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GRAND BAHIA PRINCIPE LA ROMANA
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I recently went to the Dominican Republic and stayed at the Gran Bahia Principe. It is located just outside of the La Romana area. I flew into Santo Domingo airport and it was about an hour transfer. Not a bad ride really. Gave us a chance to view the outside town areas.
The Gran Bahia Principe is a 4 -5 star all inclusive resort but very reasonably priced. It is a great value. Resort is beautiful, meticulously maintained, large rooms, plenty of variety of food options. As for alcohol, it is local alcohol only, not much in the way of top shelf or name brand liquor, but it was fine. The local beer is great. Presidente!!!
All the rooms are Jr. Suites but the "club" section puts you closer to the beach and pool and has a few extra amenities. Only drawback on the rooms, as large as they are, there are only 4 small drawers. Not much for 2 people trying to put all their clothes away. Closet was spacious and had shelves, but more drawer space would have been helpful. You have to pay to use the in room safe. Large double sink bathrooms!!!
As for dining, there are 4 specialty restaurants and a buffet main dining area. 2 beach side snack bars open during the day. As we were there during the off season, only 3 of the 4 specialty restaurants were open. Seafood, Italian and French. We ate at each one, they were fabulous. French one was our favorite. The menu is limited but certainly enough selection for the picky eaters. The main buffet restaurant had a different theme each night, but had a great selection of cook to order fish, chicken, pork and beef, as well as an assortment of many other dishes at the buffet. Fresh salads and fruits were plentiful. The turnover of food at the buffet was constant. All the food was fresh and hot. Wine was extra in all of the dining rooms. The snack bars which were open during the day was "order off the menu" style and had 5-6 choices but were the same each day. The buffet lunch offered much more variety but was only open until 3pm, so if you were hungry between 3 and 7, the snack bar fit the bill. There was also a Pizzeria open from 11pm to 7am. serving Pizza, burgers and hot dogs as well as beer and wine. (frightening). You never got thirsty or went hungry. There was also 24 hour room service available.
The pool was large and very inviting, nice swim up pool bar. Lots of activities around the pool and on the beach. Staff was quite convincing to get you involved in either water aerobics, or scuba lessons or just salsa dance lessons. The beach was sprawling, great for a nice long walk. Clear water, not rocky, calm waters. Lots of shade OR sun.
Entertainment was hit or miss. They offered nightly shows, 3 of the 7 were great, the rest were kind of silly, but you go with the flow.
The clientele was mostly European and on the weekend locals came for 2-3 nights. Most Europeans were there for 2 weeks or longer. The staff was friendly and very professional, yet lots of fun. English is not their first language, but they understood what you wanted to drink.