Bahia Principe San Juan Reviews

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Bahia Principe San Juan  

Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic

"I had the perfect holiday"
Posted by: job on Jun 8, 2014
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Bahia Principe San Juan Reviews
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Bahia Principe San Juan Rio San Juan Dominican Republic

#1
of 2 Hotels in Rio San Juan

User rating 3.7

Based on 41 reviews

Bahia Principe San Juan Information


The Bahia Principe San Juan was opened in July 1995 and is set on a 5 km private beach sheltered by a coral reef. It covers an area of more than one and a half million square meters, surrounded by lush tropical vegetation with mangrove swamps.

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Bahia Principe San Juan Reviews

Bahia Principe San Juan Review: 3.7 of 5 41 reviews
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"Great service"

Bahia Principe San Juan
User Rating:  Bahia Principe San Juan Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Edward  on May 8, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Sep, 2009 | Leisure | Family and Kids
836 people found this review helpful

The best hotel in the DR. I am from the Dominican Republic. But I live in the US. Every time go back home to visit I go to this hotel. Good job

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"Pleasantly Surprised and Happy with Resort"

Bahia Principe San Juan
User Rating:  Bahia Principe San Juan Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  John  on Apr 27, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
707 people found this review helpful

Great weather, it is an hour from airport, pretty big complex but easy to get around either walking or with the trolley cars. Food was excellent, and a couple of snack shacks if you want fast food also. Beach is nice, pools are very nice. Staff is friendly and lots to do with contests and entertainment nightly. Casino is small but no big deal. Excursions off site look good also.
I would go again for sure.

Your Arrival:
We arrived late as our departure from Toronto was a couple hours delayed so we got in around 1:30 a.m. but got settled in pretty quick, no problems there.

Rooms:
Fairly nice, big king size bed, clean, TV with lots of channels to choose from if you are so inclined. Drinks in the mini fridge daily.

Restaurants and Bars:
Plenty of bars throughout the site, no problem getting a drink for sure. Buffet was very good, no lineups too slow you down and I thought breakfast was the best. 4 a la carte restaurants, with the Tex/Mex being my favourite.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Grounds very clean and pretty all the paths lined with flowers. Tennis courts for those who are so inclined and mini golf that did not look too bad. Beach was nice, only one so-so spot that could use some work.

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"Will never go back"

Bahia Principe San Juan
User Rating:  Bahia Principe San Juan Review: 2.0 of 5

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


Your Arrival:
We arrived without any problems, be sure to bring a change into summer closes. Lots of the ussaul paper work and long drive with a nut behind the wheel and more on the road. I was amazed no one was killed. Oscar at the hotel is the best man in the hotel front staff. The other are not as helpful or speak the best english. They are very good at helping you with your luggage and finding your way around.

Rooms:
The room we had at first was terrible. It was room 2612. It was at the end iof the resort and smelled like dying vegitable matter. The AIR CONDITIONER DID NOT WORK. We sweated buckets all night. The most fun was when someone climbed up to our second story balcony and broke in. When he jumped down( yes jumped with a little help ) he sunk inthe mud a few inches and ran off. My wife was scared but I felt pretty good about having the oppertunity to left off some steam. The next Day we moved to room 2408. It was quiet and the a/c worked well. YOu had to keep the bathroom door closed so it would stay cool but that was fine.

Restaurants and Bars:
The foood was great. Totally not worth paying extra for the gold club or diamond club though. The booze was second rate, more like watered down sugar water with flavour. The wine was good and so was the beer.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The poola dn ground are the best. Not the soft white sand of Puna cana but very nice. One of the best parts of the club.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
On the resort the activities were fun. But watch your wife or girl friend. Those few straight guys are always trying to pickup your woman. Very pushy people.

Now off the resort. We went on serveral tours the best was the ater based tours. They were all great. The land tours are a waste of time and money but if you do choice PLEASE stay away from the CARIBBEAN BUGGY TOURS. They are the worst. There were four of us in the tour. It cost $110.00 dollars for this piece of crap ride and a extra $40.00 if you want pictures of it. The buggy broke down 11 times in 3 hours and we did not even drive much. My wife and I had the better buggy, our front wheel only pasted us once. That took a hour to fix. The other buggy with us lost a rear tire. That buggy was done so we had to wait for a replacement buggy in 100 degree weather with no water. We spent more time talking to the locals while the asshole ( THOMAS ) was saying what he would like to do with the white women in spanish of coarse. The pictures you see and would like to do take around 5 minutes to get. The rest is as boring as paint dry.

Other Comments:
The scuba diving is good and the guide Neil is the best. I think he needed a vaction to though. WANT EVER YOU DO NEVER MISS YOUR FLIGHT HOME FOR ANY REASON IT WILL COST YOUA EXTRA $980.00 TO GET HOME.

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"My first resort.... no regret..."

Bahia Principe San Juan
User Rating:  Bahia Principe San Juan Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Bradley  on Mar 15, 2010  >  3 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2010 | Leisure | With friend
442 people found this review helpful


Your Arrival:
welll... it is a long drive to the hotel...1 hrs in time...

Rooms:
nothing special.... but clean and comfortable.

Restaurants and Bars:
really good restrurants.... enjoyed the food very much...

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
the beach was not bad.... seen better.....pool was great... the grounds were very clean.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
entainment was the only thing I was not too crazy about....something like a high school play.... sad... late nite.... karkoke was very sad... lasted only til midnite.

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"A few things I wish I'd known."

Bahia Principe San Juan
User Rating:  Bahia Principe San Juan Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  Whitney  on Feb 21, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
352 people found this review helpful


Your Arrival:
The resort is 1 hour bus ride away from the airport. Pack some summer clothes/sandals in your carry on, and change at the airport when you arrive or on the airplane. It was hot - and I was dying in my Canadian winter attire. If you're a drinker, grab a beer when you arrive - you can take it on the bus. Check in takes an average amount of time, but you don't get your room until 3pm, so if you arrive early, I again recommend you have a change of clothes for your carry on so you can enjoy your time while you wait for your room.

Rooms:
Your room does not have a clock. I spent my entire trip not knowing the time. Bring a clock. Wake up calls are available, and were made on time. 1 king sized bed = 2 singles pushed together. Not the most romantic set up I've experienced. Water pressure was excellent, and the water was hot. Maids come to the room each day, and the mini bar is refilled daily (2 beers, 1 bottle water, 3 pop). If your room has a patio on the main floor, be sure to put the pin in the door for security - the locks do not work. The room comes with a safe which they charge $28 for a week. Pay the money and get it - people are in and out of the room all the time. Room included AC - the 2nd key they give you at check in is used to turn the AC on/off.

Restaurants and Bars:
The buffet food was hit and miss. Some was great, some was horrible. The table service at the buffet is great - staff are very friendly. For a 1 week stay you can book 3 A La Cart restaurant reservations - 4 if you're lucky. You can book all your dinners at once. There are 4 different restaurants, Mexican, Seafood, Italian, and Mediterranean. The Seafood, Italian, and Mediterranean were good - the Mexican is horrible - do not book it. There is a dress code for these restaurants, but when I was here it was not at all enforced. My friend recommended I bring a travel mug with me, because the drinks at the bar are really small, and you can get them to fill whatever size mug you bring. I didn't, because I didn't plan on drinking that much, but I wish I had brought one because if you take a drink to the beach on a hot day it's warm in 5 minutes - not the way I like to drink my beer.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The tiles are slippery. Everywhere. Be careful. If you're getting out of the pool, put on your shoes. If you have your shoes on, be careful. My boyfriend and I both nearly slipped a few times, and we watched someone slip and smack their head on the tile. It is especially slippery by the pool and at the buffet. If you want to have a bit of a quieter experience, walk to the left when you're facing the water, and you can find a quieter area on the beach. The main pool is very loud with lots of excitement going on. There is a towel service, and the towels are nice, big, and soft. If you have an early trip in the morning, go the evening before and ask for a new towel for the next day. Some people were caught without because they ran out of towels, and the trip wouldn't wait for the next load.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Bring a beach bag! If you're going on any outings, you will need a bag for your towels. Highly recommend one of the safari trips to see what life in the Dominican is really like, and have the opportunity to go to a different beach, with far fewer people. Also some travel agencies offer a shopping trip, which was well worth it. Going into town to the supermarket for spices, coffee, vanilla, and rum was a big save on cash. If you want to do some shopping, walk to the right when you're facing the water on the beach. There are lots of little shopping shacks there - but the sellers are pretty aggressive. Stand your ground, and don't pay more than what you think something is worth to you. Try to pay exact change here - I've heard that sometimes you can get counterfeit bills as change.

Other Comments:
Bring some cards for a rainy day. Snacks are also a good idea for when you're sick of the buffet food and don't want to spend $5 USD on a can of chips. Don't forget to bring a watch!

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"Great holiday but missing some of it's previous pizzazz...."

Bahia Principe San Juan
User Rating:  Bahia Principe San Juan Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  mra  on Feb 9, 2010  >  4 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
298 people found this review helpful

The Flight: Montreal to Puerta Plata on January 9th flying CanJet with Transat Vacations. We arrive at the airport at 11:50am, after doing a Park’n Fly package (www.parksleepfly.com) at the Quality Suites Montreal Airport, to find that we are 5th in line. The desk opens at 12:50 and by 1:00pm we are checked in and on our way through Security to the Departure area. Our flight is supposed to board at 3:30, but with a slight flight delay we are now departing at 4:40pm. We find our pre-booked seats, Row 16CD, & are pleasantly surprised by the excellent hip & leg-room to be had in this Emergency row. This Air-bus is an older type plane & is noisier than our previous flights but the Flight Crew was excellent, the flight uneventful & the meal ‘something else’! “Dinner” was a bagged lunch – cold meat & cheese on a bun, an apple & package of cookies…tea, coffee & pop are available for no charge, but there is a cost for beer, wine & snacks. All in all our flight was pretty good – just a few pockets of turbulence – arriving arriving at Puerta Plata airport at 10:10pm

Your Arrival:
Arrival: We are off the plane & into the airport quickly, with Immigration papers already filled out & in our hands, along with our Tourist Card. So once we get our picture taken with the Senoritas, we are thru Immigration in a matter of minutes & on to retrieve our luggage. As we wait for our luggage to come off the carousel, I fill out another Immigration form that has to be handed in as we leave the terminal. We find the Tour Operator booth, get our transfer bus and make sure that our luggage is loaded into the trailer & then prepare ourselves for the journey to the BPRSJ. Two resort stops & 80 minutes later, we arrive at the Bahia at 12:20am.

We have been to the Bahia Principe on two occasions previously, so we knew where we were going & what to expect.

But…..Check-in: Is a mess of disorganization once we hit the front desk ---we are in line for over an hour. And as another 4 or 5 buses come in about the same time, there is no concise lineup area and only 5 hotel staff are behind the desk. Our holiday package was with Royal Golden Club & at midnight the Club House is not open for “exclusive check-in”, thus some very exasperated holidayers are wondering “what the heck” ! Once we got to the desk & had our staff member ‘stay on course’, our check-in time was only about 10minutes.
At 1:30am, we’ve got our room key and make the decision to walk our cases to the room ourselves….Section E, Bldg 2, 2nd floor, room 7…E-2207….a 2 minute walk from the main restaurant & one path behind the sports hut & the Golden pool.

Rooms:
Our Room: I had sent a request to Guest Services about 7days prior to our arrival, for a room on the second floor, with possible ocean view & a King-size bed with a good mattress due to a back problem. Our request was met on all fronts & to welcome us we found a beautiful towel art sculpture of a wishing well in the center of our bed, a plate of fresh fruit & bottle of rum to entice our senses, towel art & flowers in the bathroom and bathrobes & slippers in the closet. The mini-bar has 2 (Brahma) beer, 1 sprite, 1 orange, 1 coke & 1 coke-lite, along with a jug of water. The credenza holds the television & coffee making station, plus has 4 drawers for storage; 2 bedside tables each with a storage drawer & a lamp, plus a clock-radio flank the King-size bed. The closet is spacious & could use a few more hangers & the storage shelves were ample. The room was showing its’ age but it was clean and everything worked.
Room Safe: Price is not included in the package price & cost is $26 US per week.
Laundry Service: A very reasonable cost of $16.70 US to have 5 shirts, 2 pr of pants, & other items done for hubby. Clothes were back within 24hrs.

Restaurants and Bars:
Food: The La Brisa is the main buffet restaurant for the resort. We found the food to be plentiful & varied …my most favourite being the homemade soups & bread & the rice pudding. There was always something available for those picky eaters….burgers, fries, pasta, luncheon meat & cheeses. The Italian Restaurant is open at lunch & at dinner is one of the a la carte choices, while another a la carte choice the Tex-Mex is only open at dinnertime. These 2 restaurants we were able to eat at twice, as we could not get reservations for the Mediterranean or Seafood anytime during our 2 week stay, except if we wanted late sittings of 9:00/9:30pm…which is too late for some one who is diabetic

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The Beach: Not the soft white sand of the Caribbean or Punta Cana area & not the soft caramel sand of the Playa Dorada/Costa Dorada beaches. It is more grainy, with pieces of seashells & coral mixed in. The “ugly” breakers out in the water serve their purpose of keeping the beach from being washed away by huge waves. This was evident during our first week when winds & constant rain for 5 days, made the ocean a churning mixing bowl. During the second week, beach repair was being done & more shoring up was being done with additional sand bags. Always lots of loungers & palapas available & didn’t see much evidence of “the towel game” taking place.
The Pool: Lots of loungers available around the main pool, but the area didn’t seem crowded at all. The pool in the Golden section was always busy & seemed to be a happening place!

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Excursions: There are quite a few excursions to choose from while at BPRSJ, but you also have to remember that with some of them, you are almost an hour away from their starting point. Friends, whom we met last year at Sirenis in Punta Cana, were with us at the Bahia this year. And since this was their first visit to Puerta Plata area, we did take a one-day city excursion to Puerta Plata that we put together ourselves, by using a van & driver. We stopped at the Brugal Rum Factory, the Amber & Larimar Gallery & the Palanco Restaurant for lunch. As we made our way back to the Bahia, we stopped in Sosua to show our friends “the Beach Market” & for us to get our rum on “the cheapie, cheapie”. (40 oz of Brugal Rum…$11.00 US) The cost was $100.00 US plus tip for van & driver for the day, which we split between the two couples. Lunch was $20.00

Other Comments:
Internet Service: If you were in the Golden Section, 2 computers were available in the Clubhouse with a 15-minute time limit. There was also computer access in the Diamond Section if you were in that sector. For the regular guest, an Internet Café was located on Pueblo Principe (Principe Street)..the cost was $12.00 US for 60-minutes. You are given a password to access the computer and you could come back as often as you wished, to a maximum of 5 days. Once the 60-minutes or 5 days were used, then you pay again. There was no WiFi access in the Reception/Lobby area or in your room.
The Weather: This was not one of the better times for excellent holiday weather. Prior to our arrival on January 9th, the area was hit with 7 days of solid rain. Our first day was excellent sunshine & then we too had 5 days of constant rain and 72F temperatures. But by the beginning of our 2nd week, the sun chose to find favor and graced us with 7 days of heat & sunshine and 82F temperatures.

Cleaning Staff/Waiters/Managers/Front Desk/Public Washrooms:
Cleaning Staff: Always busy from 7:30am until well after 6:00pm. Our room was spotless everyday with some form of towel art waiting our return. We tipped our maid & mini-bar guy daily & once we knew that someone did an evening tidy-up/turn down service to the room, a tip was left for him/her also. We always had fresh towels, although wash cloths are a rarity…thus we brought our own from home.
Dining Room Wait Staff: There was always someone around to fill your water & wine glass, take your empty plates away. But not really one person who looked after you…thus not many tips were given. Once in a while, we came upon an outstanding staff person & rewarded them accordingly.
Bellhops/Porters: There is a tram that transports people around the resort if you happen to be too tired to walk to your room/section. But there was not a lot of assistance with your luggage from these fellows…except when it was decided that the front entry way was getting to crowded & luggage had to be put in the secure storage area…then you saw them move things around.
Front Desk: Had no problems, except for our initial check-in night, with Staff. Our Concierge in the Golden Clubhouse was okay, but was of no real help when we tried unsuccessfully to get reservations in 2 of the a la cartes.
Managers: There were lots of these walking the resort, but not very often would you see them stop & talk with their guests. You would think that in order to hear feed-back, they’d be anxious to stop & ask questions. There was one evening during our 2 week stay that was “survey night”, so Management & staff were out in full force ---so many staff in the restaurant that they were tripping over each other!!
Bar Staff/Wait Staff: Very friendly & efficient. The bars are a popular spot but as long as you are patient, your order will be filled. The “wait staff” was very busy in the Lobby & Lanai areas and most times an extra person or two could have been used just to take up the slack. But once they got to know you & what you liked to drink, most times something was waiting for you as you were sitting down.
Public Washrooms: These washrooms off the Lobby, especially the Ladies, were spotless…a cleaning staff always on hand to mop the floors & wipe down the counters. The men’s washroom, so I was told, had an issue with one of the urinals not wanting to function properly. The washroom behind the theatre was always clean too & that was a job as people coming off the beach used it. Hand sanitizer units were installed in all washrooms & were also at each entrance to the restaurants.

Departure & Flight Home:
Departure & POP Checkin: Our checkout time was 12:00 noon, with transfer to the airport not happening until 5:50 pm. Our transfer was “hellish”…31 people crammed into a bus that is only supposed to hold 27 people. The driver was excellent & tried his best not to make the journey very bumpy. We were not impressed with the Tour escort who traveled with us, as he tried to have us wait on the bus until after all the luggage was removed from the trailer….just another way of allowing someone else to handle your luggage. Sorry , but that isn’t going to happen!!
Checkin is very quick & we had no problems with our luggage weight or getting the seats that we had pre-booked. Security was very simple too, although everyone’s carry-on luggage was being searched.
There had been a fire in the Duty Free area while we were holidaying, so there was nothing available for purchase until we got upstairs to the Departure Lounge. I was able to find a 1L bottle of Baileys for $22 US & a 1L of Canadian Club Classic for $18 US….still cheaper than LCBO here at home!
Flight Home: Our plane comes in at 9:00pm & after passengers de-plane & it’s cleaned up, we are allowed to board at 9:30pm. No latecomers & we are ready for take-off at 9:50pm…15 minutes early. We land in Montreal at 1:00am & do a very quick de-plane…so quick that we are off the plane, thru customs & baggage pickup & in our overnight hotel by 2:00am.

Would I fly CanJet again? Yes…we had no problems and found our flights to be comfortable.
Would we go back to the Bahia Principe again? I don’t know…would have to come across a really good deal. This was our 3rd visit to the BPRSJ for us & we found some of the pizzazz missing that was there on our previous 2 trips.

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"The resort is very beautiful and everything is well set up for comfort and enjoyment."

Bahia Principe San Juan
User Rating:  Bahia Principe San Juan Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  Libby  on Feb 9, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
327 people found this review helpful


Your Arrival:
It was the first time that my two sisters and I were able to go on vacation together. Our arrival at the airport with Skyservice was on time and we got our luggage in good time. One of my sisters had booked for her own room and we send many e-mail to request two rooms together and we never got a reply back so of course when we got our rooms they were not even in the same building. The service at the front desk was very bad and they didn't understand English to well so we were not getting help from them. We finally had to go to the Golden section and ask to get our rooms upgrade with extra cost of course so that we could have two rooms together. The service there was so much better.

Rooms:
The rooms in the Golden section are so much better. It is totally worth it if you can upgrade. The other room was musty and old and the lighting is very bad. In the Golden section you get a coffee maker and the rooms are more bright and airy. The cleaning service was very good. There is a fridge with some water and a few bottles of pop and beer. You can't use the tap water at all even to brush your teeth.

Restaurants and Bars:
The main restaurant was amazing very big and open and the food was also very good and they had a big selection to choose from. We went to the Seafood and the Mexican restaurant and they were very good. There are lots of bars in the area but there alcahol is not so good. They are using the Normandy brand of alchol and they have no flavor. I'm not a drinker but there drinks taste like sugar water. No flavour at all. If you want a good drink you have to go to the Casino and pay for it.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
I was really surprised how nice this beach was. It ws very clean and there were lots of chairs available everday. You don't have the beautiful nice white sand and the blue water like Punta Cana but the scenery and the countryside is just beautiful.

Other Comments:
Our overall vacation was great and we had a good time. There are some venders at the end of the beach and a few shops to go to but they all have the same things and not very exciting. Try to take a tour if you can to see the countryside and take some things like candy and school supplies to had out to the kids. They love seeing the tourist and love it when you give them something.

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"Got married at the Bahia Principe San Juan, 52 guests, great time!"

Bahia Principe San Juan
User Rating:  Bahia Principe San Juan Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Danna and Iain  on Feb 8, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
331 people found this review helpful

My fiance and I checked out several resorts in the DR before deciding on the BPSJ. We stayed in Punta Cana last year at the Blau Natura Park, and had enjoyed that trip, as well. Seemed that this year, the prices for Punta Cana were higher, so we decided to give PoP a shot. Well worth it, as the price difference allowed many more people to come to our wedding - we ended up with 52 from all across Canada, from age 8 months to 60 plus. Our vacation was fantastic, and overall, we found the BPSJ to be a clean, friendly, and fun resort. Our wedding itself was beautiful, fun and relaxed - really, everything we wanted it to be.

Your Arrival:
Arrival at PoP airport was uneventful. The airport is undergoing renovations, and it is pretty obviously under construction to update some very dated decor. AC rep checked us in on the bus on the way to the resort, which was great, and saved us a ton of time at the desk. We really appreciated that even though a few of us forgot the hotel vouchers, we were set up with our keys as soon as we got to the hotel. We were greeted by a group of other Canadians from Ontario as soon as we got off the bus with beers and Jets chants - definitely a highlight of our vacation! Hi to everyone from Bowmanville if you are reading this!

Rooms:
Our room wasn't quite ready for us when we arrived, but we're pretty easygoing. We were supposed to receive champagne and flowers and fruit in our room at arrival. The next day, when our wedding coordinator found out we hadn't received it, it was there within an hour, along with t-shirts and a bottle of rum. Our AC was very cold, but I know some others in our group had weak or non-functioning AC. We tip the maid and fridge fillers daily, and we had a good supply of drinks all week.

Restaurants and Bars:
Buffet: we took most of our meals at the main buffet for convenience sake. The food was good, good selection, and lots of culinary staff replenishing as necessary. Bacon almost every morning, and it was great! My husband loved the omelettes, as well. The waitstaff were really friendly, and recognized us after a few days. Sometimes slow to get drinks if it's busy - consider getting them yourself on the way to the table. As well, my father has celiac disease and had no trouble finding suitable choices at the buffet.

Tex-Mex: I love spicy food, and this was probably my favourite of the sit down restaurants. I had my bachelorette dinner there, and the staff were super fun and attentive. They brought out huge sombreros after the meal, so we have some great pictures.

Italian: Lunch buffet was fantastic, it became our usual after we discovered it. Pizzas were surprisingly good.

Mediteranean: The meal was presented well, but I found my steak to be undercooked (and I like it medium rare to rare). Again, staff were great, and came out to sing a very enthuastic happy birthday to one of our friends.

Fast food near the Diamond Club: I wasn't as impressed with the food at this one, but I don't like fast food for the most part. They serve burgers, hot dogs, chicken, soup and salad between meals. It was busy, especially with young families having a bite before the main buffet opened, and as usual, staff were great.

We had two large groups go to the sit down restaurants (20 people or so), and both times, the staff initially denied that they could have agreed to the reservation, stating they couldn't accomodate the group. After we showed proof, though, they made it work, and were friendly and attentive.

We spent most evenings at the strip (Pueblo Principe), which is outside the main hotel area but still on the grounds. There are patio tables and nightly entertainment, and animation staff will try to get you to dance with them. We had a few good games of flip cup going, and the staff joined us for a while, as well as some other guests. Lots of fun! We had a great time in the kareoke bar, although it gets very smoky. The disco/club was fun, but beware the sticky/slippery floors. The dj takes requests all night, and there tends to be a lot of Michael Jackson, which was just fine with us.

We brought travel mugs as favours for our guests, which keeps your drinks colder, and means fewer trips to the bar.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beach: My husband felt the beach was a B-. The beach is darker sand, and the water is a little murky. Our friends who have stayed at 5 stars especially noticed a difference.

The hotel has brough in sandbags as a breakwater, which might seem a little unsightly, but they were really fun to swim to and sit on. The staff are constantly working, raking away rocks and cleaning away our empty cups. I didn't find the ocean floor rocky as I walked into the ocean. Still great sun and lots of fun, but not the white sand and turquoise water you will find in other areas.

Pools: The pools were very nice, lots of chairs, and the swim up bar was fantastic. There are activities going on for most of the morning (aqua aerobics, stretching, bikini contests), so it you are looking for peace and quiet, you might want to consider the beach or Golden Club. My one concern was that three of our guests got ear infections, two of them severe enough to warrant medical attention. We had to wonder if this was related to the pool. The towel lineup is a little wild, consider bringing your own.

Grounds: again, the staff are constantly working. Not so much as a stray leaf to be seen. Immaculate. If I could choose, I would like to see more varieties of flowers on the grounds, but that's really splitting hairs.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
I went to the spa and had the seaweed wrap, which was great, very relaxing. The girls were polite, and the coconut products they use smell wonderful.
My bridesmaids and I got our hair done at the salon, but they did charge me more than I was originally quoted for my 'special wedding hair'. We made a complaint, and after a few phone calls back and forth from front desk to spa,
the situation was rectified.
We went on the snorkelling/beach/lunch excursion, and the entire group was with our wedding. We had a great time, lots of drinks, and great lunch. Flying fish were swimming (flying?) alongside our boat - amazing! I think part of the fun might have been the fact everyone on the boat was with our party, as some friends went on a different day and weren't as impressed.

We also rented a taxi and went into Sosua, but had a bit of a detour due to language barrier. Went for lunch at a restaurant (Melia Mui?) in Sosua, and while the food was great, the service was extremely slow - we waited almost 1.5 hours for our meals, and had a limited amount of time in the city, so we were pretty irritated. Shopping in Sosua was a bit of a disappointment, but the trip itself was fun, and it was worth it to see life outside the resort, if briefly. We did stop at a supermarket to buy rum, which I would recommend - much cheaper than the vendors or gift shops.

I would discourage you from buying anything from the vendors on the nights they come into the hotel and set up shop. Friends were offered prices more than $250 higher than what we paid for the same items on the beach.

Other Comments:
Two of our guests had to use the medical facilities, both due to earaches. The first, a male in his twenties, went by himself, and was told that he needed to go the next town to get medication. He ended up in an ambulance on the way to Puerto Plata, and the hospital tried to give him an IV and get him stay for the night - for an earache! He's in the medical field himself, so he declined, but they did make him pay $500+ up front for his care due to his insurance. The second, and more serious, was for our friend's 8 month old, who also had an earache. Mom is a nurse, and was also surprised when they suggested an IV. However, the pediatrician was very accomodating and respectful, and they did not feel pressured. They were very grateful for their travel insurance, though, as they did need to stay longer because their son was not cleared to fly.

Other wedding matters...:
Our wedding coordinator, Georgina, was amazing, very pleasant and professional. She seemed to be a pro at getting things done in a pinch. The flowers were absolutely gorgeous, and plentiful, and the ceremony went very smoothly. Our group was considerably larger than most destination weddings, but the Georgina and the staff made sure everything was perfect. We decided ahead of time just to go with the music the hotel provided, and we were glad to not have to worry about it. At the ceremony, the hotel provided a keyboardist, who was very talented. The photographer was lots of fun, and took some great shots, although the packages were a little more expensive than we anticipated.

Our wedding meal was at the Italian restaurant with a special menu, and we were very impressed. Started with a shrimp cocktail, then a fish soup, breads, and for the main course, surf and turf: a huge lobster tail with tomato and cheese topping, and a large portion of steak with mushrooms and onions. The lobster was particularly good! In hindsight, I would have asked to substitute a salad for the soup, as it seemed guests either loved the soup or hated it. Our dessert was a chocolate mousse, as well as wedding cake, which was delicious. The staff were again fantastic, laughing as our friends' children helped deliver wedding cake. Lots of drinks, very accomodating, plently of mamajuana and flaming cuacharacha shots!

Overall, we had a wonderful time, and I would definitely return to this resort. The staff were so good, we are considering trying other Bahia properties. Our wedding truly exceeded our expectations, and if you're considering a destination wedding in PoP, I would highly recommend this resort, much in part to Georgina and the staff.

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"Awesome time! great resort!"

Bahia Principe San Juan
User Rating:  Bahia Principe San Juan Review: 5.0 of 5

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

Stayed at the Bahia Principe San Juan for a week and loved it.grounds are beautiful and staff was amazing!

Your Arrival:
We arrived at the hotel at 11h30pm and check in was very fast,15 minutes and we where done,they spoke good english and helped us alot.safe was 28$ for a week. bellboy drove us to our room and helped us with our luggage.

Rooms:
Room was very clean,everything worked fine,fridge,a/c,tv.....we had the golden pkg(wich i recommend)so we had a bottle of rum,bath robes and slippers waittaing for us in the room.we where a little hungry so we called room service(included in golden pkg) and ordered food,was at our door in 15 minutes.yes there was 2 little faults during the week,one day after the beach we had no water presure but probably so many people where showering the poor pressure system had no chance couple of hours later it was fine,and another day no hot water but same cause as the water pressure,i didn't let this bother me.

Restaurants and Bars:
The buffet was very good,very nice of food.they have 3 omellet station in the mornnig that turn into pasta and meat station at lunch and diner.a la carte restaurants where very good,i tried all 4 had i would say the best is the seafood/medditeranien(same restaurant it alternates)mexican was good,italien well it was ok.there is a snack bar in the middle of the ressort by the beach wich is good(burgers,hot dogs,fries,chicken,paella....)

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
the beach i have to agree with some other reviews is not the best water very dirty and weeds wash up on the beach but the golden section of the beach is the nicest feels like a total different resort,very quiet,clean and clear water,clean sand,this is why i recommend the golden pkg.the pools are very clean but gets full quick you must get up around 8am to get a spot,people reserve there chairs with there towels but we it the beach in the morning till 3pm then pool in the afternoon,didn't have a problem finding seats then.as for the famous sand fleas,i didn't stay where the sand was wet and left the beach at 3pm has recommed by some other reviews,result not one bite.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
there is alot going on in the main pool and all around the resort,the animation team is amazing.very easy to rent rent equipement for snorkling,also theres pedal boats, kayaks and sail boats that are free for an hour a day per room.

Other Comments:
theres a little strip called the pueblo principe on the resort,there is shops,a casino,mini club wich was pretty good and a burger joint openned late for snacks.they set up tables on this strip at 11pm and party all night.at the right end of the beach there is vendars there you can pick up nice stuff real cheap,they are a little pushy but just say thank you and keep walking.and don't forget to negiciate,i bought a bunch of stuff(including boxes of cigars and bottles of rum) for 150$ the starting price was 700$.

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"We had a wonderful holiday and would go back to this resort."

Bahia Principe San Juan
User Rating:  Bahia Principe San Juan Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Patti  on Dec 1, 2009  >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2009
239 people found this review helpful

Arrival: Feb 19 - March 5
We arived late at night, our bus ride to the resort was an experience the tire on the trailer blew so we had to wait on the side of the road for someone to bring us a new trailer but it didn't take long and we were on our way.

Rooms
We stayed in the Golden club room and it was always clean everything worked well.

Restaurants and Bars
The food was very good, something for everyone in the buffett, We went to all the alacarts the seafood we found was the best we had seafood Barbeque both times.
There were lots of bars so you never had to wait long for a drink.
I am not a beer drinker so I drank the slushie drinks sometimes not to slushie but still good.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
We stayed by the big pool it was very clean staff always there to pick up empty glasses and lots of games and entertainment. My boyfriend played waterpolo almost everyday.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We didn't go on any tours just relaxed and drank by the pool. We were a little disappointed that there wasn't any seadoing or parasailing but there was still lots of games to play and banana boating.

Other Comments
We had a wonderful holiday and would go back to this resort. We had read a lot of reviews before we went and were a little worried but when we got there all worries were gone, this resort is very clean and the staff work very hard to make sure evryone has a great time and you are satisfied with you stay. To the people who only have bad things to say I think you are the people that shouldn't be travelling and need to stay at home. I recomend this resort to anyone thinking of going here you wont regret it.

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