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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"Bahia Principe far better, than any of the other Hotels we have stayed in."

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

Posted by:  George / Lesley  on Oct 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Oct, 2009
234 people found this review helpful

Arrival: 23 August 09

Having always read reviews prior to us booking Hotels, we have found very few negative reports on the Bahia Principe and I must say those that do complain would probably find something to moan about wherever they were staying

I have previously stayed at this Hotel on 7 occasions these being with Friends, Family, as well as some really great people that we have teamed up with on our vacations. All these holidays at the Bahia have been 2 week vacations, March 2006, September 2006, May 2007, April 2008, September 2008, May 2009 and again August 2009.

The Bahia Principe Hotel San Juan is in my opinion the best Hotel that we have stayed in the Dominican Republic, offering great food, great facilities and a brilliant location, adding this all up it makes the Bahia Principe far better, than any of the other Hotels we have stayed in.

We of course have had a few minor problems on our previous stays, air con, no hot water for a short period of time. Just a quick visit to Reception and any problem will soon be sorted out.

I can only compare accommodations and Resorts on the North of the Island only, (not tried the south yet) Having over the last few years stayed at the following hotels, Luperon Beach, Victoria, Fun Tropical, Royale, Jack Tar Village, Casa Marina Beach, Viva Tangerine, Rui Meringue, Rui Mambo, and Gran Ventana.

We been back only a few weeks and we have again rebooked for a return May 2nd 2010. The staff at this Hotel are always so friendly, welcoming and they cannot do enough to make your stay brilliant. When returning as a repeater you're given a different coloured wrist band and we have so far, been given room upgrades free of charge.

Hope these comments may help to anyone who has booked a Holiday at the Bahia Principe. We are again looking forward to our repeated return.

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"We will be going back here for sure"

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

Posted by:  Mary  on Jun 1, 2009  >  7 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jun, 2009
244 people found this review helpful

Arrival: March 30 - April 6
Flew from Halifax with signature vacations..seats on plane were very cramped but not to bad...arrival into Dominican Republic was very good...rep on bus was great..and very informative....

Rooms:
We had a standard room....very clean...kept clean every day...the only problem was that there were no facecloth's at all...just used small towels...any problems we had were dealt with very quickly and effectively.

Restaurants and Bars:
Very good buffet....very good variety of food to eat every day...the a la carte restaurants were very good...we tied the seafood, Italian, and Mexican ones...my favorite was the seafood one but all were good...the bars were all good...no problems at all ....no extremely long line ups...very pleasant staff all around

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach and pools were very clean...the beach was cleaned daily while we were there...very little seaweed on the beach but if there was any there, there was usually someone trying to clean it up...the grounds were immaculate...they were always cleaning up...very nice clean property

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
They had a great activity staff...very friendly to everyone young and old alike..excellent with the small children that were there....we didn't go on any excursions just because we had enough to do on the resort itself....they had something to do all the time if you wanted to join in or just sit and watch..

Other Comments:
Really enjoyed the resort...very beautiful place to visit..staff were very helpful all the time...we will be going back here for sure....the resort was beautiful and well worth the money we paid.

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"I would recommend this resort highly"

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

Posted by:  Kevin  on May 5, 2009  >  7 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: May, 2009
237 people found this review helpful

Arrival: April 6 to 13
Arrived before lunch but staff process everyone very quickly, had my wrist band on in no time and off for a drink.As rooms became ready our luggage was moved to them. No complaints.

Rooms:
Rooms were large,very clean,well decorated.

Restaurants and Bars:
The food at the buffet was wonderful,far exceeded my expectations.Well presented and the staff went beyond the call.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The grounds were well cared for, no garbage seen, very thing well taken care of

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We took taxis to the surrounding towns to have a look at the real world. Did not take any tours. Nightly entertainment was well performed.

Other Comments:
I would recommend this resort highly.The staff was very friendly.If visiting please go to the market located at the end of the beach.Look up Leo in shop 23,he is a real nice guy,not pushy and will treat you fairly.Speaks good english.Tell him Kevin sent you!!

k_lohnes@hotmail.com

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"We had a great time and would not hesitate to go back"

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

Posted by:  Sandy  on May 1, 2009  >  4 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: May, 2009
233 people found this review helpful

Arrival: April 17 - 24:
Background Info: couple, later 40's looking for R & R. This was our 3rd time in the DR and we have been to many all-inclusives (3.5 to 5 star) in Mexico and Cuba as well. We stayed at Blue Bay in POP last year and overall preferred Bahia.

Air Canada Vacations: Plane was a bit late but nice to have leg room. No free meals or snacks but you could watch current movies for free which made the time go quickly. We were in a standard room (B-9) but we found out that a few people were placed in the Diamond Section so you may want to try and request that area. Our room was near the snack bar and beach. We did receive the perks AC offered except the cocktail party, l don't think we missed much. I actually enjoyed the hour bus ride (bus was comfy, had air cond and a bathroom) to and from the resort.. there was a lot of country side and towns to look at along the way.

Rooms::
As others have stated, could use a bit of upgrading but the room was large, huge king bed (typically rock hard, lol but 1 bed not 2 pushed together), lots of cupboard space, clean, decent pillows and a great balcony. Always had hot water (need to let it run for a few min) and you can vent the air conditioning to blow toward or away from the bed. Our maid always made nice towel arrangements with fresh flowers, candy and even a balloon! Leave a tip in the fridge and the mini bar guy will make sure you have extra bottles of water, beer and pop. No face cloths so I brought my own. Room is a bit dim but I was able to read in bed. We had a coffee maker and lots of coffee and sugar but will know to bring coffee mate with us next time. Never leave cups or food out as they will attract ants... we had a couple in the bathroom but we usually do see a couple in most resorts. We did not have an iron in the room but asked for one at the front desk and got it and the ironi! ng board the next day for a few hours. The best thing about this resort was between the loud AC (white noise)and the fact that the partiers went to the strip at night, you could actually sleep undisturbed! This is the first time that I could not hear my neighbours at all... it was great!

Restaurants and Bars::
The buffet was huge and quality was that of your typical DR 4 star. Lots of choices and something for everyone. Figure out what you want before you load your plate or your food will get cold while you wander around. DR beef isn't great so we ate alot of chicken, fish and pork and lots of veggies. There are several cooks cooking several different meat/fish choices continuously, look for them to get very fresh meat choices. The freshly made chicken was always great. We never had a problem finding a table. Great service, you barely sit down and they are offering you water, coffee and/or wine. They are also quick to clean your table so if you are just getting desert, leave something personal on the table so they know you aren't finished yet, lol. The ala cartes were good, order the vegetable crepes at the Mediterranean and don't order the Greek salad which is nothing like a greek salad, lol . In the morning, hubby would order our omelettes and I would take care of the toast...everything stayed warm that way. The yogurt looked runny so we kept away from it. There is ice cream at the buffet and we saw someone place it in a plastic cup and take it out... good idea. You can find plastic cups and spoons at the self serve drink bar in the buffet. We are not big drinkers so not alot of help here. Hubbie mostly drank beer or rum and coke. A lot of sweet drinks , mostly the slushie kind but they will try to make you whatever you want. I liked the rum punch myself. No International drinks unfortunately. Lots of self serve stations if you just wanted water or pop which I really liked....no standing in line, lol. We used our thermal mugs alot at this resort.

Beach/Pools/Grounds::
Beach and pools. We are beach people and only went to the pool for 1 day. No problem getting lounge chairs, pool was large and clean and lots of activities going on. Beach towels were easily exchanged daily; they never ran out while we were there. Someone in an earlier trip report mentioned not having towels as they had to be turned at night??? No, they don'?t.. exchange the dirty one for a clean one whenever you want to. Beach: we spent most of our time at the beach in front of the snack shack. The sand was soft, no need for water socks in the ocean, it had a very sandy bottom. We thought it was by far one of the best sections of beach much nicer than the main area by the pool and some of the gold zone. The beach was natural and quite beautiful in a lot of areas you could walk forever. Lots of palapas and trees for shade. The sand bags kept the ocean calm so we had no issues with them. We took a kayak out and you could easily see down to the bottom of the ocean. We spent a lot of time in the ocean. One thing I loved about this location was the fact that the bathroom was right there, as well as showers and you could pop into the snack shack, ask for a plastic plate and bring fruit or food back to the beach if you wanted. There was also self serve soft drinks and beer on tap. We rarely went to the buffet for lunch, just snacked in between breakfast and supper. It's rare for a resort to allow this (at least the ones we've been too) and we appreciated it. Never saw a sand flea. The beach vendors were not allowed on the beach and no timeshare people hounding you. It felt like paradise to me.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel::
Excursions: snorkelling with Juan booked through the beach water sport shack was great. It was 40.00 pp and was about 3-4 hours. Bring bananas and buns from the buffet to feed the fish. We also did the dune buggy tour which was fun but stopped alot for photo opportunities. Lots of begging children on this tour which was rather sad to see. ..dangerous as well as they run around the moving dune buggies. We had already done several excursions in the past but if you haven't, Campo is a good deal as they combine 3 for 132.00 but if you only want 1 or 2, they are not cheaper than the rest.

Other Comments::
Resort: very clean and beautiful. Workers are everywhere cleaning and fixing stuff. Bathrooms always had toilet paper, hand sanitizer and were being cleaned constantly. This is a HUGE resort and I really recommend taking the time to figure out where everything is, what they serve and when they serve it. I did quite a bit of research before we left and still found it a bit overwhelming at first. This is a true DR 4 * and people need to remember that this is the DR. The place wasn't full with it being so late in April so our experience may differ than when it is full.

This resort is not perfect (no 4 star is especially in the DR or Cuba) but we had a great time and would not hesitate to go back. Everyone we met said that they really liked the resort and had a great time. We never used the Deet we brought, I did have a couple of skeeter bites but hubby didn't have any. The entertainment was ok, typical and not too exciting but funny sometimes. The best part of this resort was closing the bars at 11:00 and taking the party to the strip.. lots of fun when you want to keep partying but kept your room quiet if you wanted an earlier night. All drinks and food are included on the strip except the casino but you can bring drinks in with you. There is also internet service for 12.00 an hour but it was down for 3 days while we were there so only got to use 15 min of our hour. If you want to shop, go to the little village at the end of the beach and haggle for better deals. Have a great vacation, we did.

mbliving@gmail.com

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"We will return to this resort and recommend it to anyone"

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

Posted by:  Claire  on Apr 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2009
227 people found this review helpful

Arrival: March 18 - March 25
Arrived at 130 pm in Puerto Plata Airport-- it is under construction there is a walk from one section of the airport to the arrival gates and baggage claim area. Bus ride from Airport to Resort 1 hr and 30 minutes. One stop to drop off other vacationers at another resort.

Rooms
We were in villa 26 on the 2nd floor. Very nice, clean rooms. Two twin beds. T.V. and mini bar which was stocked daily with beer, soft drinks and water. Rooms cleaned daily - cleaning staff excellent. Every day we left a tip for the maid along with soaps, colouring books and pencils for the maids.

Restaurants and Bars
Our package included 3 a la carte restaurants. We visited the Italian, the Mexican and seafood restaurants. Our favourite was the Mexican restaurant. The buffet is also amazing, different theme nights and the large variety of food was amazing. Buffet and restaurant staff were courteous and eager to please.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
The pools were busy as part of our week was March break. But the extra-large pool was able to handle the volume. The grounds are beautiful and well kept. The beach is very clean, chairs are always available.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We did not go on any tours. Our vacation was a relaxing on the beach vacation. There are nightly shows put on by staff as well as a disco and casino.
There are a few stores on the resort where you can purchase souvenirs. Mini golf and regular golf are also available.

Other Comments
If you are looking for a relaxing vacation this is the place for you. The resort if off the beaten path and once you arrive there are no other resorts in the area. Therefore the beach traffic is limited to guests of the Bahia. We will return to this resort and recommend it to anyone who is interested in a quiet, relaxing vacation.

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"HIGHLY recommended!!"

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

Posted by:  Cyndi  on Apr 1, 2009  >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2009
235 people found this review helpful

Arrival: April 1 -8
We arrived at 2pm and checked in right away, quick and painless, then they suttled us and out luggage to our room.

Rooms
Very clean, Mini bar stocked, air conditioning didn't work at first but we left it on all the time and it was comfortable at night.

Restaurants and Bars
We did all 4 a-la-cartes and by far the best was the Meditranian, all the rest were ok. The buffett was good, there was shrimp the first day there but none after that. There was always a variety of fruit and meats but I found all the deserts the same, soggy and most of the time tastless.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
beach was awesome, feeding the fish banana's was amazing. The pool was warm but refreshing after being in the salt water.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We did the Luguna Jeep Safari, HIGHLY recommended!! It was a blast. Juan was the best tour guide and fun!! Number one Juan. Don't forget to bring candy for the children. Other than that we pretty much stayed close to the resort. There was water arobics in the pool every day at lunch and they tought spanish and dancing. Lots to do, also you go to relax and that is what we did.

Other Comments
Bahia staff are great alway friendly. Grounds were always kept neet, never seen any garbage laying around.

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"I have never been that sick in my life."

Bahia Principe San Juan
User Rating:  Bahia Principe San Juan Review: 1.0 of 5

Posted by:  Lindsay  on Apr 1, 2009  >  5 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2009
219 people found this review helpful

Arrival: March 22 - 29
It was kind of confusing, no one would really help us figure out what we were supposed to be doing or where to go.

Rooms
They are old, but clean.

Restaurants and Bars
Not very good, I found there were too many spices and flavouring on everything, like eggs poached in tomato sauce.....gross!

Beach/Pools/Grounds
I was dissapointed with the beach, it just looks like beaches I've seen at home, not white sand like I expected. It was windy the whole time we were there, so the water was dirty and unswimable. The pools are nice enough, if you like pools.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
The only time I got to leave the resort was when I was rushed to the hospital by ambulance. I was supposed to go on three outings, but I ad to cancel all of them, because I was so sick.

Other Comments
Three days after we arrived, I started getting violently ill, I went to see the onsite doctor who was very nice and knowledgble. Unfortunately, I just got progressively worse and had to be rushed by ambulance to the hospital which was an hour away. I ended up having to stay the night at the hospital because I was so sick. It was all caused by ingesting bacteria, which had to be on something I ate, because I didn't drink anything with water and used bottled water to brush my teeth. The scariest part is that the paramedic and nurses didn't speak english, so I didn't know what was going on and I had to somehow let them know that I am deathly allergic to penicillin. But, everything went ok and I got out of the hospital the next day, but I was basically bed ridden until the end of my "vacation". It's now been a week since I arrived back to Canada, and I'm just starting to be able to stomach normal food. This was the first time I left the country, and I have to say, I am terrified to go away ever again, because I have never been that sick in my life. I definitly want to warn people about what could potentially happen while your in a country like this, and I did take precautions, I had all my shots,took the dukoral vaccine,didn't drink the water and watched what I ate, but I still got sick.

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"Would recommend"

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

Posted by:  Dawn  on Mar 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) 
Visited on: Mar, 2009
215 people found this review helpful

Arrival: March 19 - 26
long ride from airport, which is under going renovations. arrived at around noon room was ready by 1430. Had lunch and a drink while we waited.

Rooms
stayed in the gold club area, our room very nice building E4, top floor. New mattress, curtains etc. Very clean. Maid service was excellant. A friend in anothe building was not so lucky, no air conditioning, not cleaned well, no coffee no water etc.

Restaurants and Bars
main buffet nice enough, discovered breakfast and lunch at the Italian a la carte, not as crowded, quiet, nice variety. did not care for the mexican a la carte, surly waiter wrong order etc. The only time in 7 days that anyone was anything but pleasant, he may have been cranky because he was obviously training a new staff member who knows.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
pools very clean, avoided the main pool (crowded) mainly stuck to the small pool in the golden club area. Beach is badly eroded in places but the main area is ok, water very rough during our stay.

Other Comments
this is an older resort the grounds are beautiful and well kept. The rooms are basic cookie cutter but very clean and well maintained. Go for the gold or diamond club. The Bar area around the big pool is huge with lots of tables. And coffee/tea served during morning and afternoon. Nice lobby. Have been to various resorts in Dominican Republic and liked this one, remote area around the resort not developed. Would recommend.

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"All-in-all a fantastic time!"

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

Posted by:  Andrea  on Mar 1, 2009  >  5 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2009
199 people found this review helpful

Arrival: February 16th - 23rd
My husband and I just returned from a week at the Bahia Principe San Juan (Feb 16th-23rd) and had a wonderful time! We travel frequently and if you have any reservations whatsoever about this resort, please rest assured that you have made a good choice.

We arrived late at night so the transfer to the resort only took 45 minutes due to the lack of traffic. Returning to the airport mid-morning took closer to an hour and a half, but it was an enjoyable drive through Cabarate, Sosua, etc.

Rooms
We were in the Diamond section (building A-10) and had no issues whatsoever with the room or the services provided. There was a time late in the afternoon as people returned from the beach that the water pressure dropped, but there was always plenty of hot water.

Restaurants and Bars
The food was quite good. We are foodies and we've travelled throughout the Dominican Republic and this was without a doubt the best food we've had there. There was plenty of selection at the buffets so even the pickiest eater is sure to find something they'd enjoy.

We went to all four a la cartes and were in agreement in our rankings:
- The Seafood restaurant was our favourite. Try the Fish and Seafood Barbeque for a tasty treat!
- The Italian was our next choice.
- The Mexican was third, although be aware that when they plate the food they tend to lay down a cheese sauce first that tastes like melted No Name Cheez Whiz and then place the entree on top of it.
- The Mediterranean was our least favourite. It honestly wasn't very good.

The wine was certainly drinkable...although the beer on tap wasn't a favourite. The beer in the mini-bar was better though. The first day, we left a note and a good tip for the guy who restocks the minibar and from that point on our fridge was stocked full of beer and Coke.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The resort itself was lovely and well-kept. It's quite large so there may be a fair bit of walking to get from your room to the central hub, however it is flat walking on well-kept sidewalks. And there is the option of catching the trams that run continually throughout the resort.

The beach is very nice and stretches forever. Very sandy with light golden sand both on the beach and in the water. No need for water shoes at this resort. The man-made break waters help to minimize the waves so most days are green flag conditions. There were always beach chairs and shade available. As for the sand fleas, yes they are there but just be aware of a few pointers and you'll be fine. Sand fleas will come out at dawn and at dusk so if you want to watch the sunrise on the beach, wear bug repellent. Throughout the day though, we never saw a flea. And the other advice is to ensure that your towels, bathing suits, beach bags, etc. are left out on your balcony rather than in your room when you return from the beach or you may introduce sand fleas into your room.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We went on three excursions:
- Whale Watching in Samana - This was quite expensive ($135 per person) but a really great day. We saw loads of humpbacks! Definitely worth it if this is your sort of thing! The boat ride out was a bit too wavy for some so take some Gravol (dramamine) with you if this is a concern. Lunch and beach (Bacardi Island) in the afternoon. - Jeep Safari - A really nice day out and cost around $65 per person.

Visited a local school, home and small plantation. Had lunch, went to a beach in Boca and to the Blue Lagoon where you had the option to swing out on a rope or jump 40-50 feet from a cliff! Take lots of candy, toys and school supplies on this trip and you will be rewarded with lots of happy smiling faces! - Los Colinas - What a great day with nature! Again, this was around $65 per person. The morning was spent at a local ranch horseback riding through the hills and valleys in the Rio San Juan region. The horses were in very good condition and well cared for so don't let that be a concern.
As an animal lover, this was a concern for me. After lunch, we went to the town of Rio San Juan, did a bit of shopping along the main street as we made our way to the Gri-Gri lagoon. At the lagoon we took a boat ride up the river and out to the open sea. Beautiful sights all along the way!
Jumped overboard for a quick swim before heading to a local beach. After that beach we headed to Playa Grande for a very different beach experience! The local beach was very sheltered and calm...Playa Grande is wild and definite red flag conditions. Huge waves and strong undertow. There were only a handful of us who ventured into the water. We stayed quite close to shore and did a headcount every time a wave hit. The waves were very strong and tossed up around easily. It was great for body surfing though!

Other Comments:
All-in-all a fantastic time! Made some new friends (Hi George and Nadia!), had a relaxing week in the sun, and can't wait to return!

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"Overall we were very happy with the Bahia Principe and had another wonderful vacation"

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

Posted by:  Debbie from CAN  on Mar 1, 2009  >  11 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2009
208 people found this review helpful

We were at the Bahia from February 16th – March 2nd, staying in the Golden Club section through Transat Vacations.

This year we travelled with a larger group – most only for visited for 1 week and a few of us were lucky to stay for both weeks. At one point there were 16 of us. Overall, we were satisfied with the resort and we all had a great time. Many of us have been to other AI’s in Mexico, DR and Cuba, some even to other Bahia’s. For me, the Bahia comes up somewhere in the middle when compared to other resorts we’ve visited, as I expected it would. The homework I did on TA before leaving helped us to go with reasonable expectations and we were not disappointed.

Our bus trip to the resort was one and a half hours, with 2 stops at other hotels along the way. As many have pointed out, it is a nice, relaxing scenic drive. If you want a beer or two for the ride, make sure you purchase them in the airport before you board the bus. Different from other destinations we’ve visited, they don’t sell beers right on the bus.

In some respects, the beach was a little worse than I was expecting. We were in Puerto Plata, staying at the Oasis Marien near Playa Dorada, a few years back. I was expecting a similar brown sand beach but the one at the Bahia was more of a black “sand”. It is a nice long beach if you enjoy taking long walks and swimming was fine.

Sand fleas/mosquitos/no seeums love me and after reading the reviews and posts I went prepared. Out of our group of 16 only 3 of us were really affected by the bugs. I found I had to pretty much avoid the beach as no matter what time of day I went on the beach, I got bitten. I’m not sure if they bugs were out more than I expected because of all the recent rain that they have been having or the work being done on the beach but again, I was one of the only ones affected this way – go figure – most in our group had little or no bites at all. I took Reactin and Benedryl with me and some anti itch cream. These worked great and although I was bitten, I really didn’t have any issue. As far as bed bugs went, our group had 8 rooms and no one experienced any bugs.

The resort was very busy the weeks we were there. Our first week was University reading week. A lot of young people having fun and it was very lively atmosphere. I thought the resort did a great job of handling the full capacity. There were some longer waits for things, but nothing to complain about. We easily managed to get all of our a la carte reservations and finding loungers at the pool and beach was really no issue if you were out by 9:00 am. The buffet was busy at times, but again, if you were a little patient to wait for a table to be reset or in a reasonable line to get food, it really wasn’t an issue.

Golden Club Perks:
We found the staff in the Golden Club Reception to be excellent. They were very helpful with any issues we had. We took advantage of the free daily internet, especially since members or our group were flying in from different locations, arriving on different days. Robes/slippers and bottle of rum in the room along with room service were a nice touch. The location of our Golden Club rooms – right at the beach and a short walk from the central area of the resort was perfect. We requested that our rooms be in the same building but unfortunately, due to the resort being so full, our rooms were in several different buildings. In the end, it was no issue at all.

The staff at the resort were great. Some better than others but most would go out of their way to make your stay the best it could be. Gabriella in Customer Service had arranged for a birthday dinner in the Mediterranean a la carte for our whole group prior to our arrival. It was perfect and they made one of the best birthday cakes I’ve ever had. There were numerous activities offered throughout the day. Some in our group enjoyed the mini-golf area. The group even had a soccer match in the soccer pitch one morning. A couple in our group did the speed boat tour through the dive shop – they really enjoyed it. The street party, especially during the first week, was a lot of fun – the Pueblo Principe really is a good idea – moving the party out of the resort area after 11:00 PM. We had wonderful service from Yoelbi and he had a great laugh.

The pools were all were very clean. They are a little cool to get in but they were very refreshing on a hot day. The swim up bar at the main pool was a nice touch. Pool bar at the quiet pool was good too - Francis looked after us very well!

We found the food in the buffet and the a la cartes to be quite good. Not gourmet dining, but good food with enough selection to please everyone. The only place that was a little disappointing was the beach snack bar – we really didn’t use it much after our first visit. The Italian restaurant is open as a smaller buffet for breakfast and lunch – no reservations required. The setting is more intimate than the big buffet and makes for a nice change of pace. I don’t know if I had a favourite a la carte as I enjoyed all of them. It was hot during our visit and the men in our group wore nice “docker” type shorts with button up collared shirts to the a la cartes and never had an issue.

The drinks were good, not great. It was a little disappointing that there was no name brand liquor, only local brands. Even then, we were surprised they didn’t serve Brugal rum at the resort bars. They served it at the Oasis Marien when we visited there a few years back and were really looking forward to enjoying it again. We did find that you could order it on the Pueblo Principe at night in some of the bars for no extra charge.

Our group did a few tours and outings. We booked the jeep safari through Herman at Campo tours down the beach – it was $50/person, about $20/person cheaper than the tour offered by Transat. We found the first half a little slow, going through the mountains – it was very scenic though. The lunch stop was very good. One the second half of the trip we visited a beach, Blue Lagoon – beautiful and lot’s of fun, a waterfall for taking pictures and Playa Grande – one of the nicest beaches on the North Coast. Our group enjoyed the second half of the excursion much more than the first. Make sure to bring candies to give to the kids – they seem to know exactly when the vehicles will be coming through.

The other tours that some in our group took and enjoyed - Ocean World; dune buggies – looked like they had a blast – again bring candies for the kids on the way; Catamaran day which included snorkeling and lunch.

Some in the group also did a ˝ day deep sea fishing charter. Clean boat, good crew. Almost landed a marlin but he got away. I guess they’ll have to try again next time…

Four of us hired a taxi for the better part of a day. We headed out to two of the gorgeous beaches in the area. Playa Caleton – nice sand, calm, clear water and Playa Grande – beautiful long beach with great waves for surfing and boogie boarding. These beaches are within 20 minutes of the resort, with Caleton being a little closer. We also stopped in Rio San Juan on the way back for some shopping and site seeing. It is not really a tourist town like Puerto Plata, Sosua or Caberete but worth a quick visit. This only cost $50 for all 4 of us – a lot cheaper than taking a tour and we got to visit the beaches at our own pace.

A couple of things we found out about that didn’t seem to be publicized anywhere – for early risers, there is coffee and some food put out in the main lobby in the very early hours. Our group left the resort at 6:00 AM for their fishing excursion and were happy to find some coffee and food before they left.

The resort also has a shuttle that goes to Sosua and Cabarete. It leaves at 9:30 and comes back at 4:30 – cost is $20/person. You have to arrange this at the Customer Service office beside the Golden Club reception. I only learned about it when I heard someone ask about it at reception. We didn’t use it, but did consider it.

Again, overall we were very happy with the Bahia Principe and had another wonderful vacation.

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