Dominican Republic, La Romana – Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville

Hello, everyone! In this Throwback Thursday, I want to share some pictures and a bit of our experience at the Luxury Bahia Principe (LBP) Bouganville Don Pablo Collection, in La Romana, Dominican Republic (in early October 2017).

This resort is rated as a 5-star, adults-only property, located at about 1.5 hr from the Punta Cana airport, and it sits just beside the Gran Bahia Principe (GBP) La Romana, which is a family resort. The LBP Bouganville is on the small side, with about 400 rooms in 3-storey buildings and it is very easy to navigate, with everything close by. It has an exclusive area on the beach with nice loungers, 2 pools, 3 bars, and 6 restaurants, plus access to the amenities at the sister property.

Our room was large, with a good size balcony and huge bathroom, and included a sitting area with a couch, a dinette table, chairs and a desk. The all-inclusive package had some nice extras, such as 24-hour room service, butler services, pillow menu, aromatherapy scent menu, and minibar restocked daily with beverages and chips.

The beach area had a nice stretch of fine sand, plenty of loungers (during our stay, the beach area was never more than 25% occupied), lots of beach huts (palapas) and coconut trees for shade. The ocean was very calm, as the property is at a bay. Also, the beach faces west and we enjoyed some beautiful sunsets! On the down side, the water is murky, not the gorgeous Caribbean turquoise we craved, and we were told there’s a river estuary nearby and the brown sediment from the river clouds the water. As beach lovers, that was more than a bit disappointing. It is not a good spot for snorkeling as you can’t see the bottom, and it was impossible to see the small rocks underwater in some areas.

To make up for the beach, the food at the LBP Bouganville was very nice, even at the main buffet, and they always had a great selection with many upscale options. We don’t eat red meat and poultry (we are “pescaterians” at the moment), and were very happy that we had plenty of delicious options at every meal. We were specially impressed with the Don Pablo Gourmet and the Oriental Takara a la carte restaurants.

Overall, service was attentive and friendly. Our room butler was great, and Guest Services was very accommodating for our dinner requests and when I asked to enter the main restaurant to get pictures/video for the blog before they were open. 😉 Even so, we did have a couple of issues that were not addressed promptly by the Front Desk staff or resolved in the best way, but no place is perfect, and we didn’t let that spoil our vacation.

It was a good resort for relaxing, with quiet areas at the beach and a quiet pool, and the entertainment team offered activities but did not pester guests who didn’t want to participate. We did not take any excursions, and didn’t watch the evening shows at the GBP La Romana theater. There was live music at the Bouganville but it ended at 11pm, and the bars were all closed by the same time, except the nightclub in the “Bahia Principe Village” shops.

In conclusion, it was a good vacation at a nice hotel, but because of the beach, we would not go back. But visiting a “Luxury Bahia Principe Don Pablo” property made us curious to try others in the same category, and hopefully, find the turquoise ocean we missed on this trip!

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