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Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado
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Reviewed 21 February 2014

We landed at Puerto Plata airport on 29th January and, like so many in other reviewers, took the (too) long coach trip to the ferry taking us to Cayo Levantado. Fortunately we broke the coach trip with a half-way stop for a comfort break and a "Presidente" beer...
The short trip by catamaran ferry was made more "interesting" as it was dark by the time we headed off to the island, and the Atlantic waves tossed the little ferry around quite a bit, leaving my wife a slight shade of green by the time we tied-up.
We were taken to our villa by the regular shuttle "bus" (a converted Daihatsu van) and our luggage arrived moments later.
The initial presentation of the room was lovely. A queen-sized bed, ceiling fan, built-in wardrobes, air-con, very large bathroom, etc. It was only after settling in that we realised how 'tired' the villa was. The wardrobes, chest of drawers, bedside cabinets were obviously well-used and drawers and doors were ill-fitting. Electric sockets (particularly the one for the coffee maker) were loose, as was the standard lamp fitting. The bathroom tiling grouting had been repaired (badly) in places and the whirlpool bath a little grubby. After a day's travelling from home we were delighted at the shower, however!
All the staff were, with the exception of the reception staff, more than excellent. Bar staff in the hotel building and at the poolside and beach were great; the restaurant staff were attentive and always smiling and should be highly commended. All the food either presented at the buffet or in the several restaurants was exceptional; being both varied, extremely tasty and very well presented - it was obvious that the kitchen staff were knowledgeable and knew their trade. The evening entertainment was really good and we both went away singing the Bahia Principe song!
One of the major annoyances was the staff attempting to sell membership to the "Privilege Club" who always seemed to be 'in your face' which; despite their apparent interest in your well-being and their lovely smiles; were irritating and we found ourselves trying to avoid them - not something you should be doing when you want to relax.
We didn't go whale watching even though it was the best time of year to see these magnificent creatures as the Atlantic waves were quite large, tossing around the boats we saw leaving for the experience and my wife isn't a sailor!
The beaches were typical of those in the Caribbean and relaxing when on a recliner. Pelicans were frequenting the waters just off the hotel's private beaches which made for interest and great photo opportunities! Relax, get a tan and watch the pelicans...

Recommendation #1:
We'd recommend a "safari" trip into the hinterland of Samana province - even though the transport, a converted open-backed Daihatsu truck, was not the smoothest or back friendly. It was obviously geared-up for European tourist (a lot of Germans and a smattering of Belgian and Danish) however, despite this, it was great to get an idea of the 'real' Dominican Republic, with a visit to a farm co-op, a cigar factory, beautiful waterfall, rubber plantation and, the highlight for us, a visit to a local school with its one teacher and mixed-age class. The pupils, in their bright blue shirts/blouses and with their wonderful smiles, made the whole trip worthwhile.

Recommendation #2:
Take a lot of insect repellent and antihistamine cream!

Recommendation #3:
Try ALL the restaurants at the hotel - they are fabulous!

Recommendation #4:
Visit the public beach craft stalls - very pretty and interesting with great photography potential - but don't buy anything! 'Genuine' obviously doesn't have the same meaning here...

The return was a repeat of the arrival with a long but broken coach trip (with a singularly disinterested/unattentive rep!) and a very early arrival. The tourist exit tax of $20 each meant people were shuffled from one queue to another and this felt totally disorganised and the security staff had little/no English, so there was a lot of gesticulation and arm waving...
Don't expect the 'fast food' outlet at the airport to actually be fast either - totally misnamed - as a simple hot dog took 20 minutes to arrive...
All that being said we had a wonderful time! This review is as honest as we can make it regarding our experience so yes; we have picked out some negatives; but don't go if you are assuming the mistakenly quoted "Five-Star" standard. It isn't; it's Four-Star overall and that largely due to the excellent bar, waiting and kitchen staff; the accommodation would need a lot of attention to bring it up to Five-Star...

Room Tip: Villas are quiet (except those near the beaches and restaurant) and rooms in the main hotel building are beautiful, but can be noisy.
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank DJCPhotography
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Martín V, Manager at Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado, responded to this reviewResponded 23 February 2014

Dear DJCPhotography,

We cannot thank you enough for your comments. We truly appreciate that you took the time to share about your heavenly vacation in our Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado. Your comments are a valuable reference for other customers who are considering us for their vacations.

Thank you for posting your photos on Trip Advisor!

We hope to have you once again in Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts for your summer holidays in Dominican Republic.

Best regards,

Martin Veron
Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2014

We just returned from ten days and had a great time. The staff is what makes this hotel and treated us like gold. There are too many to mention. Just be friendly and say Hola and treat them with respect and you will receive it back ten fold.

Good stuff:

The weather was great and only a touch of rain so whoever looks after at it at the resort needs a pat on the shoulders. LOL!!!

Anyway all kidding aside the service was good as well as the food. We did the buffet and no a la cartes as there was more selection at the buffet for us. Special mention goes out for the spread they put out on Valentine's day. It was fantastic in appearance and quality.

The lunch down by the pool was excellent as always and enjoyed it every day.

The beach bar service was good and the guys great but sometimes the drinks would be different even though we asked for the same drink but no biggy.

The one night they had a three piece band was fantastic and everyone enjoyed it tremendously.

So overall the positives were great now the cons:

This place needs more nightly entertainment. The animation team does a great job but nightly dancing music or easy listening should be ramped up a bit. I appreciate that they have the public beach thing going on at 930 but stuff at the hotel would be great.

The beds in the room are pretty hard but I guess this is subjective.

The computers in the main lobby set aside for guests to check their emails and other online stuff being used by the timeshare sells people to chat on facebook while guests were waiting should be corrected by the hotel.

They didn't bother us and hopefully didn't bother the other guests as well about joining the Privelage club.

One of the highlights of the trip was the whale watching trip that I went on with Whale Samana which is operated by Kim Beddall. Very professional and would go again in a heartbeat.

Special mention to some new friends we met and had a great time with Veronica, Dawn, Robyn and Sue and Misha who we were lucky enough to meet and laugh with. Happy travels and hope to meet again sometime.

All for now and send me any questions you might have and I will try to answer them.

Just one quick note though. There are going to be an additional 50 or so rooms in the near future and this is going to change the vibe of this resort.

So keep an eye out to the future and hopefully the resort will not become overcrowded but time will tell.

Steve

Room Tip: Villas 16-20 will be affected by construction this summer so choose another room category.
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank steeeve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Martín V, Manager at Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado, responded to this reviewResponded 23 February 2014

Dear Mr. Steeve,

We would like to thank you for your positive comments and we take good note from your suggestions to continue working hard improving our quality in all our services. We are glad to hear you loved the service from our staff. Your experience is a valuable reference for other customers who are considering Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado for their holidays.

Looking forward to welcome you again in Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts Best all inclusive in the Dominican Republic.

Kindest regards,

Martin Veron
Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado

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Reviewed 20 February 2014

The Animation Team was awesome. Pedro, Ariel, Adrianna, Gustavo, William, JeanCarlos, and Santiago made our trip unforgetable. We had a lot of fun with them and they made us feel welcome. The room was huge and well decorated. The views around the island were unbelievable. If you do any excursions make sure you see the sea lions!

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank DaleSegura
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Martín V, Manager at Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado, responded to this reviewResponded 23 February 2014

Dear DaleSegura,

We would like to thank you for your positive comments from our services. We are glad to hear you loved the service from our staff, specially the animation team. Your experience is a valuable reference for other customers who are considering Cayo Levantado for their holidays.

Looking forward to welcome you again in Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts Best all inclusive in the Dominican Republic.

Kindest regards,

Martin Veron
Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado

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Reviewed 19 February 2014

We visited this amazing hotel in June 2013. This hotel is located on a beautiful island, only this makes it a unique experience. But the service was beyond our expectation. Everybody is truly amazing and pleasant, the housekeeping ladies were adorable and hardworking, singing while working and did a wonderful job. The front desk ppl approached us many times to make sure we are happy with everything and Alexis was just amazing. When we first emailed the hotel prior to our arrival, we received a very detailed and answer to our requests. And as we arrived, our requests were met beyond our expectations. Thank you to all for the wonderful and unforgettable stay.

Room Tip: Please go for a junior superior suite, it has a huge patio and a beautiful water view. you will wake up to the sound of the waves. Their location really does make a difference compare to the junior suite wich looks exactly the same inside, but isn't well located in a nice spot. If you go with the lowest category (the superior room), do take it in the main building because those rooms in the villas (villas 21-25) is a single floor, dark, small window room, it looks just as a motel room. The delux suite to me is not worth the upgrade, and the beach front villas even less because they are located in a such a crowded area and very far from the main lobby. During the day you will see tones of ppl on the beach from your patio and in the evening you will walk so far to get to the lobby. Not worth it at all.
  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Venus272014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Martín V, Manager at Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado, responded to this reviewResponded 23 February 2014

Dear Venus272014,

Receive warm greetings from all the Staff working at Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado.

We are so glad after having received your message letting us know you had the best vacation experience ever in our Hotel, and that you enjoyed the Service from our Staff, we will send your greetings to all of them!!. Your comments is a valuable reference for other customers who are considering us for their holidays.

Hope to see you soon on your next vacation experience in Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, all-inclusive hotels for your holidays in the Dominican Republic.

Sincerely yours,

Martin Veron
Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado

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Reviewed 19 February 2014

Well what can I say, excellent holiday. Went this time to see the whales. As before the flight was ok , it's just the transfer from Puerto plata, but as soon as you step off the boat and have something to eat all is forgiven. My brother in law did all the booking and wot not for us, and what an excellent job he did, no problems. Well there could have been one if I wanted to be very picky, our room in the attic{ that's a private joke folks}. We have met some lovely people again, just like to say Hi to Martyn & Viv, Dave & Pete, Graham & Margaret, Mick & Elaine, Sue & Paul, Joe & Julie. Now that's all the formalities over and done with.
As before the hotel was top notch for us. The rooms are kept clean at all times. Even though the lighting needs to be a bit brighter, I know they want to set the scene but us girls of a certain age needs a bit of light to put the slap on. We were in the hotel part this time which were quite thankfull for. No long walks back to the room after dinner, you could always get a lift though, in one of the buggy's.
As before the food was really good, the gala night is a must if you are in to LOBSTER, and also the oriental. Different theme every night on a seven day rolling program. The breakfast was a wide variety of everything you could imagine, bacon, eggs,{cooked any way you like} sausages of different varieties, salads, cold meats and cheeses,fruit, yogurts, you name it and it was there, even caviar,{YUK}. I think the hotel needs to invest in some new toasters though.
Lunch time was also a wide range of food in the main buffet, you had a better choice than the pool buffet.
I found the evening meals were lovely too, I do think they need to try to keep the food hotter though, having said that there was a microwave oven on the end of the hot food station. The ice creams were really nice.
The beaches were the same, all nicely kept. Our favourite was of course was the windy beach. Only ventured on to the calm side twice and the amount of sun beds that were reserved with nobody on them for over two hours was quite appalling really, and I have to say it wasn't the British. So my sister and her husband had a mission, went to the beach at around 7am and got our sun beds, my husband and I went for breakfast and got to the beach around 8:30, then they went for breakfast, problem solved.
I must say we left everything on the beach at lunch time and nothing went walkabout, which I think just goes to show what kind of place this is. I am impressed that Thompsons have this resort as a couples only now, even though when we went before there were only a few children there and I think that was only because of weddings, so it was never a problem for us. We never saw any brides this time, so our days of being professional wedding guests were over.
We would like the thank MARIA for breakfast , WALKY and all the others for drinks, there are far too many to mention but everybody was so good. I think it is in their Nature. I nearly forgot, AGUSTIN for my carton of milk in my room for my coffee.
Once again the holiday was good and so was the whale watching with Kim Biddell, but sadly there are other tropical paradise islands that we need to explore.
They are building more rooms in the grounds and this will spoil the island. Too many peop

Room Tip: The villas are the best for views
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Hilary H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Martín V, Manager at Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado, responded to this reviewResponded 23 February 2014

Dear HilaryH,

Receive warm greetings from all the Staff working at Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado.

We are so glad after having received your message letting us know you had a great vacation in our Hotel, and that you enjoyed the Service from our Staff. Your tips are very useful for other guests who are considering Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado for their holidays.

Hope to see you soon on your next vacation experience in Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, all-inclusive hotels for your holidays in the Dominican Republic.

Sincerely yours,

Martin Veron
Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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