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Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana
Ranked #61 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Bradford, Ontario
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Excellent stay! Don't believe the bad reviews...”
Reviewed 11 March 2011

My husband and I just returned from a week long stay at the Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana. For the size of the resort and the occupancy rate, we were surprised at how empty the resort seemed. The beach and pool were the busiest spots during the day however we never felt crowded. It is an extremely large resort so there are a lot of quiet places for you to get away from the other guests.

We stayed in the Royal Golden section, to be closer to the pool and beach (where we spend the majority of our vacation time). The tram running through the resort was convenient, quick and was a nice scenic ride through the resort. We would walk to the buffet in the morning but it was nice to have the tram during the heat of mid-day.

The food was good - we had no issues with it whatsoever. I am in my first trimester and need to watch what I eat carefully but even with this new picky diet, I still had a lot to choose from at each of the 4 a-la-carte restaurants that we visited and the buffets. There was a lot of selection for most any type of palate, including specifically designated vegetarian dishes.

The beach was STUNNING. White sand as far as the eye could see. The ocean water was turquoise and warm (well once you got in) but wavy. If you don't like waves, this place will not be for you as there were always waves to play in.

There was always a breeze to help cool you off in the heat of the day. I would recommend getting up early (we got up around 6:30am) to reserve a chair with some shade with your towels either at the beach or the pool. They say not to do this but everyone else does and if you don't, you'll be left in the sun with no shade. Just a recommendation we learned from our first day stuck in the sun :)

The nightly entertainment was some of the best I've seen in the Caribbean. Lively and they definitely put on an excellent show. Unfortunately we missed the Michael Jackson show that everyone else was raving about :( Maybe next time.

The staff was always friendly and helpful so I'm not sure what the other guests that wrote bad reviews regarding the staff were talking about. We found them to be helpful and always saying "hola" to you throughout the resort. You couldn't pass a staff member without them saying hello you to. It was fantastic. The grounds were clean and there were always people out doing maintenance.

Our room was clean and spacious. We have no complaints about the accommodations at all.

Overall - if you're expecting white glove service, being waited on hand and foot and 5-star gourmet meals rivalling any of the best restaurants in North America, pay the extra $4000 and visit a Sandals. If you're looking for a fabulous getaway with a great beach and friendly staff, you won't be disappointed with Gran Bahia Principe in Punta Cana.

Now if I can JUST get their theme song out of my head... ;) It's catchy!

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank kristi1976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Cobourg, Canada
Level Contributor
76 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2011

Feb 24 to March 4. We travelled Air Canada Vacations for this trip and will use them again. Facilities were clean and the weather was great. Excellent selection and quality of food; the a la carte restaurants were very good, we got 4 a la cartes with Air Canada and as repeat customers we were upgraded to Golden section. All staff with the exception of Front Desk, were excellent. For great maid service we left one US$ per day and a few more on leaving. We tipped at a la cartes and for good service at the buffet. House wines were okay and only local brands for liquor; Bramah and Presidente beers were great. Beach and pools were great but you have to pick your palapas and lounges before 8:00 am and leave your towels to reserve (Idid hear of one person losing a towel) but it's the only way to get a spot. We found both guests and staff very friendly; speak un poco espanol and you'll get good service. We went on the Reef Explorer excursion which was very good and low key snorkelling, spa and health type drinks. We found the prices for liquor and cigars were cheaper at the Hotel stores than at Airport Duty-free. It's a large facility so be prepared to walk (about 8 min beach to lobby), but the shuttles run continuously. Will consider returning again but watch for the sales pitch for vacation property (Esmerelda).

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Goeasy54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rhode Island
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2011

Traveled with a good friend for some much needed relaxation. This resort is very large and was very overwhelming at first. I recommend taking time to study the map and chat with the other guests to start your stay.

Pros:
-Beautiful grounds. There wasn't a leaf out of place.
-The shuttle service was very helpful because this resort is very large.
-Good Service
-Beautiful beach
-Many options for food and pools. The much larger pool closest to the beach was a bit busier so we opted for the quieter pool in the middle of the resort.
-Food was good. The buffets were large and offered many options.
-Clean resort. I was amazed at the amount put into keeping the outdoor bars clean. The pool bathrooms were all marble and very nice.
-Room was very clean..basic but clean.
-Enjoyed the nightlife at the disco and the karaoke bar
-Bartenders were fun - make sure to order a Banana Mama! I am still trying to work off the calories but well worth it.


Cons:
-Busy resort. The beach although beautiful was very over crowded. It provided lots of shaded areas but made it difficult to get some sun at times.
-Saving of chairs at the pools and the beach was awful. I saw some saved chairs not used for hours at a time. I found we needed to wake up early just to secure a spot at the pool.
-No chair service at the beach. This wasn't a big deal but just thought I would mention it. There is a beach bar that opened at 10am with water, soda and cocktails.
-The pool and beach bar closed around 5:30. I usually like to sit out a bit later to enjoy the sunset but we worked around it.

This is my first review so I hope it is helpful.

My friend and I had a great time on our first trip to PC. There were some hiccups along the way but overall we enjoyed the people, music and the resort. I would suggest they try to provide better service at check-in. I think we had someone new to the process which left us trying to navigate this large resort on our own.

I would suggest this resort to anyone looking for a lively trip. Also, brush up on your Spanish. I ordered only once from room service..ordered a Cheeseburger got Chicken fingers!

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank PatsFanchick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milwaukee
Level Contributor
38 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2011

Let me just start with the positive: The resort is beautiful. The rooms are very nice and clean and the landscaping impeccable. Also, I did not get sick. That was another fear of mine so I am happy about that. I did drink ice in their drinks and the water they would serve.
However, if I were a Spanish speaking, chain-smoking anorexic, I would have been totally happy here. But I am not. The language barrier between my husband and I (English speaking) and the resort staff was difficult at best. Some of the staff were genuinely trying to be helpful while others acted pained or bored that we could not understand them.
It was literally like a smoking convention here. Every single place I would go or stand, I would be met by someone puffing smoke in my face. That was probably the most irritating…no wait, I would have to say the horrendous food was the most irritating. If we were only here for 2 or 3 days, no problem. But we were here for 5 nights and 6 days. I literally was at a loss for what I could eat. Everything is watered down from their “orange juice” (clear liquid with an orange tint to it) to their spaghetti sauce, cheese whiz nacho sauce, etc. I lived on rice for most of the time. Even the “fancy” restaurants (which were booked except for 9:45 pm dinner times the very day of our arrival when we tried to make reservations for the upcoming week) were awful. The Mexican restaurant would take the same horrible Mexican food from the buffet and put it in a very fancy setting….but in the end, if you put junk on a lace doily, it is still junk. I could not drown myself in booze as the alcoholic drinks were of the same bad quality. Think sickeningly sweet bright sugar water with booze added.
The beach was crowded but very lovely although during our stay unfortunately it was windy and cooler.
This resort is very large and has trolleys to take you to beach, front desk, buffet, etc. which were always readily available. Be careful that you do not enter the swimming pool that you are not allowed to be in (depending on your colored wristband) as you will be chased out like a dog. They are not marked very well so you should probably ask the front desk before venturing there.
Thank God there were no bugs in the rooms or anywhere that I saw. I was very worried about that as several of the reviews I read had mentioned this. This would have pushed me over the edge. I will take the bad food/drinks over bugs anytime!!
Also, because of the whitecaps and windiness, jet skis are not even allowed on this beach, in case that is important to you as it was very disappointing to my husband.
Of all the places we have been in the Caribbean, this is by far our least favorite. The price was right but I guess we got what we paid for. Would not return here even if the trip were free.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank chihuahuawoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Goderich
Level Contributor
20 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2011

Really nice place and the food is good for the most part, although they could have more of a variety and sometimes the food wasn't hot in the ala carte restaurants. The problem we had was we got conned into going to a time share presentation. I specifically asked if the presentation was for a time share and was told no it was to show us the new Esmeralda section so we could decide to use it in the future. They offered beach towels etc., so we figured why not as this new section looked impressive. Well guess what,, TIME SHARE!!!!! The initial girl was very pleasant but when we said we had to go becuase they had already gone past the amount of time it was to take and we were not interested out came the CLOSER! He fed us a bunch of half truths at best and a few... well you get the picture. To top it all off the beach towel that we and our friends got were used and not properly cleaned. So if you go there enjoy the resort It was great but if they offer you a presentation IT'S A TIME SHARE PITCH!

  • Stayed February 2011
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank tonyferoni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Deer Lake, Canada
Level Contributor
37 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2011

I have been to this resort 2x now and it is very nice marble floors beautiful lobby bar and wonderful bartenders , all staff were very friendly food was very good as well our favorite being the Japanese, the bbq on the beach was also really good and staff were very entertaining during the day this same restaurant was a buffet for lunch also had really good chicken frys spagetti salads etc good variety. This is a huge resort and you will need to take the trollys to the beach , you can walk it but because of the heat you are better of taking a ride, The beach is beautiful, and clean water turqoise, there is no waiters taking oders on the beach you have to go to the beach bar yourself which is not a big deal very close by. If you like it less crowded I would say go to the left side of the beach to the right more activity volley ball wind sailing etc. We spent time at the swim up bar as well as the pool close to the beach is very very crowded this is where all the games and activities happen. As you may know there are many different sections to this hotel I would reccomend the Punta Cana side the lobby bar is much nicer with piano music every night and the rooms are also nicer with better views, our last trip we flew with Sunwing and we were in the Bavaro section which as we found out was the lower end of the resort rooms were not as nice nor was the view and lobby bar wasnt as nice either no entertainment at night here at this lobby bar, we did complain to front desk as we were not happy with our room and after a bit of talking and finding out this was our third time to this chain they up graded us to club diamond which was nice as our room was right next to the pool and it was a private pool for club diamond only so it was not crowded at all we also got to eat our lunch and breakfast everyday at the italian rest. the only extras besides that we got with this upgrade was robes and slippers in our room and extra beach towels and umbrellas in or room. oh and because we had a diamond bracelet we could use both lobby bars which was good as well. Over all this resort is very clean nicely decorated has large rooms with jacuzzi baths and large washroom in your room, mini fridge stocked with water pop and beer, one word of advice bring your own facecloths as we never got one are entire trip hard to come by. Oh and at the punta cana lobby bar the most wonderful bar tenders ever Ramone and Rudulfo wonderful guys they made our trip . I would reccomend staying either in the Punta Cana section or upgrading to club diamond or Royal Golden if you stay in other areas or they also have the Ambar adult section which is a newer section which is also very nice again private pool area also close to beach and added services. This hotel in my opinion offers good service for the money and is a beautiful place and I would return again, how ever this year we will be trying the Majestic Colonial which in a 10 min walk up the beach from this resort, we would like to try something different this year as well as our friends who will be travelling with us, once I come back in May I will post a review of the Majestic, hope this review helps answer some questions about this resort ,if there are any questions I would be happy to answer .

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank travelgirl2011079_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hamilton Ontario
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2011

Really enjoyed our stay at the Gran Bahia and do not understand some of the bad reviews. There were a few minor issues with our visit, but most have more to do with our preferences than the resort itself. We flew Air Transat and booked Royal Golden Service. Good solid 4 star accommodations and service and good value for money. Our first time to Punta Cana and second time to Dominican (Puerto Plata) and have enjoyed both.
BEACH: We were there for the Beach and loved this one. Beautiful white sand, palm trees and warm aqua water, found it great for walking and for people watching.
Could always find a chair no matter what time we went down to the beach and there is always lots of shade with the palm trees. Some times too much and we would start out in the sun down near the water but the sun moves all day so by mid afternoon we were moving to find sun because the palms provided such a canopy or shadow of shade and it was cool with the wind if you’re a swimmer.
Yes it’s a bit crowded but this beach is still very nice and we spent hours walking it.
Can be very windy and choppy for swimming some days and no point taking your snorkeling gear unless you are doing an excursion. But loved swimming out to the buoys and floating in the water most days. Weather was great.
We found most of the Arena Gorda beach area very lively and busy. It is a beautiful beach but found sometimes the masses of people and boats detract from it.
POOLS: Never used them but noticed unless you are up at the crack of dawn to place your towels you will never get a chair.
ROOM: Nice typical 4* resort room. Recommend Royal Garden Service if you want to be close to the beach. And the robes and room service were nice features but we never used the room service. They also decorated our room and gave us T-shirts for our anniversary which was a nice touch. Bathroom a bit dark and could use some updating, but always clean, had hot water and dry clean towels and hair blower worked great. Lots of closet and shelf space. Safe $4/day, lots of drawers and seating, TV with some good movie stations and well stocked fridge. The bed was very comfortable and plenty of pillows. Balcony door has no screen but we slept with the door open to hear the ocean and it was fine. Glad we were not facing main tram road though. So if you like to sleep with your door open would ask for room not facing the roads. The 3am whoo hoos of late night revelers returning home are to be expected though..
Had a problem with our room key first day and had to go to the lobby to get the problem fixed.
If I had one complaint about the room it would be noise. We had requested an upper floor as I had read in some reviews about the problem, but wound up with a lower floor. Of course it did not matter which floor you were on with the echoes of the stairwell. Ladies please take off your high heels after midnight and everybody try not to slam your doors at 3am.
FOOD, RESTAURANTS, SERVICE AND BARS
BUFFET : Found the food here tasted very good with wonderful variety and was different every night. We used it for breakfast, lunch and dinner and always found the food fresh and hot. Service here was generally very good.
We were allowed 4 ala cartes but only did the 2 booked as we do not like to be committed to a time most nights and found the buffet very good
Steak House BBQ: Excellent. Great atmosphere at night, located down at the beach which is the Snack Bar during the day and you could hear the ocean and see the stars. Buffet style ala carte and food was excellent. Really enjoyed this one the most of all our meals. Not sure how it would be on a windy or rainy night though.
Gourmet Restaurant: Located off the lobby and is a pleasant restaurant with great service and good menu and food. I had very good lobster dinner and my husband had the beef which he enjoyed.
Beach Snack Bar: Good breakfast and lunch. Nice open concept and plenty of seating and ate lunch here most days as it is so close to the beach with a nice relaxed beach attitude. The staff here is always pleasant. They did a BBQ one day. On the other side was another beach grill similar to this one.
Lobby Bar: Excellent service. Ranch is a great representative of this resort and provided extraordinary service. Thank you to all the staff here for making our stay so much more enjoyable. Fantastic night time atmosphere with dancing and meet some wonderful people. It felt like the heart of the resort and one of the most pleasurable parts of our stay and the guests and service are some of the best we have come across anywhere.
Lobby had some nice snacks late in the mornings and afternoons with self serve muffins, croissants etc. and juice available opposite the bar. During the day it was a bit more peaceful and nice to sit outside in the open area under the palms, after our walks and enjoy a muffin and juice. The staff was always attentive here and realized that when we came to sit after our walks we didn’t need anything and were content just to sit with our snack.
Pool/Beach Bar: Located to the far left of the main pool area it is close to the pool, beach, beach snack bar and service here was ok for the most part. There were a few occasions some bar staff thought it more important to clean then serve, but would do so grudgingly, eventually. We tip occasionally for good service not to get service.

We found the staff for the most part to be very pleasant and helpful. Saw many hard workers. Majority of service was excellent.
Yes it is a large resort but well laid out and if you like to walk you can have it sorted out in a day or two if you start at the Punta Cana and Bavaro Lobbies which are side by side and use your map.
Best tram system we have ever experienced and the drivers were very courteous and knew where people wanted to go when asked. It’s best to take the middle road until you know where you are situated. But we walked most of the time to and from the lobby and did not find it that far a walk. (Bld. 25)
Liked walking the courtyard and checking out the shops, lots of vendors here too, just looked in the casino, disco and Karaoke bar. Spa, mini put, soccer and tennis are down the main road leading out of the resort. Used our free internet twice and loved figuring out the key boards. Vendors were outside the lobby at night and plenty on the beach during the day. Also lots of water sports and plenty of tours of every description available but we opted for none. Our daughter had a destination wedding last year and we just enjoyed relaxing on the beach this year.
So the only real down side to this resort for us was the noise factor of the room. Found the Arena Gorda beach area as a whole with big resorts km after km and the amount of people on the beaches is maybe a little too busy for our liking. I had some minor stomach issues but do everywhere, my husband was fine. But these are personal preference or issues and do not reflect on the resort as a whole. We had a fantastic time, had fun with the guests and enjoyed the beach and food and would not hesitate to stay at another Gran Bahia somewhere else and have no problem recommending this resort. But have no desire to visit this area again or Dominican again for that matter. Find the country just doesn’t give us the same feel good vibe of Cuba or Mexico. To each there own, but there are so many places to see…Happy Travels

Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank deblovesabeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana

Property: Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana
Address: Crta. Arena Gorda, Punta Cana 9999, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#18 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#24 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#38 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#54 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#54 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#55 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#57 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana 4*
Number of rooms: 756
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Facilities and services 2 lake-style pools Jacuzzi Sun terraces Lounger, sun umbrella and towel service BAHIA SPA (additional charge) Sports facilities: gym, tennis court, multi-sports court Water activity centre Motorised sports (additional charge) WiFi access in the lobby (1h per day free of charge) and in rooms (additional charge) Meeting and convention room 1 buffet restaurant and 5 speciality restaurants Japanese restaurant 16 bars Wedding gazebo Punta Blanca Golf Club: 18 hole Punta Blanca Golf Club (additional charge) Pueblo Principe: Shopping and Leisure Mall with local craft stores, live music, shows, stores, bars, disco and casino Rooms 756 rooms including two types: Superior Junior Suite and Club Golden Junior Suite Room facilities: King size bed or two full size beds Fully-equipped bathroom with Jacuzzi, hair dryer and a full range of amenities Balcony or terrace Air conditioning Ceiling fan Telephone Satellite TV Coffee-making facilities Mini-bar Safe (additional charge) WiFi (additional charge) Club Golden Junior Suite (See page 18 Club Golden, Club Hacienda). Children Bahia Scouts The hotel is perfect for families, offering a range of facilities tailored especially for children, including the following: Children's pool Mini Club for children aged 4 to 12 Baby Station Bahia Scouts Water Park Fun Area and Adventure Park (additional charge) Teen's club Other Services 24 hour medical service (additional charge) Pharmacy (additional charge) WiFi in the lobby (1h per day free of charge) and in rooms (additional charge) Specialised service for organising weddings, incentive trips, events and anniversaries Personalised menus (for celiacs, diabetics, etc.) Available on request and subject to circumstances ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana
Punta Cana Gran Bahia Principe

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