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“First Trip down South”

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Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa
Ranked #6 of 54 Hotels in Samana Province
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 April 2012

About a week ago I arrived home after my first trip to an all inclusive resort down south. Seeing as I had no past experience with these sort of vacations I really had no expectations. But with no expectations I was blown away! The decor of the hotel and the property was fantastic, it was immaculate at all times. The staff was extremely helpful and the amount of activites that were free or could be purchased was great.
Cons- Some of the staff (mainly servers) did not have the best english skills, great if you know spanish but hard if you had food allergies or questions about the menu at times, which i did.
-The rain smells terrible, so hope it doesnt rain when you are there
- There are always people wanting you to buy something, whether it is a a trip, activity or a physical good, when you are trying to relax by the beach or pool
-If you are a nice looking girl, be prepared to be hit on, whether it is parts of the staff or by other drunk hotel go-ers ;)
- There isnt that many activites that are arranged in the evening (this could be because we went in April, and it may be different in the busy season)
-We didnt have hot water in our room, and although we told the front desk when the man came to fix him, we asked him to come back at 9, (so we could wake up first) but he never did
-The guest service woman is less then helpful
-The buffet is less then fantastic, so if your a food expert be prepared for many choices of food but with little taste to all of them. Pepper was my best friend down their
- Although they have many options for free activites, be sure to not go over the one hour a day rule when kayaking or boogie boarding or you will be charged.

Pros-
-the staff is always cleaning, they rake the beach, and are always wiping down the floors or walls,
- the pool staff work around the clock washing the beautiful pool decks and cleaning every cushion
-THEY DO NOT WATER DOWN THEIR DRINKS, a dominican shot is about two and a half canadian shots..they love their alchohol!
- Although there are some annoying people in the town that want to lead you around and take you to all their shops, so they can earn commision from their bosses, you will hopefully come across some genuine helpful people. We met one man who worked at a small grocer shop and he took us everywhere we needed to go and never pressured us to buy anything, and took us to his competitors shops even
- Pesticides are illegal in DR, so the fruit, is AMAZING
- We were so fortunate when we went to have met some of the staff. Most of them work 11 days on and 3 days off. They work 12-15 hour days and even by the end of the day, they are so energetic polite. The whole time they would come up to you and dance with you, even at 1 pm by the pool, or they organized so many games, (volleyball, bingo, ring toss, darts, balloon toss) and MADE you play them, they did yoga and exercise classes by the pool deck. And it seemed that each of the workers had their own connection with each of the guests. They realy make an effort ot make you feel welcome at all times.
-Book a speed boat ride $20 american dollars to spend half a day at bavero beach, #4 beach in the world and the white sand and view is incrediable. Well worth the money
- ****MUST DO ACTIVITY*** WALK THE PLANK ZIP LINING TOUR. ziplining, waterfall jumping, mountain beach, and organic food presentation, most inspiring day of our week, hands down. Be sure to do it. The owner and operator Bart, taught us so much about his story, and the culture, on our off road drive up a mountain..and man was it bumpy. While hysterically laughing you dont realize that you are climbling this mountain so you can zip off of it. After reaching the top and doing a little up hill hiking we got strapped in and started ziplining. If i can tell you one thing. Go upside down. be crazy and do it. it was the highlight of my vaction and it will be yours. After we went to a water fall and you could jump off it... amazing. THEN , we walked to a beach and although it started to downpour, there was something about the hot rain, the mist of the huge mountains off in the distance, and the fact that we were all huddled under a local bars grass hut bar, that made it the most community experince i felt the whole trip. The locals were dancing with us and it rained and we were laughing and having an amazing time. Finally we had to drive literally 200 kms an hour up another mountain (so we didnt get stuck in all the mud) we attended a presentiation about local produce, where we got to try fruits, cocoa beans, coffee and chocolate. And even purchase them to take home.

Overall, this was such a relaxed, happy, and amazing valued trip. For the $900 canadian we paid, and even though it rained the last few days we were there, we made so many friends, met inspiring locals and everything went smooth from flight, to check in, to the stay and activities, until check out. Amazing time, and everyone should see this beautiful resort

Room Tip: Rooms with patio view make morning incrediable to sit out with tea or coffee, ask for room on the lo...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Bria M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,142 - 2,146 of 3,972 reviews

Reviewed 28 April 2012

Just came back from just a one week stay this time, April 17-24. As you will see reading our previous reviews at the bottom of this latest review, we were there for three weeks at Christmas. We really only went this time to see our "adopted family," that being all the wonderful staff who work at this lovely hotel. The welcome we receive each time we go back is to say the least overwhelming. Will not go into long details as you can find much info in previous reviews but we must say it is still very much as good every time we return. We like this place also for the fact that you meet a lot of other guests here due to it being a small hotel unlike the big monsters of six and seven hundred rooms where you might see one couple once in fourteen days. Met some lovely people from New Brunswick, New York, Montreal, Ontario and England. It is also a quiet type of place where you do not have a bunch of yahoos or drunks wandering around. The staff are amazing and I doubt you will find better anywhere else, especially the animation. They are Leiny, Fernando, Yeason, Juan, Adrianna, Carolin, Cindry, Carlos and George who is the animation boss. In the buffet and the a la cartes you will find the maitre "d Dadys and Ramon, Santos, Cecelia, Sarah, Vanessa, Empretrez, Julian, Jose, Maria Esmerna, Emmi, Carlos, Jose M, Johanny and Leonardo. In the bars you will meet such lovely people as Angel, Armando, Manuel, Altagracia, Milka, Neurys, Victor and many more. All of the bar and food staff are managed by a new manager by the name of Rafael who is a super guy who made our stay even better. Say hello to any one of them from " Tony Montana" and trust me you will have an instant connection. They did a lovely couple of things for me this time, one being where we always sit under the tree closest to the towel bar, they erected a plaque which you will see in the enclosed photos. The other thing was that they had a name tag with "Tony Montana" on it made for me, had a lot of fun walking around with that on my tops. Every time we return we would love to just surprise them but everyone knows we are coming before we arrive. They give us the best room in the hotel each time we return and please don't ask us the number as they would be inundated with requests for that room. Sorry. We really are treated like royalty believe me. For instance we went to the Gourmet restaurant one night and again they knew what time we were arriving and lo and behold they came out the door and arm in arm escorted us to our table. We are by no means pretentious people but it is so nice these nice little touches they do for us. People were turning around probably thinking to themselves, what makes these people so special. We treat them like family and they know that unlike a few of the other guests who treat them as servants. I see a few complaints on Tripadvisor regarding the entertainment at night. No it is not Las Vegas but bear in mind these people put in 14 or 15 hour days and really try their hardest to entertain us at night. So don't be too critical of them. Also tip these people as they very much deserve it. Regarding "all the steps" in this hotel. Get over it, I am 69 and do not have the greatest knees but I walk down to La Casita every day for lunch and then have them phone for the shuttle to take me back up. Regarding the weather, we were very lucky as it rained off and on the week before we came and it started raining for two days as we left. Our week, not one bit of rain. So listen folks the positive reviews far outweigh the negatives. Go, you will thoroughly enjoy yourselves. Looking forward to Christmas as we are hoping to return for a month. And again thanks to all the lovely other guests we met this time, we much enjoyed hanging out with you and hope to meet again some time. Tony & Joan.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank TTC643
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2012 via mobile

The hotel itself is smaller than one we went to in Punta Cana - Ambar, but the service and rooms and food were the same excellent quality. The animation team though was in a class by themselves. We will return.

  • Stayed: April 2012
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Thank Torontoprincess1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2012

Upon arrival, our bags were not put into our room like everyone elses. I went the whole day thinking our room still hadn't been cleaned because of this. We discovered on the first day that our shower was cold and asked to have maintenance come to fix it. The maintenance never did show up. Found the maid service to be good for the most part. Strangely, there was not a deadbolt on our door and that was a bit unsettling. The guest services did not speak much english which was a bit frustrating..We also found it uncomfortable that everytime we walked down the hallway the workers would whistle at us or say something along the lines of "so beautiful". The location of the resort is great and the views are spectacular. Unfortunately, because it is so high up, there is a lot of stairs. We are young and fit but we still found it exhausting to be running up and down all over the resort in the heat. The buffet was typical, mostly American style with some traditional Spanish dishes as well. The al le carte reservations got screwed up and because the front desk didn't understand this, we ended up only going to 2 out of 4, both of which were gourmet. I had the steak both times which was quite good. The beach wasn't big enough for my liking and wasn't kept overly clean. The pool also wasn't clean enough for my liking but you don't find yourself minding it once it gets hot in the afternoon. The activities at the pool were enjoyable. Lenny, Adriana, Carlos, and Fernando really stood out as great workers. They were constantly making everyone laugh, dance, and stay involved. The shows in the evening were..well..entertaining to say the least;) The costumes were outdated but added some humor to it, and the dancers certainly knew what they were doing. The only complaint about the animation was the Michael Jackson show. Fireworks were show out 2 feet infront of us without any warning and sparks were flying everywhere. The disco at night is fun if you're willing to let lose. There usually isn't many there but it's a good time to make friends. The bar service was good, the bartenders never skimped on the alcohol and had a fairly good selection. Try the strawberry daiquiri! The town of Samana itself was abit of a culture shock but quite easy to get around. Do yourself a favor and just ignore the men trying to be your "tour guide" as soon as you get off the shuttle. They bring you to shops where they earn commission off of you. Make sure that if you're going to purchase vanilla, go to a grocery store, not one of the tourist shops. It isn't pure and you will pay an absurd amount. If you're looking to experience a local disco, make sure you go to the "carwash". There you will find local people, salsa dancing, and some good local beer. As far as excursions go, we did Bacardi Island and Walk The Plank zip lining. Bacardi was stunning and well worth the $20. Zip lining was by far, the most wonderful part of the trip. The views were amazing and thanks to Bart, the owner, we left with a great insight on the vision he has for his business and the culture in Samana.
Overall, this vacation did have a few flaws but overall, we had a fun time and came home with lots of stories to tell and new knowledge.

Room Tip: Room 212 had a fantastic view of the pool and ocean and was very central to everything.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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1  Thank Traveller G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2012

This was my 3rd trip away and the resort was nice. Beautiful views as it is on the side of a mountain. Don't let the amount of stairs there deter you from going there, you can call for a pickup and get shuttled right to where you would like to go.

This was the best staff that I have had a chance to encounter. I went away with a friend of mine and my mother and they were both impressed with the staff as well. My mother has been away at least 11 times and agreed that the animation team was the best one she has came across. Juan, Fernando, Adriana, Yeison, Leiny, Carolin and Carlos were amazing. I would go back to this resort if I knew they would be there working as there were that good. The only suggestion I would have would be that the animation team stayed longer at the disco as they always got the guests going and once they left most of hte guests left too. The staff at all the restaurants were very friendly and never had to wait for your plate to be taken or for a top up on your drink. Sorquy was a sweet heart bartender at the beach bar, always had smile on her face and was always happy to help you.

The security on the resort was great, always felt safe and never had to worry about anything.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank rmdavis27
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

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 On the Beach Hotel in Samana Province
#6 Spa Hotel in Samana Province
Price Range: ₹ 7,914 - ₹ 28,673 (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

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