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Home > Destinations > Dominican Republic > Trip Reports > Trip Report

Dominican Republic - Trip Reports

Occidental Gran Bahia, Samana

My husband and I just returned from the Occidental Gran Bahia in Samana for New Years from December 27th to January 3rd.

The ocean views were the most beautiful we've seen in our ten years of Caribbean travel. Everywhere you looked the view was amazing. Around the end of January to middle of March, you can see lots of Hump Back whales right from the hotel. This would be a great time to go to Samana to see the whales.

The rooms were kept very clean. We always had warm water as well as a good air conditioner. We were on the third floor (superior room) with an amazing view. We couldn't stop looking out the patio door the whole week we were there as the view was beautiful.

The food was better than we expected (don't expect five star food). We never had a problem finding something to eat. We ate at the Italian Restaurant, which was good. There is only one a la carte here.

The beach is rather small, but very nice. Plus you can take a boat each day to Cayo Levendo, which is beautiful. This transfer is included in your all-inclusive. Cayo Levendo is also called Bacardi Island, as Bacardi rum used this island for their commercial and bottle label.

The hotel put on a beautiful New Years Eve gala, lobster and shrimp buffet, salsa band in the lobby, and fireworks at midnight. They even served soup around 1am to sober people up.

The staff was amazing, very helpful and very friendly. One of the nicest staff we’ve ever seen and we have stayed at five star resorts.

Our Air Transat Representative, Greshin, was excellent. He really cared about you having a great vacation.

The resort itself is very clean, however, it is becoming a bit worn and needs a renovation, especially the rooms. We did take the malaria drug (Chiloquin), but did not see one mosquito. We even had rain for a full day and about three nights, and no mosquitoes.

The town of Samana is so beautiful. The ocean is visible from the town, which makes it so nice. You have to see it to believe it. We would have liked to spend more time in the town, but one week goes so fast. We will be back.

The only downfall to this trip is the bus ride (van), three long hours with no bathroom. We didn't see much on our arrival as it was dark, however, on our departure (in the daylight), there was much to see. The first hour of the return trip from Samana to Puerta Plata is beautiful, then you go through Cabarete and Sosua, which are nice, but in between is very long. They are building a new international airport in Samana, as well as new resorts. This will definitely be the next hot spot for the Dominican Republic. It was nice to see Samana before it becomes too touristy.

Conclusion, we would definitely recommend this resort due to the amazing views, however, keep in mind you are going to a 3 1/2 star resort that needs a renovation, and you get what you pay for.

Thanks to Linda and Wayne, Canada, for this trip report ...
January 2005

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