Excellent place to stay. Do not believe any of the negative reviews. Been to this area before and this is one of the best. Huge complex to explore. Great restaurants especially the Italian. Very friendly staff. Only saw one miserable member of staff in two weeks.
Entertainment was not brilliant, but we tended to eat in the various restaurants a little later than usual. You can give your name and they will page you as soon as a table is free, the longest we waited was 30 mins, but you can go to any of the bars nearby whilst you wait. We stayed in a garden room and the only very small complaint was the shower was a bit worn, but very clean and worked well.
We normally read reviews before going on vacations and thought that it would only be fitting to send one in as well.
June 7th 2008
Just to let you know that we were very disappointed along with many other guests at this resort.
It's no way a 4 Star, but more like a 2 Star resort.
We vacation South once or twice a year and this was a very slow period for Dominican. We should have had the best experience in light of this.
We booked a room with a King size bed. On the first day we arrived the door lock literally fell off!
When we called the reception they told us that someone would be there to fix the lock in 10 min's. (This is 10 min's Dominican time which equals 2 normal hours)..By the way no one showed up, we called again the front desk.
We were then given another room with 2 single beds. In this room the telephone did not work and nor did the fridge. Again we requested a move to a room with a King size bed for what we had requested and paid for, and still our request was not accommodated. In the end we just settled for what they gave us...a room with 2 single beds not to mention the defective shower head. (At this time we were just fed up!)
For all the meals that we attended at the buffet, not once did we have all the cutlery at our seating. If you asked for coffee, you got just that. No sugar, no milk, and no spoon to stir with. Most of the time in the buffet you can see folks moving about picking cutlery from other free tables.
One of the big bosses was hosting a party for his own guests, and the Resort staff just paid more attention to him than anyone else!!!
What a fuss all the guests thought. They seemed to want to impress him more than their paying guests.
We tried to get internet access, and told to come back at 11 am the next day because they ran out of cards. This promise was not kept.
All in all, this resort is giving you, "Sunwing" & "SellOffvacations" a bad name for supporting and recommending it.
(I did also send a complaint email to Sunwing & SellOffvacations. SunWing sent back a standardized email, and no response from SellOffVacations)
At one a la carte restaurants, a couple walked out after receiving their meal -- Obviously they felt they did not get what they asked for!
Also noticed that nowhere on the resort do you see the name, "Grand Paradise Bavaro"...our wrist bands read, "Amsha Marina". Seems like once the Resorts get a bad name, the Resort name changes.
We normally do a lot of research by reading reviews on the internet, but this time due to our busy schedule did not do this. I feel it only fair to post my feedback since I gain so much by reading others on the internet.
Hope this helps others.
Travel operator: SunWing
The hotel was very clean the food was varied every night and the entertainment staff were brilliant, all the staff were soooo friendly and nothing was too much, the kids club staff Ana & Luz were brilliant they had the patience of a saint. I read the reviews before I went but I'm so glad I couldn't change our hotel it was the best holiday we have ever been on.
The pool bar was really busy for getting drinks but hey it's the Caribbean and you're on holiday so chill like they do you'll eventually get served.
I read before we went about a building site next day and rats well the building site next door is a lovely hotel and i never saw any rats.
Travel operator: Hotels 4U
CHECK IN: the check in was really smooth, as we entered the building we were handed glasses of fruit juice by the waiter, the porters took our cases and we were shown straight to our rooms.
ROOMS: the rooms were very clean and fresh, for our arrival the maids had laid out towels in the shape of love hearts and swans on the bed, i was very impressed, there was also rose petals scattered on our hand towels and around the sink....a nice touch i thought. the rooms were made up with fresh towels and sheets each day and our fridge was also stocked each day with coke, sprite and water, in my opinion we had one of the only rooms in the resort which had a great view of both the ocean and the pool, we were in room no 6232, we had contacted the hotel a few days in advance of our arrival to request an ocean view and they replied immediately and said that it was on file, you can do this by writing to...firstname.lastname@example.org.
POOL & BEACH: there were two large pools in the hotel and also an additional pool with a swim up bar at the club, this is a 5 minute tram ride to the other end of the resort. all pools were well maintained and cleaned every night, the water was nice and cool and we never had any problems finding a bed, the beach was by far the finest beach i have ever set foot on in my life, the sand was white and soft, the water was clear and warm, and like the pool, we never had any trouble finding beds.
FOOD & DRINK: the food was really nice but nothing spectacular, we tried the Chinese and Italian restaurants but i wasn't impressed, the food was ok but the portions were tiny and we could have easily went to the buffet straight after, i felt that the buffet gave you far more choice, and even for my girlfriend who is a vegetarian and a picky eater, never had any trouble filling her plate, as there was always fresh pasta ready, i tried a couple of cocktails as they were free but took one drink and decided to stick to beer, the cocktails were far too strong and the spirits were local brands and very cheap, with the exception of rum and coke which was very nice, the drinks were very small and even though they are free, you still don't want to be walking to the bar every five minutes for another drink.
STAFF: the staff at the hotel were very nice and always willing to lend a hand, your stay will be a whole lot easier if you leave a dollar or two for the maid each day, the bar staff were very funny and made every one laugh and the waiters made sure that you always had plenty of drinks during your lunch and dinner.
ACTIVITIES: there was lots of activities on during the day to keep you busy including, volleyball, badminton, table tennis and aerobics by the pool, on the beach all activities that weren't motorised were included in the price, these include, snorkeling, kayaking and wind surfing. we spent a lot of time on the beach snorkeling, it was great fun and you got to see two or three kinds of tropical fish swimming under you as you swam. i would also recommend that you try tubing, it's only $10 per person and great fun, also we went paragliding which was $80 for the both of us and well worth the money. we also paid $30 to go horse back riding for two hours, i had never been on a horse in my life and was amazed when found out that we weren't even getting so much as a 5 minute lesson, it was great fun but terrifying.
EXCURSIONS: the excursions that we went on were monster truck safari and a trip to saona island, the monster truck safari was very interesting as you got to see how the locals lived and were even invited into their homes, on the trip to saona we travelled by speed boat to the island on stopped half way to swim in a natural pool in the middle of the sea, where we seen tiger fish and star fish, saona island was beautiful and the water was really nice, although the beach couldn't compare to the one back at the resort as there was lots of stones.
ENTERTAINMENT: the entertainment at the resort was pretty poor to say the least, the shows were really lame and instead me and my partner decided to go for a quiet drink at the beach bar, where you could sit and get a drink to the sounds of the ocean, it was really romantic.
COMPLAINTS: the only complaint i would have is this...me and my partner both paid $98 to go sea diving, we watched a five min safety video and were in the pool for a maximum of ten minutes to get used to the equipment and breathing under water, the instructor was going really fast and my partner wasn't getting a hang of it at all as breathing under the water proved to be more difficult than first thought, it caused my partner to panic when we were under water so we decided to cancel the dive and swap it for another activity, we were then told that we had to pay $55 to watch the video and for the 10 minutes spent in the pool, to make things worse they also told us that the remaining $45 dollars could only be used as a credit so we were very disappointed although didn't let it spoil our holiday, if you want to go diving you should try it in the pool first to see how you take to it as they give free lessons to anyone interested.
Travel operator: Thomson's
The food was a bit bland but there was enough choice. A lot of people did suffer with poorly stomachs but that has to be expected in the Dominican.
Once again I have to say how excellent the staff were. They were extremely friendly and just wanted to ensure you enjoyed your holiday. They really try hard to get you involved in the activities, but if you say a firm no that will be okay.
Travel operator: Thomson
The Hotel was very clean, the food was awesome, They have a buffet, Asian, Italian, Seafood & Grill on the premises.*Be sure to make reservations early*
The location was about 35 miles from the airport, so plan accordingly on upon checkout.
The Staff were super friendly! They could not do enough to please us! If at any time we looked like we were going to get something, someone was there getting it for me. I'm spoiled.
For the picky people, it was 85 degrees everyday. At 85degrees, there will be flies, or bugs in any location. You should expect that.
Some people complian about the drinks being watered down. My take on that is so what, you just drink twice as many! They are included for pete's sake. Have as many as it takes to get you were you want to be.
Travel operator: UsAirways
I see comments from Jane in Sheffield we had also heard that the hotel was good in 2004 but went talking to a couple that had visited in 2004 and came back in 2005 they could not believe how bad it had got and said it was a totally different hotel from when they had been in 2004.
I felt the food was poor and the hygiene.
Not somewhere we would go again!!
Travel operator: Thompson
Travel operator: Thomson
Most of the staff were unfriendly I felt they treated people differently depending on your nationality. The only place we never felt this was the Chinese restaurant.
Lots of people while we were there went down with tummy bugs and as someone else mentioned we saw several rats not very nice as other people said.
Everyone has their own opinion and you go by the holiday you have had. This hotel was just not for me.
Travel operator: thompson
Please don't let the other comments put you off.
The rooms were clean with loads of space.
The food was excellent.
At times the service could be slow so be patient - you're on holiday.
Travel operator: thomsons
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