- What's Included
- All Inclusive Features
Location: Beachfront property. Located on the beautiful Samana Peninsula. 30 minute drive from the Samana airport.
Delightful time.Our room was amazing. Clean and comfortable. The cleaning staff were awesome.The grounds were beautiful. Well kept, staff were always busy gardening.Food was delicious! Huge variety. Our favourite a la carted was the Italian.Excursions were exhilarating.
The place is fantastic, lots of towels, chairs, no need to fight over them. Service is just great, people very friendly and helpful. Rooms very nice and cozy. Beach is right there, nice sand , lots of fish to see even without mask. Lots of beach to take long walks. Restaurants are all very good but buffet remains the very best.Overall I would return in a New York minute.Went in November and weather was awesome
Second time stay/ second sejour No regret/ aucun regret /Le resort est dans un parc national / s’y rendre est comme se promener au Vermont : magnifique /acceuil chaleureux / thanks to Braulio who gave us a very good room with two beds as we had requested building 3 208/ a corner room secondB floor near everything / check in a ete rapide / Food/nourriture : excellent et variéAvec un rappel de nos séjours en Espagne/ wide variety of food with a spanish touch / we mostly enjoyed the main restaurant which is open for breakfast lunch and dinner / warm welcome from all waiters Le paysagement autour du site est magnifique / endroit idéal pour de longues marches sur la plage/ il y a assez de chaises pour tout le monde quoique vers 6h30 le matin plusieurs se trouvent sur la plage pour reserver les chaises pour la journee /please make sure you book your beach chairs early I have this time tried the spa : great massage / j’ai reçu un tres bon massage au Spa demandez ask for Scarlet Nunez // she did also my hair before going back : very professional /In conclusion great easy goung vacation in an elegant settingEn conclusion une tres bon séjour dans un décor enchanteur
We spent a week at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, and only a few minor complaints. As always with my posts, this was our experience and is completely subjective. People travelling the same week may have had a different experience. We booked the Royal Golden Junior Suite package through Air Transat, and while some say it wasn’t worth it (or misleading), we found the opposite. More on that below.Check-in was very smooth; in fact it was already done for us. As we got on the bus at the airport, we received our bracelets and check-in packages, which contained a map, the activities list, and a list of our inclusions for the Royal Golden status. The bus ride was very pleasant; only 45 minutes. Our Transat rep organized a 5 minute stop at a lookout which you could see the entire Samana province. There is beer available for purchase at $5USD or $250RD (Dominican Peso) for the short trip. Once at El Portillo, we were greeted with the welcome cocktails, a cold towel, and are room keys were immediately handed to us. A few travellers had to wait 20 or so minutes for their keys. A porter took our bags to the room for us.We were in Villa 5, ground floor. The room was exactly as pictured. It has a lot of space, which was nice. Safe was included, as well as bathrobes, slippers, and an umbrella. The Mini bar was stocked with beer, pop, sparkling water, bottled water, Lays Chips and a snack-size Milky Way. While the TV is a flat-screen, it is not HD; but who cares, we’re not there to stay in the room. Our balcony faced out onto the pathway leading towards the west side of the beach. Room was conveniently located between everything. If booking, request Villas 5 or 7 if you don’t want to walk far to the majority of the restaurants, main pool and lobby.There are two pools, the main pool, where many activities would take place in the afternoon, and the quiet pool, located towards the south end of the property. We preferred the main pool given its proximity to multiple bars. Neither pool has a swim up bar, nor is there poolside service. Not a bother for us. The pool bars, respectively, were within earshot of the pools. Pool water is a bit on the cool side; great for the humid Dominican days.The beach is about a kilometre long for the hotel property. The beach is not white sand, but you don’t sink into it while walking. Bring snorkeling masks; you can snorkel right off the beach as there is plenty of coral. The fish were amazing. There are a lot of vendors who are authorized by the hotel to be there. We saw one vendor get tossed from the site because he didn’t have a permit with him. If you decide to walk the beach beyond the hotel limits, you may be asked to sign a waiver. I refused and wasn’t given a hassle. The beaches in Dominican are all PUBLIC. So yes, you may see some locals bathing alongside you. They do not bother you though. There are lots of stray dogs off the hotel property. Don’t feel compelled to feed them; they WILL follow you back to the resort.There are two buffet restaurants, the main buffet and the beach buffet. Both are open for breakfast and lunch, and the main one for dinner. The main buffet stays open from 11pm to 5am for quick snacks after an evening of partying. The beach buffet turns into the Brazilian restaurant at night. Buffet selection for breakfast and lunch was virtually the same at both locations, and the same every day. You can get eggs made to your linking. Recommend trying an omelette one morning. The beach buffet had a nacho station; the Chili Con Carne is amazing! They also have poutine, except it’s made with queso; pretty amazing twist if you ask me (don’t hate me fellow Quebecers!). Each night is a different theme night. We tried Asian and Dominican, with Asian being the favourite. They have pasta and grill stations as well. We were lucky to try all four A La Carte’s (included in Royal Gold). The favourite was Brazilian; everything was served true Brazilian-style on swords. Spicy sausage was a big hit. The Gourmet was also very good; Duo of Asparagus creme soup was great. Italian was as you imagine; pasta and anti-pasta. The Mediterranean as the worst for us. Biggest gripe is that as a Caribbean destination, there should be more fish options. A bonus though; each meal was accompanied by a chef’s special apperitif.The spa was amazing. Enough said! If you get the chance, take a $20USD taxi into Las Terrenas, the local village/town. The restaurants are very good. I’ll be posting about XO restaurant on their page. Bring $RD with you as some places don’t accept credit card or even USD.Now, the Royal Golden Club. Some people automatically assume international drinks are included. They are not. So make sure you inform yourself as to what your booking. You get your own concierge, which is nice. The Gold lounge isn’t really a lounge, but more an area to use a computer, meet your concierge, and that’s about it. I.e don’t expect much from the actual lounge. But I’ll say that the Golden bracelets seemed to get better and warmer service. My own perception.Two minor complaints;-the “no booking lounge chairs” rule was not in effect. Some families had the same lounge chairs reserved for entire week. Staff didn’t seem to want to enforce the rule out of fear or backlash.-the main buffet ALWAYS opened 10 minutes late for meals. So if you’re an on-time person, set your watch 10 minutes back.Currency/Tipping: I noticed better service when I tipped in $RD vs USD. $50RD is about $1.25USD. The majority of the currency we brought was in $RD. We only brought USD for the entry/exit VISA fees, and found out it wasn’t required (included in our booking fee).We would like to thank Agustin and José Miguel from the Lobby Bar for the exceptional service and always laughing no matter what. These guys work extremely hard; tip them well. I would also like to thank Ney, from the Entertainment/Activity group for all the fun he organized and convinced me to participate in. And also for our dance off in the club. Equally, Ramon, the hotel Air Transat Rep, was great and very accommodating when we had to cancel an excursion. And lastly, our room maid, whose name I didn’t get. She was outstanding and made sure we were well taken care of. All in all, would definitely return to GBP El Portillo!
We, a family of four, stayed at this resort during the New Year holidays. Our rooms were located in building 19. Rooms were nice, quiet and generally clean but another bathroom had a pungent smell - maybe mold? Food was very good. Especially the New Year dinner was excellent and well served. Thank you for that. Really delicious were also the Brazilian restaurant and French restaurant. The Italian restaurant, well, forget it. Breakfast, lunch, and buffet dinner were ok. The beach was the best part of this resort: clean daily and had plenty of loungers. The vendors did disturb sometimes. Hint: you pretty much have to ignore them, in a polite way. Free WiFi is lousy and works (sometimes) only in the lobby not throughout the whole resort. Additional purchase recommended. Upgraded version worked also in our room as well as on the beach.The resort is kept exceptionally clean. Generally, the staff is very nice. Although I was a little bit surprised that some of them were so limited in English.
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
- Resort fees (if applicable) must be paid directly to the hotel
- Hotel transfers for packages to USA
- Hotel transfers for packages to Europe
- Items of a personal nature
- 3 buffet meals daily plus snacks
- 3 a la carte dinners per week (reservations required, dress code in effect)
- All drink (Domestic beer and house wine)
- Pedal boats
- Pool scuba clinic
- Daytime Tennis
- Daily activities
- Nightly entertainment
- Free Wi-Fi in lobby
- Kids Club (ages 2-12)
- Horseback riding (fee)
- Scuba Diving (fee)
- 396 rooms in several, 3-storey buildings
- 1 buffet restaurant
- 3 a la carte restaurants (International, Asian, Seafood)
- Snack bar
- 4 bars including Pool bar & Beach bar
- 1 pool
- Tennis court
- Paddle court
- Full service spa (fee)
- Beauty salon (fee)
- Gift shop
- Wi-Fi in lobby
- Babysitting (fee)
Hotel Rooms include:
- 1 king or 2 twin beds
- Ceiling fan
- Cable/ Satellite TV
- In-room safe (fee)
- Wi-Fi (fee)
- Mini-bar (stocked with soft drinks & beer)
- Full bathroom
- Balcony or terrace
- Max occupancy 3 adults or 2 adults when sharing with 2 kids
Junior Suite also available.
Kids Deal - 1 child 2-12 yrs can stay, play and eat free when sharing a room with 2 adults. Just pay a special airfare. 2nd child pays a special child price when sharing with two adults.
For the Kids - Kids Club for ages 4-12.
Honeymooners - Receive a complimentary room upgrade, fruit basket and bottle of rum (based on availability at check-in. Valid within 30 days of wedding. Request at time of booking. Requires proof of marriage certificate at time of check-in).
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 El PortilloSamana,Dominican Republic
- Hotel Contacts
- Extra Info
Crta. las Terrenas - El Limon, km 4, Las Terrenas 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.
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.