Writing this live from Punta Cana airport so possibly the most hot off the press review and it's a good one.
Having never been on an all inclusive holiday before wasn't entirely sure what to expect and was definitely surprised. Having read some of the reviews on here you'd think either everyone was a bit anal or something really was wrong with the place. Thankfully I think it's more of the first.
We got here on a Wednesday afternoon and after the transfer only took about 20 minutes to get through checking in and being taken to our room. First thoughts were this place is huge and the whole 4 hotels in one seemed confusing. However it's actually just a mirror image. On one side is Bavaro (standard class) and the other Punta Cana (standard class). They both have the same check in lobbys they're literally the same just flipped on the left and right. Then further down the Bavaro side you have Ambar (upgraded) and in and around this Diamond club which we weren't too sure what the difference was.
Anyway the room was really nice, the minibar wasn't packed but was refilled each day and a little tip seemed to provide some extras. The place was always really clean and in the surrounding area there were always people working on gardening or cleaning, there seemed to be ridiculous amounts of staff.
We read about the whole swimming pool towel thing and unfortunately you can't beat them so best thing to do is join them and get up about 8am to go for breakfast. On the way grab a towel and just reserve a spot. We always got one under the little huts for shade so the whole 6am thing was bit of a white lie. What's more the pool and towel hut doesn't open till 8am either. If you're standard class you have the choice of the middle pool or the one by the beach but the middle one was the best. The couple of guys that run the pool and play the music are quite funny to listen to and endlessley trying to get people involved in activities from Bingo Bango lol to just gym aerobics. I guess if you don't like noise then you'll be in trouble but it wasn't overbearing.
Food wise the buffets on both sides are identical and are nice the food was always loads. However it does get quite chaotic with special requests taking a long time e.g hot water for a cup of tea lol. This could annoy you after a while but it is quite funny how much of a mayhem it is. It's more of a problem in the a la cartes where you think it would be more of a better service and actually it seemed worse. They seemed all over the place at times, not with the food but with the drinks! You might wait awhile for a beer lol.
Drinking at the bar was always pretty good service and give them a tip and you'll be there best friend. In fact on the last night I gave a tip to a barmaid i'd given one earlier in the week. We don't know what happened but all of a sudden another barmaid came up put 3 drinks down and just smiled and walked off but the previous barmaid then didn't speak to us lol. However we legged it as was bit excessive!
The staff on the whole do seem friendly and generally are there to help. In the a la cartes i think 2 of them were having an arguement over the time we turned up and did it in front of us but didn't matter. On that point long shirts aren't required as we wore polos each time but we saw people in shorts get turned away. As at the main buffet dinner saw the same for women still in bikinis.
Overall I'd definitely go back and had a great time.
We went with Thomas Cook and only real sour point was the trip we went on which anyone could book and that was the Tropical Storm. It was 60 quid or 90$ and basically wasn't worth it. They just sailed you up the coast to a wreck that they told you a lame story about then sailed you back to this big slide. Well the slide was about as thrilling as my singing and most people didn't bother with their second go. After that you got taken to a place where you could snorkel and finally to a place where it was waist high water and they just had drinks. Because the hotel was all inclusive the appeal of a boat trip wasn't just baout the free drinks and they seemed to try and put as much down your throat as you could manage if you were up for it. The food was shocking as well, cheese and ham sandwiches lol and bit of pasta, one american described it as "What's that pink ****". It was ok and the staff were quite fun but it really wasn't worth 60 quid!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Facilities and services 2 lake-style pools Large sun terrace New relaxation zone with Bali beds, sun umbrellas and loungers Pool and beach towels BAHIA SPA (additional charge) Sports facilities: gym, 3 tennis courts (floodlit for an additional charge), multi-sports court Water activity centre WiFi access in the lobby (1h per day free of charge) and in rooms (additional charge) Entertainment theatre Wedding gazebo 1 buffet restaurant and 17 speciality restaurants Japanese restaurant 10 bars 3 Snack Bars Cocktail Lounge Punta Blanca Golf Club: 18 hole Golf Punta Blanca Golf Club designed by Nick Price (additional charge) Pueblo Principe: Shopping and Leisure Mall with local craft stores, live music, shows, stores, bars, karaoke, disco and casino Rooms 816 rooms including two types: Superior Junior Suite and Club Hacienda Junior Suite Room facilities: King size bed or two full size beds Fully-equipped bathroom with hydromassage bath tub, hair dryer and magnifying mirror Sitting area with sofa Air conditioning Ceiling fan Telephone Alarm clock Satellite TV Minibar Coffee-making facilities Safe (additional charge) Ironing set Wifi (additional charge) Club Hacienda Junior Suite (See page 18 Club Golden, Club Hacienda) Children Bahia Scouts The hotel is perfect for families, offering a range of facilities tailored especially for children, including the following: Mini Club for children aged 4 to 12 Evening Mini Disco Babysitting service (additional charge) Bahia Scouts Water Park Fun Area and Adventure Park (additional charge) Teens' Club (11-16 years) Other services 24 hour medical service (additional charge) Pharmacy (additional charge) Bus stop opposite the hotel Meeting and convention room Personalised menus (for celiacs, diabetics, etc.) Available on request and subject to circumstances Specialised service for organising weddings, incentive trips, events and anniversaries ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Gran Bahia Punta Cana
- Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana
- Bahia Principe Dominican Republic
- Gran Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort
- Punta Cana Bahia Principe
- Gran Bahia Principe Bavaro Punta Cana
- Principe Punta Cana
- Bahia Punta Cana
- Bahia Resort Principe
- Gran Bahia Principe Dominican Republic