While reading some of the negative reviews, I have to wonder if we were at the same resort. I travelled with my husband, daughter and son in law. We all loved it and will go back in a heartbeat! The rooms were immaculate. The staff is so very friendly. There is a definite language barrier since we only speak English and some of the staff spoke no English. But through smiles and gestures, we were able to communicate. My daughter made an effort to learn some Spanish while we were there and the staff loved her for it.
We were able to book reservations for all three a la carte restaurants with no problem whatsoever. The first day we were there, we booked for Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. I am not sure why other people had a problem with booking, but we definitely did not. The restaurants were wonderful and we had the BEST calamari we have ever had!
The buffet restaurant had a great variety of foods and a children's section. We never went hungry, we always had full plates and we had no complaints about the quality or quantity of food available.
We stayed in the junior suites, so we did have to walk up the 107 stairs to get to the buffet in the hotel. On the days we were too tired to walk, we waited for the "bus". The stair issue is not a big one for us. When we wanted the exercise, we took the stairs, too tired? Wait for a ride. I was able to eat to my heart's content and come back one pound lighter, so maybe the stairs are a good thing.
During our stay we met another couple there. He was in a wheelchair, we saw him on the main beach, the smaller beach, the restaurants, the main pool, he even came on the day trip to Bacardi Island. There are definite stairs there, however you are able to access all areas of the resort without using the stairs. We saw proof of that!
Two minor complaints we have, on our first day there, one of our chairs broke and it took four days to have it replaced. We did not like having to pay for the safe, we feel it should be included in the room fee and we did not like having to reprogram the safe every day. If that is all we can come up with to complain about after a week long vacation, then I would say things are pretty good there!
We did two excursions. The Walk the Plank Ziplining, absolutely amazing day spent with Bart and his staff. Safety is number one, there are no weight restrictions which was very resassuring since while researching other locations, Jamaica etc. there was a 250 pound restriction. I am no where near 250 pounds, but I still felt much safer going on this zipline where couples were actually going together, no fear of it breaking! Bart has a wonderful thing going, he employees many locals and also includes them at the waterfall stop. When I do this again, I will be sure to bring money for tips for the children that helped us walk to and from the waterfall. If you have any fears at all, Bart will help calm them and help you to experience a truly amazing day in Samana!
We also did the half day to Bacardi Island and snorkelling. I will pass on the snorkelling next time. There wasn't much to see and I would have rather spent that time on the beach. The sand at Bacardi Island is the beautiful white powder sand. The sand at the resort is a coarser brown sand. While I loved the white sand on Bacardi beach, I hated that it followed us back to our room, in to our bed and even in to our suitcase and some came home with us! The sand on the beach at the resort is perfect. That sand doesn't follow you erverywhere you go!
We took one trip in to town. Now that is an experience! Everybody wants your attention, well, I guess your money. Lots to look at, lots of bartering, a little overwheming in the beginning, but we had a wonderful guide who helped us navigate through it all.
I was not a big fan of the evening entertainment, but I honestly didn't book the trip for the entertainment. I wanted to spend quality time with my daughter and son in law, with no cooking, no cleaning, lots of sun and relaxation. I definitely got what I wanted.
We definitely plan to go back!
- Also Known As:
- Gran Bahia Principe Cayacoa
- Gran Bahia Principe Cayacoa Hotel
- Gran Bahia Principe Cayacoa Samana
- Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa Dominican Republic/Samana
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