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“BAHIA PRINCIPE! BAHIA PRINCIPE!!”

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Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro
Ranked #63 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 21 May 2009

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!

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank StarkyD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,955 - 3,959 of 10,686 reviews

Reviewed 18 May 2009

First time on Dom Rep East coast - much better than north although liked Playa Dorado when visited 2007.
FIrst time also to Gran Bahia Principe Group - on this evidence very impressive & will undoubtedly use again
Visit for 2 weeks - flew Thomas Cook - punctual as always - much better aircraft on return journey. TC are ok - but still a bit short to First Choice with in flight service & seat comfort. Flight attendents always very courteous.
2 weeks of total relaxation - just a couple of short showers at day time was another plus
This is enormous site as everyone says - it takes 10 minutes to walk from reception to beach although the hotel has a nonstop bus service that gets you there in less than 3.
We checked in & first thing noticed we had different colour wrist band. Thought is bit stange - bell boy dropped us at Hacienda Diamond CLub section. Mm. Decided to recheck at reception as not booked this - very pleased to be advised free upgrade. What a good start - superb room over looking the private Hacienda pool in very central location.
Main things
- Room - very spacious with king bed, bar , sofa, balcony & bathroom with jacuzzi - all in top condition - room safe, TV, tea/coffee perculator etc
- Restaurants - excellent buffet (can use BAvaro or Punta Cana sides of hotel) - 12 a la cartes of which you can use 3 per week - but we twisted their arm for a couple more. Buffets very varied with loads of options. No one could possibly go with out. Plenty of fresh cooking stations for meat, fish, pasta, pizza etc. A la cartes all superb, pick probably the Garden GRill & the Gourmet with the Japanese being very different & well worth the visit . Fish & Italian also opened lunchtime along with the beach snack bars
- bars - one at each pool + the beach + lobby. Full range with plenty of branded drinks available. Special bar for Hacienda members. PLastics in activity areas , glasses in others. Excellent cocktail range + champagne. Coffe/tea also in lobby area 24 hour. All bars had such as coke, sprite, lemonade, iced tea, fruit juice, water, on self serve
- Beach - excellent beach stetching about a mile. Absolutely loads of sunbeds & plenty of umbrellas. No need to put towels out early unless you wanted front row - we went after breakfast every morning & no problem getting super position. Yes if you arrive at 10.30 you might not find a brolly but sorry folks you need to get up & about - you are on holiday to enjoy not to lounge in bed. There is a little bit of building work if you turn right after the bus drops you off but it is in no way off putting & spoils nothing. Only downside on this part of the beach it is takes 5 minutues to reach the rest rooms (which are spotlessly maintained)
- Pools - 4 excellent pools - the two by th ebeach are the busiest with the one by the Garden Grill having most of the activities. The Hacienda pool very quiet & our favourite. All have swim up faciliites (or walk up given modest depth) kept to high standards - again plenty of sunbeds & brollys
- Towel service means you do not need to take one
- Bus service - very frequent as one goes another arrives - cannot understand those that have complained about this
- entertainment - very good range at the theatre although it is repeated weekly. Live band at the village. SMall casino
- shopping -good range of small shops selling normal souvenirs youwould expect to find etc
- sports - tennis, crazy golf & usual water sports on beach. Plenty of daily activities
- SPa & small kids club
- there is disco but we retired before it got going

All areas extremely well kept, gardens, paths, public areas, - the hotel should be proud of its standards

Service

staff very polite & friendly - sure I gave small tips here & there but NEVER once did I feel these were necessary to ensure I got served. The Americans have to realise this is the Caribbean & service is different to what you get in the USA - most USA restaurants etc only seek to look after you to drive up the tip in any case

THings to improve
- well maybe more fresh fruit at the buffets
- bottle beer which is always one of my pet groans
- another set of toilets on the beach
- a bit lax on dress code for restaurants in the evening - it does not take much to make an effort - citizens of the USA this is largely you

A very cosmopolitan crowd were in situ, from North/South America to various parts of Europe - hotel catered well for everyone. Not convinced the bulk of the caribbean is good for under 5's - too hot & sun too intense

Tnomas Cook - friendly rep was around most days- had decent range of trips - we took one - was OK, various local factories & then Hard Rock Cafe - but nothing out of ordinary. We tend not to do boat trips so cannot comment although from people we met the trip to Bounty Island was well received. Don't know of anyone ill - we certainly had no problems - only a couple of sore heads after going through the cocktail lists!!

In all very impressed with this hotel & we are now looking to visit another in the Gran Bahia Group. We have been to many other main groups & would rank them above such as Riu & Sols, pretty much on par with IBerostar & slightly behind Karisma. Not been to Sandalls so cannot comment

Warmly recommend this to anyone looking for top quality sun break

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank cantleyblade
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2009

a very clean hotel, some likeable employees, others only wants money.a is always the same food.the coktails with much ice, does not have natural the highest points of fruit, the thematic restaurants, is not good.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank t_lemos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2009

We stayed at in the Diamond Club Section for a week last Oct 2008, family of 5 with 3 kids ages 12, 9, 5 and my sister. Had 2 rooms on the ground floor and so glad we upgraded to Diamond Section....it was nice to have a private restaurant, pool and bar since it was quite a walk to the beach , main pool and main buffett restaurant. Also because we were Diamond club we rec'd 30 min each day internet access, it was nice to go and sit in the cool A/C room and check in with freinds and family at home and my daughter played some games online...

We travel with and without our children 2 or 3 times a year, have been all over Mexico and the Carribbean , first time to Dominican Republic. We really enjoyed the beach, thought it was beautiful. I was so impressed with the cleanliness of the place; the rooms, pool, beach, restaurants, bars etc... For such a large resort it was amazing to see how the staff take care of everything. They really deserve credit. The ocean and pool water temperature were so warm, loved it! I don't think we needed to use our towels to dry off the entire week. Always plenty of chairs at the beach/pools, we never had to reserve a seat.
The food was really good at the buffet and the A La Cartes. I think we did a la carte 3 times, i can't rememeber the name of the steak place but it was awesome! Japenese was fun too, the kids enjoyed.
Rooms were nice, beds comfy enough, clean modern bathrooms. Fully stocked mini fridge, excellent maid service.
We got a great last minute deal which is why we chose this resort. I would only return again if we got the same deal because honestly the only complaint (and not really a complaint more of a preference) is that we don't like the large resorts. Prefer smaller resorts where you can leave your room and walk to pools/bars/beach/restaurant and we missed the oceanviews we have had in the past at RIU Resorts in Mexico, Jamiaca and Aruba. Other than that if you want a nice clean hotel with a great beach and you don't mind having to wait for the trolly to take you around the resort VISIT THE BAHIA PRINCIPE BAVARO and you won't be dissappointed.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled with family
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3  Thank hwtj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2009

We stayed at the Gran Bahia Principe from April 19 to April 26, 2009. This resort came highly recommended from people we know, our travel agent and reviews on Trip Advisor.

First, the positive. The resort is beautiful. The grounds are immaculate and there is always someone working on the grounds. The resort is huge, but you really only need the pool, the restaurants and the beach to have a good. time.

We were given a room in the Premier section, which was supposed to be an upgrade. I don't think there was a difference between the Premier and other section other than the fact that the Premier had its own lobby, buffet restaurant and it was the farthest part of the resort from the beach.

The food was good for the most part and there was plenty of it. There was always room at the buffet restaurants and the bars at both the Bavaro and the Premier lobbies always had snacks and coffee available.

The beach and water were beautiful. Although a lot of reviews on Trip Advisor complained that it was hard to get a chair on the beach, we didn't have a problem when we arrived usually after 9 am.

All of the rooms on the resort are junior suits with a sleeping area and a sitting area. This was great because we travelled with our 13-month old baby who recently started walking and needed lots of space to run around. The room was big enough to keep him running around when we were inside and we did not feel crowded with 3 people in the room as we usually feel in a regular hotel room.

Now for our experience. Although the resort is beautiful and the grounds and rooms are definitely a 5-star quality, the service was disappointing and I would not give the resort more than 2 stars for the service.

The people at both the Bavaro reception and the Premier reception are the grumpiest people I have ever met. On occassion you would get a smile but we found that for the most part the reception personnel were simply grumpy and looked like they wished they were somewhere else.

We were travelling with a 13-month-old who is still drinking formula. As soon as we checked in I called down and asked for 2 more bottles of water to make sure that I had enough water for formula for my son for the rest of the night (2 bottles of water were already provided). Over the next 5 hours I called down 4 times and had to go down to guest services once before I was given more water 5 hours later. Every time I mentioned that I have a baby and need water for him, and every time I was told that water would be sent up, but it wasn't. I tried to get water from the bar in the lobby but they did not carry bottled water, they told me to go back to my room and call reception. It was frustrating and not a good start to our trip.

A couple of days into our slipped I tripped down the stairs coming down from our room. I looked up and noticed a wet spot on one of the stairs. I ended up twisting my knee and am still limping 3 weeks later. After the fall I went back to my room and called guest services to let them know. Guest services did not ask who I was or for my room number, and just wanted to know where the wet spot was so they could clean it up. When I spoke to my travel rep later that day, she contacted guest services and they actually claimed that they spoke to me and got all the details from me and filed a report, which was a lie. When I asked to see the report I was told by the manager of guest services at the Premier that the report is confidential and they cannot show it to me. At no time did anyone from the resort ask how I was, whether I was injured or whether there is anything they can do to help.

We also had an issue with our sheets on our bed. One morning our son vomited on the bed after drinking his bottle. We called guest services and requested that our sheets be changed. We marked our sheets with a pen just in case, to make sure that they were actually changed. When we got back to our room that evening we checked, but the sheets were not changed. We called back guest services and they insisted that the sheets were changed. After arguing with them for a while they finally sent someone up to change the sheets.

Finally, at the buffet restaurant in the main Bavaro lobby the wait staff seemed to constantly forget to get us a high chair for our son and on one occassion we asked for a high chair 7 times before one was provided. Although it is not a big deal, it is frustrating to have to ask for something so simple again and again.

There were a few other instances of bad service during the week, but these examples show where improvement is needed.

So in sum, if you are looking for a beautiful resort to relax and don't care about how your'e treated, this is the place for you. The grounds are beautiful. The service needs lots of improvement.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Thank Greyfluffball
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro

Address: Arena Gorda - Macao Seccion Baigua | Arena Gorda - Macao, Seccion Baigua, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#38 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#38 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#54 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#55 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#57 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#58 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: RM608 - RM1,612 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro 4*
Number of rooms: 744
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

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