Isla Cayo Levantado - Samaná - Dominican Repúblic.
"it was a good stay"
Posted by: johnson on Nov 30, 2014
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Cayo Levantado, one of the most beautiful islands in the world, is the ideal place to enjoy a luxury holiday in an incomparable setting of nature and comfort.
This wonderful hotel, Gran Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado, offers all the features needed to make your holiday a dream trip.
Share your experiences with others. Don't forget to send your review to Debbie by using an easy form.
"BEAUTIFUL ISLAND & BEACH ....ruined by cheap management"
Dan from AB on Jan 10, 2010 >
Visited on: Dec, 2009 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
781 people found this review helpful
I dont wanna repeat what other reviews stated about how beautiful the place is,great staff,big hola to Dallila at customers realtions,Pablo at front desk,Calixto,Maximo the best bartender,roberto,jesus,& all the staff ,u make the hotel even nicer,Thanx all for great service.The biggest problem there is how the management is cutting corners in areas which for me makes the whole experience feel like i stayed at a 2 star hotel in cuba,from the lack of variety of food @ the buffet to the cheapest drinks ever available (i'm talking gasoline grade liquors ) i was talking to some guests while there,& it was the joke of the week,some of them said that all drinks are exactly the same (gin ,vodka,rum ,& all flavoured liquors are NORMANDY brand (cheapest liquor availabe anywhere) with different colours added to it,someone said that its the way the management is combating mosquitos,as the guests blood is all saturated with cheap alcohol,mosquitos wouldn't bite lol....seriously no mosquitos arround,i met a dominican guest there who mentioned that not a single dominiacn person would even touch any of those drinks...& these are the only drinks available all over the beach ,the pool,& even in their supposodly gourmet restaurant ,try to have a congac after dinner at DON PABLO restaunat & u'll br greeted by a NORMANDY BRANDY (only good to clear a stuffy nose if u smell it)not for human consumption !!!! one guest thought we change the name of the restaurant to DON POBRE (POOR) lol .....one tip when you go the front lobby thinking u can have a bloody mary with smirnoff (their premium drink)!!!!!!! be careful some of the bartenders will go to the back & mix it with the cheap stuff, as per managemant orders.request ur drinks to be mixed in front of u!!!all in all we enjoyed the island,but would never go back there unless some other chain takes over this beautiful resort & change it to a real 5 stars ---------------------
"You've got to experience this remote island once in your life"
Posted by: Alysia & Mike
on Sep 3, 2010 >
2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jun, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
891 people found this review helpful
My husband and I stayed at Gran Bahia Cayo Levantado from June 12 to 19, 2010. We went with another couple and their 19 month old son. This was a resort that my husband has always wanted to go to but the price was never right. We thought we were getting a good deal until we found out that we had only paid for a superior room with WestJet Vacations.
Let me point out that WestJet’s taxes a lot lower than other tour operators and their staff are the most friendly bunch you will ever encounter. The flight was good and going through customs and getting our luggage was quick. We met with our Hola Sun representative and to our surprise, our names were not on the list but our friend’s names were. The rep just told us to go ahead on the bus. After an hour and 20 minute bus ride with no A/C, we arrive at the mainland reception.
At the mainland building, we filled out the paperwork, got our keycard and bracelet and then, it was off to the ferry. The transfer time is only about 5 minutes. Once we got to the resort, we were greeted by management and a cocktail. He told us where we can find everything and how to book a la carte dinner reservations. He then directed us to our rooms and told us that we could grab a snack by the pool. I was very impressed how quickly the check in process went.
We got to our room (#217), it’s on the second floor in the main building. We were quite disappointed to open our curtains and find out that we were facing the maintenance building where a lot of employees hang out. The room is a very standard room – closet with electronic safe, hangers, iron and ironing board, bathrobe and slippers; a king bed, tv, desk, sofa, chair and a very large bathroom with a Jacuzzi and separate shower. I have to admit that it’s very dark in the bathroom and room, even with all the lights on but it didn’t bother us. Prior to our arrival, I did email the resort and request villas 2-11 with a king size bed on the top floor, also with an ocean view. I did receive a reply informing me that they could not accommodate my request because it wasn’t the room category we purchased and they also included a price list for upgrades. This is when we realized that we had booked a superior room. Please be careful of this if you plan to go to this resort. After settling into our room and exploring the resort, we came back to the room to find a bottle of champagne, chocolate covered strawberries and crispies (It’s their version of rice krispies with white chocolate). There was a letter from the person I was exchanging emails with. They had been upgraded us to a junior superior suite and they had also made reservations for us that night at the Don Pablo restaurant. Totally unexpected and very thoughtful. Our friends were staying in room #215. They had a superior room. There is not much of a difference except we had a larger window opening from the washroom and bedroom and we had a separate shower and they had a shower head coming out of the wall above their jacuzzi tub. There was no glass or wall anywhere so when they showered, water sprayed everywhere. A few days after our arrival, a glass wall was installed (and they didn’t even file a complaint). The room was cleaned daily and little chocolates were only left once on our pillows. We received towel art every day and the maid lined up all our shoes and fold our clothes into piles that we left on the sofa.
Restaurants and Bars:
The buffet is located in the main building. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. It has a terrace which we never ate on because it was just too hot outside. I found that they had a good selection to items to choose from. We fell in love with these mashed carrots and potatoes one evening and never saw them again. They had different themed nights (they are listed at the reservation desk in the lobby) such as Mexican, Spanish, Gala, Oriental, Italian, Barbeque & Dominican. At breakfast, they had the typical spread - made to order omelettes, french toast, pancakes, bacon, sausages, pastries and delicious donuts covered in sugar (they are my favorite). What I liked was they had a separate section that had fried eggs (this is what I usually order from the omelette guy), poached and hard boiled eggs. There was also a variety of fresh juices, yogurt, cereals and fruits. Lunch and dinner was your typical fare - you can select your meat to be grilled and a pasta station. There is a vegetarian corner and lots of breads. Each night, they put out a display of appetizers according to what the themed night is. The wait staff is very attentive, always refilling your glass, whether it's wine or water. One night, a guy with a cart of turkey would come around and carve off a slice for you and pour gravy all over. It was delicious and the best turkey I have ever had in my life.
You can make your reservations at the desk or on the 24 hour computer in the lobby.
Don Pablo (Gourmet)
Instead of choosing what to eat off the menu, we decided on the five course set dinner. We started off with crackers with some type of jelly on it, then pumpkin and asparagus cold soup, a tomato topped with deep fried cheese, our main entree was beef tenderloin & lobster on a skewer and for dessert, chocolate fantasy and an apple tartin.
Both these restaurants are located by the pool by the beach. You need to take the elevator to get to them. It's quite a far walk and very dark:
Some of the dishes we ordered were caprese inssalata caprese, trio of bruschetta, mushroom soup, mushroom & lobster penne (a must for this restaurant, so flavourful and filling) beef medallions (didn't look very appetizing) and shrimp pizza and for dessert, tiramisu.
The house appetizer is a potato and tuna dish. Very tasty considering I don't like tuna. Some of the dishes we ordered were the greek salad, shrimp cocktail appetizer, the lobster entrée (a must if you are going to eat here), chicken entrée, cheesecake and chocolate mousse.
There are four bars in the resort, Daiquiri (lobby), Flamboyan (quiet pool), Hibyscus (pool by the beach) and a bar by the jacuzzi. The quiet pool bar makes a very refreshing non-alcohol drink called Very Well. Also, by this pool, they come around very 20 minutes to see if you want a drink. The lobby bar serves a delicious cappuccino. We didn't try any of the cocktails, we drank beer (El Presidente) for most of the trip.
The beach on Cayo Levantado are broken up into 2 beaches. There is the calm side and the wavy side. Both have its pros and cons. I'll start with the calm side. The water here is very swimmable and the scenery is AMAZING! You can watch a flock of Pelicans fish all day. The only problem we had with the beach was that it was really narrow. Most of the beach is filled up with trees and you can't really get "personal" space due to the size of the beach. You're pretty much side by side with strangers. Since it is also filled up with trees, which amount to an abundance of bugs, leaves and dead fruit falling on you. Getting a good spot to catch some sun is nearly impossible unless you decide to hang out on the ends of the beach. The wavy beach is the perfect beach! The water is fun to play in and there is plenty of space for you to get comfortable in. It is wide and there is a perfect sun/shade ratio. The problem with this beach is that it is REALLY WINDY. If this doesn't bother you, it is the perfect place, as it was for my husband. For me however, it was difficult to get comfortable with the wind howling in your ear. Now if we had to pick the perfect spot on the beach, it would be on the right side of the calm beach near the water sports center. There is also a public beach which is huge but we never wandered over there since you have to pay for chairs to lounge in. It is after all an island so you can't really be that picky with the wideness and length of the beach.
There are two pools, a quiet pool that is close to the main building and the main pool by the beach. Both pool close at 7 pm and have plenty of loungers and palapas around them. The quiet pool has beds with draping over them which provide some shade. At each pool, there is an activities hut where you can pick up some towels, books or board games. At the beginning of our trip, after eating lunch, we would come back to the pool or beach only to find nowhere to sit, because every chair had a towel on it. Later in the week we realized that you didn't have to keep your towels or exchange it at the end of the day. You can just leave it there and it will be picked up later in the evening. You can also pick up new towels whenever you would like a fresh one and you can even get more than one. I am not sure if this is a great system but I must say, there was never a shortage of towels, the huts were always being replenished throughout the day. There wasn't too many pool activites in the main pool, most of the activities took place beside the pool but on the beach. I would highly suggest staying by the quieter pool. If you want to chill out, stay close to the gym as they have some speakers hidden in the grass that plays very relaxing, spa-type music.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
This is the one thing I have to complain about. There is a little poster board on top of the piano outside of the main buffet, it lists all the activities throughout the day. I wanted to try participating in the painting or arts & crafts but it did not say where it was taking place. We all wanted to go to the Sunday ice cream party but again, we didn't know where it was happening. In the evening, the animation team and manager go around the terrace and lobby to tell guests that the nightly entertainment would be happening at the public beach. We never went to see one show. On our last night, we received a letter saying there was going to be a "white party" by the quiet pool at 8:30 pm. Around 9:00 pm, we went to check it out but only saw it all set up but no guests or staff there.
We were given an option for express checkout the night before our departure date but we checked out at 9:30 am and waited for our 10 am boat. When we arrived to the mainland, we had to wait another hour for our bus to arrive. The bus arrived half an hour early but two people were missing when the rep did his count so we had to wait half an hour before leaving, luckily this bus had A/C. We got to the airport and we were the only ones at the airport. The check in counter still issues manual boarding passes and luggage tags so it took some time to for them to write everything down. It was quite annoying but it made for less waiting time at the gate. There is a huge duty free shop and one restaurant that charges $20 for a hamburger and fries. Make sure you eat at the resort before you leave.
This is a beautiful resort but I feel like we didn't fully take advantage of what the resort has to offer because our room was in the main building. The entire resort is well-maintained and runs perfectly. I don't think that we would go back but if we did, we would make sure that we were staying in a villa instead of the main building. In my opinion, the transfer time is too long for me - the 90 minute bus ride and then the boat ride plus all the time in between handling the luggage. It was an experience being on a remote island but since we were not too impressed with the narrow beach, we are crossing this resort off of our to-go list and will probably stick to our favorite, Punta Cana, instead.
"it was a good stay"
johnson on Nov 30, 2014 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Oct, 2014 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
28 people found this review helpful
It was a honeymoon of a lifetime for us and we had such a romantic and nice time. It was like a one week thing for us because we are such busy people so the honeymoon was a short one. The thing that amazed us more was the fact that there were free taxis on the island, could you imagine that? They can take you anywhere on the island if you ever wanted to. We loved that there was WIFI in the hotel so that we could send pictures to our loved ones who couldn’t make it with us to this wonderful country of Mexico, the connection was strong but slow in some parts of the hotel but that was okay. The hotel grounds are lovely and very well maintained. There were lots of trips available to the guests depending on what you want, you joined on a couple and had so much fun and they stayed back hotel other times and just relaxed at the pool and beach as service there was also good. There were enough drinks for the guests and because we were here to have fun, we drank to our satisfaction. The hotel services all were great, the staff was polite and nice and the rooms were so well designed according to what you need it for. The food was great, the main buffet had lots to eat and they were all nice and fresh. They had room service that worked the whole day and the best part is that it is free.
"A wonderful and relaxing vacation...just some things to note"
Posted by: Samira
on Jul 10, 2013 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jun, 2013 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
331 people found this review helpful
My husband and I were at the Cayo Levantado for one week from June 29-July 6, 2013. We booked with Westjet vacations via a travel agent (no difference in cost when booking online or through a travel agent) and had no complaints. Hermin, our Westjet vacation rep was excellent! We had a very nice and relaxing vacation but for the amount of money I paid, I was expecting a little bit more in terms of service. We have traveled a lot (Mexico, Bahamas, Punta Cana, Jamaica, etc.) so my review here is based on our comparison of other resorts we have stayed at. We booked this resort as it was recommended to us from a work colleague and also the fact that it recently became an all adults resort in May 2013.
By reading this review, please don’t get me wrong, overall my husband and I enjoyed ourselves very much. This is a beautiful resort and not very commercialized so in that aspect it is a great place. We met some wonderful people whom we hung out with at night so that was great. If you like a quiet resort and just want to relax where there are not a lot of people then you should visit this place at least once. There is free Wifi on the resort and in your room which was a bonus for us as we could stay in touch with our kids at home throughout the day. My review here is to emphasize the little things that I would improve to make this place an even more wonderful experience for a 5star all adults resort.
We booked a deluxe villa and it was wonderful. The room was large and gorgeous. Just a couple of things to note: one that we found the bed to be very uncomfortable and the pillows were not the greatest. But we had a pillow service included in our room so I had to call in for some better pillows. The second thing was that the water pressure in the shower was very low so I did not really enjoy my showers too much and it would take a long time for the water in the shower to turn hot so I had to keep it running a bit before taking a shower. All in all, it was fine.
Restaurants and Bars:
Food is very good. They have one main buffet restaurant (open from 7-10am, 1-3pm and 7-10pm), one buffet outdoor restaurant at the main pool and beach (open from 10am-noon and then from 1-3pm) and three a la carte restaurants (open only during the evenings from 7-10pm). Reservations were required at the a la carte restaurants and there were no restrictions on the number of times you could visit them. Now if you missed lunch during the lunch interval then you had to wait until 7pm to get something to eat unless you went to your room to order room-service (available 24hrs but the room service menu is not the greatest but sufficient). My preference would have been to have at least one restaurant open during all hours as we have experienced in other resorts. The buffet has a variety of selections to choose from and a different theme every night. My husband did not particularly enjoy the a la carte as the portion serving for him (especially at the Don Pablo) was not very large. He ended up visiting the buffet after eating here. At the Italian restaurant (Portofino), my husband wanted to order a selection from “Meat and Fish” section and also one selection from the “Pasta and Pizza” section but the waiter said we couldn’t do that and that we could only order one main dish. I questioned the waiter on this so eventually he let us place the order we wanted. I have to say that I have never experienced this anywhere at any resorts and was a bit annoyed. In the end it all turned out fine. If I was to rate the food at these a la carte, I would place them in order of Don Pablo, Mediterranean and then Italian (best to least). Also, I love Lobster but I found the lobster at both the buffet and Mediterranean restaurant to be overcooked. We also found it annoying that the main bar in the lobby closed at 11pm and if you wanted drinks after this time, you had to go to the public beach (which was private to the people staying at the resort from 11pm-2am). This is a bit ridiculous to us as the bar should be open in the lobby where most people are sitting after dinner to enjoy drinks until late hours.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
There are not too many activities at this resort. Also they do not give out a daily activities sheet (which I have seen at other resorts so you know what is happening and at what time). They did have beach volleyball, exercise class at the beach, and some nights a show but you did not know what time any of these were or what show was happening at which night. You had to go to the main beach pool where they had a board up for the activities happening but there was no time posted so you had to ask someone what time these were at. My suggestion would be to distribute a daily activities sheet to everyone.
We did not do any tours off the resort.
There are three pools, one main large pool near the beach, another large pool near the main building and then a small pool with three Jacuzzis hidden in the midst of the villas. The pools are very nice and well-maintained. We could always find a hut and chairs even if we showed up late which was excellent. For a 5-star I was expecting someone to continuously come and take drink orders but this did not happen too much. This was fine with me as I did not mind getting up to go to the bar. We stayed at the larger pool near the main building most of the time and I may have seen a staff member once in the morning to come by and ask if we wanted something to drink and that was it. Plus the towels would run out by 2pm and we would have a hard time getting new ones.
There are two beaches, one is a private beach and one is a public beach. My husband and I did not visit the public beach as we heard that the locals approach you a lot to force you to buy things so we preferred to stay at the private beach. The private beach is nice and small, it is not the best beach I have ever been to, the water is very rough, there is seaweed and the sand is not very smooth so if you are a beach person, then maybe this is not the best place for you. For us, we stayed mainly at the pools which was fine.
I found the service to be on and off. At some places in the resort it was great and at other places not so much. The staff hardly speak English which I found for the first time to be quite difficult. I have found that at other resorts, the staff to be very friendly and will go out of their way to assist you even if they did not speak the greatest English. Mind you, the reception staff were wonderful and always addressed any concerns we had which was wonderful. I found this more of an issue around the pools and a la carte restaurants where it would have been nice to see the waiter smiling a bit more, rather than just coming by and saying what would you like to order. I also found that if you spoke Spanish, they definitely treated you better and you also got treated well if you tipped a lot. I am fine with tipping but I do not think I should be forced to tip to get better service. I mean this is a 5star resort and people have paid enough money to come here for excellent service. One time, my husband was at the lobby bar and found that no one was taking his drink order. The bar tender served the person that came after my husband who spoke Spanish first until my husband had to say something to get drinks.
Overall I would definitely recommend this place. It is a beautiful resort and very clean. The rooms are excellent and food is very good. We did enjoy ourselves a lot as we were looking for a quiet and relaxing week which we got. Most likely we would not come back, not because of any of the things I mentioned but because we prefer to visit different resorts and places. The things I have listed above are minor things which most of us can overlook but I thought it would be helpful for others to read and also for the resort to note to continue improving on their service and quality people are expecting from a 5-star all-inclusive adult resort.
"Excellent run resort. Never have seen so many workers per guest in my life."
Larry & Luba from Stoney Creek Ontario on Aug 1, 2009 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Aug, 2009
696 people found this review helpful
Gran Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado Sept 2009
Larry and Luba Canada
About Us:We're a couple in our late fifties and this was our eighth visit to the DR. and our second time to Samana. We got a very good last minute deal. There is a photo link at the bottom of the review which might help also.
Flight: Flew Air Canada on an Airbus 319. Seating was three seats per side and each seat had a LCD screen in the back of it. Different movie and music options made for the most varied selection we've had so far on a flight south. I'm six feet tall and leg room was fine. It was an economy seat. Had to purchase food ,liked this option better than some of the surprises we've had in the past. Avoid the roast beef sandwich, has a very high amount of sodium. Go for the chicken sandwich. Arrival: Landed at Samana airport, found the bus and was on our way. Bus has no washroom on board. Trip took around one hour but the scenery can be quite beautiful. Dropped off people first at GBP Cayocao and then on to the mainland reception office. Here we got all the resort / room. info. Then took the ride over by boat and it was a 5-7 minute trip. They took care of the luggage the entire time, didn't see it again until we were in the room. Received our cards for the room door at the main desk at the resort. This is when we found out weâ€™d been upgraded to a junior suite superior, which are located in villas. We had e mailed the resort four days before asking for a balcony, king bed and close to the ocean. We also said that this was our third time to a Bahia resort. Thought we'd be in the main building with a balcony, this was a surprise. Be aware that this resort is hilly, they have shuttles to move you around if you want.
Room:This was the largest junior suite we've had. The balcony was larger than our family room, on each side of the bed was between six-seven feet of space and the same between the bed and the dresser. Washroom was also very large with a double sink separate shower and a whirlpool tub.
Water pressure was good as was hot water. A little less pressure and hot water during the dinner hour. Towels changed every day, always enough towels and bar fridge filled every day also. Left tips each day for the maid and the fridge person. Air conditioning worked fine. Restaurants: One buffet ( Orquidea) is located on the ground floor of the main building. Was surprised at the amount of very good quality food available here. Always received good service from very friendly staff. Don't miss gala night on Saturday. Some of the items were Duck, Rabbit, Steak, Lobster, Shrimp, Chicken Cordon Bleu, numerous appetizers and desserts. My wife liked the buffet better than the ala cartes.
The Gourmet (Don Pablo) we went to twice, once for the lobster with beef and the second time we tried the rack of lamb. We both liked the lamb the best, it was delicious. The Mediterraneo we never went to, it had mediterranean cusine. Thought we could get this type of food at the buffet.
The seafood restaurant (El Pescador) we went to and had the lobster tail. It was good but had spices on it. Prefer lobster steamed and with butter. Other people liked it. Just different taste that's all.
The service at all restaurants was very good. The deserts were very nice also. Never left hungry and never had any stomach problems
Took photos of the menus which are on the link which should help quite a bit.
Also had room service for breakfast one morning, very good, even had a table cloth. Took around 15 minutes.
Pools and Beach: There are two pools, a quiet and a beachfront. The quiet one is in the area of the villas and the depth is 1.4 meters. A bar and towel exchange is there as well as sun beds, palapas and loungers. One section has a very shallow area for children. On the way back from the beach would stay here for a while. Very relaxing. The beach front pool was more popular and was between the snack bar and the beach. Never went in this one, once I get near the ocean no way am I going in a pool. Also had some sun beds along with loungers and palapas. The beach is why we go on vacation and this was nice. There are two beaches beside each other, if one side is too rough just go to the other. There was some coral in places but it was easy to see. Great views of the resort and of the mainland when swimming. It was never crowded and because of all the trees there was lots of shade.
Palapas and shade always available. Always stayed under a tree no towels wars here. Loungers were very comfortable and in good condition. The entrance to the public beach was near the main hotel building. You sign a sheet with your name on it and what time you will be back. There are vendors there but we were left alone. Think it was because of the bracelet we were wearing. You pay for your drinks and the use of the beach loungers. Just sit on your towel. It is a very beautiful beach. I was told if you go around 4-5pm there's nobody there. Would recommend that you see it.
Bars and Drinks: Beach bar was close for anyone on the beach and also had ( but we don't need it) waiter service. Drink selection and quality was good, drink menus available. The lobby bar made very good drinks and was air conditioned. The upper pool plus the Jacuzzi had bars also although the Jacuzzi just left sodas and water on ice, never saw a person there. Photos of the drink menus are also on the photo link. You are never far from a bar.
"A very friendly and quiet resort."
Laurica & Gord from Saskatchewan on Feb 1, 2009 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009
662 people found this review helpful
Arrival: Jan 7 to 21
A long taxi ride from Puerto Plata - approx 4 hours - kind of like a roller coaster ride!! A nice boat ride to the resort - 10 minutes.
WOW! Were in room 9103. Very large rooms and large balcony with hot tub. Very clean, supplies updated daily in bar fridge at no charge ie - small bottles of scotch, vodka,cans of soda and beer and lots of water. Coffee pot in room which was refreshed daily with coffee and tea.
Restaurants and Bars:
The al-a-carte resturants were nice, but the buffet had anything you could ask for - shrimp, lobster. There were daily themes at the buffet - Mexican, Italian, a lovely gala. Look for the following people - buffet - Wilmon, Ramon and Georgina. Sony at the lobby bar and Mickey at the ocean bar.
Gorgeous! No problems getting chairs at the pools or beach, however, be cautious at the public beach, as some people charge for the chairs. The jacuzzi pool is especially nice, particularily if you like to tan. Lots of towels and drinks available at all places.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
There was not a lot of activities - darts, volleyball. Lots of walking- there were little "cabs" that would take you wherre you wanted to go. Were not aware of any evening activities, as there is no information posted. We did not go on any tours - why leave paradise till you have to!
This was a very friendly and quiet resort. We were happy to enjoy all they offered, I'm sure if we would have asked, we could have found more to do. This is a wonderful place to enjoy a laid back holiday. Would not really recommend this resort for children, as there is little for them (ocean is rough, no playground or children's activities, pools are deep...) Don't be shy - ask for what you want or need. There is Wi-Fi available in the hotel lobby - but the hotel has only 2 laptops for all the clients.
"The Best of the Best"
David on Aug 12, 2010 >
1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Jul, 2010 | Leisure | With friend
906 people found this review helpful
Have you ever imagined floating away to your own private island...Than it's time to introduce yourself to the wonders of Cayo Levantado. This resort sits on it own 1 sq. KM island about a 1/2 mile off the beautiful coast of the Samana peninsula. The main building houses about 96 standard rooms and a number of suites. The rest of the suites are spread out around the island in beautiful villa buildings. NONE of the rooms face the island's interior. They all face the caribbean. The suites feature wonderfully appointed rooms with a bathroom to die for. As my girlfriend and I said from the minute we got there, we're not going home!!!
This is the best resort in the DR. But don't be afraid. As is the case in the DR, this is not an expensive vacation.
Arrival is quick and easy with the resort check-in on the mainland. A quick boatride and you're at your dream vacation.
Awesome!!! Please tip your room staff, They work hard, get paid very little, and they will reward you with beautiful towel scultures to welcome you home everday.
Restaurants and Bars:
There are three gourmet restaurants; Don Pablo's is open every night and features a great surf & turf dinner, wonderful lamb, and a dessert they call a Mug of Hot Chocolate which is actually a mug of Chocolate Mousse topped with their version of whipped Cream. The Portifino and the Mediterrian Restaurants are beachside and alternate nights. At the Mediterranian you can have a Caribbean Lobster, or two, any night. The Portofino has some very nice Italian dishes. Thge main building features the buffet which is good everynight with a lot of variety. The extra special thing at the restaurants is how beautifully the plates are presented. Every night they feauture a special pre-appetizer and a special Dominican drink. You have your choice of all the well drinks as well as Red, White, Rosa, and Champagne. The service is incredible. All the staff try very hard to understand Inglais. Just try to use a little espanola and they will be very happy.
They have 2 pools and a jaquzzi. All are very tranquil and there is not any of that lounger squating that goes on down in Punta Cana, not even from the Euros. The pools aren't deep, .4 to 1.4 meters. So, you can walk or swim. People hung out at the pools until sunset.
There are three beaches on the island. The resort utilizes all three even though one is technically a public beach. The public beach is the best. There are plenty of lounges there(no charge), a bar with cheap drinks, some wonderfully filling up a carved out pineapple or coconut. There is also a small trinket shopping area which feauters the most low key sellers in the DR.
The 2 beaches on the hotel property are beautiful but small. One side has a pretty stiff wave set, not for the feint of heart, the other side is calm and tranquil as it is protected by a reef.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Wonderful Animation Team. Just loved the antics of Angel, David, and Natasha. Again, these guys are "no pressure" but offer a lot of fun.
If are are adventurous, head back to the mainland and go to Limon Falls and Playa Rincon. The falls are beautiful. Rincon is rated the 4th most beautiful beach in the world...no arguments here. For both excusions there are horseback rides in. At Rincon you are treated to a caribbean style Lobster lunch under a thatched roof.
As this is my sixth trip to the DR, I can say unequivically that these are some of the nicest people in the world. I have been to Puerto Plata and Punta Cana, but I can honestly say I will be returning to Cayo Levantado as this is the best resort in the DR.
"Dominican Republic All Inclusive Resort"
Posted by: Eric
on Aug 21, 2012 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Aug, 2012 | Business | Family and Kids
429 people found this review helpful
The best Dominican Republic All Inclusive Resort!
I went to the Gran bahia principe cayo levantado, mid-June 2012.
I loved it so much that I wanted to write a review about it.
Main Lobby Building
Boy, it was ever hot. I am not too sure if June is a bad choice.(I think it is still fine to go there in June since the price is cheaper!) As soon as landed on the ground, we can feel the heat. If you are a first time visitor, please be careful of a strange man grabbing your luggages. They don't steal your bags but they want tips. In fact, the air port is so small that you don't want to give him a tip. your bus should be right there approximately, 50m ahead and I think you can push your carrier for 20 feet. Your bus ride might not be the greatest, but you can take a nap or something or listening to the music, the time will go so fast!
Luckily, we've got a ocean view standard room. It is nice and clean. The size is huge. the king size bed is nice and hard(I love hard bed, some people don't like it though) In my opinion, you don't need to upgrade more than standard room.
Restaurants and Bars:
Don Pablo, an Italian restaurants. this one is one of the best restaurants if you are tired of buffet food although every night, the buffet menu changes. But if you want a romantic dinner with your love, you must go there, order lobster and stake called "prince and princess". It is so good. I will never forget.
Gran bahia principe cayo levantado, Dominican Republic All Inclusive Resort has a private beach as well as a public beach. You don't know how amazing to have a private beach, There is a lunch buffet(BBQ), you can drink ice cold beverage. It is so good. Oh, did I mention it is so quite and peaceful to have a private beach. Trust me. It is worth to pay.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Zipline, highly recommended. even though it is a bit expensive in my opinion, hey, you paid thousands of dollars to get here and you want to save $100? I think you should still do it.
I have tried snorkelling. It was very fun experience. I have bought, snorkelling gears, water shoes. We didn't go deeper. But you see many kinds of fish as well as star fish. you can feed them with a bread from buffet or banana. the fish will come near you and you can pet them like a dog and a cat.
"This resort far exceeded our expectations."
Ken & Lisa from Ontario on Mar 1, 2009 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2009
669 people found this review helpful
Arrival: February 23 - March 2
We arrived in Samana late morning after a smooth and uneventful flight out of Toronto. A comfortable coach bus ride lasting about 40 minutes first dropped off most of the passengers at the GBP Cayacoa and then the remaining 5 couples went on another 10 minutes to where the boat was waiting for us. Here in a separate, luxurious building we received our welcome envelopes with the room key cards, our identification bracelets, as well as a cold drink before boarding the boat. The island and hotel made a welcome and impressive sight as we approached. Once on the island, we were given cool towels to refresh, another welcome drink and and official welcome from the manager. In no time, we and our luggage were whisked away in a little buggy to our villa.
Having booked the least expensive, standard grade room, and expecting a room in the main building, we were delighted to discover that we had been upgraded to a villa suite. The oceanview from our room was probably one of the best on the island. The room was gigantic and gorgeous, with a very comfortable king size canopy bed, separate sitting area, and a huge bathroom with jacuzzi tub. There was another sitting area with couch and chair and dinette out on the terrace. The room was stocked with beach towels, bathrobes, hair dryer, any toiletry item you could possibly need, free electronic safe, umbrella (we only had one little downpour one morning, that's all),bug spray (we never saw a single bug), coffee maker (which made excellent coffee), minibar with lots of bottled water, pop, beer, liquor, even Pringles chips! (restocked daily). The room was immaculate and kept that way. Every evening, the sheets were turned back and a little box of chocolates left on the bed. One night we came back to rose petals and a lit candle! The first morning we were suprised when a large fruit tray was delivered to our room. We truly felt pampered.
Restaurants and Bars
We only ate at the buffet restaurants. Breakfast had anything you could possibly want. There was a station where you could have omelettes and eggs made to order, lots of fresh fruit and fruit juices, etc,etc. Lunch we usually ate at the beach buffet which was good, but not as good as the main buffet. Theme dinners at the buffet were all very good, lots to choose from, especially for those who enjoy seafood. We thought that the bakery breads and desserts were especially good. Drinks and wine were very good as well. The service in the restaurants and bars was the best we have experienced. Drink orders were taken and delivered to you everywhere, even on the beach!
The beaches were beautiful, sandy and very clean, although the waves were a bit rough at times for swimming. There were always plenty of chairs and shady or sunny spots to be found anywhere. It seemed as though the resort was only maybe a third full, very quiet, and relaxing. Many times it felt as though we had the place to ourselves. The pools were beautiful and clean, perfectly kept. There were canopy beds with linen curtains by both pools,as well as the chaises. You could exchange or get more clean beach towels any time as often as you wanted. The grounds were the most beautiful we've ever seen. They have left as many of the large trees as possible and landscaped the island with an incredible selection of flowering tropical plants and trees, all trimmed and tended beautifully. There are little brick roadways going up and downhill all through the island, which make going for a walk or jog truly a pleasure. That said, this resort would not really be good for someone with mobility problems.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We really enjoyed using the catamaran sailboat and sailing around the island. The boat was in great shape and there was always a good wind for sailing. They ask you to pay 5 dollars per day insurance for the catamaran or risk a much higher cost if you damage it. We also went over to the public beach a couple of times. When the cruise ships were in Samana, the public beach area was packed, and otherwise it was completely empty. The public beach is beautiful and very nice for swimming. There were also some local souvenir vendors there who had much better prices and selection than the hotel boutique. We also went on a whale watching trip about 10 kilometres out toward the ocean, which was very rough, but extremely exciting. We saw many whales and despite the huge waves, got some good photos. The day after our whale watching tour, the whales were in much closer and the boats were right out front of the resort, so we sailed over in the catamaran and joined them. We saw the whales again! We even saw them one morning in the distance when we were sitting on our terrace. Other than the whale trip, we stayed on the island and enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere. There were a few activities during the day for those who were interested, but most people seemed to be pretty happy to just relax amd enjoy the sun. There were books and magazines in many languages as well as games and beach toys that you could borrow. There was also free internet on two laptops in the lobby which were readily available. Many people brought their own laptops. The room safes are large enough to accomodate a normal size laptop.
We chose this resort based on the photos in the travel brochures, and the reviews we read here. We were a little leary at first on going back to the DR because we found in the past that a five star in the DR is not always the same as elsewhere. This resort, however, far exceeded our expectations. It was definitely the most beautiful resort and area we have ever been to. We love that this area is so untouched and undeveloped, and we hope that it stays that way. This was probably the best vacation we have had yet, and we would highly recommend this resort to anyone looking for a quiet, relaxing, and beautiful vacation.
"Most Beautiful Resort ...What More Can I Say !!!"
Sharon on Apr 21, 2010 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
825 people found this review helpful
My Husband & I along with two other Couples spent a week at the Gran Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado. It is one of the most Beautiful Resorts we have been to. A 5* for sure. No complaints!! Great Food ..Great Service and a beautiful Island. I read all of the reviews before leaving and have no idea where some of the complaints came from . We couldn't have been treated better.Would love to return again soon
We arrived April 8th ..2010
Beautiful Rooms ....4 poster beds !!! Keep very clean !
Restaurants and Bars:
We only did the Don Pablo ...It was lovely !!...Loved the Buffets!
The Best !!!
Overall Very Satisfactory!!!