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 7029 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:

    Happy to be there again

    Reviewed by life5985() on Apr 20, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			5
			 out of 5

    We are going to be in the paradise for the 5th time. We are very happy and excited to see this wonderful place again. The workers at this resort are incredible. They are very polite and hardworking. The beach is beautiful and the food is delicious. The people from reception (Miguel the manager and all others) are very attentive and try their best to accommodate your needs. Thank you for everything and see you soon. Roza and Mike

    Individual ratings:

    Cleanliness

    Cleanliness-5

    Rooms

    Rooms-5

    Service

    Service-5

    Second visit and the last one!

    Reviewed by Pierre A A(Montreal, Canada) on Apr 19, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			3
			 out of 5

    Our second visit in a year. First visit, we considered this resort to be best quality and price wise, but not anymore. We went back this year at the end of March and it was not the same. My wife wrote to the hotel two months prior our arrival asking them to make sure that we were not assigned room 5204 since we had that room last year as the air conditioning was not working well. Guess what? They gave us that room!!!!!! Among over 606 rooms they gave us 5204. Is it provocation or what? What a bad start for a vacation. My wife started crying because she had suffered so much with her asthma last year from not having A|C working properly > > The hotel was always out of products. Here are few examples. Vodka. I witnessed someone asking for a glass of vodka at main bar at 1130 AM and that person was told they were out of ordinary vodka. (bottom shell). That same person then asked for a better vodka (top shell) but they wanted to charge him. > > Mojito. They were out of them for 24 hours. Clamato juice. Blody caesar are very popular. They were out of it once for 48 hours and at two more occasions for few hours. I was upgrated to VIP therefore, I was entitled to the top shell. I was drinking with my wife Finlanda vodka. Few days later, the bottle was empty and no replacement of the bottle. Another day, the whole hotel was out of tabasco sauce. But the top, one morning around 1030 AM at the beach bar, (Bar opens at 1000 AM), they had no beer and NO ICE!! Really! > > 9 times out of ten, you order a glass of sparkling wine (champagne) and/or a glass of white wine and it was not served cold. We are good tippers but it did not change anything. Eaten one of their personal told me one day : It’s hard to work here now ......A word about my room I had to kill a minimum of 10 to 15 mosquitos daily in my room even though we never went on the balcony. There was huge space around our entrance door. My sister that was in the same block found one afternoon in one of her drawer a bunch of live larvae’s which were crawling in there. I could not believe it when she called me to come and see this atrocity!! One day when we came back from the beach I notice that my sheets did not look clean when I opened the top sheet I notice some spots of dry blood here and there so I called house keeping and the supervisor came over to check. So she got a maid to come over a re-do the bed and the maid had to go through a couple of clean sheets because some of them were very soiled Unreal ! > > The service specially at the beach restaurant was very slow as there were less employees to serve this year. One night at the Orquidea restaurant, while seating we noticed a few inches behind my chair on the wall a spider surrounded by about fifty ants crawling around. We told the waiter and all he did was brushed them off on the floor with a dry towel. Also a word about the new arcade. You have to pay for the the games even the pool table. The place was sold to a new group about 4 months ago and it shows. Not as clean as before, bad service etc due to lack of staffs and doing anything to make more money. I expect an hotel to be out of certain products in CUBA not in DR. The Italian restaurant Portofino and the sea food restaurants are the best > > The beach is still very spectacular but I considered now that place overpriced for what they offer. I've been to more than 40 all inclusived hotels (4 and 5 stars) in the Carribean the past 18 years so I think you can trust my judgement. Feel free to write to me and I will be more than happy to answer you. I recommended more then 10 couples last year to this resort because we liked it so much and they were all pleased when they came back but now I do not recommend this resort anymore If you are looking for a real 5 * on the Samana side go to Grand Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado > > I noticed that the new management do not comment bad critics on trip advisor. I hope they will comment mine but......

    Individual ratings:

    Rooms

    Rooms-4

    Service

    Service-3

    Beautiful Samana

    Reviewed by deuceapam() on Apr 15, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			4
			 out of 5

    This resort has a beautiful beach, it's clean, the staff is great especially the entertainment staff. We had a blast, relaxed, ate well, drank well and enjoyed wonderful weather. Reason for 4 stars is closing time (11 pm is early).

    Great resort for the whole family

    Reviewed by sarahnose(Moncton, Canada) on Apr 14, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			5
			 out of 5

    We spent a week here in early April with friends. Together we had 5 kids with us ranging in age from 4 to 6. While this isn’t a kid-themed resort at all, it is very kid friendly. The kid’s water park is the perfect size for this age. It is a little far removed from the main resort area (5 min walk) but it has a bar and serves snacks. Besides the kid’s water park, some other great things were: 1) Food. The buffets have a huge variety of delicious food and you can find something to eat 24/7 (including room service). There are 4 a la carte restaurants. Our group sampled them all. Highest ratings go to the Italian and the French restaurants. The Brazilian and Mediterranean restaurants were good, but not spectacular. 2) Staff. Very friendly and easy to communicate with in English. From the entertainment crew to the servers and cleaning staff, they are (mostly) all very friendly and helpful. 3) Beach. The water is very calm and the slope is very gradual (great for kids). There is some beautiful coral reef close to shore where you can easily see lots of different fish while snorkeling. 4) Cleanliness. Very clean and well kept resort. Other good points: - only a 40 min bus drive from the airport. - many kid and adult activities each day. - nightly shows - self serve coffee station at the lobby bar and beach restaurant. - small arcade in lobby - free wifi in lobby (you can pay to have more) - carts available to drive you around. - wheelchair and stroller friendly. - self serve water and premixed drink stations at several locations around the resort. - they use plastic, reusable cups on the beach and no straws (win for the environment). - the main pool and restaurants are very close to the beach (like practically on the beach). Things to consider: - the beach, while beautiful, is on the smaller side. If you want a chair with shade, you’ll need to be up before the sun to reserve it. - there are a few dogs and cats that roam around the beach and the resort. They are very sweet and tame. - the main pool is small and can get crowded. There is a small wading pool sectioned off for kids that is about a foot deep. Other than that, there isn’t much of a shallow end for kids. This is only my 3rd trip down south ever, but I was very impressed. I found the resort to be a great size, and all of the important things were top notch. I would go back for sure.

    Amazing beach, beautiful resort, just a few tweaks away from 5 stars

    Reviewed by Avid_travelling_duo(Montreal) on Apr 13, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			4
			 out of 5

    We spent a week at El Portillo at the beginning of April. Overall, we had a great week and enjoyed the resort, but I can’t give it 5 stars because it fell short on a few points I will share below. THE GOOD POINTS - Beach is spectacular, water crystal clear, different shades of turquoise and blue, shallow, calm, no seaweed, and soft golden sand. You can walk for about 20 minutes to the right and all the way up to Las Terrenas on the left (90 minutes). Great walking beach. - Snorkelling was great right off the beach, we brought our own snorkelling gear and loved the convenience of walking right up to the reef, so many beautiful variety of fish to see! - Hotel grounds are beautiful, so many beautiful varieties of trees, shrubs, plants and palms, all mature and perfectly manicured. Gardeners to an outstanding job. - Junior Suite Superior Royal Golden in building 7 was large and comfortable, well located, mini bar replenished daily, and housekeeping did a great job. We had an issue with the air conditioning which I will address further down. - Staff was very polite, friendly and accommodating. - Buffets are very well managed, the tables are cleaned and reset as soon as guests leave, we never waited for water, coffee or wine, they always came to refill. It’s impressive to see how they manage to accommodate so many people, the resort was full. They had a large variety of food to choose from, plates are refilled constantly, food is tasty and well prepared. It was nice to have the option to sit outside under the big tent at Las Dalias (main buffet) even though the beach restaurant Las Olas offered seaside breakfast and lunch with a smaller buffet offering (still pretty good). The entire buffet staff was extremely busy and they were very efficient and courteous. - A La Carte restaurants: we went to all of them and our preferred was Orquidea (French), followed by Portofino (Italian), then Rodizio (Brazilian) and last was Pescador (Seafood, my Red Snapper was overcooked and rubbery). Service was excellent in all 4 of them, we appreciated the fact they served wine from a bottle instead of the big carafes they use at the buffet, and wine was good. The pace of dinner was generally quite fast though, we had to ask them to slow it down to have enough time to enjoy all the food and keep it coming! Their soups were excellent. Our favourite main was the duck confit at Orquidea. Favourite dessert was the crème brulée at Pescador. - Live performers (singer, sax player, band) were usually featured near the lobby between 7 and 9 p.m. We throroughly enjoyed them all, it would have been great if they stayed until 10 for those who don’t want to move down to the other evening program at the other end of the resort at the Pueblo. - Check in and checkout was quick and simple. THE NOT SO GOOD POINTS - Palapa and chairs “reservations” at the beach: although there are signs on each palapa saying that it is forbidden to reserve them, it was clearly not being observed and enforced. When we arrived at 7 a.m. on our first morning to get a palapa on the beach, none were available! Chairs were available but without a palapa for shade. There were either towels, sandals, clothing items, bags or magazines left under the palapas but nobody physically there under most of them. They were just “reserved”. The next morning we arrived at 6:30 and managed to get a palapa but only on the third row deep. We spoke to a few guests who had the palapas on the first row (facing the ocean), and they said some people came to put their things to reserve them at night, and some came at 4 a.m. and then went back to bed. Seems like many guests complained to management about the no reservation policy not being observed, so one morning we arrived at 5:30 to find out the staff had removed all the things left by guests to reserve their palapas, and brought it to guest services for them to retrieve. Some people were told that if anyone left things to reserve palapas and chairs before 6 a.m. and did not remain there with their things, they would be removed. After 6 a.m. though, they would not remove the items left, meaning that it’s OK to reserve them AFTER 6 a.m. Although this was a well needed step in the right direction, they didn’t have the staff to enforce this rule though, so some people got away with it, they didn’t consistently come back to remove items left unattended before 6. What is worse is that they did NOT announce this change, so guests ended up arguing on the beach, accusing other guests of removing their things to “rob” the spot! This is just nasty on a vacation. It would have been easy and appropriate for management to put a sign at the towel hut explaining their new process to address the situation, or to simply give guests a sheet upon their arrival, with their key, stating that “Please note that chairs and palapas cannot be reserved on the beach, so any items left unattended before 6 a.m. will be removed by management and brought to Guest Services, where they can be retrieved after 8 a.m.”. Many guests expressed their frustration with this issue. - Air conditioning was not working in our room, and although we reported it right away and a technician came to check it out, it never got repaired. He insisted air was coming out and it was working, but the air coming out was NOT cold, the temperature never dropped below 24 in our room. We told them again that the situation was not resolved, but they said the only option would be to change rooms. We declined because of the hassle and waste of time it represented, kept our ceiling fan on high, it was bearable but not comfortable. - The main pool by the beach was closed for a full day because a kid pooped in the pool! The lifeguard asked everybody to evacuate the pool because of the feces in it, they put yellow “crime scene” tape all around it, and they had to disinfect it. It was reopened the next day. This is a family resort, I understand, but at least they should forbid access to the pool to kids who haven’t been toilet trained. They have a “quiet” pool near buildings 10-11-12 but they still let kids in it – and it wasn’t quiet. There should be a pool designated for adults ONLY. SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT (TO BE A TRUE 5 STARS) - There were no waiters on the beach, you had to go get your own drinks at the pool bar or beach bar, and both were busy all the time, it sometimes took quite long to get a drink. True 5-star resorts come to your chair all day to offer drinks and bring them over. Bring your Bubba Mugs, the glasses are quite small. - At the buffet, the wine served for lunch and dinner was in a carafe, and it was clearly watered down. That is not acceptable. - We’ve been to many Gran Bahia Principe Resorts, and all of them offered beef tenderloin (filet mignon or Chateaubriand) at least in one (sometimes many) of their A La Carte restaurants. None of the restaurants at El Portillo featured beef tenderloin on their menu. - The large open air lobby in front of the reception had many sofas and chairs, but never had anyone at night offering drinks, you had to move over to where the lobby bar was, a smaller space with a much lower ceiling, or to the area next to which the live singers were. It would be nice to make use of that beautiful area at night, for guests who just want to sit there and chat or play cards quietly. - All guests should easily have access to a palapa for shade, whether at the pool or at the beach, and this resort didn’t have enough. People are more and more cautious about sun exposure and the risks of skin cancers, we need to be able to retreat to the shade without the hassle of getting up at 6 a.m. on vacation to reserve a palapa. So overall a very pleasant vacation, the beach was a big “wow!” for us, the resort was beautiful, service was great and the food was good.

    Individual ratings:

    Location

    Location-5

    Service

    Service-4

    Value

    Value-4

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