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“Interim review to post some pictures”

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Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo
Ranked #2 of 35 Hotels in Las Terrenas
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 3, 2013

The resort is very good for our group of 13. We are in building #11 even though we asked for 3,5,7 due to mobility issues for the great grandparents and the families with babies. We are moving to building 5 for our second week after the kids leave. The staff are very kind and friendly. Minor problems just do not get fixed quickly or not at all. There has been no beer or white wine at the quiet pool by building #11 for 4 days!

Room Tip: No rush for beach loungers. Lots to choose from.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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6  Thank HappycampersCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Jefe Calidad & Customer Service at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, responded to this reviewResponded January 5, 2013

Dear Guests,

First of all thank you for your comments about your stay at Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo

We are very concerned about the discomfort felt by yourself and your family; we thank you for letting us know your observations and we sincerely regret for haven’t met your expectations, We appreciate the time that you disposed to share your valuable feedback with us.

It will be a pleasure to have a second opportunity, so please write us a little message before your next visit and have prepare a very special welcome to compensate the issues you had during your last visit. We want to express our sincere appreciation for the valuable mail you have sent.

We hope to receive you soon.

Kind Regards,
Kisha Rodríguez Then
Jefe Calidad & Customer Service
Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo

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2,128 - 2,134 of 6,064 reviews

Reviewed January 1, 2013

Just returned, this was our second stay at this resort. We have traveled prevously to Varadaro, Punta Cana, Mayan Riviera, and we usually never go back to the same place twice. But the staff and the location of El Portillo was was well worth a second visit. There are always staff cleaning, repairing, and upgrading. The grounds and beach, are always being cleaned; and our personal experience is that: If you treat the staff with respect, and a smile you will most likely have a better experience. And if you like...plan on offering some tips thougout your stay, it will also make your stay more personable and enjoyalbe.

The Beach
Was awsome, the corel reef is right out in front of the motel, which offers great snorkling. Even if you don't snorkle, you can walk up to the reef in some places, and see many differnent kinds of fish. The beach is clean, and sandy, and is great for swimming, or just enjoying the water too. As long as the wind is not too great, the waves won't be too rough, and the visibility through the water for snorking was pretty good most days we were there. The reef comes right into the shoreline in a couple of places. One of the reason I like this resort is that the reef breaks the big waves which also makes it safer/easier for the children to play in the ocean.
The Huts are in pretty good shape, and there are lots of chairs, to relax on.
There are a few vendors walking the beach, always ready to make a deal on what they have, if you don't want what they have either don't look in there direction or don't make eye contact, If you do decide you want to buy something, chances are these vendors will take about 40% less than thier intiall offering.

Pool
Is clean, my children, loved the Pool too,

Beach Bar
The staff are friendly and attentive, one thing I liked about this resort, is that your able to serve yourself the non-acoholic drinks, which avoids lineups which we encountered at other resorts,

Lobby Bar:
The staff at the Lobby bar are great,

Buffet Restaurant,
Eggs or Amlets, are cooked in front of you to your liking, and if you tip him, chances are he'll put your eggs on the cooker - cooking for you the next morning, as soon as he sees you coming, and to your specifications.
Overall, the staff are friendly, and really try to make your experience positive,
If you try to learn a few spanish words, or simple phases, it may make your experience that much better,
For dinner, there is a good selection, it seemed like they try to cater some meal options to which countries people came from on average. If anything I ate too much, and my fusy Children, got by ok.

Rooms:
The rooms were clean, well kept, no bugs, and everything seemed to be restocked daily. We had ajoining rooms this time, there is a king bed in one junior suite, and the next room beside it has two double beds. My daughter found the her bed a little firm, but we all got a good sleep. There is a safe in the room, which you can key in your own electronic code. We stayed in villa 7 which is a 3 story building. If you leave a tip daily for the maid (put it on your pillow), it may make a differnace on some fancy cute artistic creations on your bed. Our maid was great.
TIP/NOTE: My experience is that the fridge in the room is enclosed in a part of the TV cabinet, and the beverages seemed to stay colder if you leaved the wooden door open.



Overall, I love this place, there is just something about this Resort and location that just seems special! And even though I like to adventure to different places, this is one resort that I will definetley go back too.

Some of the following people who made our stay at this resort more enjoyable are: Carlos, (he is very busy, and a great guy and good at what he does), Anna at the buffet is a sweatheat, and a great worker. Rosanne at the lobby bar is awsome. And I forgot to remember the guys name making the eggs for breakfast, he really tries hard to remember what you had the day before. and Charlie at the beach... created "smiles"!


I have no complaints, only good memories.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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14  Thank s G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Jefe Calidad & Customer Service at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, responded to this reviewResponded January 3, 2013

Dear Guests,

Thank you for sharing your great experience in Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo with all Tripadvisor users.

It is a great honour for all the Bahía Príncipe Team to hear that your expectations have been exceeded because of the high standards of service and the friendly staff. Getting the best satisfaction of our guests is always our main goal. We are happy to know that we have achieved it with you.

Hoping to welcome you in the future.

Best Regards,

Kisha Rodríguez Then
Jefe Calidad & Customer Service
Gran Bahía Príncipe El Portillo

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2012

I'm a little late writing this review but its never too late to say something nice! Went there with my mom, just the two of us, and were treated like royalty from the moment we got there til the time we left! Everyone who works there gave great service. They truly take "service with a smile literal". Only difference is their smile is sincere! All the staff from dinner: (Eliseo, Jose, PETER!! And the rest at the buffet. All of Entertainment: (Rosa, Ariel, Charlie, & Leiny!!) and the rest. Disco: (Manuel). On the beach yes there r vendors... Jonathan has the best deals on everything!!!!!!!! I wish them all the best for next year and many more to come. I hope to one day return either with my mom or a group of friends.
Even though there were a lot of couples.... I had just as much fun being single. I stayed a week and that wasn't enough. Then again a week is not enough for any vacation. :-)
The only bad thing is the timeshare people can be a little annoying...everyone has their own way of avoiding them or getting out of doing the hour "raffle" tour whatever they call it.
Enjoy ur vacation!!!! :-)

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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4  Thank truthfulBrooklyn_NY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Jefe Calidad & Customer Service at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, responded to this reviewResponded December 29, 2012

Dear Guest,

On behalf of the entire Grand Bahia El Portillo team I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the reviews regarding your stay at our hotel.

We are very happy to hear that you had a wonderful time, in which you enjoyed your room, food, a la carte restaurants, beach and the good service of our staff, especially for mentioning Eliseo, Jose, Peter, Rosa, Ariel, Charlie, & Leiny and Manuel; we will forward your comments to all of our team.

We thank you also for recommending our hotel and for advice to all of our future guests. It will be wonderful to welcome you again and give you the good service you already know.

Best regards,

Kisha Rodríguez Then
Jefe Calidad & Customer Service
Gran Bahía Príncipe El Portillo

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2012

One of the worst hotels that I've stayed. Rooms smelling bad, with no hot water and housekeeping simply forgot to clean our rooms and replace the towels (as we were in a family trip, we had 4 rooms all together). As I have a 2 year-old daughter, first I requested a crib, but it was too small for her. Then I requested an extra bed without the base, because I wanted to put the mattress directly on the floor as it was too high for her. The Reception Manager told me that it was not possible, because this hotel was a 5 star hotel and another Guest could see the mattress on the floor and take a picture. We stayed for 3 nights and every day something happened... My general impression is that it is a hotel that doesn't care about guest's needs and satisfaction. I will never come back again...

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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7  Thank nathaliabsoares
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Jefe Calidad & Customer Service at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, responded to this reviewResponded January 29, 2013

Dear Guest

Thank you for taking the time to express your concerns regarding your recent stay at our Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo.

I deeply regret to learn that we did not fully exceed your expectations. In Bahia Principe Hotels and Resorts we believe that only by listening carefully to the comments and suggestions of our guests we are able to immediately detect areas for improvement and can therefore take actions instantly. I assure you that your observations were taken with the utmost consideration.

We hope to welcome you again to the Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo and to thank them in person. Contact us at our email address info.elportillo@bahia-principe.com.

Regard,

Kisha Rodríguez Then
Jefe Calidad & Customer Service
Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2012

My husband and I travelled to GBP EL PORTILLO, Last November between the dates 16th to 28th and we had a very pleasant stay. The staff is very friendly and accommodates all our requests, special thanks to Carlos the reception manager. The food is very good in the buffet. Not so good on thematic restaurants but we enjoyed the Oriental dinner. Nice beach special on sunny days, very quiet at the time we have been. The animation team is very friendly and they try their best to keep us involved in the activities. Special thanks to Charlie and Ariel. For the bar staff our comments are for Josephina always very professional and very kind.
The Junior suite was always well cleaned and ready in the morning period. We recommend a visit to Las Terrenas and Playa Maron. If you want adventure and enjoy horse riding don´t miss the EL Limon experience. We have done our tours with Vicente and Jose , they are very nice and professional and the tours are less expensive and tailored according to your requests. We have really enjoyed the lobster lunch at Vicente´s home prepared by his wife. It was excellent! To find them just look on the beach for the guys with t `shirts numbered 16 & 24.
We wish all the best for all the staff at GBP EL Portillo and a very happy 2013.
We would also recommend a professional photo session with Lucre from the photo shop. She´s Great!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank 866Carla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Jefe Calidad & Customer Service at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, responded to this reviewResponded December 29, 2012

Dear Guest,

We want to thank you to have been chosen as the destination for your vacation, as well as taking the time to write and tell us your views on the pleasant experience you had during your stay in our hotel. Please do not hesitate on contacting us in our e-mail address info.elportillo@bahia-principe.com.

Regard,

Kisha Rodríguez Then
Jefe Calidad & Customer Service
Gran Bahía Príncipe El Portillo

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2012

In december 2012 we stayed 2 weeks in all-inn, at GBP El Portillo and we were pampered there!
We had a standard room and I must say that the room was small, concerning a 5 stars hotel. But it was very, very clean and had everything you need, a lot of toilettries every day, a lot of fresh towels, coffee, tea, free minibar, bottles of water....The rooms are spread in the beautiful and quite garden where, with some luck, you can spot honeybirds. There are 2 swimmingpools, one where the animation goes on and a second quite pool. At both pools, there is a bar. The buffetresto is too good. We came back with some kilo's more...We never went to the other gastronomic resto's, because we found everything we needed at the buffet and it was nice to sit outside for breakfast, lunch and sometimes diner. At the beach, you have a lot of seats and the beachbar, where you can eat and drink from 11h30 untill 18h00 with a lovely view at the sea. Towels are free. The beach looks nicer than it is. We took beautiful pictures of the blue and green sea bordered with a lot of palmtrees. But when you go for a walk, you find a lot of litter, especially in the direction of Las Terrenas. There are also a lot of free roaming dogs at the beach. They do nothing wrong, but it is just the feeling. Everytime that you leave the hotelbeach, you have to give your roomnumber to the beachguard of the hotel and this gives you a feeling of unsafety. They told us not to walk far along the beach in the opposite direction of Las Terrenas, because this was not so safe. In the neighbourhood of the hotel, there is nothing but the beach and the sea. At the entrance of the hotel, there are always scooters (public transport) and taxi's waiting to bring you to the village of Las Terrenas, or you can just wait untill a guagua (public minibus) is passing. The sea is lovely, with a lot of tropical fishes near the coralrif. You do not need to snorkel, the water is so clear and the rif is so close to the beach that you can just walk in the sea untill your middle to see the fishes. But what we most loved at the hotel, is all the very friendly and ever smiling people that are working there. Thanks Mireya (living at El Limon...) and pregnant Ana, working in the buffetresto, for your kindly and good service. Thank you Eusebio, for serving us so good at breakfast, Thanks to all the other people, from whom I forgot the name. We went with guagua to Las Terrenas and booked there our excursion to Los Haitises N.P. with Casa de la Terrenas agency and we can just recommend this trip! We went to the El Limon waterfall with a scooter and did the whole walk by foot (2 hours return) to the fall. You have to cross 8 times the river! We enjoyed it. The whole region is a very green, tropical paradise, but remember, people are not rich there and have to work very hard. They are working 60 hours per week at the hotel! And this 6 days on 7. So, I can just ask, please be good for all the frienly, lovely and hardworking people there, it is thanks to them, you will have a wonderful holiday.

Room Tip: Ask for a room upstairs
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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12  Thank liesenluc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Jefe Calidad & Customer Service at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, responded to this reviewResponded December 26, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking your time and write this comment about our hotel!

We really appreciate your nice comments regarding our hotel, rooms and services and even more the ones regarding our staff! Mireya, Ana and Eusebio will be so happy to hear the nice words that you have for their!

We hope to welcome you again to the Gran Bahia Principe El Portillo and to thank them in person. Contact us at our email address info.elportillo@bahia-principe.com.

Regard,

Kisha Rodríguez Then
Jefe Calidad & Customer Service
Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2012

El Portillo is a nice resort, on a still largely-undeveloped, and lovely beach. The on-shore breeze that is a regular visitor to the D.R's north coast is both a blessing and a curse. It dials down the humidity, but creates less than ideal swimming and snorkeling conditions. The hotel has some reefs with fish, but the water has to be calm.

El Portillo is nicely compact. Everything on the resort is within walking distance. The Bahia Shopping village is the smallest we have encountered at a Bahia resort. Les Terranas is the nearest town. It looked a bit ragged as we transferred to and from the airport.. Poverty is very apparent.

Speaking of airport transfers,when we arrived the shuttles and cabbies were refusing to take a brand-new toll road that by-passes much of the grueling mountainous terrain enroute to Samana-area resorts. It is an additional $12US one way, which sounds like a lot. However it must be safer and faster, and local tourism officials would do well to encourage use of the toll route. We took a private cab each way ($70US), which saved a lot of time and trouble compared to the sleek but massive buses greeting visitors at the Airport.

Samana International Airport is modern, spacious, and terribly under-utilized. We arrived on a Saturday evening Air Canada flight from Montreal. It was the ONLY aircraft on a sprawling airport tarmac. On our departure the following Saturday, the airport departure schedule listed only TWO departures for the entire day (again both Air Canada.) By comparison, Punta Cana is the Kennedy of the D.R north coast, handling dozens of daily flights. But to connect from either Punta Cana or Puerto Plata to Samana resorts is a long, costly ride.

We took one excursion. it was a trip to Limone Waterfalls. Our trail to the falls could only be taken on horseback (I think there might be other routes.). It was a rough ride both ways. The trail was badly rutted, muddy, and strewn with loose lava rock., and I felt sorry for the horses, each of which is accompanied by a "guide" holding the reins. There is no interpretation, because the guides cannot speak English. The falls itself is not geared for large groups. There is a large outcropping, where everyone watches the falls.for a few minutes, then climb back on their horses. You may see a calm serene pool in the tourism pics where visitors take a dip. But the "pool" was churning, and unswimmable when we we visited. I don't like to be negative, but the government could do more to make this attraction more accessible and user-friendly, especially since it is a designated "national" protected site.

The people of the D.R. are wonderful ambassadors for their country. Their lack of English is more the result of poor schooling (some of the schools we saw were in sad condition), then anything else. But be prepared for communications challenges on just about every front.

There are eleven complexes of rooms and suites at El Portillo. Complex One is the best, if you like to be close to the beach/pools/restaurants. You are further back as the Complex numbers increase. The heat/humidity becomes more apparent the further you are from the beach.

We enjoyed all our evening meals at the specialty restaurants. (Our package included this important perk.) The food/service/wine were great in each of the eateries. We did buffet for breakfasts/lunches, and had no complaints. The staff throughout the resort were excellent to deal with. Their uniforms were always nicely pressed, and the workers appeared to take pride in their service.

El Portillo, like most four star or better D.R. resorts, offers great vacation value.During late November 2012, standard rooms were going for an all-inclusive weekly rate for two of $1050US (on the resort's website.) Upgrading to a suite would probably be worth the extra bucks. Air/transfers, of course, are additional. Samana is still not well-served by most major North American carriers. But there were large contingents of European travelers at the resort, indicating scheduled charters from across the Atlantic.

Bon Voyage.

Room Tip: Complex One is closest to the beach and amenties.
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Bluenosers2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Jefe Calidad & Customer Service at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, responded to this reviewResponded January 5, 2013

Dear Guests,

On behalf of the staff of the Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo, we would like to thank you for nice comments.

We are very happy to know that you will be back soon, I am very sure that this experience will be another awesome time with us.

Please do not hesitate to send us a note to the mail below with your wishes before your next arrival in order to give the proper follow up to your requests and give you a especial welcome

Receive our warmest regards,

Kisha Rodríguez Then
Jefe Calidad & Customer Service
Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo

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 El Portillo

Address: Crta. las Terrenas - El Limon, km 4, Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic (Formerly El Portillo Beach Resort)
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Samana Province > Las Terrenas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Las Terrenas
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Las Terrenas
#2 Spa Hotel in Las Terrenas
#3 Family Hotel in Las Terrenas
#6 Romantic Hotel in Las Terrenas
Price Range: $127 - $395 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo 3.5*
Number of rooms: 606
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Facilities and services: 2 pools Jacuzzi Sun terrace with loungers and sun umbrellas Pool and beach towel service BAHIA SPA (additional charge) Sports facilities: gym, tennis court, basketball court, volleyball net on the beach Water activity and scuba diving centre WiFi access in the lobby (24h per day free of charge) and in rooms (additional charge) Entertainment theatre Main buffet restaurant and 4 a la carte restaurants 8 Bars Snack-bar Pueblo Principe: local craft stores, live music, shows, bars and disco. Rooms 582 rooms including 4 types: Standard, Club Golden Junior Suite, Junior Suite and Family 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, shower, hair dryer and magnifying mirror Air conditioning Ceiling fan Terrace or balcony Telephone Radio alarm clock Satellite TV Coffee-making facilities Mini-bar Safe (with additional charge) WiFi (additional charge) Ironing set (available on request) Superior Junior Suite: balcony or terrace, sitting area with sofa-bed, ironing set, coffee-making facilities, private guest service phone line, umbrella, VIP amenities. Club Golden and Club Hacienda 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: Children's pool Mini Club with daytime activities Evening Mini Disco Babysitting service (additional charge) Bahia Scout Water park Other services Medical service (additional charge) Pharmacy (additional charge) Bus stop opposite the hotel Personalised diets on request and subject to circumstances Specialised service for organising weddings, incentive trips, events and anniversaries ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gran Bahia Principe El Portillo Hotel Las Terrenas
El Portillo Beach Resort
Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo Las Terrenas, Samana, Dominican Republic

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