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Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa
Ranked #5 of 54 Hotels in Samana Province
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 1, 2009

just came back from the bahia principe cayacoa! it was an amazing vacation! not one bad thing to say about it!
food great!
animation staff were entertaining and friendly, but not too pushy! (look out for Angel - he will have you smiling the whole time)
rooms & grounds are kept very clean!
the beach is relaxing and the water keeps you nice and cool in the heat!
the pool is just as nice and if you have the previllage of having Zunilda as your bartender you will never go thirsty!

go see for yourself .. you will not be disappointed!

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank vafaMontreal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,631 - 2,637 of 4,015 reviews

Reviewed November 30, 2009

We had read reviews of this hotel and were very excited to stay at the BPCayacoa. Overall, we must say that the hotel is very nice, well maintained and has a beautiful location. Most of the staff was very friendly, especially Luis at the buffet and all the entertainment team (we don't usually participate in those activities, but they were not too intrusive and actually pretty fun!)
Unfortunately, we had quite a few bad experiences with the restaurants and some of its waiters, the service and the wine. It was very disappointing in our first night, to taste the wine that was really disgusting. Been to many resorts before, and we really didn't expect to have great wine, but the housewine quality was really unacceptable to that standard. Yet, we decided that afterall, it wasn't such a big deal and decided to order - and pay- for real bottles of wine. But this was really complicated, as they kept saying there was no wine, but then, after 30 minutes, come back with a limited choice and more expensive ones. This happened more than once, and when we did the check out, the bill was even higher than what was written on the wine list. Sometimes, a waiter would tell us there was no champagne, while a couple of minutes later, we would see another waiter bringing some to another table.... And a lot of people were being rushed to eat quickly at the a la carte restaurant... not interesting when you are on vacation to relax!
But overall, for the price we paid, we must say we are pretty happy with our vacation and enjoyed our stay. We had good weather, had great snorkelling, and had a lot of fun. Would we come back? Not sure (maybe with proper service at the a la carte restaurants), but it is worth giving it a try!

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank greph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2009

We stayed at the Gran Bahia Principe at the end of March 2008. Although the jungle ride was almost 4 hours long, it was well worth it! It is a smaller resort, very clean and personable. Our room was immaculate with a King Size bed, and the view from the balcony was breathtaking. The food was always good, and the a la carte dinners were always an adventure. The presentation of the food was interesting. Although there isn't much of a beach to walk along, the lower pool became a favorite spot for us to hand out at. Very quiet, and the sun was fabulous. We will definately be back some day.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank mcshann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 10, 2009

Me and 2 of my close friends stayed at the GBP Cayacoa from Nov 1-8 in part to celebrate us turning 40 and in part to "de-stress" This was perfect for both. If you are looking for a resort to party until daylight with activity coordinators shouting through megaphones, then this resort probably is not for you.

The resorts in Semana are fairly secluded (there are 4 GBP properties there, one on its own island) Ours had 2 beaches, one private and one public. Both were very nice. The hotel itself is up on a hill, 200ft above the water, so you have to take an elevator down to the private beach. The pool is great, not overly big, but has great views of the ocean and a nice swim up bar. It was well worth upgrading to an oceanview junior suite, we spent a lot of time on the balcony.

The food there is fantastic. The buffet changes a bit everyday and the al a carte restaurants were wonderful (the lobster at the seafood restaurant was amazing).

The staff at the resort couldn't be nicer or more helpful. From the front desk to the cleaning staff, they are wonderful and will help you with anything you need. The rooms were nice, remember to close your patio door so the AC will turn on. Also, empty your minibar every morning before they restock it so you will have plenty of water (DON'T drink the tap water)

Definately check out the excursions available by the lobby. We went on the boat trip to the bird sanctuary and the caves which was fantastic. After the morning part you head over to the island resort's beach for lunch and relaxing on the white sand beach with palm trees and "coco locos" (you HAVE to try this drink, simply outstanding). They also have a market there, so bring some money.

We also went on an ATV excursion with a couple of the locals in town (when you go into town and have a drink on one of the patios, you will likely meet Manuel or Joses (prn hozez). They are great guys wo will get you anything you are looking for "cheapy cheapy") This trip was probably more expensive than the one booked through the hotel, but we saw a lot of stuff we wouldn't have otherwise. We ate lunch on Rincon Beach which consisted of fresh fish, straight from the ocean cooked over a fire right on the beach (yummy just doesn't do it justice)

Definately go into town, there are shuttles that go there every hour, or you can pay $3 for a taxi to shuttle you anytime. There is a nice shopping area with a casino and many patios (where you will meet Joses and Manuel...tell them Hi form the 3 Canadians who went ATVing with them in the rain) You will also want to explore behind the "pretty" part of the waterfront so you can see how the locals live and eat. There are great deals to be had, but make sure you don't pay what they ask, or you will pay too much, The general rule of thumb is about 25-30% of what they ask. Example, Joses can get you cigars (They will tell you they are Cuban Cohibas, but they aren't...nice cigars though) and will ask you anywhere from $120-$140 US, you can get them for $50 a box, just be firm. Everything is negotiable.

Overall it was a fantastic vacation, just what I needed. We were deciding between this and Montego Bay and I am glad that we chose to go here. Montego Bay would be great for a different day when partying was in order, but I needed to relax and this certainly did the trick.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled with friends
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6  Thank Glenkel2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2009

My husband and I just returned from our one week stay at the GBP Cayacoa. We stayed there from Oct. 25 - Nov. 1. We had read reviews of the resort prior to leaving and for the most part they were very good. This resort did not dissapoint, it was everything all the positive reviews said it was.

We went with Air Canada Vacations and they were just awesome. Our rep, Joel, was fantastic. He gave us all the information we needed to know, including where the best place is to buy rum, coffee, and vanilla as gifts (definitely go to the supermarket, it's the cheapest place) He had a great sense of humor but he balanced that with his professionalism. There were some perks to going with Air Canada Vacations --- we got robes in our room, the safe was free, the departure tax and the tourist card were included in our package so we did not need to pay for those at the airport, and you get 4 a la carte meals instead of the standard 3 everyone else gets. Sadly, Joel will not be with Air Canada Vacations after this week, but he told us if we are in Samana again, to ask about him and he will pay us a visit at the hotel.

It's one hour bus from the airport to the resort. Air Canada Vacations offers you a free transfer from the airport to the resort. It's a nice ride, and you get to see the island on the way there. Air Canada does pretty much all the checking in on the bus, so checking in was stress free. We just had to get our keys at the front desk. Our room was beautiful --- there is a a king size bed, a jacuzzi bathtub and a balcony with the most amazing view of the ocean and the town. They give you toiletries in the room --- shampoo, body lotion, soap, razors --- even a sewing kit. They included an umbrella in the room too. Pretty much anything you could possilbly need they include. I enjoyed those little conveniences.

The food was great. The buffet restaurant had so much selection. Each night there was a different theme so the food was quite varied. And altough I got sick of eating at a buffet by the end of the week, no matter what, there was always something I enjoyed. I had the best ham and pineapple pizza from the buffet and the desserts were always so good. So I have no complaints about the buffet. There are 3 a la carte restaurants at the resort --- the gourmet, the italian, and the seafood restaurants. We at the gourmet and the seafood restaurants. I enjoyed the beef fillet I had at the gourmet but my husband wasn't bowled over by his meat and ratatouille. As for the seafood restaurant, I loved the breaded calamari, and thought the rest of the seafood was good, but I expected more from it somehow. I think my husband and I both felt like the menus at these restaurants are pretty small, and they weren't worth the trouble of getting dressed up to go and having to honor a reservation. In the end, we ate the majority of our meals at the buffet, where you could wear shorts and a tshirt and come and go as you please.

The drinks were great and the rum is free flowing. Stay away from the whisky sours, whatever you do, they are pretty disgusting. The Coco Locos are fantastic and they became my favorite drink at the resort. The Pina Coladas they make at the lounge are fantastic. Go easy on the coconut milk --- it's a laxative. The only beer they have at the resort is El Presidente. I don't think they served any other brands. If you are unsure of what to order, they have a drinks menu there. There is a swimup bar at the main pool so you can enjoy a cervesa or a pina colada as you relax in the pool. The bartender, Zunilda, is great and always has a smile on her face.

THe pools are wonderful. The main pool is great and there is a quieter jacuzzi pool down by the seafood restaurant that is just as nice and has a little bar and snack shack where you can get something to eat and drink. Often, when we would go down there we would get hotdogs (best ones ever) and that would be our lunch, we didn't bother going to the buffet to get lunch. There is a small beach down there, and a dock. My husband brought his fishing gear and would go fishing off the dock. We even caught a crab one day.

We both loved the beach. There was some litter and the water wasn't a clear blue like at other beaches, but the waves were so much fun to play in and in general, I found it to be quite scenic. And of course, there is a bar there. THere is an elevator that takes you down to the beach.

We did 1 excursion through Air Canada Vacations --- the jeep safari tour that takes you into the mountains. It was great, and definitely worth the $75/per person. They take you into the mountains to a family's farm or plantation, where you see how they live and the kinds of things they grow. You get to see coffee beans right on the tree, you get to taste real cocoa, slices of fresh banana dipped in homemade chocolate sauce. There is a chance for you to buy handmade jewellery, coffee, vanilla, chocolate while you are there. They then take you to a cigar rolling place and you get to roll your own cigar for free and keep it. They then take you to an off road restaurant where you get served a fresh dominican meal that is delicious. You end the day with a stop at a tropical beach (the water is beautiful but too dangerous to swim in) and a short hike out to a waterfall. We both felt like the beach and waterfall were overrated but quite enjoyed everything else. There was an open bar on the jeep (which was just some rum, soft drinks, and water in a cooler, but you can have as much of it as you like) It's a wonderful day in the mountains and we reccomend it.

A group of 8 of us hired a cab and went to Playa Rincon for a few hours. It cost us each $20 US to hire the cab for the day. It's about an hour and a half each way because the roads are pretty bad. It's a stunning beach and the water is very nice. You need to be careful not to step on glass and jagged rocks in the water and I would recommend brining water shoes if you are worried about cutting yourself. There are 3 little restaurants on the beach. My husband and I ate at one of them --- I don't know what it is called but it's got orange signage on the front. We each had pan de coco (coconut bread) with some kind of a bruschetta that was yummy, 2 lobsters EACH that were fresh off the barbeque, a cup of delicious coffee, and he had 2 beers (you can get beer that is not el presidente here), all for $47US. I'm sure they probably hiked up the price, but we would have paid double that here at home, and it would not have been nearly as good. It was a wonderful day for us. Playa Rincon is a great beach and you will enjoy it.


The town of Samana is lovely. It's quite small and easy to find your way around. Shopkeepers are agressive and everyone wants you to buy from their store. Don't make eye contact and you won't need to worry about the hassle. There is a shopping complex in town that is set up by the resort where you can buy souvenirs. You can pay in US dollars there, if you wish. Some of the other shops will take US dollars as well, but it's probably more expensive that way. If you want to save on coffee (Santa Domingo is the best coffee ever), vanilla, and rum, go to the supermarket. A bag of coffee will cost you around 90 pesos (about $2 US), and bottle of real vanilla 17 pesos (50 cents) and a 700 ml bottle of rum around 200 pesos (around $6 US) You will pay at least double this at any of the touristy shop.

We tipped everyday and altough it was not expected, they were appreciative.

Overall, it was a wonderful stay. All around. The service was excellent and the resort had everything you could want. We plan to go back maybe next year. If you want a relaxing holiday in the sun, definitely visit GBP Cayacoa. You will not be dissapointed.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank cyberchick32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2009

We stayed at the Gran Bahia Principe Cayacoa from October 18-25 2009 and thought it was great. There were a couple points I think could have been improved upon but nothing major and nothing that would prevent us from going back. GOOD NEWS: We did not get sick and did not know anyone who got sick either!

Hotel and grounds:

The hotel is immaculate and very clean, the grounds are stunning and well kept. Very beautiful scenery and the hotel itself is beautiful. The rooms were very well kept as well and the maids did a great job. There was always someone cleaning, scrubbing or buffing the marble floors, and it showed. We found the elevator did break down once and it took over a day to fix it, but it was near the end of our vacation and didn’t impact us much.

We did take the “bridge to nowhere” and it was beautiful, but run down at the same time. I could see the potential for young girls to be taken advantage of there… but we didn’t hear anything of the sort personally and our trip organizer (Air Canada) didn’t either. However you’d be wise to use common sense when going anywhere that’s secluded when you don’t know the area. We (husband and I) went right before sunset, got some stunning pics and then went back with no problems.

One area they could really improve upon is the Gym/ fitness facilities. I like to work out every other day but I found their equipment to be old, dirty and in poor condition. There was no air conditioning and very little air circulation. It was like working out inside a cardboard box. The TV remote hanging from the ceiling didn’t work and I had to drag a chair to even turn it on. Not a huge deal (big picture) but it’ll be disappointing for someone looking to work out. After 2 days of working out in their gym I just did the step aerobics at pool side and that was much better.

Beach / Pool

The beach was nice, but not a white sand beach (not a big deal for us). I did not find it to be dirty or full of garbage like other people did. You could see that there was stuff that washed up from time to time but there was beach staff that went around regularly to clean up any debris, so it really wasn’t an issue for us at all. The water was the warmest I’ve ever swam in at a beach and clear. The pool was very clean and VERY warm. Again, warmest EVER!

Food:

The food was pretty good too. We went to 2 of the 3 a la carte restaurants. We liked the Italian and the gourmet was okay, although most of the menu was seafood. We did not go to the seafood a la carte because it’s not our taste. But definitely book early. Many people we knew had a hard time even getting one reservation. There was always something you could find at the buffet though. At times it was a little repetitive, but not as repetitive as I found at other hotels. At times the food was almost cold by the time you got back to your table but that can happen at any buffet for the most part. I did find the snack bar (la casita) to have a pretty low selection… a small salad and fruit selection, and basic burgers, hot dogs and chewy fries. Although when you’re really hungry it’s not bad. Drinks were good all around but REALLY good at the main bar in the hotel.

Staff:

The staff was friendly and accommodating in all areas. Although I understand most staff will have little to no knowledge of the English language in other countries, I think this hotel could improve in this area. I always make active attempts to speak Spanish when I’m in the DR or Cuba, but I do think a dining room server should be able to know how to ask “Would you like a drink?’’ without having to call a manager over to interpret the question. I also think the staff behind the front reception desk should have better English skills too. I had a problem where I lost an article of clothing at the pool and went to reception to report it. After waiting almost an hour (and a long story I won’t go in to) the receptionist was unable to even identify my problem due to the language barrier and had to ask me to go to guest services simply because he couldn’t understand the problem. (For the record I do not think a staff member took my wrap. I think it was probably another guest.)

The animation/ entertainment staff were very enthusiastic and did their best to keep you happy but would happily leave you alone if you did not feel like participating at the time, so that was good too. No complaints at all.

Trips/ Excursions:

We took a taxi with 4 other people to Playa Rincon Beach which was almost isolated but VERY beautiful and worth the trip, Note: the roads are VERY bad going there. Be prepared to be bumped around for at least 45 minutes each way. Take your Gravol if you can’t handle it.

We also went horse back riding to El Limon waterfalls. Very beautiful and worth the trip.

We went into Samana to do some basic shopping. You’re better off going to the grocery store for your Rum, coffee and vanilla. There is no haggling or bardering. The price is the price, and it’s reasonable. We didn’t buy much else other than a couple paintings and we feel we got a good price.

So overall, we had a great trip with excellent weather and lots of fun. The few things that could have been improved upon were few, far between and not impact the vacation experience in any way. We would go back for sure and definitely recommend it!

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank PupperDog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2009

My wife & I stayed at this hotel earlier this month and had 2 great weeks of pure relaxation in the sun. Our idea of the perfect caribbean holiday is good food, good weather and not having to set the alarm clock in the morning like the other 50 weeks of the year, and this is exactly what we got here.

Weather - Fantastic. Some days a little cloudy which was welcome at times, the odd downpour now and then but when it rained it tended to be at night anyway. The last 2 or 3 days of our holiday it seemed to get even hotter and became a bit unbearable at times, but thats no complaint.

Food - Very Good. The buffet was excellent at all meal times with different themes every night of the week. We tried all 3 a-la-carte restaurants and the best in our opinion was the Gourmet - the steak was out of this world.

Pools/Beach - Good. We spent most of our time at the Jacuzzi pool as we prefer peace & quiet. If you want to join in with the games stay round the main pool. There always seemed to be plenty of sun beds available at both. The beach is nice but quite small, and i recommend hiring snorkel equipment and checking out the Starfish scattered on the sea bed - really interesting.

Cleanliness - Good. Our room was always well cleaned and the general cleanliness of the hotel was good, we didnt see one single cockroach or bug in our room or around the hotel.

Quite a few recent reviews mention people suffering stomach bugs etc - i usually suffer this type of thing in the caribbean, however i never had so much as a stomach ache never mind an illness, and i only heard a couple of people mention they'd had any problems with upset stomach's, so if there had been some problems recently it seems the hotel have dealt with the issues now.

The only negative for us was the waiter service at both the lobby & snack bars. We had quite a few situations where the waiters knew we were waiting but continued chatting to other staff, or carried on wiping the bar etc, and then would only tend to ask what you'd like by pointing in your direction. As i said its the only negative and a pretty minor one but its what sets this hotel apart from being a really good hotel in my opinion.

One final point - There is a gorgeous friendly dog that visits the jacuzzi pool area a couple of times each day, she is clearly under-fed and has recently given birth to 5 puppies. She's clearly wary of hotel staff (some of the staff we asked didnt know who she belonged to, or if she was a stray) but causes no trouble to any guests - all she wants is a bit of food, water and affection. At the snack bar by the Jacuzzi pool there's more than enough burgers, hot-dogs, ham, bread etc so please please do the decent thing and give this dog the help she deserves, the food will only be thrown away anyway at the end of the day so why not ? Once she's had something to eat & drink she disappears back to her pups, so causes no bother to anyone.

All in all a great value-for-money holiday.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled with family
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5  Thank Noodles013
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

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
#5 Spa Hotel in Samana Province
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Samana Province
Price Range: $125 - $449 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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