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Grand Bahia Principe San Juan

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Our Opinion

This is a great family resort, quite far from Puerto Plata, but worth it once you arrive as this is a full featured, self contained complex with all the amenities you need. The beach is not as nice, but the pools are fantastic. The food and service was excellent.


Overview
Set on a secluded 1.5 kilometre beach, the Grand Bahia Principe San Juan resort is a spacious self-contained village, complete with its own shopping centre, casino, restaurants, bars - even an art gallery! Kids love the mini-club which features special shows in the evening while the grown-ups are at dinner. With food and drinks available practically round-the-clock, you may need a holiday after your holiday!

Location: Along Playa Escondida Beach, only a 10 min drive to the town of Rio San Juan and 1 hr from Puerto Plata airport.

tripadvisor Traveler Reviews
  • BRAZ613 : Belleville, Canada
Great Week in the Dominican

We went to this resort the first week of February (a group of 14) and had a fantastic time.FOOD - I read a lot of reviews about the food in the buffet being cold. I never found this to be a problem. There themed nights and lots of selection. Yes some stuff was repeated but unless you are eating everything at every meal (which is virtually impossible), you should not be bored with the selection. The a la carte restaurants were very good. I personally liked the Mediterranean the best, but all were good. If you want, you can view the menu's at the desk prior to booking.SAND FLEAS - my husband and I walked the beach every morning, but did not spend afternoons there as some would. We were careful about washing our legs off when we came off of the beach (there are stations by the pool) and I think this helped as on the second last day of our stay, they were not turned on for some reason and I found myself with bites the following day. However, neither of us were bitten very bad.ROOMS/GROUNDS - I found the rooms and grounds to be very clean. For some people wondering if Mastersuite's and standard rooms are in the same building, I do not believe that they are. Of our group, all people that booked standard rooms were in one building and those that booked mastersuite's were in another. Mastersuite's are just two rooms that have been opened up. They had coffee makers in their room as well as bath robes and slippers. That was the only difference between the standard rooms and the matersuites that I could find. As we booked two standard rooms for my family, I am going to try to upload pictures of the room so you can see.WIFI - the one hour free wifi is terrible. As we had teenage children with us, we decided to purchase the 24 hour wifi. This wifi was excellent and worked everywhere (other than the Bahia Principe Village). I believe the cost was $50 US for one device (expensive) or $70 for four devices (which is what we ended up purchasing).BAHIA PRINCIPE VILLAGE - the shops there are pretty expensive as is the shop in the lobby. The bars at the resort shut down by 11:00 p.m., however, the Rock Cafe and Disco are open later and are included. They have entertainment in the street at night too. If you want to do some shopping, there are some shops on the east end of the beach (beyond the Bahia property). The vendors are somewhat aggressive and will come and get you on the beach. There are some decent deals there and I found Mambo (vendor 11) to be a nice guy.TOURS - our group did the Puerto Plata Cable Car trip ($80pp US). If you are into history and like to see the city, then this is a good grip to take. Again, I will try to upload a pic of the brochure so you can see what is offered, but feel free to contact me for information. The brochure did say that there would be shopping and beach included in this trip but it wasn't. However, we did tell our guide we wanted to shop and he did take us to a place. They are pretty good about accommodating any request.ENTERTAINMENT TEAM - These people were excellent. You will find most action at the main pool so if you want to join in on dance lessons, agua gym etc. that is where you will find it. When you go to the show at night, the first time I went I thought it was terrible as they just brought people up to the stage to have them do silly things. I ended up leaving. However, we did get down there another night and same thing again, except, if you waited long enough, there actually was a show. THINGS TO MENTION - We booked with Transat and our tourist fees (in $10/out $20) were covered by the tour company. Keys - you get an actual key (on a lanyard, which is nice) for your room. Kind of annoying when you usually have two people to a room. We went the entire week with one key and near the end of our stay, I overheard someone asking for another key. I am not sure if he received one or not but my suggestion would be to see upon your arrival, just in case. Patio doors - in one of our rooms, the lock was not working on the sliding doors so we used the pin to lock it. It seems the maid's must go out there when they are cleaning as the pin was never in when we came back. Just keep an eye on it and make sure the pin is put back in - or check your lock upon arrival and if it is not working properly, get it fixed right away. I would note, nothing was ever taken from the rooms.CONS - the only really annoying thing about this resort is the people in the lobby trying to sell you the privilege club. They ask you constantly to go to their seminar. You just really need to be firm with them and eventually they will get the hint. Try not to make eye contact.All in all, our group had a great vacation at this resort.

  • RussellandGary : Whitby, Canada
Far from satisfactory

If you are seeking a resort that oozes customer service, dedication and satisfaction to their guests, the Bahia Principe San Juan is not the place for you. We were a party of six and plagued with multiple issues and situations which continued to reinforce our decision not to return or recommend this resort to others. Some matters were very concerning and affected other guests, not only ourselves.Many of the staff are inconsistent; some go out of their way while others merely satisfy the basics. A few even ignored you and did not offer to assist.We were surprised at the lack of English speaking staff at the front desk and we had to wait excessive long times to finally speak to someone who understood English. This proved very frustrating and time wasting.We had booked a master suite and had to struggle with a leaking sink pipe on the floor, sporadic hot water and pressure, towels being put back on the towel racks that were on the floor needing to be replaced, the coffee maker not being cleaned, the bar fridge not restocked (even with bottled water, which you needed as you could not use the water from the sink), and staff entering your room when the Do Not Disturb sign was on the door. The bed was ok however the pillows are very uncomfortable to the point of interfering with a good sleep.Our dining experiences were hit and miss, depending on the day. There is a large selection of food in the main buffet restaurant, something for everyone. The waite staff did a great job keeping the tables cleaned and refilling our drinks. Booking the a la carte restaurants is easy due to the staff manning the bookings desk speaking English. They were also exceptionally friendly. They made every effort to accommodate our requests. There were also menus available so we could review the choices before making our reservations.The a la carte restaurants’ food was excellent and the staff made the experience very enjoyable. Our only recommendation would be to make the food more authentic to the theme, for example, real french onion soup, wasabi available at the Oriental restaurant, and desserts relative to the respective theme of the restaurant. Perhaps authentic back ground music would enhance the experience.Music is not played during the day at either the pool areas or the main beach. Many people had their own music and sound bars which added to the ambience of the day.There are several bars and they open and close at different times so you need to move from one to the other in the evening hours. The first bar closes at 10:30 pm, the second at 11:00 pm. The next bar closes at 12:00 am and the final at 2:00am. We felt like we were being herded from one bar to the next. One night, the one bar closed earlier than posted and that caused some frustrations as they didn’t finish serving those waiting in line. The Disco bar is not close to the nucleus of the resort so we had to walk to get drinks and then return to sit in the lobby. There were several nights when the lobby bars ran out of vodka or rum. The bar staff would make the drinks you ordered with an alternative base which didn’t always make the drink palatable.The Disco and Rock & Roll bar’s music was overly loud and with the crowds, was uncomfortable to sit and have a conversation. As well, they would run out of different types of alcohol and you always had to have an alternative drink choice.The resort and beach is infested with fleas including the Italian restaurant. We tried to use the beach chairs and cabanas however within ten minutes you were bitten or had sand fleas jumping on you. We stayed by the pool for most of the trip and still had multiple flea bites.While enjoying the dinner at the Italian restaurant, we constantly had to guard our food and drinks from the fleas. The fleas actually jumped up onto the table. Cockroaches are common sites in and outside the rooms. The biggest upset for us was when it was discovered that the suites had been double booked and a lot of travellers did not get what they paid for. The said travellers were forced to stand in line for hours to speak with Ana Sanchez, the Customer Relations Representative. Ana had a hard time keeping on point constantly going on about her children and life rather than deal with the matter in an experiential and effective way. Our daughter and her husband were one of many who did not initially get the room they paid for and after waiting at least an hour in a very long line of dissatisfied travellers, I voiced that Ana should hurry it up or get some assistance as these people should not be waiting in line for hours due to her inability to stick to the matter at hand. When it came time for my daughter and her husband to finally have their turn she demanded that I leave the chair in her area. I protested that if it's against the law for me to sit in the chair I would leave however, it is not against the law, so I remained. Ana was clearly upset by my earlier feedback and called security to have me removed. A very severe reaction as I was non-threatening, wanting only to support my daughter and her husband. A person in Customer relations should be accepting of criticism rather than be retaliative and evasive. Further, her reaction has left the six of us certain never to return to a Bahia Principe resort again. This matter disgusted a lot of the travellers at the resort as they experienced the same issues and some did not receive any type of complimentary services. Some were just told there were no suites available due to double booking and directed to take the matter up with their travel provider.This process of wasting traveller’s precious vacation time by making them wait in a long line seems rather taxing and actually compounds the situation. We would suggest in cases like this that the resort book appointments so guests can go and enjoy their time by the pool or beach until their scheduled appointment. To make travellers wait in long lines up to four hours further infuriates the guests and is most disrespectful, far from Customer service, and dedication. We also found that if you voiced displeasure, some staff ignored you or gave you attitude.One of the couples we travelled with found that the maid had stuffed garbage and dirty sheets into their luggage. The couple went to the front desk to inform them and when they returned the room the staff had actually moved the said garbage and soiled sheets to their bed in obvious retaliation. The evening entertainment was mediocre at best, however the Wednesday night Circus show was an amazing performance and the best show of the week.We booked an excursion through Tony at the Water Sports desk and he was exceptional. He and his staff created a great experience for us as we enjoyed a boat trip to a small village, a snorkelling swim with fish, and an afternoon at a white beach for the afternoon. Waldi at the concierge desk was friendly and professional; we tried to deal with him when we had requests. Maria from housekeeping was very pleasant and friendly, she treated us like family members. Martin at the snack bar was amazing with us and he was great at this job. Genesis at the pool bar had a fun and friendly personality which we had wished others adopted! We felt poor management has affected the culture of the staff and brought this resort to a low score of 3 stars. More of the staff should speak English, especially those directly dealing with the public i.e. Front desk, and those that answer the phones. A very disappointing experience and we hope this resort makes huge strides to improve their guests’ expectations and experience!

  • Dan G :
Nice place

Resort is very clean and staff was very friendly. I like the room layout having many 8unit building s spread out through the resort reduced the noise and made it easy too find some quiet away from the main pool. We had a great time . The nightly entertainment could use some improvement. I would go back 😁

  • Lynette H : Taunton, United Kingdom
Value for money

We were very concerned after booking by the negative reviews this hotel had ,I even tried to change resorts before going but it was too late .After arriving with low expectations we were very pleased to find a very clean and well kept hotel , the rooms maybe not luxury,but were spotless, the gardens were lovely and the staff were very friendly ,yes I agree that sometimes they were a bit slow but you are in the Caribbean! Eddy our waiter at breakfast was wounderful always happy and kept the coffee flowing ,The food in the buffet was fine ,especially the fresh cooked chicken and fish.The alacarte restaurants were good ,Although the beach isn't white sand it's kept very clean, the sea at times is murky but it's only weed that has been churned up if the sea has been rough but still enjoyed a swim .The negatives were when busy it was hard to get a sunbed unless you got up early,Plastic glasses in the barn the evening , i understand these around the pool but not in the bars set away from the pool if you manage to get a glass hang on to it ,gin and tonic not the same in plastic and I would like to know where all the hundreds of plastic cups each day end up ?The last thing which I really do think is a disgrace is being charged to use the safe in your rooms when you need to keep passports credit cards etc safe , this is a rip off and the hotel chain needs to address this .We had a lovely holiday so don't be concerned but I do hope the hotel will address the negatives ,

  • lorraine17659 : Bathgate, United Kingdom
Great holiday

Just back from 3week stay had read many reviews good and bad before leaving but we are so happy we went .we had a great relaxing holiday by choice as there is plenty to do if you want food was excellent and always plenty of it drinks by the gallon hotel was full but it's spread over a big area so never felt full plenty of sun beds around pools and on beach we had no problems with mosquitoes or sand ants but took mosquito repellent and hydrocortisone cream with us Staff all very friendly a special mention for Eddie in dinning room always had a smile and always very helpful hotel accommodation was first class grounds spotless and Rooms cleaned every day would highly recommend this hotel we went with open mind and did not regret it so if thinking about going I would say go for it and have a blast like we did

Vacations packages include round-trip flights, accommodations, round-trip transfers (unless outlined below) to and from the hotel, and tourist cards (if required, unless outlined below).

If selecting an all-inclusive resort option, the package will also include the all-inclusive features as outlined by each resort.

Items not included:

  • Travel insurance (mandatory if traveling to Cuba)
  • Tourist cards ($10USD)if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing Airlines
  • Departure taxes ($20USD) if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing or Signarture Vacations
  • Hotel transfers for packages with WestJet to USA (with exception to Honolulu)
  • Hotel transfers for packages to Europe
  • Items of a personal nature

  • Buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
  • 1 a la carte dinner per specialty restaurant/week w/reservations
  • 24 hr snacks & beverages
  • Unlimited Domestic drinks
  • Mini-bar (beer, soft drinks & water only)
  • Free admission to the disco (Local drinks included)
  • Daily activities program
  • Nightly entertainment
  • 1 hour per day of selected non-motorized water sports
  • Snorkeling
  • Kayaking
  • Catamarans
  • Windsurfing
  • Sunfish sailing
  • Boogie boards
  • 1 introductory scuba-diving lesson at the pool/person/stay
  • Tennis
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Volleyball
  • Soccer
  • Mountain bikes
  • Aerobics
  • Mini golf
  • Disco, drinks included
  • Pueblo Principe Bar & The Pub
  • 940 rooms in 76 two-storey villas and 11 three-storey buildings.
  • 1 buffet restaurant
  • 3 a la carte restaurants: Italian, Mediterranean and Japanese, dress code & reservations required
  • 24 hr snack bar
  • 6 bars including Beach bar, Swim-up bar, Karaoke terrace bar
  • Disco
  • Convenience & gift shops
  • 4 Pools
  • Children's pool
  • Mini golf
  • Tennis courts
  • A range of watersports
  • Basketball
  • Exercise room
  • Aerobics
  • Soccer
  • Merengue lessons
  • Scuba Padi Dive clinic (fee)
  • Horseback riding (fee)
  • Casino
  • Beauty salon (fee)
  • Internet (fee)

Hotel Rooms include:

  • 1 king or 2 single beds
  • Air-conditioning
  • Mini bar
  • In-room safe (fee)
  • Satellite TV
  • Full bathroom
  • Hairdryer
  • Balcony or terrace

Kids Deals - One child 2-12 stays & eats free when sharing a room with 2 adults and existing bedding. Second child pays special kids rate. Max 2 kids.

For the Kids - Kids 4-12 can enjoy supervised Kids' Club, wading pool, playground, and playroom. Babysitting service available (fee).

Pueblo Principe - A Dominican style village located at the hotel entrance (fee).

Honeymooners - Receive a bottle of rum or tequila and fruit basket. Wedding certificate required. Maximum 6 months after the wedding. Request at time of booking.

Wedding Bonus - Wedding packages available, please inquire for details.

Early Booking Bonus - This hotel may offer early booking bonuses at certain times of the year. If early booking bonuses apply to your vacation, prices shown online have already been adjusted accordingly. Please inquire for complete details.

Resort Location Map


  • Grand Bahia Principe San Juan
    Puerto Plata,Dominican Republic

  • Hotel Contacts
  • Extra Info
  • Disclaimer
Grand Bahia Principe San Juan
Ctra. Gaspar Hernandez - Rio San Juan, Km 18, Rio San Juan Dominican Republic

Some restaurants may be open for certain meals only and limited visits may apply. Reservations required and dress code in effect for a la carte restaurants. Time restrictions may apply for water sports.

Child pricing may only be available with select tour operators and valid for select dates and durations. Child pricing rules are subject to change without notice. Please contact one of our vacation specialists if you require assistance with child pricing.

Photo identification and/or credit card or cash deposit may be required at check-in for incidental charges.

Extra-person charges may apply and vary depending on hotel policy. Rollaway beds and cribs (infant beds) may be available and should be requested at the time of booking; fees may apply.

Special requests are subject to availability upon check-in. Special requests cannot be guaranteed and may incur additional charges upon check-in to fulfil.

Hotels do not condone unruly behavior, parties in rooms, excessive noise or any other actions that violate the hotels terms of use. Guests may be removed from the property at their own expense in the event of any disturbance or complaint from other guests or hotel staff. Escapes.ca cannot be held responsible for any guests who may be removed from the hotel due to a violation of rules.

Escapes.ca makes every effort to ensure that the information on this page is accurate, however, all information on this page is subject to change without notice. Escapes.ca is not responsible for any changes, errors or omissions that may occur.