this is a great resort. If you have any disabiities take precautions in booking this resort. it's great but a lot of stairs.
- Free Wifi
- Free Parking
this is a great resort. If you have any disabiities take precautions in booking this resort. it's great but a lot of stairs.
We went to Cayocoa through Air Canada Roulette so we were not sure which Gran Bahia we would be at. I was hoping for the El Portillo but was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed Cayacoa.
First of all yes it is on a hill, and yes there are quite a few stairs (108 stairs from our room to buffet to be exact lol) but the views are worth it!! They have carts that will drive you up to the main building if you prefer. We found the grounds so nice we didn't mind the walk.
Beach - there are two beaches and they are both calm waters for snorkeling. There always seemed to be chairs available. There is a bar close by as well. We didn't have too many locals bothering us.
Pool - there are three pools. We didn't spend much time around them but they seemed nice. Top pool has activities and bottom two are more relaxing.
Rooms - we had a junior suite in building 33 and loved it. Yes it was at the bottom by the beach so stairs to get to buffet. But it was quite and has snack bar nearby. Room was well appointed. Only let down was having to pay for the safe.
Restaurants - mostly good. I'd say buffet was good, Italian a la carte and snack bar ok, and seafood and international a la carte great. We were there for my bday and they had a cake at restaurant with my name in it. It was delish!
Bars - Coco locos are amazing!! A must try! Best at lobby bar. They did run out of mint one day for Mojitos and coconut milk a few times. Bring your own mug to get bigger drinks.
Entertainment - night shows were lacking but you could tell they were trying. Not 5 star though.
Location - great beaches, the bridge to nowhere is great, close to Bacardi island, town of Samana has ok shopping and you feel safe there. It is a rainforest area which is very lush. May get the odd shower.
Excursions - national park was nice, Bacardi island is worth seeing, zip lining very fun!! Not cheap though... Would have liked to horseback ride to waterfall
All n all we would recommend it! Will hopefully visit Samana again :)
Hotel was nice with concierge friendly and anything to do with food and beverages had great service and food. Room was okay, thought it would be nicer. Few cockroaches but I think that is typical of resorts in the islands. Maid service was not friendly and they did a poor job as well as a very slow job. They expect big tips, two or three dollars a day will be a sloppy job and not top up compliments or much more than make your bed. I booked a whale watching trip through WestJet (Herman) where Hola Tours and Travel do the trips. It was supposed to be half a day which is four hours. It was only just over an hour on the water. The whole trip from the hotel there and back was one hour and fifty minutes for $95 a person. Herman wasn't interested and doing anything about it. Said sometimes you see a whale fast and he had a list of complaints he was dealing with. You see a whale and turn around and come back. I thought it would be maybe three hours on the water. Then Hola wanted a tip when the boat came back. Hola also got a lot of complaints about the catamaran trip that didn't do everything that was said to be. Got a massage that was supposed to be 50 minutes and it was 40. Seems like the spa and Hola take advantage of the resort to draw business to them and then they rip off their customers. Hotel was clean it was the rooms that were not done very well.
First let me explain that we are not your typical tourist's to the Dominican. We have personal friends that live there and so went down to have a visit with them. Now with Island living sometimes you get hot water, sometimes you don't, sometimes you have power and sometimes you don't. We could not get ahold of our friends, so booked the Cayacoa and hoped for the best that that would be home when we arrived. (They received our emails about a week after we were booked and paid for).
No regrets on booking this Hotel, it was beautiful, the staff was great and the Hotel provides it's own taxi service to get you down to the Male'con and back again. Now my husband and I personally know Joel the AC Rep, but we went and sat through the presentation even though this is not our first time to the DR. We view it as any piece of local knowledge that you can get is worth a $1000.00 when you are outside of their facility. We were not planning to take any of the tours, but he is a vacation representative and does have to tell everyone about thier options. If you had received information regarding the things you needed to know you could up and leave the seminar at anytime you wanted, and many times I would see Joel sitting at his desk in the front foyer, so if you had more questions you could go and ask him.
We were on the 5th floor (room 529) and it was lovely. Our view was of the 2nd beach to the right, we could see bits and pieces of the main swimming pool but the lovely trees blocked most of that view which was fine for us as it cut down any noise from the pool that may have travelled upwards. We asked for a nice quiet room not close to the entertainment and it was perfect.
The all inclusive meals were awesome, you could mix and match so many different foods that one could not get bored with breakfast, lunch or supper. For me it was just a bit sad not to have Mango's on the dessert trays but who knew they too have a season and it was just coming into it when we were there! So they (the Mango's) were rippening on the tree's but not on the trays! :-) Inbetween the inclusive meals, the Dahlia bar would have beverages/snacks (cookies and treats) ready and waiting for the patrons to indulge. We had one day of rain from morning till mid afternoon and most of the patron's were at Dahlia's playing cards, and other games while some of the younger generations were across the hall playing pool or foosball. So even on the off days the Hotel has alot to provide it's patron's with. oh and for the sports enthusiasts there is also a big plasma tv in the recreation room for you to sit and watch your favorite sports.
In this review I cannot tell you about any of the beach sports or excursions that are available as we were spending time with our friends who live there. We did use the pool (hubby loved the swim up bar), the beach was also nice lots of chairs and huts to sit under. Beach volleyball was always going on, and the one instructor at the pool was very into doing exercise and always had the poeple in the pool doing stuff-I never heard anyone complain on our travels back and forth to that area from anyone muttering in the hallways. So overall I would say that the Hotel provides quite nicely for it's guests.
The only complaint or irritation that I found was the ones (hotel employee's) who stood inside the front door and wanted to sell you a time share in the Bahia Principe's line of hotels around the world. They will tell you if you ask "Is this a time share thing?" that it is not, but really it is. As guests are arriving and departing I would imagine that it is hard for these employee's to keep up with who is new and who isn't. They are all very friendly and willing to help you, but it is just as soon as you walk in the doors you get the.......spiel....I just need a 1/2hr of your time. In a half hour I want to be into my shorts and on the beach with a nice cold drink that has an umbrella attached.
Travel tips for anyone wanting to go anywhere-read the reviews, check out what types of excursions are available in that area before you go, learn a little about the customs and such if your going to want to go downtown away from the Hotel.
This island is a tropical paradise but their are many things that they on the whole as an island they still do not have-so don't expect things to be the same as in your home country. The bigger resorts do try to make things the way thier patrons (old and new) have in thier own country, but sometimes Island life runs a tad bit different. Accept it and absorb it as part of the experience.
Room: Big, clean (we had a kingsize bed) TV (alot us US channels, so if you can't speak Spanish-no problemo!) Shower pressure abit low, but then it had 5 levels to travel on island time, but we could always have our shower.
Meals: Very good
Acitivities: From what we saw it seems the hotel provides alot for it's guests.
Hotel staff-Great always willing to help (make sure you have $1.00 handy! hahaha-no overall we didn't do that only at meal times and for our maid service)
Spa available. Husband and I did the couple's massage and it was great, we really did relax.
Shops: available onsite so if you don't want to shop at the Male'con then you could pick up some of the local things right on the Hotel site.
Beach: you had to take an elevator down as the Hotel is built on a hill, but the view was awesome and saw a few using wheelchairs so also good for those with disabilites. They kept it clean (even though all Dominican beaches are free to all people's Dominicano's as well as tourists) Vendors stayed off to the left hand side of beach and if you wanted to go and see what they had for sale you were warmly welcomed.
This resort is great for families, couples, group of friends or if your going on your own no problemo you will make friends fast with the other guests.
Would go back to this Hotel in a heartbeat. Happy guest here :-)
I stayed at the Cayacoa from March 17 to March 24, 2012. This was originally a solo trip but a friend decided to tag along at the last minute.
WestJet: The service was great but the rep insisted that we sit through a long presentation on the very first day. This presentation was about the excursions but he was also going to tell us when we were going to be picked up on our way back (so essentially, you have to go to the presentation to get this information). I was already aware of all the tours offered in the area so I found this part a little annoying.
Room: I was in room 511 (main building) which overlooks the pool and the small bay. The room was very nice and clean. As per my request, I got a king size bed (personally, I did not find the bed and pillows too hard). Since the room is right above the main pool, you hear the music all day. As such, it is not a good room for someone who likes to take naps during the day but there is no noise at night. I would not suggest that people stay on the second floor as it is the main artery between the lobby and one of the elevators going to the buffet and the pool/beach. This means that it is noisy all the time and you can hear everything through the doors.
Service: Inevitably, I managed to block the toilet. This was fixed immediately. However, the ringer on my phone did not work. I mentioned it twice to the reception and this was never fixed. Generally, everyone was nice but some staff acted overly eager and some were a little indifferent (i.e. talking amongst each other/on the phone while you're waiting, etc.).
Grounds/hotel: Since I read the reviews, I knew about the stairs. However, I stayed in the main building so it only affected me when I went to the snack bar. The hotel, the grounds and the surrounding area are beautiful and very well kept. If you stay in the main building, it is actually pretty compact which is my preference. The hotel layout is a little confusing at first as the lobby, the buffet and the pool/beach exit are on different floors. It took me a while to get used to it but it was a breeze once I got it figured out. The beach is pretty nice and clean (not the nicest but again, I knew this from reading reviews).
Food: Here comes my only real complaint about this place: you cannot take food out of the buffet/restaurants. I don't know why and because of the language barrier, I never really found out why. This is the first time I encounter this. There is no patio in the buffet and I wanted to have breakfast on my patio. They eventually allowed it (for a tip, naturally). The food at the buffet was really good in general. There was something for everyone. The theme nights were a bit of a joke. For example, the Canadian night had a "poutine" dish which consisted of fries with melted cheese on them. That was it. I only went to the Italian à la carte and it was delicious. My friend went to the gourmet restaurant also and loved it. The snack bar only serves the leftovers from lunch and unless you're really starving, it's not worth the trek down the stairs.
Entertainment: I would say that the average age of guests during my visit was 45-50. This is not a party place and I was aware of this when I booked. We went to the disco three times and it was pretty empty all the time. I only saw the magic show and it was pretty entertaining.
Overall, I loved the place but it's a little too regimented for my taste: no 24-hour bars, no food in rooms. I chose the place as I was going to be a solo traveler but ended up going with someone. I would suggest this place to solo travelers, couples and people who like to have fun but within limits (this is a pretty classy joint, afterall). Also, I strongly recommend the Walk the plank zipline and the Los Haitises national park (I'll post reviews of those separately).
Just came back to Toronto - stayed there 15-22 March, 2012. Loved the beautiful landscape, there are always places to go or walk around. Every turn brings you another view of the sea, pulls, amazing greenery.
Prepare yourself for lots of stairs, your legs might beg for rest for couple of days, and then you get to enjoy everything even more. Good exercise! There are shuttle buses to take you to some places.
Food was always ample with 4-5 choices of meat, fish, chicken; 5-7 choices of vegetables of vegetarian; 4-6 types of fruits every meal. Restaurants were OK, do not expect super service or delicious food.
We paid for one excursion "Catamaran + snorkeling" - it's not worth $95.
Town of Samana is dirty and unattractive.
Bought a couple of carved-wood figurines.
Sun lotion and slippers cost over $20 - better bring them with you.