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

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
Very good
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"Not a 4 staff"

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

Posted by:  Bonnie  on Mar 16, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
807 people found this review helpful

The bus trip to the resort took over 2 hours not the 40 minutes promised. The guide stopped for beer for some passengers so we had to make another "pit stop" before we arrived at the hotel. Were told that we would only get one key per room or we could pay $3.00 per day for an extra key. This is the hotel chain's policy which I feel is unsafe and an inconvience.

Your Arrival:
Arrival went smoothly but there were not enough welcome drinks for all arriving passengers.

Rooms were very clean but need upgrading. Not all the equipment worked well. You needed the key to use the ac or lights which was a problem with only one key.

Restaurants and Bars:
Food was good and plentiful. The plates in the specialty areas were hot but the food was not. You had to get up and get your own drinks as there were not enough staff. The chef in the buffet area was upset when you asked to have your meat a little more browned. Bar service was good but on the night of the pool show they left one poor bartender alone in the pool area. Also, I did not see any food tables set out on the beach as previously mentioned, there was also no food at the appointed bar during "snack time"

Beach was nice. There was a lot of seaweed in the water but the beach was cleaned daily of the seaweed. Pools were kept clean. The grounds were well maintained but there were horses so you did have to watch for their deposits. One was by our patio the first night giving us a scare. More lighting on some paths would also help.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We did not participate in any off resort activities. The activity staff on the resort were pleasant and encouraging to visitors. They work long hours and provide excellent evening entertainment

Other Comments:
I do not appreciate the tour companies fabrication of the time it takes to get to this resort - you would need a divided highway to get their in the 45-60 minutes. Was we boarded the bus to leave our guide told us we would be at the airport in 70 minutes - the whole bus laughed at him! This could be a very nice resort if it was upgraded = worth the drive!

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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
1424 people found this review helpful

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

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:

Spacious, but had sand fleas

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

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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"Strong 3 star - value for your dollar"

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

Posted by:  Lynne  on Feb 21, 2016  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2016 | Leisure | Family and Kids
980 people found this review helpful

This was our 5th time to this resort and this time we spent 2 weeks there.

Room Block:

In all the other years, check in was done on the bus but this year that did not happen. We were a small group on a small bus and so check in was very quick and efficient.

We requested rooms in block 5 for us and our friends and thanks to Norris, we were given the requested rooms. This made our 2 week stay more enjoyable for sure and the maids did a very good job every day.

Restaurants and Bars:
Our bar tender at the small pool was Cesar for the first week and he was an awesome bar tender, very friendly and most obliging. He was transferred to the sports bar during our second week and we quite enjoyed our evenings with him and the sweet young girl who was his helper. I forget her name but she always had a flower in her hair and had the biggest smile. The other half of our evening was spent with Evelin at the beach bar. She made the best drinks!! During the second half of our stay we had Luis Rodriguez at our quiet pool during the day and he was an awesome bar tender. Luis always made sure he had fresh bananas for my Banana Mama and he had a blender at that bar. Unfortunately, some of the other bars did not have a blender and I say unfortunately because we really missed spending time with Bonita at the main pool bar. In the past, Bonita was always our favourite bar tender. He was the only one who had fresh bananas in other years for my drinks and we always patronized his bar and enjoyed his professionalism. This year he had no blender and no cappuccino machine. This was really a big let down as we always enjoyed our after dinner cappuccino on the patio of the Van Burren bar. I have to say that the five bar tenders, Cesar and his female partner (whose name I forget), Luis, Evelin and Bonita were the main people who made this vacation enjoyable.

There were more severs in the buffet this year but 8 out of 10 times you had to hunt for a clean table and then get your own silverware. These are the small things that keep this resort at a 3 star. The food was always good (but not that warm) and there was always a variety. They have the best cakes for dessert every night! We did try the Seascape restaurant one night but did not find it as good as the buffet.

They have a dinner on the beach for certain people only. We flew West Jet and so were not entitled to this dinner but because our friends flew with Air Transat and they were invited, we were able to join them. The setting on the beach and dinner itself was lovely but I would think that if it were for everyone instead of a select few, there would less grumbling among the guests. I heard a lot of negative remarks from other guests about the fact that the hotel puts the dinner on only for certain airlines and, of course, no one knows of that fact until they get there and see that some people get the special dinner and some don't. If it were across the board, this would help to alleviate some of the other bothersome matters.

The towel game is played, as is usual in most resorts.

The resort is beautiful and the grounds are well kept.

They have a new addition this year - the "Select Club" We were fortunate enough to have been given a tour of that part of the resort and in my honest opinion, I think the money would have been far better spent on the resort as a whole rather than one section. This appears to have divided the guests in a not so positive manner.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
It is a 5 to 10 minute walk into Las Galeras, which is a small fishing village and we walked in many days. We also walked up to El Cabito, a restaurant/bar located on top of a cliff with a stunning view overlooking the bay. It was a good 30 minute walk but well worth it. Wear good shoes as there are a lot of stones along the way. You could take a cab if you wish.

Other Comments:
The biggest problem this time was the fact that the bars ran out of beer, rum, vodka or something every day. Not every bar was out of something at the same time but every bar was out of something at some time during the day. This is most unacceptable. This meant you had to go looking for a bar that had what you were looking for, including orange juice. The bar at the small pool served their vodka with Tang - yes Tang from a packet, so every day I had to go and round up fresh orange juice from one of the other bars for my vodka. We have never had this happen before at this resort but it certainly did cause a lot of grief amongst the guests. The bar beside the small pool served beer from a big plastic jug which they kept half cold in a cooler of ice. There was no beer dispenser. There is no way the bar tenders should have to apologize to the guests for not having beer or rum or vodka. We sure felt sorry for them.

I have to say that these situations have left us with a bad taste.

We have spent 6 weeks in total at this resort and really like the location, the grounds and the bar tenders mentioned above who go above and beyond and all the guests we meet there. The food is always very tasty and we found the variety suitable. There was bacon 1 morning only but the fresh made omelettes kinda make up for it. If bacon is your thing, take packets of pre-cooked bacon and give it to the omelette fellow and he will cook it for you. We did! I would have to say that the people who are guests at this resort are very friendly and we have made many friends over the years. We were rather disappointed this year when we could not get a cappuccino or a fresh made Banana Mama in the blender from the Von Burren bar because we so enjoyed Bonito and the fact that this resort ran out of beer and alcohol is unacceptable.

This resort is a 3 star and if you pay a 3 star price, you will get value for your dollar. The fact that they ran out of beer and alcohol has kind of taken the wind out of our sails so we will see what happens next January. If we do not go back, we will miss all our favourite bar tenders. In my opinion, they make this resort!

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"Was an OK Resort"

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

Posted by:  Norma  on Mar 23, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
1076 people found this review helpful

Your Arrival:
Air Canada arrived on time and we had no problems at the airport with luggage etc. It took us a little over 2 hours to get to the hotel. Rough road because of construction. Found the front desk was fairly efficient but some people were not shown where their rooms were and had to drag their luggage around until they found it.

Rooms were clean. The maids took time to make sure the beds had a different theme everyday and put flowers on the bed to dress it up. The bathroom fixtures were a little outdated but everything worked. We only had 1 room key and that operated the hydro as well. Not a huge deal unless you forgot to take it with you. Rooms were quiet with no noise from others.

Restaurants and Bars:
Bars were good. The bar at the beach was limited in what drinks they knew how to make but the bars at the pools were fully trained. The food at the buffet was good with a nice variety every night. The a le cartes were disappointing. The seafood one was deep fried (whole)fish that was dried out and cold. Not much choice on the salad bar. The Italian one was not a whole lot better. You had to watch the menue because there was a "free" section and a section that you had to pay for the meal. Lunch was good with lots of variety as well.

The grounds were ok. Fallen branches were not picked up and you had to watch for falling coconuts. The farm next to the resort had a habit of letting their horses graze on the resort and every now and then they would decide to run through where people were laying at the beach leaving us nice parcels on the ground. That was usually cleaned up in a timely fashion. Wild dogs also roamed the beach. There were chickens in the buffet at breakfast and lunch. They didn't harm anyone but it you weren't born on a farm you might not appreciated it. The pools were small but lively but we didn't use them. The beach itself was always full of sea weed and not very wide. Basically you had a chair up a small embankment on the grass which was ok. No cabana's but lots of palm trees for shade

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The staff got everyone interested in something and there was a variety to choose from.

We took the trip to the VIP Beach. Supposed to be one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world. It was a beautiful beach except where we had to sit. Our little section was right in front of where all the locals tied their motor boats so we couldn't get in the water there and had to look at them from our chairs. The bathrooms overflowed into the swamp behind which in turn drained into the ocean right beside where we sat. The stench almost made your stomach turn and people were walking through it. The guide we had was really great and looked after us but he wasn't too happy with me when I pointed out the sewage draining. He said it was just the swamp but it didn't take much to know it was more than swamp water. My husband and I went way down the beach to go swimming but down there you had to rent a chair just to put your towel on it. The beach is beautiful and no one lives on it in that area. I was just horrified that we paid really good money to sit in front of the boats and smell and see sewage draining into the ocean right beside where we sat.

Other Comments:
Beautiful area of Dominican. Mountains and lush foilage. Poverty was very evident though. Very few vehicles. Most people rode the motorcycle taxi, horse or walked.
I would go back again though as it was a very quiet resort and nice for relaxing.

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"Total relaxation for us and our friends -But we are not hard to please!!!"

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

Posted by:  Sherri  on Mar 16, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
1074 people found this review helpful

As everyone I read reviews, but till you experience it's your opinon is all that matters. On that note this is mine.I found the resort very tidy, green and lush. It rained for 4 days, so had sun for 3. We made due as where I live it happens too. Staff was terrific, especially Noris,Wendy(maid) and Jose(bartender).Our room was oceanview, very tidy and clean. No problem with water tons of pressure, Tv worked -yeah not many English stations but I am not there to watch it. Horses outside my patio, but security shooed them away. I like horses so that doesn't bother me as much as rude people. But I only met a few so not a big deal. I really appreciated not hearing the BOOM to BOOM music. Activities were plenty and the staff were great. They put on terrific shows in the evening.Beach was awesome and the view was for me beautiful. You can walk to the town of Las Gerlas in 10-15 mins -1 way. I made a family very happy with babyclothes I brought. Very friendly people and most grateful.

Your Arrival:
Flight was on time with AC. Quick through customs and onto the bus. 2 hour bus ride they even stopped so you could purchase beverages if you chose.
Construction was on for new waterlines, which in my view is very important for the Dominican people. We have construction on going all summer here so grin and bare it. Check in at the resort quick and yes 1 key, 2 towel keys. You go later to get TV remote and safe key ($15.00US) for the week. Had our luggage taking to our room. Tip $2.00. Now I am here so let my vacation begin, and it did.
You just can't let the little things ruin a week by dwelling on it. My saying is suck it up Buttercup!!The other alternative is just not that great...

1107 -by reception/oceanview.
2 dbl beds, mattress ok, pillows just fair. But I knew I was not going to have my memory foam mattress or pillows like home.
Fridge stocked with pop and water. Key used for lights/AC..
Patio doors and patio set.

Restaurants and Bars:
1 Buffet and 2 Al la carte. Food was plentiful I just found not hot enough for me. You make your reservations for Al la carte the same day you want it. They are right front and center as you enter the buffet.
5 bars in total. I used 3 of them. Sure like those Banana Papa's!!

3 pools in total, looked clean enough to me and I am a pool supervisor home. Could be freshly painted. Lots of chairs around and please shower before entering pool as that is where you get most of the dirt into the pool!!
Grounds very well maintained, I gave hats out to the garderners.
Beach awesone, tons of chairs/shade and sun. Bar grill there and 2 bars.
Vendors do not bother you. Though some of certain groups don't mind stripping in front of you to change into their attire. Not hardly any topless around(sorry guys), and course well those speedos (figure it out).

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Tons of activities -ping pong, pool,archery,volleyball,croquet,shuffleboard,kayaks,snorkelling,aquafit,bingo,etc,etc. Can do it or not -I prefer the not!!

Other Comments:
This resort is older but they have maintained it well and I am sure renovations will be up and coming. My husband fixed our shower and our friends -if no water pressure A)Take CLR down B.)Use toothpick to clean the water spout.. There problem solved!! If more of ya's in the room then purchase the 2nd key. Again problem solved!!
Safe -you have total control as you use your password, and if it doesn't cooperate -be nice and ask at front desk for some help. Which I did. Hint use 4 numbers not 6.

Hope this all helps you and have a very nice happy vacation as alot of people are in worse positions than us -just think of Haiti or someone ill in your life.


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"Stay away from this one unless you can speak french."

Grand Paradise Samaná
User Rating:  Grand Paradise Samaná Review: 3.50 of 5

Posted by:  Sid from Ontario  on Jan 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2009
699 people found this review helpful

Arrival: Dec 29/08 to Jan 5/09
This is a summary of how our day went when we arrived at Grand Paradise Samana Dominican Republic,

-2 hour drive from airport ,not 45 minutes as advertised

-arrived at Grand Paradise at 2:30 pm,told room not ready until 3pm

-returned at 3pm room still not ready ,back at 5 pm still not ready

-in room at 5:30 pm

-no bedding in room,no towels, told coming soon!

-had supper,back at front desk at 7 pm no bedding available, told soon

-Back at front desk at 10 pm seen manager and got bedding for 1 of 2 beds

-no lights or fixtures on top floor, hallways very dark and unsafe

-no hair dryer,iron,telephone or smoke detectors in room

-our garden view room overlooked a tin utility shed

-3 out of 5 in our group got sick and only ate and drank from resort

-on our last day they didn't even give us a wake up call we asked for,they even wrote it down in their book !! (no phone and no one knocked on door)

We were told by the front desk that they were overbooked and did not have the stuff to make up the rooms in that building.I talked to other people in that building and they were in the same position as well

Restaurants and Bars:
food in restaurants was good all around with a good variety

the beaches were cleaned daily and pools and the grounds were well kept,lots of chairs so you dont have to reserve early to get one.

Other Comments: this resort is very nice but is focused on the "lookea" club which is all french speaking and the staff was not interested in dealing with English speaking guests,so stay away from this one unless you can speak french

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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
2038 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:

Room Block:

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.

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.

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 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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"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
1098 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.

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.

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 - 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. : )

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.

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-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. : )

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.

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.

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.

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
1221 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:

Room Block:
facing ocean

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.

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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"Very family friendly."

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

Posted by:  Marion from BC  on Feb 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009
657 people found this review helpful

Arrival: Jan 16 - 19
We drove from visiting Dominican family so although the distance from various airports may not be so far the roads are really poor - and this hotel is right at the end of the roads so don't be upset if it ends up being a long drive

Really liked the rooms - they looked recently renovated and loved the decks so we could sit out and enjoy the night (and we didn't pay for any special view). My parents and in-laws had mobility issues and front desk upgraded to ocean view rooms to allow them easier access as well as keeping us all in the same building (and we hardly had to ask). First room the A/C didn't work so they moved my parents right away.

Restaurants and Bars:
All restaurants and bars were good but one bartender didn't smile ever - we tipped him anyways considering the poor guy got stung a bunch of times making drinks and the service was fine - just not with a smile - but everywhere else (restaurants and buffets) was terrific

Loved the kiddy pool - had various depths and my kids LOVED it. there is a special area for French and Swiss I believe but we never went there and the very small animation staff (dominican) were awesome anyways so why would we care?

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
No but animation team (including kids club) were professional and awesome - really LOVED the step aerobics on the beach (and I am not a step person) - burned some calories and with an amazing view - better than other places that have "water aerobics" and its just party games - actually got 1-2 workouts a day and REALLY appreciated that (am a fitness instructor myself), also night time shows were with the small staff and they made them fun and entertaining

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