Combine white sandy beaches, a few castles, water play for days, and a bit of magic—what do you get? An unforgettable family vacation. Lounge by the pool, play in the waves, let the kids soak up the magical entertainment; there’s no end to the adventures that await you at the all-new Luxury Bahia Principe Fantasia in the Dominican Republic. Read on for an insider’s guide to the newest resort to open its doors on Bávaro Beach, and get ready to experience happiness.
A Magical Paradise with Modern Perks
Upon arrival at the Bahia Principe Fantasia, if the staggering castle surrounded by sparkling blue pools doesn’t wow you, the jugglers, macaws, a dazzling array of colorfully dressed characters and the resort mascot (Monkey) will do the trick.
Service is a priority here: Once you’ve checked in, an on-call butler will escort you to your suite. The kids will receive robes in their size, as well as a bag full of toiletries and a fun bear-shaped sponge. There’s 24-hour room service available, a nanny service (at an extra cost), and waiter service at both the beach and the pool.
The Luxury Bahia Principe Fantasia is all-inclusive, which means your food, drink, kids club, entertainment, beach service, room service and even a special check-in for the little ones are all included in your cost.
Explore the Realm
The list of activities and entertainment are impressive, with daily performances, light shows, water play and even scavenger hunts! Guests can wander through the mercado, explore Adventure Park, play mini-golf or visit another family-friendly hotel on the property.
When you stay at the Fantasia, you can enjoy one hour of non-motorized water sports everyday for free. Sign up for scuba lessons, pick between snorkling, kayaking, and paddle surfing—or try them all! Be sure to get signed up ahead of time: It’s first come, first serve.
Play at the Water Park
Kids can slip down two-story high slides and look out for dump buckets. Parents can actually kick back and relax because there’s always at least two lifeguards on duty. The waterpark has a beach entry—a great option for any tiny tots—and the nearby Oxides Cafe has a welcoming shade structure for parents keeping an eye on smaller kids.
Hang Out in the Kids Club
For hotel guests ages 4 – 12, the kid’s club is a happening place. It’s open from 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and offers a retreat from the sun and water fun. Spanish lessons, painting, scavenger hunts, mini-Olympic games, theater shows, ping pong and video games are just a few of the regularly scheduled activities. There’s also a quiet place for babies to nap (parents must stay in the building), if Mom or Dad want to hang with older kiddos. No food is served at Kid’s Club, so be sure get your adults-only time in before picking up the little ones for lunch or dinner.
The two pools surrounding the castle in the middle of the resort are filled with crystal clear water. There’s an easy entrance at one side for tots, spa-like jet tubs (not heated), comfy cabanas with cushions, and a swim-up bar for refreshments.
Hit the Beach
Sugary sand beaches, warm waters and table service are all part of the package when you stay at Luxury Bahia Principe Fantasia. There’s a special area reserved for guests of the hotel, but it blends in with the beachfronts of the other hotels on the resort (there are seven hotels at Bahia Principe, three for adults only and four that welcome families) so there’s mix of guests sharing the beach, from families to honeymooners and retirees.
Learn About Chocolate
Just a quick tram ride away inside the Bahia Principe Bavaro Playa hotel is Chocolate & CIA. You can take a chocolate-making class, which includes the rich history of the cacao plant and plenty of tasting opportunities!
Get Off the Resort
Families can choose from a wide variety of day trips and excursions. Bavaro Runners does a fantastic tour of the local countryside, where you’ll learn about the agricultural wealth of the Dominican Republic: sugar cane, cacao, coffee, and vanilla (this trip is probably best suited to older kiddos). Other options include snorkeling tours, the chance to swim with dolphins, exploring stingray bay and even horseback riding.
Every night at Fantasia includes family entertainment: inspiring music, energetic dancing, and a fantastical tale about a boy and his discovery of the larimar stone—the resort’s answer to a bedtime story. The castle that reigns in the middle of the resort lights up in shimmering colors, and fire dancers move to the beat.
Food for Your Royal Crew
Hungry guests have the choice of two buffet-style spots, three a la carte spots (all three require formal dress and a reservation), and one super kid-friendly snack bar. Psst! Each a la carte restaurant has a signature drink: limoncello, modern cosmos, piña coladas and others.
Your breakfast spot while staying at Fantasia! Each morning you’ll choose from a wide variety of options for all ages: eggs cooked your way, bagels, donuts, fruit for miles, traditional Dominican fare and even a kid-sized buffet that serves up goodies like french toast, hash browns, sandwiches and more.Beachside Cafe
Grab lunch at the beachside cafe. Options range from hot dogs and fries to regional fare like seafood casserole and plantains.
A classic steakhouse with a twist—you’ll be entertained by jugglers, acrobats and other entertainers during your meal. Head to the buffet of appetizers to start (cheeses, salad, small bites), then follow up with an entree. The meal is followed by desserts such as gelato, mini pies and fruit.
Beautifully arranged food with cutting-edge style, this could be the place to have date night while on your vacation. Think beef tournedos, sea bass stuffed with king crab and even vegetarian options.
Traditional Italian food with a twist of modern design. Delicious appetizers and cheese boards are followed by pastas, risottos, desserts and more.
Kokoro Sushi Bar
You’ll find this hidden gem located in the castle that holds court in the main pool area.
Oxides Snack Bar
Located right next to the Bahia Scouts water park, little guests can grab a snack or popsicle before hitting up the waterslide.
There are over 500 rooms at the Luxury Principe Bahia Fantasia. Many of them have a pool view, come with either two full beds or a king bed, a sofa sleeper bed, mini bar, jet bathtub, tile floors. There are no suites with separate bedrooms but there are two adjoining rooms on every floor.
Luxury Bahia Principe Fantasia
Arena Gorda – Macao.
Punta Cana Provincia La Altagracia.
T: +1 (809) 552 14 44
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Note: This trip was paid for by Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts but all opinions expressed here belong to the writer.
—All words and images by Gabby Cullen unless noted otherwise.