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“Great value but so far from the airport!”

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Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa
Ranked #6 of 60 Hotels in Samana Province
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great value but so far from the airport!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 March 2012

My friend And I just stayed at the hotel for five days and overall I loved the experience. The hotel is very nicely situated and its very interesting that its built into the side of a cliff and you have to take a glass elevator to the beach. The staff is very friendly and accommodating and we did the all inclusive so the drinks and food were always flowing. The food in the main restaurant (the buffet) where you get almost all your meals if you choose to is only so so though so I highly recommend having at least one dinner at one of the finer restaurants on the premises. If you are there for less than 5 nights only one restaurant is included. If you do 5 it's 2 and if you do 7 it's 3. We were there only 4 nights so we only tried the Italian place and it was much better than the buffet.

The beach was beautiful and not too crowded at present but I don't know if it was because of the rain or the Geographic location but the water wasn't that gorgoeus azure blue like some other beaches in the Caribbean are. It was my first time in DR so I can't tell if all the beaches there are the same but on our way back to the airport in Santo Domingo I did see that beautiful clear blue water I was hoping for.

The real drawback to this hotel and Samana is that it is a 3 hour ride from the airport to the area. It's a pretty treacherous 2 lane road that can get pretty scary when scooters with sometimes 4 people on it jump out in front of you. And when Samana isn't really the unspoiled paradise that the New York Times said it was, I'm not completely sure it's worth it. Avoid it if you get car sick easily.

If you just want to sit on the beach and drink for super cheap I would recommend Samana and this hotel, but if your tastes are a bit more refined I would do more research than I did and go somewhere else in DR and pay more.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank Dianaleila
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
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Thunder Bay, Canada
Level Contributor
24 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2012

Very beautiful surroundings..but not what I expected. I like to keep busy and there wasn't much to do. We did try all 3 a la carte restaurants and really enjoyed the Seafood one the best. The communication was difficult, staff don't understand English very well and at some times we became very frustrated with that. We asked for a room on the third floor or higher and did not receive it and was told we would when one became available, but I guess one did not become available. Shopping was not pleasant. We do not like to be bugged when shopping and it was not enjoyable. Things are cheaper at the airport shop then the market, unless you really haggle the prices down. The Micheal Jackson show was great, but go early as the bar is small and space is limited. The beaches are great but go early as people save chairs for themselves first thing and then are gone to eat breakfast and lunch. The food was good, but the all day buffet is not replenished often. I believe we had to ask for stuff every time we went. All and all if you want a place to relax and not do much this is the place, but we won't be returning.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Haileybird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
25 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2012

My friend and I went to Cayacoa Feb 16 - Feb 23rd. It was our first time going anywhere All Inclusive. I must say that this Resort made our expectations sky rocket so that the next time we go somewhere, it has to be even better. Some people mention that the food is the same everyday, I don't know what is wrong with them or what they expect? Everyday the buffet had somethign different. Sure there is pasta and rice all the time, but they change the spices, sauces etc. They had an Italian night, an Asian Theme. Always something to eat. The carte restaurants were alright. I didn't find much of a choice there. the entertainment is not extravagant but they do put on good shows. They have activities every day at the beach, like archery. I do recommend participating in those. The entire resort is absolutely beautiful and I never wanted to leave. The staff is very friendly and when something goes wrong, they are quick to fix it. For example, the little drawing on my toilet showed no throwing paper into toilet. I thought it was just paper towels or tampons like we have doodles in Canada. But no, it seems the toilet paper clogs up their toilets so we had someone come twice to unclog our toilet. Oops. But they were quick and nice about us being stupid. Other than that, rooms were always clean. Oh and please go see Manuel at the bar in main lobby , we called him Mani. Ask for Mani's special drink! It is delicious!!! And also see Angel. both of those boys are wonderful! Treated us like first class hollywood stars. I want to go back right now!!!

Room Tip: Get a higher floor if you want quiet. The lower rooms tend to have people walking through later at n...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank Czarna84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sudbury, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 March 2012

My husband, 2 friends and I had a wonderful time during the week of February 18-25th. For our first all inclusive we had a great, fun filled, relaxing time with beautiful weather.

Room #426 in main building was perfect. Not a single issue. Be generous and appreciative to the housekeeper and you will see how well they treat you.

Food at buffet was good and a lot of variety. The meat however tended to be overcooked and tough. It would have been nice to see more seafood choices at the buffet. There was however, theme nights at buffet which were a nice touch. The servers were awesome. The a la carte restaurants were amazing! Excellent appetizers, service and entrees. Portions were a bit small but that's what you get in finer cuisine restaurants in North America. It was nice to dress up and enjoy some fine dining during the week.

The beach was a bit on the small side. Snorkelling was excellent!!!! We saw a lot more than what we would of ever expected! Squid, octopus, starfish, barracuda, stick fish and numerous other types of reef fish in 15 feet of water or less.

The few negatives were: 1) Privilege Club salesman could be a bit aggressive unless you firmly told them you were not interested. 2) Although there weren’t many peddlers on the beach, there was one young boy in particular who was extremely persistent in selling and begging for $1. Even though we had told him 'No gracias'. 3) Water was a bit rough and churned up so underwater video/pictures were not very clear.

However the positives greatly outweigh the negatives! 1) The view. No matter where you look, the view is spectacular. Did not look like the DR, looked more like Fiji or Bora Bora, beautiful mountains & rainforest surround the resort, which is perched on top of a high cliff (the view outweighs the many steps encountered).

2) Our Air Canada rep Joel was excellent and extremely helpful on many levels. He told us what was worth our time and money i.e. zip lining and he was right, absolutely amazing even though some of us were terrified of heights. He also helped upload pics from our camera to our tablet via his laptop when we forgot our cables at home. Really nice guy!
3) Snorkeling (see above).
4) The great a la carte restaurants
5) The city of Samana, don’t waste your money buying alcohol, coffee or vanilla at the tourist boutiques, a few blocks away at the local market (pesos only and no haggling req'd) all types of spirits for approx. 300p (7.50 USD). The city is safe and the people are extremely friendly.
6)*****The biggest reason to come here: The ABSOLUTELY amazing bar staff, we were saddened when we had to leave them behind. Angel, Victor, Manuel, Armando, Altagracia and Solquy went way beyond what was expected or even what we could have imagined, we shared a lot of laughs, stories and pics of each other’s "real lives" and we miss them already. If they are representative of most Dominicans we have a lot to learn here in Canada about customer service and just plain friendliness. You will never experience the service and kindness here back home that they showed us. Our best suggestion would be to treat them warmly, tip them well and learn a few Spanish phrases so you can joke around with them (even though there English is fine), they make a great resort an excellent resort. We can’t wait to see them again.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank MachoMandrinksCocaCo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ballston Spa, New York
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 March 2012

We traveled to the GBP Cayacoa in February 2012 and arrived in Santo Domingo. The ride from the airport takes about two hours and can be very fast and exciting depending on your transfer driver. When we were given our room we were first disappointed that we were placed on the 1st floor after hearing reviews to look for a higher room, but the view and balcony were spectacular, looking over the islands and bridge to no where. I think it was room 104. The grounds of the hotel are maintained well with plants that look very natural, rather than trying to wow you with exotic flowers. On the main beach to the left we could always find a lounge chair and there was plenty of activity to keep you occupied. The other bay to the right had less activity and was more relaxing but the sea floor was not as sandy- this did lead to some interesting snorkeling w/ many sea stars, urchins, and a few colorful fish. A note on the water- It is not the clearest you will see in the Caribbean, you are located on a high peninsula outside a bay and small town(meaning possible run off), so you sacrifice underwater views for the land views. The food was pretty good but not great. The staff works very hard in the presentation at the a la cartes. We enjoyed going to town, my advice would to talk to locals they were eager to share their town and culture.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank M_T_Shea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
montreal
Level Contributor
90 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2012

Travelled to the GBP Cayacoa in April 2009 with my mom and we loved it. We booked directly with Bahia Principe resorts and paid around 60 us per person. Unless you work in the travel industry, it's extremely hard to get this much value at that price. The basic room they gave us had an obstructed ocean view (room wasn't supposed to have an oceanview at all so we were pleasantly surprised) and it was well furnished. We upgraded to an oceanview room for about 10 $ US per person per day extra ...and it was worth it for the magnificent views of the Samana bay. I believe whales go there to mate in march or april every year so we were too late in the season to witness that special event.

I went scuba diving, and although the dive master was amazing, the clarity was awful to enter the water (it had rained overnight) and there wasn't much to see except a decent sized wreck (ferry) and a lion fish (thanks again Roni I had a blast!). The food was pretty good compared to all the "all-inclusive" buffets I've had the chance to try in the carribbean. The soup of the day was always great and the bread selection was very good as well. They try to cater to all the guests so there is a lot of fried "american" food as well as dominican specialties for the locals. (Locals like to vacation at this all-inclusive resort, lots of conventions as well). The Orchid à la carte specialty restaurant is built directly on top of a cliff overlooking the ocean. It looks and feels like an upper scale restaurant and you get 5 star service. You can eat there for free as part of the all inclusive package and they serve a surf and turf dish that was pretty amazing / impressive. The italian specialty restaurant was also very good. Seriously if you get a good price for this hotel you can't go wrong. The pool is not the biggest and neither is the beach, but they're both lovely and it never felt crowded. The only issues I had with this hotel were with 1) the wifi internet service (brought my laptop expecting to skype my 2 year old and the service was always down /unavailable), and 2) with the water pressure in the shower. Perhaps this issue has been resolved since my 2009 visit, but there was absolutely no water pressure in the shower. I have very long hair so this was a big problem for me. For the last 3 days of our trip I used the showers next to the pool area to shampoo and rinse my hair properly. Other than that I just have to warn travellers about the Bacardi island tour (situated on the same island as the Gran Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado). It's a beautiful beach and the ride there is pleasant (30 minutes by boat)...but once you get there, they make you dock on the other side of the small island so you can go through all the vendors trying to sell you arts and crafts and braids and massages and what not. It's okay if it's what you're looking for....but I would have appreciated being dropped off directly at the beach and not be thrown in a "tourist trap". You have to pay for the beach chairs on Bacardi Island. For the drinks and the food as well. My mom and I are patient and polite people but we did end up having to scream at a few locals for them to stop harrassing us. At least if you decide to take this tour you'll know more what to expect than we did.

The drinks at the hotel were okay, but the top shelf liquor seemed to be available only at the lobby bar (where the service was extremely slow) and the beach bar was practically self-serve with a slush machine and a water dispenser.

Overall the property is nice. The lobby is okay, the courtyard is beautiful and because the resort was built on top of a hill, the views are amazing. You do need to take an elevator to the beach, but it takes 2 minutes and it wasn't an inconvenience for us. You can use the kayaks and snorkeling equipment for free. The saw the most fish under the Orchid restaurant (beneath the cliffs), starfish as well.

There are so many great resorts to try in Dominican Republic that I probably won't be back to this particular one, but I don't regret choosing the GBP Cayacoa because overall we had a great time at a very reasonable cost.

Room Tip: Oceanview room 10 $ per day per person ...worth the upgrade
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank SunnyMojito
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kidderminster, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2012

Most reviews here are correct when they mention the Hotel, service, location and food, it's actually very good but not really 5 star in my opinon. However it is totally let down by the constant hassle you get from the local team trying to get you to sign up for their 'privilege club' which really is like time share! We have stayed in lots of different Hotels in the Dominican Republic and never had this bother before, so I'm afraid I won't be going back, either to this Hotel or any other 'Gran Bahia' Hotel in the future.

Apart from the day to day hassle, we spoke to guests who had been insulted when they said they didn't want to join, it really spoilt what could have been a great holiday.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Mal W
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 On the Beach Hotel in Samana Province
#6 Spa 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 (1h 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 (no 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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