Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo

4.5 star rating

This hotel is rated between 4 and 5 stars. 4 star - Quality accommodation with a variety of facilities and services. 5 star - Exceptional accommodation with superior facilities and services.

    Average ratings from our guests:

    Cleanliness

    Rated5.0 out of 5

    Value

    Rated5.0 out of 5

    Service

    Rated5.0 out of 5

    Hotel Amenities

    Rated4.5 out of 5

    Food / Restaurants

    Rated4.5 out of 5

    Beach

    Rated4.5 out of 5

    Pool

    Rated4.0 out of 5

    T

    Great place to relax, recharge and revive yourself.

    Reviewed by TNT on May 31, 2016

    Our guests rated this hotel 5 out of

    Would recommend

    Travel date: May 2016

    Trip Type: Large group

    This is a fantastic location for that much need rest and relaxation, great food with a wide variety of selection for all your dietary concerns. Staff and management are amazing and make you feel like you're at home. Beaches are very clean and you're not bombarded by outside vendors selling goods all day. Worth every penny and definitely going back I highly recommend this location.

    This traveller's ratings:

    Cleanliness

    Rated5 out of 5

    Value

    Rated5 out of 5

    Service

    Rated5 out of 5

    Hotel Amenities

    Rated5 out of 5

    Food / Restaurants

    Rated5 out of 5

    Beach

    Rated5 out of 5

    Pool

    Rated5 out of 5

    4

    Paradise with a catch !

    Reviewed by 481sunset on Apr 28, 2015

    Our guests rated this hotel 4 out of

    Would recommend

    Travel date: April 2015

    Trip Type: Couple

    This resort is located on a great beach in a quiet area, great walking and swimming and okay snorkelling for beginners. We visited over Easter, it was a great price for 10 days PROS excellent service, lovely suite clean and quiet. Bars in evening had music and great service. Food in buffet very good. Al la cartes okay but preferred selection at buffet. Beach was great for relaxing. Short 40 mins from airport check in on bus with beautiful scenery. CONS They added extra rooms to this resort and at this time of year very crowded, not enough chairs and shade on the beach for everyone. Pool very small to accommodate all guests. Quiet pool even smaller. Restaurants , beach and buffet became very crowded as hotel was overbooked.! SUGGESTIONS add another pool expand seating at beach. Would be great if guests would not reserve chairs at 630 am and allow others to use. OPPORTUNITY This hotel overbooked at Easter which gave us the chance to spend 3 days at the Grand Bahia Cayo Levantado ithat hotel was phenomenal at true 5+ star !

    This traveller's ratings:

    Cleanliness

    Rated5 out of 5

    Value

    Rated5 out of 5

    Service

    Rated5 out of 5

    Hotel Amenities

    Rated4 out of 5

    Food / Restaurants

    Rated4 out of 5

    Beach

    Rated4 out of 5

    Pool

    Rated3 out of 5

    What to expect (based on 7202 reviews):

    Cleanliness

    Cleanliness-4.5

    Location

    Location-4.5

    Rooms

    Rooms-4.5

    Service

    Service-4.5

    Value

    Value-4.5

    5 most recent TripAdvisor reviews:

    Just ok at best !

    Reviewed by SeaSunFamily(Toronto, Canada) on Aug 19, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			3
			 out of 5

    Visited hotel August 12th to 19th. Travelled with Air Canada vacations (Air Canada Rouge) they got us there and back thats about all. Rouge is like flying Jet Blue, very basic, no frills. Airline attendant wasn't clear on customs procedure in the Dominican had me fill out one form for each person, it was actually one per family. Going through customs we were told to fill out additional forms for kids. Upon arrival nice to get bracelets at the airport, 45 minute bus ride to the hotel (big air conditioned bus, comfy). Rooms were ready upon arrival nice touch. Rooms basic dated and yes lots of bugs in the room throughout the week. I think each little block of rooms has a septic system so you do get very unpleasant odours walking to and from the room, if unlucky could get room right in front of sewage. I'm not a big fan of massive chain hotels so I do have a bias. This was booked because of the price point, it was a very good rate. I wasn't expecting much, Bahia has a lot of quantity but lacking in the quality department. I find people who haven't travelled a great deal tend to like Bahia Rui type resorts. The resort is at best a 3 star for many reasons. Getting a hut at the beach is very difficult, the system or lack there of causes issues between guests. On more than one occasion I saw vacationers arguing over beach chairs/huts. The chairs are bunched together so even when you get a beach chair in a decent spot you have people hovering all over you with beach chairs, often an obstacle course to the water. Pool is a disgusting cesspool pool, think of 100 people sharing a very warm bath together in a very small pool. It seems like all the amenities not properly equipped for the amount of people at the resort. The gym is a small room with 2 treadmills and one elliptical, a few weights. So if you want to start your day with a workout you need to get up really early of wait for a machine to become available. The buffet (breakfast, lunch and dinner) was a very chaotic and often disturbing experience. The ambiance reminds me of a rowdy high school cafeteria, overcrowded, tough to get a drink, water was served then you might get a waiter you might not. Lineups for food, not pleasant at all, by the last day we were disgusted, we compared the guests to a herd of cows, herded along the buffet. Not a good vibe what so ever. The cafeteria or main buffet is 2 star, very erratic service, one day you get a server who provides with drinks is pleasant and working hard to provide a high level of customer service, spoiled on the next day when you have a server sleeping on their feet. If you are picky about the details this is not the place for you, if you can go with the flow and ignore potentially irritating (ie. not be served a drink while having dinner, being told they ran out of something ie. soda water, milk,) if you like a liquor with your dessert this is not a place for you. They don't get it or ignore request play dumb? At a place so big likely difficult to get good staff for all areas. Most employees speak very little english could be an issue, sometimes they conveniently didn't speak the language wink wink, like when you ask for some spice for your rice no can do. Guest services is a waste of time, if you need something or need an issue resolved ask for a manager, I had 2 very unpleasant exchanges with guest services (wasted time no results). Juan and Yipssi Abrev no help at all, very frustrating. Food is ok, if you've travelled you will understand better food on other islands. Al la carte were enjoyable solely because it allowed us to avoid horrible buffet (school cafeteria) atmosphere. Italian restaurant, staff worked hard nice ambiance food was an insult to all the Italian chefs out there, pizza was like cardboard, pasta overcooked and the sauce failed miserably. Staff did nice job serving. Oh wine throughout resort is horrible if you want good wine got to pay extra for it. Also disappointed with the beer only one beer offered and it was a light beer, tasted like a non alcoholic spritzer. Guests were from all over the world, a lot of smokers and people who insisted on looking down at the staff (not a nice thing). Not sure but seemed to be a lot of demanding people, I guess that could get to the staff overtime. I travelled with my kids and got a great deal, if you are travelling as a couple and hope for some romance avoid this place, no romantic hideouts, place is just overflowing with people. Some quick points kids club - D not welcoming we went in midday and Mary told us about an event that will take place the following day? We were hoping to drop off our youngest but not welcoming and the room had a terrible stench. Rooms - good beds comfy tv mostly spanish free wi fi not too bad in lobby and beach area, we were close to lobby so picked up wi fi from the room Staff - hit and miss but by end of week was annoyed to many negative experiences its that quantity over quality, staff all over the place but poor productivity ( I know we are in the Caribbean gotta chill a bit) Nightly entertainment - cheesy, not great Worst experience We arrived on a Monday and tried to book Seafood restaurant, told it was booked for the week? I wanted clarification, told to go to guest services on the Friday asking how it is possible a restaurant could be booked for the entire week??? Juan from guest services gave me the impression he would find us a spot and place the reservation under our door in the room (never arrived) should have insisted on speaking to someone who would have clarified how a hotel can be booked for an entire week?? It was more about avoiding the dreaded buffet than getting a reservation at the seafood restaurant. My most upsetting moment was on our last night, we had reservations at French restaurant (no buffet/high school cafeteria on the last night). We arrive and my 14 year old has a dress shirt and nice pair of shorts. Aramis says he can't get in, "go eat at the buffet". Calmly I point out he is a big boy but is only 14, again in a cocky arrogant tone says no "go to buffet". We were at 2 other Al La Carte's and had no issues, I noticed kids with shorts in the French restaurant so I politely ask if we can be seated, again Aramis (guy looks like a Walmart greater) says no. I ask to speak to the manager he says he is the manager. After a very unpleasant 20 minutes(Yipssi very poor customer service). I spoke to a real manager who promptly sat us down for dinner. Not a pleasant experience and luckily it was our last night, it highlighted the fact that in large resorts you will likely encounter staff that can ruin an evening or day or week. I digress, if you are not concerned about the finer details and get a good deal this is a place to consider. Thanks

    Individual ratings:

    Location

    Location-3

    Service

    Service-3

    Excellent value for money!

    Reviewed by 172RicardoZamora(Toronto, Canada) on Aug 18, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			4
			 out of 5

    We had a great time at the GB, there were many good things about it and I can say that was my Caribean trip with the best value for the money. Best:beach is nice,you can walk for miles on it. There is coral reef to snorkel. The food at the buffet is good, plenty of good quality and taste options. Staff is great maintaining the place spotless and most seem very engaged (I'll talk about exceptions later). The ok:rooms clean and well maintained, it'd be nice to have a double & a king in rooms & efficient extraction system in toilets. A la carte restaurants, except for the brazilian restaurant, not impressive, similar food to buffet w better presentation. The bad:main pool is crowded, in our 14 days there,they closed it 3 because of kids pooing in it. Hotel allows smoking anywhere except rooms n restaurants,anytime you can get second hand smoke anywhere. With some exceptions, restaurant service was slow, often we had to remind the waiters of drinks we had ordered at the restaurants. The majority of staff had a smile on their face, but few ones seemed stressed when talking to them. Many kids at this resort, a few of them very noisy so if you are not patient, this place may not be for you. Suggestions for Mgmt:Limit smoking areas,smokers should go to a place distant from nonsmokers. Hire staff w passion for service, willing to smile. Force parents to put swimmer diapers to babies&toddlers/make another pool for people over 10. Gym needs expansion,heavier weights & couple of benches.

    Not our cup of tea.......

    Reviewed by Stephen W() on Aug 11, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			3
			 out of 5

    We visited this resort from Aug 3-10, 2019 with my 9 yr old son, 3 teens, my wife and my parents (late 60's). I'm rating this one 3.5/5 simply as it has some basic issues that bothered our party but would not bother lots of others. If you want the quick review - food is great and plentiful, beach is nice - not to Cuban standards but far better than Punta Cana beaches, resort is well maintained, lovely and in a great location. If you want the nitty gritty, read on......... :-) First and foremost, this resort is not All-Inclusive. It felt every time I turned around there was a payment required. I'm used to travelling through 5 Star resorts where once on site, you don't pay anything other than tips. Here however, the basics are covered, but anything above you pay. Quite upsetting for my little guy, there were pool tables and games in the lobby - poor quality tables but great for kids/teens, however it was US$2 per game - I spent $30 on this when the machine was actually working to give you tokens. My father ordered a "rusty nail" at the bar - US$12 per drink. Steak dinner - US$65 per person. Went to the Italian a la carte, the chefs special was US$32 per person. Wifi is US$30 per device/week, though a free service is also offered with enough juice to send/receive emails etc - my teens used the free service all week with few complaints, just don't plan on streaming. Our biggest drawback is that this is a very busy resort. It's probably the smallest resort I've visited in land size, but more rooms than any other (606 rooms). It's very densely populated and no space anywhere. The main pool by the lobby is adequate for a 300 room resort, but with roughly 1200 people there - it's packed all the time. There is also a 2nd "relax/quiet" pool that is nice - no music/dancing etc, but was also busy and not really great for my 9 yr old. By 7am you start to see towels going up on the all the loungers around the resort - beach and pool, a really annoyance to me especially when there are signs everywhere stating it is not permitted, though not enforced. The beach is a lot worse for this. It was heaving at all times. I'm guessing there's around 400 beds on the beach, and our first few days there - all 400 had either towels or people on them. We finally found a spot with 8 beds but was quickly informed this was for "prestige guests" only who pay US$50,000 (yes that is was I was informed) for the privilege of using those beds - I assume for 50 grand they get other perks too :-) Buffet was great, we all left every visit very full. Service was mediocre in so far as getting water/coffee refills. Another small annoyance with us being a party of 8 - we were told on 5 of our 7 nights that they could not put 2 tables of 4 together for us so I rarely got to dine with my family. Oddly, on the last 2 nights a manager was present in the buffet and we were provided tables for 8. On day #2 we went to book the sea food restaurant - just for 3 members of my family, and was informed it was already fully booked for the entire week - again a symptom of too many rooms on the resort for the number of amenities. As others have already mentioned, the AC in the rooms is just adequate - we had ours set to minimum for the entire week and it never got cold - though in fairness it was 35C outside. We stayed in building 10, right at the relax pool, in 3 junior suites. The rooms were fine, could use some updating but were clean and functional. The Samana region is lovely, true D.R. with the mountains on side and ocean on the other - much prefer this area to Punta Cana. That said, my wife was a little disappointed as she likes to venture off the resorts and go to markets - there's nothing like that within walking distance, you must take a cab to Las Torrenas (I believe it was US$10 each way). Overall we enjoyed our week here - the resort if not a bad resort, it just simply is too busy for us and doesn't have enough amenities/space to accommodate this number of guests.

    Individual ratings:

    Service

    Service-3

    Value

    Value-3

    Good family resort

    Reviewed by Anthony P() on Aug 06, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			3
			 out of 5

    Went to Grande Bahia Principe El-Portillo in the Dominican at the end of June. The weather was great, the food was good but the beaches were just average. The actual beach was good but the water was surrounded by coral and because of the protective netting it was quite cramped. The service was mixed with some staff being quite nice but on average most were unappreciative when tipped. Young families would like this resort best. But teens and adults will find it boring as entertainment is sub-par.

    Family plan

    Reviewed by mustaali(Toronto, Canada) on Aug 06, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			3
			 out of 5

    We went with a group of 21 people 15 adults and 8 kids. overall we had a great time, the food was great, variety was 4 out of 5 and service at the buffet was excellent. i was very impressed how fast they could turn things around. Even with group as large as ours. i wanted to give a special mention to Orlando our cart driver he was awesome, Maria the group liaison. the managers at the beach/snack bar was quite difficult to deal with when we went as a large group, we noticed exceptionally slow service in the brazillian restaurant. another issue we had was with the a/c units in our room. we had to call them 3 - 4 times before our room became the room from hell to the room from the arctic. the a/c had 2 settings, 17 C or 27 C. nothing in between. overall it was a good stay. the snorkeling off the beach is pretty fantastic.

    Individual ratings:

    Rooms

    Rooms-5

    Service

    Service-4

    Value

    Value-4

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