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“My piece of paradise” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa

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Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa
Ranked #6 of 60 Hotels in Samana Province
Certificate of Excellence
Hamilton, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“My piece of paradise”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 16, 2011

Me and my boyfriend returned to this hotel after staying a few years back and really enjoying the trip the second time. We arrived later January and left early February 2011. My sister and her boyfriend joined us two days later, since we could not book together. I was surprised that the hotel remained beautiful after years have passed, usually places change. I love that its located on a cliff with plenty walking trails to the beach and stairs really helps you get in shape after just a few days. The village Samana is just a 10 minute walk and a beautiful view from the hotel. Shuttle is available but i cant see why come to this place and not enjoy the surrounding walks. We explored the village and wondered further this time were we seen no tourists, but we felt no fear. It is nice to explore the ways of life of a new country. The people in Dominican Republic are amazing and really worth getting to know. The beach at the hotel is small and a little darker sand, its perfect for tanning,swimming, and snorkelling but its not the best for long walks on pure white sand. If your a beach person you might not like the size of it. We visited Cayo Lavendaro and Playa Rincon for the white sand beaches which was more adventures. There are a few small beaches around the hotel property that are more private. The swimming pool is nice and refreshing with a swim up bar. I was a little surprised that the people did not swim and only hung around in the pool drinking. The rooms are fair size and comfortable in the Royal Golden Section which is the only place we stayed both times, the third floor view is amazing. Entertainment needs some changing, the disco location is too cramped and the shows need some improving. We ate at the buffet all week long it was more convenient and the food was wonderful especially the hot chocolates and coffee. Snacks and drinks were always available. I recommend this hotel to active people who enjoy walking and exploring. I don't recommend this place for people that like to party, drink and hang out on the beach, i suggest going to Cancun or Punta Cana. Samana is slowly changing as time goes by. This location is amazing for eco tours, sports, exploring as well getting to know the Dominican ways of life. The only disappointment i had this time was the type of people that are now arriving at the hotel. This place was classy, not sloppy i wish it to stay that way. The service has changed a little for the worse but i cant blame the Dominicans, seeing what they put up with now. Its bad enough that Samana is changing, becoming more Americanized destroying the culture and heritage more and more. Buildings are replacing palm trees. It is a shame. I really enjoyed my trip the second time around exempt for the few things mentioned. If you do choose this hotel please respect it as it should be.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank nurb81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
30 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 13, 2011

I stayed here for 2 weeks in September 2010. I've stayed all over the island, I don't normally stay in the same place for more than a week, but I love the entire two weeks at this resort. It is not a five star but it has the most amazing location, it has a great staff and fantastic food - great bang for the buck. For the fancy travelers it has a beautiful sister resort a 20 minute boat ride away on a island which we visited.

Best part of the resort was the staff, especially the animation crew. They have activities by the beach and by the pool but respect private and quiet time when needed. They made us feel at home right from the start. Very nice greeting at the airport, nice check-in, and an orientation soon after. Special thanks to Elvis (Brujo) and his buddies for taking such good care of us and making the days fun and the dancing and shows at night even more fun.

The food at this resort was some of the best I've ever had at the DR. The buffet was of very high quality, was closed in with air conditioning and had a beautiful view of the bay from 3 or 4 stories above. Fantastic staff that were very friendly and responsive. The chef was available if needed and came out one night to talk to us about an issue we had. Different themes each night, great lunch and breakfast. This buffet was so good you wouldn't need a-la-carte here except for variety. Well done!!!

A-la-carte were fantastic to say the least!! Gourmet was beautiful with great food. The seafood was the same and just as good. The Italian too had a nice view and was great one night and not so great the second time (different staffing). The snack bar was hard to get to - one draw back at this resort but it was the best snack food I've had at any resort.

Shows were small and not highly produced but they were a lot of fun!!! They had entertainment after supper on a terrace that overlooked the bay and town site lights. Light hearted and fun, they got people going after supper and brought people to the shows. People stayed after to dance some nights, but some nights the lights went out and you'd have to dance it the dark to some euro music. On the nights they played Dominican music it was very fun. Again, the key was the animation. They got people laughing and dancing and kept the momentum going almost all the time even on the raining days.

The beach and pool here are both nice with great views. They have two beaches the main one is small but nice. They could use a sound system but it was very tranquil. The main pool was hard to find a seat but extremely fun with a good bar and lots of activities. There was a decent little pool and bar away from this if you wanted piece and quiet.

The local is simply amazing. Apart from stairs and broken elevators it would be hard to imagine better. Right beside town they had a shuttle to go to town on the hour. Although the town was disappointing as I thought it would be a cute little fishing village that was somewhat prosperous. It was far from that. It was dirty and poor and I've seen it all the the DR. It has potential but need some capital injected. Even the marina was dirty. Still it was nice to get away from the resort and know you could get back easy. The resort juts out in the bay and has three side on the water. One that looks onto the town site, one with the beach, and the other is a private almost lagoon type feature. Very, very nice....pretty and functional and kept some weight off climbing some steep stairs. They had little trucks for older folks that didn't want to use stairs.

The rooms were a bit small but very nice with a good bed and nice view. Great maids kept the room clean and lots of towels.

I truly enjoyed my stay at this resort and it exceeded my expectations because we paid under $100 per night for two people. Samana area is beautiful and there is so much to see and do. The staff were fantastic (con much gusto siempre) and was spoiled the entire time I was there. Special thanks to Elvis who treated me like family!!!! Fantastic holiday!!! Thanks to Bahia Principe staff - sorry for the delay in writing. :)

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank enos3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
england
Level Contributor
102 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 8, 2011

stayed at the gran bahia for two weeks in jan/feb and had a wonderful time.........this hotel offers fantastic value for money!

the rooms are the best we have had for many years and are kept beautifully clean, with clean sheets and towels most days, we thought that the rooms must have been refurbished in the last few years!

the food was excellent and there was a great choice every day with different themes in the evening and the al acarte resteraunts were great, where the service was fantastic! in other hotels in previous years we have found that we couldnt always get reservations when we wanted them but didnt seem to have a problem!

the hotel is set on the side of a cliff and because of this the views from every angle are amazing, some beautiful sunrises and sunsets! there was a problem with the elavator to take you to the beach which on a few occasions failed but they seemed to sort the problems out very quickly! the gardens and grounds are also very pretty and very well kept.

on a whole the holiday was excellent and we would go back to this hotel, it was fantastic value for money!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank nicnic03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eastleigh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 7, 2011

Stayed 19th Jan to 2nd Feb. 2011

This hotel claims to be a 5 star and I expected to be able to shower and shave daily in hot water, and this was something that we could not do ! This was probably because of the position of the room on the ground floor, as other guests in other rooms above us did not seem to suffer the same problems.
However the more annoying aspect of this was that when we complained, we were told to run the water for about fifteen minutes, thereby wasting gallons and gallons of freshwater which resulted only in some tepid or warm water.
Other room problems included the AirCon not cooling as it should and the fridge doing the same. In addition my wife lost her nightdress, only to find that the maid had taken it with the sheets and it was finally recovered from the laundry. All the towels were removed from the room early each day and were not replaced until late in the afternoon so don’t expect to be able to shower mid-day.
Having said that, the rest of the hotel was indeed what you should be able to expect. The buffet restaurant especially deserves a mention as it is one of the best we have encountered and we have had two other holidays in the DR as well as many others around the world. The bookable restaurants like the a la carte were also enjoyed. The ordinary staff were very helpful with one or two exceptions, notably in Reception and at Guest Relations who were most unhelpful with being unwilling to change currency and the handling of our complaints. From this we deduced that the problems lie with management and not the staff.
The beach and pool areas were kept spotless, as were the other public spaces. The bars were at times busy, but without long waits. Although the beach is public and used by the locals, there were no problems that we could see and in fact it was rather nice to be able to chat to the local kids who were allways trying to sell us shells.
A walk into town that we did several times is easily done in twenty minutes and we were not unduly hastled when there. There are a couple of supermarkets (cheaper that the duty free shop at the airport) and although the banks would not change sterling, we found two Cambio’s where sterling to dollar exchange was possible (at a rather poor rate though). Local ATMs dispense only DR Peso’s.
The hotel does run an hourly bus service as an alternative to walking.
The animation team work hard during the day to get everyones involvement, but the evening shows were not for oldies like us ! (Two couples over 65 !)
Apart from visits to town the one trip we did was for whale watching and this was organised through Juan on the beach at the watersports center. We did indeed see whales though not as closely as we hoped for and enjoyed the whole dayout experience. This of course is only available during the Feb/Mar period.
Be warned that on departure at Samana airport they are VERY strict regarding any liquids you have. They took all our water and an unopened can of beer off us!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank seaval
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ontario, canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 6, 2011

We stayed at the Gran Bahai Principe Cayocoa in Samana, January 27 to Feb 3, 2011. We had a great time. The hotel was beautiful!!!!

This was our 4th trip to the Carribean and our room at the Gran Bahai was the nicest we have ever had. We booked with Transat Holidays therefore, we were upgraded to an ocean view villa. We were instantly at home there. The room was clean and well taken care of. Be prepared for some issues with the room keys - we had to have our keys reprogrammed 5 days out of 7 - a little frustrating but not a deal breaker. The bathroom had a jacuzzi tub along with a separate stand up shower however, the bathtub had no plug so we could not use it. We asked several times for a plug but did not receive one. Other couples we spoke to had the same issues with the keys and the tub plugs so we were not alone . We figure it was a communication issue because the staff at the resort were always willing to help with anything. Again, frustrating but not a deal breaker.

The buffet was great - the Italian a la carte was good. This resort was built on a cliff therefore, there was alot of stair climbing to get to the main building, pool, main buffet restaurant, and lobby/bar. There was a little bus that was always available if you didn't want to walk the stairs. The staff were all very friendly and willing to help. If you like to walk the beach for miles this is not the destination for you - the beach is very small, accessible by elevator, and not owned by the resort therefore not open at night due to safety issues. That was a little disappointing for us as we like to walk the beaches. The pools were great - very clean. They could have had a few more chairs available around the pool areas - if you showed up late you were lucky to find lounge chair.

We booked two excursions through out Transat rep at the hotel.

We went to see the water fall, El Limon, where apparently the movie Blue Lagoon was filmed. It was beautiful.....however, it was quite a bit of work. The horse back ride through the rain forest was lovely but then when the horses can go no further you walk the rest of the way down a hill at an almost 90 degree angle. The whole way down I was thinking wow I have to get back up this hill. The climb back was very strenuous - I am a nurse and my thoughts were of the older folks on the trip. There were a few people who had to stop halfway to rest, myself included. There was no mention of this when we booked this excursion - personally I felt there should have been some warning for people. It may not have stopped anyone but at least we would have had a idea what we were in for.

Our second excursion was whale watching. This excursion was almost $200 - I have always wanted to do this so I felt ok about the cost. The morning we went out there were two cruise ships in the Samana Bay. The tour guide started the trip by saying that the whales are afraid of the ships -that was when I started to doubt that we would see anything. We were on the ocean for three hours with no luck then suddenly there were a few pilot whales. By the way, the humpback whales are afraid of pilot whales too. So for $200 we saw approximately 6 pilot whales for a couple of minutes. The guide apoligized and said that would be it for that day - no humpbacks! We spoke to another couple who went out a few days later when there were no ships in the bay and they had a fabulous time. They saw lots of moms and babies and had a great experience. My advice would be don't book this excursion on the days there are ships in the bay and keep your fingers and toes crossed that you will see the whales that we didn't!

We went also to Levantado island - nicknamed Bicardi Island because Bicardi shot a commercial there. The beaches there are beautiful but again, don't go when there is a cruise ship in the bay. There is a little flea market, bars, equipment rentals and restaurants available for all visitors to the island but when there is a ship in the bay running day trips to the island the locals double the prices for everything. A pina colada served in a pineapple or coconut usually priced at $3 is sold for $7 on a ship day.

The little town of Samana is within walking distance of the resort. If you have been to the Dominican before you know it is a very poor country - Samana being no exception - the locals can be quite pushy trying to sell their wares - be prepared to haggle. The price you sould pay is about half of the price they will ask to begin with.

All in all, we had a nice vacation with a few small hiccups. We will return to the Dominican someday but Samana was a one time visit for us.

Helpful?
3 Thank missysmom24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spruce Grove, Canada
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 5, 2011

How can I describe the feeling of total wellbeing we experienced in this magical country? The hotel, the weather, the food, the scenery and above all, the people all played a part to make our trip wonderful.

Luis met us at the airport and provided an informative guide on the bus trip to the hotel. Right on the bus we were given our hotel packages with all our information, room number, towel cards, etc. This saved a great deal of time as we were already checked in and all we needed to do was enjoy our welcome drink in the lobby until we were taken to our suite in a large golfcart. Yes, there are a ton of stairs!! However, the golfcarts are available and we saw the stairs as an opportunity for guilt-free indulgence at the buffet! By the third day, we were climbing up to the hotel without stopping and my companion is in his 60s. Though if you have physical disabilities you would be better off in the main hotel.
We want to thank the staff for providing such exemplary service - in particular Angel and Zinilda at the bar, Brenda and Mercedes with their lovely smiles in the buffet restaurant and the most accommodating driver (with his friend in accounting) who drove us into town, located a bank for us, and drove us back so we could give a substantial tip to our servers at El Pescatore, the seafood restaurant.
We felt completely safe wandering around town, exploring the juts of land attached by the bridges and having the locals on the same beach enjoying the ocean as much as we did. Snorkelling was quite nice and no jellyfish bites, but do be careful where you step as there are sea urchins.
Other reviews mention the cleanliness and we must agree - there are housekeepers and gardeners and maintenance workers everywhere! And they all say hi to you if you like.
All in all, we'd recommend this hotel to anyone who wants a relaxing, safe Caribbean vacation with the friendliest people anywhere.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JRGuapa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 3, 2011

Coming From Montreal, Canada and apparently left from the worst freezing cold of the week, you wont be dissapointed if you stay at Gran Bahia Principe Cayacoa hotel. Me and my partner, had an amazing time, the weather was perfect. About 30 degrees all day and about 24 degrees all night. Beautiful scenery.
Food? its a buffet, so, you have alooooooot of things to choose from, so you wont be dissapointed. Breakfast, lunch and diner, amazing. During the evening, you will have 3 a la carte diner, where you WILL have to dress up. LOVE IT, super nice.

The beaches.... one and ONLY beach you should visit, its the EL RICON BEACH. Its one hour away from the hotel, the taxi will pick you up from the hotel, will bring you to the beach and will stay there until you are ready to leave....AWESOME!!. its 100$ for the full trip. Therefore more people in the taxi truck, the better. It was my partner and I and another couple, so we only pay 25$ each for the whole trip. BUT you will have to understand that their will be time it will be a little bit bumpy, lets just say a good 10 min rodeo..lol. BUT IT IS WORTH IT :)
Another beach is called the BACARDI BEACH, its ok, but if you dont want to go that far from the hotel its also worth it...if you want a great price its 25$ for the ride and you will need to go and look for RAYMOND, he is located on our hotel beach on the left side of the beach. YOULL SEE. :)
Now, if you want to EXPLORE to see other things and not just the tourist in the hotel, you should not be afraid to check out the streets in Samana, do visit the locals, they wont bite, its just a taste to the reality and to see how greatful and LUCKY we are to have what we have at this point.

If you want a GREAT LOCAL BAR , that opens til 3am in the morning...you should check out CAFE DE PARIS its literally accross from the hotel, located in the Samana city.....a great place to chill, relax, great drinks and great coffee and cool people. The owner of this place is called BASTIEN, and hes a great europeen guy from France. If you are french, its a SUPER GREAT place to sit back and get yourself a great drink :)

WE PAID 1,100$ FOR THE WEEK and it was super worth it :)

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank che_alyse
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 Spa Hotel in Samana Province
#6 On the Beach 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 (1h 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 (no 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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