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“Benidorm Class”

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Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa
Ranked #6 of 54 Hotels in Samana Province
Certificate of Excellence
Sheffield,England.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Benidorm Class”
Reviewed June 21, 2008

This hotel is billed as 4 star by the Gran Bahia Group,we have stayed at 4 Gran Bahia hotels in the DR this being the worst ever,firstly the facilities are poor and half of the hotels speciality restaurants were shut,the Spa pool & snack bar are only reachable by what can be described as a trek through the wilderness,the junior suite pictured in brochures is from the Gran Bahia Punta Cana not this hotel as we paid extra for the let down.All in all this hotel is poor compared to the other Gran Bahia sites,needless to say after 2 days we paid the extra and transferred to the Gran Bahia Cayo Levantado(see other review).

  • Liked — Views
  • Disliked — Poor Quality
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MikeandSho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London
Level Contributor
42 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed June 20, 2008

Just got back from the holiday at Gran Bahia Principe Cayacoa on last Friday and would love to go back already. We had the most fantastic holiday ever, this hotel and Samana itself are probably the best kept secret of the Dominican Republic, everyone kept saying it was so much better then the overcrowded holiday centres such as Punta Cana. Samana has three main hotels, all of them under Bahia Principe brand. We were told that Hotel Samana was closed due to refurbishment, and Cayo Levantado is on the Bacardi Island, amazing hotel and probably our next destination :-) Cayacoa was a brilliant choice, we had a very good deal with Firstchoice. Originally booked Bahia Principe San Juan but after reading bad reviews on Tripadvisor I had changed the accommodation over. Firstchoice first wanted to ask for more money but then we finally came to an agreement as in my opinion they should not advertise a place with such bad reputation anyway. Apparently Firstchoice also has a policy to match the internet price to their catalogue price which is usually more expensive. We did not know that and when I went to travel agency I was told that internet is cheaper due to not being safe (?) and they would not match the price. I am now aware that they should have – that’s just a tip, don’t let them to rip you off with an excuse like that! I have to admit that apart from this incident at the beginning, Firstchoice provided a fair service. The rep is called Patrick is from Canada, we did not do any business with him so I couldn’t actually tell anything about the way he works, but I’ve heard some people complaining about him but I don’t actually have an opinion, sorry.

Hotel
Beautiful property, dancers and welcome punch on arrival. Our room wasn’t ready at arrival so we went to the lobby bar straight away and got a couple of pina coladas before check-in. The rep gives you the key and info about the facilities and opening hours on the way there, on the bus so you don’t have to queue up to check in which is really convenient. Lobby bar is really nice with good service and nice atmosphere. It has a tea stand with cookies.
The room was on the 4th floor in the main building overlooking the bay, but almost all rooms had fantastic views. The room itself was beautiful, spotless clean and very spacious, with coffee machine, jacuzzi bath, huge wardrobe, massive king size bed, safe, minibar with two bottles of water, soft drinks and beer refreshed daily, flat screen telly and a nice balcony. It was just perfect.

Food
3 theme restaurants, the panoramic gourmet restaurant was closed due to refurbishment, but its menu was served in the Italian restaurant. The food in the gourmet wasn’t that good, Italian was a bit better but nothing special really. Beef carpaccio was quiet nice though. My favourite was the Fish Restaurant, mainly because of the views of the little bay (by the jacuzzi pools).
But still, the buffet restaurant offered the best food with theme nights (Spanish, Mexican, Japanese, Italian, Dominican, American. I was very surprised by that they made such amazing sushi. The buffet has a pizza and pasta section, where a chef makes whatever you want to eat in front of you. There is also another section where another chef does your fish, beef or pork steak. Also there’s lots of salad, fresh exotic fruit, cakes and so. You always find something to eat for sure. Service in restaurant is great, waiters/esses are always smiley and friendly.

Swimming Pool – Beach
The pool is great with a fantastic bar and there is always something entertainment going on around it. We played water volleyball every day, sometimes waterpolo too and the entertainment team did lots of competitions and games. The entertainment team is brilliant, especially Blacky, Yonathan and Alfonso, friendly and cool guys, they did a great job every day and they almost remembered everyone’s name which just makes you feel really good anyway.
The Jacuzzi pools by the lagoon are great, and the beach has a pier where we spent days on reading books. The lagoon is great for beginner snorkelers as the water is shallow and you can see lots of star fishes. There is a snack bar by the jacuzzis, it offers burgers, sandwiches, hot dog and salads and its open from 11 till dinnertime so it is quiet handy if you don’t want to go for the buffet lunch. Tip: if you don’t want to climb the stairs just ask the barman and he’ll call the little cart for you and you don’t even have to walk!
I know people here complained about the main beach but I found it great. Ok, the sand is not white but a little darker and the water isn’t turquoise either but we couldn’t care less. It was great, not crowded at all, you can do kayaking and there’s a catamaran you can use if you know how to. I found the main beach very relaxing and view from the panoramic lift is breathtaking.

Excursions
Tip: don’t do it with the rep, do it with Raymond. I know the previous review complained about him but I can’t actually see why. He’s a very friendly local guy, we went on two trips with him and we found him great and his trips are a lot cheaper than the travel agencys. One of the guys didn’t have enough money for one of the trips and Raymond did not do a big deal about it only told the guy to give it to him later. By the way, you only have to pay at the end of the trip, not in advance. With rep of course you have to book and pay in advance and you won’t give your money back if the weather goes bad or you fall ill or anything happens within 24 hours. With Raymond its not a problem, he’s always there at 9 o’clock by the entrance and if you want to go just be there and he’ll take you and you’ll pay afterwards – only exception is the catamaran, when you have to pay in the bay as the catamaran people wants the money upfront.
We went to Playa Rincon, beautiful beach, white sand and light blue water but we found a bit boring as there’s nothing else to do but swimming and snorkelling (by the way, if a guy on the beach tries to sell you snorkelling stuff for $10 just say no as he actually lets it but he hardly speaks English so people tend to misunderstand him and then he tries to collect the stuff winding people up. And its not worth it for $10. Buy one in the gift shop for $17 instead)
The other trip was the catamaran. We took a trip around the islands, went snorkelling a little bit by the Bacardi Island and had spent the rest of the time at the island. We had some food (fish, chicken, salad, rice and fresh fruit) and the drinks were included as well (soft drinks, water and rum). It was a great day out, I would recommend to take this trip.
We did not try any other trips as there was always something to do by the hotel, but we actually went to Bacardi Island one more time as there is a shuttle boat comes to pick up people from the pier by the jacuzzi pools, it is around $15 dollars. It picked us up at 9 and brought us back at 1.30. We tried the banana boat on the island for $10 at it was great fun.

Overall it was a fantastic experience, we were also lucky as most of the guests of the hotel were from England who made friends with each other and went everywhere together, and everyone with no exception was very nice.

Sorry for the incidental mistakes, English is not my native language so my grammar migh not be perfect. I still hope that my review will be useful to anyone who considers to go to Samana

  • Liked — Food, Room, Pool, Beach, Service
  • Disliked — Nothing, everything was perfect
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
13 Thank Anna A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CUMBERLAND, ONTARIO
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed June 12, 2008

Was pleasantly greeted and processed quite fast at the airport.
Beautiful scenary along the way with typical Dominican villages, poor and very dirty. This is our seventh time in the DR. We are fully aware of the culture etc.

Arrived at the Hotel beautiful property however some what disapointed. Did not think it was in the middle of a busting little city. We thougnht it would be more villagy. It made me think like staying dowtown in a highrise luxury hotel.

Found it somewhat disappointed that all meal had to be taken at the main dinning room/restaurant and that the men had to wear long pants at the buffet. Did not get the felling of being in a Resort. The only outdoor eating was 122 stairs down to the beach where the Suites are for cold hamburgers etc.

Rooms very clean and confortable.

Now BEWARE. Please be extra vigillant and never to lean on any of the wood railings along the little paths. My husband happen to do that at 10:00pm along and fell 24 feet. The Hotel tried to put the blame on us. The railings are rotten and they only patch. We saw with our own eyes.

Medical at the hotel was nil. The female doctor did stabalized him at all and he waited 40 minutes for her to get to the scene. He was taken to the clinic offsite in the little golf cart shuttle. She panic and did not know what to do with him. A surgeon from Quebec was with him and he stabalized him and did 10 stitches on his chin. She then put him in a van and shipped him to a Medical Clinic 1:45min away. To make a long story short they Medical team told us he had absolutely nothing. they also did not accept our medical insurance and we needed to pay over $5K before leave the hospital. We think everything was fixed between the Hotel and the doctors in order to keep us quiet. They released him with no pain medication.

When in fact upon his return to Ottawa only to be told he had a broken foot, 3 broken toes, broken ribs, broken jaw in two places, shattered knee, torn ligaments , 6 lost teeth (this we knew) and a serious blood clote in his leg. He is still off work and requires several surgery. But the DR said he had nothing.

Plus we are unable to get any type of compensation once you leave the country. Always try and settle before you leave.

So we did not see or done much on this holiday it was a nightmare however it will not stop us from travelling. Also make sure you have a credit card that has a 0 balance when you travel. Lesson well learned. Be extra careful.

  • Liked — Great Scenary
  • Disliked — Eating indoors, and dress code at buffet
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank TAZUR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed May 27, 2008

We stayed at the Gran Bahia Cayacoa recently and found it to be a lovely place. We would definetly go back. We travelled with First Choice and although the flight was delayed we were very satisfied and arrival was easy with the First Choice reps waiting for us and we were checked in on the bus, what a delight ,just had to go to our rooms upon arrival at the hotel.
The rooms are sufficiently large but we were outdoors most of the time enjoying the sun. The food is good and plentiful.
Would definetly recommend this hotel.
The only down side was what we had heard from other people about Raymond on the beach...he left us with no pick up for the jeep safari and then we couln't find him. We booked Playa Rincon with him and were sorry. For a few dollars more booking with our First Choice rep we would of had them serving us on the beach like we were Kings and Queens and a delicious lobster dinner. Next time I'll book everything with my First Choice rep.
We still had a great vacation.

\\

  • Liked — Love the view from the hotel
  • Disliked — The music at the pool is to loud!!!
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank FrankJudy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bedford, England
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed May 24, 2008

This review is based on a total British point of view, following visiting other resorts within the Caribbean in previous years, including the Dominican Republic in last 2 years.

'First Choice Airlines' great apart from the initial delay of 1 hour before departure following boarding the plane, due to some luggage hiccup, but this was soon forgotten when up in the air!
Flight was fine, nothing to comment on that bit really apart from the 8 hr flight. Once landed, paradise began.

You take your first breath of Caribbean air, and my god does the humidity hit you. Samana airport is nothing exciting (not like Punta Cana where you are greeting by the locals dressed up in native costume).
You have to complete Immigration paperwork, and this is given to you when you are waiting to go through customs, abit dreary after a long flight, but once completed you are through with no hassle, your Rep will greet you once outside and advise you to your coach for transfer to the resort. Your Rep will place a the All Inc. wristband on, paperwork of information of your resort, to include room keys/beach towel cards and luggage tickets to advise upon arrival of room number.

Thankfully transfer was only an hour away, whilst on route you see how the people of the Dom. Rep really live, a bit of an eye opener if you have not witnessed it before.

Hotel
We arrived, and were greeted by the animation team dancing in native costume. My partner found our luggage and placed the room number ticket on each case, before going into the lobby where you received a fruit cocktail, this was very welcome indeed!!
The lobby is bright, with a huge flower arrangement in the main foyer. There is a shop located opposite the lift for emergencies!

We where informed that we could go to our rooms straight away, where the porter, whom we nicknamed 'Captain' brought our cases up within about 5 mins, a very happy and pleasant guy who always had a smile, needless to say we tipped him!

The room, well.. like most Caribbean rooms, same decor, space.. the only thing I (being a woman) would complain about would be the size of the bathroom, lets just say abit on the small side, the shower not that powerful, but ample..but at least the hairdryer worked. You do however need to take an adapter for the electric if you so need to use straightening irons, charging up your mobile phone etc.

Once unpacked, we grabbed a shower, and went down to the buffet restaurant to eat. My partner commented at the time that there was not much to choose from, but this resort is so much smaller than previous which we have stayed in, so the quantity was not up to what he was used to. Saying that we were both tired and I put this negative point down to this!

The view from the hotel was fab, we where in room 521 which thankfully had no-one to our left, no-one above and the room next door was vacant. We overlooked the quiet lagoon, you could see some of the ocean, but not much. So much lush, green palmtrees. Mini bar stocked daily, tv, and the bed made daily with towel art with flowers on most days. We tipped the maid too, not every day, probably about 3 times during our stay. The bed was very comfortable.

Buffet restaurant was great for a variety of choices for breakfast. The chef would cook your eggs to order, fresh fruit of many choices, bacon, and breakfast the continental way.. coffee ontap if you so wanted, but the most annoying thing was the lack of teaspoons!!.. mad I know, but us brits got used to removing teaspoons from other made-up tables to take back to our own. A few lessons in how to lay a table are called for, this was apparent for the duration of our stay, for all meals needless to say!

Th air-conditioning could do with being turned up somewhat.. We enquired about this to one of the waiters, and where told that management turned this down during the day so to save money.. Air-conditioning in your room is not the best, but if you stood on your bed and pulled down the pulley cord on the fan, it went into turbo mode.. only then would your room got nice and cold.


During our stay the ‘Gourmet’ restaurant which is situated overlooking the beach was closed for re-decoration, a disappointment as this is shown in the ‘First Choice’ brochure and looks lovely. The hotel rotated evenings for speciality foods, such as Italian, which was nice. We didn’t try the Seafood restaurant and the Gourmet food was not to my liking. The Buffet does theme nights so always something for everybody.

Beach
Lots of palapas, no mad rush from other people to 'save' them by placing their towel, and other belongings on as if to say 'taken!!'
There was always one to find, funny that the brits get into a routine to going to the same one every day, us being one of them!
There is a bar at the end of the beach just where you come down the elevator. I do feel though that if this was meant to be a 5* hotel, there would have been waiter service on the beach, maybe due to being a new hotel, this is something that they can work on?

The sea is not the clear aqua blue which you find the other side of the island, but on some days the water is clear and the sea is like a millpond. Be careful of this though as we found during the second week, jellyfish visited daily and some people did get stung, one of them a friend of ours which we made during our stay got stung, and the pain is intense for a few hours. Not a lot you can do really apart from ride out the pain and use a sting repellent if you have one. The jellyfish a clear, so trying to find them can be somewhat difficult, the way we knew was to see their shadows in the water, they are not that big, and the local kids find it amusing to scoop them up with their bare hands and show you!! Some small fish are visible too.

You can take out the Catamaran which can sit 4 people easily. You don't have to complete or pay a small charge for insurance, which my partner found strange (other resorts do charge and ask you to sign insurance paperwork, just incase!) Friends which we made and myself and partner went out on the catamaran, which was great fun, trouble is no-one told us not to go to the right of the hotel around the cove.. distinct lack of wind and after 2 hours, eventually came along a local fisherman who kindly towed us back, we tipped him for his trouble and this then was the talking point for a few days after with the other holiday makers!!

We walked the bridge, though only to the second one, it looked daunting to go any further, though some other people did do the walk over, the views from here are fab, great photo opportunities. My partner tried to get information about this bridge from the waiters, but English was not good, so if you spoke a little Spanish you could probably get by. The bridge apparently is about 40 years old, and had a restaurant on the last island where the locals visited. There is no restaurant there now, and you are warned once past the hotel grounds that if you walked on the bridge the hotel was not responsible for your safety.. fair point we thought!

Trips
You can book trips through your Rep, which we found out to be rather expensive, there is a local guy however 'Raymond' who walked the beach on most days selling trips. We used him to go to El Limon (waterfall) as First Choice do not do this trip due to insurance purposes, once you have been on this trip you will know why. You arrive via transport supplied by Raymond, where you choose your riding hat, horses/ponies are then chosen for you, probably depending on height, weight etc. Being having once having own horse, I choose mine. You all have a guide, who leads you, talks (little) in English about the trip. My guide let me basically ride the horse myself, 'she' let me ride her I even managed to get a few canters out of her on flat ground. The rest of the trip was daunting, steep hills, following steep going down hills!!! The horses did tire, due to being a hot day, and some of the other guides do slap their horses as so to go abit faster, my partner did not like this and it did spoil his enjoyment of the trip. Though once you get to the waterfall, what can I say.. ‘Breath taking’. You leave your horses under shade, and take a long walk down to the waterfall, wear good footwear for this as it is somewhat tricky with all the roots of the trees and steep. Once down and in view of the waterfall it takes your breath way, literally. It is a must to get in the water, where you will find it very cold. A great photo shot is where some locals climb the waterfall in bare feet, then dive in, they must know the water well as within the pool is a large spike made out of the stone which is just visible! beware you don’t stab your toe on this when in the water.
You get about half an hour here before you start your climb back up to retrieve your horse. Speaking from experience I found this the toughest yet.. due to the heat and probably being very unfit!! how steep the steps where etc I ended up being the last person back, my guide at times physically helped me up.. this was a laughing matter once the summit had been conquered! Once on your horse, back the way we came we went. All in all, the trip was about 3.5 hours and cost $40 dollars each. Well worth it I thought, the waterfall was so beautiful.
We didn't go on anymore trips, though some of the others went to Playa Ricon/Cayo Leventado (barcardi Island), all of which are great fun to do to.

Unfortunately both my partner were ill on the last day of our hols, I don’t think it was anything too serious just a tummy upset and spent the whole afternoon/evening in our room. Being the last night it was a shame, and I feel again that if this resort was 5* then they would have room service. If you upgrade apparently you do!

Overall, we both found the holiday fantastic, we meet some great friends too, ‘Hi to Helen & Paul, and Sarah and Pete’

I personally wouldn’t go back to this resort, never the same going back to the same resort twice. But I can say that if you want a relaxing holiday, without being disturbed too much by the animation team then this is the place for you. The scenery is to die for, so before Samana becomes too Americanised go.. you won’t be disappointed.

  • Liked — Spectacular views
  • Disliked — lack of teaspssons in buffet restaurant!
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
5 Thank AmberBedford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coventry, England
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed May 19, 2008

A very late review, but I figured better late than never~!

Me and my husband visited this okay last year, we travelled with First Choice....who I found fantstic, we are travelling with them again this year!

Samana airport was very organised, very clean and the staaff were very helpful. We were not there for long, which is what you want on a holiday!

The coach trip to the hotel was not too bad, though the roads are abit rough, and perhaps a little scary at times....but we arrived safely.

On arrival to the hotel we were greeted by dancers and fruit punche.....slush which was very refreshing.

The porters were fabulous, especially Teo- they work so hard, your luggage is labelled very clearly, you are issued with your room keys on the coach....as soon as you get off the coach you are given a drink and you can go to look at your room.....luggage arrives shortly after. I think it's always polite to tip the porter a reasonable sum, after all they work so hard for such little money.

The room we had was absolutely amazing, we could not have wished for a better room....I think we were in room 401 (ish), the bathroom was very luxurious, the wardrobes were huge, and the bedroom area was very clean and very comfortable, whilst being very stylish. The best thing about the room was the view....it was beautiful (see photos). We have ocean/beach/pool and garden views.......it was just perfect!

The pool and loungers at the hotel was lovely, the pool was ALWAYS very clean, and the loungers are very sturdy and comfortable- not too many of them neither. Because this hotel is fairly new, it was very quiet which meant that you could ALWAYS get a lounger.

The swim up bar was lovely, the staff were very helpful and the drinks were scrumptious........I spent alot of my time at this bar, Banana Mama and Banana Mambos are highly recommended!

The jacuzzi area and snack bar was a beautiful area to relax, though it was such hard work to get up and down the steps- we often took the buggy! The jacuzzi area was very quiet, very peaceful and very luxurious!

The beach was nice, but we didn't really spend much time there, if any.....I loved the pool so much!

The hotel and lobby area was in good decorative order, and was very very clean, though........it was very dark in the corridors. The biggest frustration, and scariest thing was all of the lights in the toilets are on sensors.........you'd enter the bathrooms and the lights would be on, but by the time you're washing your hands the lights go out.....and it went PITCH BLACK, which I found very scary.

The worst thing about this hotel, and possibly the reason I would not go back was the entertainment- though definately not the entertainment team- the problem was the facilities......the entertainment team were very good and did the best they could. Most of the entertaainment is in a seperate building which is decorated very poorley and isn't very clean.....whilst not being air conditioned, I think that the best thing this hotel could do is to make an outdoor area for the entertainment!

The only other thing with the hotel was the food......generally the food was good, though it was almost ALWAYS cold. No matter how many times you complained about this, nothing was done! In the hotels defense the hotel was very quiet....BUT in my opinion that shouldn't have affected the quality of food for the guests it had.

If you are British and you want a good time......then you will get it here. First Choice are the only British tour operators that do this hotel, they only do flights every 2 weeks.....so the people you arrive with are the people you spend your holiday with.....in our case this was ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC and this is what made the holiday so wonderful! Each night 30-40 of us would sit in the courtyard drinking, or in the pool...........and better still many of us went on excursions together.

This brings me on to my next and final point.......excursions, I would highly recommend Raymond ffrom the beach, if you walk to the end of the beach and ask for Raymond he will give you a good deal on some really good excursions. We went on the Jeep safari which was excellent, and we went on the Playa Rincon tour, both were very good and excellent value for money, I would go with Raymond every time......despite the holiday reps in the hotel advising against it. His English is very good, and we found him to be extremely ttrustworthy!

If you have booked this hotel then I hope you have a fantastic time, if you are considering booking it......I would recommend it!

Despite the few problems I have mentioned this was the best holiday I have ever had.....and I have been on a few nice ones.

This year we are going to the Riu Montego Bay in Jamaica......so if anyone has any good stories about Rius or Montego Bay I would love to hear them.

Simone and Chris

  • Liked — The pool area, the bars, the staff, the quality of accomodation, the people
  • Disliked — The darkness, the entertainment facilities, food teemperature
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SimoneandChris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2008

We stayed at the Cayacoa April 21 - 28th, 2008. Our check in was quick, we arrived at our hotel at 11am and check in wasn't until 3pm...We arrived to dancers and a fruity cocktail which was a nice warm welcome. They told us to grab some lunch and they'd have our room ready, we were checking out our view by 12:30 at the latest.

The hotel is clean, classy and has the most beautiful grounds and views of the Samana bay. The pool area is fantastic, we always got a seat on a comfy elegant lounge chair, they did not cheap out we actually fell asleep one afternoon - it was so relaxing. Our room was very nice, we had a suite however they had given us a large room in the main building, which we were very pleased considering the Junior Suites were a bit of a walk to the main buffet, bars, and beach.

The entertainment staff was amazing. Very friendly and they work very hard to make sure you're smiling and having a fabulous time, whether you're hanging out in the pool or taking dance lessons from Danny & Alfonso.

The food was always fresh, fresh tomatoes, spring mix, spinach, onions, peppers - I read someone mentioning that there were no mushrooms... It is very difficult to grow certain foods however during our stay they did incorporate mushrooms into certain dishes and on pizzas/pastas. The bacon was not great, however I have rarly been to a forgein country where its even comes close to our Canadian Bacon, and the pancakes were a bit tough... although they had yogart, fresh fruit, and real fruit juices, cereals, oatmeal, crepes/french toast/ pancakes, eggs/omelettes, toasts, muffins, croisants, hasbrown/home fries, sausages and other breakfast meats/potatoes to choose from so it would be repeatitive if you chose the same thing to eat everyday, however there is variety. I did not enjoy our al la cartes as much as I though I would. We went to the Gourmet that was fine, but not great - I had the 5 pepper beef, nice size, but a bit tough, and he had the surf and turf which was the same beef different marinate and some shrimp.. nothing much to fuss about, it was tasty. The Italian restarant was not great, lighting was bright, no music, food was so -so. I think we ordered the wrong items so we deciede to eat at the buffet especially on the specialty night where they would set up a sushi bar, or shown carvings of the fruits that they display around the buffet. The buffet is nicely set up.. many seats, spectacular views of the ocean.

We went to Cayo Leventado (Barcardi Island) which was beautiful, you can catch a boat ride over down at the snack bar at 9:00am sharp and for 15$USD they take you to the island and return at about 1:00pm. No lunch is included, however when you get to the island you can purchase drinks, food, etc. for a reasonable price. We also went to El Limon for 55$USD - it is a must! I couldn't even begin to explain the amazing views, although I would only recommend to people that are more active because it is a bit of a trek though the jungle to get there.

Samana was an amazing place and unlike anywhere else, it has not been "americanized" like mexico, montego bay, etc. so I would suggest seeing it now before they starts putting up McDonalds/Starbucks, etc. I would suggest brushing up on your Spanish because there is a huge language barrier if you only speak English. I would most definatley recommend this little taste of paradise to anyone it was relaxing, stimulating and gratifying all rolled up into one wonderful vacation!

Ciao.

  • Liked — The views, polite service, the weather
  • Disliked — Jellyfish - yuck! LoL
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank KCBarkhouse
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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