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“a real ocean front resort!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Grand Paradise Samana

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Grand Paradise Samana
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Las Galeras
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“a real ocean front resort!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 2, 2013

arrived in the night and woke up in a shocking beautififul paradasie! I opened the patio door and couldn't believe the view in front of my eyes - very tall coconut trees , beach and ocean. This is a true ocean view and water front! The people at the resort are very friendly. The show water is very hard to adjust to the warm water level. It really took all my patience and lots of practice. The entertainment is so so quility. Basicly it is the same team with change of costume each night. The turtle pond is a fun place to go. The are so many turtles living there. They lined up and climb up the tree. This property has a beautiful beach to walk to the town Las Galeras. I enjoyed my stay there overall. I was there Jan.2012 not 2013 and I always recall the paradise like view after I went to so many other places.

Room Tip: ocean view
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank solatido38
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
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2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 1, 2013

This is a lengthy review but it will go over everything you will encounter on your stay here. My stay was from June 24 to July 1st, 2013. This part of the review is strictly based on the people within the hotel that we met who made our stay worth while.

First and foremost Geury, one of the receptionists is absolutely amazing! From the day we arrived to the day we left, he was our go to guy. He was always happy and always wished us a beautiful day. Whenever he saw us, he would scream our names and it put a smile on our faces. He spoke great English and he helped us with all of our problems without hesitation or desire for money. Geury made our stay very enjoyable and smooth and we really appreciate his kindness and dedication to the guests in the hotel.

Second, the three guys at the Photoshop, Jose, Tufu and Sergio pretty much made our week. Their photos are outstanding and their personalities always kept us laughing. They were not pushy and there was no obligation to buy any of the pictures, but the quality was too good to pass up. Jose gave us a free photo shoot and he really brought us out of our shell and connected with us on a personal level. If you're looking for fun go talk to these guys.

Lastly, Benito, the day time bartender at the main pool bar was a sweetheart. He made the BEST sex on the beaches and paid attention to our special requests. He was the only bartender who put less alcohol when I requested it. When the lines got out of hand, Benito really paid attention to the order of guests and didn't pick favourites. He was great.

In terms of the facilities, we were staying in the 8000s on the third floor. This is the furthest point from reception. It's actually really really far from everything. The room was very clean minus a dirty lampshade but who really cares about that. When it rained, some leaves or bugs (we aren't really sure) COVERED our porch to the point where some blew in if we opened the door and the porch floods a little. Despite this, the maid service did a great job of cleaning the porch and room and paid special attention to us. On our first night we took a blanket from the bed we weren't using because we were very cold. From that night on, the maids would give us two or three blankets which was a pleasant surprise. The only complaint about the maid service was that our room was not cleaned until 3pm some days which was a little frustrating.

The food is good. There's a lot to choose from and different themes per day but they are loosely followed. Some mornings you'll be lucky enough to find bacon but its very different from North American bacon. Breakfast is pretty standard breakfast foods with an omelette bar and a crepe bar. Lunch was buffet and a different type of grilled meat everyday. Some days the pasta bar was open for lunch. The pasta is really really good! Dinner was very similar to lunch but there's no complaints about food.

Bar service was very touch and go. A lot of the bartenders don't speak English so there is a lot of pointing and gesturing and hoping for the best. Different bartenders make the same drinks very differently and only the main pool bar has an ice crusher. There are no blenders. There is a specialized bar at the beach that ONLY sells piña colada in coconuts for $5 US and it also had an ice crusher. The alcohol is standard and is not anything special but it gets the job done for light weights like myself.

The beach is beautiful. There is no man made shade - all shade comes from the palm trees so it may be hard to find at times. There is never a time where you can't find a lounger and there is plenty of room to get right up to the water with your chairs. There is a lot of sea weed in the ocean but there's still ample room to swim. Sometimes wild horses and dogs run throughout the beach but they mind their own and don't bother anyone. The bars are a little walk from the beach depending on how far down you are but it's nothing too bad. There is volley ball, archery, kayaking and water aerobics that happen daily as well as plenty of other activities.

Weather...... It rains. Every day. Sometimes it comes out of no where and it rains really hard. The rain doesn't last very long though. Don't pay attention to ANY weather reports. None of them are accurate. But the weather is great temperature wise. There is usually a light breeze by the beach which keeps your sweating to a minimum. It usually rained around 2 o'clock or at night. You can definitely see the rain coming though so we learned to start running quickly.

There is a mini market just by the reception desk which has everything! They have a lot of really good North American Brands - all of the toiletries and medicine you can think of. The prices are in pesos but they will convert it for you. We bought a 200 ml bottle of rum with 2 cigars for about $14 US. It has snacks and drinks and bracelets and really nice hand carved things. We spent a lot of time in the market.

Our stay Monday-Thursday was great - no complaints. We always had room in the pool, on the beach, the buffet was quiet. It was really relaxing and we were really happy.

And then Friday came along.... We had read on the reviews and were warned by a fellow traveller that on the weekends the locals come but no one can prepare you for what really happens. The pool ..... Don't go there. You don't see water. Hundreds of locals crowded in there, screaming and causing so much commotion. The bar was covered... You could barely walk to the Kiko's Centre, where you have to get your towels. The beach is still okay although it is way busier. We suggest the beach over the pool on the weekends. Now here comes the worst part.... The buffet was unbelievable. I can't even keep count of the number of times I was shoved and pushed out of the way. I understand that the volume of people would be normal for any resort during the high season.. The number of people wasn't the problem. The lack of etiquette was just horrifying and I am speechless. The workers choose favourites and many times when in line, the locals would butt in and be served first. They would shove you and did not acknowledge common courtesy. It was so bad that on Saturday we stayed in the room the entire day, only leaving to get meals. When at the bar, three locals were served before we were even though we got there before all of them. This weekend invasion drastically changed our experience. Geury explained to us that during the high season it isn't this bad because the rooms are filled with travelers but during the off season the locals come and get the rooms for really cheap on the weekends. We had never expected it to be this bad.

In all honesty, I came to this resort with low expectations, knowing it was a 3.5 star. Bianca, our Transat rep was great and the trip itself was wonderful but the weekend really threw us off.

For anyone looking to get away on a budget and to a small resort, by all means, do not let the negatives drive you away. The beauty of Samana and the kindness you will find in the people you meet are worth it. The grounds are beautiful and it is worth it. Just be aware of the weekend.

Finally, just some things to know:

- the safe is $15 US for the week

- Internet is $5 US for half an hour and $8 US for an hour. They have three computers set up outside the buffet and you can use your own devices because there are many wifi hotspots throughout the resort. (Your room will not be one of them)

- here's how the use the safe, take
note because they won't explain it to you

1. Open the safe door
2. The key they give you goes into the back side of the safe door
3. Press the red button located on the top of the door itself (they will tell you it's on the back which isn't true)
4. Put in a four digit code and press A (you have to enter it twice to set it)
5. When the red and green light go away you can enter it a second time
6. Turn the dial to the lock position
* if you don't hear beeping when you are pressing buttons, it isn't working

- bring OFF because you will be eaten alive

- there's a 4 hour bus ride from Puerto Plata on a bus with no bathroom

- there is a 1.5 hour bus ride from the Samana air port - the bus has air conditioning and it isn't too bad

- you only get one room key and you have to have it in this special slot for your lights and AC to work

- check in time is at 3 so if you arrive early be prepared to leave your stuff in the lobby

- you have an ice bucket but there are no ice machines so if you want ice bring your bucket to a bar to fill it

- there are stray cats and we named the white one Pepito. They are really sweet and just want some shade and petting but still be careful.

We hope that this has helped inform you and Geury if you're reading this, we love you!!!

Chantel & (B)Ryan.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank ChantelA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 30, 2013

This was My first time going to the Grand Paradise Samana, it was a nice place. Our first day there we had some bugs in our room, but that was only because the people that stayed in the room before us for a 2 week stay brought food back to their room(you are not supposed to) and also refused house keeping. We we immediately switch to a new clean room, where all was well. The staff is the best part of the resort. At Reception A young man by the Name of Euris and a wonderful and incredibly helpful Young lady by the Name of Gina, there is also a very helpful Young Lady at The Buffet who made us feel very welcomed she goes by the name of Nina, very accommodating . Their Beach is one of the most beautiful I have seen in the Dominican, I can say that if you come here for the ambiance and the beaches this place is nice. Not for young people as there a lot of older people there. The food at the buffet was mediocre to say the least, but we found that down the road directly off the resort is a very tiny town where you can find food more equated with the Dominican culture. My overall stay was good. I'm happy with my experience, would I stay there again? Yes.

Room Tip: Building 8, guarded by a cat who name is "Ocho" Cleanest section I saw.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Fatt S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Allentown, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 30, 2013

i decided to travel to Santo Domingo vacation at beautiful beaches and weather. Beautiful looking good price and found the hotel grand beach paradise in the galleys Samana DR and it was wonderful to be over there. the beaches are beautiful with white sand is great. also its very friendly people all around the hotel staff but especially Mr. WILFREDO excellent his attentions. very grateful

Room Tip: should pick the beach view rooms
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank teo t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 29, 2013

First time on the Dominican Republic...had a great time..we were there from june 9 to june 16..food was great rooms were clean and people were very friendly...The animation team was amazing..specially Yessi...she was a sweetheart..We were a group of 14 people approximately and we all agreed that we would definitely go back...The beach was incredible also...I recommend this place if you want to relax and have a good time..

Room Tip: Try to get the 7 thousands series building or 8...they are new....
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Daniel A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape May, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 28, 2013

We stayed at GPS the last week in June 2013 and booked it through a Groupon Deal, which was very reasonable. Our first 24 hours there, $180 was stolen from my husbands suitcase. Seemed to have happened as soon as we signed a waiver for no security box at front desk upon check in. Security was notified and claimed it was impossible, since no one else has a key to our room. But, upon our return, a bowl of fruit was placed in our room! They proceeded to check all of our belongings in case we misplaced it (!), and we were told our only option was to go to the local police and make a report. Very disappointing, to say the least. No customer service. Thus, we refused maid service for most days, and NOTHING of value was left in the room.

The food is average, and there is a LOT of smoking on the grounds. The room was clean, but minor things were not taken care of. The shower head was loose, light bulbs were out, and bugs everywhere. Even the public restrooms were unkempt. Drinks were watered down. The entertainment was okay, the staff works very hard five days a week putting on shows and keeping guests occupied.

Over the weekend, locals invaded the resort and the whole atmosphere changed for the worse. Gone was the quiet, peaceful pools and litter was strewn everywhere. Getting food at the buffet was an ordeal. The staff did have the place cleaned up by the following Monday, and things returned to normal.

Take Jet Blue into the Samana airport. It is only 1.5 hours by car. Transportation to resort was $95 for the four of us one way.

Overall, the staff was very nice and worked very hard, the food and room average. Glad it is an all inclusive resort and the price was right. Will not be returning.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank hsdl4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2013

This was my first trip out of the country and I have to say that it was an amazing first trip thanks to the generosity and hard work of all of the works. Especially the reception worker Euris, who went out of his way to make sure my slightly culture shocked friend and I were comfortable. The beach was also breathe taking! We were able to snorkel and see baby sea turtles up close and personal. We went horseback riding at rudy roncho's ranch, which was a GREAT experience with amazing views from the top of the mountain trail. Although my friend and I spent most of our time lounging on the beach, swimming and taking ultra-touristy pictures, I have not one single regret or complaint about my stay. If you decide to stay in samana, I definitely recommend this resort and that you ask for the one named Euris when you call - he will make sure you get what you need :)

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank hellosunshine96
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 #1 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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