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“Entertainment is the key to this product,” said Lluisa Salord, senior vice president of global sales, contracting, and distribution for Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts. We were talking during DATE, the Dominican Annual Tourism Exposition, about the 512-room Luxury Bahia Principe Fantasia Don Pablo Collection on Bavaro Beach, which began welcoming guests in November and celebrated its grand opening May 2.

Lluisa Salord, senior vice president of global sales, contracting, and distribution for Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts.

When guests first enter the lobby, they see a fantasy castle that is central, in many ways, to the resort, which is dedicated to family vacations. To that end, a Candyman character welcomes children when they check in, and they actually have their own check-in “because they’re important!” exclaimed Salord. The resort also has a miniclub for kids, another club for teens, a spa for kids, a water park, daily family-oriented shows (e.g. magicians), nightly video projections on the castle, entertainment in the Italian restaurant, and so on. That doesn’t mean that romance travelers aren’t welcome. “We get a lot of requests for weddings in the castle, and” she admitted, “we hadn’t expected that.”

The entire 4,200-room Grand Principe complex in Bavaro consists of three Grand Bahia and four Luxury Bahia resorts, “and this one,” said Salord, “is the highest.” Asked what that means in practical terms, said Salord, “Guests at the Luxury Bahia resorts can enjoy the facilities at the Grand Bahia resorts, but the Grand guests cannot use the amenities at the Luxury Bahia properties. However, although guests at Fantasia may access anything in the Grand and Luxury resorts, guests at the others may not use facilities at Fantasia.”

Beyond that, how to distinguish among the other six resorts? “There are three levels of family resorts here,” she explained. “Grand Bahia Principe Turquesa is great, but Luxury Esmeralda offers a higher level of service for families. Some of the Bahia Principe family resorts are running a Kids Free Summer 2017.

Of the two adults-only Luxury Bahia Principe properties, Ambar Blue is quieter and more upscale, while Ambar Green is more contemporary. “Finally, Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana and Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro are like twins,” said Salord. “Each has about 500 rooms, and the two share many facilities.”

Speaking of which, the Kids Free Summer 2017 program applies at select Bahia Principe Punta Cana properties. And in case you weren’t counting, know that the Luxury Bahia Principe Fantasia Don Pablo Collection is Bahia principe’s 26th hotel and its 14th in the Dominican Republic. That makes Grupo Piñero’s Bahia Principe the market leader in hotel beds for the entire Dominican Republic.

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