Let me start out by letting you know that this is our 5th trip to the DR, 3x in Punta Cana, and 1x in Samana.. this was a last minute decision, and looking for a deal we decided to stay in Puerto Plata where prices where better. We chose the Bahia San Juan because we have had positive experience with that chain in Samana and also Punta Cana. I was a little nervous because the resort only had a 3.5 star review, but after reading others, figured it would live up to the Bahia name... and it certainly did! Our room (although smaller) than we've had in past Bahia resorts, was perfectly fine in size and the bed was comfortable and clean. The room a little run down, certainly met all our needs and because we paid a bit extra for the Golden, we had the first building nearest the buffet and pool. We also had a bottle rum, free safe, t-shirts, coffee maker, alarm clock and mini bar. We had no issues with air conditioning or hot water as others have had. Our room was promptly cleaned each morning soon after we left.
The grounds and pools of this hotel were STUNNING, and really made for the overall experience. The resort has three rows of buildings lined up parallel with the beach. It's quite expansive and well laid out and manicured so that all the buildings and grounds are quite pretty to walk around. When we first arrived, only one side of the resort was being filled due to low occupancy. There are a total of 4 pools - one huge main with a swim up bar located directly between the lobby and the beach and the main buffet. Very convenient. There is another on the East side of the resort situated in front of the beach too. On the west side of the resort there where two other pools, but they were not being used during our stay and didn't have drink services near them. I'm sure at busier times they do utilize these pools. Our only complaint about the pools was the fact that during our stay 2x someone had an accident mid day in the pool that resulted in the main pool being shut down! That isn't necessarily the hotels fault, and because it was low occupancy, wasn't a huge deal, but I felt the hotel could do more to enforce the use of swim up diapers on little ones. I spoke with the manger and suggested that they make that policy. I then later found that it was policy - at least on the sign near the pool, but they didn't seem to want to enforce it. So if you go to a public pool with babies or toddlers - PLEASE BRING SWIM DIAPERS FOR THE SAKE OF THE OTHERS IN THE POOL!
We had no issues with the food at the buffet - there was plenty to offer and a decent expected variety. Not quite as elaborate as some of the 5 star sister properties, but I certainly didn't go hungry. The Mediterranean restaurant is by far the best of the ala cartes.. followed by the Italian. We ate at the buffet after eating at the Mexican, as we didn't find that very good at all. Again the menu choices fit that of a 4 star, not a 5 star.
The beach was long, private and nice. It was lined with plenty of chairs and shade. We didn't use the ocean much as we are pool people. The water was ocean water, not Caribbean water as was the beach... a bit of shells / small rocks would wash to shore and the sand was darker than in the Punta Cana area.. but It by no means was terrible. We did venture out on a snorkeling excursion from the vendor at the beach which took us to another public beach for a while too. That was reasonable at $140 for two adults, two kids and the sand / water area was much more blue and softer sand. It was a nice boat ride and snorkel excursion as well.
We love going to the Dominican, you can't beat the quality and service you get for the price. I would definitely consider staying at this resort again. They are shutting down at the end of April (as apparently they do each summer during low season) but they claim this summer to be making some improvements and renovations to some of the rooms. They plan to turn the resort into a Gran Bahia, not just a Bahia.
Only thing I would have changed had I known, was I would have booked my vacation to not be at the resort on the Friday before Easter. I love the Dominican people, however, the resort went from 25% occupied to about 125% occupied, swelling with large families with lots of children. The tradition in the Dominican is to spend the 5 days that the country shuts down for the Easter holiday at beaches or resorts.. so Thursday night it became unbelievably packed! The buffet lines swelled and the pool was a mad house of children. It only affected 1 day of our vacation, but if I had to deal with those crowds for much longer it would have ruined the relaxation part of the vacation.
- 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