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“Very Nice with a couple Cons”

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Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo
Ranked #2 of 35 Hotels in Las Terrenas
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 10, 2013

Royal Golden from Feb.19 till March 5/2013
Location: 50 min bus ride on the new coastal highway was breath taking
Check-in: Very smooth mostly done on the bus ride.
Room: Stayed in the newer section building 10,11,12. Could not here other room noise, very quite, clean, a bit shy on restocking bar and coffee supplies.
Room Safe: Found the price of $28US a week a bit high.
Resort: Very well laid out, well maintained and very quiet.
Beach: lots of chairs, sun and shade, great snorkeling right off the beach, venders were not pushy.
Buffet: Was very hot at all meals, not air conditioned, service was good.
Bars: Found at the Piscina pool bar that the other bar staff would come and remove the beer so that we had to drink from cans or go without beer at all. This went on for over 4 days. Being a beer drinker only was a bit upsetting.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank James I
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 March 20, 2013

Dear Guest,

It is a real pleasure to know that you enjoyed a great relaxing vacation, especially because of our nice beach and clean rooms.

We thank you for taking the time of sharing your opinion with us which we will take in the highest consideration.

Best regards,

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

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2,039 - 2,045 of 6,091 reviews

Reviewed March 9, 2013

My wife and I along with some of our friends are just returning (Feb 23rd - Mar 2nd) from a great week at the
El Portillo in Samana. The bottom line of the week is this is a great place to stay, but it
has a few downsides.

Check-in : We were using a private transportation to the resort, so let's say is was a fun
ride across the mountain. Once at the resort, we were greeted into the Golden Club /
Privilege Club lobby to signed the forms, received our keys along with our per-reserved
a la carte restaurants. After this, we were directed to our building and room.

Room : Because of a little mixed up from the previous week, we had to say the first
night into another room (building 8). The room was nice, big enough with all the usual
amenities plus a fully stocked mini-bar. A fruit platter was also on the table in the room.
The bathroom is big with a separate shower and toilet. After that first night, we were
moved into building 1 which is located a few feet from the pool, beach and snack-bar.
The best located buildings are 1, 2 and 3.

Beach : The beach is beautiful with golden sand and clear water. You can walk for hours
outside the resort limits on both sides. The downside is the lack of beach beds... Way
not enough for the number of guest.

Pool : Great location but too small and not enough chair at the main pool. There is a
second, smaller at the from of the resort as it's more seclude.

Restaurants : One great buffet, 3 a la carte restaurants and a fun snack-bar by the
beach. The buffet has a great selection of food. The amount of food is excellent and the
service form the staff is at par with any 5 stars resorts. The a la carte (French, Italian,
Seafood) are great with an excellent service from the staff.

People that go the extra mile : A special thank you to Leandro (guest service manager)
for all the help and great smile during the help. A huge think you to Diomedes the head
waiter the his amazing work, smile and attitude. And finally a think you to Agusto at the
main pool bar for his excellent cocktail the Green Monster.

Room Tip: Try to get rooms in building 1, 2 or 3
See more room tips
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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2  Thank karol_michel
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 March 20, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your experience with others on TripAdvisor. Your suggestions will be appreciate for all readers.

We hope you give us the opportunity to welcome you once again at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo.

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 March 8, 2013

This was our 3rd yr. on a return trip to the El Portillo and it was everything we expected. Service was terrific, food great, and the beach is amazing. spent 1 week from Feb. 26th > March 5th.

We found this year that the word must be out on this resort as it was at full capacity... and that they did not have enough staff (in the buffet restaurant) to handle the crowd.... waited almost 20 min. before getting wine with dinner; HOWEVER, hopefully they will realize with a full capacity crowd that they will increase staff especially at the dinner hour.

Disappointed to hear the Rep tell us NOT to walk the beach into Las Terrenas (which they would always recommend).... it is the nearest town and would take approx. 1hr to 1/2 hr. along pristine beach.... apparently since the new highway has opened up the "rubbies" from Santo Domingo are coming up to Samana and there had been reports from travellers from Air Canada, Wet Jet & Air Transat being mugged...... SO, if you plan on walking a fair distance... remove all jewellery, watches and do not carry any cash...... was so saddened to hear about this......
however, we took a taxi into Las Terrenas as we previously have done in the past 2 yrs. and were not approached and felt very safe in the town doing our shopping.

On the whole, this is like others state a very quiet resort not a place if you want to party and would recommend to others to experience a gorgeous walking beach that is not crowded like Punta Cana.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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5  Thank wishingfor67
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 March 20, 2013

Dear Guest,

As a repeater client your opinion 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.

We would like to cater you once again at Dominican Republic to experience the hospitality of our people, the quality of our services and facilities.

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 March 7, 2013

on the way from the airport we were given some forms to feel out to speed up the check-in. Our rooms were supposed to be ready just as we arrived which was around 1.15. They did not check us in till 4.30 sending us back and forth and asking to fill out endless forms. The room was clean but a far cry from 5 star which is what the hotel rates apparently. There is an ancient TV which did not work for 3 and a half days. The beds are rock hard. There are no face cloths, no conditioner or body lotion. There was no clock in the room and when we asked housekeeping for one we were told to call the reception to find out what time it was. We asked somebody else and we got the clock except it did not work! The hotel in general is very dark. Eating fish in the dining room was really tricky. They only had every other light bulb going and those were the energy efficient ones that give hardly any light, There were not enough tablet around the lobby bar but that just as well because there were only two waitresses and they would only come to you if you tipped them every time. there was no music playing at any time and it was quite dingy. You were pretty much on your own to entertain yourself. The staff were unfriendly with very few exceptions. There were no smiles or "Ola-s" and you had to walk around the hotel employees if they were standing in your way because they would not move to let you pass. You are their guest... but really more like a nuisance The food was average - not terrible but nothing to get excited about. There was a brawl at the bar and the security people instead of discreetly removing the troublemaker, they just stood there and watched. Finally, they brought the man's wife into the bar with her two children in tow and asked her to take her husband away. The poor lady was so embarrassed we did not see her for the rest of the stay. Complete lack of professionalism. My husband and I were hit by flying glass during the brawl so the manager took us to the lobby to look after the cuts. She got our room number and we thought there will be some sort of apology but to our dismay, the manager pretended not to see us for the rest of the time. The front desk is useless and full of empty promises. This was a horrible vacation and we will never go back to the Dominican or to any of the Bahias. Our best experience was with Iberostar which I highly recommend. My advise - AVOID El Portillo AT ALL COSTS!

Room Tip: Buildings 9, 10, 11 are more quiet. Ask for a higher floor if you can (no elevators) because you mig...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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6  Thank Justyna T
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 June 22, 2013

Dear guest,

We would like to acknowledge that we have received your e-mail concerning your recent stay at our property, the Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo. We also would like to thank you for taking the time out to communicate the impressions of your vacation with us.

We would like to extend you the most sincere apologies for any inconveniences or difficulties. We regret your experiences did not meet your expectations and you may feel assured that we took a good note of your particular observations.

Once again we are sorry your stay was not as pleasant as we aim for it to be. Your judgment will serve to improve not only the appearance of Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, but also its essence of both presentation and performance. Thus we hope your opinion will let us welcome you back at our bestest treatment.

Kisha Rodríguez Then
Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2013

Here is a brief overview of my experience
LOCATION: 4o minute bus ride from the airport along a scenic coastal route
BEACH: clean, calm, no seaweed, nicer than in Punta Cana, good snorkeling, good for walking
RESORT: small, well laid-out and maintained, very clean public washrooms, would have appreciated more non-smoking sections,
LIGHTING: too dim throughout the entire complex, even in the rooms
ROOMS: worn, but clean. Housekeeping was done around 5PM. Towels were not always delivered by that time. Could hear the people above us.
ROOM SAFES: Lots of confusion here. Be sure to double check the accuracy on your receipts.
MAIN DINING ROOM: Noisy, but adjacent to a lovely, quiet terrace where we ate most of the time. Wide selection of food which was generally good but not outstanding. Coffee spoons were always hard to get at breakfast time.
A LA CARTE RESTAURANTS: Lovely atmosphere. Good beef in both the Portofino and the Orchidea Restaurants.
SERVICE: Very friendly ...Diomedes is a remarkable and conscientious waiter.
DRINKS: Limited selection, but generally better than at the Bahia Principe Ambar

Room Tip: Rooms on the top floor are probably quieter.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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10  Thank lpansieri
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 March 20, 2013

Dear Guest,

Firstly, thank you for taking the time to post a review of your stay in our hotel. We appreciate your comment and value your opinion for the overall betterment of our hospitality.

We are very concerned to read about your disappointing experience and we are sorry to hear that we could not fulfill your expectations of a five star hotel. The problems you mentioned are totally under our standards of services, we will take actions in order to improve the areas indicated by you.

Once again we are sorry your stay was not as pleasant as we aim for it to be. Your judgment will serve to improve not only the appearance of Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, but also its essence of both presentation and performance. Thus we hope your opinion will let us welcome you back at our best’s treatment.

For any enquiry please contact us at our email address info.elportillo@bahia-principe.com.

Best wishes,

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 March 6, 2013

We stayed at the El Portillio for 2 weeks; 3 couples and a 4th couple joined us for 1st week. The hotel is beautiful; the grounds are immaculate, lush and tropical, along with the beautiful clean beach; staff take pride in keeping everything so clean, even the beach washrooms are super clean. Small resort, but easy to get around; beautiful lobby with shiny, polished floors. Lots of food choices for every meal; great food and ice cream; the deep-fried croutons in buffet were fabulous. For a 2 week stay would prefer more than 3 A La Cartes, but they were good restaurants.

Carlos ( Mgmt), was very courteous, helpful, ensured that any requests were dealt with promptly& cheerfully. The Reception staff were cheerful & prompt. The staff are friendly and helpful & appreciate if you try to speak even a little Spanish; the girls who greet you in the buffet are so sweet & cheerful. The animation staff are great; especially Charlie who is so funny with his costumes and entertainment throughout the resort.

I loved the greeting with the Bahia song when we arrived, and again the goodbye song when we departed was so nice.
We took a taxi ($10) into Las Terrenas, 2 times; we loved it; the 2nd time we went earlier in the day to avoid their afternoon siesta where a lot of stores close for a few hours. The beach vendors can keep you busy, but their merchandise is pretty good & comparable to Las Ter. (better prices); but if you say no, they accept it.
The whole scenery in Samana and along the way to & from airport, is beautiful. We would go back to this lovely resort, anytime.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank likesVegas
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 March 20, 2013

Dear Guest,

First let me inform you that your opinion is valuable to us, therefore we are extremely proud and happy for having left a pleasant memory. We are especially appreciate your positive comments about of our facilities and our staff. Comments like that you send us, are what motivate us as a team every day to improve the quality of service we offer.

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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Reviewed March 6, 2013

We just returned from a week at the Grand Bahia Portillo. We travel to a different spot every year and this is one of the few we would return to.
Beach: wonderful...can walk forever. It is very clean and the water is never too rough.
Snorkeling: it was good...not really a destination that would wow you, but plenty to see and enjoy. We saw lion fish, a number of angel and puffer fish, and a great variety of other common underwater creatures (anenomes, urchins, etc.). The best time of day to snorkel is mid to late afternoon, when the tide is low and the water is calm and clear. If you go when it's too rough, your vision will be obscured.
Rooms: great...always clean, a/c in working order, and everything is relatively close by.
Food: very good...the buffet had a great variety, and the 2 restuarants we tried (Italian & Gourmet) were excellent.
Staff: wonderful...everyone took the time to say "Hola" and ask how you were, if you were enjoying your stay. The servers in the restaurants, the buffet in particular, work very hard and very long hours...would recommend leaving a small tip at each meal.
Bars: we are not really bar people, but the drinks we did have were good - they had a drink of the day, so there was some variety...not a great judge of that though, as there were days when we didn't bother.
Activities: we read other reviews that said there was nothing to do, but there seemed to be enough tours offered to keep us busy. We REALLY enjoyed the "Walk the Plank" zip lines - great fun and great tour guides. Afterward, they give a small talk on traditional Dominican items like chocolate, fruits & veges, vanilla, honey, alcohol...then they let you taste some local treats...it is very rustic, but that is what we liked best about the presentation....overall, would recommend this tour to adventure seekers!
This was a great place to unwind, get some exercise, and enjoy the ocean...would definately return.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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8  Thank Shufreek
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 March 20, 2013

Dear Guest,

It is truly a pleasure for us to learn that you enjoyed your stay at our resort, especially the services from our front desk department and that you appreciated the professionalism of our staff, we are aware that it is only because of them that we are able to achieve our goal- the continuous improvement of our services. We are very proud to have received your excellent comments regarding our employees.

Please do not hesitate on contacting us in our e-mail address info.elportillo@bahia-principe.com

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: $129 - $414 (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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