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Thread: Trip Report – Bahia Principe La Romana

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    Default Trip Report – Bahia Principe La Romana

    I wanted to post this for anyone that is considering a holiday at Bahia Principe La Romana. I’ll also say at the onset that I enjoyed this resort and had an overall pleasant experience, … but it is human nature to dwell on the negative.

    Because of the local 4 day weekend last week, I decided at the last minute to spend some of the weekend at an All Inclusive (AI) resort. I’m an expat that lives in Santo Domingo so I wanted a place somewhere in the south. Based on a recommendation from an acquaintance, I booked 2 nights / 3 days for 2 adults at the Gran Bahia Principe in La Romana. I booked locally expecting a better deal, but ended up paying more than I expected. The 2 night / 3 day package (Friday – Sunday) was about 20,000 $RD (555 $US). I had also asked for a room with a view of the ocean. I think this is a high price tag, but I shrugged it off when I considered that I had made the reservation 1 day before hand and that it was a holiday weekend. This place is about 50 miles from my house, and located between San Pedro de Macoris and La Romana on the Southern Highway 3.

    The resort has a check in time of 3 pm, so I decided to spend Friday at Saona Island which is east of La Romana, and double back in the evening for check in. Friday was a particularly rainy day. I left Isla Saona to arrive at the resort at around 7pm. I need to fault the resort for not having any signs on where to exit the highway. The resort is not easy to find, and the rain made it worse. Since the only thing in the area is a huge cement arch that reads “Playa Nueva Romana”, I decided to enter and got lucky. No lights, no signs, nothing. The resort is nestled inside this compound “Playa Nueva Romana” which has some residences, I think and a golf course. This place is in the middle of nowhere. If you are travelling from outside DR and land in La Romana Airport, it’s perfect.

    The hotel was booked solid. The check in process was fast, but this may be because it was 7pm. This resort consists of many villas interconnected by walkways with one main hub (reception, restaurant, casino etc.). I do not have a lot of experience with DR AI’s, so I was expecting a place like the Hamaca, where mostly everything is under one roof. Not this place. I found out the hard way when I needed to walk to my room using the walkways without an umbrella, luggage and all.

    The room was nice and there was a hotel umbrella inside ermm: It had two queen size beds with an additional day bed type couch. It was on the first floor of Villa 37, Room 3706 and very close to the beach. It did have a slight ocean view but only if you step out onto the balcony and contort your neck. That was a disappointment. As usual, there were a few light bulbs/ switches in the room that didn’t work. The room safe didn’t work, or was too complicated for me to figure out. It had good A/C and a strong ceiling fan. The room had a coffee machine and one packet of coffee to use in it. The coffee packet is not replaced every morning. I guess if you stay 2 weeks there, you are expected to make that one packet last, or just ask for more.

    No English spoken television channels for rainy days.

    The bath room was very nice and borders on elegant.

    If the previous guest of room 3706 is reading this, I’d like to thank you for leaving the floater in toilet. Not so classy.

    This was what I found my first night and I had to give the hotel a major demerit.

    The staff were gracious and friendly. It helps to know some basic Spanish, but not really required.

    Dinner hours were 7 – 9:30 at the buffet and a bit shorter for the 2 other restaurants (reservations required). The other 2 restaurants were a seafood restaurant and an Italian restaurant. I wasn’t able to try either of them because I forgot to make reservations. I went to the Italian restaurant without reservations to try to wiggle my way in, but couldn’t.

    The buffet restaurant was very nice and bordering elegant, except the fact that it was a buffet. I found the food choices to me limited; mostly mushy vegetable concoctions. There was a very long line to wait for a paper thin pork chop or steak. If the sound of “all you can eat” cauliflower excites you then this place may be perfect for you. I settled on a few hot dogs. In general, the guests seemed to be happy with the buffet, so admittedly, I may be a tough critic.

    The desserts were very good, but I can’t remember a desert made in DR that I didn’t like.

    Most people, after dinner seemed to either go and be entertained by a live stage show or go the “one” bar, or do both, as you can see the stage from the bar. The show the first night was some DR themed dancing thing and the second night was the Jungle Book. It all seemed very cheesy to me, but again, people were enjoying it, so admittedly, I may be a tough critic.

    There were alot of children at this resort. This may be because it was a holiday in DR and many Dominican families took their kids on vacation.

    The bar scene reminded me of the Christmas cartoon, The Island of Misfit Toys…. (You remember that island where all of the Christmas toys go that have problems) ….. and I liked it. It was a real hodgepodge of different sorts of folks. The free booze was strictly bottom shelf. Every bottle, regardless of the type of booze inside had the label “Normandy”, which is some nasty stuff made or distributed by Barcelo (I think) in Santo Domingo. Better booze is available and you can charge it to you room. The price is reasonable at about 200 peso (5.50$US)per drink. The bartenders are friendly and entertaining. The bar closes at 11 pm. And the place pretty much goes silent after that. If you want to drink a few more cocktails, there are two choices. The first choice is the casino, but drinks are not free. The second choice, which seemed to be everybody’s favorite is to exit the main hotel villa through the main front exit for a nearby outdoor dance area with tables & chairs surrounding it. That night, a talented woman sang live vocals over recorded music; all local stuff. Resort staff dancers pluck tipsy tourists from the tables for a dance. The one waitress taking alcohol orders for the tables was not enough for the amount of guests. That was the end of my alcohol buzz.

    It was a fun and enjoyable event.

    If you get hungry after hours, there is a small burger hut right next to the dance area.

    The casino is not very big. A couple poker tables, some blackjack ( I think), some slots …. The very popular game was roulette. The roulette tables were packed. Don’t make the same mistake I did. I am in the habit of cashing into chips as much money as I am willing to lose. I put 3000 pesos (83 $US) on the table to be changed into chips. This isn’t exactly a bunch of money, but is certainly a bunch of chips when the chips are worth 10 pesos each. It took the poor dealer about 2 minutes to get my 300 chips ready, as I apologized to the other players for my ignorance and delay of game; that was a very long 2 minutes. I won 2000 pesos from the house and called it quits.

    The beds were comfortable. I awoke with a few mosquito bites, so I suggest bringing insect repellent if you stay at this resort.

    Breakfast ends at 10:30am.

    If you need to check your email using a computer because you live in the Stone Age and do not have a blackberry or i-phone, you can go to the Internet Center, which is very close to the dance area I mentioned earlier. Expect to pay 5 $US per 15 minutes. I don’t have a blackberry or i-phone either.

    The beach area is set up quite nicely with plenty of new high quality beach chairs, lots of very tall coconut trees and short thatch topped umbrellas to sit under if you don’t like the sun. Even with the hotel being very busy, the beach area seemed very calm and tranquil, until some Euro-Trash douche came walking down the beach with his Dominican sankette and went directly into the ocean and started humping away. They didn’t try to hide it and she was really loud. There were some small kids around too. And I know he was Euro-Trash because American Trash & Canadian Trash don’t wear Speedos.

    The beach sand was extremely clean; not white, but clean. The water was not the blue/green type you’ll find at other DR beaches. This water was more like a green river water variety. It was clean, just not blue. There are also a lot of patches of seaweed that felt slimy when stepped on. On the west end of the beach there is a small bar. Pretty good non-alcoholic fruity beach drinks. I ordered a Cuba Libre even though I knew I would get that cheesy Normandy Rum, and couldn’t believe my eyes when this young bartender tried to top up the rum with Diet Pepsi. He said he had no Coke. Some things are just wrong.

    On the east end of the beach is a small buffet type restaurant that serves until 6:30pm. They have nachos, pizzas, burgers etc. You get the point.

    If you don’t like the beach, there are about 3 or 4 pools nearby and a Jacuzzi. The main pool has a swim up bar. The entire area is well designed and well maintained. The staff walks around the pool area with giant parrots if you want a photo souvenir. The deepest section of the main pool is about 5 feet.

    When it was time to go home, I actually wanted to stay a few more days, so this resort couldn’t have been that bad. It was thoroughly relaxing.

    There are many folks that say AI’s are not good because they don’t give you a good sample of Dominican culture. I agree 100% that AI’s lack a genuine Dominican cultural experience, and offer a more staged-like Dominican atmosphere. However, if your objective is to just go to a place for relaxation, then I think an AI is a great way to do it, and I plan to use them more frequently.

    I tried to list good things and bad things impartially that I observed during my stay to help anybody that is considering this resort.

    Thanks for reading.

  2. #2
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    Nice write up.
    Sorry about the floater...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOOBER_SDQ View Post
    And I know he was Euro-Trash because American Trash & Canadian Trash don’t wear Speedos.
    I LOL'd! at this...

    (Speedos: preferred by grape smugglers...)

  4. #4
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    Excellent report, TOOBER.

    Quote Originally Posted by siegs View Post
    Sorry about the floater...
    Commiseration or apology?

    In any case shouldn't the cleaning staff have flushed the toilet???

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chirimoya View Post
    Excellent report, TOOBER.


    Commiseration or apology?

    In any case shouldn't the cleaning staff have flushed the toilet???
    Thanks for all the replies.

    I think in the future I will flush first.

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    Default An Offer for You

    I have an offer for you. I will give you from one night to a week at
    The Moon Palace Hotel, soon to be the Hard Rock Hotel in Punta Cana for $225 per
    night for two people with All Included. The regular price, and you
    can check this easily is about $500 per night.

    But you have to write a candid review like you wrote on the other hotel,
    and post it here. I don't care if you hate it or like it, just the
    truth. I like your style, and I need some feedback.

    Here is the link, so you can check it out. Just PM me the dates you want
    if you would like to go.

    Moon Palace Casino - Palace Resorts

    On November 1 it becomes a Hard Rock Hotel.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SKY View Post
    I have an offer for you. I will give you from one night to a week at
    The Moon Palace Hotel, soon to be the Hard Rock Hotel in Punta Cana for $225 per
    night for two people with All Included. The regular price, and you
    can check this easily is about $500 per night.

    But you have to write a candid review like you wrote on the other hotel,
    and post it here. I don't care if you hate it or like it, just the
    truth. I like your style, and I need some feedback.

    Here is the link, so you can check it out. Just PM me the dates you want
    if you would like to go.

    Moon Palace Casino - Palace Resorts

    On November 1 it becomes a Hard Rock Hotel.
    Hey does that offer stand for me? I will go if noone else wants too!! I will write an extensive review.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by badpiece33 View Post
    Hey does that offer stand for me? I will go if noone else wants too!! I will write an extensive review.
    Badpiece.... have you no shame?

    You're stepping all over my action.

    Just kidding.

    SKY. Thanks for the offer. I'll check my calendar.
    Last edited by TOOBER_SDQ; 10-05-2010 at 12:47 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SKY View Post
    I have an offer for you. I will give you from one night to a week at
    The Moon Palace Hotel, soon to be the Hard Rock Hotel in Punta Cana for $225 per
    night for two people with All Included. The regular price, and you
    can check this easily is about $500 per night.

    But you have to write a candid review like you wrote on the other hotel,
    and post it here. I don't care if you hate it or like it, just the
    truth. I like your style, and I need some feedback.

    Here is the link, so you can check it out. Just PM me the dates you want
    if you would like to go.

    Moon Palace Casino - Palace Resorts

    On November 1 it becomes a Hard Rock Hotel.
    I'll write a book about the hotel!!

  10. #10
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    You are lying Siegs, the floater was definetly from a tourist, because a local's dump would have been too mushy and liquid to float. Guess you can call me a 'chitty' detective!

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