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El Portillo


:)Just returned on Sunday from El Portillo & Cayo Levantado. Had a great vacation in a junior suite for 3 days at el Portillo. Great long beach fabulous room (Jr. suite with Transat Gold). Most of the resort is up and running but because of a few missing amenities we were offered a rebate which made this a great value. The food was adequate but not outstanding. The restaurants are a little quirky but good. Patience is required as they iron out little problems but everyone is trying to please. The Transat rep, Robert, was fantastic. The right person for that job!
After a few days some were offered the chance to be moved to Cayo Levantado which we did not because we were displeased with El Portillo but because we wanted to experience Cayo Levantado to see if it really was an upgrade. It was! The standard rooms are fabulous and the food is top quality. The pool is beautiful with a second, even bigger pool about to open. The whale watching is in full swing - you could even see them from the beach (rarely but we did see them returning from a snorkelling boat trip). The beaches are small but beautiful. A great place for total first class R & R.



Wow, how great for you. I just have a few questons about why they offered some folks this option to stay at Cayo Leventado.

Was the El Portillo over booked, or were people complaining about various aspects of the resort?

With thanks.


Hard to say - Rumours were rife. All the people that went with us seem to have made the transfer from curiousity rather than dissatisfaction. Why the hotel made the offer is hard to tell. They may have overbooked and Cayo Levantado may have had cancellations due to problems at Christmas


We’re heading to El Portillo in a couple of weeks, do you have your pictures posted anywhere for people to look at??



Thanks for your quick response. Hubby and I, will be staying at the El Portillo for two weeks in Feb., and truthfully if after some time of being there, if we were given that option to stay at Cayo we’d go. It would be a great experience to check out the new digs.

Were you able to go over to the Samana GBP for a visit as well?



Will post a few pictures today or tomorrow. We did not visit the GBP at Samana. There seemed no point since we were in the lap of luxury with limited time. We heard that they were still having some problems. Some people from El Portillo tried the other GBP in Samana but had to take a shuttle and boat to Levantado so were not as happy. If they offer you the chance to go to Levantado do not hesitate! In fact ask about the possibility through El P’s guest services. They might not announce the possibility. If not enjoy El Portillo but don’t hesitate to ask for a better room if you are not happy.



Thanks again for the great information (and tips!).



We too jumped at the opportunity to go to Gran Bahia Cayo Levantado, not because we were disappointed in El Portillo, but because we had an opportunity to go to a 5 and a half star. both resorts were wonderful, but there is a difference with the upgrade - it was luxiurous and we were very lucky. The reason they offered this is because the El Portillo was overbooked the next day (they were still trying to fix the rooms with plumbing problems and finish the next Royal Golden building). We were the very first people to stay in the room we had at Cayo Levantado, so I think they wanted to make sure everything was OK before they sent more tourrists there. They had tons of staff - maids, gardeners, cleaners etc. - that were probably still in training. I can’t post pics because my camera was taken from the computer terminal in the lobby - but I can tell you it is BEAUTIFUL!


got a call from my TA at Lastminutetravel today offering me a discount from Air Transat of 100$ per passenger for my trip.

They stated that the stores were not open, some of the Special services were not in place (concierge, newspaper, etc) and that the sauna’s were not functionning.

They did not offer to cancel my trip or to reschedule or to send me to another resort. But with the good reviews coming our of El Portillo, we were dead seat on going there anyway.

I`ll put the 200$ to good use. :slight_smile:



We just picked up our tickets today…now it is going to seem like an even longer wait with them sitting right infront of us!! We’re also set on going after hearing all the great reviews! Has anybody heard if the Royal Golden seperate check-in is up and running yet?

If ANYBODY has pictures up from a recent trip to El Portillo I think I speak for many people that we’d love to seem them! Please post!!


I believe the separate checkin is one of the things my TA mentionned was not yet up and running.

There are 2 new reviews at another Travel site which also has pictures of the beach… but none of the resort.



Highlight and Paste on the link below for pics of El Portillo .

P.S. We did ask for the top floor so no problems with water leaking from above; I think some people were lax about closing the door to the shower area?


Thanks, we’ve seen these pictures in the past when we were booking the trip…they look great…almost too great…We were hoping for some real pictures that people have taken…not the best 10 pictures out of several hundreds! (at least thats how they look to us)…Thanks though!

[quote author=jeffspaff board=QuestionsabouttheSamanaPeninsula thread=1170201968 post=1170379369]Highlight and Paste on the link below for pics of El Portillo .

P.S. We did ask for the top floor so no problems with water leaking from above; I think some people were lax about closing the door to the shower area?


I have digital pics I would be glad to share. How do I do this?


There are many free sites to upload your vacation pictures for others to view, e.g. www.tripadvisor.com or www.webshots.com – others may have better suggestions but any of them will work


Well, I leave for El Portillo on Sunday. I leave Northern Ontario for Toronto tomorrow morning and we’re off at 6:20. I look forward to giving you my reviews when I get back… but I REALLY look forward to my first drink on the beach!


We were booked at El Portillo at March break with Sunwing. I got a call from my travel agent today and Sunwing has just stopped flying to Samana. Our choices are either to get a refund from Sunwing and book El Portillo through transat or to go elsewhere with Sunwing. We are leaning toward Punta Cana simply to avoid the hassle of getting a refund.


El Portillo is fantastic. We have 3 days left and are enjoying every second.

The people are friendly, but as in the reviews, there is very little english spoken.

I’ll post a full review on my return.

Best wishes from the DR