|Club Bahia Principe|
|rank & Jan |
|Arrival: Oct 19-26 2008
Flight from Toronto was uneventful except that the plane was delayed because two individuals thought it was more important to drink in the airport bar than to be on the flight at the right time. The bus trip from airport to hotel about 1.5 hours grab a beer or two for the trip. Went through many small towns. Arrival at hotel smooth check in easy.
Rooms clean beds comfy T.V. and air conditioning worked well. Closet space good. Room safe get it for piece of mind. Nice Balcony with partial ocean view.Shower low pressure and more on cool side than hot. This resort is huge it's third world so something like cool showers are not a surprise. The cleaning staff were excellent and they certainly appreciate a couple of bucks for their efforts. Fridge had beer soft drinks and water.
Restaurants and Bars:
The Buffet was very good for breakfast excellent farm fresh eggs good strong coffee bacon ham omelette station. The buffet for lunch and dinner was adequate lots of selections maybe just a bit repetitive towards weeks end. The A la carte's. The seafood not great the steaks at the mediteranean were excellent. The bars very good, great selection. The swim up bar was noisy and the most crowded. Music was loud bass was pounding. We hung out at the smaller bar/pool which is near the gym. Much nicer quiet the bartender Antonio was really good and the pool guy Eddie was a gem always laughing working from morning to night. Don't forget to tip these guys .
Grounds extremely well kept. Pools very clean. The beach is not your white sand beach you get in Punta Cana or La Romana it is brown sand. The water for the week was mostly rough with yellow and red flags. Now depending on what you like it's a hoot for body surfing.No snorkelling close to resort water was very warm.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Went into Rio San Juan by Taxi. It's dirty its third world I"ve been in interesting places and this had a scary edge to it. We did go and book horse back riding through Campo-Tours just off the resort. Booked through a guy called Herman. The horse back riding was a short drive to a little fishing village where ourselves and another couple spent three hours on horseback. The owner was an Austrian gentleman named Arneau who has been in the D.R. for about 20 years very knowledgeable. Would definitely recommend this around 50-55 bucks American .
We got our trip cheap. Would we return??? Lots of other places to see. Again it is third world. The resort is not your four or five star resort you get in the mayan. Still it was fun clean and no complaints. Most of the people staying here were Brits who really seemed to have a good time along with a few Canadians and a few other Europeans. The resort we were told was at only about 40% capacity. I don't know how it would be at near capacity. Take your cooly mug ( Big Bubba for you Canadians which can be purchased at Canadian Tire) and American$$$$.
|Club Bahia Principe|
|Stayed at Bahia Principe San Juan from Jan 22, 08 to Jan 29, 08. My wife and I were in need of a mid winter vacation and truthfully have never been anywhere without the kids. Well the Bahia did not disappoint. Remembering that we were there for 1600 dollars taxes included (thats for 2 people)this place is paradise. I think most bad reviews come from the Brits because well they're British. Everything about this resort is 5 star except for the food which is definitely 4 star so no problem there. You will not starve thats for sure. We had sun and 88 hot humid degrees every day half hour of rain all week. Paradise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Excursions were awesome. Went on Safari tour all day trip for reasonable price lots to do see and drink. Get your jeep rocking you'll have a blast. If you get Tony for your guide you're in for a treat. Horseback riding was great too. Canadian guy owns and operates. 3 hours through authentic Dominican scenery BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!! The friendliest place on the planet would love to live there. If you cant have fun here you might need a personality transplant. One thing being from Ontario. This time of year the place is crawling with Quebecors but hang in there the Ontario cream rises to the top. The resort is huge immaculate and beautiful. The staff is awesome. Do they like being tipped? You bet this is a third world country they are poor. We took lots of our kids shoes and clothes to give to staff and candy for the tours. The only place we were asked for a tip was the airport otherwise no harassment whatsoever. A dollar goes a long way here. When booking this place remember what you paid because it is well worth it. I have spent this much on a 4 day weekend in Canada and not had nearly the fun. Keep that in mind.
|Club Bahia Principe|
|Peggy & Bill |
Brantford, Ont. Canada
|Never really had a huge desire to go to the Dominican but since we want to try and go to as many different places in the Caribbean as we can over the next 5-8 years before we retire (we're in our early 50's) we needed to give the Dominican a try. As always I check the reviews on this web site to see what people think. The majority of the reviews on this resort were mostly favourable and the deal we got helped make our decision. We weren't disappointed.
Upon arrival one thing I noticed that we have received prior on other trips was they had no Cervesa for the guests getting on the resort buses and when we mentioned this we were whisked off to a Vendor stall outside the Airport to get a couple of Cervesa's @ $5 a piece (Ouch). Not what we were expecting. Bus ride to this resort was minimum 1 hour maybe a little more and the roads (as in so many other Caribbean Country's were terrible).
We originally booked the Golden Club rooms but upon arrival discovered our friends agent who we used (instead of our own-that won't happen again) booked regular rooms. We immediately indicated this was not what we paid for and the other couple we came with called collect to talk to them (had to pay a connection fee even though it was collect of $1.50). The people at the resort were very good about the whole situation and tried to make up for it by giving us rooms in the Golden Club section but without all the extra perks until everything was verified by our agent. As soon as this was done (took a day) we were immediately contacted and told to come and get a different bracelet while they changed what was necessary in our rooms. By the way our rooms were very nice. We were on the very corner of the block on the second story and could see the ocean from our balcony.
With Golden Club you get 4 ala cart dinners. We ate at the Seafood, Mediterranean and twice at the Italian. All were very good. The buffet restaurant also had a very good variety of food, much better than at other resorts we've previously stayed at in the Caribbean.
The grounds were immaculate. The staff was always cleaning. We did see several people with bites on their legs and backs and heard it was sand fleas. We had very few bites so I guess the fleas didn't like us.
Drinks were okay. It depended on what bar you were using. We noticed a difference on the resort at the different bars between the drinks so I would advise trying what you like but at all the different bars and then make your decision as to what drinks to get at what bars.
We were suppose to go on the Catamaran tour (we snorkel as much as we can - even bring our own equipment) but it got rained out thanks to Hurricane Omar that was below the Island the day we were to go. There was a ton of rain that day due to the outer bands of Omar but otherwise we had pretty good weather the whole week. Got our refund without problem since we weren't going to be there for the next tour.
Thought some of the items at the various stores were overpriced but if you go into Sousa to the market you can barter with the Vendors. Watch as every Vendor will insist you go into their stall (can become very annoying). You just need to be firm but pleasant when you say no thank you or maybe later. Have always felt you could barter better in the currency of the Country so if you can have Peso's. I got them at Sousa-there are Exchange vendors all over as well if the banks aren't open.
Check out was early morning (6:00am) and went smoothly but give yourself time as they are slow and it may only be one person handling all the checkouts. Also anyone who needs to be at the lobby and checked out before 7:00 am you are walking your luggage to the main lobby. The pickup cars or shuttles do not start until 7:00am. Also the continental breakfast for early tours departures and early flight departures leaves a lot to be desired as well. You will get buns (no knives to cut them), cheese, meat (looks like spam) and butter (used a spoon to spread on the bun). Might be enough juice for everyone but probably not. Same with the tea and coffee. These issues would probably be my only complaints about our whole week.
Over all we found the resort very nice, food was great and the people were friendly. Some things were pricey but could be found cheaper if you really wanted it. Would I go back to this resort - no reason not to, will just depend on where we want to travel next. We will go back to the Dominican again, just not sure when. I would recommend this resort for anyone looking for a 4 star hotel for exceptional value.
|Club Bahia Principe|
|Chris Carol Torquay |
|I booked this holiday knowing very little about the DR however i always like to try new places......having booked the holiday i then found this site and read several reviews which left me with very mixed feelings about what to expect given the few terrible reviews i had read.
Having now been I have to ask the question ' where did these people go?' because it certainly was not the same resort that we went to!
Amazing!.....we have had the best holiday ever, the people are great the accomodation was good the food was well thought out and of a high quality ( yes its not 'english' food but of course we were not in England so new things are part of the holiday experience if you want 'english' food then......stay in England!)
We Moved rooms twice, no argument from the hotel, no problems at all. We only moved the first time as we had twin beds and being our first holiday together we obviously didnt want seperate beds!!! the second move was because they moved us away from the sea front rooms due to 'IKE' a measure i was happy to take for safety reasons!
our final room was next to the quiet pool with a beautiful view of the beach and sea....fantastic!
The restaurants were good, we ate mainly in the main buffet from choice although we did use the seafood and mediterrean on a couple of occasions. The reason for this was we preffered the informal atmosphere and the waiters knew us (within 3 days they knew what we wanted and had drinks waiting for us breakfast, lunch, and dinner!!) A very good variety of food was available although the bacon was popular and you had to be ready...lol
Our pool.....It was immaculate, Eddie the pool guy was there early to ensure everything was clean and stayed all day to ensure everyone was happy...he went above and beyond as far as im concerned and was a really nice guy as well....he only sopke a few words of English but we were greeted with a smile and a 'high five' every day.
The only critisisim i have is the scare mongering from the reps to make you buy their excursions,(ie its not safe to leave the resort, in our opinion its fine we experienced noting but smiles and friendly waves) walk along the beach through the 'Indian village' (just say no, they are a bit pushy but will take a 'later, later' answer) cross the bridge and there you will find Compo tours...ownded by Herman (not german lol) another nice guy. the jeep safari is great lots of places visited and some superb new experiences (lunch and drinks included! unlike other operators) dont forget to take sweets for the kids in the hills!
Compo tours also operate boats and Quad bikes, the bikes we went on 3 times as it was so much fun and Willy and Patrice, the guides enjoyed the fun we had as much as we did, especially spashing through the puddles!
I could go on for ages about how great our holiday was but i think the best way i could express it is to say i never go back to the same place twice however we WILL be going back there next year without fail, there is still so much to see and do there and the friendliness and care we had from the people (not just the people in the hotels) are well worth going back for! and we met some great new friends, thanks George and Lesley for showing us a lot and making me laugh with the oldest and worst(but funny nonetheless) jokes in eternity!
Go there, enjoy everything the DR has to offer.
Oh and tipping is customary but doesnt have to be extravagant.!!
|Club Bahia Principe|
|Andrea and Kevin |
Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Travel and Arrival:
My boyfriend and I stayed at the Bahia Principe from July 11-18. Our flight was a mourning flight scheduled to depart at 6:20am. The flight was a bit late leaving but we arrived in Puerto Plata at the scheduled time of 10:20. Customs and Immigrations went smoothly and retrieving our luggage was quick. Once out of the terminal we went to find our Air Transit Rep to see what bus we were on. The transfer to the Bahia is an hour long or more depending on traffic and road conditions. While you are on the bus to the resort they do the check in and give you your bracelets already. Once you get to the resort you are told to go to the reception to see if your room is ready as well as your welcome package. Since we had booked the Golden Club we had a separate reception area at the Golden Club House and were told to go there. The transfer for us took an hour and we arrived at the resort around 12:15pm.
When we arrived we were greeted with a welcome drink while we waited for the luggage to be unloaded. Once the luggage was unloaded we went to the Golden Club House to see if the room was done. With 30 other people checking to see if their room was ready the boyfriend and I decided to go have lunch and check back in an hour once everyone was gone. We returned around 2:00pm and were told our room was ready (2215). Upon arriving at the room we found that it had two beds instead of one king so we went back to the Golden Club House to see if we could get another room. They were happy to accommodate us with a new room but it would be another half hour while they got it ready. Once again we disappeared into the Bahia enjoying having a few drinks and checking everything out. Before we knew it was 4:00pm and we quickly went back to the Golden Club House to get our room. Our new room would be 2254 and they quickly sent a bellboy to take our luggage from the old room to the new one.
Our room was the last unit on the second floor with a partial view of the ocean and beach from the balcony. It was a nice room but nothing fancy. One problem we had with it was that it didn't have anything in it that the brochure said.
Gold Club Guest is to receive in their room
• Beach towels, bathrobes and slippers in room
• Mini-bar restocked daily (water, soft drinks and beer)
• Coffee-maker in room
• VIP room amenities (soaps and lotions)
• One bottle of rum in room
None of these things were in the room. We phoned immediately to inform them of the problem and were told everything would be brought shortly. It took them quite awhile to get everything for the room and we still didn’t have the mini bar stocked with at least water and pop that night.
We found out later that week that everything is done separately when setting up the rooms. There is the maid who only does the room. There is a mini bar guy who brings all the water, beer, and soft drinks so if you want more you have to tip him not the maid. And there is a staff member from the Golden Club who takes care of all the extras the room gets. This could explain why we had so much trouble with the room the first day.
The Bahia is a massive resort (941 rooms) with a Tran that runs through the resort regularly so you do not have to walk. Its walkways are lined with tropical flowers and the grounds are landscaped with mature tropical foliage everywhere. It is well kept and is breathe taking.
The beach is quite nice though it is not the sandy white beach you find in Punta Cana. It is kept well cleaned by the resort and there are plenty of palm huts to laze under along it. The beach located on the diamond side is much nicer then the Golden side but there are more people always there. As for the sand fleas everyone is commenting on we did not have any problems on the beach and we stayed at the beach every day.
We didn’t use any of the pools because we prefer the beach. They all appeared to be well kept and clean.
While we were there only 5 of the bars were in operation (pool, lobby, piano, lounge, and wet bar in the pool). These bars open at different times so it was always easy to get a drink. We mainly got our drinks from the pool bar at the quiet pool through the day. Antonio was our bartender for the week there and he did a great job keeping our cups full. Watch out for that 151.
After staying at 33 resorts over the past 18 years throughout the Caribbean, I have to say that the Bahia had the worst frozen drinks I ever had. It did not matter if you got a Pina Colada, Coco Loco, Bahama Mama the mix they used was the same at all the bars and were horrible. We settled on drinking their drink the Bahia Principe for the week which was rum, amaretto, and orange juice. It was quite tasty.
We didn’t do any of the a la carte and settle on the main buffet La Brisa and the beach grill (Casita Blanca) at lunch. The main buffet was very good with plenty of variety for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Each night had a different theme night which they displayed at the entrance of the buffet in the mourning. If you didn’t like the theme you always had time to book a la carte. When you entered the buffet the host would ask you for your room number and then would ask you to use the hand sanitizer which they offer you to use before entering the buffet. As for the beach grill everything was good but there was not too much variety. You choices were a hamburger, hot dog or chicken with fries or pre-made sandwiches. One day they did have pizza.
I have been to many resorts in the Caribbean and the staff at the Bahia had to be the best I have ever had to spend my holiday with. They made our week at the Bahia exceptional.
For us we always think of the Bahia as a paradise in the middle of nowhere. Quiet, relaxing and fun. Would we go back? Yup!
|Club Bahia Principe|
|The Greene Family |
|We travelled to the Dominican Republic from London Gatwick on 19th April. Our party consisted of myself, my husband, our one year old daughter, my husband’s parents and sister and her two children aged 10 and 7.
My mother and father in-law are frequent visitors to the Dominican Republic, and have stayed at the Bahia Principe San Juan on a number of occasions. They have always been very impressed with the hotel, it’s facilities and especially the staff.
We arrived at the hotel at about 3.00 in the afternoon after an hour or so transfer from Puerta Plata Airport – the journey goes quickly as there is so much to see along the way. We were given our room keys and information packs on the coach so there was no need to hang around the reception area, we went straight to our rooms keen to get changed and soak up the sun!!
The rooms we were allocated we in a block quite close to the main communal areas, and faced the sea. Our room was a good size, the bed was huge and a cot was provided for the baby. The bathroom was fresh and clean and the maid replaced the towels daily. The maid often created impressive flowers/swans/butterflies out of the towels and left them on the bed. She cleaned the room to a high standard and would even fold clothes left out of place and tidy away shoes etc. There are safety deposit boxes in all rooms, we didn’t use ours as we didn’t find it until it was nearly time to go home and we didn’t encounter any problems with things going missing. The mini fridges are kept well stocked with water, coke, beers etc., if you slip the refill guy a tip he’ll happily leave you extra beers!!
The pool area is lovely, if you are up early enough you will find the staff wiping down the sunbeds and bleaching the floors. There are a few pools, for the first few days we sat around the largest one which has a fantastic swim up bar, the entertainment team hang around this area and there’s always something going on. They arrange yoga sessions and water aerobics in the morning then in the afternoon they look for volunteers to partake in their fun and games. All very good fun, but their Crazy Frog theme tune got annoying after about day 7 so we hung around one of the smaller quieter pools.
The grounds of the hotel are immaculately kept, there is an army of gardeners, cleaners and maintenance men wandering round making sure everything is in order.
The beach is also lovely, not quite golden sands, but the staff do their best to keep it clean and tidy. There is a water sports centre on the beach and all non-motorised sports are free. My partner and I walked along the beach most days. I’m not sure that they encourage you to leave the hotel grounds – when you leave the hotel parameter they make you sign out – but we felt quite safe and walked for miles in both directions. It was wonderful to see unspoiled beaches, on a few occasions we met some local people who were very pleasant. Apparently there are sand fleas but we didn’t have any problems with them…
If you leave the hotel grounds there is a tour company, Campo Tours. Herman, Tinto and their team are a wonderful bunch of guys who offer the same trips as the tour operators. We took a safari type trip with them and rather then telling you where you’re going they gave us a few options and let us decide what we wanted to see. They took us to beautiful waterfalls, lagoons and beaches. Lunch was provided and the rum flowed freely all day…. Would definitely recommend that you take this trip with Campo Tours. Another good day out was the quad bike excursion. We went into the country-side, through rivers, down rocky hills and whizzed though muddy puddles….
Breakfast is served each morning in the buffet restaurant. As well as a cooked breakfast, they had a massive selection of pastries, cakes, fresh bread, cereals, omlettes, fresh fruit and smoothies…. Waiters are always on hand to serve teas and coffees.
The buffet restaurant has a theme each evening; Spanish night, Caribbean night, Gala night…. There was always a good selection of food available. I am a fussy eater and didn’t have any problems finding something different to eat each night. There is a Mexican, Italian, Mediterranean and a fish restaurant at the hotel - we only had a chance to try the Italian and Mediterranean – both were absolutely delicious. Make reservations at the restaurants as soon as you can as they book up very quickly. The beach bar was also very nice, they serve a selection of chicken, chips, pizzas, burgers, sandwiches etc for most of the day.
The entertainment team at the hotel do a fantastic job. Early in the evening there is dancing for the kids then some games for them. There is a show every night, we watched a few, and they were fantastic. After the show, the main entertainment area stops serving drinks and the strip to the front of the hotel opens up. On the strip there is a disco, karaoke b
ar, casino – all this stays open until the early hours.
All in all, I think that the Bahia Principe San Juan is a fantastic resort. I would go back there in a flash. Two years ago my husband and I stayed at a Sandals resort in Cuba which was supposed to be 5* - the Bahia Principe is 100 times better. The staff at the hotel are so friendly and helpful, the grounds are clean and well kept, the food and the entertainment are second to none. My mother and father in-law have already booked another trip to the Bahia Principe for this September!!
Don’t believe the bad reviews you read about this hotel – give it a chance – you’ll have a fantastic time!!!
|Club Bahia Principe|
|We stayed at the Bahia Principe San Juan (Puerto Plata) and have never been so disgusted with a resort. They have bed bugs that attack you while you sleep.
Not sand fleas, not mosquitoes – we were bitten hundreds of times, without exaggeration, on our legs and torso while we slept. We did not bring sand fleas into our bed; we aren’t even beach people – we relax by the pool and we shop! And we have pictures of the bites.
We have been to Dominican four times: twice to Puerto Plata, once to Punta Cana and once to La Romana. We know what to expect in that part of the world but bed bugs have never been an issue before.
My husband still has the scars from the bed bug bites 4 months later. In fact, he is embarrassed to wear shorts.
Just don”t go there. Spend your money with another tour operator. Transat Holidays told us that we pretty much got what we paid for and that they would not do anything for us. They said we had to expect that sort of thing.
We travel extensively and will never book another trip through Transat Holidays.
|Club Bahia Principe|
|Being a single parent of two young daughters, ages 10 and 12, it was important that we felt safe and secure in the resort that we stayed at. Not only was the Bahia Principe that it was so much more! From the moment we drove through the front gates and we saw the resort we knew that we had found a gem in the rough.
We were given a lovely room with an ocean view complete with three twin beds. My only reservation was that the linens were paper thin, as were the comforters, and we had to ask for blankets. Other than that one thing everything was just perfect.
The food in each of the restaurants is wonderful. A hint to traveller’s going to this beautiful resort, make your reservations at the a la carte dining rooms when you first arrive there. This way you will get the time you would prefer. They fill up quickly.
The activities offered every day are so much fun. Whether you want to laze on the beach all day or take a bicycle around the resort there is something there for everyone.
In our minds what really made our holiday wonderful was the staff. Each person we dealt with went out of their way to ensure we had a good vacation. From Juan at the front desk to Dean of the animation staff everyone was just great.
We simply can’t wait to go back again!! It’s our new favourite vacation spot in the world.
|Club Bahia Principe|
Nova Scotia, Canada
|Arrival and Flight
We left Halifax on time and arrived in Puerto Plata 1/2 hr early! On the way to BPSJ we dropped people off at Viva Wyndham Tangerine, which is right on the main road and would be a little shocking if you haven't been to the Dominican Republic before. We then stopped at a store for some Presidante for the rest of the trip. The bus ride of a little more then an hour goes by quickly as there is so much to see. When we arrived at the hotel our rooms were not going to be ready until 3pm, but we expected this and had a beach bag as one of our carryons, left the rest of the luggage with the bell boys and started our vacation!
We did have a few problems with our rooms and had to be moved twice, but they were more then happy to do so. The first one there was something wrong with the toilet, it kept running but it was extremely loud, even with the door shut I couldn't take my siesta so we asked to be moved. The second room had an air conditioner that the control panal would make a loud (electric) buzzing sound then stop, then start again...and the fan was off balance and very noisy directly above the bed (this room was floor 2 of a 3 story building so it was more closed in) we had to sleep without the air conditioner on and a pillow over my head to drown out the sound of the fan. The next morning we complained again. The third room was great! Very close to the buffet/pool/beach, it had catherdral ceilings and it did have a coffee maker (we didn't use it). The mini fridge was sooo cold the drinks would have ice in them. A tip and a note got us 4 beer a day. I was disappointed that even with tipping the maid every day we didn't get any towel art or flowers. I wouldn't upgrade to the diamond club because it was very far away from everything, try to get on the golden club side of the resort.
*see conclusion about toilet paper issue
The food at the buffet was ok. We were spoiled last year at another resort by amazing food, so it wasn't quite as good as expected but we never went hungry and we didn't live on french fries like some people did. In the buffet we did have a problem getting waited on for drinks for some reason, even water...I found this frustrating as some people would barely be seated and have their drinks in front of them.
We booked our a la cartes the day we arrived and still couldn't get into the medetrainan (we didn't want 9:30 sittings) so we went to the Italian it was ok (don't order pizza, it's nothing to write home about), the Seafood- again it was ok (but I'm not a big seafood fan, probably should've skipped it) and the Mexican---it was to die for! By far the best meal I had all week (had the steak), the martinis were great, the appetizer buffet was fantastic (and there was lots of vegetarian options for those who need that info).
Not all of the bars were open all the time, during the day the pool bar was open (only in the pool, not the other side) and paino bar was open and 1 beach bar (well it is the quiet pool bar) but not the golden club beach bar. At night 2 more bars opened up near the lobby. I must say I was a little disappointed---the slushie drinks were never frozen so they didn't taste as good, only 1 time at the quiet pool bar did I actually get a fully slushy drink. It did seem like the alcohol was a little weak (but that may be a good thing considering you're drinking way more then you would at home), I had read previous reviews about watered down drinks and I didn't believe it, but now I wonder. I think the bar by the quiet pool had the best drinks and the friendliest bar tender
Mostly stuck to Ron Punch during the day and Blue Hawaiian the last few nights (martinis at the Mexican resturant were the best!)
After 11 when the main bars close and you head out to the strip there are a couple bars out there
Beach and Pools
I want to be back on the beach right now!
The beach had loads of sun shades! At any time during the day you could find a spot, there were lots of loungers. Be careful of the drop off (maybe 6-10") as you walk in the water...if it is a clear calm day you can see it, but not when its wavy. Also the sand gets very very hot (just pointing it out- not complaining) and it really does burn your feet. We took our own towels and used them mainly to distinugish where we were sitting as everyone has the same towels from the hotel--don't lose them, it will cost you $20us each
The main pool you would have to get up ealry to get shade or sit behind the huge tree in the afternoon. We usually sat on the beach just behind the main pool so we could hear what was going on. Didn't spend any time at the quiet pool as whenever we walked by I didn't see much shade
The grounds were beautiful, they work so hard keeping them perfect. I tipped quite a few of the ground keepers and always got the biggest most genuine smiles, these guys work hard long hours in the sun, they deserve to be tipped.
Activities and Entertainment
Lots going on during the day if you want to participate. I did stretching/areobics a couple of times and my husband played beach volleyball. We also took the pedalboat out once. The nighttime entertainment was the typical resort stuff, but these people work such long hours you have to give them credit. They were amazing dancers, they looked to be professionally trained and a few of them took their dancing very seriously. We did make it out to the strip 2 nights for only about 1 hour, its great for people who are there to party! (personally I enjoyed the mornings on the beach more) it was very festive and good that it is away from the resort so that it doesn't disturb us early risers
We did the Fiesta Nights Tour booked through our siganture rep. I would totally reccomend this. A fun night on a party bus (feeding you loads of alcohol) stopping at the square in Rio San Juan, going to Playa Grande to see the sunset (had a fresh pina coloda here) and to a resturant to watch a vudoo show and eat.
The second tour I did was a 4 hour snorkling tour. I booked it at the water activey place on the beach. It was AWESOME!!!The most amazing thing I've ever done!It was great beacuse it left right from the beach so you had no travel time. We stopped to snorkle twice, went through Gri Gri lagoon, and a cave and stopped at a beach for an hour in Rio San Juan.
Departure and Check Out
Everything was quick and easy at check out although very very early. We were in the lobby at about 6:15am and they did have some fruit/breads and coffe and juice out which was a good thing as we didn't get lunch on the plane until about 2pm. Buy your phone card from the signature rep--$10 for canada which gave you 29 minutes, and you didn't pay a connection fee to the room when you use it.
We bought our duty free at the airport rather then putting it in our luggage (there were a few people at baggage claim who could smell their broken alcohol). We took our beach bag and towels as a carryon and wrapped each bottle in a towel.
We left Puerto Plata 40 minutes last and flew to Halifax via Punta Cana and still arrived 15 minutes early.
Would I recommend this resort?Yup! Would I go back again?Yup! if the price was right. Was I disappointed? A little but only because we were so spoiled last year at the amazing resort we stayed at (Gran Ventana). We still had a great trip...a trip is what you make it, go with a good attitude and you'll have a good trip. I'm the last person who thought I'd complain about my room once let alone twice but they were happy to make us happy and if they hadn't of fixed i would've lived and it wouldn't of ruined my trip. The trip was so relaxing and peaceful, it's hard to come back to reality.
*one warning* you can't flush the toilet paper, you have to put it in the garbage beside the toilet, which is a little gross. Be prepared.
|Club Bahia Principe|
|Visited this resort March 5 to 12, 2008. Along with three other lady friends.
I have been twice to Punta Cana and my second visit to Puerta Plata. This was by far the best of the four hotels I stayed. We had not one complaint.
Super clean - the public bathrooms had attendants cleaning constantly. The
only thing wrong with our room - bedside table lamp did not work and this
was fixed as soon as we complained to the desk. The food was good -
alcohol hand-washing a must prior to entry to the dining areas. Plenty of
lounge chairs (did not have to get up early to lay claim) - no shortage of
beach towels. The grounds are beautiful and well kept. Staff friendly and
courteous. Pools clean.
Would not hestitate going back again. However, not during March breaks - too many teen-agers. On average, they were pretty good, but like to stay up all hrs and tend to be a bit rowdy. But hey, I was young once, so
understood. They certainly kept the staff on their toes, and in many
cases probably made it difficult for them to always be smiling. However,
I personally would be thinking twice before allowing 17/18 yr. olds on un-chaperoned trips.
|Club Bahia Principe|
Gotta laugh at the arrival area of the airport one good gust of wind and it may disappear, lol. Of course they meet you at the arrival gate and want pictures with the girls all dressed up, not bad. Thank god the ride on the bus to the resort was only half an hour, one of the representatives was totally annoying. Didn't shut his mouth the whole ride, really loved the microphone.Others were very annoyed as well. When we did get to resort, a little mix up with getting off the bus, the Ambar was the first stop, when we were there last time, 3 years ago, it was either Punta Cana or Bavaro side, thats all changed now. Anyways, got to the front desk and staff were very friendly and helpful, gave us our room, told us to go for a drink and bell boy would bring our stuff to the room, relaxing right from the start.
Our first room was in the Punta Cana area, room 12211 and as soon as we opened the door we could smell the musty aroma, not impressed at all. The bathroom was not very clean, looked like something not pleasant was stepped on the floor and not cleaned up. Our first visit to this resort was almost 3 yrs before this when it was barely a year old, big difference, but you have to expect that seeing this place is busy 24/7, 365 days a year. Oh well, off to the front desk and requested a change of rooms, to where we were before, near the back of the resort near the ocean. It took us a day and a half, and a little stash to Miguel, who was very helpful and friendly, and we were where we wanted and requested to be in the first place. I really noticed the wear and tear of the roooms since our first time there, but that has to be expected. All in all I would give the rooms a 4 rating at best.
Just as before, the restaurants and the buffets were excellent (except for one). We had booked our 3 a la cartes, and they gave us an extra for our dissatisfaction with our room, but only made three. The one that I would not recommend, and probably only because I saw a cockaroach swimming next to the eggplant in the buffet, was the outdoor buffet, sorta turned me off that night.I scooped it out with the tongs and gave it to the chef who was standing there, not making a scene.
The bars were excellent, the servers were great, especially with a minimal tip, they see you coming, remember you and have your drink ready for you, gotta love it. They definitely do not skimp on the booze, and the "Presidente" was always ice colded.
Beach and Pools -
The beach and pools were all very well taken care of and there was always chairs for everyone.
Beautiful! they are constantly grooming the grounds, washing down the sidewalks in keeping the place clean.
The activities around the main pool started everyday around 3 when everyone was mostly two sheets to the wind, had a few laughs thats for sure. From bingo,arobics, to arm wrestling and the sexiest lady who could wrap herself around and elderly man contest, was all fun.
All in all, we had a great time again except the few minor incidents that I mentioned above. Would I go back, yes, but in the newest part "Ambar" that was just completed, adult only section. We ended up in the Diamond Club section, which is really no different from the rest of the original layout, with just a few extras. The rooms need to be refurbished some, paint, a good cleaning with a bit of a dissenfectent on a daily basis, other than that for most people it is still a 4.999... resort
|Club Bahia Principe|
|We paid to stay at the Bahia Principe San Juan from March 7 to 14, and stayed only one night.
If other guests are taking legal action against Air Transat tours or this hotel for what transpired over the March Break, we would like to join in.
We were very happy to leave this hotel. We stayed only twelve hours.
Our arrival unfortunately coincided with the first day of a drunken March Break party of hundreds upon hundreds of drunk teens, many of them only sixteen and seventeen years old, too young to legally drink alcohol.
I do agree that teenagers may have the right to a fun March Break vacation, but I don't think it is reasonable of Air Transat or the Bahia Principe to put these teens together with adults, families and especially seniors.
I don't understand why such a nice hotel would allow hundreds of teens to come and trash their property and their reputation.
Shame on Air Transat tours,
and shame on the parents who allowed their children, particularly their sixteen and seventeen year-old daughters, to this drunken party in the Dominican Republic, and
shame on all the drunk, obnoxious, screaming, vomiting GTA teens who gave Canadians such a bad name. Travellers from countries around the world will be coming home to tell their friends how terrible Canadians are.
I did notice a few Canadian teens behaving themselves somewhat, but there were not enough of these.
We were put in the same lodging section as these teens and we could not get any sleep. All night, and I mean, even at 5 a.m., we could hear the teens talking loudly, swearing, screaming, fornicating, banging on and slamming doors, and arguing with security guards. The walls were very thin, and every time someone opened the sliding door from the room above us, there was a loud bang. We could hear lewd conversations word for word from our room. All of this while we were trying to sleep.
The hotel provided each hotel room with a 26 oz. bottle of white rum. Giving this amount of alcohol to hundreds of teens is irresponsible.
We went to the front desk to complain about the noise three times throughtout the night to no avail, and on one occasion they just thought it was funny that we were complaining.
We were also told, "Relax, you're on holiday". It did not feel like a holiday. They also told us that the teens were paying customers too and had the right to a holiday - but I don't agree that they had the right to keep us awake at 5 a.m..
Another guest, who we met at 3 a.m. when complaining about noise to the front desk, got so frustrated with the teens that he kicked in their door – things were getting violent – another reason why we needed to get out.
The hotel provided us with the world's lumpiest and most uncomfortable pillows, a shower that didn't work, and a toilet that wouldn't flush. Water was dripping down through the ceiling from the room above us.
We tried to get a hamburger at the burger place on the main drag of the hotel compound, but it was over-run with teens, so we gave up.
We did have one beer but it was watered down and over-carbonated, kind of like a tasteless ginger ale - not good.
Thanks to the two on-site Air Transat representatives who provided us with a ticket out of that hotel - our next hotel, the Grand Oasis Marien, was much better. We ended up having a beautiful holiday!
|Club Bahia Principe|
| Michelle & Paul |
Halifax, N.S., Canada
|Arrival and Flight
Feb 27 - March 6/08 Loved it! Would definitely go back to this hotel.
The ride from the airport was about an hour and fifteen minutes with only one other stop to drop people at another resort. The roads are not in great shape, especially between Cabarete and Rio San Juan, be prepared for a bumpy ride. Check-in at the Club Diamond section was smooth, our room was not ready yet as we got there at lunchtime and check-in is not until later in the afternoon but they had the room ready by 3. We were fortunate to have friends already there so we just stored our stuff with them until 3. Because of this we can't comment on what provision they have for your bags if you need to wait for a room. The room we got was a first floor in the second last building which we soon realized was really loud because of the air-conditioning unit outside right beside our room. When we told the nice young woman at the reception and asked for a second floor (which is what we had originally asked for) away from the air conditioner she assured us that she would see what she could do and by 11 the next morning, we had our new room, second floor closest to the beach, amazing - could not have hand picked a better choice. Huge word of advice - ask nicely, don't demand! Works the same here as anywhere else in the world, good manners and patient understanding work wonders! In our welcome package there were two beach towel coupons which we did not use as we brought our own. Another word of caution, if you don't need them, keep them anyway - when you check out you need either the coupons or the towels or you will get charged for them.
In our opinion, the only things that make this a 4 star instead of at least a 4.5 are the standard rooms and sand color, neither of which was a problem for us. The rooms are a good size with a decent bathroom and fabulous deck/balcony. They are well kept & clean which are the most important things for us. The king size bed was quite comfortable, the pillows not so much as they use the chip foam type which is not my favorite. The fridge worked so well, the pop started to freeze. No problem with ants or anything else, even if there had been a few, no big, it's the tropics! A dollar a day each for the housekeeper and the bar fridge guy was well worth it, the fridge always had extra beer and the room was always well done, even our shoes all lined up in a nice straight line. Do be careful of water on the ceramic tile outside, VERY slippery when wet.
Food - Never had a problem finding something good to eat. Yes, the buffet can get a little repetitive at times, but again, that would be true of any buffet, anywhere. Always lots of veggie choices, they do an amazing job with broccoli. I think that a lot of the people who claim they got "food poisoning" are actually suffering from an acute case of over-indulgence. I ate like a normal person and had no problem whatsoever. My darling spouse on the other hand, looks at an all you can eat buffet as a dare, especially when it comes to bacon, chicken wings and shrimp so he suffered a little bout of tourista the last day and for a day or so after we got home. The so-called smell of the buffet is quite simply what happens when you combine so many different food smells in one place, again, this will happen anywhere.
Very accommodating, just ask nice!!!! Also, if their english is not perfect or even good, you are in their country and so you should also make an effort to learn a bit of their language. I am determined to speak way more spanish next time. If you are at the omelet bar and you want your ingredient choices understood perfectly, don't stand there and point vaguely in the general vicinity of the add-ons while reciting your list, take the time to speak clearly and/or indicate clearly by getting in closer and pointing closely to specific choices.
Lots of them, no problem getting served - Mama Juana is my new favorite drink! Was told that you can only get wine at meals but all the bars had it available all day, red or white, just a house wine but quite drinkable.
Beach and Pools
The beach - Not white but really, who cares. They had a team out hand-raking it early each morning to pick up the debris that un-caring tourists leave lying all over the beach. The beach down at the Club Diamond/Hacienda section was the best by far, way wider at that part and no seaweed. The water was fabulous, I like pools but much prefer the ocean. As far as sand fleas are concerned some people are just yummier than others. Of the 6 people in our group, only one had a lot of bites so she was itchy but no worse than black fly or mosquito season in Canada. Also, guess what, sand fleas are everywhere there is sand, this is not exclusive to the Dominican in general or the Bahia Principe in particular. Bring some deep woods off if you think it might be a problem. In 8 days I had 2 bites and my husband had 4 or 5.
The pools - gorgeous! Every morning they had people right in the pools doing hand cleaning. The Club Diamond pool was nice and quiet if that is what you want. If you want non-stop noise and activity, go to the main pool which is also where the swim-up bar is.
One member of our group got very sick with a respiratory illness and went to the 24 hour clinic where he was seen by the doctor right away. He ended up being sent to a hospital in Puerto Plata and was met there by a doctor and a nurse and was treated royally through his hospital stay right through x-ray, blood work etc., and his wife and brother-in-law were included in everything and never told to 'just wait here, we'll talk to you when we have something'. He ended up staying overnight and released the next day. He had to pay for his transportation back and forth but that is what travel insurance is for! Don't leave home without it. After his experience, I have every confidence that if we need medical attention, it will be well provided.
The grounds are immaculate, always lots of people working to keep it tidy and beautiful. They fumigate the entire property first thing in the morning around 6 so not a great time to be walking the pathways, if you hear the sound of a motorcycle, get out of the way or you might get fogged. They also did some fogging around 6 PM. This place is huge, be prepared to walk a lot, if you stick to the pathways closest to the beach you won't have to get out of the way of the trolley bus. They have the trolley that runs all over the resort which is great if you are lugging suitcases which is the only time we used it. We liked the fact that we had to walk so much considering the volume of food and drink that we went through, helped keep those calories under control.
Activities and Entertainment
Unfortunately, even though every day I swore that this was the night I was going to make it to one of the shows, never did, too sleepy, in bed every night by ten-ish but we get up early. Maybe one too many Mama Juanas - next year I am determined to se at least one show.
We were not going to take any tours this time but ended up going on the Paradise Island day trip. Had a blast. 2 hour bus ride to get to the drop off point which was not too bad, then a 20-ish minute speedboat trip out to the island, screamed like little kids all the way there (we are 47 & 51) it was like an amusement park ride. Then this bump appears, it is nothing more than a sand bar with a coral reef around it and forms a lagoon in the middle. They have open huts for the groups and an equipment shack and bar. No electricity or running water but is really cute. I have never snorkeled before but am now officially hooked. After the first 10 minutes of getting over the phobia of putting my face in the water and only breathing through my mouth, I got the hang of it. It was a magical experience and by the time we got back in I was ready to do another tour around - so we did! The dive masters were really interactive. At the bar they had simple sandwiches with the free-flowing rum & coke. Then they boated us back to shore through a mangrove swamp area and back to another bar & restaurant where they had a simple, but tasty buffet on for us. Not sure about some comments from other people who may have been on the same tour as us but we loved it. The only negative I have about it is the bus ride back - it is 4 hours back because they take us over the coastal range and back down through the inland side of the mountains which got a little tedious. It was still interesting to see some of the country side though.
Departure and Check Out
Check out nice and smooth, make sure you get your vouchers for the bus back to the airport.
I could keep on going but will end this now by saying we had one of the best vacations we have ever had, this hotel is set up to be social if you want or quiet if you want. The majority of other guests that we ran into were friendly and social. We enjoyed our 8 days so much, we are looking at two weeks next year and would gladly return to this hotel. We really think that the majority of people who have had "problems" are most likely the folks who should not leave home. Stuff happens, but unless it is something truly bad or the fault of the hotel, you are not in Canada any more and it is not better or worse - just different. A lot of what gets blamed on the hotel can get traced back to the behavior of a guest. Apparently we got out just in time. A group of grads descended the day we left and they were a nightmare from all accounts. Who is really to blame here, the hotel or the out-of-control Canadian young adults that chose not to act like adults.
|Club Bahia Principe|
I most say that I was let down at this resort. I have not been traveling that long but have stayed at a 3 star that was better as far as food and friendly staff.
We arrived with friends on February 10,2008 are friends spent one week and we stayed on for two weeks.
Theme nights RIGHT its always the same thing at the buffet... the food was good but unless you got the pasta or something that they where cooking in front of you it was cold.
First week was a disaster as my friend got sick and spent 2 days in her room, as she did not dare leave or go to far... they left on Sunday and she was still sick to come home and find out that she had a bacteria infection from something that she had eaten or drank. NOT sure if it was on one of our tours ????
The second week should have been enjoyable for us as we where staying on to celebrate are 39 wedding anniversary YA RIGHT.... I got sick that Sunday night and by Tuesday had to see the resort Doctor ??? He sent me to the Hospital in Puerto Plata where I spent the night with intervenes as they said I was dehydrating. Returning to the resort late Wednesday afternoon (by the way still sick) the Hospital took test and told us that I also had bacteria infection and to avoid greasy food, coffee, milk and fruits.
By the way it cost us 90.00 to be taken to the hospital and 90.00 to get back. 180.00 out of our pocket. I am not in doctors care and need to see an infectious decease specialist.
The tour girl was never told that I was taken to the hospital till my husband when to her to complain Not that she did anything about it ????
And the resort never even acknowledge that I had been to the hospital or even sick... I NOW THAT MY BEING SICK WAS NOT FROM THE TOUR.
When I went to the counter at the hotel to get a new bracelet as the hospital had cute the first one the desk clerk as if I had been in the hospital and I explain it to him and he never said a word to anyone about it...
If this is a four and half star ???? I have stayed a better 3 stars...
The people on the resort had trouble giving out smiles and where not very friendly unless you gave them tips every time they came to you???
I even Know of two couples that had been approached by the ENTERTAINMENT group and arras about sponsoring them so that they or there family could
come to Canada. THAT'S NOT RIGHT!!! These where older couples and did
not need that on holidays... on man even got so paranoid he would not stay anywhere by himself in fear of being cornered again.
Would we or our friends recommend this resort NEVER Will be go back NOT.
We wasted 4000.00 and 2 weeks holidays NEVER AGAIN
|Club Bahia Principe|
|Dave and Angie |
|Our visit to the Bahia Principe San Juan exceeded all of our expectations. We were extremely impressed with practically everything about this resort during our stay from February 20th until March 5th..
First of all, Air Canada was superb. We left Halifax late, but still got to Puerta Plata on time. Customs and luggage were fast and our 90 minute bus ride to the resort was exciting as we passed through Sosua and Cabarete. The Air Canada reps on our bus transfers were very well informed, provided important information, and did not waste our time with sales pitches or pleas for tips, such as in Cuba. There was also a rep office at the resort, and he was usually there.
Checkin was fast. Our requests were honored. We were assigned three rooms beside each other on the third (top) floor of building D-4. It was just a leisurely two minute walk to the lobby, pool, beach, and the Italian buffet where we ate most of our breakfasts and lunches.
We lucked out on the weather. Although there were several early morning rain showers, we had sunshine EVERY day, with the temperature in the low 30's. Coupled with the ocean breeze, it was perfect.
The rooms were similar to Cuba.....hard beds, small pillows....but we expected that. However, the bonus is the bathroom, where there was always hot water with good pressure most of the time.
The maid kept the room impeccably clean. Most days, our room was cleaned by 10. She even folded any clothes we had left lying on chairs, and left them neatly piled. Her cleaning was thorough, to the extent where it was obvious on a couple of occasions that she had scrubbed the floors with Javex. That was just one example of the resort's committment to good hygiene.
Although the brochures said we would receive a bottle of water, two pop and two beer in our room fridge daily, that's not the case. They will leave as much as you want! We attached a sticky note to our fridge each morning, along with a $1 tip, and when we returned mid afternoon, it was fully stocked. We got up to 4 bottles of water, six pop, and 8 beer per day.
I am an early riser, and strolled to the Italian buffet around 5:30 each morning. It doesn't open until 7, but, there is always hot coffee anytime after 5.
Food was always good. I think there was only one evening that I found it difficult, and that was my own fault because I made poor choices at the buffet. Breakfast choice was great with tons of bacon and eggs, as well as pancakes, french toast, sausages, fruits, warm donuts and churros, and surprises. Several mornings they had delicious crab cakes and, one morning, they even had chicken wings. Too bad they didn't offer them at lunch time!
Lunch was most often at the same buffet which offered superb pasta dishes as well as other fare. On several occasions, we ate lunch on the beach where they had roast chicken as well as hot dogs, burgers and tons of fries.
The food highlight for me was the soup. It was available every lunch time at both locations and it was to die-for. It was made in an incredible broth with tons of vegetables and either chicken, beef or seafood.
Evening meals were in the main buffet which always had something for everyone from melt-in-your-mouth roast beef to onion rings and everything in between. We never went hungry.
Although we were entitled to six a la cartes, we only used four; twice each in the Italian and the Mexican, where meals were superb.
The beach was great! It is very sandy and massive, stretching several kilometres. At either end of the hotel property, there is a security guard who makes you sign out if you go beyond the limits. There was always a great availability of loungers, both at the beach and at the pool. The water was crystal clear. Some spoke of its murkiness, but it is only cloudy at the point where the water laps on the shore because of the sand it stirs up. We were in the ocean a minimum of four times a day; most often more.
We only went in the pool once, and it was pleasant warm water, with a maximum depth of about four feet at its deepest. The pool is for teens; we stuck to the beach.
There are no hustlers on the beach. The hotel has space set aside at one end of the property where the locals sell their goods from their little huts. While they are persistent, they were never aggressive. They were not allowed to solicit on the beach. The hotel has franchised about 20 other shops, which are located on their property, but beautifully line the long driveway into the resort. Prices were firm, but very reasonable, and their quality of products is good.
That same area is where the night life is. Everynight, they line the street with tables and chairs, crank up the music and pour the booze. The nice thing is, it is just far enough away that you can't hear the noise in your rooms, which is a good things, because we are all early-to-bed people. The only problem is the noise the young people make returning to their rooms at 3 and 4 in the morning. There were even some fights. That was my only complaint to the hotel's service manager during one of our conversations. I suggested the security guards should be patrolling the walkways when the party shuts down to make sure the party-goers keep the noise down. He said he would pass my suggestion on to the night manager and, sure enough, the noise came to an end.
We got to know the service manager just by chance early one morning at the Italian buffet when he came in for his daily inspection of the setup. He was hired by Bahia after their four-month shutdown last August-November to help the resort acquire and maintain a healthy atmosphere and good customer relations. He was genuinely interested in our comments and often stopped by our lounge table to see how we were doing.
We told him how impressed we were with not only the food and the staff, but especially the cleanliness. Some examples of that include the nightly washing of EVERY walkway (and it's a massive complex). As I made my early morning stroll for coffee, I would always pass the overnight workers who were literally scrubbing the walkways with water and Javex. In the bar areas, there is always someone sweeping and mopping up cigarette ashes. In the lobby, there is a little old lady with a mop who follows you into the mens' room to mop up in case you get sloppy at the urinal. Every morning, workers are IN the pools with huge scrub brushes, scrubbing the pool's sides before the public is allowed to get in.
Perhaps the most impressive hygiene is in the dining areas. At the entrance to every dining room (as well as all washrooms and other locations), there are hand sanitizer dispensers. You are REQUIRED to use them or you are not permitted in the dining area. One evening, we saw three older British ladies arguing with the dining room receptionist that they had just washed their hands in their room and would not use that "smelly" stuff on their hands. The receptionist then told them they would not be dining there. The ladies said they would take their complaint to the manager, to which the employee said "If you wish....but he is the one who insists you use it". We were very impressed.
There was another interesting thing at eating areas. For the first time at an all-inclusive, we were always asked for our room number when we arrived. After several days, I clued in and asked the service manager if I was right. He congratulated me for figuring it out. The resort is not doing inventory; they are following your eating habits in case you get sick. They know which restaurant I ate lunch in on February 23rd. Every night, the numbers are punched into the computer. If you didn't eat dinner on a particular night, the resort assumes you ate somewhere off their property, and it is not their fault.
In addition, if you go into the resort gift shop and purchase anything dealing with indigestion or diarrhea, the clerk is required to take your room number and it then goes in to the computer. We were very impressed.
We were actually thrilled to be wakened by an earthquake. Monday morning (March 3) shortly before 3 AM, a loud rumble woke us up...and then the bed shook. Later that day, I was visiting in a nearby town and saw on CNN that a tremor had been felt in the Dominican and Puerto Rico. It was actually exciting for us; but scared many, including a group of British who were evacuated from their rooms following a similar quake at the resort several years ago.
Finally, the drinking water. Exceptional and available everywhere. While you are told to avoid the tap water, the resort makes sure there is cold distilled water available everywhere, from the a la cartes to the beaches. Even the bars had self-serve water coolers....and the water is as clear and good as you have tasted anywhere.
Checkout was also quick, although you have to be careful someone hasn't given your room number for something they purchased. In my case, there was an extra charge for a bottle of Bordeaux wine in the Mediterranen dining room. I never even ate there. Giving someone else's room number for such purchases appears to be common. I had to sign a note stating it was not inccurred by me, and there were no further questions. Others were also billed for long distance calls they never made. Although I was the only one in our group to be questioned, we heard numerous others arguing at the desk that they were being billed for services they never used.
The ride back to the airport was on a luxury bus, which was a good thing because we got stopped at an accident scene in the middle of Cabarete for more than half an hour. Checkin at the airport was easy; security was good; and the lounge area was fun as we waited for our delayed flight. The departure was spectacular, the flight was smooth, and the landing was hair-raising as we fought with gusting winds in Halifax.
But, we made it home after our best southern vacation ever! We will go back to that resort.
|Club Bahia Principe|
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Being a group of 14, we we're hoping everything would go smoothly. Our wish was granted. We booked with Sunquest - Air Transat and left on Saturday, February 16th @ 9:30 pm from Ottawa and returned on Sunday, February 24th @ 7:20 am.
The arrival to Rio San Juan was smooth. The bus ride is a little long to get to the hotel (1h15 - 1h30). When we got to the resort, the check in was quick and efficient. We were brought to our rooms, thank god because the resort is huge. It was beautiful.
We were there for a wedding and everything was perfect.
The rooms are very clean and maids come in daily. The fridge is stocked every day as well with beers, water and pop. On the first day, we encountered some very small ants in our bathroom but remember... you are in the TROPICS. Bugs are abundant there. I just sprayed a bit of Off! and the problem was solved for the rest of the week.
We had two single beds put together (to make it seemed like we had a queen size bed). Although, some in our building had a queen bed. Not a big deal.
The TV was working fine but we didn't watch it. The A.C was on all day, no problem.
We practically went to the buffet every day/night. Sure, some complain that it was always the 'same food' (although they have theme nights, they don't have different foods from every other nights), but remember: how much food do you want? It was pretty varied (fruits, veggies, fish, pork, chicken, a lot of pasta, etc) so people who complain have nothing to do on their spare time.
We went to 2 a-la-cartes dinners:
The Mediterranean was VERY GOOD. I would recommend it! It was a delight.
The Italian restaurant was also very good!
No complaints on the food - everything was well served, well cooked and nobody got sick.
The bars were awesome as well. The service was excellent and you had some variety of drinks. They are very generous with the liquor, a good thing for people who like to drink!
Pop and juices were also available at the bars.
After 11pm (after the shows - very good entertainment), all the bars at the hotel close and you go in the street (don't worry, it's safe - it's the resort's street). There, you have another show and you can either go in the Disco or the Karaoke Bar for a good time! They close at 2 - 3. On the strips are also a few boutiques and a hamburger place - very good after a good night of dancing!
Beach and pools
The beach was very well maintained, brown and the water was a beautiful green/blue. Some people complain that the sand is brown.... Who cares?
Unlike other reviews, we did not have a problem with sand flies, although I saw a woman with fairly large bits. Just to be on the safe side, spray your legs (mostly) with OFF! before going to the beach and you'll be fine.
The pools were also very clean - we were mostly at the main pool (fairly
big) with the swim-up bar. There are 2 other pools, which are a bit quieter if you want to relax.
Very clean and if you got up early enough, you would see them washing the path with soap and water. At any time of the day, you would see the workers doing something (cutting grass, cleaning, fixing something on the roof, etc). This resort is very well maintained.
A lot of activities are offered with the animation group (for the young’s, teenagers, adults and elderly!). You can participate to anything (game in the pool, aerobics, yoga, volleyball, soccer, mini putt, ping pong, tennis, etc).
While on our trip, we did 2 tours: the 4-wheeling experience and Dolphin swim.
We went 4-wheeling in the small villages. I had brought some gift for the kids and as we were passing through the village, we were slowing down to give them toys and other goodies. They were so happy - it is really rewarding to see their faces. We also visited a house and drank coffee. It was pretty good, but expensive (we booked through the hotel) 63$/each to be on the same 4-wheeler.
We also went to Ocean World for the dolphin swim. After a 2-hour drive, we watched the shows, went through the Rain Forest, saw the birds and we swam with the dolphins. WOW. It was amazing! I would recommend it. A bit expensive, 155$ each, but it is worth it. The 2-hour bus ride was long but comfortable and we could see the different towns of Dominican.
I would recommend this resort to anybody who wants to have fun! Don't mind the negative reviews - you will not be disappointed! If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an email : firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Club Bahia Principe|
|Having just returned from a week's stay at the Gran Bahia Resort in San Juan, I felt compelled to write. We had a group of 10 adults and 4 children, and must say, for the most part we had a great stay. The rooms were clean and comfortable. The cleaning staff were friendly and accomodating. When they say your fridge will be replenished daily, it helps if you leave a note inside the fridge with a tip, if you want a certain type of soda or extra beer! Food was very good and fresh. The beach is clean and water warm and wonderfull! We didn't spend much time at the pools - they were crowded and the water much colder than the ocean.
The four children - ranging in age from 8-14 were having so much fun they were depressed when we had to leave. They played mini-putt every day and we booked the tennis courts, the paddle boats and the catamaran's daily. Go early in the morning to book.
We only did one tour and that was the snorkelling - what a fun day that was!
The resort itself is quite large, but, that afforded us the opportunity to "do our own thing" without the group if we wished.
There is a "snack shack" at one end of the beach which served french fries, pizza, hamburgers, chicken etc. for lunch each day. You could just walk in with your bathing suit on and bare feet....it was a one of our favourite places!
We didn't realize until the 3rd night that they have a "street party" each night out on the road you arrive on. There is live entertainment - outside, with dancing, a karaoke bar and a disco. This all gets underway once the evening "show" ends - around 9:30.
Two items I feel should be mentioned, however, are the ala carte dinners and mosquitos. Even though we went to the reservation desk first thing in the morning the day after we arrived, we were not able to get into one restaurant of our choice ( Mexican ) and had to go to the Seafood even though a couple of members of our party ended up at the buffet becuase of intolerance to seafood. They seem to have alot of trouble booking through the computer system - we stood in line for well over an hour and then they seemed unwilling to book all three dinners. I was not about to waste another hour of my vactaion in that line, so, basically told him I wasn't going anywhere without my 3 dinners!
Be sure to bring insect repellent. We are all suffering the after effects of tons of bites on our legs and arms, even though , at the time, the bugs didn't seem that bad!! Spray before you go out in the evening!
All in all, our experience was very positive and I would recommend this resort!
|Club Bahia Principe|
|Arrival - We arrived at the airport on Feb 08/08. No issues whatsoever with our trip to the hotel, except that it is one scary bus ride! Anyone who has been here knows what I mean. We were very pleased to arrive and find that we had the rooms we requested (ground floor, two rooms side by side). We were travelling with our two teenaged daughters and wanted their room beside ours. We were also pleased to find the burger place open on the Pueblo Principe, as we were hungry and it was midnight.
Rooms - Dated but clean. Maid was in daily. No complaints other than one day we did not get clean towels, and when I asked the maid to mop the floor, she only mopped the bathroom.
Restaurants - The buffet is typical of large scale buffet cooking. They do have "Show Cooking" areas, where you can get something freshly made. Ate at the Mediterranean, Italian and Seafood a la cartes. As this was our second time at the Bahia Principe San Juan, we were entitled to an extra a la carte at The Hacienda, however no one advised us of this until the last day! Would have been nice, since it is in the Diamond Section, and from what we heard, the food is EXCELLENT there.
Fantastic, attentive service, no feeling that they were trying to push you out the door.
Well cooked entrees.
Bars - Mainly hung around the pool bars, with no complaints. Great service, and some of the bartenders remembered us from the previous year....yeah for Leonel. Our daughters loved the disco, karaoke and pool side activities.
Beach and Pools - Beaches very clean, lots of shade available, loads of sun chairs. No complaints here.
Grounds - This is the one area that this resort excelled. Grounds are well laid out, with flowers adorning walkways. All well maintained.
Beautiful. (copied from a previous review as I cannot say more - FANTASTIC!)
Activities - Very high energy activities. The girls participated in sporting activities, and were pleased to receive "awards" at the nightly shows!
Tours - The girls and I took the rum factory/cigar factory/shopping tour. Only complain is that it was advertised as a shopping tour...we didn't know about the other parts of the trip. Shopping was fun, however they first take you to a jewellery store which is way over priced. Also, the last stop at the beach vendors in Sosua was an experience and a half. The vendors are extremely pushy, following you around, and trying to get you to buy from them.
Complaints - On the Monday night of our stay, the TV maintenance guy came to our room to fix our TV. He arrived at 11:00PM!! I was sleeping, and hubby was out. We had not called for TV maintenance, and there was nothing wrong with our TV. On Tuesday night, they assigned our room to new people. They arrived on our doorstep at 10:30PM. Again, I was in the room alone, and they had a key to the door! We did speak to Pierre, our tour operator, who referred us to Guest Services. This gentleman keep saying it was just honest mistakes and "no problem". Well, I'm sorry, but it was a BIG problem! I do not appreciate feeling insecure in my room at a resort of this calibre. Guest Services did offer a bottle of champagne on our last night, and a fruit basket (two green oranges, one banana, and a piece of pineapple) and bottle of rum for the inconvenience. Nice, but did not make up for my insecurities for the balance of the stay.
Conclusion - Had a great time, except for a couple of incidents.
|Club Bahia Principe|
|My daughter and I stayed at this resort Feb 5-12, 2008. We had the golden club upgrade which I would definitely recommend. The upgrade is not available through all booking agents but Air Transat does offer it. The gold club is just extra towel service in the evening (so towels are refreshed twice daily instead of only in the morning), pool towels in your room, robes and slippers, 4 a la carte reservations, 10 minutes of internet daily, mini bar (just cold water, some pop and a couple beers but still nice to have in the room). Even better though is the diamond upgrade only available through sunquest vacations … if I was to go back, I would only go with the diamond upgrade. The diamond area has the best beach, a separate pool and restaurant.
The first room we had was in building F2, it was fine but only a double bed and no alarm clock. Before we even saw the room, the check in guy offered us a room in the E section if we came back the following day so we agreed to do that. The E section is much better with a king sized bed, a larger, better bathroom and an alarm clock and closer to the beach.
The resort grounds have beautiful walkways, plants and trees. The beach on the golden end isn’t ideal if you are a sun lover because there are a lot of trees and a very short beach area so no where to pull out of the shade.
I have one word to describe the food … PASTA! They serve a lot of pasta and the buffet is essentially the same every day despite the fact that they claim to have theme nights. The food is good enough though. We were disappointed in the Mexican restaurant because we love Mexican food and they didn’t have things we’ve come to expect such as Fajitas on the menu. The Italian restaurant is the best one, we went there for breakfast and lunch almost every day and we had two dinner reservations there.
Book your a la carte reservations early. We didn’t do that and had to go for dinner at 9pm some nights and we were never able to get a reservation at the Mediterranean restaurant so we couldn’t try it.
I read a lot of reviews and I was surprised that nobody warned us about the rain in Puerto Plata. We were there for a week and had rain downpour 3 mornings out of the 7 we were there. On the positive side, the rain seems to come in spurts 20 minutes of downpour and then 20 minutes of hot sun so you can go back and forth under the palapas and those days it was still hot for the afternoon (1 pm to 5 pm or so). I was just surprised nobody mentioned that.
We had a nice relaxing vacation at the Bahia Principe S.J. but honestly I wouldn’t go back. It’s too much travel time from Edmonton and while the resort was fine, it wasn’t fabulous and I don’t think this one is up to Bahia Principe’s typical standards. Having said that, the hotel staff are so nice and try really hard and being away from reality with the sun, sand and rum is great!
|Club Bahia Principe|
|Arrival - Arrived Jan 15/08 Hit up at airport by tour fellow that lifted our suitcase on the bus for a tip. Golden Club "exclusive check in" was a joke. A full bus load of people, nearly all " Golden Club" . Took half hour just to get into "exclusive" lobby. 50 minutes to get checked in.
Finished check-in 5 minutes before buffet closed, advised we could leave our luggage and "run" to get something to eat. Not!
Dated but clean. Maid was in daily. We actually got sheets that fit our bed twice, that was a nice treat. Golden Club may be close to the beach, but ours was about as far from dining and evening amenities as possible.
Ate at the Mexican ala carte, or tried. 4 for dinner, dinners delivered. One was the wrong meal. The waiter immediately took it away. Unfortunately, no one bothered to replace it. After everyone else was finished and they were trying to clear the table, we again said that one of the party had not been served and were laughed at. We did manage to convince the waiter we were not joking and a second wrong meal was served. I was told that those that got the meal they requested thought they were well cooked and tasty.
The Italian, nothing special. The Gourmet (I think it is nearly impossible to get in to on a 1 week stay) was what we had come to expect from stays at other Bahai properties. Fantastic, attentive service, no feeling that they were trying to push you out the door.
Well cooked entrees. The buffet, it was a typical buffet. I was sorry fresh fruit selection was so bad at the end of week 2 (grapefruit, oranges, pineapple and cantaloupe) Week 1 the selection was varied, with a few tasty unknowns that were never labeled.
Beach bars were out of popular booze by 4 (beer, rum, vodka,
whiskey) a few days running
Beach and Pools -
Beaches very clean, lots of shade available, loads of sun chairs.
Major restorative and protective work being done, but they heavy work seemed to be carried out after the guests had left the area.
This is the one area that this resort excelled. Grounds are well laid out, with flowers adorning walkways. All well maintained.
We chose to spend the bulk of our time on the beach, the few times we were in the activity area, it seemed well attended and high energy
We took a taxi to Playa Grande and spent the day, beautiful and quiet. Coming back from Samana, we stopped there the following week while a surfing competition was happening, completely different, place was hopping. Hubby went golfing, kicked himself for not taking the camera, course was fantastic and prices drop in the afternoon when booked directly through the course
Not up to the standards of other Bahai, 3 star maybe. Of all places we have been in the Dominican Republic, this is one we would not repeat. We were hit up for tips by a staff member (we tip and leave gifts/school supplies). Main problem is we felt the resort was maybe a training stop. Smiles from staff were almost non existent.