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Reviewed August 11, 2017

The service at this hotel is very poor, no privilege club amenities at all. Management staff Albis Corredor extremely rude, unprofessional. Will never return. Food average, housekeeping staff are wonderful

  • Stayed: August 2017, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
3  Thank Heather L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded August 15, 2017

Dear Guest,

First and foremost, thank you for taking the time to write a review of your stay in our hotel. It is through communication of this nature that our guests give us an opportunity to reevaluate our performances, as well as to ensure that we maintain and deliver the level of service expected from us.

We are available in case you want to contact us, at our email address info.elportillo@bahia-principe.com.

Best wishes,

Braulio Vasquez
Gran Bahia Principe El Portillo

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2017

I've been to many other Bahia hotels in the Caribbean, including Mexico and Punta Cana. First off, this is the only Bahia hotel on this beach. Unlike Punta Cana and Mexico, there aren't 5 resorts in one place that share the facilities. What I liked the most was that since this was the only hotel it wasn't very large. The furthest room from the beach was maybe a 5 minute walk (more like 3 min). If you really wanted a car to drive you, you can but it's not far. There are 28 villas. Villas 26,27 and 28 are the junior suite superior rooms. A word of warning - villa 27 is right next to the main road so we were woken by cars driving by non stop. We switched to villa 26 which was very quiet next to the tennis court -I think of the 3 it is the best. Villa 28 is next to the Bahia principe village which has a disco - so you can hear music till 2am. So if you are booking a superior room keep this in mind. These 3 villas are technically the furthest away from the beach (3 min) because they are the newest so they were built at the back of the hotel. Also just a note that the hotel is about 45 min from the Samana Airport. The views on the drive are gorgeous!

Lobby: Lobby has free wifi, so there are usually alot of people there. It is a large area so space is not an issue. Keep in mind that the internet is slower when there are more people on it, so morning and evenings are the busiest. Lobby has reception, restaurant, tour, spa bookings etc. Also if you are travelling with Air Canada vacations, there is a small office near the lobby specific for ACV. You book your restaurants there since ACV travellers get 4 restaurant bookings (other companies only get 3), and they have drinks and coffees. There are a few other perks like 30% off spa (but it's still expensive. 1 hour massage is $100US. On the beach you can get a 1 hour massage for $25 - I highly recommend it was amazing).

Pool - 1 small pool that is a quiet pool further away from the beach. Otherwise there is 1 medium pool near the beach. It's not very large, and there aren't that many lounge chairs around it so it's hard to find a spot. But the lounge chairs have soft cushions so they are very comfortable if you are lucky to get a spot! The pool is right next to the beach and the buffet, so very convenient location. There are ping pong, volleyball courts and badminton right nearby. There is a small section for kids at the pool.

Beach - beautiful! Very long beach, you can walk in either direction for a long time. There are no other large hotels right next door so the beach is lined with palm trees. It's all very natural. If you don't like to see swarms of people on long beaches like in punta Cana, then this is the hotel for you! The water is also very shallow, and pleasantly warm for swimming in the summer. But the wow factor is the snorkelling! There is coral right on the beach all around. Bring your snorkelling gear or rent from the hotel (free for an hour a day). There are so many fish you can see right near the edge. This is definitely one of the most beautiful beaches, with its picturesque views, colourful waters, and friendly fish. I read some concerns about there not being enough lawn chairs on the beach, but I got to the beach everyday at 1130am and there was no issue. If you love shade, then you will be happy to know that not only are there beach huts for shade but there are also a lot of trees that provide natural shade. I actually have never seen so much shade on a beach before. I didn't see anyone fighting for a spot ever.

Rooms - we stayed in a Junior Suite Superior room, which is very large with it's own seating area. Bathroom is also large with a bathtub and a shower. I wish the beds were a bit softer, but they are not rock hard. Pillows are comfortable. Not many english tv channels so don't expect to watch much. Channels 30-32 are your regular channels.

Service - everyone is extremely friendly and helpful.My only issue is that alot of staff don't speak much english, so it is difficult sometimes to communicate with them. Most of the tourists are spanish speaking, so don't expect to hear english predominantly.

Entertainment - There was always something going on during the day. The entertainment team was really fun. There is a schedule of activities for each day from aerobics to volleyball and bingo. Shout out to "Toalla" (Sandy) who carried me to the car when I sprained my ankle, and for trying to teach me how to say Towel in Spanish. I will say that there was a ton of participation for vacationers in the games. Usually hotels are trying hard to get participation, but this wasn't an issue here. I give credit to the entertainment staff for doing a great job!

Shows - there is a new show every night, either at the Bahia principe village or Tropicana theatre (indoor). For me the shows were not the greatest, I've definitely seen better. But they are entertaining.

Restaurants: There are 4 restaurants at the resort, 1 buffet, and 1 beach buffet. See below for my review of all restaurants below. Overall the food is really good, there is something for everybody to like.

Las Dalias Buffet: This is the main buffet where breakfast, lunch and dinner is held. As I said, there is something for everyone. Every night is a new theme - you will get a schedule on your first day that tells you what the themes are for each night. I really wanted to eat mexican and oriental so I made sure to book my reservations for restaurants on the other days. The buffet is also very kid friendly - there is a section just for kids. Like I said, there are alot of options for food so if you can't find something you like then you are way too picky and need to realize this is a resort not a michelin star restaurant. Make sure to find the fresh Crepes that can only be made for dinner on the side of the buffet room (door next to the fruit). Make sure to check it out! If you are coming in late from a flight, keep in mind that from 1030PM to 7AM they have a la carte burgers and hot dogs if you're hungry. Basically something is open at all times during the day.

Buffet at the beach - A smaller version of the main buffet. I actually would prefer to just go to the main buffet. It's also near the beach and has way more options. But if you did want to grab something basic like a burger, salad etc it's a good option. It turns into the brazilian restaurant when dinner starts.

Portofinio - Italian. We had both soups, beef tartare, carprese salad and saltimbocco. Everything was delicious. Just as an FYI - it was Italian night at the buffet and we went to check it out and it had similar things. So if you only can make 3 reservations, you could skip this one and go to the buffet.

Rodizio- Brazilian. Start with pastas and salads of your choice. They bring you vegetables and potatoes for the table and then come around with them eat on swords. Lots of options - chicken , steak, turkey, rubs , salmon , pork , even pineapple with cinnamon. The restaurant is on the water (it's open for lunch during the day as a buffet). Very nice views, and the speciality drink caprainha is very nice!

El pescadore - Mediterranean. Lots of fish and seafood. It's located right next to the buffet. The presentation of the food was very nice.

Gourmet restaurant - food was very good here but the service was absolutely slow. We didn't get the appetizer until an hour after we sat down, and we weren't offered anything to drink until 30 min in. They also gave us completely the wrong entrees - no one at the table ordered what they delivered. But the food was very good so at least that made up for it

I was overall very happy with the hotel. I only have 2 negative points. 1) there are few people who speak English here. Most of the tourists are Spanish speaking so everything is announced and spoken in Spanish, and English maybe later. I guess I understand if English tourists are not your predominant market. But it was annoying because sometimes they only announced things in the pool in Spanish. It wasn't a huge issue for me but for some it might be a problem. 2) I sprained my ankle halfway through my trip, and everyone at the hotel was really kind, asking me how I was and providing a wheelchair as I couldn't walk. But as I mentioned , we were staying in one of the villas further from the beach, and I couldn't walk and the road is very wobbly so going with the wheelchair wasn't great, I would call for breakfast and evening for a car to come take us to the lobby. Every time I called the reception said yes we will send someone now. We would wait 20 minutes and no one would come. One time my mom had to flag a car from down the street another time she walked all the way to the lobby to get a car. When we told guest services, they called reception and they said no one called for a car. I really don't appreciate liars so I was extremely unsatisfied with the fact that these people were answering the phone, lying to me, then lying to guest services, and no car was never sent. Guest services was very remorseful but I just want someone to fix the problem. If you have someone that can't walk to the lobby and they call for a car then figure out a way so that a car actually comes, rather than leaving them stranded.

I am still overall happy with the hotel, and would give it a 5 star because those are really small things that don't impact my view on the quality of the hotel. I would absolutely recommend this hotel to anybody for a wonderful vacation.

Room Tip: For a superior suite I would stay in villa 26.
  • Stayed: August 2017, traveled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
19  Thank SunshineSeeker25yyz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded August 15, 2017

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.

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.

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, o seu melhor hotel em Samana.

Regard,

Braulio Vasquez
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 August 9, 2017

Just got back from holiday had a fantastic time, staff were amazing especially the animation team they work so hard and always have a smile to share, lots of things to do never bored and the beach was fantastic loved walking up to the kite beach.

Only complaints to make is we got sick from the Italian restaurant and when my son got sick in the room it took ages to get someone to clean up needed proper cleaning stuff my poor boyfriend had to search outside for mop and bucket around the resort not very professional the hotel should of got this sorted out

  • Stayed: July 2017, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Jackie1_John1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded August 15, 2017

Dear Guest,

Cordial greetings from all the team working in Gran Bahía Príncipe El Portillo; we would like to thank you for taking the time to communicate the impressions of your vacation with our Tripadvisor community. It is clear that our customers are the most important, naturally so are their comments. Observations are treated with the utmost interest, as it is the best way to know what specific points we must focus our attention on to improve in all aspects.

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

Best wishes,

Braulio Vasquez
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 August 8, 2017 via mobile

Stayed at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo and absolutely loved it! I've been to dozens of resorts and was impressed with this one. Check in was a breeze, even though we had 3 superior suites booked they were ready at 3:15pm. Cindy at the front desk made sure all 3 rooms were close to each other (the hotel is huge).

Bars: excellent service. Special shout out to Jorge for always refilling our mugs with cold presidente. You will find a bar by the pools even though they're not swimup bars.

Food: I really appreciate the fact that you can make reservations to a la carte restaurant through their app. Really saves you time. The Brazilian restaurant is a MUST. Antoni was outstanding during breakfast and at the Brazilian restaurant. They have a variety of restaurants and a buffet with something for everyone. I really enjoyed the kids section because our kids were always happy. Aramis is great during lunch making sure our big group of 11 was seated. Breakfast was fantastic! Elias makes the best omelettes ever! And he would ask you if you wanted more than 2 egg. The entire staff at the brazilian restaurant went above and beyond serving us. Overall the food was truly delicious and you would leave happy and satisfied. (You can sometimes find a small line before getting seated at the buffet but they're really fast).

Rooms: We had 3 superior suites that were renovated in villa 27. Rooms are very spacious and nicely decor.

Trolly: Even though the hotel is a little big and some rooms are far the second you stood by the lobby, a small shuttle would take you to your room. Most of the time we opted for the short walk.

Nightlife: the kids show was always great. The nightly shows were also good. We were with the family so no need to go to nightclubs, even though the beach party was very fun!

Lobby: the free wifi is at the lobby (yes, 2017 and still no free wifi) but it wasn't a problem for us as we all had free international data with our U.S provirer. There are many small cart bars around the lobby and plenty of seats for everyone.

Beach/pool: The beach was lovely. Super clean and cool. A lot of beach chairs. The pool was also good.

Overall: will definitely go back to this resort! First time in a long time that my family and I are willing to return to the same place. It was an amazing experience. The staff at this hotel is the reason why you would return. They really try their hardest to keep you happy and stress free!

Stayed: August 2017, traveled with family
7  Thank Jinnette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded August 15, 2017

Dear Guest,

We are very happy to hear that you have found Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo a wonderful hotel and that the assigned rooms were suitable for you and your family.

Thank you for your review about the hotel. Your experience is specially valuable for us, as you can give us feed back along the time.

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.

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, all-inclusive hotels in Samana.

Regard,

Braulio Vasquez
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 August 8, 2017

My husband and I just returned from our 5th stay at El Portillo. This amazing location ensures great walks on the beach, magnificent tropical fishes and stunning nature of the area. The resort is always kept very clean and the staff are very friendly and helpful.

We would express our special thanks to the following staff members. Thanks for your friendship, laughs and great memories.

Animation - Daniel, Lenny, Joel and Franklin
Lobby bar - Augustin
Pool bar - Jorge
Beach bar - Euclides (or how he calls himself Lady Gaga)
Our maid - Elizabeth
Cleaner - Vicente
Las Dalia - Yairis, Lily, Olga, Nelsida and Lucio
Las Olas - Martina, Yudelka, Lenin and Alina
Orquidea - Olga, Jennifer, Aramis and Ariel
Portofino - Juliana and Charles
El Pescadore - Chef Roy (thanks for making us such a great special supper), Aredinis, Antonia and Luis Hernandes

We will definitely see all of you again one day!

  • Stayed: July 2017, traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank LouiseChateauguay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded August 15, 2017

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! they will be so happy to hear the nice words that you have for them!

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.

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, your best hotel in Samana.

Kind regards,

Braulio Vasquez
Grand Bahia Principe 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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