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“Most beautiful beach in the world”

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Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo
Ranked #2 of 35 Hotels in Las Terrenas
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 21, 2013

My sister and brother-in-law and my husband and I (in our 50's) stayed at the Gran Bahia Principe El Portillo from Feb 5 to Feb 19, 2013. The ride from the airport was just 40 minutes with beautiful scenery along the way. Check in takes place on the bus so when you get to the hotel you just have to pay for your safe and you are on your way. The room was very nice and was kept spotlessly clean by the cleaning staff. Yes the TV is small but we didn't come to watch TV so not a problem.
We have been to Mexico once, Cuba three times and the Dominican five times and I have never seen a more beautiful beach. The water is crystal clear, you don't really need snorkel gear as the fish come and swim around your feet when you're standing in knee high water. Simply amazing!
The food in the buffets (main and beach) was very good as was the food in the restaurants. The Italian was our favorite, best salmon I've ever had. The beach buffet has fried pork, my husband is Hungarian and it tasted just like his Mom used to make! All excellente!
We didn't do any of the excursions as we have done some on other trips but we were never bored. The animacion staff (Daniel, Charlie and others) kept us busy playing games, bingo bocci ball, darts,or sometimes we just watchied the action. The staff never seem to run out of energy. It was all great fun.
My sister and I went to Las Terrenas twice. You can take a cab but the gua gua is cheaper and alot more interesting. Gua gua is Spanish for clown car, you squeeze as many people as you possibly can into a small van or pickup truck, we counted one van we were in had 15 people and 3 children. Breathing is difficult but there is no side door so air circulation is good. We had the time of our lives! The people are so friendly. We got dropped off at Plaza Paseo, walked through shops and also walked down the streets looking at the other shops.
All in all we had a great time at the El Portillo and highly recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a wonderful vacation.

Room Tip: We enjoy walking (helps get rid of all the calories we consume at the buffet) so we did not have a p...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Janine K
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 February 27, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to give us such a good review of your recent stay at Gran Bahía Príncipe El Portillo in our Tripadvisor web page and share with our fans your experience with us, we are totally agree with you, we are blessed with one of the most beautiful beach. We would love to welcome you back soon in the near future whenever you are planning to come back to visit us.

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
Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo

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2,109 - 2,115 of 6,219 reviews

Reviewed February 19, 2013

My wife and I had a great time in this resort. We are both 55 and we were looking for a destination which is not too crowded and noisy. And we got it.
Air Canada Vacation representative - Guy - was very professional and friendly and we liked that he gave us all the important information on our way from the airport to the resort.
During the day we found a peaceful spot around jaccuzzi ( cold water ) located between the pool and the beach. Very quiet with a nice view.
Rooms were OK - if you like a specific kind of pillow; bring it with you.
The variety of food was amazing. We checked all 3 a la carte restaurants and they were all good. Buffet restaurant was excellent; nice atmosphere, greta selectin of food and friendly service. Most of the stuff is not speaking english. We were lucky to be served by Jose Garcia who gave us great and friendly service all the time and was able to comunicate with us.
We enjoyed the services at the spa as well as our trip to Haitisas ( National Park ).
If you don't bring yor own lap top, there is one free computer available in the loby.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Martin F
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 February 21, 2013

Dear Guest,

Receive cordial greetings from all the team working at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, especially from our Quality & Customer Service Department.

It is an honor to know that Jose has provided our guests with the natural warmth and hospitality that characterize the Dominican people. He will be delighted to know that they are making a difference in each guest experience.

Please allow us to reassure that we are extremely proud to have provided you an unforgettable experience, which reflects the commitment and quality of service we have exhibited through the years.

Thanks for your comments and for recommending us and looking forward to seeing you soon at our Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo!

Best regards,

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

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Reviewed February 19, 2013

The scenery is beautiful on the bus ride to the Gran Bahia. We met the rep (Guy) on this ride and saw him every day at the resort helping every guest he could. Treated like his family and he made sure we were enjoying ourselves. Never had this type of service from any other rep and sometimes you had to phone to get one at some other ones we had stayed at. As for the resort we have stayed 9 times at this chain in Punta Cana and Mayan Riviera with the same class of service on a smaller scale. Try to get a junior suite as the standard room was not anything special. It was our honeymoon and not much was done for us except tshirts and a bottle of rum. Loved the buffet and was not overwhelmed by the a la cartes as service was very slow in the Italian one and we walked out without even having dessert when everyone after us was being served. Otherwise the experience was up to par with the chain and the beach was amazing. Thank you Air Canada vacations for the best part of the trip which was your rep - Guy. He was absolutely amazing.

Room Tip: Try to book a junior suite for more room to store your belongings.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank patterfuzz
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 February 21, 2013

Dear Guest,

First of all, we would like to thank you for bringing to our attention your comments about your stay in our Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo.

Please allow us to reassure that we are extremely proud to have provided you a positive experience at this tropical paradise, which reflects the commitment and quality of service we have exhibited through the years.

We would like to extend our most sincere apologies for any inconveniences or difficulties you may have experienced during your stay.

We hope you will be willing to give us the opportunity to welcome you once again at our hotel and that way is able to change any negative perception you may have.

Sincerely,

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 February 19, 2013

We were at the resort ftom Feb 8-16. We go to all inclusives in the Carribean and Mexico every winter and have been to many resorts.
El Portillo was not the fanciest we have been to, but the vacation was awesome.
If you appreciate unspoiled beach with great clear water, good food, welcoming service and clean accomodations, El Portillo is for you. We could tell that Bahia management kept good watch to make sure that the guests are happy.
One of my personal quirks and measures of the cleanliness of the resort (or a hotel) are public bathrooms. In El Portillo they were spotless, even on the beach.
The staff was always smiley and happy. on that note (I know that management reads the reviews) I will single out Marleny - the young lady that greats people at the door of the buffet restaurant, the part that leads to outside seating. She has a radiant smile and always greated us as if we were her family. She gave a wonderful wave of hand and a slight curtsy with a beaming smile, that made us feel welcome.
Another person worth noting was the waitress Ester, who was always nearby to assist. She has an unspoiled demeanor of someone who seems very happy to work at the resort. When I tipped her first time, she was so surprised and gushed, because it looked to me like she got a little extra for what she already liked to do.
We tipped everyone, bartenders, maids, waiters. A couple of dollars did not make a lot of difference to us, but it looked like a good deal for them.
Please tip.
Road from Santo Domingo A/P to the hotel was long. 2.5 hours, but picturesque and you are on vacation anyway. So what? Beats shoveling snow in NY :)
Vendors on the beach were plentiful, but usually did not annoy people. We bought some stuff from them as well, although we usually do not.
Weather was great except for one day when it rained. It does get a little windy (or a lot) on the beach around 3:00 pm, but if you are willing to sit closer to the snak bar it is not as bad. We wanted to stay away from any activity and just relax, so we stayed to the right on the beach.
We walked on the beach both ways and it was beautiful.
All in all it was a great vacation!

Room Tip: We were at building 6, an OK location. If you can try for 2 or 4
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank travelforever
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 February 21, 2013

Dear Guest,

Receive cordial greetings from all the team working at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, especially from our Quality & Customer Service Department.

We are very pleased to read that you enjoyed your holidays thanks to our plentiful drinks, clean rooms and staff. Please be assured that your nice comments will be forwarded to our staff, especially to Marleny and Ester.

We would like to have the opportunity to welcome you once again at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo to experience the hospitality of our people, the quality of our services and facilities, and continue providing the most memorable vacations.

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Best regards,

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 February 19, 2013

This was a wonderful location for a destination wedding. We enjoyed our time here and felt welcomed and cared for. The Air Canada rep (Guy) was exceptional in providing help and support. Almost everything about this resort exceeded our expectations.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank AlbertaCathy
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 February 21, 2013

Dear Guest,

I would like to thank for writing a comment on Tripadvisor about your experience at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo. In the name of the Hotel Management we would like to thank you for choosing our hotel to celebrate your family wedding; we congratulate you and wish you the best.

We are very happy to read that this memorable occasion was very special as it is supposed to be.

We will be happy to celebrate with you and your family this especial occasion; please do not hesitate on contacting us in our e-mail address info.elportillo@bahia-principe.com

Regards,

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 February 19, 2013

Traveled with my wife, sister and brother-in-law. A little late in reviewing this property, travelled in Dec.
First, the Staff - all fantastic, shout out to - Anna in the buffet, always keeping busy even though she was 5-6 mo. pregnant, Augustin at the pool bar wo never let your drink run dry, Rosanna and Josephina at the lobby bar, very attentave took very good care of us, Joel - animation who never seemed to stop working and last but not least, Carlos the GM. He seemed to be around 24/7, if we had a problem, no matter how small he would have it corrected.

Restaurants -
Buffet - good
Gourmet - dissapointing, long wait for food, cold and chewy when we finally got.
Seafood - very good
Italian - very good

Overall the service was excellent and drinks were plentyful, would definatly reccomend this resort, and have actually done just that. - - One caution, if you get the short bus at airport you take the shorter mountain route - 45 min., if not big bus around the mountain, 1-1/2 hrs.

Room Tip: All rooms are close to everything!
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank schooner7
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 February 21, 2013

Dear Guest,

Receive cordial greetings from all the team working at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, especially from our Quality & Customer Service Department.

Your opinion is very important to us. It represents a challenge, an opportunity to improve our services, and maintain the magic that makes our dear customers choose for their holiday destination this paradise called Dominican Republic.

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

Looking forward to welcoming you once again!

Best 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.
Reviewed February 18, 2013

Our group (3 adults, one 13 year old boy and one girl who turned 11 while we were there) stayed at this resort Feb 2 - Feb 9. The weather was great - only rained for about an hour on a few mornings while we were having breakfast - and was otherwise beautiful. The ride to the resort is much shorter than advertised. We landed at the Samana airport at about 3:00 and made it through customs, to the transfer and were on the resort by 4:30! The journey to the resort was amazing, with views of the mountains and the sea which was an excellent introduction to this part of the Dominican Republic.
The resort itself was gorgeous - the main lobby is stunning, and the rest of the complex with the buffet and lobby bar bar is quite beautiful. The rooms themselves are nice - nothing fancy but we weren't in the rooms for long anyway so it didn't really matter. The beach is incredible - take some bread from the buffet and the fish will eat right out of your hands. Our daughter was entertained by this for hours! The pool is great - nice size and has lots of chairs in sunny and shady locations. The food was also very good - we only ate at the buffet and the beach restaurant, and you could always find something for everyone. HUGE thank you to servers in the buffet Ana (who is expecting her second baby in April) and Nathalie, who were so attentive and friendly - they even decorated our daughter's table for her birthday with flowers and balloons and got her some presents!
The entertainment staff does an amazing job of connecting with the vacationers. Note of warning -you have not drank too many Bahama Mamas and are not seeing double - there is a set of twins Daviell and Ariel on the entertainment staff who were absolutely great! They were so funny and charming and really made this trip a memorable one. Rosa and Daniel and the rest of the entertainment crew were great too, but we do have special memories of those crazy twins!!

Do not fall for the extremely friendly Bahia Principe Privilege Club sales guys in the lobby - they will offer free gifts for listening to their 60 minute spiel which is a vacation club of sorts. Just say you work for a travel agency and they will leave you alone!

Overall this is the exact trip we were looking for - beautiful resort, good food, excellent for families.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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6  Thank TraceyNithburg
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 February 19, 2013

Dear guest,

Thank you so much for sharing with us your experience and we sincerely hope that beside these events, which of course, it will be taken into consideration, we were able to provide you a very pleasant stay.

Yours faithfully,

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.
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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: $141 - $435 (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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