The Grand Paradise Samana had everything I was looking for in one tidy package, but with few amenities. I wanted an integrated beach experience where I could leave my stuff in my room and frolic on a pristine beach without the hassle of cooking or driving. The hotel beach, just east of Playa Las Galeras, is beautiful and immaculately maintained. The crescent of white-sand is ringed by a forest of shady palm trees and the Atlantic waters are crystal clear, warm, and calm. The hotel has opted to keep the beach uncluttered--none of the wood-frame beds and umbrellas that interrupt the natural beauty in so many places, just an army of blue lounge-chairs.
Rooms were super-clean. They were however quite basic with a bed, a single chair, and a dresser. Lighting was a problem for reading at night---a single, dim bedside lamp and one overhead light in the doorway were not sufficient. The bathroom was dark with corroded, poorly installed fixtures and there was no hot water--repeat NO HOT WATER.
The food was home-cooked (comida casera) and served in the main cafeteria for 5 of the days we were there. the other two days, they had a specialty restaurant for dinner. breakfast included excellent fresh juices and fruits, lunch and dinner had delicious beans and rice, but often not much else that I found enticing. Drinks are sugary and tasteless like most all-inclusive resorts.
Beware the weekends. Families drive up from Santo Domingo on Friday afternoon transforming the sleepy vibe of the resort to a crowded and loud party. The resort staff showed a marked preference for serving these guests (who wear metallic wristbands), often pushing us aside to accommodate them, which makes sense given that they probably come several times a year and we are only there the once.
Pros: beautiful natural beach, minimum commercial resort feel, clean rooms and grounds, generally professional staff
Cons: no hot water, poor lighting in rooms, the weekenders
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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