Holiday March 2014.
Where do I start? We were very disappointed with this holiday. To put my review into some perspective for you I would like to say we are very well travelled, like to be adventurous, and we are very tolerant of different cultures in general. We are in our 50’s, we have a good standard of life in the UK and we also like to have a little bit of pampering sometimes when we go away. This is the first time we have ever said “we won’t be going back to this hotel” and here’s why.
We decided to upgrade to the Junior Suite, as we were led to believe that these rooms had their own pool. Not so, anyone in the hotel can go in any of the areas. There was no private club house either. So don’t bother to upgrade if you go. It isn’t worth it.
In general, the hotel was clean but the food was the worst we have had in an all-inclusive. We went to all the restaurants available. The Italian food was like cheap ready meals. The fish restaurant was worse. We decided to pay extra to get a decent meal and had the chef's special. When it came it was a very unappetizing mountain of fish and shell fish, all of it freezing. Needless to say we left it. The food in the Gourmet restaurant was the best place we ate and had one nice meal in there, we had the Surf & Turf and it was very nice. The service in there was also very good.
The food in the main restaurant was very much of a muchness, the breakfast was no better. You had to pick out the egg shells from the scrambled eggs, this happened 5 times over the 2 weeks we were there. The queues were terrible for the toasters and it took putting the bread in 4 times before it even resembled toast. The majority of staff spoke only Spanish so you could complain as they didn't understand you.
The room service was as bad. The food arrived cold. So again the benefit of having 24 hour room service included in your package isn't worth it at all. the beds were very hard too.
The buffet restaurant at the Jacuzzi pool was ok for lunches, but again it ended up being very much the same food. The guys in there were very pleasant especially Victor, who was a great guy.
The staff were pleasant enough, but it was apparent they didn’t enjoy their jobs, there was a slight resentment apparent from them, nothing major but the harassment from the sales staff was relentless and very annoying. I don’t go away to get badgered into having a 60 minute meeting to sell me time share. We had to avoid the reception hall which was the only place you could get free Wi-Fi because of it. So be aware of the letter you get telling you to claim your free gift, as it’s far from free.
The Jacuzzi pool was dirty; it had scum floating in the middle of each of the 3 pools.
There was no peace and quiet, there was building work going on all the time. Trees being cut down with chain saws every day. The racket from the main pool which was above everything was relentless music and shouting.
On one day they decided to cut down a tree that was on the patio of the Jacuzzi pool with people still lying on their sun beds under it. Once the tree was down they started to chop it up with an axe. The wood chips were flying everywhere. No peace or duty of care to the holiday makers. A lady had to tell them to stop it. It was appalling.
The entertainment was very tacky. The view from the main terrace was outstanding, and could be a great place to have sundowners, however there was light entertainment there each evening. This resembled a ‘Tea Dance’ with Private Dancers from the hotel dancing with guests. This also included Bingo once a week. Ok if you like that kind of thing, but not what I’d expect in a supposedly 5* hotel in the Caribbean.
Although we are in our mid 50’s we like to see a mixture of couples of different ages in the hotels we go to the average age group here was over 60.
The town was not a place you could go to enjoy a coffee or a meal. We have been to many places where the local people are poor and trying to make a living, but we have always found something of interest or been able to add something to the local economy. Not so here. We have been to India lots of times and loved it, so when I say the town resembled a shanty town. I mean it really had absolutely nothing to offer. The people are not dangerous, but they are trying to get you to buy things which are overpriced cheap tat and get visibly frustrated when you won’t buy anything. To the point it makes you feel very uncomfortable. The pavements are a danger to anyone who isn’t steady on their feet. In fact a young girl broke her foot the first day she was there.
Here are the good parts. The location is stunning; the sea is crystal clear and full of beautiful fish. The vegetation and wild life is wonderful. You won’t be disappointed with that, and Pelicans fly down to the sea to feed off the fish.
We went to Bacardi Island and the beach there is fantastic with turquoise sea.
We had a couple of great trips run by Cultourall, the guys kept us hydrated with Rum and water and entertained us with their singing. You can go directly to them to get the trips as it is cheaper than going through the Thompson Rep. However
Martin the Thompson Rep is a great Rep. Nothing is too much trouble for him.
Overall I would rate this hotel as a poor 4* nothing more.
Obviously this is our personal feedback and surprisingly there were people who did enjoy their stay in this Hotel. I have been as honest as I can be I hope it helps you to choose whether to go here or not. If you don’t mind noise, an average age of 60+ and not a foodie. You might enjoy it here.
- 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