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Grand Bahia Principa La Ramona

Karmelo Rosario (WwW.ElBachaRengue.Net)
-3:17

You know that this website is dedicated to sharing good Christian discourse as well as all that’s happening in Christian arts, news and entertainment. Today I’d like to share with you a review on a family vacation and my first experience in Dominican Republic. First, I couldn’t review this trip without first mentioning my favorite booking agent, Cheapcaribbean.com. For anyone looking to have a tropical getaway on a realistic, working-class budget- Cheap Caribbean is an absolute blessing.  See the side panel to learn more about booking through Cheapcaribbean.com. Now let's get to our review!

Reception

To stay true to the nature of a “review” I will share the good and the bad, the good and the ugly but know this- the good far outweigh the bad and there was absolutely nothing that could be deemed ugly in this five-star resort. Upon arrival, we entered a grand lobby that made us second guess if we had arrived at the correct destination knowing what we paid. We were greeted immediately with a bell staff whose smile spoke a universal language of kindness. Upon going to the front desk to check in, we were again greeted with the brilliant smile of a receptionist offering a complimentary drink.

Accommodations 

Our room slept three and could easily accommodate more. The room was spacious and comfortable. The care that goes in to keeping this resort clean and meticulously maintained was evident in the rooms, the gardens, the restaurants, and in the lobbies in which the floors shone like diamonds. The cleaning and maintenance crew clearly take pride in their work. My one complaint in this area was that we requested our room get cleaned in the morning, left the room all day and returned late afternoon to find our room untouched. We had to leave again for it to get cleaned which was inconvenient but worth the wait as the staff truly take pride in creating a spotless environment. The room had an air conditioner which really helped ward off the humidity and the TV which offered plenty of American channels. I could not imagine a higher quality stay at this price point.

Food and Beverage

This hotel experience was all inclusive and included all meals, three restaurants, beverages, snacks and alcohol. There is absolutely no pressure to “drink” as virgin cocktail and frozen drinks are readily available by simply asking. The dining experience for a majority of the trip was the buffet Orquidea. My family thoroughly enjoyed the blend of cultural food options with American classics creating that ‘something for everyone’ ambiance needed in a resort setting.  With a carving board, fresh salads, assortment of breads, and array of rice, pastas, and meats- creating an appeasing dinner plate was never problematic. Breakfast also offered a plethora of dining options from the familiar French Toast, pancakes, scrambled eggs and toast to equally enjoyed Fritos, yuccas, conch, bananas wrapped in bacon and seasoned plantains. The buffet was the epitome of compromise and flavor! The only thing better than the food was the service. The wait staff became family as they welcomed us without fail at entrance and departure; constantly offering to refill glasses of water, get you a cocktail, a glass of wine, or coffee. Although it was a buffet, full service and customer satisfaction was an on-going theme and pride of this resort.


Out of the three onsite restaurants available for selection, we were able to secure reservations at two. The Japanese restaurant Takara and the seafood restaurant El Pescador.  The restaurants offered another level of elegance to an already sublime experience. A dessert bar of pastries, cookies, cakes, pie, ice cream and custards promised to satisfy any size sweet tooth. Perhaps one of my favorite features would seem an odd appreciation considering the heat and humidity in DR, but I really enjoyed the espresso/cappuccino machine which offered perfect cups of flavored Joe every time. 

Recreation and Entertainment

This resort provides a "do not conflict" approach to their entertainment and recreation which is orderly if not entirely practical. The beach and pools were lined with ample lounges, cabanas and huts. Towels, blow ups and non-motorized water sports were available by request. Whether sun bathing or seeking shade there was plenty of room for everyone to find their special outside nook of happiness and stay there  a majority of the day.

The pool which is a huge wrap around extending to a swim up bar and just off the beach, closed promptly at 6 PM. With a perfect view of the pool from our suite, we saw just how resistant people were to leaving the pool as the Dominican sun was still blazing early evening. Each night provided a showcase of Caribbean dancing, a tribute to Michael Jackson or a Cirque du Soleil ”ish” acrobatic performance. The shows started by 9 PM and ran approximately one hour. Live singing and piano music started prior and again after the stage performances allowing for dancing or just conversing on the patio under the stars. A mock disco opened from 11:30 until 2:00 AM. Whereas the performances were admirable and clearly the resort staff working double duty, the disco was possibly the biggest disappointment of the resort. I say with extreme bias the music was mundane and uninspired. I happen to be married to one of the best Top 40 and theme music DJ’s in the world and have high expectations in this particular area. I actually suggested my husband connect with hotel management to produce live shows and a series of taped parties. Here’s to hoping we get a response!

Our Overall Experience

We absolutely loved our stay at the Grand Bahia Principe and recommend it enthusiastically. This resort is a well-established up and coming resort meaning it is mature in its present state and developing all the while. This resort seems in a constant flux of progress. Suggestions to make this great experience an excellent one would include: Free wifi in the rooms. The limited 1-hour free internet option in the lobby was frustrating and not worth offering due to weak signals and drops. The entertainment can use an overhaul and as mentioned earlier the Disco should offer a wider variety of music featuring American, British, Pop, Rap and Top 40 hits. Maybe a themed night in the disco would offer patrons a better variety of entertainment and an opportunity to really get their dance on. The smoke machine is outdated and can be replaced with a laser light show or video screens. The live shows were quaint but subpar. The Michael Jackson show could be replaced with a show like “The King, The Queen and the Prince” honoring Micheal Jackson, Whitney Houston and Prince adding more variety and intrigue to a show that has clearly been over performed. One final suggestion would be room service in lieu of the after hours hamburger/sandwich shop. A limited menu of light fare, fruit, dessert and drink would take this resort over the top. The hamburger joint can easily convert to a late night sweet shop, arcade or an affordable gift shop. I missed the legendary 3 for $10.00 T-shirts and $2.00 shot glasses unavailable throughout other Caribbean resorts. It goes without question that this experience was an experience of a lifetime. I enjoyed time with my family and made new acquaintances along the way.  This resort has become a fast favorite and will most definitely see us again. 


Thanks for sharing in our experience!


Checking in to our suite day 1