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“Loved this Hotel, excellent views, tropical feel”

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Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa
Ranked #6 of 54 Hotels in Samana Province
Certificate of Excellence
Barrie, Canada
Level Contributor
80 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Loved this Hotel, excellent views, tropical feel”
Reviewed 12 November 2011

I'm a little late writing this review, but I thought it might help others if I jotted something down. My wife & I stayed for a week at Gran Bahia Principe Cayacoa in early April 2011.
The Hotel is very unique. It has an elegance, old world charm to it. Be prepared for a lot of walking and steps to climb. (although a tram will pick you up, if required) With the Hotel being built on a hill, you get fantastic tropical views of the city of Samana and the ocean. The resort has more of a tropical feel to it, than other resorts that I have stayed. Also having an elevator ride to take you to the beach, is unique. The beach area is quiet, but would only get an average rating compared to other Dominican beaches. (not very picturesque, with the brown sand)
The weakness of the resort is the 'a' la carte' restaurants. Although the resort does try, they are not very appetizing, in my opinion.
The buffet, however, was well done and always had a good variety.
Only pick this resort, if you enjoy a quiet nightlife. We loved having a quiet evening drink, listening to the local music, while overlooking the lights of Samana.
Make sure you talk to "Raymond' at the end of the beach, if you want to experience some great excursions. This is a real strength of the Hotel. The proximity of worthwhile excursions, that give you a taste of the beauty of the Dominican Republic. "Raymond" at the end of the Beach will set you up with memorable excursion to "El Lemon Falls" (not to be missed, but be warned there are some steep steps) & the day trip to Gran Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado Island. Although you can not enter the resort, the beach on this island is postcard worthy. Raymond's boat takes about 15 minutes from the mainland to the island & then you get to spend the day on a white sand, tropical beach with turquoise water. (it was a great day) Next time we visit, we plan to see the humpback whales.
Overall, the beauty & charm of the hotel will make it an easy decision to return.

Room Tip: Always try to pick the top floor, for better ocean views
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank Fearless57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rugby, England
Level Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 November 2011

If this was a 3* hotel it would be OK but as it was sold to us as a 4*+ it was actually pretty poor. We stayed here as part of a twin centre stay and the other hotel was far better despite having a lower star rating.
The pictures used by the holiday brochures gave the impression that the beach is private which it's not; it's not a particularly nice beach and was quite littery (although we were there when the hurricane had just hit so maybe it was due to that?)
The food here wasn't up to standard; it just wasn't very tasty and wasn't replenished quickly making dinner especially a very hit and miss experience. We tried using the al a carte restaurant but were in a large party and were told that if more than 7 of us wanted to eat at the same time we would all have to have the same meal!
The pool area was small and getting a sunbed was very difficult; we tended to stay around the jacuzzi pool area which was slightly better but offered very little shade.
The rooms were nice but we had received an upgrade to stay in the 'villas' and on nosily peering into the standard rooms they didn't seem anything special. Also; beware that the villas are quite a long walk from all of the amenities; there is a caddy service but it wasn't very reliable.
The worst part of all were the staff; we found most were miserable and unwilling to help and would often stand around chatting together instead of serving customers who had been waiting for some time. The exception to this were one or two bar staff who were a bit more friendly but the bar in the evening nearly always opened late and closed early.
If you want to go the the Dominican Republic and aren't bothered about which resort you stay in I would recommend going to the Gran Ventana in Puerto Plata over this one which is where we stayed for the first week and was much better overall!

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank sunnygirl1003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guernsey, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 8 November 2011

We visited Gran Bahia Principe Cayacoa 19th - 26th oct 2012. We were a Family of 2 adults and 4 chilren age ranging from 6 to 16!!
The whole family had an amazing time. the hotel was spacious and luxurious. we found the staff very friendly, their English was limited but most would have a laugh and try and work out what you were after!
the beach was lovely where the water sports were but the water sports themselves are a bit shabby and worn. this was not run by the hotel, although you did get 1hr free this was mainley just to try and sell you excursions. Do not pay the full amount, haggle. we were offered a trip to bacardi island starting at $160 for the 6 of us and paid $110.
The entertainment was great, in the day we stayed mostly by the pool and Danny Boy was great entertainment!
In the evening they would have a show and a disco and this was very cheesy but great fun!
the veiws were breathtaking, around rhe hotel.
The food was wonderful, with different themes each night. the choice was limitless with something for even the pickiest.
the rooms we had were in the villas as we had been upgraded due to our original hotel closing down. they were very spaciouse with free room service and the option of calling for a cart to take you to the main hotel. there was a few steps walking from villas to hotel but really needed the excercise after laying by the pool all day and drinking limitless cocktails!!
All in all we would go back in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Jo_sheppard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chicago
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 November 2011

It's taken me 1 year to write this review (sorry) but i feel like it was just yesterday that we were there. I took this trip at the beginning of October 2010 with my boyfriend and we got engaged while out there. This trip was extremely affordable and Samana is a beautiful part of the Dominican Republic. The staff was excellent...i STILL remember their names. Elvis and Lennie were hilarious, entertaining, and unforgettable. We met a lot of nice people that we have become friends with from that trip. It had a small resort type feel and it was almost like a little family. The restaurants were good, but you need to plan a head of time and make reservations. The nightly entertainment was fun....after the shows the place opened up into the nightly disco. We took an excursion to the waterfalls one day that was great and another day we went to "bacardi beach" where they film the Bacardi commercials just a quick boat ride away. The sister resort is on that island as well.

Samana is very unlike Punta Cana. The beach is a little different and not quite the beatuiful soft sand as Punta Cana but it's beautiful in it's own right. It's very green and mostly untouched. It's not as commercial as Punta Cana and it truly had a feeling of getting away in a beautiful tropical place.

I would definitely go back :) The only thing is that it's difficult to get there from the USA. There are no direct flights to Samana. we had to fly into Santo Domingo and take a bus for 3 hours to get there. next time i would fly to canada and then take another flight directly into Samana :)

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank vnichols2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
52 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 November 2011

My wife and I visited this resort from Oct 9 to 16, 2011. The bus trip was pleasant, about 30 minutes long. The resort was not very busy during this week so check in was quick and our room (a junior suite) had a pleasant view of the bay, somewhat obstructed by the large trees in front but trees grow everywhere there so we were not terribly disappointed or surprised.
Our room was quite large, nice bathroom with jetted tub and also a bidet (?). Very comfortable huge bed, sitting area, small fridge, ironing board, umbrella, safe, coffee maker. We had a nice balcony, table and chairs. Everything worked well (fridge could have been a little colder). One thing to remember; you must put your room card into the electrical slot inside the front door to get ANY power to your room and if you leave it in the slot when you leave the room, the maid will clean the room and lift the card so it cuts off all power, including the fridge, so stuff never gets very cold. We tried keeping milk in there for our coffee in the morning but had to replace it each day. All in all the room was definitely 4+ stars. No real complaints here.
The resort is very large, and getting from our room to the pool, beach or restaurants was quite a long walk. There are 4 pools, however only 2 were operational during our week. The main pool is the activity area with music (not too loud) and swim up bar. Most people claimed a prime lounger early, then went to breakfast. We weren’t too fussy and always found a spot no matter when we came down but as I mentioned earlier the resort was not very busy. The other pool which is down by the beach is much less used, but it is more like a large Jacuzzi. Shallow water and always aerating. The snack house with bar is beside this pool.
There is an elevator to take you down to the beach, or you can walk the many steps. The beach is very nice with light brown sand and fairly calm water in the roped off swimming area. I noticed there were always quite a few people in the ocean at all times. The water is fairly clear and usually not weedy, however if the wind picks up then a few weeds would drift in. I considered this one of the better beaches I have been to. There are canoes, a catamaran and snorkeling equipment etc, to use. I brought my own mask and fins and explored different areas around the resort. There is a rocky point just past the west edge of the property, which a good hike and swim brought me to. Definitely some of the best snorkeling I’ve ever done, with some amazing live coral and aquatic life. The bay around the resort is strewn with starfish, their bright orange bodies easily visible from a canoe or from the bridge. Beach and water 4+ stars.
We found the food at this resort very good. The buffet is not huge and somewhat repetitious but the food quality was great. The a la cartes were excellent in our opinion. We thought that every meal we ordered was very tastefully presented at all restaurants. We really loved each one, however some people we met there were thoroughly disappointed and walked out of one. It depends on personal taste I guess. Room service is available all night I believe, but the menu size is very limited.
The bar service was excellent but the liquor available at no charge was also limited. The beer is El Presidente which is one of my favorites so no problem there, but the wine, like all Dominican resort wine, is awful. Food 4, bar and liquor 3 stars.
There are shuttles which you can request to take you around the resort and also into the town. There are some Gran Bahia shops there and a short walk west will bring you to a large store and a local market. We didn’t find much to purchase in the town, but it was an interesting walk around. Sometimes we didn’t wait for the shuttle and hiked to and from the hotel. It takes about 15 minutes from the GB shops.
Our return to the airport was somewhat disheartening. Many items, which conformed to the regulations everywhere else, were taken from our carry on luggage by security there. These people make up their own rules of what they will allow on the plane and will confiscate anything, even things you brought into the DR in your carry on. Be aware not to pack ANYTHING that you don’t want to lose in your carry on luggage. Your other luggage is already gone at this point so don’t take the chance. Some people had no problem, others have had experiences similar to ours.
Rain and thunderstorms were forecasted each day of our stay, but we were surprised to find it sunny and hot every morning. At about 3 each afternoon clouds would roll in and sometimes it would rain for a short while, then clear up again.
To sum up we had a very enjoyable week at this resort and would definitely recommend it to others.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
10 Thank kaalgo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 November 2011

This is our second time in Dominican Republic and we wasn't disappointed. We are in love with this beautiful country.
First of all about the hotel. Yes, it is a bit dated but spotlessly clean rooms, cleaned every day to a good standard. This is a low budged hotel good for a relaxing week away in the tropics if you want to get away from work and just chill and sip cocktails. If people expect more they should go somewhere else and pay more. The food in the hotel is repetitive that is true but there is also choice for every taste possible. IT IS ABSOLUTELY UNTRUE that there is pork only as said somewhere below. We stayed for a week and there was : grilled chicken, fish and yes pork. Plenty of pizza and pasta sections, all kind of steamed and roasted veg, special dietary section as well as pancake and omelet station, all kind of sweets, fruits, salad you name it that was available. Also the service was great you had to wait less than a minute and they would refill your glass and take away plates. Everywhere service was great. They were quicker than the 5star Dreams that we stayed last time in Punta Cana. They don't expect anything from you and they are surprised and shy when you tip them. Special thanks to Christian, the barman by the animation pool. This boys never stops. He is working so hard making sure everyone has drinks always smiling despite the fact he was working on his own most of the time and he was getting very busy sometimes.
The beach is not the perfect white Caribbean sand beach with crystal clear water but people should have checked that before on trip advisor pictures or somewhere else instead of complaining about it. When knew what was the beach like before we went only because we bothered to check that and we wouldn't complain about it. There are plenty locals but they don't bother anyone usually. Some little kids trying to sell shells..the shop vendors at the hotel were much more annoying and pushy. Also the beaches in DR are public and this is their own country so there is no reason they should be banned from the beach.
So all in all this hotel is average. It is clean, service is really good, food and drinks are decent and varied in type. There is nice spa and it's well priced too. It is not very busy with people and there is plenty sunbeds by the pools and beach.
What i personally didn't like is the lack of good entertainment at night. There were dancer twice in the week apart from these two night it was purely boring at night. The disco is down town where they get you with the golf carts but again most of the people didn't bother and it wasnt included as well in your AL. Another think which is a put off is the shop vendors they are so pushy just like you are in the Arab world. We were put off to even go and look because they wouldn't leave you alone.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Krissy_86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami Beach, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 November 2011

I spent 4 days at this resort from October 21 through-October 26th. This facility is absolutely gorgeous with great amenities and with an awesome, awesome view of the mountains and sea. You can enjoy the beautiful views of Caribbean sea and the impressive Samaná bay from any room in the hotel. Samana resembles Portofino but in the Caribbean .The amazing view of the mountains in contrast with the blue turquoise ocean below is nature at its true splendor. The rooms are very clean, comfortable and spacious with a/c, safe, cable; fridge with mini bar and a nice balcony to sit down, with a glass of wine or your favorite cocktail to sit back relax and enjoy the beautiful sunset or sunrise from the bay. In my opinion this hotel has the potential to become a four-five star hotel if they upgrade their staff. The service is very poor and needs improvement. The only thing holding back the rating is the untrained staff. They need to hire people that are trained and better qualified to serve four or five star guests. Most of the staff doesn’t speak English and need to be more polished to deal with four-five star caliber travelers. Let’s face it, people that are willing to pay a little more want a little more. If you pay $170-$250.00 a night for the room you want to have great accommodations with great service. Otherwise, one can save the money and stay at an economical facility for $30-$50 a night hotel. My gripe about the staff is that they were not friendly, not flexible or helpful. The only exceptions were Raymen at the front desk and Brenda, a server at the Dalia’s Restaurant and Israel, one of the porters. The PR girl at the lobby is there as a decoration piece because she does nothing to help. The attendant at the gift shop near the pool that is near the snack bar is also very rude. I asked her for towels to sit by the pool and she told us that we had to buy the towel since we were supposed to have asked for towels at the reception before going to the pool. Even after, I explained, we didn’t know there were no towels provided at the snack bar pool and only could be obtained at the reception she gave us an attitude because I refuse to buy the overly priced towels. I thought she should of at least offer to call the reception and asked them to send the porter or the guy that drives the little golf cart since it’s very far away from that pool.


I recommend you take one of those day trips to visit Las Terrenas, Las Galeras, Los Haiteses, Cayo Levantado and or that whole package. There's a beautiful waterfall, great views, great food, etc. Also, if you go in the winter/late spring, there's a good chance you'll catch the whales out there.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank DeniaH
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 Cayacoa

Property: Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa
Address: Loma Puerto Escondido s/n, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Samana Province
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection 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:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Samana Province
#6 Spa Hotel in Samana Province
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Samana Province
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 295
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Facilities and services: Main pool with Jacuzzi surrounded by a sun terrace 3 beachside hydromassage tubs Loungers, sun umbrellas and towel service BAHIA SPA (additional charge) Water activity centre WiFi access in the lobby (24h per day free of charge) Wedding gazebo Buffet-style main restaurant and 3 speciality restaurants 4 bars, cocktail lounge, chill out zone, 1 snack bar Sports facilities: gym Pueblo Principe: Shopping and leisure mall with local craft stores, live music, shows, stores, bars and disco. Rooms: 295 rooms including 4 types: Standard, Standard with Sea View, Superior Junior Suite and Club Golden Junior Suite. Junior Suites are larger than Standard rooms. Room facilities: King size bed or 2 full size beds Fully-equipped bathroom with hydromassage bath tub, hair dryer and magnifying mirror. Air conditioning Ceiling fan Telephone Satellite TV Coffee-making facilities Mini-bar Safe (additional charge) Terrace WiFi (additional charge) Junior Suite: sitting area, sofa-bed and ironing set Club Golden Junior Suites (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: Park Mini Club for children aged 4 to 12 Evening Mini Disco Babysitting service (additional charge) Other services Medical service (additional charge) Pharmacy (additional charge) Bus stop opposite the hotel Auditorium for corporate meetings Panoramic lifts Personalised menus (for celiacs, diabetics, etc.) Available on request Specialised service for organising weddings, incentive trips, events and anniversaries. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gran Bahia Principe Cayacoa Hotel
Gran Bahia Principe Cayacoa Samana
Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa Dominican Republic/Samana

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