Isla Cayo Levantado - Samaná - Dominican Repúblic.
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.
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"BEAUTIFUL ISLAND & BEACH ....ruined by cheap management"
Dan from AB on Jan 10, 2010 >
Visited on: Dec, 2009 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
761 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 ---------------------
"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
675 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.
"This resort far exceeded our expectations."
Ken & Lisa from Ontario on Mar 1, 2009 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2009
648 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.
"A very friendly and quiet resort."
Laurica & Gord from Saskatchewan on Feb 1, 2009 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009
638 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.