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“Decent holiday...would go back...”

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Grand Bahia Principe San Juan
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Rio San Juan
Reviewed February 17, 2013

I travelled to the BPSJ over the Christmas holidays with my wife and in-laws.

We opted for the Golden Club. I did not notice much of a difference...I think we were given an additional a la carte option...and priority check-in.

My first impression was not very good. We were given a room on the ground floor...I highly recommend requesting something on the second floor. The in-laws had a second floor room...it was much nicer having high ceilings and a balcony amongst the palms. The rooms are dated...but relatively clean. The toilet in our room would not stop running all week...we just closed the bathroom door at night to drown noise. The only other complaint is the lack of hot water. If you want a warm/hot shower turn the water on well before you plan on getting in...a waste but necessary if you don't want a cold shower. My first impression of the beach was disappointing...the sand was relatively coarse and the water was very murky and full of seaweed.

Food:

The food choices were very good...and as far as I know, no one in our party suffered any gastro-intestinal issues. My wife and I are both vegetarian and always found something adequate. The a la carte's were hit and miss. We ate at the Italian twice...first time it was very good...second time the food was terrible. The Mexican was okay. The Mediterranean was awesome!!!


Outside of the resort:

The resort was okay...but the highlight of my trip was without a doubt the time spent outside of the resort. The in-laws wanted to take us on an excursion...we talked to a tour operator at the resort that quoted $90/person for some cheesy-sounding tour. At the front of the resort is a taxi stand. I spoke to taxi driver(Chitto is his nickname)...he offered a personalized tour for $80 for six people in his van(newer and clean). He took us to some awesome sites like Playa Diamonte, Lake Dudu, Playa Grande and a couple of towns for souvenir shopping. We were so happy with our personal excursion that we tipped him very handsomely.

The wife and I(both beach lovers and unhappy with the one at the resort) went on our own excursion. We took a taxi to Playa Caleton. That beach was very nice...there was a good mix of ex-pats, tourists and locals. The price was $40 return. Our cabbie was waiting in the parking lot to take us back to the resort at the agreed upon time.

I cannot stress enough that anyone visiting BPSJ should check out the places I mentioned. There are some reviews on TA under the things to do in Rio San Juan tab.

Room Tip: Second floor...vaulted ceilings and nicer balconies.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank upsetter36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded February 20, 2013

Dear Guest,

We would like to thank you for letting us know about your recent experience in our hotel and also for taking time to share your comments with our trip advisor community. In our effort to continuously improve the quality of our service and facilities we put our greatest interest and value in our guest´ opinion.

It is a real pleasure to get your comment. We are glad that you have enjoyed all our facilities and services during your visit with us. We hope to welcome you in a near future to our hotel, please do not hesitate to contact us whenever you are planning to return.

Regards,
Johanny Arvelo
Jefe Calidad & Customer Service Bahía Príncipe San Juan

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,138 - 1,144 of 4,970 reviews

Reviewed February 15, 2013

A really nice hotel with a beautiful beach and a good variety of activities to make your stay exactly like you want it to be, just relaxing by the pool or beach or have a wonderful massage in the spa. if you get restless you have the watersport area, Scuba Quatic with its great staff and knowledge,
They make sure you get the best out of everything you do.
you will not regret your choice to stay at the Bahia Principe!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Malin W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded February 19, 2013

Dear Guest,

Firstly, please allow us to comment you that your opinion is very valuable to us, therefore we are extremely proud and happy for having left in your memory a pleasant stay. Also, we would like to thank you for taking the time to communicate the impressions of your vacation with our TripAdvisor community.

We appreciate your positive comments about our facilities and services, comments such as like yours are what we strive for following every day in order to improve the quality of service we offer. In addition, we are very happy to learn that you have had a great stay at our resort, especially because of the service from the Scubaquatic. We are pleased to share your comments with all of them.

Once again, thank you so much for your comments and we sincerely wish to welcome you soon to our Hotel Bahia Principe San Juan and thank you in person.
Always at your disposal,

Johanny Arvelo
Jefe Calidad & Customer Service Bahía Príncipe San Juan

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2013

We stayed from Jan.22 to Feb. 12. The food was great, they had something for everyone. Our room was awesome, when we walked in everyday it was so fresh. The other resorts we have stayed at did not hold a candle to this resort.
We all don't speak Spanish but all you need is a smile and patience, they will help you.
The staff was awesome from the very top to bottom We found everything and everyplace was clean, from the pool area to the bathrooms, from the gardens to the restaurants. This is the only resort that we have been to that has a very large sitting area that is covered so when it is raining out you can sit and have a drink with friends.
Thank you to the staff you are AWESOME hope to see you next year.

Room Tip: Second floor and on he south side worked great for us.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Anne P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded February 19, 2013

Dear Guest,

Receive cordial greetings on behalf of Bahia Principe San Juan, especially from our Quality & Customer Service department.

Thank you for taking the time to post a review of your recent stay at our hotel. We sincerely appreciate all your feedback.

We are very proud to have received your personals comments informing us that we have exceeded your expectations. We have a strong commitment to provide quality service beyond our guest’s expectations, and it is a real pleasure for us to learn that we have achieved our goal. This definitely strengthens our philosophy of seeking the highest level of service excellence, thanks to an arduous team’s work and the devotion and commitment of each member of our staff.

We hope to welcome you very soon to our hotel. Please do not hesitate on contacting us in a future stay with us.

Regard,

Johanny Arvelo
Jefe Calidad & Customer Service Bahía Príncipe San Juan

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2013

I stayed at the Bahia Princepe from Feb. 5th to the 12th. Before going, we read some terrible reviews and were skeptical of going, HOWEVER, you need to ignore them and go see the beauty of this resort for yourself.

Check in:
My friend and I were down for a wedding, but went separately from the rest of the group. We received welcome drinks when we arrived (at 12:00 AM) which was a really nice touch. Check in was fast, and one of the porters realized we were in a hurry to get to the disco he took us right away on the passenger trolly and quickly got us to our room so we could join up with our friends.

Food:
Breakfast was always good, and for the people complaining about there never being enough food is actually a good thing because it means people ENJOYED it enough to want lots of it (the staff work so hard to keep up with the demand). The omelettes were made fresh with your choice of veggies, cheese, etc. Lunch was always good, fresh pizza, cicken, pork, pasta, rice, veggies, stuff for sandwiches, hamburgers, hotdogs, etc (for those who though it was repetitive, maybe try to be creative and switch it up a bit). Dinner was ALWAYS great, the dolphin fish was a huge hit, they made fresh pasta in front of you, and lots of other choices. They also had specific nights like "Dominican Night", "Mexican Night", there was lots of change up. For the late night go'ers, there is burgers and ham sandwiches and 24 hr drink service that was a nice touch after a long night. If you were hungry between breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner, you can go to Tex Mex for something to munch on. For the a la cartes, I have to agree the Italian one was not very good, pasta sauces were bland, and out of 12 people that were at this reservation only 2 actually ate their meals. The Mediterranean was hands down the best meal I've had in a long time, LOTS of choice, even for those who don't enjoy sea food. I had the chicken cannolies and pepper steak (one of the best I've had). We also heard good things about the Mexican.

Night Life, Entertainment, Bar and Wait Staff:
The entertainment was fabulous. Those performers practice during the day, do activities through the day, perform in the evening, and also run a meringue party near the disco at night. Not everyone is going to enjoy EVERY show, which is normal, but these people work so hard and are so talented. The disco and karaoke was fantastic every night (some technical difficulties with the system and speakers but nothing to complain about) and the bartenders and DJ's work so hard. Bar tenders work all day and night to serve everyone in a professional and fast paced way. They all deserve tips, and if you tip them they WILL remember you. The wait staff all around were just so accommodating and always were asking if you needed anything.

Maintenance Workers:
The maids are such hard working women and deserve so much praise. Our room was ABSOLUTELY spotless every day and smelled so clean. The fridge guys also were great, as they listened to everything you asked. The grounds keepers are very hard working and kept the resort pristine at all times as the landscaping was unbelievable.

Pool and Beach:
The pool was always clean and very refreshing. The beach was GREAT. Don't listen to the terrible reviews. The sand is not white, but it is sand. the water on clear days looks so beautiful. Yes, the wave barriers are eye sores but it protects the beach and keeps the under toe to a minimum. As for the fleas. Yes we experienced bites... but we didn't lay on the beach all day or take our towels back to our rooms. It really wasn't that big of a deal.

Other:
I HIGHLY recommend the jeep safari tour. It was one of the best experiences of my life. Bring candy and toys from the dollar store with you and give it to the children who are in school (praise for being there). We chose not to throw it off the jeep because a lot of the times these children stay home from school because they know tourists will be there. The excursion was a great mix of culture and play with a church, school, and house visit, as well as a white sand beach and a blue lagoon. The staff that run that are also so amazing and are so helpful.

Don't nit pick every little thing on your vacation, that is what ruins it. Our AC stopped working at one point in our room, but we only slept there so we didn't care. We also noticed that a lot of travelers were getting upset because sometimes the staff didn't understand what they were asking. Keep in mind this is a SPANISH speaking country, NOT ENGLISH. Slow down your speech and try and think of a different way of wording things. Don't get angry because you went to THEIR country and they don't speak YOUR language. Another traveler tip, if you DEMAND something, don't expect to get a positive response from anyone.... if you are polite and ask nicely, they will do anything to help you out. If you don't want something from the beach vendors, say no and walk away. Don't take what they hand you just keep walking, they will leave you alone. If you want good deals, stand your ground. We got GREAT deals on a lot of things. Also, TIP TIP TIP ! These staff work so hard and deserve to know that they are appreciated.

The Bahia Princpe staff were ALL unbelievable and all contributed to a fantastic vacation. The people in this country are beautiful inside and out. They were accommodating and were willing to help at any time. Go and visit this resort, it was the best trip I've been on and I will remember it for years to come and I would absolutely return.

Room Tip: The resort is MASSIVE, so if you don't enjoy walking try to stay near the main area. The further...
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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5  Thank Courtney E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded February 19, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to give us such a good review of your stay at Bahía Príncipe San Juan in our Tripadvisor web page and share with our fans your experience with us.

You can be sure that there is no biggest reward for us than to get a message like yours knowing that we have exceeded your expectations. We are a family hotel and we do everything possible to make feel our guests like part of this great family.

We would love to welcome you back soon, please do not hesitate on contacting us whenever you are planning to return.

Regard,

Johanny Arvelo
Jefe Calidad & Customer Service Bahía Príncipe San Juan

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2013

We just returned from a great week at the Bahia Principe San Juan with family and friends. It was our first trip in the south. What a week we had. Good company, the vegetation was magnificent, good food and the weather was perfect. The hotel is a bit hold but very clean. No odors of humidity, the bed is a bit hard but ok, at least we were sleeping in a clean bed. The staff were very pleasant, always smiling and wealing to help you. We had the golden package which means room are closer to the pool, beach and buffet, 5 minutes walk.
The beach, we knew that the beach was not the most beautiful beaches on earth but hey....is was ok water was warm and the sand at the beach was brown and black almost like pepper....we loved it. if you are looking for a white sand beach and long long long walk on the beach don't go there. We had done two excursions. 1st excursion was Briana Safari Tour....eveyone loved it. Visited a school, we had lunch and went to a beautiful beach,ect.... The second excursion was the Tip Top Sosua catamaram tour....oh boy we had find the ride so dangerous. 1st they take you on a small boat to the catamaran but the waves was so rough I almost trip over the boat trying to get into the catamaran. And even on the catamaran is was not a smooth ride at all. My son's friend was so sick, so we decided to get off the catamaram. We went visiting Sosua during that time till the bus pick us back at 4:00pm...What a day! We had more fun there walking in the city than on the catamaran. Anyway don't be afraid to go to this Hotel. It's safe for your family, room are clean and food is good. Quoi demander de plus? We'll definitly return!

Room Tip: We had the golden package which means room are closer to the pool, beach and buffet. We were in room...
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Loulou64_29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded February 19, 2013

Dear Client,

Receive cordial greetings from all the team working at Bahía Príncipe San Juan, especially from our Quality & Customer Service Department.

We greatly appreciate that you have chosen one of our Resorts as your holiday destination.

We are satisfied to hear that you had an excellent stay in our hotel facilities and premises especially because of the friendliness of our staff members. Please be assured that it is an honour and a great compliment for us to forward such wonderful comments to all our staff.

We are truly happy to read that you enjoyed your time with us. We are looking forward to welcoming you once again and have the opportunity to continue providing the most memorable experiences.

Best regards,

Johanny Arvelo
Jefe Calidad & Customer Service Bahía Príncipe San Juan

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2013

We stayed here First of Feb 2013..Great food.. Rooms were clean..a little out dated..staff were freindly..beach was good..had a massage one of the best I have had..would definetly go back again..was a very relaxing holiday..some people experinced bug bites from the sand however we were not affected at all and wa son the beach everyday..would recommend to go here..

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Barb B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded February 12, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for such opinion about our hotel, we really appreciate it.

We are so happy that you have enjoyed all our services and facilities during your stay in our hotel and we hope to welcome you once again in Bahia Principe San Juan.

Please do not hesitate to contact us whenever you are planning to come back.

Kindest regards,

Johanny Arvelo
Jefe Calidad & Customer Service Bahía Príncipe San Juan

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2013

I went to the Bahia Principe from Feb 3-10 2013. I was down with a very large group for a wedding. 2 parts to this review.

1 - For Weddings: The Bride and Groom had a hell of a time. Everything they were told they got was more or less taken away from them and there were extra costs all over the place. Extra charge for the minister, extra charge for pictures, put into a crappy room with no view, broken shower, broke AC, it was awful! They did get moved after many complaints to a better area - where they should have been in the first place with a nice view of the beach. They never got any of the extras in their room they were suppose to have. If it wasn't for Annie - their entire wedding experience would have been a complete flop and they probably would have not bothered at all! I would not recommend this resort for a wedding.

2 - My own vacation. Everything with the wedding aside I had a great time. My room was nice and kept clean. Close to the main hall/pool/beach. Room 1111 section A - main level. Yes it can be a bit noisy at first but the activities in the main areas wrap up around 11pm so if you are one that must have everything quite get a place further away. The food in the buffet was great, lots of choice. Things did get a bit repetitive but no major complaints. The a la cartes - Italian is GROSS, we were told the pizza was amazing. - BLAH! The best BY FAR was Mediterranean, was the best food ever! There were lots of chairs available by the beach and pool. Always some form of entertainment going on. I went snorkeling with a group of people - through the beach vendor - and had an AMAZING time! The maids / fridge-filers were great. Give a few dollars with a note in the fridge of what you want and they were sure to accommodate. The beach vendors just off the resort were a bit aggressive, but if you stand your ground you can get a great deal. For my first time away I had a great time.

There were some sand flea bites if you were on the beach as night/as the sun went down. If you don't want them, wear long pants and shoes/socks while walking on the beach at night.

At lot of the really bad reviews seem to be because they went during off season.

Room was very clean, no gross bugs. Some bugs come from the flowers they put in your room.

I left my clothes in my suitcase just to make sure no bugs got in my clothes from the closet.

Beaches are not white sand - but there are some white sand beaches around the area you can visit on an excursion.

Room Tip: - Higher floors can have a better view of the beaches - but lower levels are good too. - Turn off...
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank BeckyLonOnt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded February 19, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to express your concerns regarding your recent stay at Bahia Principe San Juan.

We deeply regret to learn that the hotel did not fully exceed your expectations regarding the wedding. In Bahía Príncipe San Juan we have very clear that only by listening carefully to the comments of our guests we are able to assess and evaluate our performance. I want to clarify that unfortunately the wedding service is an extra charge, minister are not included. However, this is explained in our packages. Besides, I have to add that depending of their package they had an amount of pictures included, if clients wish more they need to pay it. I regret so much any inconvenience caused on this matter.

We are glad to find out that there were some aspects from our services you find worth to mention, especially the service provided by our housekeeping staff and the food at the buffet.

We would like to have the opportunity to welcome you once again at Bahia Principe San Juan to experience the hospitality of our people, the quality of our services and facilities and change any negative perception you may have about us.

Thank you for your comments and looking forward to welcoming you once again!

Kind regards,

Johanny Arvelo
Jefe Calidad & Customer Service Bahía Príncipe San Juan

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Bahia Principe San Juan

Address: Ctra. Gaspar Hernandez, Rio San Juan, km 18, Republica Dominicana, Rio San Juan 33000, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Maria Trinidad Sanchez Province > Rio San Juan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach 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:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Rio San Juan
Price Range: $95 - $255 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grand Bahia Principe San Juan 3.5*
Number of rooms: 845
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Facilities and services: 4 pools BAHIA SPA (additional charge) Sports facilities: gym, tennis court, mini golf, football pitch... Water activity centre Motorised sports (additional charge) WiFi access in the lobby (24 hour free per day/device) and in rooms (additional charge) Wedding gazebo Main restaurant and 3 specialty restaurants 6 bars Playa Grande Golf Course just 40 minutes from the hotel Convention / Meeting centre Pueblo Principe: shows, live music, bars, stores, karaoke, casino and disco Rooms 608 rooms including 2 types: Suite & Standard The Standard rooms are equipped with: King size bed or 2 full size beds Fully-equipped bathroom: Bathtub plus shower, wash basin, hair dryer and magnifying mirror Bathroom amenities Air conditioning Ceiling fan Safe (additional charge) Mini-bar (Restocked daily) Direct phone line (additional charge for external calls) Flat screen TV Coffee set WiFi (additional charge) The Suite rooms have the same equipment as the Standard rooms but also include: Ironing set Sitting area with sofa Pool towel available in room Bathrobe and slippers Evening turn-down service International newspapers Terrace or balcony Children Bahia Scouts The hotel is perfect for families, offering a range of facilities tailored especially for children, including the following: Children's pool Mini Club with daytime activities Evening Mini Disco Babysitting service for children aged up to 12 (additional charge) Other Services Medical service (additional charge) Pharmacy (additional charge) Specialised service for organising weddings, incentive trips, events and anniversaries ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
San Juan Dominican Republic
Bahia Principe Puerto Plata
Bahia Principe San Juan Puerto Plata
Bahia Principe Dominican Republic
Bahia Principe San Juan Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic Bahia Principe
Bahia Principe San Juan Resort
Bahia Principe Sj
Puerto Plata Bahia Principe
Bahia Principe Resort San Juan

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