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Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo
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Reviews (6,527)
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All reviewsjunior suitelobby barfisha la carte restaurantsquiet poolprivilege clubmain buffetgourmet restaurantmain poollots of varietygrand bahiadifferent themeair transatcoral reefride from the airportanimation teamother resorts
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Reviewed July 29, 2013

Went here originally in April 2010 for 2 weeks, and got married. There was 27 of us in attendance and the staff couldn't have been more accomodating. From the 4 hour dinner sampling for our wedding dinner to picking out our mucic, there was no rushing nor any detail missed by the staff. We returned in August 2011 for 2 weeks and had the same experience , staff were excellent bar, pool etc. The only drw back was when the local Dominicans came in on weekends.....they were.....to say tyhe least very noisy. Overall I'd recommend this resort.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank stevebullock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, jefe de calidad & costumer services at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, responded to this reviewResponded August 7, 2013

We would like to thank you for taking the time out to communicate the impressions of your vacation with our Tripadvisor community. We would like to think we are not a smaller hotel, we are a family hotel and we do everything possible to make feel our guests like part of this great family. In the name of our staff , we would like to thank you for vacationing with us at the Gran Bahía Príncipe El Portillo and we hope see you very soon in our property.

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, all-inclusive hotels for your holidays in the Dominican Republic.
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 July 29, 2013

We stayed 11July - 25 July....

The flight out with Thomson was fine...friendly staff as usual.

Check in for the hotel was brilliant - its all done on the bus on the way there. you get your band and room number etc. So all you collect when you arrive is your safe key (56 for 2 weeks) and your room key....takes about 5 mins to get this and then you are whisked off to your room.

We were in a golden club suite #8201 (rooms at the end of each block are bigger - so ask for one of these!!) The bed was huge...and we found it to be comfortable. Great air con - which wont work if you have the balcony door open...which we thought was great...conserving electricity and not wasting cold air going out of the door!! We had a jacuzzi bath and a seperate walk in shower...more than adequate for us. TV had a few english language channels such as FOX news, Al jazeera news, Sy Fy and AXN (which showed NCIS, CSI and Criminal minds!!)

The beach was lovely - very long...you can walk miles and miles each way apparently. When you get to a certain point a hotel security guard comes down and takes your room and room number and 'ticks' you off when you come back...good feature. The only downside of the beach was the early morning sun bed run....I HATE getting up early to place towels on beds...however it was the ONLY way to secure a bed with some shade on the beach as by 8.30/9.00am they were all 'taken'!! And 'taken' by people that were also reserving beds up by the pool AND the jacuzzi and not using them at all...its extremely irritating. And the hotel really need to address this issue. The snorkelling is fab - lots of lovely fishes to see and its not deep - so great for the whole family.

Food - the food was ok and seemed to be quite varied...remember there are lots of people to try and please from all over the world. We did find that it was quite hard to get a drink to go with our meal at times and often had to get up and go up to the bar to get them ourselves (which is a walk away from the dining room) after asking 3 or 4 times....From what I could gather the hotel was pretty full as the other 2 hotels in Samana had recently gone adults only and therefore all families booked into them were changed to the Portillo. The staff in the restaurants were rushed off their feet and coped quite well - so for us to get our own drinks wasnt really a major issue. We ate in all 3 of the speciality restaurants..gourmet was lovely but extremely HOT in there...some air con would be great!! I had the entrecote 3 times - and it was the largest piece of steak I have eaten (or tried to eat!!) The italian was lovely...but we over-ordered in there and nearly had to be rolled out!! My favourite was the seafood one - although I had chicken (???!!) in there it was actually the best meal of our holiday..the food was gorgeous and the service and staff were brilliant.

Wifi - you can get free wifi in the lobby quite easily - there are lots of chairs and sofas to sit on...we also tended to go to the lobby after dinner and chill....we could order drinks from there and a few $$$ tips to the girls and they would really look after us...although to be honest, some people didnt tip at all and were served just as well....with regards to tipping...take lots of $1 and $5 with you - you dont have to tip to get good service at all - however please bear in mind that all the staff work VERY hard and in EXTREME heat..you will see them serving you at breakfast and they will still be there at 10pm at night..they dont expect the tips..but come on...we can all afford a few extra $$$$$ for them cant we?

The main bar closes at 11pm, on the dot and the lights are turned off...a tad early I think. I dont like to be told when to go to bed.....as an adult I like to make that decision myself!! You can stroll down to the disco if you want another drink - but when we went it was full of teeangers having a great time and we felt pretty ancient!!

The guys that maintain the gardens do a phenomenal job - they are pristine and so pretty. We saw almond trees and mango trees (even brought some mangos home with us that one of the guys gave us!! They are nearly ripe now)

Alot of people we spoke to (incldung ourselves) had dodgy tummys..I cant blame it on the food definitely.....it may be the heat, change in diet..I dont know...but it seemed to affect ALOT of people. Take plenty of immodium..(I had it for 6 days and just ended up dealing with it and accepting it in the end!!) I did get sunstroke and had to call the hotel Dr out - at a cost of $125!! He did try to get me to go for 'tests' etc at a huge additional cost - but I declined..once I knew what was wrong with me we could monitor it ourselves. And I recovered fine. Take plenty of high factor sun cream with you - I didnt go below 20. I completely underestimated the sun...burnt and peeled 3 times by the time I was leaving!! Lol - so be VERY careful.

I made use of the laundry service and it was very reasonable ...$2 shirt, $2 skirt etc - it all came back within a couple of hours.

In all - yes we enjoyed our holiday at GBP El Portillo. I think this is a great hotel for families and would go back to a GBP - but probably to an adults only one.

I have to mention Gabino - the bell boy there...this guy was one of the most amazing, friendly, cant-do-enough-for-you type of guys. He was always so happy and cheerful and full of conversation...we found out on the last day - he is only in training with the hotel and has just 2 weeks left before he has to go off and find a job somewhere!! My advice to the hotel management is give this guy a job straightaway. He will be an asset to you all :)

Room Tip: Ask for a room at the end of the block as they are longer...and on the first floor - cos those strairs can be a killer in the heat!!
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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11  Thank blingchick67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, jefe de calidad & costumer services at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, responded to this reviewResponded August 7, 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 appreciating your positive comments about the quality of our service 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.

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, a 5 star experience in Samana
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 July 28, 2013 via mobile

We booked this up as a one week trip but we could have easily of stayed for two. You are treated very well here. Everyone smiles at you, no hassel from anyone, i really appreciate that. Even the sellers who stroll up and down the beach (only one or two) very smiley and good characters. If you say no thanks they go straight away.

The food here was excellent, a good variety, no funny bellies and always plenty of it!

Some people have made comments about the rooms, we were in section 16 and it was great, so i wouldnt panic if you dont get section 1,3,5,7 that i have seen other people recommend, i am dure had they stayed in any section tey would also recommend those too. Having said that, there are sections by the gate on tr way in which are a further walk and in this kind of heat i can see how that may be slightly inconvenient, but there are so many sections near the hotel chances are you will be ok.

Te alcohol was great, we found the wine to be better from the main restaurant and the smaller beach bar than wht is was in tr beack snack bar, but tr view from the beach snack bar is beautiful!
Everywhere is beautiful really!

The a la carte frene and italian restaurants are delicious and we felt this holiday was a very good price and standard and would definately stay at another bahia resort.

Oh yes! ...While i remember, we saw anothe bahia with the lift to the beach and felt this one was nicer (that one doesnt have as nice a beach). Just thought id mention it, but it does have good views so tit for tat really..

  • Stayed: July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank drummingboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, jefe de calidad & costumer services at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, responded to this reviewResponded August 7, 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 hotel.

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, your best hotel in Samana
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 July 28, 2013

The thompsons rep Simon was the most rude,unhelpful rep I have ever come across on any holiday I have ever been on.
Booked the Dolphin excursion through him and what I got for what I paid was disgusting. A long story short it cost me £500 for myself, wife and 6 year old and at no point did he mention a 9 hour round trip to Ocean World and that the breakfast included would be a cookie and an apple.
The tour guide and driver were equally awful and there were lots of things I was unhappy with. When I brought it to the reps attention he was totally uninterested in helping me or offering me anything to compensate my bad experience. Instead he was rude and aggressive and insisted I book another excursion and he would give me 46 dollars off. Waiting to hear from the aftercare team to see what they say after my running with this liar Rep
Hotel itself was very nice and the staff work tirelessly to please you.
Get the photos done at beach came out nice and they give you a good price.
Swimming pool, sea and beach absolutely beautiful. Very nice people stay at resort which makes life easier.
Had a very upset stomach not sure if its a natural occurrence to going to the Caribbean but every Brit I spoke to suffered the same. This made the holiday at times hard work.
Food was great and miss the place overall just a shame a Rep had to ruin the majority of my holiday with his lies, aggressive behaviour and just a general unwillingness to help.
Jm

Stayed: July 2013
3  Thank Jon M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, jefe de calidad & costumer services at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, responded to this reviewResponded August 7, 2013

Dear Guest,

It is a real pleasure to us to get your comment. You can be sure that there is no biggest reward for us than to get a message like yours knowing you are really blissful with the product of our effort to do everything to make your wedding dream reality. We are glad that you have enjoyed your visit with us. We are delighted to share your comments with the rest of our staff.

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts for your summer holidays in Samana
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 July 28, 2013

We have just returned from this hotel, we were due to stay at another hotel, but were put in the El Portillo because the Cayacoa had been changed to adults only, we were very impressed with the hotel complex, the beach is fantastic with a cool breeze most days. The hotel staff are very friendly and excellent at there jobs, however they do not speak much English at all and even basic requests can be difficult to get across, try to learn a little Spanish before you go is my suggestion as I got by quite well for food and drink request in Spanish. In response to 'poshimp' the beach is not owned by the hotel and they have no say in who places towels on beds on the beach, just around the pools, I am an early riser and had no issues in the two weeks we were there. Check is a doddle as they sort this on the coaches before you arrive and the porters will fetch and carry your bags. This hotel is excellent value for money and we will be returning as soon as we can.

Room Tip: Pick any room, they are all good. Closer to the beach is more noisy, closer to the back of the hotel near the relax pool is quiet.
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank lolnoodle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, jefe de calidad & costumer services at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, responded to this reviewResponded August 7, 2013

Firstly we hope you had a good trip back home and we are very grateful you have taken the time to express your views in our Tripadvisor community. The reviews help us to improve and raise our service.

We hope to have you back in the near future at the Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo and I take the opportunity to send a very warm greeting.

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts for your summer holidays in Samana
Kisha Rodríguez Then
Grand Bahia Principe 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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