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“What a bargain! Better than expected”

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Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa
Ranked #5 of 54 Hotels in Samana Province
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 June 2014

Our pick of Grand Bahia Principe Samana Roulette were based on the price (we only paid C$99+C$427 taxes for a seven day all inclusive stay) and the reviews. The main differences between roulette and regular booking are: we had to pay for the safe, which was US$4.00 per day, no slippers in the room and we had to pick up beach towels at the swimming pool. We could save about C$30.00 for both of us if we were assigned to Grand Principe Cayacoa and even more for El Portillo. Upon arrival, we were told our resort would be Cayacoa. When we loaded our baggage to the bus at the airport, the helper asked for tips. We went to Cuba many times and Dominican Republic once and this was the first time a baggage handler asked for tips at the terminal.
We had no problem booking the a la carte restaurants, but only three bookings were allowed, no matter how hard we tried, except bribery! The resort is seven years old but well maintained no peeling paint or broken tiles etc. The exterior and interior of all buildings look new and fresh. The hotel room is small but has a very nice balcony, ours is facing the bay and the town, and the scenery is beautiful. The bathroom is also small when compare with other 4 star resorts in Cuba or Dominican Republic. However, the quality is there, such as marble counter and marble tiles around the bath tub. The room is decorated with local paintings.
The buffet restaurant Las Dalias is small but not lacks of varieties. People like fish will enjoy their Groupers, Snappers, Mackerels and Doradoes. Only Tuesday (Italian) and Friday (Gala) nights they have shrimps and only Friday night has lobsters. We had leg of pork one night and the meat was so tender, juicy and tasty, perfectly cooked. I never had such perfectly cooked leg of pork before. Just these two slices of pork are worth this trip, my salute to the chef at the Las Dalias. Our first impression for this resort was good for a 4 to 4 ½ star, definitely better than those similar rating resorts in Cuba. Foods were well prepared, tasty and not over cooked; meats are juicy and not dry. Foods were always kept warm at the counter. Generally speaking, staffs were polite but many lack of smile. After some PR they became friendlier, but don’t you think PR should be their job and not the guests?
We only carried a small amount of US currency, and the exchange rate at the airport was C$1.00 to 33.7 pesos, 36 pesos at the hotel, 37.3 pesos at downtown local currency exchange shop. We went to Scotia Bank, yes, they have one branch there, what a surprise, and their exchange rate was 38.95, the best! Please be aware that Scotia Bank only opens on weekdays. Everything is priced in US $ in the resort, but converted to pesos when we paid for our safety box.
We went to Samana by resort’s shuttle bus, and were greeted by a local tour guide called Richard. He was self employed and his income was based on tips from tourists and commissions from local merchants. We tipped him C$20.00 for a two hour tour around downtown, and purchased one stone and one wooden sculptures from his cousin’s little store(Rich could be the real owner!) The wheeling and dealing was really bizarre! My wife didn’t like the way the owner’s screaming when I made a very low offer. I told her it was his game plan. He just pretended my low ball offer insulted him, and if I thought the same way, then he would get an upper hand. So we walked away and pretended there won’t be any deal. This went on back and forth for a few times and finally it was settled at C$35.00, way down from the original asking price of C$120.00. I didn’t have the exact change, so I gave him C$40.00 and got two bags of 8 oz coffee. We were not sure if we got a reasonable deal, so I showed my purchases to my Air Canada rep, and he also consulted a local staff at the hotel. They thought I got a very good deal. Anyone wants to buy liquor should go to the local supermarket; the name is Supermercado Y Almacen Chito. Prices are not negotiable there. If you go to the local food market, you could get honey and cinnamon at a very low price, however, you still have to negotiate. I paid 100 pesos for 375 ml. of honey, asking price was 150 pesos. Cinnamon was non-negotiable for 80 pesos per kg. If you enjoy hard bargaining, Samana downtown is the place for you to go!
We booked a horse ride tour to the El Lemon Waterfall through Air Canada, the cost was C$75 + US$10 tips for the horse handler. The local tour guide offered C $50.00 but no lunch. The horse ride to the falls is not for the faint of heart. It involved some steep up and down rocky paths. My wife’s horse fell at downhill and she sustained external injury to her knee, fortunately, nothing broken. From the top of the falls, we had to walk over 200 steps to the foot of the falls. People with heart or knee problems should not attempt this climb.
I almost forget to mention, we did not find one single mosquito in this resort, in town or even to the El Lemon Falls. The main reason for the absent of mosquitoes could be the present of many swallows around the property. The snack bar La Casita closes to Restaurante El Pescador has many square tables suitable for bridge or Mahjong games. Table tennis is outdoor at the main swimming pool.
Joe

Room Tip: Almost every room has either ocean view or view of the bay and downtown.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Mangotree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
División Cuarto... B, Public Relations Manager at Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa, responded to this reviewResponded 12 October 2014

Dear Huesped ,

First of all we would like to thank you for your nice remarks about our services and facilities.

We really appreciate your comments because we want to be better everyday and work to satisfy our guest needs and we are so happy, because we did it with you.

We hope to welcome you again to Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, a 5 star experience in Dominican Republic.

Greetings,
Lizairi Then
Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa

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Reviewed 11 June 2014

Great hotel! Wonderful staff! Our family spent 2 weeks there and enjoyed every minute of our stay there ... Grounds are clean. Restaurants are not bad. Our favorite a la cart restaurant was Gourmet (Orchid). The buffet had theme nights ... the food was not repetitive. No one got sick. It was our first time in Samana province and we got in love with the surroundings ... the hotel location is amazing, it stands on the cliff ...and you can enjoy amazing views. Nights are so breezy we never had to turn on our air conditioner in the room at night ... no mosquitoes. Entertainment team is one of the best I've ever seen.... Eventhough this hotel is usually adults only, they opened up one month window for families with the kids and gave good price. Mini-discos are OK ...there were no so many children there present, but they had mini-disco every night .. We were skeptical about going to Grand Bahia for 3d time because we had a bad service experience at Grand Bahia Punta Cana last year .(our 1st time at Bahia chain was in Riviera Maya and we wanted to go to Bahia again and went to Punta Cana...:-( . This year, it felt like we were staying at a completely different hotel... Service was fair, every guest at the hotel was treated nicely ...what I cannot say about the same hotel in Punta Cana resort. Last year we felt as preference for service was only given to Spanish speaking people. This time, English/French conversation skills of most of the staff was also limited...but you never sensed that you were excluded. They were all nice and wonderful people!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank ediroma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
División Cuarto... B, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa, responded to this reviewResponded 11 June 2014

Dear Guest:

It is a real pleasure to us to get your comment. You can be sure that there is no biggest reward for us than to get a message like yours knowing you are really blissful with the product of our effort to do everything to make your holiday splendids memories. We are glad that you have enjoyed your visit with us. We are delighted to share your comments with the rest of our staff.

We hope to have you back in the near future at Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, your best hotel in Samana.

Greetings,
Albis Corredor
Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa

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Reviewed 9 June 2014

My husband and I just got back from our vacation at Cayacoa. We had a great time and would go back again.

We didn't exactly book the Cayacoa. We booked an Air Canada Vacations "Roulette" trip. For "Roulette" you are told the name of two hotels you could be sent to, but you won't know which one it will be until you arrive at the Samana airport. We could have been sent to either the El Portillo or the Cayacoa. We researched both of them and the reviews were good, and the price was more than right.

The food was very good and there was something for everyone to enjoy at the buffet. I found that the bread and rolls were always fresh. The drinks were poured quite generously by most of the bartenders. The a la cartes were acceptable, but we both enjoyed the Italian restaurant the most.

The hotel is kept very clean. We saw the staff power-washing the pool deck every morning, and at the beach they are often seen sweeping the sand off of the walkways. To have the air conditioner in your room work you need to put your room card in a slot by the door. Since it was July and too hot and humid to have the a/c on only when we were in the room, I just inserted a card I was okay with losing if I forgot it (Shoppers Optimum card). It worked well - the a/c was always on and kept the room just right.

There are two pools and two beaches. We never had a problem getting a lounge chair at any of them. It may be that we went the first week of June and it wasn't terribly busy then.

The rooms are okay - bed and a small sitting area, with a nice little balcony with a table and two chairs. The tv gets a couple English stations but the reception isn't the best. You're not in the room much, but it's nice to watch something as you're getting ready for meals. I don't think any room has a bad view.

As most reviewers have mentioned, you can get one hour of internet access for free in the lobby. My hubby is convinced that it's so the time share staff can interact with you as you wait for your web page to come up. We didn't have much trouble with the sales pitch. When it was mentioned that we could get a free gift, I told them outright that I just can't bring myself to do another time share presentation, and they left us alone.

We did go into the town as there is a free shuttle from the hotel. An hour there was more than sufficient. When you get off of the shuttle you are surrounded by local "guides". They wear official badges and are supposedly there to help you, but you can't get rid of them no matter what you try (and I tried). I will admit that our guide was helpful in keeping the shopkeepers from harassing you. Be prepared to negotiate in the shops as it is expected. If you do go into town, watch out as the sidewalks are in very poor shape and crossing the streets can be hazardous.

We didn't do any excursions as we wanted to just relax at the hotel. One fellow we met did the waterfall trip and came back with some ugly mosquito bites. However, we didn't have any problems with bugs anywhere on the hotel property.

Overall, we were happy and didn't want to leave.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank TouristLady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
División Cuarto... B, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa, responded to this reviewResponded 10 June 2014

Dear TripAdvisor member:

Firstly we hope you had a good trip back home and we are very grateful you have taken the time to express your views in our Tripadvisor community. The reviews help us to improve and raise our service.

We are really glad to see that you have enjoyed every minute with us, we work hard to succeed our guest needs and we are so happy to see that we did it with you and you have a memorable holiday with us.

We hope to welcome you again at Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, your best hotel in Samana.

Greetings,
Albis Corredor
Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa

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Reviewed 9 June 2014

This hotel went above and beyond my expectations, The hotel was very clean, the food available was of wide variety and high standard and the staff were always happy to help in any way. The bedrooms were very spacious and the views were amazing. We did have treatments in the spa which were a little disappointing however the Jacuzzi was very nice. Over all a fantastic holiday and very happy with all that the hotel had to offer.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Lindsey D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
División Cuarto... B, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa, responded to this reviewResponded 10 June 2014

Dear Lindsey:

Thank you so much for such good opinion about our hotel, we really appreciate it.

It is a great honour for all the Bahía Príncipe team to hear that your expectations have been exceeded because of the high standards of service and the friendly staff. Getting the best satisfaction of our guests is always our main goal. We are happy to know that we have achieved it with you.

Hoping to welcome you in the future at Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, your best hotel in Samana.

Greetings,
Albis Corredor
Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa

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Reviewed 7 June 2014

Returned to Cayacoa hotel May 19-June 2nd, 2014 for the 4th/5th time (lost count)

I was happy the resort allows children again, therefor i could return with my family since this is my top choice hotel and travel destination. I fell in love with Samana and forgot all the rest.

Built on a cliff with the view of Samana town positioned in the hills and reachable in walking distance makes this a very unique experience.The hotel grounds have plenty paths and stairs to keep you fit or shuttles are also available.

Shuttle driver David was amazing, always around to give us a drive in a speed of light even tho we enjoyed walking and admiring the view of the landscape.
The main entrance to the hotel has stunning views of the city and harbour during the night with lights and seductive music in the distance keeps one restless to explore what Samana has to offer.

I was very pleased all my requests were granted on arrival. Stayed in a Junior suit in the royal golden section near the hotel on top floor with a breathtaking view of the sea and everything working well except for the purchased room internet which was a bit too slow for my needs.

Most staff at the hotel were very friendly and provided excellent service making you feel welcome.

We really enjoyed the snack bar around the Jacuzzi. Good food served quickly by
waiters who brought out the Domincan spirit singing along to Bacahata songs was a real pleasure to hear.

The buffet has a decent selection of food and drinks. Some of my favourite choices were missing this time but the food was very enjoyable with different theme nights and few romantic tables set by the windows overseeing the sea.

The pools were clean, refreshing and enjoyable, especially the small pool by the beach villas rarely used by other guests.

The ocean water was a bit murky from what i remember, could be the result of the near by marina. The staff did up keep the beach and there are chairs and shade always available.

This hotel does not have the best beach but makes up for it in other ways.

A small wild beach near the dock provides more privacy but could use some up keeping. If you do venture off towards the small beach you can come across a local man who will cut open a fresh coconut, offer mangos, sea shells and other goodies. Very kind man who doesn't have or ask for much, be generous if you can.

Samana has many beautiful beaches such as the island of Cayo Levantado only few minutes away by boat. This makes for a perfect day trip to go out and explore the surroundings.

I really enjoy the laid back, classy atmosphere the resort offers.
Some guests complain about the lack of night life. To those guests I suggest researching before booking a vacation.
This is not a party resort and I was disappointed to see a few guests who became over intoxicated and acted foolish.

A rare event occurred causing the removal of a few guests. I was happy management handled the situation seriously so the rest of the holidays could be enjoyed in peace.

Downtown Samana has an active night life you can reach with a few minute walk or the hotel shuttle which runs every hour until 2am.

Some tourists feel intimidated to venture out. I would recommend exploring Samana, it is an amazing experience with the use of common sense and safety precautions.
Be respectful of others, avoid flashing expensive things, stay on the main paths and don`t go looking for trouble.

Some locals can be pushy during day hours trying to sell there merchandise but firmly say no thank you and they will stop.

We met some amazing locals who left memorable impressions.
If you get the chance stop by Mike`s shop located near the pharmacy towards the flea market. He is very friendly, wont push and has reasonable prices.

Some locals will show you around if you like. Pastel was a sweet boy who kept me laughing and Jose gives fair prices on excursions if you choose to go outside the hotel.

My only worry is driving in Samana. Be careful crossing the streets and use the affordable transportation, but be sure to negotiate a price before hand.

I really enjoyed my return to Samana. Only wIsh I had more time to spend in the country that feels so much like home.

Room Tip: Top floor rooms have the best views
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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5  Thank nurb81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
División Cuarto... B, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa, responded to this reviewResponded 10 June 2014

Dear TripAdvisor member:

Is greatly appreciated your comments as a loyal customer. Our goal is to get the maximum satisfaction of all our and being able to fully achieve their expectations. Let us inform you that we completely agree with you that our hotel for relax and rest, the perfect place to disconnect from the big city.

Once again we value the time has been taken to share your impressions as they allow us to better every day.

Once more we thank you for your kind and sincere words. It would be a great pleasure to welcome you back in Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, a 5 star experience in Samana.

Greetings,
Albis Corredor
Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa

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Reviewed 5 June 2014

Well my first thing to say is the people are simply amazing! Food was fantastic at the buffet!!! The 3 major restaurants were also good, but that buffet hmmmmm! Pools were sparkling and the beaches were clean. When I booked I was told it was adult only, when I got there well there were little surprises running around. Thank god they quiet, I went looking forward to adult only! The Hotel was IMMACULANT!!! They use different colored bands to recognize who you are by whether your a timeshare owner or one of their owners or tat you just booked a trip. That also tells whether one can get top self drinks or use the computer room at no charge. The excursions they take you on ( you pay for) are very fun. If you lucky enough to get one with William you'll have the time of your life! We won't talk about our "AIRLINE" flight experience! Overall, this with just a few minor glitches was a for our first time out of the country a "FANTASTIC VACATION"!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank DiannaG59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
División Cuarto... B, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa, responded to this reviewResponded 10 June 2014

Dear Dianna:

Thank you very much for sharing your comments on our TripAdvisor community regarding your holiday in our hotel. In our effort to continuously improve the quality of our service and facilities we put our greatest interest and value in our guest´ opinion.

It is truly a pleasure to us to learn that you enjoyed your stay and we greatly appreciate your comments about facilities and grounds. Comments such as like yours are what we strive for following every day in order to improve the quality of service we offer.

It would be a great pleasure to welcome you back in Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, your best hotel in Samana.

Greetings,
Albis Corredor
Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa

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Reviewed 3 June 2014

Buffet is good. Gourmet restaurant was bad but others were great. Premium and international alcohol COSTS EXTRA! No booze after 2AM! Nightlife is only in the village (shady). Beach is cloudy but clean

Room Tip: Higher floors are quieter. Many rooms had AC issues but they were resolved. To turn on room electr...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Rob-Toronto-Canada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
División Cuarto... B, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa, responded to this reviewResponded 10 June 2014

Dear Rob:

Thank you so much for taking your time to write us this nice review about our hotel.

We are really happy that you have enjoyed your holidays with us. This review helps up to improve and raise our services.

We regret so much that we could not meet your expectations related with our bar schedules. However, we sincerely appreciate all your review as it is through communications on this nature that we can see what specific points we must focus to our attention.

We hope to welcome you soon at Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, all-inclusive hotels for your holidays in the Dominican Republic.

Greetings,
Albis Corredor
Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Samana Province
#5 Spa Hotel in Samana Province
Price Range: £94 - £334 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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