Saturday, 6 February 2016

Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana Dominicon Republic - Review // Tamara Hartles

Heya Everyone,
Welcome back to this weeks blog post,
so as some of you guys may know I went on holiday for Christmas with my family to Dominican Republic and we stayed in the Grand Bahia Principe in a beautiful place called Punta Cana!x
I decided to make a review of this hotel because I really love reading reviews so if your like me...Hey haha.

The great thing about this place was the staff. The entertainment team where very entertaining and everyone that worked there were very kind and respectful. I hear a lot of reviews say that the staff are disrespectful to them but they are definitely not - even if they were, then the traveller must have been horrible first! I still wouldn't be able to believe the staff were not kind because they were perfect! I have to give a big shout out to my room cleaner, she was such a kind loving women who took pride in her job. I remember going back to my room around one o'clock one day and the beds had been made beautifully with flowers laid out in pretty patterns. As I shut my room door and walked back to the ground floor I remember walking back to the beach and seeing my room cleaner with a bunch of flowers that she had hand picked! I remember thinking what a wonderful women she was!
The Reception staff were very caring and would help at any possible moments. A lot of people say that they were unsatisfied with the reception because it had no air conditioning, I thought this was going to be a huge problem but when I got to the hotel and stayed there for two weeks I didn't even need the air conditioning in the reception anyway because I'm pretty sure they had fans. The reception wasn't too hot at all! The only problem was with the Wi-Fi here! Unless you wanted to pay you could only have 60 Minutes free Wi-Fi and that still wasn't the best, but I suppose a holiday to me is about spending time with your family not being on your phone all the time..hehe. 

The standard bedroom size is huge compared to what I normally get off any other hotel! Within the room you had a perfect sized bathroom with a huge mirror and sink area, a joint toilet which had a wall to separate it a little bit and a joint shower and bath! You get a huge bed.. I think it was a king sized bed but I'm sure it was way bigger than a king sized bed and you get a little seating area and a table and chairs. Then you have a balcony with another table and chairs. Our balcony showed a cute view of a bunch of palm trees because we were on the third floor which was the top floor. The only complaints I would give about to room is that a few light bulbs didn't work and some of the grout in the tiles of the floor were sludgy and wet- this wasn't very nice to walk on (but that was only of a few tiles).
I seriously loved this hotel because it was huge! The amount of things you could do there was amazing. Within the hotel you had around four pools, the beach, mini golf, tennis courts, table tennis, a water park (although you did have to pay for this). Because the hotel was so big, they had buses that looked a, little bit like trains on wheels haha. The buses had bus stops and the bus stops occurred frequently so you could easily arrive at a destination or just before a destination and not have to walk for ages! I loved the idea of this. Also when it rained the trains had like side covers made from plastic which would lengthen to the bottom of the train so passengers and seats didn't get wet. This was excellent!
This brings me onto the landscape! The scenery in this hotel was to die for, there was tropical flowers everywhere and extra tall palm trees with super green leaves! The plants where kept to a perfect size and were never seen overgrown. Grass was chopped often and looked very fresh - basically the grounds where well kept although some tiles/ flooring had broken where the trains went over them which left a white dust on the 'roads'.
Within the resort the beach was kept very clean. The beach had a bar which was a excellent idea because you didn't have to walk far for a drink. Also the sand was so luxurious, it was definitely calming white sand. The beach also had a massage area and within the little hut you could also get your hair braided. The braids looked very professional and sleek. I saw a lot of the girls get their hair braided and I would definitely recommend it and I wish I had my hair braided too. The only problem with the beach was the sea weed, it was extremely bad but it was still there. In the sea it would wrap around your feet! But this was nothing to do width he hotel because the hotel didn't actually own the beach. On the beach lucky lucky men would come round and try and sell you fake goods. If you want to buy them go ahead but I wouldn't recommend you do this because they ask for a lot of money!. My father was going to buy some cigars from the lucky lucky men but they wanted him to pay around $150, of course my dad would not pay this amount of money. By the end of the holiday my dad had haggled with the man and got the price down to $50 yet he only wanted to pay around $25 so he said he didn't want to buy them. Another reason why he didn't want to buy them because the cigar's could have been banana cigars. Banana cigars are basically a bit of banana wrapped up in like a browny leaf which some people sell! Be Careful! hahaha. Apart from that we had a great beach!

Moreover the pool was excellent. With a swim up pool bar what more could I ask for- I could get Pina colada's at hand! ahhaha,  but being serious now I loved the pool because it was the perfect size. The depth of the pool water increased the further you go in so the further out you go the height decreased, which was great for me because I'm so small!x
The pool was very clean apart from one day in the afternoon someone had a poo in the pool. The had to shut the pool off for the rest of the night to clean it. I didn't use the pool after that haha but it was only two days before I was leaving anyway so it didn't bother me haha. In the pool my brother, dad and I would always play catch with a ball which was very fun. You can buy the water balls from the shops.
This brings me on to the shops! The shops in the hotel by the reception where quite pricey I have to admit but some of the products were worth buying for memories and things like that! The hotel had a little shopping place with around 30 shops and market stalls in the middle ( this is where they hold carribean street). BEWARE the men on the market stands are money grabbers, you may as well just go to the actual shops because they are way cheaper and they have better quality products. I remember one night we went to the stall for a pack of playing cards, the man took advantage and wanted 9 dollars for them when in the shop we could get them for three dollars! Anyway in the shops you can buy pens, Ornaments, jewellery and way more. I really liked the wind chimes you can buy they were very pretty. In the one shop on the left side of the entrance there was a very kind man that didn't bother you at all and this shop had some great stuff you can buy. The place has a toy store! In the toy store the sold cars, dolls that smell like vanilla and handmade wooden toys. The shops is so nice!x It was really nice for a few nights of my holiday to walk around this place.

Another place where you could shop was outside the reception, Men with stalls would stand there and let you have a look at some buts and bobs they were selling. I remember my mom bought a cute little turtle tot remember the holiday by and I bought a bunch of different Friendship bracelets which were so cute. They each had a little band which said Punta Cana. The prices they ask for are once again very expensive so make sure you haggle and lower the prices. There stalls have some very nice things you can buy!

I would like to talk to you guys about the food. At the start of the holiday, so the first week my family and I LOVED the food because there was a very wide range to choose from but towards the end we were literally eating noting- only breakfast and then very small portions for lunch and dinner. The food became extremely boring. Our holiday was over Christmas and so the food on Christmas day was excellent! The gave out steaks and a bunch of lovely food. The staff in the restaurant were very kind and willing to help in any way!

Last of all I would like to mention the bar staff. We had lovely service by these women. We would always sit outside at the end of the night to just relax and chill. The bar women would always politely come round and ask if you wanted a drink. As a thank you we would always give them a tip because the amount of drinks they held on the tray was crazy! Don't feel obliged to give tips though they give excellent service without having a tip!

I hope you like this review and ill see you next week with a new blog post!x