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“Wonderful experience”

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Grand Bahia Principe San Juan
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Rio San Juan
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Wonderful experience”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 12, 2014

My 17 yo daughter and I spent a week in this resort (Dec 26-Jan 3) and we had a lot of fun and we felt very safe at all times even at 2 am. I do not understand the bad comments about the staff since everybody were very pleasant, friendly and helpful. Thanks to Alex and the rest of the troop for the water aerobics and expecially the funny shows in the evening.

It is not a luxury resort so people should keep this in mind if they have unrealistic expectations.
The food was varied, some dishes were the same every day, clearly to satisfy everybody's taste. There were plenty of things to choose from. If someone could not eat or find what to eat at the buffet, I'd say this person is a very, very picky eater. When you came back from the disco in teh wee hours there was food warm food to eat.

I'd like to remind people DR is a developing country where their source of income is mainly if not solely based on turism. I found hard to believe the hotel staff attacking and sexually assaulting customers when getting a job and keeping it is so difficult in DR.

There was only one thing I didn't like at this location, the sandflies on the beach after 4pm. Some people were not affected but we were, we must be very sweet! Otherwise, we had a great time and we want to come back because the staff just wanted us to enjoy our holidays!!!

Maria P-Boston

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank 98Maria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cservicebpsj, Quality & Customer Service department at Grand Bahia Principe San Juan, responded to this review, January 15, 2014
Dear Client,

Receive cordial greetings from all the team working at Bahia Principe San Juan, especially from our Quality & Customer Service department.

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

On the other hand, we are very sorry to hear that sand flies caused you any discomfort, we are agree with you some people are more sensible to allergic reactions than others as this highly depend of each person immune system. However, the hotel has intensified the fumigation program, this season has been very hectic but we are doing our best to try to eliminate them totally and avoid any kind of discomfort to all our clients.

We are looking forward to welcome you once again in our hotel and have the opportunity to continue providing the most memorable experiences. Please feel free to contact us whenever you are planning to return.

Family holidays with Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts.

Best regards,

Johanny Arvelo
Bahia Principe 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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4,813 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (546)
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English first
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 12, 2014

My husband and I stayed from January 4th to 11th 2014. We had a wonderful time. Food was delicious, the resort was very clean beach and room as well. Staff was very friendly and animation staff put on great shows. Huge resort, lots to do. Would definitely recommend and go back.

I don't understand and agree with the bad reviews, as we have not experienced a hint of it. Everybody that we talked to had a great time as well.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
16 Thank EBlovesthebeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cservicebpsj, Quality & Customer Service department at Grand Bahia Principe San Juan, responded to this review, January 15, 2014
Dear Guest,

In the name of Hotel Management, we thank you for taking time to write a review about your recent stay with us and for your loyalty when choosing and recommend us as a holiday’s destination.

We want to express how honoured we feel to read your comments about our friendly staff and their excellent service, the clean of our beach and rooms and the quality of our food ensured you an unforgettable experience. As you well know, in Bahia Principe San Juan we are committed to ensure memorable experiences to our valuable costumers.

We are looking forward to welcome you back again. Please feel free to contact us whenever you are planning to return.

Best regards,

Johanny Arvelo
Bahia Principe San Juan
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 12, 2014

We stayed here for a week in the spring.
The rooms: dated (which doesn't affect my trip but still worth pointing out), bathrooms were very old and unpleasant, no electrical outlets, no alarm clocks (had to pay for one), had no lock on safe (had to pay $30 for the lock), AC worked well, housekeeping was great.

Staff: most part very helpful, our daily waiter was exceptional and went out of his way to assist us. The gentlemen on the beach who did the tours (Alex) we're fantastic and went above and beyond. Staff at restaurants were great.

Pools: large pool was very busy with a large group of university students. We spent our time at the very nice smaller pool. Usually quiet and the bar was never busy.

Beach: unacceptable. Used profilactics found on beach, sand flies, merky water (not comparable to Punta Cana). Spent no time there.

Food: would rate as "okay". Not your typical 4 star quality food but generally very edible. Line ups were extremely long as the hotel was full of hungry university students and locals as it was a holiday weekend. The food was mostly gone by the time we got to the buffet. Soup was great! We did end up coming home with a bug. (Which is our fault for not taking dukoral).

Resort layout: well layed out. Except that in the evening you had to go to the end of the driveway to drink at a aloud karaoke bar as the lobby bars all closed at 11:30 and the even turned the lights out on you.

Taxis: be very very cautious. Got into a major car accident on the way back from town. Luckily the taxi driver avoided catastrophe and helped us back to our resort after waiting in the dark for quite sometime. Please keep in mind that these vehicles are not maintained the same way ours are. The axel and wheel broke off of the car while travelling over 80kmh on a windy dark country road.

Overall: you get what you pay for, wouldn't return. Not a great example of the usually fantastic Dominican Republic experience.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Nicolemchardy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cservicebpsj, Quality & Customer Service department at Grand Bahia Principe San Juan, responded to this review, January 15, 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to bring your comments during your stay with us as it is through communications of this nature that we can evaluate our level of service and improve our facilities on all aspects. Please rest assured that your comments have been forwarded to the Hotel Management in order to be evaluated to improve in all aspects as our guest’s perception is extremely important and valuable for us.

We deeply regret to learn that we did not fully exceed your expectations in some aspects. Once more thank you so much for your constructive observations. We hope to have the pleasure to welcome you again in Bahia Principe San Juan.

Regards,

Johanny Arvelo
Bahia Principe San Juan
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St-Zotique
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 11, 2014

I am reading the English reviews and I really don’t understand. We went there my husband and I, we didn’t rent a safe let our stuff all over in our room, and never had any problems. The food was amazing; I’ve walked the beach every day, swim a lot and even gain few pounds during the week. And the service… everybody was so nice and kind with us we have wonderful memories. The sand is not the white sand of Punta Cana but the price is different too. And if you pass over the sand color, the water is good, the food is excellent, and the staff is very, very kind. I would return to this hotel any time!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank vica267
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cservicebpsj, Quality & Customer Service department at Grand Bahia Principe San Juan, responded to this review, January 15, 2014
Dear Guest,

In the name of the Hotel Management, we would like to thank you for choosing Bahia Principe San Juan for your holidays and for posting a review about your stay with us.

We would like to express you how satisfied we are to acknowledge your positive lines referring the hotel safety, rooms, our exquisite gastronomy, the beauty of our beach and the kindness of our staff. In Bahia Principe San Juan we are committed to provide a varied cuisine and the best service to our valuable costumers.

We are looking forward to welcome you back to our hotel. Please feel free to contact us before your arrival.

With kindest regards,

Johanny Arvelo
Bahia Principe San Juan
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thunder bay
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 11, 2014 via mobile

My boyfriend, myself, and our one year old daughter stayed at this hotel from Jan 7th to 11th. I have to say that after reading all of the recent bad reviews I was a little concerned and didn't have very high expectations for our holiday. However we were pleasantly surprised.
Know that you are not booking; or paying for a five star resort. The company Bahia Principe itself gives this hotel its lowest rating of all its hotels. You get what you pay for.
Admittedly we live in the Dominican and speak Spanish, so that might ease some problems.
On check in we found that our room, ready early before stated check in time, was on the second floor and at the end of the resort. The bellman who brought us to our room told us it should be changed given the fact we had a small child with us. By that evening we were in a new room, first floor, close to everything.
Our room was adequate, what you would expect from a 3+ star hotel. It was always cleaned in a timely fashion, fridge stocked, and flowers or towel art around the room. We did have to ask for controls for the A/C and TV.
The service at the resort was overall very friendly. We were never hasseled or made to feel unsafe. Again this is only a three star resort, so don't go thete expecting butler service poolside.
The beach is a brown sand beach, and very unfortunately suffers from sand fleas at this time of year. Those bites on your legs aren't bed bugs. Sand fleas can happen occur at any beach, it isn't a reflection of the cleanliness of the ocean there. Bring bug spray with lots of DEET, stay away from seaweed on the beach and bring benadryl in case you react badly to them.
The entertainment team did a good job. Always up beat, with something to do. The shows lack the polish of a five star, but bare in mind that this hotel is closed for six months of the year and therefore they have only had a few months to get things rehersed. They were better than some higher rated resorts that I have stayed at.
The food at the buffet; we only ate there, was repetitive, and could have been hotter. But there was lots to choose from. I am sure I gained a few pounds!
This is a very large resort, and a lot of it is closed, not even being used. I have no idea why Bahia Principe decided to build such a massive complex there. It is a good hour from Puerto Plata airport, and an hour and a half from Samana. The are some beautiful spots nearby, Playa Grande, Playa Diamonte, laguana Gri Gri, just to name a few. Please don't be afraid to rent a car and explore. Dominicans are happy, friendly people, in general very respectful to tourist. Just exercise wise judgement as you would at home.
As for the recent reports of Canadians being assualted at this resort the only comment that I can make is that we were there on the night the shooting suposedly took place. We didn't hear a thing. We didnt hear anyone talking about it. We didn't even really hear anyone complaining about the hotel while we were there. Everyone seemed very relaxed and happy. The only armed security that we saw were at the ends of the resort, patrolling the beach. I never felt unsafe there.
Overall given all of the bad press this hotel has had I was pleasantly surprised. Go knowing it isn't going to be a perfectly polished resort that you pay for at a five star and enjoy.

Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
20 Thank sunandsandseeker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cservicebpsj, Quality & Customer Service department at Grand Bahia Principe San Juan, responded to this review, January 15, 2014
Dear Guest,

We thank you for writing a review about your experience among us. In the name of the Hotel Management, we would like to express you how glad we are to read your positive valuation about our facilities and services. In Bahia Principe San Juan we aim to ensure our valuable costumers memorable experiences.

In case you decide to visit us once again, please feel free to contact us.

Warm regards,

Johanny Arvelo
Bahia Principe San Juan
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 11, 2014

Please be advised! After our stay here in December 2013 we have nothing but horror stories from this resort. The food was the worse I've ever tried to eat. Service was beyond awful right from check in to check out we have never received any service. Our safety was our biggest concern as twice when we had returned from the pool it had seemed someone was in our room. When we brought our concerns to the front desk we were told we had no evidence, even though things were moved, our suitcases were opened up and clothes on the floor. They were not like that when we left. Do yourself a favor and book a vacation elsewhere

  • Stayed December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
69 Thank worldtravellercc9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cservicebpsj, Quality & Customer Service department at Grand Bahia Principe San Juan, responded to this review, January 15, 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time in writing us a review of your stay in our Trip Advisor community as we put a great interest in our clients comments as their perceptions are the most important to us as this is the only way to know what specific points we must focus our attention.

After we carefully have read this review, we truly express our sincere apologies for the inconvenience that you have had to deal with. It is not definitely the image that we wish to project, nor does it fit in the general pleasant atmosphere of our hotel. We are vey concerned about your impressions and we sincerely do not want you to keep a bad memory of us.
We are in the business to bring an enjoyable and unforgettable experience to all our clients.

Even when second opportunities are difficult to have, we still hope 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 misperception you may have about us.

Kind regards,

Johanny Arvelo
Bahia Principe San Juan
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 11, 2014

We stayed at this resort over Christmas and New Year and could not wait to leave! The hotel was not 4* standard more like 2*!

The rooms were basic and not very clean my main problem with the room was the lack of plugs unless you wanted to unplug the fridge that sounded like it was going to explode there was a plug in the bathroom or behind the bed which you had to unplug the side lamps to use not very handy when you wanted to dry / straighten your hair. The air con leaked all over the floor and had an on or off switch no temperature control.

The food was awful everyone in the party of 5 got upset stomachs not surprising as it was either freezing cold or just plain cold the selection was good just let down by the temperature! The A la Carte restaurants were really bad only one open per night on a rotation the Italian and Tex Mex were the worst with buffet starters and cold mains I had to leave the Italian after main course to be sick! The Mediterranean was better no buffet involved and the food was hot although friends went to a later sitting and said it was like they had given up by then and it was poor!

Not all the facilities were open as advertised by Thomson and Bahia Principe websites the beach bars were abandoned the daiquiri bar was never in use and the small pool was taped off I felt we had paid for full services at the hotel and received half.

The bar and restaurant staff were very helpful and friendly the reception and tour operators were rude and not helpful probably because so many people were complaining. We heard about several rooms being broke into and items taken from locked safes, as well as girls being approached or followed I do not know if this was true but after a couple of days security was stepped up on site but I did not even feel safe walking back to my room alone at night.

All in all I would not recommend this hotel to anyone everyone I met and spent time with thought it was awful I have been to several AI hotels in Dom Rep and other parts of Caribbean and this has got to be the worst ever. I have been so put off I will never book a Bahia Principe hotel again.

As for the Thomson rep Miguel he was rude and unhelpful we asked to move to another hotel as we were so ill and had to cancel or rearrange trips when he finally got back to us days later after we chased him and threatened to cancel the remaining trips he fobbed us off saying there was not room at any other hotel yet he offered other people that complained an alternative I wish I had rang the TUI 24hr helpline rather than rely on the resort rep. I made an official complaint at the resort and will be following it up with Thomson I don't think I will be the only one!

On another note we often got taxis into Rio San Juan and did not feel unsafe or threatened it was just nice to escape from the awful hotel!!! Would recommend visiting Marco at Cafe Paris Rio San Juan live football and great HOT food :-)

Room Tip: Try to pick a first floor the sliding doors on lower floors were often left open so rooms were targe...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
35 Thank liveley1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cservicebpsj, Quality & Customer Service department at Grand Bahia Principe San Juan, responded to this review, January 13, 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to bring your comments during your stay with us as it is through communications of this nature that we can evaluate our level of service and improve our facilities on all aspects. Please rest assured that your comments have been forwarded to the departments involved in order to take immediately actions as our guest’s perception is extremely important and valuable for us.

We deeply regret to learn that we did not fully exceed your expectations. Once more thank you so much for your constructive observations. We hope to have the pleasure to welcome you again in Bahia Principe San Juan.

Kind regards,

Johanny Arvelo
Bahia Principe 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

Property: Grand Bahia Principe San Juan
Address: Ctra. Gaspar Hernandez, km 18, 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 (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grand Bahia Principe San Juan 3.5*
Number of rooms: 608
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 (1 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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