First we are very loyal to the Gran Bahia Chain. Having stayed at the Punta Cana and Ambar resort in the Dominica Republic, the Coba and Tulum resort in Mexico, and Runaway Bay in Jamaica. Having stayed this many times with a resort chain you pick up what the company holds as their most prestigious resort. Cay Levantado is jut this. The pictures portray the resort as gem. Of course when you are considering the view portion (sand, ocean, and plasm) none of the others compare. Unfortunately, I do not travel to a resort just for the sand. Here is a recap and of course as always our opinion of our 10 day stay the Gran Bahia's Cayo Levantado in Samana, Dominican Republic.
Check in: We arrived at the little check house, this is still on the mainland and you must take a ferry once done to get to the hotel.The ferry only runs on a schedule so you may have a wait. Once we arrived inside, the desk attendant did not greet us. He asked for our booking confirmation printout. My husband had ended up packing this in one of the suitcases and he insisted that we try to find it. I explained that we are Expedia Elite members and always have the print out but have always given our names other than the first two time we had visited. While my husband was tearing through our luggage, he was searching the computer. He finally found us and I had my husband come over. He then handed the normal envelope with one room key, a map of the resort and the schedule for the ferry. He explained that the hotel would give us the rest of the information and pointed us in the direction of the ferry dock. Here we waited maybe 15 minutes. Finally at the hotel, we proceeded inside where we thought we would be able to sit down for a second and learn about the resort. Instead, the concierge came over to where we were standing, asked for our envelope and scurried back to his desk. Here he made a phone call or two. After 5 minutes he came over and explained that our room was ready, the buffet was right behind to the right, to book your al a carte restaurants please see the desk behind you. There are two beaches public and private. each have activities The elevator, he told us to take to the 4th floor and then head up a flight of stairs. That was it! Nothing else! My husband and I were exhausted so we looked at each other and proceeded to our room. Check in was horrible. We were lost.
1st Room: We were very disappointed. In fact I did not take any pictures here. Room was pleasant but so incredibly small. Our view was the laundry and employee area and where all their radio or satellites are. The balcony had a small roof portion where bird defecation was all over. I was so upset to have paid all this money and built up to this room just to be disappointed. A bug spray can was left out next to the TV. The AC doesn't work unless all the doors are closed and the patio door does not have a handle from the outside. So if you'd like to be outside, your room AC will have to be off since you can not close all the way. I immediately called back down and expressed that I would glad pay what ever was required to be upgraded. The concierge stated he couldn't see room availability (???) but thought that the villas would be free Tuesday (we arrive on a Sunday). This was upsetting since I had contacted the resort about a month and a half before hand requesting to pay the additional amount to book a villa. They informed me to ask for a upgrade, if desired, at the time of check in. Each day we asked about an available villa. Never at anytime did we request this for free.
2nd Room: Finally, my husband asked to speak to a manager where we were finally referred to Ada (perhaps Atta). She was brilliant and the star of our stay. She listened to us and valued us as a customer. We never demand demand anything for free or want to be compensated. Let's just make right of what is wrong. She got us to a villa immediately and gave us a choice of a few rooms, allowing my husband to preview each first. we selected a room in the villa #5 area. This room was gorgeous. We have no complaints what so ever. This room was very similar to Ambar in Punta Cana except bigger with a wonderful view. Ada is a gem. Every time she saw us she asked how we were. The maid here was wonderful. She always had the room super clean, always. A small tip each day goes a very long way. I always ask that patrons tip if possible when the service is great. Wonderful.
Resort/Grounds/Food: The hotel is not as immaculently kept as Punta Cana but the natural aspect of it is beautiful. You will not be disappointed and perhaps if you have never been to their resorts, it will be second to none. They do not have trolly's like the other GBP's and there are a lot of hills. For someone in a wheelchair or who finds hills and/or steps difficult, this may be an issue. I did see the bell boys taking people around so perhaps this is an option. Beach did have sea weed build up form time to time but we did have some hard evening rains. These were cleaned on occasion and the beach was mostly kept. There are two sides to the beach. One very calm side where the majority of families were (there are not very many children on the resort by the way) and those who preferred to get in and out of the water frequently and then there was the rougher and windy side. This side had less commotion and where we preferred. There is a little beach br located here and when nt too busy the bartenders will take drink orders while you are on the beach. The beaches also have topless tanning so if this is something that offends you, you may consider the pool where it is not allowed. Pool was great and you may want to get up early to get a nice palapa. Both the beach and pool are reserved fairly early. Food was great and the best we have had stain with GBP and Riu. They had higher end dishes and drinks. We were not disappointed by the food. Al a carter took a while. Of our reservations, we only went to the Portofino restaurant and the Don Pablo restaurant. Both were great. Drinks were slightly inconsistent between bars and shifts. We had a manager/waiter (Aridennis S.) who was superb and extremely service oriented. We came to have him as our waiter each evening since he was absolutely excellent. Please look for him and he will take care of you genuinely.
Overall, the resort is beautiful. No questions about that. Would we stay here again. No. Instead we would recommend Punta Cana's Ambar or Coba in Mexico. Cayo Levantado seemed to lack organization and service skills. In our opinion the hotel had a ego notch. The employees know the resort is considered on the top and seemed to carry that around. When certain managers where in, the hotel ran well off. This is not a resort for a younger crowd who is interested in partying and what not. It just does not happen here. It would be recommended for a a older couple or a honeymoon couple. Very intimate and small. Again, as I stress, these are all a matter of opinion. He have visited their resorts over 10 times and they have better. A first time resort goer will definitely not share the same opinion as us.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Facilities and services 2 pools 3 Jacuzzis with bar Large sun terrace and gardens with loungers and sun umbrellas Pool and beach towel service BAHIA SPA (additional charge) Sports facilities: gym, 1 tennis court Motorised water sports (additional charge) Store Heliport WiFi access in the lobby and in rooms (free of charge) Main buffet-style restaurant and 3 speciality restaurants 4 Bars Cocktail Lounge Snack-bar Wedding gazebo Rooms 268 rooms including 5 types Superior, Junior Suite, Superior Junior Suite, Deluxe Junior Suite and Beach Villas. Superior Junior Suites, Deluxe Junior Suites and Beach Villas are larger than the Junior Suite and Superior. Room facilities: King size four poster bed Air conditioning Ceiling fan Sitting area with desk Balcony or terrace Fully-equipped marble bathroom with hydromassage bath tub, separate shower, bidet, hair dryer and magnifying mirror Telephone in bathroom Don Pablo Collection amenities Bathrobe and slippers Radio alarm clock with iPod docking station Direct phone line (additional charge for external calls) Flat screen satellite TV Safe Mini-bar with alcoholic drinks Wifi Coffee-making facilities Ironing set 24 hour room service Evening downturn service Outdoor Jacuzzi (Deluxe Junior Suites) Butler service Pillow menu Aroma menu Beach Villas: Seafront location with outdoor Jacuzzi, pillow menu available on request, baggage unpacking and ironing service, laundry service (optional) Other services Medical and pharmacy service (additional charge for both) Stores in the hotel Heliport and private boat (available on request for an additional charge) Mainland reception and transfer by boat (included in the booking fee) Specialised service for organising weddings, events and anniversaries. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Gran Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado Hotel
- Cayo Levantado Samana
- Cayo Levantado Dominican Republic
- Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado
- Cayo Levantado Hotel Samana