Bahia Principe Punta Cana Reviews

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Bahia Principe Punta Cana  

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

"Awful service and dirty "
Posted by: Michelle on Jun 6, 2017
see all reviews

Bahia Principe Punta Cana Reviews
Bahia Principe Punta Cana Pictures and Information
Bahia Principe Punta Cana Punta Cana-Bavaro Dominican Republic

#11
of 80 Hotels in Punta Cana-Bavaro

User rating 3.4

Based on 45 reviews

Bahia Principe Punta Cana Information


Gran Bahía Príncipe Punta Cana is set above a beach of white sand, with 500 m of beach front. It extends over 500,000 m² and has numerous tropical gardens and gorgeous walking paths refreshed with the soft sea breezes and natural surroundings.

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Bahia Principe Punta Cana Reviews

Bahia Principe Punta Cana Review: 3.4 of 5 45 reviews
Excellent
  14
Very good
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Average
  5
Poor
  5
Terrible
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"Tremendous value for the price"

Bahia Principe Punta Cana
User Rating:  Bahia Principe Punta Cana Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Bob  on Apr 22, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
767 people found this review helpful

We just returned from a week at the Bahia Principe Bavaro/Punta Cana as the two resorts are interchangeable. We've been to the Punta Cana area nine times, stayed at the Riu Palaces, Iberostar Bavaro, Grand Palladuim Bavaro and Secrets Excellence. The Bahia was as good as any of those but cheaper. As is written in many of the reviews, this place is gigantic which gave us the only negative aspect, too many people and this was the beginning of a lower season. They handled the crowds very well, we never had to wait for anything, we just prefer less crowds. The resort is huge and that eats up some time to get around. The trains were excellent, 1 or 2 minute waits at most. However, we love to walk so this was a great advantage for us. The food in general was as good as the other resorts I mentioned and better than most.
In summary, if you don't mind lots of people and want a great value for the price you pay, go to Bahia.

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"* The resort is absolutely beautiful and spotlessly clean."

Bahia Principe Punta Cana
User Rating:  Bahia Principe Punta Cana Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Debbie  on Nov 1, 2004  >  34 contribution(s) 
Visited on: Nov, 2004
804 people found this review helpful

November 6 – 13, 2004

We flew Air Transat out of Toronto. We purchased the Club Transat upgrade, and it is well worth it. The upgrade gives you big seats, with a separate checkin at both airports. Your luggage is given priority, first off the plane. You are allowed twice the baggage allowance as well! Whereas with the cutbacks regular passengers are just given a sandwich, and you have to pay for snacks and anything you want to drink except water, tea and coffee, with Club Transat you have unlimited drinks, a menu with 4 dinner choices, free snacks, free headphones, etc. The flight staff were excellent. I only wish they had better flight times to Punta Cana. We didn’t leave until 4 in the afternoon, making for a late arrival in Punta Cana, and the return flight didn’t leave until 10:30 at night, getting us into Toronto around 2 a.m. (although our return flight did leave half an hour early). A long day, particularly if you can’t get late checkout at your hotel.

We arrived in Punta Cana in a thunderstorm, and had to circle for about 15 minutes before being able to land, then wait for them to bring a shuttle out to the plane to take us to the terminal. When we got to the terminal building there were, as usual, two girls and a photographer waiting to take your picture. We “by-passed” this, as did many others, and went quickly through customs. Our luggage was first off and we were out of the airport in 15 minutes. There are porters waiting to take your baggage as you exit the airport, it is easiest to just let them take it and give them a few dollars. A $24.00 U.S. cab ride and we arrived at Bahia Principe Punta Cana. It is about half an hour from Punta Cana Airport.

Location:
Bahia Principe Punta Cana is located in the northern part of Punta Cana, just north of the Riu Hotels. Along the beach it is about a 10 minute walk to the Riu Hotels. If you walk north on the beach, it is about a 20 minute walk to Grand Paradise and Superclubs Breezes. The “Astron” wreck is offshore, right in front of the hotel.

Bahia Principe Punta Cana opened in June 2004 and is comprised of 708 junior suites. Its sister hotel, Bahia Principe Bavaro, opened on November 6 and has 540 junior suites. It has its own lobby, and is pretty much a mirror image of the Bahia Principe Punta Cana. As you walk down the main pathway from lobby to beach, Bahia Principe Punta Cana is on the right and Bahia Principe Bavaro is on the left. They each have their own buffet restaurant, Japanese restaurant and Gourmet Restaurant, with the same food. The Italian, Grill, Mexican and Seafood Restaurants are shared by both hotels. So if you’re laying awake at night trying to decide which one to stay at, it really doesn’t matter, both offer the same facilities. By the end of our stay there both hotels were fully booked. Due to the layout of the hotel and the many pools and restaurants, it never seemed to be crowded.

A third deluxe hotel, Bahia Principe Premier, with 288 suites, is scheduled to open on December 23, and is located in front of the Bavaro section, and is furthest from the beach.

Check-In:
Checkin is at 3 p.m., checkout is 12 noon If you have an early flight into Punta Cana, you may have to wait a while for your room to be ready. Late checkouts may be available (at an extra charge) if you have a late flight going home. They put your luggage in a locked room off the lobby and you can have access to it during the day. If you have made charges to your room, you can pay in U.S. dollars or pesos. Ask what the exchange rate is…we had charges for some local phonecalls we made, which came to 121 pesos, and when I said I wanted to pay in U.S., he told me it was $7….not. I questioned this and he revised that to $5, which was still a bit high, I think they round up to the nearest dollar.

We were the only ones checking in at 10:30 p.m., so it went fairly quickly once they located our reservation. We were given wristbands, towel cards, a map of the resort and our room key card (only 1). I enquired about the in-room safe and was told to come back in the morning to arrange it. Remote for the TV is in the room. The bellboy took us in a golf cart to our room, with our luggage, which was in Building 5, the Club Golden section. We then realized we had the wrong bracelets on, they hadn’t given us the Club Golden bracelets, which are gold. Pat also discovered he didn’t have his jacket containing his glasses, etc. We called the front desk and were assured that if it was found it would be taken to Guest Services and we could check with them the next morning. We decided to go back and check for it ourselves and a bellboy told us they had found the jacket and it was in guest services, which unfortunately was closed by that time, but we picked it up the next morning. While there we also made a quick trip to the lobby store, just as it was closing, where we bought milk to keep in our room for coffee in the morning, and a big bottle of water, as they had not filled our mini bar prior to our arrival and it only contained two bottles of pop.

The resort is very large, and trams run from one end to the other on a regular basis. We took the tram sometimes, but it was a pleasant walk. It only takes about 15 minutes to walk from the lobby right down to the beach. There are umbrellas in the rooms to use when it’s raining, as the walkways are not covered.

Monday morning we awoke to blue skies and a hot sunny day. Had I known this was going to be the best weather of the week, I would have spent more time in the sun, I was trying not to overdo it on the first day! Unfortunately the weather was not good during our vacation. It rained a lot, both during the day and in the evening, and even when not raining it was very overcast and windy. If we saw the sun peeking through, we’d head for the beach. We still managed to spend quite a bit of time at the beach, though. This weather is very unusual for the Dominican Republic. I see from the forecasts that the weather is better there now.

Photos: http://community.webshots.com/album/223981719qlUyzp

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"* The resort is absolutely beautiful and spotlessly clean."

Bahia Principe Punta Cana
User Rating:  Bahia Principe Punta Cana Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Debbie  on Nov 1, 2004  >  34 contribution(s) 
Visited on: Nov, 2004
804 people found this review helpful

November 6 – 13, 2004

We flew Air Transat out of Toronto. We purchased the Club Transat upgrade, and it is well worth it. The upgrade gives you big seats, with a separate checkin at both airports. Your luggage is given priority, first off the plane. You are allowed twice the baggage allowance as well! Whereas with the cutbacks regular passengers are just given a sandwich, and you have to pay for snacks and anything you want to drink except water, tea and coffee, with Club Transat you have unlimited drinks, a menu with 4 dinner choices, free snacks, free headphones, etc. The flight staff were excellent. I only wish they had better flight times to Punta Cana. We didn’t leave until 4 in the afternoon, making for a late arrival in Punta Cana, and the return flight didn’t leave until 10:30 at night, getting us into Toronto around 2 a.m. (although our return flight did leave half an hour early). A long day, particularly if you can’t get late checkout at your hotel.

We arrived in Punta Cana in a thunderstorm, and had to circle for about 15 minutes before being able to land, then wait for them to bring a shuttle out to the plane to take us to the terminal. When we got to the terminal building there were, as usual, two girls and a photographer waiting to take your picture. We “by-passed” this, as did many others, and went quickly through customs. Our luggage was first off and we were out of the airport in 15 minutes. There are porters waiting to take your baggage as you exit the airport, it is easiest to just let them take it and give them a few dollars. A $24.00 U.S. cab ride and we arrived at Bahia Principe Punta Cana. It is about half an hour from Punta Cana Airport.

Rooms:
This resort is all junior suites, in 2 and 3-storey buildings (no elevators). Due to the layout of the resort, few rooms appeared to have an actual full ocean view. We were in building 5, a 2-storey building, in Room 5208, and if we looked to the right from our balcony we could see the ocean in the distance. It was actually a pretty good location.

All the rooms are the same. The Club Golden upgrade puts you in a section closer to the beach, but the room is the same as the others. Rooms are large and nicely decorated, and have two double or 1 king-size bed, and a seating area with couch, table and chairs. Rooms have a telephone, coffee-maker, clock-radio with alarm, satellite TV (19”) with a lot of English stations (network channel NBC, cartoon channels, CNN, movie channels, sports channels, etc.) and balcony or patio. There is a full bathroom with Jacuzzi tub and shower, hairdryer, and makeup mirror. You also get a few extra goodies like razors and toothbrushes in the basket of amenities, as well as shampoo, bath gel, body lotion, shower cap, etc. There is a mini fridge stocked daily with 2 bottles of water, 2 Pepsi, 2 Seven-up, 1 Diet Pepsi, some apple juice, and 2 Presidente beer. If you want more of something, leave a note and a tip in the fridge, and you’ll get whatever you want. We always asked for extra water, as it is impossible to get bottled water elsewhere in the resort unless you buy it. If you ask for it at a bar, they give it to you in a glass.

In the Club Golden rooms you also have two beach towels, you can use your towel cards to get 2 more if you want them. There are also bathrobes, and an umbrella. There was no iron in the room, but you can request one from housekeeping. I take my own travel iron with me, that way I don’t have to worry about tracking one down if I need it. With the humidity down there, things don’t get that wrinkled anyway – just hang them up for a while. Electricity in the DR is the same as North America, and our plugs fit the outlets just fine. I believe turn-down service at night is another feature of Club Golden, but we only received this on the last night. Perhaps we had the Do Not Disturb sign out when they had come other nights?

Maximum occupancy in the rooms is 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children. Rooms with connecting doors to the next room are available. They also have some handicap rooms available, as well as highchairs and cribs for children. If you’re traveling with small children I would suggest you bring a stroller.

Maid service was very good, our room was always cleaned by noon. Suggest you pack a washcloth or two, we had them most days, but sometimes the maid didn’t leave any. We left a $2 tip each day for the maid. The whole resort is spotless!

The air-conditioning went out on Thursday, and was out for two days. To fix it they had to dig up the area in front of the hotel entrance, and seemed to be working pretty much around the clock to fix the problem, lots of heavy equipment and noise. Because the weather was overcast and not really hot, it wasn’t any particular hardship not having air conditioning, at least in my opinion. I didn’t even really notice it wasn’t working until Thursday night.

Staff here is very friendly, always ready with an “Hola” as they pass you. Key employees all speak excellent English, some of the staff do not speak much English. Remember you are in a Spanish-speaking country and take the time to learn a few phrases in Spanish, they appreciate it.

Bars and Drinks:
Pat is not a drinker, and I drink mostly white wine. I didn’t find their house wine too bad. I tried a few daiquiris which were pretty good, except they were never the same twice. They seem to have some international liquors available in the all-inclusive, others such as Beefeater gin, Canadian Club, Chivas, Black Label, Absolut vodka, Bailey’s, Grand Marnier, etc. are available at an extra cost of between 140 and 300 pesos ($5 to $10) – pretty pricey. Presidente beer is the only beer they have. The a la carte restaurants also have a wine list if you want to purchase a bottle of wine with your meal.

Restaurants
All restaurants (except for the beach snack bar) are air-conditioned and non-smoking. Men must wear long pants in the a la carte restaurants at dinner, they can wear shorts to the buffet.

If you are in Club Golden, you can make 4 reservations at a la carte restaurants during the week. Otherwise you can only make 3 reservations for the week. We chose to make reservations at the Japanese Restaurant, Italian Restaurant, Grill Restaurant, and Gourmet Restaurant. There is also a Mexican restaurant and Seafood restaurant we did not try.

There is a main buffet restaurant in the lobby area, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
It is open from 7 to 10:30 a.m. for breakfast, 1 – 3:30 p.m. for lunch, and 7 – 10 p.m. for dinner. (would have been nice if it opened a little earlier for lunch and dinner. 7 p.m. is late for some, especially those with small children). A smaller buffet for breakfast and lunch is also served in the Seafood Restaurant near the pool and beach. Food here is the same as what is served in the main buffet restaurant, just on a smaller scale (ie. At breakfast it is all buffet, they do not have a cook there to make eggs, etc. for you). We ate breakfast here a few days, but usually went to the main buffet for the freshly-cooked eggs. The pre-made scrambled and fried eggs tended to be cool in both restaurants, as were the hash-browns. The Seafood restaurant was our favourite place for lunch.

Overall, I thought the buffet food was excellent. There was a large choice and always something I liked, and things I hadn’t previously seen at buffets, like Caesar salad and fajitas. They also had my favourite, fried eggplant. And my favourite desert here, oddly enough, was Jello! And of course, pineapple. Cheesecake was good too.

There is also a snack bar with tables and wait service for drinks located by the pool, where they serve hamburgers, hotdogs, French fries, nachos and cheese, chicken, pizza, etc. This is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

There is a limited room service menu. We didn’t try this. It is available from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Photos: http://community.webshots.com/album/223981719qlUyzp

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"* The resort is absolutely beautiful and spotlessly clean."

Bahia Principe Punta Cana
User Rating:  Bahia Principe Punta Cana Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Debbie  on Nov 1, 2004  >  34 contribution(s) 
Visited on: Nov, 2004
804 people found this review helpful

November 6 – 13, 2004

We flew Air Transat out of Toronto. We purchased the Club Transat upgrade, and it is well worth it. The upgrade gives you big seats, with a separate checkin at both airports. Your luggage is given priority, first off the plane. You are allowed twice the baggage allowance as well! Whereas with the cutbacks regular passengers are just given a sandwich, and you have to pay for snacks and anything you want to drink except water, tea and coffee, with Club Transat you have unlimited drinks, a menu with 4 dinner choices, free snacks, free headphones, etc. The flight staff were excellent. I only wish they had better flight times to Punta Cana. We didn’t leave until 4 in the afternoon, making for a late arrival in Punta Cana, and the return flight didn’t leave until 10:30 at night, getting us into Toronto around 2 a.m. (although our return flight did leave half an hour early). A long day, particularly if you can’t get late checkout at your hotel.

We arrived in Punta Cana in a thunderstorm, and had to circle for about 15 minutes before being able to land, then wait for them to bring a shuttle out to the plane to take us to the terminal. When we got to the terminal building there were, as usual, two girls and a photographer waiting to take your picture. We “by-passed” this, as did many others, and went quickly through customs. Our luggage was first off and we were out of the airport in 15 minutes. There are porters waiting to take your baggage as you exit the airport, it is easiest to just let them take it and give them a few dollars. A $24.00 U.S. cab ride and we arrived at Bahia Principe Punta Cana. It is about half an hour from Punta Cana Airport.

Photos: http://community.webshots.com/album/223981719qlUyzp

Was this review helpful?   Yes Thank you for giving us your opinion.

"* The resort is absolutely beautiful and spotlessly clean."

Bahia Principe Punta Cana
User Rating:  Bahia Principe Punta Cana Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Debbie  on Nov 1, 2004  >  34 contribution(s) 
Visited on: Nov, 2004
804 people found this review helpful

November 6 – 13, 2004

We flew Air Transat out of Toronto. We purchased the Club Transat upgrade, and it is well worth it. The upgrade gives you big seats, with a separate checkin at both airports. Your luggage is given priority, first off the plane. You are allowed twice the baggage allowance as well! Whereas with the cutbacks regular passengers are just given a sandwich, and you have to pay for snacks and anything you want to drink except water, tea and coffee, with Club Transat you have unlimited drinks, a menu with 4 dinner choices, free snacks, free headphones, etc. The flight staff were excellent. I only wish they had better flight times to Punta Cana. We didn’t leave until 4 in the afternoon, making for a late arrival in Punta Cana, and the return flight didn’t leave until 10:30 at night, getting us into Toronto around 2 a.m. (although our return flight did leave half an hour early). A long day, particularly if you can’t get late checkout at your hotel.

We arrived in Punta Cana in a thunderstorm, and had to circle for about 15 minutes before being able to land, then wait for them to bring a shuttle out to the plane to take us to the terminal. When we got to the terminal building there were, as usual, two girls and a photographer waiting to take your picture. We “by-passed” this, as did many others, and went quickly through customs. Our luggage was first off and we were out of the airport in 15 minutes. There are porters waiting to take your baggage as you exit the airport, it is easiest to just let them take it and give them a few dollars. A $24.00 U.S. cab ride and we arrived at Bahia Principe Punta Cana. It is about half an hour from Punta Cana Airport.

Photos: http://community.webshots.com/album/223981719qlUyzp

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"Den Den and Family - The esmeralda was a delightful experience."

Bahia Principe Punta Cana
User Rating:  Bahia Principe Punta Cana Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Dennis  on Dec 7, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
976 people found this review helpful

We stayed with our family at the Esmeralda resort which is part of the Bahia Principe groupd of resorts. Our resort was very nice and the stay was pleasant.

Arrival:
Arrival was a little confusing since the Esmeralda does not accomodate the bus that takes you from the ariport. You must get off the bus and load your luggage on a wating cart to shuttle you to the resort check in. Check in was quik and we were soon on the beach with our family.

Rooms:
Rooms are nice and the maides keep it very clean. No complaints there.

Restaurants and Bars:
We went to a few a la carts and they werer OK for food. The only a la cart I really enjoyed was the italian. The food selection at the Buffet is OK I guess. I have stayed at other resorts that had a much larger election but that's just me. The food was OK but not great.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach is good and the pools are nice. I really wish people would atop running out at 7:00am in morning to claim their spots. This is very annoying since we saw one set of towels on some chaors all day and no one showed up to even use them. Hey...there are other pople who could use the spot doe heads!

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"Beautiful resort but takes a few days to get your bearings."

Bahia Principe Punta Cana
User Rating:  Bahia Principe Punta Cana Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  jody  on Apr 19, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
725 people found this review helpful

Arrived at 09:30 am and proceeded to check in. The desk was very busy but a rep from Signature Vacations - the copmany we booked with passed out envelopes with out info and arm bracelets for the week. We were told we could not go to our rooms until 3PM but could use the resort facilities and eat at the beach restaurant. Everything was very clean and the grounds were beautiful. We were told to meet at 09:30 the next moring for more information from our tour rep. This meeting was quite useless as the accent was too thick and we could not hear what he was saying. We found overall that the staff had problems communicating in English but were much better in Spanish and French. The rooms were very clean and well appointed. Beach chairs could be reserved by placing your beach towel on the chairs and this could be done up to 9 am or so. After this time the chairs are all taken. Evening shows were well posted and quite good considering resort staff were uesd. Beware of the water drains at night as several people including us tripped and fell. The swimming pools were very nice and always clean. The beach was very busy and seemed to always too windy for our taste. Overall, our week was very enjoyable and we had a great vacation. If I consider an all inclusive vacation in the future I would perfer a smaller resort as this one was very busy.

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"Two reasons for a Four Star rating"

Bahia Principe Punta Cana
User Rating:  Bahia Principe Punta Cana Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Kayne  on Feb 5, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
756 people found this review helpful

Recently back from the Bahia and will keep this short.

Your Arrival:
Arrival was a pleasant surprise, rather than stand in line at the front desk we were escorted to take a seat and brought a cold drink. The receptionist came to us to check us in. Before our departure we had written the resort telling them that we were repeat guests, we asked for any available upgrades but didn't know what we would get. Well, at first it didn't seem like we would be getting anything but then a second lady from the front desk came over, confirmed who we were and then proceeded to cut off our bracelets and replace them with the VIP ones! Wow, we were spoiled every where we went. Not that manners and some small tips hurt but still amazing.

Rooms:
The room was huge and gorgeous. The only issue I had was that the shower would keep cutting out almost as if there wasn't enough water pressure to keep it flowing. We were on the third floor though. Oh yeah, one morning while enjoying my coffee while waiting for my sister to get ready to go, a man came around the corner from the next balcony onto ours to clean cobwebs from the ceiling! Good thing I had on the bathrobe, LOL!! He took me quite by surprise! Dangerous too, the rooms must have 10ft ceilings.

Restaurants and Bars:
All excellent. Had one piece of fish that was undercooked (out of 30 so that's not bad.) Garden Grill had the best steak I've had in a long time, yummy.
Here comes bad point number one: the liquor was all watered down! I'm not that big a drinker but it still really bothered me, a lot. Tried ordering doubles but even that didn't cut it.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Spectacular everywhere.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Did one catamaran tour, basically a snorkel booze cruise. Had a blast. Not the best snorkelling I've done, there was another boat out at the same time and it was way too crowded to try and see any fish. When I went away from the group out on my own, I got called back closer. Oh well, their rum wasn't watered down.

Other Comments:
Here comes bad point number two: the resort was too big. Didn't like meeting people and then not seeing them again for the entire week we were there. Beach too crowded.
Amazing staff, polite and courteous.
Wouldn't go back because of the liquor or size.

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"Lovely but crowded"

Bahia Principe Punta Cana
User Rating:  Bahia Principe Punta Cana Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Marc  on Feb 15, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
900 people found this review helpful

We spent two weeks at the Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana. This resort is large and confusing at first as it is actually four resorts in one with about 7000 guests. It took me a couple of days to figure it out then I was fine. The most confusing thing is that the reception areas for the Punta Can side and the Bravaro side are mirror images. We only went on one excursion which was to Santo Domingo. It was a 14 hr day but quite interesting.
First the good:
-Beautiful, clean beach, great sand
-lovely clean, clear ocean with moderate ways, great to play in
- clean, well maintained grounds
-clean rooms, NO mustiness, good, strong A/C
-two weeks of great weather, only a couple of evening and one small morning showers
-nice main lobby bar
- the Japanese restaurants and the BBQ
- the service at the a la carte’s
- frequent trolley service
-no upset tummies!!
-clean pools
Now the average:
-the food; other than the Japanese and BBQ restaurants,
-room décor
-landscaping
-service
And the bad:
-resort is way too big!
-beach is very crowded. If you’re not down there by 7 am to claim a spot you won’t get a palapa
-rude people on the beach (maybe because of crowding??). We had people try to move under our palapa sometimes even if just one of us moved out into the sun. Conversely, we had people park themselves so close to the palapa on occasion the it made it difficult to move into the sun.
-buffet restaurants were extremely noisy. Not because of kids, but because of the design and loud staff.
-not enough beach bars and no staff serving drinks on the beach. It needs some small beach bars where you can sit in the shade, have a cool one and visit
-a lot of the people there, guests and some staff, seemed quite unfriendly. Not nearly the number of friendly greetings or Hola’s that we normally hear in the DR.

This resort is very popular with French Canadians which probably accounted for 60% of the people with the rest from the US, the rest of Canada, and Europe. I would only recommend this resort if you like being around a lot of people.
All this being said we still had a wonderful vacation and will return to Punta Cana, but to a smaller resort.

Room Block:
24

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"Huge Resort - Excellent Service"

Bahia Principe Punta Cana
User Rating:  Bahia Principe Punta Cana Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Peter  on May 9, 2013  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2013 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
1505 people found this review helpful

The Ambar is one of many resorts in One BIG resort. I was looking at the various resorts and their ratings on Trip Advisor and on Bahia website. The impression I had was that each resort is separate. After my trip I realized that this in fact is not the case at all. Furthermore, when you visit and stay on your little resort, you will miss many other activities that go on. The best way to explain this is when my wife and I walked the properties of Bahia Principe we found them to be like boroughs and that each borough has a Main hall where the guests of that particular borough can check in, get guest services, help and have access to other specific services and tours. We suggest you take a walk, a ride on the little trolley trains and get to know the shopping, casino, and theaters at the Bavaro (if you are not staying there).

To fully understand the resort and to get a heads up before your vacation, I have made a video explaining the complete resort and posted it on YouTube.

YouTube Video at http://youtu.be/BYLkRjYpdjk

Would I Go Back?

Yes and no. It was clean and had everything with respect to beach, pool, dining and drinking (all you can drink).

My wife and I do not drink anymore and eat very healthy so we will be looking for resorts that offer more activities such as archery, horseback riding, arts and crafts etc...

But in conclusion, there was nothing that happened that would keep us from going back, especially if a bunch of friends were to go.

Room Number:
forgot

Room Block:
forgot

Arrival:
We travelled with Air Transat and they took care of the connections and orientation.

Rooms:
Facilities:

We found the rooms, grounds and all things extremely clean and well kept. After visiting the other resorts, the Ambar is the most luxurious, especially because of some of the added features that their guests have and the other resort guests do not have. An example of this is that the AMBAR guests can eat out at any restaurant every night that they are there (reservations required) while the other resorts allow only 3 night out per week and the balance must be in one of the many buffet style restaurants either on the beach or in the main lobby entrance area.

Restaurants and Bars:
Food:

We found the food from good to great depending at which restaurant or buffet that you visit. As you will see from the video, this place is HUGE! So the challenge of preparing food that everyone likes is in my opinion almost impossible. For example, we had reservations to a fine Italian Restaurant one night. The menu offered many wonderful choices from stuffed fillets to pasta and more. However, we noticed the people next to us ordered a Pizza? So as you can see, they have to cater to all types of appetites and they seem do it well. In fact, my wife and I eat very healthy at home (Green Smoothies, no wheat, red meat etc...) and we were worried that we would get sick. That was not the case at all! In fact we did not even gain a pound. Additionally at the Ambar, there is also 24-hour room service.

With all that said, the restaurants that take reservations offer a fairly good meal but because there are so many people to serve and to sit every evening, the meals are rushed and served quickly, almost head spinning quick. For example, at the Japanese restaurant, we had reservations for 7:15 and as we sat down the waiter took our order. The soup arrived within a minute and the sushi plates about three minutes thereafter. By 8:00 we were done? That is a little quick. I have had better Miso Soup but the sushi was great!

We found the water is safe to drink and their food cleanliness is excellent. When entering any dining place, there was always a woman to greet you and you had to have disinfectant cream squirted on your hands before you entered the restaurant. I do not think that people have to worry about getting food sickness other than eating and drinking too much.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beach and Pool:

Remember that the AMBAR is for adults only so the guests from other resorts cannot enter but the AMBAR guests can go everywhere. So there are no children at the pool or on the beach directly in front of the AMBAR.

We thought the beach was one of the nicest we had seen and the pools are lovely. There was white plenty of white sand on the beach and huge pools with sit in bars and so on. We are not the type to sit around in the sun at the pool side or the beach, but we did notice the towel reservation game that happened every morning between 8:00 to 8:30 whereby people would place their towels to reserve a lounge chair on either the beach or pool.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Excursions:

We did the Dolphin Adventure and a Snorkeling Adventure. I have videos available for both if you are interested in planning a similar trip. Both trips were fun and we did not experience and problems at all. Remember to bring water and sunscreen!

Dolphins - http://youtu.be/ZbLMFe0kAGE
Snorkeling - http://youtu.be/U0x1ztGeTo4

Other Comments:
The Staff:

Obviously most of the staff speaks Spanish with little or no English except for the waiters. However, we found that they were all very friendly, professional and helpful. We speak French and English but wish we spoke Spanish to better interact with the staff and locals.

Tipping:

You are expected to tip and tips are much appreciated. For example, I spoke to a guest services representative one evening who told me that she was a student from Costa Rica and was completing her education program by working there FOR FREE for six months to get experience. They host her in a small room with 6 other women. So you can imagine how she would appreciate a few extra dollars. Generally I was tipping about 5.00 USD each meal and personally gave it to the waiter or server who provided me with the service. Additionally, I had brought baseball cards (new in small packs) and handed those out for tips as well since they really like baseball in Punta Cana.

Videos: http://youtu.be/BYLkRjYpdjk

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"Pluses outnumbered the minuses"

Bahia Principe Punta Cana
User Rating:  Bahia Principe Punta Cana Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Ronald  on Feb 27, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Feb, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
942 people found this review helpful

This resort is huge. It is clean, well maintained and beautiful. The staff were always friendly, smiling and courteous. The room we had was very nice with appealing decor in my opinion, though the safe nor the alarm clock worked and we had a 15 inch color TV.

Because of its size getting around takes a fair amount of walking or waiting for a tram. We were at this resort for 6 days and were never able to eat ala carte because we had not made reservations before we left home. Don't worry you not go away hungry.

The beach is beautiful with a few topless women which no one seemed to mind or pay attention to. People stake out their chairs by 8 AM and then don't show up until noon. This is kind of peeve that takes place everywhere.
The nightly shows were Ok but don't waste your time with "Black Theatre". By the end of the performance 50% of the audience had gotten up and left.

We came for the weather and in that regard we were not disappointed. Sunny and mid 80's everyday.

Everything was not perfect but the good far outweighed anything negative and we would recommend staying here.

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"Nice Resort"

Bahia Principe Punta Cana
User Rating:  Bahia Principe Punta Cana Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Sonja  on Dec 16, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Dec, 2010 | Leisure | With friend
803 people found this review helpful

This was my 4th visit to Punta Cana and the 2nd time to a Bahia chain resort. We stayed in the Mayan at the Akumal. I would rate the Gran Bahia PC at a 4 1/2 star.

Check-in was done in the lobby sitting down as a group. We arrived at 12:30 and our room was ready at about 2pm. We enjoyed a very nice lunch at the buffet.

Our room was the standard Bahia room....very clean and well looked after all week by our maid. The trolleys run up and down the middle of the resort from the lobby to the beach but the walk only takes about 7 minutes.

We had made our a la carte reservations before arriving by email and so we stopped into Guest Services to pick up our papers and reserve for the beach buffet. The Japanese Restaurant was excellent! Everyone is at a cooking show table and then you are moved to another table for dessert. The Steak House was also a great choice with very tender steaks! We found the choices at the buffet to be very good. Each night was a different theme eg. Sea Food, Asian, Italian etc... our wait staff was very friendly and effecient. We went to the lobby bar in the evenings and the bartenders were great. Not the variety of shots that we are use to in Mexico but good for the ones they had.

The pools were well taken care of and we could usually find loungers with no problems BUT we are early risers. Participated in the water aerobics and water volleyball. The beach is beautiful and very busy. We walked up to the market (about a 1/2 hour walk). We purchased vanilla (pure clear thick one) $5, coffee beans $5, premium rum $12 and colourful wraps $12 each. Barter barter barter!!

We signed out the boogie boards and had a blast with the great waves!
All in all, we had a restful vacation with friends and great weather!

If you are looking for a luxury resort try the RIU or Palace chain but the Bahia is great value for what you get!

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"Some good points, some not so good"

Bahia Principe Punta Cana
User Rating:  Bahia Principe Punta Cana Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Wilma  on Jan 25, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
836 people found this review helpful

This was our second trip to Punta Cana, but first to this resort. We stayed at Gran Bahia Principe Bavaro - Club Diamond Section. This resort is massive. It has the following sections: Punta Cana, Ambar (Adults Only), Bavaro, Premier, Club Diamond and Royal Golden. It was full. One of the staff told us they had 4500+ guests. The trolley system works great. You never have to wait more than a few minutes for a trolley.

Your Arrival:
We arrived on 27 December in the evening. It took us a while to find the Club Diamond check-in location. Once we found the right location, check-in was relatively smooth, except for the fact they had booked two rooms for us instead of one. We explained that there were only two of us, thus only one room required. We had requested an oceanview room, close to the beach, but were told none were available. We were given a room in Building 27 and only had a short walk to the beach. We were in our room in approximately 45 minutes.

Rooms:
We had a junior suite on the second floor with a balcony, and king bed as we had requested. The room had a nice sitting area, plus a table and chairs. coffee maker, mini bar and safe (had to pay for safe). We waited 3 days to get a remote for the TV. There were no ironing boards or irons in the rooms. You had to call Guest Services to request one when you needed it. Considering the length of time it took to get a TV remote, I didn't bother asking for an iron. We did not have an umbrella in the room either. When we asked for one, we were told to look in the room. I was quite sure there was none, but looked anyhow. I then called to request one and was told that since it was raining, everyone wanted an umbrella and they didn't have any!! The bed sloped to one side, making it feel like you were going to fall out of bed. The lighting in the room was terrible, very dim, difficult to see what was in the closet or the safe. For anyone going to this resort, take a flashlight. One lamp had a broken socket and one of the lights in the bathroom didn't work. We reported it and they sent a "technician". The fellow managed to fix the broken lamp, seemed quite perplexed why the light in the bathroom didn't work (we thought it needed a new bulb). He left without fixing the bathroom light. Communication with him was extremely difficult. We had very small white bugs or spiders on the night stand and floor. We also found a bug in the bed. I showed it to the resort doctor and she thought it was a baby cockroach. I had a very bad reaction to insect bites and had to seek medical treatment at the resort medical office. The doctor felt that I had been bitten by mosquitos. I saw my family doctor the day I arrived back in Canada as I had even more bites than when I saw the resort doctor. He said that some of the bites could have been caused by sand fleas and/or mosquitos, BUT felt the other bites were caused by bed bugs. Both my husband and I were bitten all over our backs, legs, and arms, plus I had bites on my face. We didn't asked to change rooms as we could have encountered the same problems elsewhere. Plus one of the Club Diamond staff said they were full and had to send some guests to other hotels for a few days until space became available. Our maid, Belkis, was quite good. She would leave extra water for us and extra pop and always left flowers and towel art.

Restaurants and Bars:
Club Diamond had pre-booked 4 a la cartes for us, which we could have changed but decided not to. For the most part, the a la cartes were quite good. The Garden Grill (Steak House) was definitely our favourite. The steak was wonderful. The Tex-Mex was our least favourite, but still okay. Most of the a la cartes had an appetizer, soup, salad and dessert buffet as well as the menu selections. One problem with the buffets was that the food which was supposed to be hot, was for the most part lukewarm or cold. The same applied to breakfast items. If you wanted hot food, it was best to order an omelette or fried eggs. Diamond Club had its own restaurant for breakfast and lunch so we ate there most days. The staff were friendly and the food was good. The first night we went to the Japanese it was a wonderful experience and very enjoyable. The second time was something else indeed. They sat us with 10 other people who were already on their 3rd or 4th course, the food was all cooked and they were serving the rice. They did not offer us a drink nor did they offer to serve us the sushi and appetizer until my husband complained. Then they put 2 plates in front of us, followed closely by the soup. In the meantime, the cook is serving our rice and asking what meat we wanted. It was a very uncomfortable situation both for us and the other people at the table. We didn't want to cause a scene at the table as that would have ruined the meal for the others. We tried to complain on leaving the restaurant; however the hostess either did not understand or pretended not to. We ate at the main buffet only a few times.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach was lovely as usual; however, it waas jam packed with beach loungers and people. What a shock that was the first day. It was like a maze trying to find an open path to the water, bar, or wherever you wanted to go. If you moved your lounger the least bit, someone else would move their lounger under your palapa. Often times, when we were laying under our palapa, one or two other people would be laying right behind our heads. They would move their loungers so close to yours - sometimes only a couple of inches separating you from a total stranger. The Bahia Principe Ambar (Adults Section) appeared to have their own section of beach and was not nearly so crowded. Club Diamond had its own pool, which we thoroughly enjoyed. The grounds were very well looked after. It is a beautiful resort.
We had the pleasure of meeting Saline, who cleaned the main lobby area and the washrooms. She was a joy to talk to, always had a smile and such a positive attitude. You always knew when Saline was working as the washrooms were sparkling. We also had the pleasure of meeting Dorotheo, who cleaned the sidewalks in a couple of areas. What a wonderful gentleman - such a big beautiful smile and so pleasant to chat with. Both Saline and Dorotheo made us feel so welcome. It was obvious they both loved their jobs and enjoyed doing the best job possible.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Since this was our third time to the DR (second to Punta Cana). we didn't participate in any of the tours.

Other Comments:
Communication was a problem at times, even with the Club Diamond staff. At times, you would stand in line only to be told they couldn't help us that we would have to go to the Main Reception desk. We asked at Club Diamond about cashing travellers cheques. The person told us we should see our Sunquest rep as they are the ones who cash the travellers cheques. We thought that rather odd, but approached the rep. He was amazed that we were told to see him. He then told us where to find the currency exchange.
On the up side, the weather was fantastic for the most part.
On a rather humorous note, my husband wanted to purchase some throat lozenges at a small store on the resort. When he asked the sales clerk how much the box of lozenges cost, she asked how many he wanted. She opened the box and sold him 5 lozenges for $5.00 US!!!

Air Transat:
Our booking was through Sunquest Holidays, but we flew Air Transat. We upgraded to Option Plus on our outbound flight and to Club Class on the return. It was worth the extra money to get priority check-in, particularly in Punta Cana. Our luggage with the first pieces off the plane in Punta Cana. The food and service in Club Class was wonderful!!!

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