Bahia Principe San Juan Reviews – Dominican Republic Hotels – Bahia Principe San Juan

Arrival: April 17 – 24: Background Info: couple, later 40’s looking for R & R. This was our 3rd time in the DR and we have been to many all-inclusives (3.5 to 5 star) in Mexico and Cuba as well. We stayed at Blue Bay in POP last year and overall preferred Bahia.

Air Canada Vacations: Plane was a bit late but nice to have leg room. No free meals or snacks but you could watch current movies for free which made the time go quickly. We were in a standard room (B-9) but we found out that a few people were placed in the Diamond Section so you may want to try and request that area. Our room was near the snack bar and beach. We did receive the perks AC offered except the cocktail party, l don’t think we missed much. I actually enjoyed the hour bus ride (bus was comfy, had air cond and a bathroom) to and from the resort.. there was a lot of country side and towns to look at along the way.

As others have stated, could use a bit of upgrading but the room was large, huge king bed (typically rock hard, lol but 1 bed not 2 pushed together), lots of cupboard space, clean, decent pillows and a great balcony. Always had hot water (need to let it run for a few min) and you can vent the air conditioning to blow toward or away from the bed. Our maid always made nice towel arrangements with fresh flowers, candy and even a balloon! Leave a tip in the fridge and the mini bar guy will make sure you have extra bottles of water, beer and pop. No face cloths so I brought my own. Room is a bit dim but I was able to read in bed. We had a coffee maker and lots of coffee and sugar but will know to bring coffee mate with us next time. Never leave cups or food out as they will attract ants… we had a couple in the bathroom but we usually do see a couple in most resorts. We did not have an iron in the room but asked for one at the front desk and got it and the ironi! ng board the next day for a few hours. The best thing about this resort was between the loud AC (white noise)and the fact that the partiers went to the strip at night, you could actually sleep undisturbed! This is the first time that I could not hear my neighbours at all… it was great!

Restaurants and Bars::
The buffet was huge and quality was that of your typical DR 4 star. Lots of choices and something for everyone. Figure out what you want before you load your plate or your food will get cold while you wander around. DR beef isn’t great so we ate alot of chicken, fish and pork and lots of veggies. There are several cooks cooking several different meat/fish choices continuously, look for them to get very fresh meat choices. The freshly made chicken was always great. We never had a problem finding a table. Great service, you barely sit down and they are offering you water, coffee and/or wine. They are also quick to clean your table so if you are just getting desert, leave something personal on the table so they know you aren’t finished yet, lol. The ala cartes were good, order the vegetable crepes at the Mediterranean and don’t order the Greek salad which is nothing like a greek salad, lol . In the morning, hubby would order our omelettes and I would take care of the toast…everything stayed warm that way. The yogurt looked runny so we kept away from it. There is ice cream at the buffet and we saw someone place it in a plastic cup and take it out… good idea. You can find plastic cups and spoons at the self serve drink bar in the buffet. We are not big drinkers so not alot of help here. Hubbie mostly drank beer or rum and coke. A lot of sweet drinks , mostly the slushie kind but they will try to make you whatever you want. I liked the rum punch myself. No International drinks unfortunately. Lots of self serve stations if you just wanted water or pop which I really liked….no standing in line, lol. We used our thermal mugs alot at this resort.

Beach and pools. We are beach people and only went to the pool for 1 day. No problem getting lounge chairs, pool was large and clean and lots of activities going on. Beach towels were easily exchanged daily; they never ran out while we were there. Someone in an earlier trip report mentioned not having towels as they had to be turned at night??? No, they don’?t.. exchange the dirty one for a clean one whenever you want to. Beach: we spent most of our time at the beach in front of the snack shack. The sand was soft, no need for water socks in the ocean, it had a very sandy bottom. We thought it was by far one of the best sections of beach much nicer than the main area by the pool and some of the gold zone. The beach was natural and quite beautiful in a lot of areas you could walk forever. Lots of palapas and trees for shade. The sand bags kept the ocean calm so we had no issues with them. We took a kayak out and you could easily see down to the bottom of the ocean. We spent a lot of time in the ocean. One thing I loved about this location was the fact that the bathroom was right there, as well as showers and you could pop into the snack shack, ask for a plastic plate and bring fruit or food back to the beach if you wanted. There was also self serve soft drinks and beer on tap. We rarely went to the buffet for lunch, just snacked in between breakfast and supper. It’s rare for a resort to allow this (at least the ones we’ve been too) and we appreciated it. Never saw a sand flea. The beach vendors were not allowed on the beach and no timeshare people hounding you. It felt like paradise to me.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel::
Excursions: snorkelling with Juan booked through the beach water sport shack was great. It was 40.00 pp and was about 3-4 hours. Bring bananas and buns from the buffet to feed the fish. We also did the dune buggy tour which was fun but stopped alot for photo opportunities. Lots of begging children on this tour which was rather sad to see. ..dangerous as well as they run around the moving dune buggies. We had already done several excursions in the past but if you haven’t, Campo is a good deal as they combine 3 for 132.00 but if you only want 1 or 2, they are not cheaper than the rest.

Other Comments:: Resort: very clean and beautiful. Workers are everywhere cleaning and fixing stuff. Bathrooms always had toilet paper, hand sanitizer and were being cleaned constantly. This is a HUGE resort and I really recommend taking the time to figure out where everything is, what they serve and when they serve it. I did quite a bit of research before we left and still found it a bit overwhelming at first. This is a true DR 4 * and people need to remember that this is the DR. The place wasn’t full with it being so late in April so our experience may differ than when it is full. This resort is not perfect (no 4 star is especially in the DR or Cuba) but we had a great time and would not hesitate to go back. Everyone we met said that they really liked the resort and had a great time. We never used the Deet we brought, I did have a couple of skeeter bites but hubby didn’t have any. The entertainment was ok, typical and not too exciting but funny sometimes. The best part of this resort was closing the bars at 11:00 and taking the party to the strip.. lots of fun when you want to keep partying but kept your room quiet if you wanted an earlier night. All drinks and food are included on the strip except the casino but you can bring drinks in with you. There is also internet service for 12.00 an hour but it was down for 3 days while we were there so only got to use 15 min of our hour. If you want to shop, go to the little village at the end of the beach and haggle for better deals. Have a great vacation, we did.

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