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“Tired hotel with friendly staff and great location”

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Grand Paradise Samana
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Las Galeras
Toronto
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Tired hotel with friendly staff and great location”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2013

Our group just got back last night and all in all we enjoyed our stay. From the moment we arrived in Samana, Ramone our Sunwing represenative, was super friendly and made us feel welcome and throughtout our stay was a great help with any questions on the hotel, excursions or general questions about the area. The property is a bit worn and tired so keep your expectations low, if you want a great beachfront location at a reasonable price then this place hits the mark. We did have a few minor issues but the staff was very quick to resolve them. The food was OK, decent variety in the buffet and the lineup for the crepes/omlettes in the morning and the pasta station at night were well worth it. They advertise 2 a la cartes but really it's one restaurant that alternates between seafood and italian, our group definately preferred the italian cuisine over the seafood. Make sure you book early as the space fills up fast. The staff was great, they all tried to communicate as best as they could and even those with limited english were quick to ensure we were well taken care of. Among those that stood out were Guery at the front desk, he made us feel welcome right away and also sad to leave when we checked out, and among the friendly staff of the buffet restaurant we always looked for Leocalina, whose warm smile and willingness to teach us spanish made mealtimes pleasant, The poolside bar was the place to be at any given time of the day, with Benito being our favorite bartender, we got great service including instructions on how to make our favorite drinks at home! Also a highlight was the sports bar, although the pool tables are old and tired, the foozeball and ping pong made for some fun nights! Bottom line, this place does need a facelift but the location and staff made it a great trip and our group agreed we definately would go back!

Room Tip: Building 5 facing the pool is much quieter, our friends stayed facing the beach and the noise from t...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Viola T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (544)
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English first
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2013

Think twice if you believe you're getting 'a deal'. The areas surrounding this resort are beautiful. Gorgeous weather. But if you like Samana, choose another resort. The food was inedible on many occasions, and the buffet was so similar from day to day. The food was likely the lowest quality you could get, and no matter how it was prepared, some days it seemed better to be hungry. The wine was literally not drinkable. It had definitely soured, and was seen being poured from plastic jugs!
The towels were so threadbare and thin and the sheets looked sketchy as well. Everything was aging and not kept up; the lobby was depressing. Overall, this was the worst resort we've ever stayed at in the D.R. A crowd with lots of smokers frequented this resort.
Once again, the surrounding areas promoting eco-tourism were beautiful; if it wasn't for that, I think we would have left. OH, and the beach lounges have certainly seen better days. Make sure you have a towel to put on them, or you'd be better off lying on the grass.

Room Tip: If you must go, it's worthwhile getting an ocean view room, even though the ocean is beyond tree...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Macs M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
28 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2013

We returned home last night, and while sitting here, freezing, I write my review of Grand Paradise Samana. Check in was really smooth; we landed at about 9:30pm local time and were given an envelope on our way to the bus. This envelope is very important. It contains your room key, wrist bands and info. This is a great idea, because you get to go straight to you room after the 90 min bus ride.
The room; well, the rooms are OK. Our bed sheets were dirty, but a call to reception and (even though it was about 1 am) someone came and changed our sheets. So problem solved.
The food; the food was good. The A-la-cartes were great, but contrary to other people's opinions, our group of 11 definitely preferred the Italian. The seafood restaurant was ok, but very authentic. For example, I ordered fish, and got a fish! Head, eyes, lips, fins, bones, everything. We found that a bit disconcerting. The buffets were good, but it was definitely worth lining up for the omelets and crepes at breakfast and the pasta and carving stations at lunch and dinner.
Staff; the staff was awesome! They were friendly, attentive, and took great care of us. They remembered our favourite drinks, our names, and anytime we did have an issue, it was quickly resolved. Guery at reception was great. He was funny and helpful. He gives people nicknames which was cute. The wait staff was also awesome. They were quick to fill up our water, they taught us Spanish, and quickly got to know our favourite drinks . The best bartender was Benito. He was usually found at the main pool bar. If he didn't know how to make your favourite drink, he would learn it.
All in all, we had a great time and are sad to be back in the cold Canadian climate.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank CoffeenutToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2013

Food, awful quality, lack of selection.
Strong smell of diesel fuel.
Resort, old, not maintained or properly cleaned.
Seemed that a lot of people got sick shortly after arriving.
Safe and television remotes were extras.
First time I have ever looked forward to the end of a vacation and the return flight home.
The reasonable price in this instance is a case of you get what you pay for rather than a great deal.

Room Tip: Go to a different resort.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Sean D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
65 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2013

As a 3-star all inclusive we were very satisfied, except for the wine. We had an enjoyable inexpensive holiday amongst palm trees and a lovely beach. Yes, the rooms are a bit dated and the beach chairs a bit worse for wear but we felt we got our money's worth. The food is good and the option of going to the a la carte restaurant which alternates between Italian and seafood let us enjoy the meals. The main buffet restaurant can be clattery and there is an annoying habit of putting reserved signs on some tables. There are a few niusance charges of having to pay $15/week for the in-room safe and $5/day for a second room pass-key. And then there is the wine: the white is barely passable and the red has more in common with gasoline than wine. We bought a few bottles of wine over our time. As a bonus is the village of Galeras, a 10 minute walk along the beach. I highly recommend D'Sarah almost opposte the bank for a pedicure or hair cut.

Room Tip: We had a garden-facing second floor (there are only 2 floors) which was fine. All rooms seem to be a...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank TrinketTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 19, 2013

We booked our trip with Sunwing and stayed at this resort from January 8 to 15, 2013. We've been to Samana region twice before and liked it, but wanted to try a different resort. (Previously went to Grand Bahia Cayacoa and loved it).
We paid extra for an ocean view, but it is so far from the beach and behind the palm trees, that you didn't have much of a view. When we arrived late at night and checked in, I was shocked with our room. The bed linens were grey as if someone washed dirty floor with them and the bottom sheet didn't cover the whole mattress, which looked pretty dirty.
There were only two bath towels, no bath mat or hand towel. The faucet was leaking and the floor tiles and the bathtub tiles were broken. The A/C was very noisy. We asked for another room next morning, mainly because this room was on the ground floor and I did not feel safe sleeping with the patio door open and wanted to have better view. The beach is public, so there were all kinds of people, dogs and horses going by all the time. You have to ask for the remote for the TV and for the key to the safe ($15/wk). The safe didn't work, the batteries were leaking. we called the maintenance guy who showed up pretty fast and changed them.
The main reason I am giving this resort only a 2 is that we are non-smokers, I am allergic to smoke and 90% of guests smoked (the rest were kids and babies). I love to sleep with my balcony door open to be able to smell wonderful ocean air and listen to the waves, but it was not possible with the neighbours on both sides and below our room smoking. On top of that my next door neigbour was coughing on the balcony at 3 am, so we were forced to close the door and put on the A/C. Even if we turned off our A/C, the unit from the room below was so noisy, the floor was practically vibrating. You could not get away from the second hand smoke anywhere, on the beach, at the pool bar, even in the dining room the non-smoking signs were being ignored and nobody enforced them.
The second main reason for the poor rating is that both me and my husband got sick from either the food or the water. We've been in Caribbean more times than I can count and have never been sick once. I still have not fully recovered. I think it started after we had the seafood dinner at the a la cart restaurant. We didn't drink the tap water, but you still brush your teeth with it, they wash the glasses, dishes and vegetables with it.
Don't get fooled with them advertising two a la cart restaurants. It is one restaurant and they alternate, one night is seafood and next night italian, the selection is pretty limited. It wasn't anything special, they didn't offer a wine selection and both red and white wines were awful. Same with the coffee. It was terrible, the cappuccino was served only at the pool bar and it tasted like instant. We've been to Dominican before and loved their coffee, so I'm not sure why this resort's coffee was so terrible.
The beach was beautiful, lots of white sand and a large grassy area. There was never a problem to get a chair or to find a shade under the palm trees. There is a village a short walk down the beach and a ranch, nice cliffs with interesting blow holes on the other side, so there are nice things to see, if you like to walk and don't feel like paying $100s for the cheasy tours.
My husband snorkels, but he was chased away from the roped off area, apparently you have to pay the guy at the dive centre to take you there by his boat - a total rip off. The rest of the bay was always murky, because it is always windy (you are on the Atlantic side of Samana bay) and the waves churn up the sand and sea grass.
I enjoyed the aerobics classes on the beach.
The weather was quite rainy for January, we had two half days of rain and there isn't enough covered areas to sit at the pool or beach bars when it rains, no lobby bar and the bar in the dining room was closed during the day.
The service at the buffet was good, but the guys at the bars weren't very friendly, never smiled or made a small talk even if I tried my limited Spanish, they don't speak much English, and sometimes I felt ignored while they chatted and made me wait.
The check in on the bus from the airport was great, however being at the airport almost 3 hours prior the flight going back seemed like a plot to have the guests buy a $14 burgers at the one fast food shop at the airport, because the bus leaves just before the dinner starts and everyone is therefore hungry. We did however depart 1/2 hour early so that was a bonus.

Room Tip: Our room # 1253 was very quiet and it was equal distance to the buffet and lobby and to the beach an...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Jity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fergus, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 19, 2013

This is not a 4 star resort. It would be a 3 star at the best. The resort setting is beautifull but you must sit on dirty lounge chairs on the beach and sit amoungst piles of horse poo. The rooms are not as per the photo shown. There are no king size beds on the resort and no sitting area in your room. The bed linen is old and grey, the furniture is old and broken. We had an upgrade with ocean view. Some friends had the bungalow and refused to stay in it as it was so old and dirty We heard form some gusta that stayed in the 3 story appartments that they had no water pressure and had a hole inthe neathroom ceing .There are no al le cart restaurants. You sit in the same cafeteria area as you do in the day time . The buffet menu is very limited. They only change up one or two dishes daily. Most of the food is recycled. They had bacon and yogurt twice in two weeks and no banannas most of the time. Even the restaurant furniture is old and wobbly. The show time area is dirty, The pastic chairs have never been cleaned. There is no grand entrance or lounge area to sit and enjoy your evenings. It was aquite and peacfull locatio. You can walk to the vilage and along the coast line. It does feel safe and the locals do not harras you. The beach is small but it is not kept clean.the management is not attentive and do not maintain any standards. Everything on this resort is old and decrepid. Th eswimiing poles are very small. This place needs a $40 million dollar make over. It could be a really nice place. The staff are freindly and do the best they can with what the place has to offer.

Room Tip: spend the little extra for an ocean view. the sea scape is very nice
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Alvin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Paradise Samana

Property: Grand Paradise Samana
Address: Las Galeras, Dominican Republic (Formerly Casa Marina Bay)
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Samana Province > Las Galeras
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Las Galeras
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Grand Paradise Samana 3*
Number of rooms: 420
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Grand Paradise Samana Hotel Las Galeras
Casa Marina Bay
Grand Paradise Samana Las Galeras
Grand Paradise Samana Dominican Republic

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