If you want an honest review about Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro, read this one. Or lots of others that are on here as well.
Our review was much different in the first few days of our 11 day stay at this resort, but it started to change as a few things popped up that people only staying a week may not be bothered by.
It IS a lovely resort, the grounds are nice, it's [mostly] nicely laid out, the lobby is beautiful, the beach is nice and the PEOPLE who work here are PHENOMENAL! Food is not bad considering the size and we had GREAT experiences in all 5 al a carte restaurants that we enjoyed. However, my husband was the first to express that it's just too big. And it's true. JayCart put it best when he said that Bavaro and Principe are the poor relations of this grand place. They are older, so we felt that the attention goes to the newer and more expensive areas of the property. That said, we feel we had the very best view of the entire place from our lovely room on the third floor overlooking our favourite pool and pool bar.
Because it's so big, some parts, much as they try, just cannot be 5 star. Just not possible. And the staff run ragged each and every day, and they ARE friendly. But by gosh if you ever meet one that isn't, consider the hours they work, and how hard!
We are going to offer advice. Take it if you want, which you'd be wise to do.
DO come here. But only for an upgrade, or if not, make sure you got a good deal. We did get one, and it was our honeymoon, and while it wasn't perfect, it was a lovely time and stay, considering all factors and especially the cost of it.
They LISTEN to Trip Advisor. They are reading the reviews and we saw evidence that they are working on aspects. Case in point - you will read a lot of reviews from December that the sales people were constantly bugging to see their presentation, that they would bug by the beach and pool and everywhere. We realized day 2 of our stay that they have about an 8 square foot spot in the lobby and can call out to you from there but it's as if they aren't allowed off that spot. So the choice is yours if you want to talk to them and see their presentation. We avoided it. We also know they read these reviews because many of the staff have business cards with the Trip Advisor logo on it. Also you will see that virtually all reviews are responded to. So they know what's going on and much of it they work to rectify.
We only did one day at the beach because it was really windy and really busy and we didn't enjoy it as much as the pool. We walked lots on the beach though and that was nice for us. We walked A LOT there and that's okay because it's a nice place and honestly, get up and move a bit. But if we wanted a people mover, they were available and the drivers are like everyone else - friendly and nice!
The snack bar near the beach was our choice for lunch most days and it was just fine. VERY nice nachos and gaspacho, which one reviewer had noted before we went (thank you for that!). Mi esposo also enjoyed the burgers there.
Someone else had said they could not get a buzz on their entire time. We laughed about that for a week! There is NO shortage of alcohol and the service at all bars is absolutely brilliant!
Joselo and Angel and Angel and Eddy at the lobby bar are so wonderful. Joselo was one of our favourite people by far. A genuine person, not just looking for tips. A very nice man and yes, you're right (earlier reviewer), he DOES care. Also, they make a mean bloody mary.
At the pool, we can not say enough about Randy, Francisco, Margarita, Moises and Kelvin! They are ALL a great team and a lot of fun, nice people, remember you and actually seem to care about how you're doing. Kelvin is extremely entertaining and lots of people seemed to sit at the pool bar till they had to stumble away or their lips turned purple from sitting idle in the water. We sat there one day and thereafter left it to the younger people who seemed to use it as a speed dating site (not a problem just obviously not what people on honeymoon are looking for). One word of advice though....sure take a cup. We took tim's insulated cups. But honestly they do not need to be the biggest honkingest gigantic bubba cups. To each their own, horses for courses (hubby would say), but you don't need a gallon cup. Just saying.
A La Cartes: We went to Italian, Mediteranean, Japanese, Garden Grill, and Santa Fe (tex mex). All were good and we felt the food was fresh and nice, and we didn't have temperature issues (though some of the people we met felt some of the food was not hot enough). Our favourite in the end was the Garden Grill, which was on our 11th night. We liked them all but the service we got this last night of our stay was just what we needed at that point. The steaks were also AWESOME.
The buffet was alright. But yes it is HUGE and BUSY and serves a LOT of people. The hostesses are nice (and for hubby I will say very attractive!!) and accommodating. A few days in I came to name the bank of tables along the window as "the trough". All the other tables are diagonal and nicely spaced and good. These tables however are TOO close together and lined up. One does not enjoy their dining experience when seated here. Try to avoid. Management: Would be a simple change and make such a huge difference to your guests. There is ALWAYS something to eat and they are very attentive. Jose and his "cafe and whisky" (with milk) was funny every morning. The potatoes are also very nicely done. Not a huge fan but I really enjoyed their potatoes. We liked Dominican night as well as Spanish night, and the lamb is good too. Also their CORNBREAD! We ate at least a loaf of banana corn bread one morning, never having had it before. We are going to find a recipe (or if the chef cares to share it with us....?)
We played mini-golf and walked. Mini golf was fun but could use a face-lift. The water park for the kids looks WAY fun! The animation staff, especially Alvin (is that right?) is incredible! He remembers you, has lots of costumes, and loves the children like his own brothers and sisters (his words when we said to him how good he is with them). We didn't take kids but we could see how much fun the kids were having and how this place is best suited as a family resort than a wedding one.
We had experiences with people trying to sell stuff to us too, but the excursion folks are good about saying good morning and moving on and accepting no.
We saw a bunch of weddings and noted that the one wedding venue is lovely and picturesque but a tad close to the pool and we wondered could the pool turn down the music just for the ceremony? Easily done - a waiter comes for ice and champagne from the pool bar. We felt that would be a good cue to turn down the music just a bit for a half hour. Also there are all kinds of rude people standing in dripping bathing suits watching the proceedings. We watched because we're newlyweds and saps, but we did it from a respectable distance. So when you go there, try to have some respect.
Our room was fine for sure, but we do feel that the maids are very busy and we noted that some days we didn't get things we needed or we got our water late in the day. They did a fine job though and were always very pleasant (Rosaura and Bernice).
The best part of our trip was being together, enjoying the weather (nothing like the sway of palm trees), and meeting new friends from Yorkshire. We shared some drinks at the Sports Bar and Night Club. Also one night we wanted to dine together at the buffet but we were Bavaro and they were Principe and so we had to have help from Jose at guest services to make this happen, which he did with grace and then the hostess dealt with using more humour than we saw all week! Thanks go to both of them for making that meal with new friends happen. Jose also set up our al a cartes, got us a bottle of champagne, and had a heart shaped cake arranged for our first meal. It was very lovely.
One other thing I want to say to the management is that it is SO lovely the way guests are welcomed to Grand Bahia Principe. All staff can tell when people are new arrivals and are superb and full of hearty welcome. But once we have taken the sun, we're still just as important. There were a couple of times we felt that once we weren't "new" anymore we were less of a priority in the buffet. Everywhere else we still felt like we were a million bucks.
Finally, be aware that mosquitos are real, and they like you at night. Hubby came back with a couple of real scary bites. You're radiating heat from your day so they are out for blood. Some sort of spray will definitely work. Our friends got some from the lobby shop and noted it wasn't horribly expensive. We also got rum there and it was also priced alright.
Lastly, you WILL experience belly trouble. It is all new for you, the diet, the water, all of it. Bring immodium. It will pass. And if you need to, remember the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast.)
Have a good time. The people here make it worth it. It was a good honeymoon with my best friend and partner in crime.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Facilities and services 2 lake-style pools Large sun terrace New relaxation zone with Bali beds, sun umbrellas and loungers Pool and beach towels BAHIA SPA (additional charge) Sports facilities: gym, 3 tennis courts (floodlit for an additional charge), multi-sports court Water activity centre WiFi access in the lobby (1h per day free of charge) and in rooms (additional charge) Entertainment theatre Wedding gazebo 1 buffet restaurant and 17 speciality restaurants Japanese restaurant 10 bars 3 Snack Bars Cocktail Lounge Punta Blanca Golf Club: 18 hole Golf Punta Blanca Golf Club designed by Nick Price (additional charge) Pueblo Principe: Shopping and Leisure Mall with local craft stores, live music, shows, stores, bars, karaoke, disco and casino Rooms 816 rooms including two types: Superior Junior Suite and Club Hacienda Junior Suite Room facilities: King size bed or two full size beds Fully-equipped bathroom with hydromassage bath tub, hair dryer and magnifying mirror Sitting area with sofa Air conditioning Ceiling fan Telephone Alarm clock Satellite TV Minibar Coffee-making facilities Safe (additional charge) Ironing set Wifi (additional charge) Club Hacienda 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: Mini Club for children aged 4 to 12 Evening Mini Disco Babysitting service (additional charge) Bahia Scouts Water Park Fun Area and Adventure Park (additional charge) Teens' Club (11-16 years) Other services 24 hour medical service (additional charge) Pharmacy (additional charge) Bus stop opposite the hotel Meeting and convention room Personalised menus (for celiacs, diabetics, etc.) Available on request and subject to circumstances Specialised service for organising weddings, incentive trips, events and anniversaries ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Gran Bahia Punta Cana
- Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana
- Bahia Principe Dominican Republic
- Gran Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort
- Punta Cana Bahia Principe
- Gran Bahia Principe Bavaro Punta Cana
- Principe Punta Cana
- Bahia Punta Cana
- Bahia Resort Principe
- Gran Bahia Principe Dominican Republic