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.
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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