 2013

overall it is a very good resort, it has everything you need to spend a fun vacation with your partner and friends.
What amazed me the most was the help that the staff fron guest service provided me. I came to the hotel with the idea of having a surprise for my husband because it was his birthday. I ran into Liza and Yuri who happened to be incredibly interested into fulfilling my requests!! The only thing was that they were not going to be working the day I wanted the surprise to be. So I waited until Yuderka arrived, because she was the one to be there at the time and day of the surprise.
Yuderka took my request and made it her own!! The surprise was PERFECT, my husband loved it!! thanks to her dedication and time!.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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3  Thank Emmarielle B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
División Cuarto... B, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa, responded to this reviewResponded July 24, 2013

Dear TripAdvisor member:

Thank you for your kind note. Our team takes pride in providing an amazing time with our hotel and we are happy to see that we have accomplished our goal with you.

We appreciate your words about our Guest service staff. They will more than happy after hear about your review.

We cannot wait to see you back in our Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, for a perfect holiday in Samana,

Greetings,
Albis Corredor
Granb Bahia Principe Cayacoa

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Reviewed July 21, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed here from 27th June to 11th July, booked through Thomson, £800 each all inclusive. This was the first holiday we'd been on together in 5 years so we were super excited!

Flight - 8 and a half hours on a first choice plane. Plane was fine, good leg room, seats reasonably comfy. Only complaint about the flight was I'd checked with Thomson 3 months before travelling that they could provide me with a gluten feee vegetarian meal, which they said would be no problem and unfortunately my meal had meat in it. A complaint is on its way to Thomson lol. Transfer to the hotel is 45 minutes through countryside where you get to see local communities.

Hotel - we stayed in room 529 on the top floor and were upgraded to a Golden room as we booked before the end of January. The perks of the Golden room aren't really anything special in my opinion - a robe, slippers and coffee machine in the room and use of a computer for 15 minutes in the Golden Reception but there is free wifi in the Reception anyway so not really needed if you have a smartphone or laptop. All ok as we got it for free but I wouldn't pay for it. Our room was lovely, king size bed which was super comfy and stunning views over Samana bay - beautiful at 5am when you're adjusting to the time difference! The maid came every day and we were treated to some cool towel birds and hearts on a few days! Air con was a life saver as the weather was very hot and humid. The grounds were immaculate, the grounds staff were out working every day to keep it nice and tidy. The main beach that you take the lift down to get to was lovely, the sand was nice and the sea was clear and calm. Locals do come on the beach but they generally don't bother tourists. There's a random bridge to nowhere that you can walk along (they were going to build a hotel at the end but ran out of money) but I would advise that you only go halfway then come back. There are big signs at the start of the bridge saying the hotel can't guarantee your safety on the bridge which is a bit disconcerting and the locals might follow you along it. The pools are great too - the main pool is big with a swim up bar but gets pretty noisy with the Animation Team trying to get you to play ping pong or volleyball so we only went there a couple of times. There are 2 other pool areas which are pretty quiet and we never struggled to get a sun lounger. The hotel itself is 40 years old so the decor is kind of colonial themed and a bit outdated but everything was clean and well maintained. We had no problems in our room.

Samana - this is town that the hotel is located in. The hotel is on top of a hill and there is a shuttle bus that goes down into the town every hour. The rep bigged up this place called the Pueblo Principe which is supposed to be a sort of meeting place for he other Gran Bahia hotels in the area. So we went down ino the town expecting this place to be busy but it was dead. Only one shop open and that was it. You can't walk more than a few minutes without being approached by a local trying to get you to come in their shop or go on their tour so if you don't like being hassled, stay away from the town. Yes booze and things may be cheaper down there but I'd rather pay a bit more in the hotel shops than feel nervous and on edge in the town. The resort rep Jessica will go and buy booze or whatever you want from the town and you just pay her back a few days later.

Staff - the staff couldn't do enough for you, waiters always offering to top up your drinks, bar staff replenishing your drinks without you needing to ask sometimes and the resort rep Jessica was lovely - she went down into town especially to get us some rum (dirt cheap at $8 for 700ml). My boyfriend thought the maids uniforms were a bit demeaning but I think they were just very old fashioned (and very peach).

Food - average really, a bit of a weird mix of stuff and pretty repetitive. Some things were amazing (my bf loved the wide variety of fish on offer and the ice cream was pretty good) but the salads were pretty boring and as a coeliac that's all I could really have that was definitely gluten free! I loved the fresh fruit, which was available at every meal and breakfast was ok - eggs, yogurt and fruit for me but there was a wide variety of things to choose from at least. I think you'd always find something to your taste but the main problem is the repetitiveness. There were themed nights which broke it up a bit but still. The cocktails were amazing - banana mamas and piña colads were my favourites! The main bar got pretty busy some nights but I don't think that's a big deal.

Excursions - we did 2 through Thomson, Los Haitises National Park (whole day trip) and the El Limon waterfall (half day trip). It is 45 minutes by boat to Los Haitises and the tour guide was very knowledgeable. You get to see lots of birds and even bats in the caves! You get to see mangrove swamps and walk through the jungle a bit. In the afternoon you go to Cayo Levantado, which has a gorgeous white sandy beach and crystal clear water. To get to El Limon you have to go on a pony trek through the jungle, which is awesome. The guides are local volunteers who live for tips so they try and do lots of things for you, like take pictures and point out things growing there. We swam in the waterfall which was great!

Tipping - I read a lot of things about tipping before we went and would say that in general the staff don't expect tips. As the rep pointed out at the welcome talk, it's an all Inclusive resort so tips are included too. Only tip someone you feel really deserves it. We only tipped the maid and the staff on the trips we went on. Oh and in terms of currency I would say just take US dollars.

Weather - hot and humid, not clear blue skies every day and it thundered a fair few times - amazing thunder and lightning actually, never seen anything like it! The sun was very hot though, even through the clouds. On our penultimate day we were hit by a tropical storm, we were on the edge of it so it wasn't really bad but it was torrential rain all day and some wicked thunder and lightning!

Overall, we had a fab holiday, we would probably go to another Gran Bahia hotel but as we prefer to go to new places, we probably wouldn't go back to Samana.

Room Tip: I think most rooms have a sea view but if you can get one overlooking the bay, I think the views are better.
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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4  Thank Baggers24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
División Cuarto... B, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa, responded to this reviewResponded July 24, 2013

Dear TripAdvisor member:

Thank you so much for taking your time to write this detailed review for your recent at our Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa.

We are really glad that you have enjoyed your stay with us, specially our services.

We work every day to satisfy our guest needs and to make their stay a memorable holiday and we are really happy to see that we did it with you.

Enjoy an all-inclusive holiday as a couple with Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts!

Greetings,
Albis Corredor
Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa

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