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“We have been spoilt...nowhere else will compare.”

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Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro
Ranked #57 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Merseyside, England
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“We have been spoilt...nowhere else will compare.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2010

Stayed for 2 weeks in July 09. Received an upgrade to the Hacienda Diamond section. Which was fantastic and absolutely made our holiday. If I were to recommend this hotel to anyone I would suggest they upgrade as the extras made it very worth while for us.

We arrived at the exclusive reception for Hacienda guests and received a one to one personal service in a lovely, light and airy room. We sat and had a complimentary cocktail while they provided us with information. They had also organised restaurant bookings to save us the hassle but had no problems changing times etc if needed.

A buggy then takes you and your luggage to your room. The room was lovely, clean and spacious. We received bathrobes and slippers to use in the room. There was also a jacuzzi bath.

The Hacienda Diamond section is also situated very central to everything. The Hacienda Diamond reception has 2 computers which gives you 15 minutes a day free use. If there is no one waiting to use them they would give us more time.

The highlight of the upgrade was the tranquility of the exclusive pool which, at times, we had to ourselves. It was crystal clear and on the door step of our room. We also had the exclusive use of the Italian restaurant for both breakfast and lunch. This experience was fantastic. No queueing, very peaceful, table service for lunch. There were occasion when we had the place to ourselves. And of course, the food was amazing. In the whole 2 weeks we ate here it was top class everytime.

Our reservations for the other restaurants were also top class, our favourite being the french a-la carte. As the elegance, service and atmosphere makes you feel special. We experienced the controversial fois gras (which wasnt my cup of tea, but still), lobster, etc. Each dish had 5* presentation. All the restaurants were impressive. They each had there own theme and the food was mouth-wateringly good.

The beach was beautiful, although it was far from deserted, it was never too busy to find beds and parasols. We walked from on end to the other and it took approximately 45 minutes (take a bottle of water with you, you'll need it). When you arrive at the other end of the beach there are lots of brightly coloured shacks selling all your Jamaican gifts and souvenirs. There are water taxis available to take you back if, like us, your ready for collapsing. We haggled a price with the driver and it was SO worth it.

I had 2 treatments in the spa - Chocolate body wrap and body massage. I would say they were good but not excellent. The setting was nice but not beautiful. They give you a book to look through to choose the treatment you require but my tip here would be to check out the special offers notice at the Spa desk as they may be offering a similar/same treatment at a reduced cost.

Saona Island trip gave us some lovely holiday snaps and some great memories. It was quite a journey to get there and back but it showed you behind the scenes of the Dominican Republic. The catamaran journey was fantastic. The rum was flowing, there was music and dancing. It was really good fun. The Saona Island beach was a little disappointing as i expected powder sand and clear waters for snorkelling but it was more like shingle with cloudy waters because of the amount of boats.

Gran Bahia Principe is big but it wasnt so big that you cant walk around. The trams where fantastic and there was always seating except if your catching one after the end of a show. You may have to wait 5 mins for the next one.

This hotel had the added bonus of feeling that your leaving your hotel to explore as actually on site there is a square which by day has shops to buy your gifts and souvenirs and stalls if you fancy a bit of bartering. By night it comes to life with shows and nightlife.

My family agree that this hotel was the best we have stayed in by far. We have definately been spoilt.....nowhere else will compare!!!!!!

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank katg4now
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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    4 of 5 bubbles
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    4 of 5 bubbles
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    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Wisconsin
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2010

We arrived at the hotel with our 9 friends and were ushered to an area where the hotel attempted to show us where we were going. Most rooms were located in the very farthest building from the beach they had. We were given a map and transported to our rooms. The first night was "hell", as finding our way around in the dark was pretty difficult, but if you can make it threw the first night and finally locate the rest of the friends (These are the same friends that arrived from another location 2 hours late and they had no room for them. They finally ended up in the adjoining hotel for the night and we finally ran into them on the beach the next day!) you are meeting there, the place becomes pretty great. The trolleys are timely and tranport you from location to location and walking around gets easier. (we were about 20 minutes from the beach, but only 5 minutes from our pool!) There's plenty of pools and a huge beach. With 2600-2700 rooms, the beach is PACKED, but we always managed to find chairs and the sand and water were wonderful.
Though the buffets were great (we always had 2 available to us) and although the Europeans were extremely rude as always, we managed to meet some very nice Americans. The specialty restaurants were another story. We managed to get into one of them (the Japanese) at 9:30pm. However, in their defense, we were prepared for this and we did have 13 people, but it was still kind of unfortunate.
Communication was a problem, but if you are patient, you can manage pretty well. The shopping area in great, we saw one show and it was very good and the place is beautiful. Would I go again, probably not only because it was so large, but if that doesn't bother you and you have a good sense of direction in the night hours, you'll love it. I've gone to Punta Cana several times and it was certainly one of the nicest and definately the largest place I've been to.
CJW, happy to get out of Wisconsin for a week

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank brandyprincess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa, ON
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2010

Before you go, know: resort grounds consist of 3+ resort sections....very, very large.

Beautiful grounds, immaculately maintained, large spacious pools, friendly and patient staff, great site for jogging/walking.

Minimal premium for Club Diamond; worth the cost. 4 a la carte reservations made by staff prior to arrival (can be changed), separate pool area & buffet location, separate check-in & out office, internet access. Note: we booked Club Diamond and did not use a la carte restaurants (reservations were too late for our young children but this was our choice). Internet access in high demand....if using for e-mail, the only e-mail account I could access was g-mail due to internet security settings.

Travelling with young children? Tips:
-Bring take-out utensils/plates if you anticipate having to eat in the room at any point.
-Bring after sun lotion for sun burns...it is very costly on site.
-Get-up to reserve hut/chairs around pool.....none left after 7:30 am. Sun is very HOT.
-Bring floaties from Dollar store.....very costly on site.
-Bring snacks (chips, candy/chocolate from home). Chips are $7 US.

Money: bring US dollars or Pesos. 1 US dollar is equivalent to approximately 35 pesos

In room safe: costs $4 US per day....worth it. You set your own code (no key).

Beach towel service: needs improvement. Difficult to obtain towels any time after 10:00 am. Bring towels from home in case you are unable to get clean towels.

Room towels: bring face cloths...never saw any in room (I brought my own).

Beach: far too crowded for my liking......stayed by pool, again, my choice. Kids loved everything.

Stay away from any shell fish....many travellers were sick.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Gilberge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saskatchewan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 February 2010

We travelled to Punta Cana on Feb. 11 with our 21, 18 and 16 year old kids. We upgraded to the Diamond Club and it was well worth it. The private check in with personal service throughout our stay was worth the upgrade as was the extra a la carte restaurant meal and better proximity to the beach. We all loved the resort and even though it is huge, it was at most a 5 minute walk from beach to lobby and the size of it meant that there was lots to do for our active family. Those who don't like to walk can get on a tram any time and ride from end to end of the resort easily. If the smell of diesel does not appeal to you, then there are lots of paths where the tram does not run that you can walk to get to your destination. Taking a little Spanish translation booklet will be very helpful in the first few days. Many of the staff are quite keen to help you learn a bit of Spanish if you are willing.

The best parts:
The beach - this resort has the most beautiful beach with tons of room for the many guests. There are activities on the beach (volleyball, aerobics, dancing, bars, etc...) and water sports (boogie boards, kayaks, catamarans...) to keep the most active people busy. The water was warm and clean and the powder-like sand extends deep into the swimming area so it is safe and easy to spend time in. There were no venders on the beach hassling people at all and the coastline is all public so wandering up and down the extensive shoreline is a great way to people watch and enjoy the sun, sand and water.There are thousands of beach chairs and cabanas but you have to get up early to get your pick. Putting towels over chairs works to save your chairs until you've eaten breakfast and are ready for the beach. Getting a cabana for shade can be difficult though so you have to get up super early (by 6:45 a.m.) if you want shade.

The amenities:
There is so much to do at the resort. There are busy pools, quiet pools, entertainment, shopping, bars, karaoke, casino, and many other activities that are right at your fingertips. The pool areas are kept spotless but the atmosphere is easy going and fun. Each pool has a walk up and a swim up bar, but there are also staff who will bring you a drink if you are too lazy to get up. If you bring a travel mug, your drinks will stay cold and you will have to take fewer trips to the bar. The bartenders are happy to fill your travel mug for you. They are not scared to pour you a strong drink, though, so if you aren't a hard liquor drinker or a seasoned drinker, be careful. The beer is not that great.

There are two large areas where there is entertainment for kids and adults. The main lobby is a great meeting place, relaxing place, bar and restaurant. It too is kept spotless. There is a "market" in the pueblo where you can haggle with the vendors or private shops to buy clothes, gifts and souvenirs.

If you are a runner, the resort has beautifully manicured gardens flanking the many paths that wind through the haciendas (buildings) wehre you could have a fantastic run in the cooler early morning hours when it is quiet and peaceful.

The rooms:
Very clean and large. Do pay for a safe as it will give you more peace of mind while you are away from your room. They are large enough to hold a small laptop; otherwise, I would not take a laptop or anything of any great value. The bathrooms are spacious and clean as well. Because of the humidity, nothing dries outside overnight, so don't bother putting your pool towels on the balcony railing to dry. They will dry better in your air-conditioned room. We left gifts for the maids every day, but I don't think we got any better service than anyone else. I did enjoy leaving the gifts, however.

The food:
The main buffet is enormous and the staff are all helpful and friendly. The breakfast buffet is served in three restaurants so you don't have to go to the main lobby buffet if you are closer to the beach. We never waited for drinks or coffee, but we are quiet laid back and patient. The food is good, the variety amazing, but it is not "fine dining" so don't go to the buffet expecting that.

The a la cartes are excellent (except the Barbecue one, but it is outside on the beach so the atmosphere of the warm evening eating outdoors makes up for it - plus the staff are fantastic.) A ten dollar bill will get you in to most of the a la cartes if you don't have a reservation and a tip at the end of the meal will likely get you invited back without a reservation. I highly recommend the Bella Italiano in the new Esmeralda section of the resort. We had excellent food and service in all of the restaurants and we managed to have five of our seven meals in the a la carte restaurants. We were very pleasant customers, tipped well and had lots of fun with the staff, so getting in was not a problem.

Off resort activities:
The main lobby has two areas where you can go to speak with representatives from different tour companies who will organize trips/activities for you. We travelled with Sunquest so booked a full day excursion with one of the companies they deal with. The trip we booked was called the Tropical Storm excursion and it was excellent. We boarded a bus to go down the coast a bit, loaded up onto a large catamaran with other tourists and spent the day sight-seeing up and down the coast, snorkeling, swimming in the natural pool where the Atlantic and Carribean waters meet, sliding on a huge inflatable slide, eating, drinking and dancing. OLGA was our tour guide and she was excellent. She, along with the other staff, made the day a very enjoyable one. There are lots of different excursions you can do, but you need to decide what you want to do and how much you are willing to pay.

We also booked a half day excursion with the Scuba Aquatic company that is associated with the hotel and has its "office" right on the beach. This is where you get the boogie boards, etc... We had a great time swimming with sharks and sting rays, snorkeling and all the rest as well.

Two consecutive days on the water, however, can also mean two consecutive days where you are in the sun. Plan your trips according to how much time you want to be in the sun or on the water. Bring hats, clothes and sunscreen!

If you choose to stay at the Bahia Principe, you must be prepared for the atmosphere of a large resort. If you are looking for a more intimate holiday or a small resort where you will get to know the staff well, this is not for you. However, the cleanliness, beach, and pure luxury of the resort can make up for the size. We really enjoyed our stay here and would go back in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Diesel2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Clifton, NJ
Level Contributor
46 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 February 2010

We went to Punta Cana for the first time for a 4night 5day trip that seemed just perfect. We didn't venture outside of the resort. The service was great except for one occassion we had with the lobby regarding the safety box in the room. They gave us the wrong key for the safe so there was some back and forth with that but it finally got settled.
The room was spacious and clean. The beds were ok. The only thing that we didn't like from the hotel was that it was too big for our taste. There are these trolleys that run all day and all night to take you from point A to point B and it can get a little annoying to wait for them and the fumes of diesel can be nauseating. The hotel was at full capacity and I thought it was way too many people especially durin lunch time at the buffets. During breakfast hours it wasn't too noticeable. But my husband and I would have preferred a little more peace. At the beach was another location where one noticed the crowds b/c the chairs were very close together. Very close together. Too close for comfort.

So if you don't mind the crowd then you'll enjoy it. Food is great at the restaurants. The buffets are good too but nothing out of this world. The outside theatre has better shows then the inside theatre.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank jmad42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
stoke-on-trent
Level Contributor
75 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 February 2010

just got back fantastic vacation only gripe is people putting towels on the beds at the beach then going off for the day what is the point,everything was good,weather hot ,staff friendly,really clean people great company,american,canadians,and fellow brits.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank trenthamgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
michigan
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2010

We visited this hotel from February 6 to Febrary 13 and did not want to leave! The servce is outstanding. It is true that very few speak English but after a day or so, it is very easy to have simple conversations with people and to understand what is going on. Our check in and check out process was easy. Our rooms were wonderful and kept very clean along with the mini bar fully stocked. This resort appears to be large and overwhelming at first but after a day, things can be found very easily. There is a tram (we called it the people mover) that takes you everywhere you want to go, without a wait. The shows were wonderful.. we enjoyed the Michael Jackson show, Boogie Nights and American Legends. The worse part of our stay was that we did not get reservations at the restaurants we wanted however the food was not bad at the ones we did have. The buffets were wonderful and they provided a little something for everyone. If you could not find one thing that you liked, there was something wrong. We had read some reviews that said you needed to get to the beach very early to get chairs.. however there were 4 of us in our party and we did not have a hard time finding chairs on the beach at anytime, or the pools. We did three excursions... the Outback (which I would highly recommend), a trip to the Don Lucas cigar place (this was free of charge but I would not have paid for it anyway), and snorking with the sharks/stingrays (this was a blast). Everyone was very friendly.. always singing and dancing. The only recommendation that I have is for them to keep the pools open longer (they closed at 6 PM so they could put chemicals in the pools). We also read reveiws that said to bring money to tip for better services... although this is not neccessary (we had wonderful service all the time- minus one bartender), I would encourage it as these people work very hard to make your vacation more enjoyable. Our glasses were never empty in the buffets/restaurants.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rebandpenny
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 Bavaro

Property: Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro
Address: Arena Gorda - Macao Seccion Baigua | Arena Gorda - Macao, Seccion Baigua, Punta Cana, 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:
#34 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#35 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#38 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#50 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#51 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#51 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#53 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro 4*
Number of rooms: 744
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

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