This is the second part of my review of our home for a week in the most exotic place I’ve been to. If you haven’t seen part one, check it out here. This time I am trying to keep the intro short because I don’t want the post to become too lengthy even though I feel like I have so many things to say about the Bahia Principe Resort in the Dominican Republic.
If you are in Punta Cana for the first time, even though the resort has luxury options also, I really recommend the Bahia Principe part for more of a cultural feel. The architecture and the decoration style is much closer to what I believe is typical Dominican, whereas the luxury part of the resort is quite modern. Also, the nature, the flora especially, what they kept of it and what was planted in the resort is beautiful and diverse and on top of that, they take good care of it. It was quite interesting to see how they climb the palm trees to get rid of the dry leaves. I was glad to see that they had a natural reservation inside the complex where they kept the nature at it’s wildest. I don’t know if this was a requirement or if it’s something they chose to do, but I loved seeing it.
The complex has 3 pools: a quieter one, one with loud bachata music and the main pool which was huge and animated with music and entertainment programmes. Actually, they had a lot of this kind of programmes: pool competitions, dance lessons, zumba and every night they had a themed party with live music and dancers so you couldn’t get bored….just jet legged
The good thing about the pools was that they had a space for children also where the water was shallow and it was further from the more grown-up side. For everybody actually, they had bars in every single pool where you could ask for a juice, a non-alcholic drink but for an alcholic one also, without any limits but your own. The cute part was that they had a few bar stools in the pool so you could sip the cocktail of your choice while your legs were chill and fresh. It’s needless to say that we had as much Virgin Pina Colada as we could.
They also had a private beach with sunlounges and the typical beach bar – chiringuito and a lot of palm trees and umbrellas for those of us who are not tanned yet. We went at a good time, there were on average 28 ºC which was hot but bearable, but with our skin that did not see the sun for the past year, we had to seek the shade once the sun was at it’s hottest. The sand on the beach was not white, but a very light shade of yellow and very fine, it was a pleasure to walk on it…ah, those good anti cellulite walks.
You are free to walk up and down the beach without anyone stopping you, but there is security at every resort’s beach so if you wanted to use another hotel’s lounges, they might not let you. We were so happy with ours that we haven’t even tried that but this was the impression that we were left with.
If you walk down to the souvenir stalls, be prepared for very aggressive retail techniques – the locals are very eager to sell, but they are friendly also and they respect each other so if you start talking to one of them, the others won’t intervene. They are open to negotiation and play a lot of mind tricks so don’t let yourself overwhelmed.
Warning: we have not tried it personally, but we’ve heard people accusing the local drink, Mama Juana, of specie procreation qualities.
If you have gone to Punta Cana to relax and big full stop, the resort is making sure you have everything you need inside, so you don’t really need to go out. They are also providing you with a card that will allow you to use their towels for the pool and the beach and then exchange them for dry ones so you won’t need to clutter your luggage by bringing your own.
Talking about pool and wellness, the tub in the room is much, much better than the ones we get in London: spacious enough for 2 people, you can turn it into a jacuzzi and it also has a regular shower head and a rainforest one…a bliss!
Other than that, regardless of the hour the staff woke up, they were all very respectful and smiley. Also, they had the biggest surprise when they heard Paul speaking fluent Spanish, he probably looks German to them, so they also exchanged a few words with us.
On our last night, we decided we want to see the other part of the resort which was out of limits for us and upgraded to Fantasia Principe. This allowed us to go spend the day at any of the 7 hotels that there are, except the buffet, we had to go to ours, which was not a disappointment either. That was seafood heaven for me!
Fantasia Principe is the part that we wanted to go to when we got lost on our first night and no wonder we wanted to see it because it has the cutest Disney themed pool with the Castle as the heart of the hotel. It was surrounded by a few pools and an Aqua Park and they advertised it for kids, but we had such a good time there that I would say it’s for kids of all ages. We expected it to be a bit loud, but it was much emptier than the rest of the resort and much quieter. While at Fantasia, we treated ourselves to a Romantic Jacuzzi and Breakfast which are both prepared by a butler. They are the people that will help you with whatever you need – from a spa treatment booking to a scented oil for your room. I would like to add that we felt quite strange while in Fantasia because we felt that for the smallest service we have to give tips, but I would like to encourage you to not put this stress on your shoulders, but make it your choice if you want to reward a service by leaving tips or simply not.
A very special “Thank you” for two people who were extra kind to us: Marylin from Bahia Principe Lobby for answering all our curious questions and suggesting Fantasia for our last day…and of course, for making it happen. The second person is Jose, the butler from Fantasia who arranged a movie worthy romantic jacuzzi with foam, rose petals and sparkling wine – we weren’t really celebrating the fact that we were leaving, but still it was a most welcomed pampering moment.
As I was teasing earlier, our first Vlog will be up soon and then you’ll see a bit more of the wonders that we experienced or if you prefer a less edited and more spontaneous version, check out my IG highlighted stories from Punta Cana. Are you bored of our holiday posts and photos yet? I still get excited every time I write about this wonderful place or when we edit a new photo so do let me know if you’re over the tropical/ swimsuit photos and prefer the urban ones or if you want more.
View from our room in Fantasia Principe – Punta Cana