My husband and I stayed at the Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa for 4 nights in November. I would highly recommend this property. I had never been to Samana before, nor had I ever sent any clients to Samana. I will definately recommend Samana and the GBP Cayacoa!
Transfer to the hotel:
We flew into the Samana Airport and it's about a 40 minute ride to the resort. Hang onto your hats! It's a bit of a nerve racking ride - roads very narrow and a lot of motor cycles so the drivers are constantly passing. I have to say out of your entire trip the ride to the resort was the only thing that I didn't like.
I've read a lot of reviews that said that the staff at the front desk were rude. I did not experience that at all. The front desk staff were all very friendly. Once we got off the bus and checked in we were in our room and by the pool within 45 minutes.
We had a standard room in the main building and loved it. The room was very clean and plenty big enough. I've found that sometimes if the room is too big it's harder to keep cool. I had read a review on trip advisor that said to keep the extra room card (or another card you have with you - I used a grocery store card) in the slot near the door all the time. When you put the card in the slot the air comes on, so if you leave and take your room card out the air shuts off. I left my grocery store card in the slot all the time and the room stayed nice and cool. There are rooms spread out throughout the resort in different sections. I suggest that if you have problems walking that you stay in the main building. There are shuttles that will take you where you need to go but staying in the main building you are nearer everything.
I've been to the Domincan 2 other times staying at Dreams Palm Beach and Dreams LaRomana. I thought the food at GBP Cayacoa was very good - better than the other 2 places I stayed. We stayed 4 nights so we got to eat in 2 of the 3 ala cart restaurants. We ate in the Seafood and the Gourmet and both were very very good. The restaurants, as well as the buffet, were all air conditioned and it was very comfortable. We are not buffet people but we did enjoy the buffet here. The resort isn't huge so the buffet was catered to a smaller amount of people and therefore I think was better. All 3 times that I've been to the Dominican I've had small issues with my stomach but I brought precautionary medicine with me and took it as needed.
The beach was unique - you take the elevator down to the beach (which was very cool) or the 101 stairs. There are a lot of stairs at this resort. You can either take the stairs just about anywhere or the shuttle service. The beach was small but there were plenty of chairs - we never had a problem. At the end of the beach area were the stairs that will take you to the bridge to nowhere and there were some vendors right there but they don't really bother you. The beach bar was good - you just have to get your own drinks, no beach service. The water was very clear with soft sand.
There was plenty of staff at the beach area - archery and such on the beach each day - and by the main pool. We didn't participate in any of the pool or beach activities but the staff was very friendly and motivating. We also didn't see any of the shows - you go to the disco to see the shows. There is a small casino at the resort. Every night you can listen to a band and dance out on the patio (very romantic) that overlooks Samana Bay.
The staff were all extremely friendly and spoke pretty good English. Our maid service was very good. We did have 3 favorite staff that I'd like to mention - Manuel, Victor and Darius - who all work at the Premium Bar. They made our trip more enjoyable then it already was! They work hard and work long hours, sometimes 11 or 12 days in a row. We missed them when we left!
I cannot stress enough the importance of tipping. My husband and I always tip when we go to an all inclusive and it's amazing the people who don't. We tip $1.00 when we get a drink and leave a few dollars at breakfast and lunch and a bit more if we are eating in one of the ala cart restaurants. The staff that work at this resort are amazing and they deserve to be tipped. Please tip :)
Leaving the resort:
We walked into town one day - 10 minute walk and we felt very safe. The resort offers a free shuttle every hour. Samana was very nice - of course there are kids and people trying to sell you things but that happens everywhere. Definately worth the trip into town to check it out. The only other thing we did was take a walk out onto the Bridge to Nowhere. Very unusual thing to do. It's kind of like a bridge that are part of ruins. We took some beautiful pictures on the bridge and you can see a lot of fish and star fish (and sucken boats) in the water. I wouldn't recommend going alone but we felt completely safe together.
The one thing that really stands out in my mind about the GBP Cayacoa is the beauty that is all around you! Because the resort sits up high, there are amazing views from just about everywhere. It was actually surreal at times. There are 3 different pool areas - the main pool that was at times busy, and two other areas that were smaller and quieter. As I said, the resort doesn't have a lot of rooms, less than 300, but it's spread out and there are a lot of stairs. The grounds were all beautiful and immaculate.
In closing, I would highly recommend this resort and will be sending my clients to the Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa!
- 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