Hotel of the Spanish hotel group Gran Bahia Principe
Gran Bahia Principe El Portillo
The hotel is located 75 minutes from the Samana International Airport and about 15-20 minutes from the capital of the province of Samana, Santa Barbara de Samana. To reach the hotel from the airport, you must go through the provincial capital, a detour that would be unnecessary if there was a direct route north of the peninsula. In fact, there is a path, but that is not an option for buses. Samana roads are not impeccable, but fortunately there are several projects underway.
The hotel Gran Bahia Principe El Portillo is located north of the peninsula and for people who love to take a long walk, there are kilometers of beach accessible by the hotel. The sand is beige and fine, but there is a small slope towards the sea, you must be a good walker to get to the village of Las Terrenas for the beach.
We really enjoyed staying at this hotel surrounded by beautiful gardens with a direct access to the beach (the hotel occupies more than 700 meters of beach). The hotels have 462 rooms with 100 Junior suites in Golden Club located in several buildings near the sea. We noted that rooms of the bungalow villa # 1 are best located in the complex. To identify the tourists in Royal Golden, a gold bracelet is given to you when registering. The Golden Club is located in a cottage near the Villa # 1 for booking your « A la carte » restaurants and to use free internet (two stations).
It is only since November 2006 that the hotel is under the banner of Gran Bahia Principe. All the Club Golden Junior Suites have been built by the administration of the GBP. The cottage near the gym is actually the home of the first owner of the land. According to the story that was told by an employee of the public relations, the owner was approached in an Italian filmmaker to shoot a movie in the 70s about the arrival of Christopher Columbus. For the film, they have built more than seventy cottages for the actors and the team. Following their departure, the owner converted the cottage into a hotel. This was the beginning of the history of tourism in the region.
What is surprising when you see the beach for the first time is the presence of clumps of coral all along the northern sector of the peninsula. At low tide, some of them are exposed to air. Snorkeling lovers will be thrilled to read these lines, but think again. These corals are covered with sand and some vegetation. The water quality is not excellent for snorkeling, since it is obscured by currents of warm water. That is said, there are still fish, corals and other bottom creatures. Those wishing to experience snorkeling, this is still a good place, because the sea is shallow. It is possible to buy diving trips at the Nautical center.
The center offers several nautical equipment (acuabike, hobby-cat, kayaking, windsurfing, etc..) Those equipments are part of your all inclusive package at the hotel. What surprised us is the two-pages disclaimer you must fill-out for the rental of snorkeling gears! or any other water activity. Do not worry, this form is available in Spanish, English, French and even German.
As the hotel is the only Gran Bahia Principe in the northern sector of Samana, it has its own « Pueblo Principe » at the entrance of the hotel's ground. There are several shops, outdoor theater, medical offices, a photo shop (there are photographers who take pretty pictures of you at the beach and then present them for you at the store. For those wishing to take home a professional photo of Samana). Located in the Pueblo Principe, there is the « A la carte » Italian restaurant called « Portofino ». Click HERE to see our photos of this little village of Gran Bahia Principe El Portillo.
There is an ATM near the front desk and a public phone for international calls. You can buy calling cards in a dispenser next to the phone. Wine is the same everywhere in all the Gran Bahia Principe of Samana, it is a house label. This is not a great vintage, but it is correct! The hotel staff is attentive and smiling. A dress code is required for men in some restaurants, long trousers and sleeved shirt. When booking restaurants « A la carte », you receive a coupon that you must present at the restaurant for dinner.
We visited the village of Las Terrenas, located 7 minutes drive from the hotel. To get there, simply present yourself at the entrance of the hotel and a pack of car and motorcycle drivers will offer their services. The cost is $10 each way by car. Click HERE to see our photos of the village of Las Terrenas. This is not a very charming village, but rather noisy, especially for businesses in the main street, as several vehicles do not have silent and there are many ATV. For those who want to pay less for your excursions than the hotel, you will find many places in the village selling all types of excursions. Do not be surprised to meet French people, there is an impressive number of French, who is resident of Las Terrenas. Who said French, said good wines and cheeses. Yep! there are shops to buy these items in the village.
It is important to note there is a Kite-surfing school in the village of Las Terrenas and these people practices near the hotel Gran Bahia Principe El Portillo. It is possible to rent equipment. You will find information about kite-surfing (or kite boarding) on their website, EH school of the Dominican Republic, www.ehkiteboarding.com
Year of construction: 2006
462 luxury rooms
204 standard rooms
158 junior suites superior (45m2)
100 junior suites club golden (45m2)
1 pool with Jacuzzi
Water Activity Center
Internet ($15 pour 24 hrs)
Centre médical ($)
Terrain de tennis
Sports nautiques non-motorisés
Boissons locales et internationales
King bed (2.0 m. x 2.0 m.)
two double beds (1.35 m x 2 m)
Air conditioning (individual)
Full bathroom with marble
Satellite TV (37 channels)
Balcony or terrace
Safety deposit box ($4 / day)
Room service 24 hrs
Bath and separate shower
Electricity: 110 Volts (same power in the bedroom and the bathroom)
Bathrobes (Club Golden)
Non-smoking rooms available
Maximum occupancy: 2 adults and 2 children or 3 adults
Info-restaurants & bars ...
5 Restaurants (1 buffet + 4 a la carte)
Phone: 1 (809)240 6100
Fax: 1 (809) 240 6104
Address: Crta. las Terrenas - El Limón, Km 4. Las Terrenas. Samaná. República Dominicana
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