We were a group of four, two couples who traveled to the GBP Cayocoa from March 27th to April 3rd. Overall we really enjoyed ourselves and would consider going back when it’s adults only again. From what I understand they switch half of the year as family and half as adults only. I can’t imagine this resort with kids and all those stairs! There was a lot of walking here but I was fine with that since we always over indulge on vacation. There were elevators and trams for those less mobile, the elevators were fairly quick but they were very hot and we only used the tram once after an a la carte dinner and it was very fast.
Rooms – We were in the main building room 404, we paid a little extra for an ocean view and it was worth it, our views were stunning of both the ocean/bay and the town. We had a king size bed, it was a little hard and the pillows aren’t great but we slept ok. Our ‘front’ door opened out to the courtyard of the main building where music often played in the evening, this wasn't a problem since we had an inner door in the room to help block the noise. The bathroom was fine, always had hot water, towels and plenty of toilet paper. A few more hangers would be nice and a free room safe would be better, we paid $28 for the week. We had to be very careful when closing our door to go out for the day as it seemed to pop open if we didn't really pull on it….I got in the habit of triple checking it when we left.
Pools – we spent most of week at the main pool and we had lots of fun meeting people and trying the different drinks! I would like to see netting on the swim up bar roof to keep the birds from nesting in there as they pooped in the water; we just pushed it away but still kind of gross. Most other roofs were netted including the massage table area at the main pool. Had fun watching the volley ball and water polo. The bathrooms closest to the main pool are a bit of a walk away which confuses me since there is a swim up bar and you definitely want to encourage people to not use the pool as the bathroom! We didn't spend too much time at the lower pool, which was three circles with jets and seating; it was very quiet down there and had the snack bar which was great. There were two other smaller pools we didn't go to at all. We often had to reserve our chairs early in the morning as some days there weren't enough and some days there were lots, also more shade options would be good! People ended up crowding in the few shady areas available.
Beach – We didn't spend a lot of time here but it was a nice beach, the locals use it but they didn't seem like a problem at all while we were there. The bar on the beach seemed to provide slower service and we thought there should have been food served at lunch and there wasn't. It was set up for food and we kept going back to check but no food. We walked the Bridge to Nowhere, it was interesting! Beautiful views again, especially of the resort and town. Stairs on the small islands were a little scary, looked weather worn but they were still stable, no rails to hang onto to. We had a local follow us out there, which was a little uncomfortable since the guys had walked quite a ways ahead but ultimately he was harmless.
Buffet – We loved the buffet, theme nights were great and the staff worked hard at refilling dishes. We always received a very warm welcome when we arrived, always found somewhere to sit, coffee in the morning was provided immediately. All the staff in the buffet was excellent, we didn't have a single issue with service the entire week. Some days the buffet was very crowded and some people need to learn buffet etiquette but that’s not the resorts fault! Lol We always found something delicious to eat every meal.
A la cartes – we went to all three restaurants, had no problem getting reservations at all once we found the desk for booking them. The gourmet was our favourite but all three were great, good food and excellent service.
Excursions / Spa– The guys did the day trip on the boat with snorkeling and ended up at Cayo Levantado, they enjoyed themselves very much but wish they had been told to bring some cash as tips were expected and at the island you had to pay for your drinks and chair rental! Drinks were only included while on the boat. Overall they really enjoyed their day and they paid $60 each plus drinks and tip. The girls went to the spa and enjoyed a massage and a pedicure, what a nice treat! Those girls doing the massages were strong! And the pedicures were nice although there wasn't a lot of room for both of us getting done at the same time. We paid $85 each for massage and spa pedi, not bad pricing.
Night life – There is very little to do here after 11 pm, we found ourselves going back to our rooms after having dinner and a drink or two at the lobby bar, we went to one show, The Tropicale, at the disco and it was kind of sad. The dancers gave 100% but the stage is so small they could barely get around each other and one girl was dropped on her head! She was ok thankfully but it was a little unnerving to see her dropped so close to where we were sitting. And from what we heard the disco is very quiet after the show, few people stick around. The age of the average traveler I would guess at 45-55 for this resort so that could be why.
Lobby – It’s easy to get annoyed whenever you are in the lobby due to the timeshare sales people, but we found if you said you weren't interested nicely but firmly they stopped bugging you. The only place to get free Wi-Fi is the lobby which got very crowded after dinner as so many people came down to sign in for the hour. And once you signed in you had to use the whole hour, you couldn't do 30 min in the morning and 30 min in the evening. Kind of a pain and rather cheap on the resorts part in my opinion.
Shops – Of course things are a little pricey in the shops but that is typical, just remember to bring all the meds, sunscreen and snacks you want from home. I did purchase a couple of souvenirs form the shops out in the driveway area and was able to negotiate a deal lower than the advertised prices. Don’t be afraid to ask.
Grounds – Were perfect, some people found it annoying that the staff was always working on the resort but I appreciated the efforts, which paid off! This resort is spotless and very well kept. There are no mosquitoes, if there were they would have found me but I didn't get a single bite all week which was a nice surprise as I usually wear mosquito repellent as my perfume! Lol And there were no bees anywhere, even in the food and drink area.
Samana – We went into town one morning and found out that the tram to town doesn't start running until 10 am, be forewarned….there was a large lineup at this point and barely half of the people lined up were able to go on the first trip. Sounds devastating doesn't it….hardly, the trip to town and back might take 10 minutes total. So no one waits too long. Some of the people who didn't get to go on the first tram were really kicking up a fuss for nothing the day we went! They are pushy in town and will follow along with you, again be firm with them and they will leave you alone. Young kids will give you flowers asking for money and seashells, hard to say no. We travel a bit and didn’t see too many souvenirs that were original unfortunately; we didn’t end up getting anything beyond small gifts for our kids.
Overall, we enjoyed out time in Samana very much! Would we go back, likely if the price was right but we always like seeing other areas and resorts.
- 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