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“Pure pleasure in paradise.”

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Grand Paradise Samana
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Las Galeras
Reviewed August 24, 2008

Wow...what can I say? My wife and I just returned from Grand Paradise and just about getting over jetlag! From reading previous reviews we were somewhat concerned as to what we would find.
The flight with First choice airlines is best left unmentioned as we felt that we were a nuisance to the flight crew who then charged you for every drink you had! Meal wasn't up to much and entertainment is dated if you don't spend even more money to upgrade your system for a fiver each.
We arrived in Dominican, straight through after getting our tourist card, then onto the coach. Transfer is 1hour 30 minutes which I found to very pleasant on an air conditioned coach and gives you a chance to catch a glimpse of the real Dominican Republic, this area has not yet been completely spoilt by tourism so you get a good idea of what the country is like...in a word beautiful! Banana groves, palm forests, mountains, clear blue seas etc etc.
Upon reaching hotel were given welcome drink, then checked in, were given an upgrade to an ocean facing first floor room as it was our wedding anniversary. Bell boy was excellent, didn't expect a tip but was very magmanimous when he received one.
Hotel is not a firm 4 star by some standards, but in comparison to the virtual poverty and simplicity that the community live in - this is palacial living. Lovely room, great view, and as we were to experience food was far better than anything than we had expected.
We dined at both the buffet and the al a carte and must say the standard of food was superb. Each night at the buffet we were treated to a selection of homemade soups, freshly made bread, salads, stir fry, grilled meats, vegetables, a huge variety of beef, pork, fish, cheese and desserts. This is to name but a few. The vegetarians appeared to be well catered for also. No complaints on the food.
The service in the buffet is excellent, we received high service in replenishment of the drinks and clearing of tables we didn't tip during the first week and received an excellent service, in the second week we did tip as the workers really do work hard and excellent service became outstanding. We would be seen to our table drinks would be brought before we even had a chance to ask for them, they were replenished just as we had drained the remnants of the previous one. We were given after dinner drinks and really thorougly spoilt. Each night we would tip between 2 and 5 us dollars - but were treated so well.
The al a carte service was not quite up to this standard but, in which many of us had to get up and go to the bar and get our own drinks. In fact buffet was so good preferred to stay there.
Enterainment was good with huge amount to do and keep you entertained should you want to be. Shows on the whole were well rehearsed and produced effectively. My wife did suffer an upset stomach but this didn't affect our holiday, just ensure you drink lots of water.
The rep wasn't too pushy and we weren't forced onto any excursions, just chilled relaxed and took it easy. This resort did tend to attract very different types of people, some who were able to appreciate the effort that the staff go to in order to make this such a pleasant place to stay. The others are the moaning type where nothing is good enough. These types did complain somewhat unfairly, it is an area of outstanding beauty with a very relaxed vibe, some were heard to say, 'this ain't as good as Egypt where we had KFC, McDonalds and everything.'
I would suggest that if you go on holiday to eat the same food, listen to the same music and talk the same language as you would at home go somewhere else and leave this resort to the people that do appreciate it and the effort that the wonderful staff put into making this a holiday to remember in paradise.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank chappers75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,637 - 1,643 of 3,867 reviews

Reviewed August 6, 2008

Returned from two week holiday at the Grand Paradise, the actual location is excellent with palm trees providing natural sunshade on green grass lawns that extend right down to the beach. Plenty of spare recliners at the beach, even when the hotel was full, slightly less capacity at the two pools.
There was free 1 hour daily use of a very dilapidated "Sunfish" sailing dinghy, not recommended but the "15ft Hobie Cat" with the same time limits but subject to a credit card impress was in good condition and provided excellent sailing.

Unfortunately the misleading 30 minutes from airport was actually about two hours with the last half of the journey from Samana town to the resort over very badly repaired roads, that can just about be regarded as tarmac.

There was a lot of stomache problems (extreme diorrhoeah etc.) among the 50 or so U.K. tourists, the 200 or so French and even the local Dominicans. It was described as normal or typical by the local reps. The food in general was quite varied in the first week but was much more limited in choice and quality during the second week; this coincided with most of the French leaving the resort.

I would like to make contact with some of the other U.K. holidaymakers as promised at the end of the holiday. Please contact me via this review link.

  • Stayed: July 2008
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Thank yackyda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2008

A significant no. of people became ill from an unknown source.... hmmm.... including four who ended up with serious dehyration requiring IV........ doctor onsite but nearest hospital 4 hours away........
I would never visit this hotel again after approximately 3 quarters of people spent most of there time with some level of stomach problem.

1)Location.
Fantastic beach and palm trees well maintained. However miles from anywhere, town very small and you will be surrounded by begging locals wanting your money for drugs and trips they cant run.
2) Beach.
Be prepared for all inclusive watersports..... that require a credit card as security... hmm cost of sail boat replacement quoted at 4500 english pound! no really Im not joking.....
Beware that there are strong currents and if you swim out its could be tough to get back for weaker swimmers.
3)Money
TAKE CASH!!! Reception not change travel cheques into dollars and cash machine cant take no. of visitors.
Several people had items stolen in last few days from pool, rooms and beach.... hotel not interested.
Finally if you dont speak french or spanish..... good luck. Most activities advertised by the travel agents are only for french speaking guests and run by the french reps (who are very helpful and speak great english!) Reception staff and a particular British travel agency rep are very rude and hey, cold showers and no air conditioning working are to be expected ..... its the carribean..... not the responce you want but the rep believes this hotel is an affordable alternative so expect to be treated like your a low budget holiday maker........... yep even though it has cost you hundreds....... On that final point, this english speaking rep and is paid to help..... but you will need to chase her services and even when your lying poorly in your room her main concern will probably be to sell sell sell and not really bother about your welfare. Oh and the hotel will charge stupid money to phone her mobile! You can phone her office for free but she not there and the other staff have selective understanding of english........

To summarise this is a picture postcard location, with nothing to do, which forces you into buying over rated and seriuosly over priced trips to keep your rep happy.... The locals while amusing are there to rip you off and the constant selling of junk makes sitting on a sunbed hard work. My advise would be take the flight and get a bus for 20 quid to the north cost eg Puerta Plata and spend ten pound a night on a 3 star when you get there!

  • Stayed: July 2008
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Thank tigger099
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2008

food was rubbish same old thing every day.my 4yr old son left his bag on transfer bus we were the last people on the bus but when we reported it missing within a few mins of the bus leaving we never saw it again.we had 2 kids towels nicked by the pool,loads of people had stuff taken.the staff were ok animation staff could have been better.if ur french u will love the hotel,they looked after them.weve been to dom rep 4 times samana lets it down really badly.only good thing for us about this holiday was the sun and the beach.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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Thank scheregate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2008

We arrived at 3:00 p.m., the pool was filled with locals, very loud and rude, our room not ready until 6:00 p.m. after locals left the building, no snacks, locals ate all of very small portions by the pool, room with mold, pillows with mold, when complained to staff, wanted us to wait until 9:00 p.m. to see what could be done, thank god for the manager that night, he then gave us a bungalow, which was great with pool view, but slept without air conditioner for two nights, then got fixed. Other travelers from Orlando complained of same things....food was nothing extraordinary, very bland food...entertainment, if you can call it that was horrible....overall, do not waste your money going there, pay a little more and go the another hotel like the one we visited in cayo levantado, now that's worth the money and a good vacation...

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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4  Thank FloridaSol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2008

WOW where do I start ? I didn't hear english for 5 days and although some of the staff speak english, they dont volunteer it. There are flies all over the dining room, ie your table , glasses,etc and the food remains uncovered. There are no ice machines, no vending machines of any kind. There are no doors or windows on the restaurants so birds fly through at 1000 miles per hour and you sweat while you eat because the only place that is air conditioned .....is your room. The thing that makes this place beautiful has nothing to do with the resort; it's the tropical island thing. Coconut palm trees , mango trees, lime trees can be found all over the resort. the mountains in the backround and several little islands make the place absolutely idyllic. In 5 days, I saw 1 ship and 1 plane; and heard no sirens and saw not 1 police officer , not one. I read a review that said the dollar was very desireable hear ,more so than the peso. That is false. If you come to gilligans isle, get as many pesos as possible, because you will lose money by changing money later below the exchange rates. Only a bank will give you the current exchange rate. Lets talk about the service. the room will be cleaned , but they will forget to give you soap or shampoo, etc. or forget to restock your refridgerator. Laundry delivered to the room was found on the floor instead of being hung up. When it gets dark, the lighting in the outdoor corridors does not come on until it is stalker dark outside, and this would be terrifying to most women.Also there was no remote for the tv, and spanish programming with no pay tv. I just got back 6-21 and went from 6-15 to 6-20. If you want to get away, and I mean away, come hear.There will be other people, but most will be european and the balance will be spanish speaking, so if you speak spanish, you will feel comfortable and if not alienated. Oh yea, I forgot, it took 1 hour to get here from the airport because the roads are horrible and small. Good luck.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled solo
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1  Thank EZ2CU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2008

I've recently just returned from Grand Paradise Samana and I LOVED it!! Definitely would go back in a heartbeat!

Food: The food was great; there was always something that we found to our liking. The a la Carte restaurants were good... I preferred the Michelangelo... their grilled Salmon was to die for!

Drinks: Drinks were very good. Service at the bar was a little slow sometimes, but then again it would all depend on who the bartender was... for the most part they were pretty good :)

Disco: THERE IS A DISCO! (When I looked through the reviews I never saw any mention of a disco) It's small, but they have good music. Also because the resort is mostly family and older people, it's not a very happening place. BUT it's what you make of it, the couple nights that we went we had a blast!

Service: Like previously mentioned the bar service was a little slow at time, but they were always friendly. I found that most of the staff was friendly, except for one girl that worked at reception. I'm not sure what her name was, but it was almost like we were bothering her every time we spoke to her. When you got to book a wake up call, make sure you go to reception yourself instead of calling. We booked 3 wake up calls and only got 1 out of the 3. When we checked the morning we were leaving, they didn't even have us on the list.

Tours: My friends and I booked the Jeep Safari tour through Sunquest as well as the Catamaran excursion. They were both a lot of fun and I would recommend trying them both out.

Tourists: This resort is apparently very well known in Europe. Many European tourists that go there. It's a good to know a little bit of French because even some of the staff only understand Spanish and French... very little English.

Hope this helps, if you have an questions please do not hesitate to contact me. I will be more then willing to help out any way I can :) Have a good trip :D

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled with friends
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5  Thank bring_it2_me
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

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 4 Hotels in Las Galeras
Price Range: $101 - $624 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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