Celebrity-Status Pampering At The Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts In The Dominican Republic

This was my first time visiting the Dominican Republic, so I wasn't sure what to expect from the trip. However, from the second our group entered the first of four of the Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts properties we were to visit, it was clear that I had nothing to worry about.

Upon arrival at each property, guests were greeted with the warmest welcome and refreshed by one of the many tropical drinks offered (which is especially crucial after a three-hour ride from the airport). After our bags were taken care of, the festivities and pampering began as music started playing and festively dressed dancers gave lively performances to celebrate our arrival! Every initial greeting to one of the resorts made me feel quite special; I certainly have never experienced welcomes like that before.

While each of these properties is a part of the Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts family, each one is unique and offers different experiences from the other. That said, each resort is all inclusive: as in food and drinks, fun, and relaxation 24/7.

Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo
El Portillo is Bahia Principe's family-friendly resort located right by the beach. The staff is extremely attentive and approachable, and the property is gorgeously manicured with a variety of palms and lush foliage surrounding the premise. The beach itself is pristine — the water is warm, clear, and all shades of vibrant blue and this goes for all the water in the Dominican Republic.

The water is filled with tropical fish, urchins, and coral reefs, making the Dominican Republic a perfect destination for those interested in marine life and water sports. If you stand still long enough, you can even feel the fish nipping at your feet! Straw umbrellas, lounge chairs, and cabanas are available along the beach as well, and those who don't feel like lounging can walk along the coast line for quite some time.

This hotel provides transportation to areas of interest, such as the nightlife of Las Terrenas where there are more restaurants, dance clubs, and bars beachside. That said, if you don't want to leave the resort (because why would you?), El Portillo throws Dominican Beach Parties nightly at its Bachata Discotheque (at least one discotheque is on each of Bahia's properties). Live music, DJs, and dancing goes until 2 a.m. Plus, if you're feeling shy, there's fun, energetic staff members to keep the party going with easy-to-follow choreographed dancing to traditional music of the Dominican Republic.

Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa
While each property we checked out was pretty spectacular, this resort had some of the most stunning views. Cayacoa is right on the Bay of Samaná, and is literally surrounded by coconut trees and vegetation. The view of the bay is picturesque, as you can see all the boats floating in the harbor, the lush, tropical terrain in the distance, and the town of Santa Barbara de Samaná. Unique to this resort are two panoramic elevators with ocean views that take you straight down to the beach.

One view that is particularly special is the view of the famous Los Puentes, otherwise known as the "Bridges to Nowhere." Expanding out into the ocean are long, impressive bridges connected by green islands that appear to go on forever. In addition, the resorts' al la carte restaurants, such as the Las Dalias main restaurant, have expansive views of the ocean, as the eatery is high above sea level.

With 295 rooms, a luxury spa, gorgeous, bright blue pool decks – which often have fun aerobics classes taking place, bars and restaurants throughout the premise, and a variety of activities available including kayaking, snorkeling, and paddle surfing – you could honestly stay at the resort solely, and be totally satisfied with your vacation.

Luxury Bahia Principe Samaná
Samaná is an adults-only resort and is one of the most tranquil and relaxing places I've ever been to. The 149-room resort is gorgeous – its bright and playful peach exterior matches perfectly with the vacation excitement guests feel as they explore this property. We were welcomed with not just any fruit cocktails, but piña coladas, in juicy pineapples, complete with an umbrella and cherry on top.

As one of the Luxury Don Pablo Collection properties, this resort boasts an elegant and exclusive experience, and with 24-hour room service and unlimited a la carte meals, you can't argue with that. This cliff-side resort is surrounded by tropical, ocean views. This especially intimate setting is great for couples seeking a romantic getaway – even the spa offers couple's treatments. For guests looking for adventure, they can horseback ride along the peninsula, whale watch, or participate in a variety of water sports, merengue classes, and yoga.

Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado
Similar to Samaná, Cayo Levantado is a part of the Luxury Don Pablo Collection properties and also features a world-class spa, classy dining, and seclusion. In fact, this resort is so remote that you need to be transported here by boat. Transportation is, of course, all taken care of by the always-accommodating staff, who are with you when you're picked up at the dock and see you to your final destination.

This topical island's beaches, which include the famous Bacardi Beach, are ideal – white sand, pristine, clear water, and surrounded by green, dense foliage. Activities offered include all those previously mentioned, as well as catamaran sailing. Other available sports include basketball, pool, table tennis, darts, and boogie boarding. Cayo Levantado also gives you easy access to Bahia Principe Village in the peninsula of Samaná. So if you're feeling like you want to explore, head over to the town where you can get a taste of the local vibes, culture, and life style. Plus, the boat ride itself is beautiful.

Lastly, if you're really going for luxury, the 24-hour butler services include a turn-down service, a pillow menu, and a scent menu. Yes, you can choose your preferred type of pillow and a scent to make the room even more personalized. Even cooler is the fact that they also offer whirlpool tub preparation service. Rose petals, candles, scents... what more can really be offered?

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