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Bahia Principe San Juan

Rating: Below average Phone: Website:
Location: North Coast Fax: E-Mail:
City: Puerto Plata Contact: Value for money: Below average
Food: Average Decor: Average Service: Below average
We just returned from the Bahia Principe San Juan. We were there from December 31 to January 7th.This was our third trip to the Dominican Republic but our first to Puerto Plata. We've been to Punta Cana, La Romana, Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo and Puerto Vallarta. We've never complained about any of the other places that we have stayed at. This by far was the worst place we have been to.


We received our AI bracelets, map of the resort and room key on the bus which was excellent because we did not waste any time waiting in line upon arrival. When we got off the bus we did not get a drink or a musical welcome. We went to reception to purchase the room safe, waited a few minutes and were told to come back later. We found our room, waited for our luggage, had dinner and then returned to reception to get our safe key. The woman at the desk still hadn't found the right form. We waited a few more minutes and then purchased our room safe for $28 US. We found the people at the front desk disorganized and unfriendly.


We stayed in room 2105 (E-I section - Golden Club section), which was located close to the beach, buffet restaurant and two pools. The room furnishing was satisfactory but definitely not something that you would expect to see at a 4+ star hotel. Some bugs and spiders did get in but that is to be expected. The mini bar was not stocked daily although we called the front desk on many occasions. We had to ask for beach towels and umbrella for two days although they were suppose to be placed in our room upon arrival.


The resort property is huge. 649 rooms in the BP, 136 in the Club Hacienda and 156 in the Club Golden Principe. The resort is surrounded by lush tropical vegetation. Very beautiful. The only issue that I had was with the lack of lights after 11pm. It was difficult to walk in the dark without tripping over something or slipping.


What beach? I wouldn't call it a beach. If you have seen Lake Ontario than just add a few palm trees and you have the same beach that is at the BPSJ. The sand is dark grey/black. The water is dark and murky. The sand is infested with sand flies/fleas. There is a creek on the west and east side of the resort that flows into the ocean. If you see what is behind the palm tree leave fence that surrounds the hotel and the garbage dump that is across the street you can only imagine what flows into the ocean.


The smaller pools were clean but the main pool was crowded and very dirty. It should be repainted, cleaned more often and tiled.


There are four a-la-carte restaurants (Mexican - okay, Mediteranean - very good, Italian - okay and Seafood) and one large buffet restaurant. We tried to book our a-la-carte dinners the night that we arrived but were told to come back the next day. We tried to make reservations at 9:30am the next morning and were told that the Seafood restaurant was unavailable all week because it was fully booked. The buffet restaurant was pretty good, but nothing special for a 4+ star hotel. The only night that I would say the food was 4+ star quality was New Years Eve.


The service was too slow.The drinks were watered down. The beer tasted like vinegar. The fruit drinks were slushy type drinks.


The show at 10pm was okay, but I have seen better shows in other resorts. The Pueblo Principe (entrance to the hotel) was a great idea. The live band, karaoke bar, disco and casino were a lot of fun. Drinks are suppose to be included on the street except in the casino. They ask you your room number and say that you will not be charged, however, upon check-out we were charged 375 pesos for drinks that we had on the street. We refused to pay for a few beers and pina coladas.We argued with the woman in charge of the Golden Club for over 20 minutes. She was very rude so we complained to our Air Transat representative and she took care of it. Be careful because many people that we talked to had been charged for things they weren't suppose to be charged for.


We were eaten alive. Deep woods off did nothing to protect us from the bugs. I counted 27 painful bites on one leg. Fortunately, we did not get bitten as much as other people who ended up going to the doctor to get medication and shots. Some people complained not only about mosquitos and sand flies/fleas on the beach but also bed bugs. By looking at people's legs and arms one could see that the majority of people at the resort were covered in bites.


The shops on the strip are much more expensive than the shops at the airport.


Rain, rain and more rain and a small earthquake.

I would strongly recommend that people STAY AWAY from this resort. It is in no way shape or form at 4+ star resort. It shouldn't be rated more than a 3 star. The resort is infested with bugs, the beach is nasty, half of the staff is rude and unfriendly. If you are planning a trip to the Dominican Republic I would suggest that you look into staying at a 4 star resort in Punta Cana. I stayed at the Grand Paradise Bavaro and it was 100 times better than the Bahia Principe San Juan.

Author: Annonymous Review date: 01/9/2005



My husband and I are coming down at Christmas to stay at Baia Principe..we are down from Dec 24 to Dec 31 what
is the weather usually like this time of year?
Author: Karen Posted at 14:49 11/6/2010
I can't agree with the big review at the top at all, they seem to find bad in every situation, which is very very sad.
Author: ??g??b?? Posted at 12:17 05/28/2009
Can anybody give me a TRUE picture of this resort. Am going there in April and would really like to know what I am in for.
Author: Anna Posted at 11:00 02/12/2009
I stayed at the Bahia hotel Last May 2008, and i loved it. The people where really friendly and very helpful. we didn't have any problems at all. The only bit i didn't enjoy was the coach ride from the Airport to the hotel. I would go there again it is fantastic.
Author: Lauren F Posted at 8:53 01/13/2009
and for the marriage comment.
when i visited there, there was a wedding going on.
they do a good job, it is so beautiful.
the couple looked pleased.
i wouldnt worry about it.
besides my sister met her boyfriend down there, they have been dating for two years.
we go back every year now for the memories.
if you ask me, its the place of romance.
Author: Kelcey Posted at 10:19 12/19/2008
i recently stayed at this resort.
i find it was beautiful and very much worth ythey money i paid.
i see it like this.. it depends on the person you are because you, yourself have to make the best out of your vacation. it isnt anyone else's job but yours. i found the people to be welcoming. funny, entertaining, and very helpful. they had many activities going and the shows were very well done. they worked hard and it showed. the drinks were good and the food was wonderful. i even tried cooking some food ideas i got down there. the beach was pretty, its not white sand, but it was better than nothing. sure, there were sand flies. but they warned you before hand on when not to go on the beach.
i find, even though i am a young student that if you do want to stay at this resort to try not to do it around march break or anything because thats when there are a lot of out of hand students. take it from me.
other than that, this resort is wonderful and i deffently recomand it !
Author: Kelcey Posted at 10:15 12/19/2008
I thought the resort was great! the beach was nice, the people were nice, the rooms were in good condition, the staff were awsome and the activities were a lot of fun! the only thing that i wasnt crazy about was the food but thats just because im a bit of a fussy eater.
i loved the entertainment after 10pm on the strip! one of the sunscape reps, Abel made sure we enjoyed ourselves!
Author: Eva Posted at 12:26 04/2/2008
booked surprise holiday for myself my husband and two children it may well be more than a nice surprise if all the stories on here are bad , hope its not as bad as some people make out canty wait t go
Author: Mrs T Casey Posted at 8:35 02/19/2008
Author: KATIE Posted at 5:46 05/9/2007
we just returned from the BPSJ and can't DISAGREE MORE to the above comment. it was great. not one complaint. we read the comment and wonder if they were actually even there. first the safe is $25 (not $28), we were greeted with drinks, the airport was alot more expensive, the only bugs were at night on the beach and we were told about them, the bars were fast the the drinks were strong!!!! this person obviously just likes to complain. we would highly recommend the resort and WILL BE GOING BACK AGAIN
Author: Dave & Lesley Posted at 10:41 04/22/2007
can someone plz reply to my email??? did anyone meet the lovely boys at mini golf?? or a man cld wilson in the entertainment team?
Author: lily Posted at 9:18 03/21/2007
can someone plz reply to my email??? did anyone meet the lovely boys at mini golf?? or a man cld wilson in the entertainment team?
Author: lily Posted at 9:18 03/21/2007
can someone plz reply to my email??? did anyone meet the lovely boys at mini golf?? or a man cld wilson in the entertainment team?
Author: lily Posted at 9:18 03/21/2007
i have been io bpsj 3 times. i am only i5 years old. i enjoyed it so so much and there were lovely boys who worked at the mini golf i loved 1 called michael. lol it was the best holiday ever i am goin bk on the 25th june 2007.
Author: lily Posted at 9:28 03/20/2007
Hey, I just don't know what to think here. I mean I've read both good and bad comments which is not very helpful since I am going to be traveling to this hotel in June 2007. I just hope that it's true, that this hotel is nice and enjoyable.
Author: Alex. H Posted at 1:49 03/17/2007
Author: Sharon R Posted at 12:17 02/8/2007
Sold to us as 4 star plus, so we have expected it to be better than average quality. Our disappointments listed:

1. Overall athmosphere wasn't good: complaining quests and slow ,sad and without motivation waitresses and hotel service.

2. Room wasn't tided up, when we arrived. We had to wait an hour at 23:00 for our room to be ready. Not nice welcome after 9.5 hours of flight only.

3. AC was broken in our room. Room itself was old with dirty doors - see pictures added.

4. Some people had bed-bugs in their rooms and were biten by them. See pictures added.

5. Lots of moskitos and sand flies. Many people complained about that.

5. In restaurant there was no interest from waitresses unles you have waived at least one dollar note in front of them. (It is nice to tip for good service but not to tip to be serviced at all, as we have already paid for service). We needed to bring drinks and look for clean cuttlery , glasses, mugs ourselves, as didn't want to give money to lazy and careless service.

6. Food was old or bad stored. Often cold (!) or just empty trays...Stomach sensations, headake and heaviness after each meal. We ended up eating pizzas and chips - most safe food but not the healthiest one.

7. Food of poor choice and monothonious. No choice of meat, if someone likes. Just pork sossages, hamburgers and eg chicken in a souce.

8. Tasty and fresh food served on trips outside of hotel or in restaurants in Cabarete - to compare and show that it was possible to get good even simple food.

9. Dirty tables at hotel bars and dirty sunbeds. They start cleaning at 10 am.

10. Quite smelly and wet toilett next to reception - for women.....before 10 am obviously.

11. Majority of hotel staff don't speak English - amazing when most of quests are English and Canadians... Even emergency line Spanish only. So needed quick Spanish lessons to order second bottle of water to be delivered to our room. However we were two, only one bottle of water was delivered for us... Guys who delivered water wanted tips of cource, so one bottle of water did cost one dollar.....

12. Had problems with booking pedal boat and cayac...Tried 3 times....and did not get it at the end ...

13. Old, grey often torn towels. Last day we have got one new - thus had a comparison.

14. Our bath hasn't been cleaned even once (could see these same shampoo marks everyday)

15. No chance to get a bath, only shower awailable and hot water after 10 minutes...if you were lucky.

16. When raining there were not enough umbrellas for everybody.

17.During Christmas week there were many quests but not enough tables in restaurants. People were wondering with their full plates looking for free table to sit at. Nobody cares..

Just for one night everything had changed. Restaurant was nicely decorated, candles on tables, huge choice of meats and other meals, very helpful waitresses (other people - probably from different hotel). We were asked 4 times in a row if we would like a coffee, while normally we had to call for it. It was just as it was supposed to be. The reason was - there were GESHOTELS anquetters present that one night.

Overall very dissapointed with hotel, service and atmosphere at Bahia Principle SJ. It really looks like it is getting down and nobody cares about it.

No chance to upgrade to Diamond as it was said to be better... why weren't we warned before buying?

Just felt like USSR holidays for this same company workers. Everybody ftogether ...rom management to labour and none cares about quality. Just to pass it through... Really bad feeling...

Luckily for us the second week we have spent on trips or walks and had a chance to get some nice memories from Dominican Republic.

Author: liley08 Posted at 8:16 12/29/2006
Tipping is not mandatory, but it is an asset to get better service, or just to see the staff members faces lite up. Make sure to bring a bunch of $1 bills as I found change hard to get. I recommend putting a specific amount aside (say $20-$40) and using it for tips. Just spread it out through out the week to whoever you feel deserves a thank-you. I would give bartenders a $1, but servers at the restauarants $3.
As for sand flies...I had 2 little bites on my leg the whole week....and I lived on the beach!!! HAVE FUN>>>>IM SOOO JEALOUS whooooo
Author: ALLY Posted at 1:18 11/2/2006
I just returned from a one week stay at bahia Prinipe....and I loved every minute of it!! Having gone during hurricane season...the weather was amazing with only one 20 min shower the entire week. We were greeting off the bus with fancy drinks and welcoming songs. Our room was clean, fresh towels every day and a mini bar stocked daily. The night life was entertaining and teh staff truly work their butts off...always smiling. I enjoyed the food...and not one in our group of 4 got sick. Might be a good idea to bring some sneaky snacks from home in case you have cravings!! I recommend doing a day trip offered by the resort or renting a car and leaving resort for day. Overall, it is what you make it....and I had a blast!!! OLLLLLLLLA
Author: Kristy Posted at 0:56 11/2/2006
Best holiday I've ever had, counting the days to book again.
Author: Liz Thomas Posted at 15:54 11/1/2006
we are going to this hotel next week a party off us, and one of the couples are gay, does anyone know are gays picked on there look forward to your reploys
Author: vera Posted at 3:26 10/3/2006
We have just booked for bahia principle resort in san juan - through airtours. We have a 13yr old son - will he have loads to do. Also, what are the drinks like - imports or cheap and nasty locals.
Author: KEVIN Posted at 11:41 08/31/2006
I wanted to write an official review of this resort to give it the credit it deserves, as it should not be considered a 2 star review.

We (my husband and I with friends) are returning to Bahia SJ for the 3rd time next week and we have always truly enjoyed our vacations here. Our friends have also vacationed here multiple times and have chosen to become "regulars".

True, this is not a 5 star resort, but does warrant a 4 star rating. I have been to Sandals resorts (2 of them) as well, which are considered 5+, however for a price that is 3X more expensive, it is not worth the money. You truly get your money's worth at BPSJ... a great vacation, lots of fun, clean rooms (occasional jungle bugs... to be expected) and beautiful beach - I truly don't understand the review that suggested that the beach was nasty, i have not seen anything of the sort in my travels.

As far as sand flies go, yes, there are some... hurricane season seems to be worse for them. That being said, I was eaten by sand flies just as bad or worse at the Sandals Whitehouse resort that cost us $10K for 2 weeks... BPSJ cost us $1700 taxes included for 1 week...

I highly recommend this resort!!! It is not necessary to tip a lot, but if you do tip and bring some goodies for the maids etc, you will get better service and will be treated like kings. Is that worth $50 in tips for the week plus a few chocolate bars for the room attendant? I think so... also remember these people are so poor and we can afford to tip them a little.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents!!! Happy travels.

Author: Selena Posted at 11:06 06/17/2006
well im yet to go to the bpsj for my honeymoon in july, yeah i no the type of complaining people ther alwaz the stuck up ones who yeah dnt wanna pay for 5* prices but expect it like somebody else said you get what u pay 4. ur holiday is what u make it il be making lots of trips to the nearby caberete, sosua and puerto plata! oh and please how are the hotel staff supposed to help the poor innocent creatures that roam the isalnd they live ther and its the middle of the rainforest. im not fussed il eat anything people are too greedy these days just be gretful while your eating those bar staff and waiters are probly earing waht we earn in a day for the whole month 2 feed ther familys!
Author: Dee Posted at 9:42 06/11/2006
i think the resort is one of the best holiday destinations. they food wasn't the best but they had a larde variety. the shows at 10pm where great. the entertainment was ausume.
Author: wilbur Posted at 5:19 05/17/2006
Best holiday I have ever had the priveledge to take. Amazing place, spotlesslt clean, clean bed linen daily, food fantastic, staff couln't be better, pool, beach, entertainment, all fab - going again, the sooner the better.
Author: Liz Thomas Posted at 15:19 04/19/2006
Hi everyone, I to am going next week to BP San Juan and the questions I have are.

Tipping practices, I have heard that you should bring trinkets for the cleaning staff and candy for kids? Is this a fact? Do you use Dominican money or american?

and also the sand flies. I have a allergy to those pesky things any recommendations for sprays or lotions?
Author: Lizzie Posted at 9:07 03/29/2006

Author: CLAIRE Posted at 10:49 03/20/2006
we stayed at this resort, it was a beautiful place, although some of the staff were rude, the front desk people were very unorganized and confused at times, upon arriving at BPSJ we were told the place was over booked so we ended up taking a room @ the end of main street near the front gates
not very nice but what the hell your in the jungle...your gonna see bugs and geckos and spiders the size of dinner plates...I must say Jose Luis @ the Italian restaurant deserves a promotion he was very polite and very helpful....other than that the place was great and I will be back...
Author: michelle Posted at 23:11 03/2/2006
Had my honeymoon here and it was great!! Bartenders were friendly and room attendants were humble and polite. Food was great...the seafood "a-la-carte" is a great concept of buffet salad and apps, with plated mains and deserts. Also very polite staff. I went in April (last) and it was rainy in the a.m. and warm all day.
Anyone who complains about the resort is the type of person who wants 5star amenities and service too boot. But they don't want to pay the price!!!
All in get what you pay for.
If you are a polite, laidback, gracious and understanding...they will be too.

Cheers from Canada!!!
I love the D.R. and will live there when I retire!!

Author: Johan Klepp Posted at 20:57 02/20/2006
My family and i had a wonderfull stay at this resort in feb 2005. My wife and i aree returning this jan. 2006 THE ONLY COMPLAINT I COULD SEE would be with the beds other than that i found it to be very relaxing with friendly and helpful staff.
Author: cp Posted at 21:44 01/3/2006
We are leaving for this resort on Dec. 4. I've read the comments and can't believe how differently people see things. We don't know what to expect now. I just hope that the people who are so against this resort are the complaining type as we are really looking forward to this vacation.
Author: Coach Posted at 18:09 12/3/2005
Well I just don't know what to expect now.
Author: LostAmigos Posted at 12:24 11/29/2005
Hi Ive booked to stay at the Bahai Principe for my honeymoon next April. I am alittle nervous now after reading such mixed reveiws. I really want it to be memerable for the right reasons. Dont know whether to change resorts or what. Although somebody mentioned black sand and dirty sea water now I am worried. Please help. All comments would be much appreciated. We were told by the travel agent this is probably the best hotel on the island
Author: Lindsey K Posted at 6:17 10/24/2005
I have just returned from Bahia Principe for the 4th time and all i have to say is whoever is complaining, should really get a life. The Grounds are beautiful, food is alright but you can always find something to eat. The 10 different bars are great no waiting too long in a line. The staff was amazing. The animation team show everyone a great time. The bartenders servers and waiters are great. they seem to remember what u want all the time. Reception workers were very helpful. Security was also helpful when some locals got in and tried to follow me to my room. The entertainment was ok but the main street at 11pm is great. Casino, disco, karaoke, street dancing live band and merengue dancing with the good looking workers.
All in all i would recommend this hotel to anyone and everyone.
Author: Ashley Posted at 14:02 09/26/2005
have just returned from bpsj aug 05 had wonderful relaxing time food lovely especially med restaurant yes sandflies but i wasnt bit and was on beach for 14 days staff friendly esp Kelvin had wonderful massage courtesy of phillipe
Author: amanda Posted at 13:29 08/13/2005
Hi my husband and I have booked this hotel in November to first fortnight in December. Anyone tell us what the weather should be like. and is it really as bad as some reviews, remember it is a laid back place folks, surely it cant be that bad?
Author: charlie Posted at 12:38 07/17/2005
I am a travel agent and have been booking clients on a regular basis to the Bahia Principe for the last 4 years. I have booked singles, couples and families with young and teenage children alike.

In four years, I have still to receive one negative comment from any of my clients. I have been booking this hotel pretty much on a weekly basis. In fact, I have booked my family for September.

I honestly believe some people just do not realize that a 4* in the Caribbean cannot even compare to a 4* property here. As far as the staff being rude, I have found them extremely helpfull and courteous in my dealings with them. They have always made an attempt to accommodate my clients' needs.

I sometimes wonder if the guests are really the rude ones......
Author: Terri C Posted at 9:24 07/12/2005
I would love an honest review of this hotel. We are going July 4th and honestly I don't know what to think. We by far are not picky or complaining vacationers, we like sun and cold drinks and are happy with that.
I can only hope the complaints are those of the many many people I have seen on my travels that are just not satisfied with anything or think they should be treated like royalty or rock stars for $1000 AI.
Author: Tanya Posted at 8:27 05/24/2005
I stayed atthis hotel dec. 2004 .I hadover 50 sandfly bites despite using DEET.Iam still suffering from itching sores.The place is a shabby 3star.Staff was fine ,foodOK. NOT RECOMMENDED
Author: deryck Posted at 14:50 05/7/2005
Well i have been to bahia 2 times just got bk in is not what people say on here it is absolutly FANTASITIC i would recomend this hotel to anyone! Also my mum and dad got married other there i would also recomend this hotel to anyone who wants to get married. I have booked to go back twice, in september and march again. The staff are very friendly the beach is lovely also the food is gd a gd range to choose from. The rooms are very clean and mini bars are always stocked daily. The pool where kept very clean indeed from morinig till night. Any questions wanting to answer just email me .
Author: Louise Posted at 12:32 04/24/2005
Actually just returned last week from a two week vacation at Bahia Principe and it was absolutely wonderful. My mini bar was always stock and if I was missing anything or had problems with my cable they were there in no time.
Only down fall was too many high school kids who were getting out of hand.
Author: Julie Posted at 12:30 03/31/2005
I've been at this resort three times and have enjoyed each and every stay.
Author: Julie Posted at 12:26 03/31/2005
Just returned from BPSJ. The ground are beautiful but the beach is ugly. Wouldn't go back.
Author: Dorothy Posted at 9:24 03/4/2005
I totally agree. The place sucked! I would not recommend it to anyone.
Author: Greg Posted at 20:51 02/19/2005
funny how every complainer starts off there review with, we are not usually the type of people to complain, we've been to blah, blah, blah, blah ... every single negative review. Ive been to the BPSJ and it is absolutely lovely
Author: Larry Posted at 17:01 02/16/2005
Author: LUCA Posted at 8:00 02/7/2005
Ever you people are just fussing people or truly did not like your stay...they seems to more positive things said about this resort than negative..
Author: Jeff G Posted at 12:20 01/13/2005

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