Grand Paradise Samaná Reviews

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Grand Paradise Samaná  

Samana. Dominican Republic

"Strong 3 star - value for your dollar"
Posted by: Lynne  on Feb 21, 2016
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Grand Paradise Samaná Reviews
Grand Paradise Samaná Pictures and Information
Grand Paradise Samaná Las Galeras Dominican Republic

#1
of 10 Hotels in Las Galeras

User rating 3.2

Based on 26 reviews

Grand Paradise Samaná Information


Situated on the coast of Playa Las Galeras, Grand Paradise Samaná welcomes visitors to a tropical Resort where comfort is a priority and the natural beauty of the environment is everywhere.

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Grand Paradise Samaná Reviews

Grand Paradise Samaná Review: 3.2 of 5 26 reviews
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"Some Issues"

Grand Paradise Samaná
User Rating:  Grand Paradise Samaná Review: 2.00 of 5

Posted by:  Colleen  on Oct 6, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Oct, 2010 | Leisure | With friend
884 people found this review helpful

We had a two week stay at his resort. I wanted to rate this hotel a 2.5, but there are no half points on the rating system. Considering we only paid $1150 per person, we got what we paid for I suppose. The food overall is fine, but don't expect anything really familiar. We were expecting 2 a la carte restaurants and a buffet, as well as 5 bars. There were only 2 bars open and 1 buffet restauraunt during the week. The buffet converted to a la carte a couple of times during our stay. The only time all the restauraunts and bars were open were on weekends when the locals came to stay. They were served first and given preferential treatment. I can understand the staff kowtowing to them as they were probably intimidated by the demands and obnoxious behavior of these guests. First time in my life I had to literally fight to get food on my plate!
As mentioned in previous reviews, the pillows are awful so we brought our own and were grateful we did. The rooms were kept clean enough, but refills on shampoo and conditioner were non existant and hopefully you get your two water bottles in the fridge daily. There are only handtowels and and bath towels available, so bring your own faceclothes.
The ATM was broken the entire time we were there, so you have to use the one in town, not very far and a very scenic walk.
On the bright side, the resort is beautiful, as is the beach. The staff is wonderful, especially the Animation staff. They work very long hours for very little money. The shows they put on and the effort they make to entertain both kids and adults is commendable.
The highlight of our trip was the people we met and the Quad trip we took.

Arrival:
We were greeted and taken to our room in very good time.

Rooms:
Rooms are very simple, with a small fridge, one dresser, closet and a fair size bathroom

Restaurants and Bars:
When they are open, it's great. Food is much better when the locals come on the weekends.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beautiful and clean

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Lots to do

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"Not a good experience, would never go back again."

Grand Paradise Samaná
User Rating:  Grand Paradise Samaná Review: 2.00 of 5

Posted by:  Michele  on Oct 6, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) United Kingdom
Visited on: Sep, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
916 people found this review helpful

Arrival:
This was the second week of our honeymoon as we had our first week in a very beautiful hotel with no faults. On arrival at this hotel the staff were most unhelpful and could not speak English and we could not get into our room when we got there after a 3 hour taxi drive, it was pouring with rain and we did not know where to go. We eventually found the one bar that was open and waited there until our room was ready. As this was our honeymoon we should have received a basket of fruit and a bottle of Rum in our room, this never happened and our honeymoon was never acknowledged by the hotel.

Rooms:
Once in our room we were most disappointed, it was not very clean, we had ripped sheets on the bed and the towels had seen better days. Very lumpy and uncomfortable pillows. The hairdryer did not work and overnight our fridge had switched itself off and had leaked water all over the floor. The toiletries were never replenished. The only good thing about the room was that our water was refilled every day. My husband was bitten every night in bed by bugs. The bathroom ceiling was falling down and the bath plug was indescribable.

Restaurants and Bars:
There should have been 3 restaurants and 5 bars open but there was only one restaurant and two bars open our entire stay apart from our last weekend when all the locals came and they were then opened and the locals were given preferential treatment. We found while the locals were at the hotel it was impossible to get food with the rudeness of the Dominicans, they were also very obnoxious and constantly stared at you which made you feel very uncomfortable.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The pools in our opinion could have been cleaner but they were ok, there was an adult only pool and we thought we would stay by that pool the weekend the locals descended on the hotel but this was not the case as it was full of Dominicans and children which made it to not be a very relaxing time. The ground were paradise looking with the beach and palm trees but it was very difficult to find your way around and it was poorly lit all the time.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The activity staff did their very best to entertain us with a good show every evening and this was probably the best part of the holiday as they were all very friendly and made you feel welcome, they work extremely long hours for very little money and did their best for us.

Other Comments:
Our personal opinion is that this was our honeymoon, and although we had a good first week in the first hotel, we had a poor and awful time in our second week and has not given us the memories that we wanted to take away with us. This hotel was rated as a 3+ but I would give it only a 1+ and it has put us off from ever returning to the Dominican Republic again.

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"A pretty good vacation"

Grand Paradise Samaná
User Rating:  Grand Paradise Samaná Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Brenda  on Nov 20, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) 
Visited on: Nov, 2010 | Business | Family and Kids
1049 people found this review helpful

My husband and I have just returned from our one week vacation at the Grand Paradise resort in Samana, (Sam-ah-na) DR. This was our first trip to this region of the DR. It is a beautiful area. The resort is located in a small town called Las Galeras. Ten minute walk from the resort to town, 15 if you walk slowly. We have also traveled to Cuba, Mexico, Jamaica and other areas of the DR. We flew out of Halifax to Toronto, we had about an hour or so wait and then on to Samana directly. On return, we took the same route but had an overnight in Toronto. The departure tax was included in our AI package. On the way down we did have a couple of spells of turbulence due to the hurricane that had just passed the day before; the return flight was nice and smooth. We flew via West Jet Vacations. The Samana airport is pretty small and we were the only plane that arrived (that I noticed). We cleared the airport pretty fast. If you take fruit with you to eat on the flight, don’t forget to eat it. The baggage is x-rayed before you leave the airport so they will find what you forgot. The transfer from airport to hotel took between 1.5 and 2 hours (we dropped off people at another resort). The trip from the airport to resort is like a mini excursion. You get to see a lot of the area. There is road construction happening now, so the roads will be improved.

Arrival:
Check in was quick and we found the front desk staff to be friendly. Our room was ready when we arrived. No welcome drink. We were given room 1102, the first room, ground floor in the right wing of building #1. You are only given one room key (credit card type) we asked for a second and were told they only gave one for security reasons. They used to let you buy the 2nd key for $3/day, that policy has been changed and now there is no 2nd keys period! I had requested a room on the 2nd floor. I asked if we could change rooms and was told that there were none available, try tomorrow. If you want a quiet room, don’t get one in building #1. It is beside the buffet, which is beside the theatre. It gets pretty darn loud when the evening shows are on. If you want a room that is close to the pools, buffet and reception, ask for building #1. There are three types of buildings at this resort. Villas (all in a row like a motel, looked nice from the outside). Two storey and three storey buildings. The buildings closest to the reception are the two storey buildings. The villas are kind of in the middle and the three storey buildings are at the back end of the resort. The resort is spacious, everything is easily accessible.

Rooms:
The room was a good size with two double beds. We both found the mattress uncomfortably hard (no mattress pads, I guess we are getting spoiled). The room was clean, no mold, no bugs, no bad smells, no worries. There is some wear showing in the bathroom, this is to be expected. The hot water in the shower was a little tricky. You had to turn the water on and get the proper temperature before you turned the shower on. If you need to adjust it during the shower, it went to cold and you had to turn it off and start the temperature process over again. There is a sticker on the toilet seat showing you not to put your toilet tissue in the toilet, but to put it in the waste basket. The problem with this is that the waste basket does not have a lid. We put our wet paper in the basket and the other paper went in the toilet! We had a garden view from out patio that had two plastic chairs and a small plastic table. There is an in room safe (electronic, but you need to get a key for the inside of the door at reception) US$15 /week. Double closet, one phone, one bedside table, the armoire held the TV (get remote at reception) and mini fridge which was stocked with two pop and two water (it was kept stocked all week). We had a desk with three large side drawers, no clock, and great air conditioning. There were also two chairs in the room. The furniture was pretty nice and all was in good shape. The hairdryer was on its last leg. We did not need our converter for the plugs. There are several English TV channels, including movies. Beach towels were supplied. Bring your own facecloth. When in the room you put your room key in the slot beside the door to get electricity and AC. Once the key was removed the power went out in about one minute.

Weather:
Weather - we had a nice mix of sun, some clouds and a few showers. One day it rained all day, pretty hard at times we were told. We were not at the resort that day and we had sun where we were. : )

Beach:
The actual beach area is narrow but nice and long. The entry is sand except for one or two small sections. You can walk quite a way out in the water before it gets deep. The workers kept the beach clean of seaweed. No real snorkeling from the beach. There is a roped off section that you have to pay $10 to use. They take you out by boat to that spot. There were kayaks, boogey boards, and wind surfers. There is a dive shop. We had red flags all but one day and I only saw someone using the water sports equipment on the one day we had the yellow flag. There were a few vendors on the beach, nothing like Playa Dorada. They were not bothersome. Mostly jewelry, cigars, diving, and horse back riding. One guy was selling shells and another had coconuts. I didn’t see anyone with clothing or toys. No guys selling toy monkeys.

Pool:
There are two pools towards the front of the resort beside the pool bar, no swim-up bar. These two pools are side by side with a nice wide walkway between them. Both pools have nets for water volley ball. The adult’s pool is closer to the back in the Lookea section. I don’t know if the adult’s pool was being used while we were there. The only people I ever saw around it were workers. I didn’t spend much time around the pool so I don’t know if they had any activities there. The other two bars are at the beach area. One in the restaurant and the other was called the Sports Bar. There is also a bar in the buffet.

Nightly entertainment:
Nightly entertainment – They did not have a night show every night, maybe every second night. They had a beach party scheduled one evening, but it got rained out.

Food:
Food-we had no problem finding food. Breakfast - lots to choose from. Sausages, egg station, crepe station, pastries, sliced meat, cheese, fruit, cereal, etc etc. We only saw bacon one morning and I only saw yogurt three mornings. Lunch was good also. There was always something in chicken, beef, pork and fish, vegetables, rice, salads, fruit, pasta, deserts, breads and rolls. They also had something on the grill at lunch and supper. Supper – Fish, Chicken, Pork, beef, vegetables, rice, pasta, salads, fruit, etc. Great deserts. Lots of selection. Buffet food can get a little repetitious, just don’t eat the same food every day and you will be fine. They even had goat a couple of meals, maybe on Dominican themed days. One evening they were carving turkeys another pork shoulder and on another beef. We found the beef a bit chewy. At lunch you could go to the beach restaurant they always had hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, French fries, pizza, salads, some sliced ham, fruit and usually cookies for dessert. If you wanted ice cream, you had to get that at the main buffet. You booked in the main buffet for the restaurants that were located at the beach restaurant in the evening. This time of year they have the Italian on Tuesday and the Seafood on Thursday. They also have a cash menu at the restaurant if you don’t want what is on the included menu.

Internet & shopping:
There are two computers located just inside the buffet doors (between the buffet and the theatre. Not sure what they cost, never used them. Well I did once while we were waiting to speak to our travel rep. I played solitaire. No charge for that. : ) Next to the lobby in a separate building is a Market. Take a peek, lots of stuff in there if you forgot something. The town of Las Galeras is well worth the short walk. Several shops, drug store, grocery store, clinic, restaurants and local people. : )

Activities:
The activities include introductory scuba lesson in the pool, Spanish lessons, aerobics, maybe some other stuff. At the resort they have Croquet, mini golf on a grassy course, archery, table tennis, volley ball, bocce ball, and ping pong. You could rent ATV’s right at the resort. Beside the resort there was a guy with horses. This resort does offer a lot of activities if you choose to partake. We never did find the bicycles.

Excursions:
We did one excursion, to Los Haitises National Park. This is a full day trip that costs $178 for two people. We were picked up at the resort around 8:00 am. We picked up people at Bahia Principe Caya Laventado and continued on to Samana where we got on a boat. The park is located in the ocean off the coast. It was raining when we got on the boat. Everybody wore a life jacket and they also offered raincoats. When we arrived at the park, the sun was waiting for us. We motored around some islands where there were pelicans and other birds nesting in the trees. They took us to a mangrove forest and then to some caves. One of the caves we went to was the one that they filmed part of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie. There were caves drawings in that cave. If you go on this trip, bring your own flashlight. We went to another cave and then on to Barcardi Island for lunch. Lunch was a buffet lunch, rice, beans, French fries, chicken, fish, tomatoes, cucumbers, fruit and rolls. You got water or pop with lunch and if you wanted a drink, you paid $5 for that. On the boat they had water, pop and rum. We had about two hours on the island for our lunch. Some people went swimming in the rain. Oh yeah, the rain was waiting for us when we got to the island, lol. There were also vendors on the island in shops so those that had the urge could visit them. We got back to our resort around 5 pm.

Mozzies:
I didn’t notice a big problem with mozzies, but I wasn’t out a lot in the evening. I would bring bug repellant and remember to use it. Hubby had a few bites.

Resumé:
Overall, we had a pretty good vacation. I would recommend this resort to others. We probably won’t return because we like to visit other resorts. Only having one room key is a negative for us so we would not return to this resort until that policy was changed.

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"We had a great time"

Grand Paradise Samaná
User Rating:  Grand Paradise Samaná Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  gail  on Feb 25, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2011 | Leisure | With friend
1167 people found this review helpful

We flew out of Ottawa with a connecting flight from Toronto. The bus ride was long but saw the countryside which was nice. The only complaint I have about the 2 hour ride is nothing was available to drink and after a long plane flight, that would have been nice. We were anxious to get to our destination.
My friends and I had a fun time for the week we were there.

Room Number:
2205

Room Block:
facing ocean

Rooms:
The rooms were clean with a view of the ocean which I loved. Went down to get coffee in the am and brought it back to sit on the balcony and people watch for awhile. The workers cleaning up palm leaves, sunbathers heading out at 8am and the beautiful green ocean.

Restaurants and Bars:
The buffet was good but a lot of the same things daily. The beach restaurant was the same everyday with pizza, chicken, veggies, fruit etc. The burgers looked questionable as did the hot dogs. They did not offer a BBQ and got sick of the food after a week.

Bars offer domestic beer, rum, gin and many sweet drinks. Bring a large thermal cup for drinks.........they only have small plastic glasses.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Very beautiful. We spent most of our days at the beach

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We went whale watching then had lunch on an island. Was a good day

Other Comments:
Would definitely go back if there ever is a direct flight from Ottawa

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"The Pros and Cons of Grand Paradise"

Grand Paradise Samaná
User Rating:  Grand Paradise Samaná Review: 3.00 of 5

Posted by:  Jessica  on Apr 1, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
1373 people found this review helpful

Pros:
Very Nice Weather
Majority of Staff were very friendly
Spacious Rooms
Good Food

Cons:
Lady at the photo booth was very rude and she tried to ruin our vacation.
We had sand fleas in our room and nothing was really done about it.
More of a quiet resort for seniors.

Room Number:
7214

Rooms:
Spacious, but had sand fleas

Restaurants and Bars:
Food was good. Dont expect fancy drinks and no swim up bars

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
3 Pools very clean but not to large in size

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
I heard very many good things about the water fall, horse back riding and atving.

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"Amazing!"

Grand Paradise Samaná
User Rating:  Grand Paradise Samaná Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Sarah  on Apr 8, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2011 | Leisure | With friend
1347 people found this review helpful

I have to say when i arrived on this resort i was a little disapointed.. very different from other resorts ive been on.. my friend and i made our own fun and it was the best vacation ever.. as long as you meet people and the staff are generally pretty good.. Juan at the sports bar is the best to go to for drinks or you wont get anything good.. the entertainment guys are also great people.. I would recommend this resort to anybody, the people are very friendly.. Best trip ever.

Room Number:
3103

Restaurants and Bars:
The food isnt the greatest

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
well maintained

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"Boring, boring, and no bacon"

Grand Paradise Samaná
User Rating:  Grand Paradise Samaná Review: 2.00 of 5

Posted by:  Larry  on Apr 15, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
1554 people found this review helpful

We have at least 35 all inclusive vacations under our belt so we know what to expect. This hotel is one of the most beautiful we have seen. But everything stops there. The food was average at best and we never seen bacon once. The rooms are nice and clean and the staff are great. The nearby town was so small that we seen everything in less than 30 minutes and the grocery store that we bought our rum at stunk so bad I thought I was going to vomit. There were at least 2 tourists robbed at knife point on the path that goes to the town so if you plan to us this path go in large groups. A young man we met was robbed at knife point right in front of reception at 4 am. There is not much to do at this resort and we found it very boring. The young people there told us that the disco was a joke and they too found the resort boring. We have stayed at the Paridise in Puerto Plata at least 9 times and it was great so we thought this hotel owned by the same company would be the same but we were wrong. Never again !!!!

Room Number:
7108

Room Block:
7

Arrival:
April 7/11 at 1:35 pm

Rooms:
nice and clean

Restaurants and Bars:
below average

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
the most beautful we have ever seen

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
average or below

Other Comments:
Not a resort for young people. More like a retirement home.

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"What an amazing vacation...."

Grand Paradise Samaná
User Rating:  Grand Paradise Samaná Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Anita  on May 4, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: May, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
1946 people found this review helpful

Everyone needs to get a visitor pass including the baby form your flight attendant. If not it will cost you US$10 for it at the air port when you arrive. We were not given one for our baby and did not asked for it; we did not now the baby needed one so we end up having to pay for it at the air port. I was not too happy with that.

We loved how everyone always greeted you with a smile and ‘Hula!’
The staff were all wonderful.... $1 US goes a long way. The trick is to tip….

Room Number:
1136

Room Block:
1

Arrival:
Other than that, it was fast getting out and onto the bus. The ride was an hour and 20 minis to the resort. Don’t worry the bus have AC. Be prepared to have a long day. When we arrived we got throw reception fast and were in time for the buffet, which we were defiantly in need of.

Rooms:
Our room was on the 1st floor room 1136. Great location close to the buffet, bar, reception, pool and beach… Very quiet and cool. The AC was ok. It was comfortable. No mosquitoes or bugs. We found the room very good. It was very clean and spacious. They mop and clean the rooms daily. The only concern we had with the room was the mini bar, they did not full it daily...Only 2 pop and a big bottle of water is in there… Everything else was perfect.

Restaurants and Bars:
The food was good.....they had a small variety but it was tasty.... I quite enjoyed the food at lunch and dinner, we never went hungry. The breakfast was just about the same every morning. You must try the hot chocolate milk; it is out of this world delish… There is NO 24hr snack, only a 1hr midnight sandwich that ends at 1am.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach and pool was fabulous we thoroughly enjoyed both every day. The water was warm and the sand soft and wonderful. There were plenty of lounge chairs to go around and lots of shady spot. We especially loved the closeness of the beach to the hotel...it was a very short walk to the beach.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The night entertainment show was great. We truly enjoyed it. A must see….
Lots of stuff to do but we did not take part in....

Other Comments:
We went out to the towns, once to the little one near the hotel. You can take a cab for US$12 both ways as we did or walk along the beach, it is about a 5 or 10 minute walk. I would not recommend to go to this little town it is not worth it, but if you do you should go to the little supermarket there to buy your alcohols and cigars you will get the best prices and they won’t over charge you. You don’t have to barging. But if you shop at any of the other stores you MUST barging with them. We also went to the main town of Samana. It cost US$60 both ways. It is expansive, so what we did is split the cost with 2 other families and payee US$20 for each family. The cab was a mini bus that seats 12 persons. So we were all comfee… It is worth it, we were all happy we went to the town of Samana the prices are better and it was a wonderful experience. If you go you must buy your rum there it is less than 1/2 of the price. You will pay a lot more at the gift shop and air port. You must go to the town of Samana, just split the cost with others. Ask around in no time you will get a bus full. On our trip to Samana we bought mangoes US$1 for about 6 mangoes and fresh coconut water with jelly for only US$1 each. Never buy coconut off the beach it is not good. The gift shop at the hotel price is ok but you must be a wear that some of the prices are wrong and it is twice the amount when it is time to pay. It is best to bring US$ with you. You get a better rate when you exchange it. Take along a lot of US$1 with.

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"Poor santition and food safety"

Grand Paradise Samaná
User Rating:  Grand Paradise Samaná Review: 1.00 of 5

Posted by:  aaron  on Dec 24, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Dec, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
1641 people found this review helpful

Stayed at this resort December 5-19th, 2011 and was appalled that this is sold as a 4 star resort. This hotel is located in a very rural area of the DR. The local employees have very little training and understanding of customer service. Guile, arrogance and aggressiveness were the norm.

Poor food handling, many guests reported diarrhea with one guest evacuated for IV drip. Very disappointing. We ate all our meals in the village for the second week, which was expensive, although we felt much better within a day of doing so.

Poor food selection with a ten-item buffet plus salad for 1000 people. The same food every day, cooked very poorly, sometimes burnt black, always overcooked, never tasty and sometimes spoiled. Green lunch meat, rotting fish, canned sauces, decomposing salad, etc.

Poor sanitation with guests expected to use wastebaskets for used toilet paper. Poor housekeeping with no cleaning unless supervised. Poor sanitary conditions for laundry, etc. with poop-stained towels left in bathroom as "clean". Restaurant and bar dishes are washed by hand in tap water (which you cannot drink) which means they sometimes have food on them or they are greasy.

Misc. stuff: Asked front desk to change rooms because ours was too near restaurant and show stage. We were told that we have a room and the hotel doesn't change rooms for guests (even though the resort was 50% occupied). Maid banged on door in the morning until someone opened it and then reprimanded us for not using the DND sign. Boys at front desk are arrogant and aggressive; we were told that wearing the ID bracelet on our watches was not allowed and WE WERE TOLD TO CHECK OUT IMMEDIATELY but then they changed their minds when we said OK. lol

Sunwing.ca rep offered us another hotel in Puerto Plata for an additional $500 for travel or to leave the island would cost $700 pp.

I have stayed at other all-inclusive resorts in the DR and they were okay. This one has serious problems. I was just looking for a quiet 4 star resort so I could rest quietly for two weeks, not to have problems with a sub-standard resort.

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"Off my List"

Grand Paradise Samaná
User Rating:  Grand Paradise Samaná Review: 2.00 of 5

Posted by:  Tanyss  on Mar 2, 2012  >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2012 | Leisure | With friend
1623 people found this review helpful

I will never go back. I find the staff not to be very honest.

Room Number:
3231

Arrival:
Went very smoothly

Rooms:
Bungalows were very roomy and clean. All staff wanted to see the colour of your money before they granted you almost anything

Restaurants and Bars:
Food was tasteless, meat dry, tough, vegetables were over cooked and cold.
Restaurants ran out of wine a few time at the dinner hour. Ran out of coffee one morning.
Drinks flowed nicely, but staff made you feel like the were doing you a favour.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
These area's were nicely kept, well groomed and clean

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Nice places to visit and enough activities on the resort to keep one occupied

Other Comments:
Beach towel were hard to get, they seemed to be in the wash all the time.

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