Reviews summary

( 6027 reviews)
  • 5 room
  • 4 pool
  • 5 beach
  • 1 service
  • 1 value
  • 1 food
  • 5 cleanliness
  • 3 location

11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog

vegetarians beware

Reviewed Wed 1st of May 2013

"i am staying at the bahia cayo levantado i have found the staff rude at times only interested in tips you leave them the food is basic and served cold most of the time vegetarian food has had meat in it and when i have complained the service is unacceptable what a disapointment and im having to transfer to another hotel"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 28th of April 2013

Rating breakdown

  • 3 Location
  • 5 Beach
  • 5 Room
  • 4 Pool
  • 1 Service
  • 1 Value
  • 1 Food
  • 5 Cleanliness

Picture Perfect Paradise

Reviewed Sun 28th of October 2012

"We returned from this wonderful hotel and from what has to be one of our best holidays ever two weeks ago. We usually take one long haul holiday a year and have previously been to 4 and 5 star resorts in Mexico, Jamaica and Cuba. Gran Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado exceeded our expectations in all area's.

Pablo one of the hotel managers met us at the airport we were given our room keys, maps and bracelets prior to getting onto the coach. Our luggage was tagged with our room number and loaded onto the coach.We didn't have to worry about it again until it was delivered to our room by the bell boys after we arrived at Cayo Levantado.
The boat ride over to the Island was amazing and really gave the place an exclusive feel.

We were allocated a room in villa four. We were on the ground floor however because villa four is located on the higher ground on the island we had a good view of the ocean which was only partially obscured by trees. Some hills on the island are pretty steep and we found it much easier to get the lift to 3rd floor in the main building and this avoided the very steep hill from the main building up to the central quiet pool and our villa.

The rooms are wonderful, extremely spacious with quality furniture. As we were in one of the end rooms in the villa we had two basins in the bathroom. The Jacuzzi bath is fun but a word of warning, make sure you fill it with as much water as possible as on of the jets is set so high you end up with an uncontrollable fountain. If we had one very minor criticism of the room it would be that the lighting is very subdued and romantic but it made it difficult to see what you were doing, especially using the safe.

The staff at the hotel were incredible and couldn't do enough for us to make sure our stay was the best possible. They seemed genuinely happy in their work and were constantly smiling. Even the maintenance men and gardeners were extremely polite and would turn off any strimmers or equipment they were using whilst you walked past.
We normally prefer to eat at the a la carte restaurants however the buffet was so good that we only ate at each of the a la cartes once. The theme evenings in the buffet ensured there was always a good variety of food and even though the theme's repeated the following week they still varied the menu. The cava and wine served were Spanish, of reasonable quality a very drinkable. A couple we met celebrated their wedding anniversary while they were there and the staff supplied many bottles of cava for a group of us to toast their happiness. We saw other guests celebrating Birthdays and the staff produced a cake for them and sang Happy Birthday. A nice touch.

We found the whole place incredibly relaxing and we were always able to find sun beds and shade at either pool or on the beach at any time of day. It certainly didn't appear that people were saving beds or putting towels out early.

We spent the evenings after dinner in the lobby bar enjoying the company of other guests we met so I can't can't comment on the shows. They lobby bar is meant to close at 11.00 however we were served on many occasions after this time sometimes until as late as 2.30am.

The weather was very good to us and we had only two days out of 14 when it rained during the day but by 11.00 am the sun was shining once again.

Overall I would recommend this hotel to anyone who wants a truly relaxing holiday in a stunning location."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 8th of November 2007

What a Hotel

Reviewed Wed 12th of December 2012

"Long overdue review, but we stayed at the GBP Cayo Levantado in Jun 07. When i booked the trip in Jan 07 there were quite a few negative reviews on Tripadvisor, but what it was the best decision we could have made.

The hotel was new for 2007, and apparently had some teething problems at the beginning of the year, but by June things were running smoothly for our stay.

The location feels very special - the boat trip over to the island gives you a great sense of anticipation, and once you arrive at the hotel you realise that this is not normal "chain all-inclusive"

On our arrival we were met by the entire management team, who were all introduced whilst we had a welcoming drink; before we were individually shown to our villas.

The rooms are modern and spacious, and ours had a lovely sitting area outside (under cover) which was great to chill in for the occasional carribean downpour. There weren't even that many biting insects (apparently they fumigate the whole island every evening)

The hotel has a couple of lovely beaches that are private to the hotel and (at least whilst we were there) they were sparsely occupied. There are that many sunbeds dotted around, that even with full occupancy i think it would still feel empty. The pools are fairly standard fare, but they have "decent" sunbeds - wooden jobbies (with matresses) that don't collapse the first time you lie down ;-)

The public area beaches were very picturesque but were fairly crowded from the cruise shipsdrop offs. We went once or twice and then decided we prefered the hotel beaches.

We mainly stuck to the the buffet restaurants, as they had a very wide selection of food every evening - they were very good but not world class. The resort includes free room service which we found very handy for the odd wet evening when we could be bothered to go out. The rooms were plenty big enough to have dinner in without feeeling cramped.

Entertainment-wise we were not expecting too much. We are not the greatist fan of hotel-based entertainment, and to be fair the staff are very low-key - they are about during the day with various activities you can join, but they are certainly not in your face. We went to one of the evening shows - and i was surprised by the quality of the "michael jackson" show. Really very enjoyable!

With regards to outside trips / activities - we went with first choice, and at that time they were only offering 3 or 4 differnt activities. They were the usual fun stuff - jeep safari, boat trip, local village visit and the like; They were all fun, but ultimately this hotel is about getting away from it all, and i would those who are expecting a buzzing nightlife would be disappointed. We found it very relaxing.

Best holiday we have ever had. Well worth twice th price we paid!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 4th of November 2007

A fantastic stay on Bacardi island

Reviewed Mon 22nd of October 2012

"We (my wife and I) just came back from Cayo Levantado a month ago. Overall, there is not much we can add to the previous reviews. We stayed there for two weeks and had a fantastic time.

We had booked a junior suite and got a one in the second floor of one of the uphill villas just as we had requested -- it was very nice (spacious and comfortable, we also really enjoyed the Jacuzzi and the balcony). Our room was always kept very clean, and it had nice amenities.

The resort is very nice, the pictures fellow tourists have posted really tell the truth. It is the only resort on the island and has the island almost exclusively for itself (there is just a small strip of "public beach") outside the resort… the island is just so beautiful.

Overall, we thought the food and the service was very nice. This is a rather small resort, service is quite personal and the staff is really doing their best.
At the buffet-style main restaurant, they have theme nights (e. g. Mexican cuisine, Caribbean, Asian etc.). And they always have cooks on duty who prepare food to order. Also, there are three theme restaurants: a gourmet restaurant, a fish restaurant, and a Mediterranean restaurant. There you can get great a-la-carte service, and the food is also great. You should really try the lobster at the fish restaurant … it took my breath!

An interesting thing is that they have a 24-hour room service available to everyone staying in a junior suite or better room. For some reason they didn’t communicate this to us until the second week when I asked them (I had hear that from fellow guests), but we didn’t care anyway, because we chose to go to the restaurants all the time. At least the room service seems to be pretty good, as far as we’ve heard.

Service at the bars was also very nice – friendly, easy, uncomplicated, but not pushy in any way. They have a good selection of drinks (try the 8 years old Bacardi on ice). We definitely had a good time at the bars, especially at the lobby bar.

Also, we used the gym a lot (once or twice a day), which was good, and we went sailing on the catamaran almost every day. That was a lot of fun … under normal conditions, you can circle the island in a little less than an hour.

We were there at the end of September/ beginning of October, which is off season, as we learnt. The definite upside was that there were only few guests at the hotel ... the utilization was only some 40%, meaning that you got a great deal of attention from the staff. The downside was that it was the rainy season, so most of the days it rained in the afternoons. The sky can really get dark, there can be heavy rain (which is kind of depressing) and thundershowers and it can happen so quick ... so beware when you go out for sailing in the afternoons! (Once, we were almost hit by a thunderstorm and barely made it back to the island.)

To conclude, I would like to say a big “thank you” to the guys at the watersports center (sailing) who gave us an excellent service (lending us the catamaran, giving us advice etc.). Another big “thank you” goes to Francisco at the gym, who we really had a lot of fun with. And – last, but not least – we’d like to send our special greetings to Nina from the guest relations desk who was always there for our requests.


As a final remark, we strongly recommend everyone aiming for this hotel to fly in and out via Samana airport. Do not fly into Puerto Plata or Santo Domingo when aiming for this hotel (except if you can pay for a $1000 helicopter transfer)! The respective airports are a 3-4 hour bus ride away, and that is really/ literally a pain in the rear. Our flight was from/ to Puerto Plata, we had a bus transfer, and we would never book that again!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 4th of November 2007

Holiday of a lifetime!

Reviewed Wed 12th of December 2012

"I think our overall summary would have to be "Wow, what an amazing place". It was undoubtedly the best holiday we have ever had.

We knew it was going to be something really special from the moment we arrived. Having taken the 10 minute boat ride from a private jetty over to the island, we were greeted at the hotel by music & dancing from the animation team. On entering the hotel lobby we were given cocktails and were introduced by the Manager to the rest of his team, which we thought was a really nice touch.

The check-in was completed on the bus during the transfer from the airport which meant that when we arrived we were able to go straight to our room, which was simply incredible. With a beautiful 4-poster bed, a sitting area, a fabulous bathroom which included a jacuzzi bath (which was great fun!!!) and a huge balcony with not only a table & chairs but also a sofa & easy chair with coffee table. It was truly breathtaking, even more lovely than it had appeared in the brochure.

Every area of the hotel was immacculately maintained - from the lobby and bar area, to the restaurants, the pool areas, the gardens - everywhere! The staff were amazing. They were all extremely accommodating, and were always smiling. Most of them spoke very good English - which put us to shame as the only Spanish we mastered was to ask for beer, wine or water!!! The staff really couldn't do enough for you. You never felt obliged to give them a tip, but you always wanted to because the service was so wonderful.

I have noticed other reviews commenting about the turning-down of the rooms. I have to say our maid, Juana, did a fantastic job. The room was impeccably turned down every day - and each day she left fresh flowers, or sometimes rose petals, on the bed. Again, a really nice touch.

The food was fantastic - particularly the buffet, which we actually preferred to the a la carte restaurants. The choice was incredible - there really was something for everyone, whatever your taste. Our personal favourites were the fresh prawns which we had simply grilled, the gala night when the canapes and champagne were really lovely, and the fresh lobster on our last night - and of course the bucks fizz at breakfast every day, a habit we're going to find it hard to break now we're home!!!!

It is very much a holiday for pure relaxing, which was exactly what we were looking for. There was enterainment provided daily by the main pool, but there is also a second "quiet" pool which was where we spent most of our days, lazing in the sun on one of the four-poster sun-beds (which are the most amazing thing I've ever seen!).

We simply cannot fault any aspect of the holiday. We arrived back home on Friday 26th October and on Tuesday 30th we picked up holiday brochures to consider our options for next year. Everything we looked at paled into insignificance in comparison with the Cayo Levantado and it is looking very likely that we will book again for next year.

So, if you're looking for a holiday of a lifetime I would recommend the Cayo Levantado - I cannot imagine you could ever find anywhere better.

Judith & Tony"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 1st of November 2007


Reviewed Tue 30th of October 2012

"Ealier in the year after a number of poorish reviews and never having been to a Bahia resort before we had doubts about this hotel being up to the standard that we where expecting. However after arriving and after being shown to our room and around the hotel 'WOW'. I can't really add to the reviews submitted during the the last few months except to say it exceeded our expectations. One thing i do not think was mentioned was how nice it is to have a hotel where all the public rooms and restaurants(except the beech snack bar) are air conditioned. We found that we were able to compleatly wind down and relax for 2 weeks in an outstanding hotel. We have already booked for next year."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 1st of November 2007

Absolutely perfect honeymoon!

Reviewed Thu 29th of November 2012

"We have just returned from a 2 week stay at Cayo Levantado for our honeymoon. As soon as we arrived at the bay to take the boat over to the Island, the staff couldn't have been any more friendly and helpful. They checked us in on the coach and gave us a welcome pack which had our keys in. We were offered bottles of water, coke, lemonade or lager whilst we waited for our luggage to be taken off the coach and loaded in to boats. There was an air conditioned lobby area for us to wait in. The boat over took 8-10mins and as we walked up a small hill to the Hotel we were greeted with music and Dominican dancers. We were offered a cocktail and organised in to groups as to where we were staying on the Island. The Hotel is spread over the entire Island, but there are buggies around all the time and the drivers are very good. I have an artificial leg and found walking around a bit troublesome, but we took the buggy everywhere and phoned for one to collect us from our villa. We stayed in a villa, which we highly recommend as they are big rooms and the bed is massive. You can see through to the bathroom through a big window, but the shower cubicle and toilet are off to the side and there is a frosted glass door to each. The room was kept sparkling and towels were presented on our bed each day in different designs, eg: swan, heart, rose.
The food was fantastic and we didnt eat the same dish twice. There are 4 restaurants and we ate in each one. You have to book the Gourmet, Seafood and Meditteranean. They were all lovely, but the main Buffet one was the best as the choice is amazing. Each night there were different sculptures made out of water melons along with sugar and chocolate sculptures.
The staff were so friendly and everyone says 'Ola' to you. The restaurant and bar staff were always on hand to give you whatever you desire. The cocktail list was especially impressive and every one was yummy.
The whole island was kept clean and the beaches were raked each morning early. There was only a small amount of seaweed on the beach, but this was raked away each morning.
We didn't have a problem with sun loungers and we didn't need to get up early and lay our towel on one before anyone else did. This may be due to us going at the end of season, but even if you went in high season there are loads of loungers around the 2 pools and by the beach. The 2 pools were big and clean.
Overall, I would recommend this Hotel to anyone; families, honeymoon couples and older people.
We definitely want to go back!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 29th of October 2007

The best holiday we have ever had !!!

Reviewed Thu 29th of November 2012

"From the moment we arrived we were smiling, every thing about this holiday exceeded our expectations. The Island itself is beautiful and very private, it’s absolute paradise.
There is a public beach at one end of the island which is mainly for day trippers but is also accessible by the guests, the rest of the island is taken up by the hotel and its beautifully maintained grounds which can not be accessed or over looked by anyone other than hotel guests, which means you will not bump into any locals trying to sell you anything on the beach.
There are three a la carte restaurants and a buffet restaurant in the main building, the food in all of them is excellent but the buffet restaurant within the main hotel was hard to beat for both food and service, all the waiters were very professional and friendly but one special waiter to look out for was Delvi, he was the most courteous of waiters we have ever had the pleasure to meet and be served by.
The Maitre d’ Heury was also extremely charming and helpful; nothing was ever too much trouble for him to attend to.
The bar staff in the lobby are always welcoming with a great smile and often singing to themselves. To sum it up quickly without going on for ever and writing pages, we spent 2 weeks there expecting to find at least a few negative points, there was not any, therefore we have re-booked to fly back out there for another 2 weeks next September the 4th."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 17th of October 2007

A little piece of paradise

Reviewed Fri 14th of December 2012

"Just spent 2 weeks at the resort. We read mixed reviews before we travelled and the following review is based upon OUR experiences whilst there.

This is a 5* Dominican Republic hotel. It is set in a stunning location, made extra special by being on the island.

The private beach was kept spotlessly clean. There are sun beds available both on the beach and under the trees in shady areas. It was never busy whilst we were there. We spent at least 6 hours a day at the beach as we used to get there for 8.30 am. Most days it rained between 12 and 2 but this did not spoil our enjoyment. We just went for lunch during this time and then returned to the beach. Watching the pelicans was a daily occurance too. They were lovely.

The beach pool was never crowded and we could not understand previous comments made about “rave music” there. The only time anything other than Dominican music was played was during the 30 minute water aerobic sessions held in the sea each day at 12:30.

The food in the snack bar was very good. We ate there every lunchtime as it was easier than going back to the main building. Nice selection of hot (and it was hot!) and cold dishes.

Two of the a la carte restaurants are located by the beach pool – Mediterranean and seafood. We only tried the Mediterranean and found it to be of a very good standard.

Beach pool is accessed by an elevator and the view from the top is brilliant (there are also steps for those who prefer to walk!).

Gourmet restaurant – Don Pablo was very good too – we went there twice including our last evening at the resort.

Buffet restaurant – we used this every breakfast and most dinners in the evening. There was a good selection of food at each meal. Dinners are themed – including Mexican, Oriental, BBQ, Dominican and Spanish. Every Saturday night is “Gala Night”. A previous visitor commented that the food in the Buffet was “stews”. This was certainly not the case when we were there. Some of the dishes were meat in sauces (eg pork in a pepper sauce) but found no evidence of stews. Nice touches like bucks fizz available at breakfast.

Bar staff in the lobby bar were excellent – special mention to Calixto, Paulo and Carmen. Choice of drinks available was very good, including a large cocktail menu.

Gardens are beautiful and are kept well tended by the gardeners.

We only experienced a couple of problems whilst here.
My husband wore cap-sleeved T-shirts to breakfast for 4 mornings in a row without comment. On the 5th day he was asked to change it for a short-sleeved T-shirt. No problem but then the staff let in 2 men wearing vests without speaking to them. (No, they weren’t Spanish). The hotel must get the dress code right with ALL guests, not just some.

We asked for diet Pepsi and rum to be left in the mini bar and for the whisky and Pepsi to be removed on about 3 occasions. This never happened.

The hotel arranged for a room upgrade – a present for my birthday from them. It was totally unexpected and we both appreciated it. Thank you. I had a brilliant birthday there.

It was probably the most relaxed we have ever felt on holiday and we would return without hesitation. But, we have a feeling that the prices will soon go up. There were a number of tour operators being shown round the resort whilst we were there and think once word gets out, prices will rise.

The hotel was only about a third full when we visited and this meant that no-where was busy or crowded. The flights both ways with First Choice were good and we landed on time. The coach journeys were informative and the speedboat crossings were great.

At no time did we experience any problems with staff not being able to speak a little English and we learnt a few phrases in Spanish by the end of the holiday.

I would like to close by mentioning a few people who made our holiday – Nina and Alex, Guest Relations; Carlos and Heury in the Buffet Restaurant; Domingo and Angel in the snack bar and a la carte restaurants; Simon and Pablo on Reception; ALL the Animation team, especially Julio.

We had a wonderful, memorable time here."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 16th of October 2007

Beautiful hotel and setting shame on the hotel chain

Reviewed Tue 9th of October 2012

"The hotel is stunning, the private beaches are gorgeous - can't understand why anyone would want to bother with the public beach or why anyone complained about the hotel beaches which are stunning and not full of day trippers! It's worth upgrading to a villa - double check that the airconditioning and fridge works though.... the duty managers are a bit lax as you have to explain yourself several times when things go wrong (which it will by the way....try 1am with no air con....). But you can relax on the beach or by the pool next day which is just fine... Staff lovely but a bit over-reliant on tips and told to serve you as per a michelin star restaurant. Quite frankly you really don't need this in the caribbean (you really really don't) nor do you need black tie service. Don't mind tipping but the staff then move around so you end up with a different waiter all the time - they were mostly lovely by the way. It's the hotel chain's fault for not paying the staff more money and the chain should be ashamed of themselves. Hotel was mainly full of Spanish tourists who were friendly and a bit childish.
Ents are a bit 'Butlin's' at times but sometimes fun - but again that's not the staff's fault.
Great diving and snorkelling, lots to drink, great food (don't bother with the a la carte - the buffet is FAR better) and a real paradise. Great pools too. Take a trip to Samana and to the National Park. Fab. Great place for adults and kids."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 9th of October 2007

Wow - it was brilliant, wonderful, relaxing, romantic

Reviewed Fri 14th of December 2012

"We stayed at this hotel for 14 days and had such a wonderful time. The beach was out of this world, service in the hotel was second to none - look for Pablo Green as he will look after you. The service at the pool bar was good, but more waiter service would be better. Rooms were immaculate, spacious and very clean. Loved the jacuzzi! Heury the Head Waiter was so professional and his smile was great. All the staff were friendly, courteous, but were not overbearing. We were there for just a day when my partner had to organise a birthday suprise for me. Pablo was brilliant - champagne brought to the room at 0830 and he even made me my own birthday card. Heury organised his waiters and the piano player and presented me with my cake (with candles) and sang Happy Birthday - how absolutely superb. When we got engaged out there (look at the larimar stones at Harrisons in Samana), I had kisses and cuddles and congratulations. If you want a holiday that is relaxing and you are pampered and spoiled, then this is the one for you. We will definitely be returning. Definitely not suitable for children/families."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 4th of October 2007

Hotels near Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado

Top traveller tips for Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado

  • wilson21 by wilson21

    "the staff to speak some english and to be more respectful to peoples needs "

Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado is also called

  • Gran Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado
  • Cayo Levantado
  • Cayo Levantado Samana

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