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Trying to decide between Esmeralda & Ambar? Brooklin :-)

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Surrey, UK
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Trying to decide between Esmeralda & Ambar? Brooklin :-)

I'm trying to decide between the two. We are a couple in our 40s. If we opt for the Esmeralda we can get it from Thomas Cook for about £1,100 each, if we go for the Ambar its £1,350 from Thomsons/First Choice.

BUT that higher price for the Ambar includes travelling on the new Dreamliner (which Thomas Cook don't do).

I hope Brooklin reads this as he seems to be a real expert on them.

Is there any difference apart from one side allows children & the other doesn't?

Dartmouth, Canada
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1. Re: Trying to decide between Esmeralda & Ambar? Brooklin :-)

The Esmerelda is newer is that means anything.

We stayed at the Ambar a few years ago. It was the first year the Esmerelda was open. We wandered through the Esmerelda and pool and beach section and it looked really nice. Pool section at the time had much nicer loungers than the Ambar. Beach section looked nicer too. That may all have changed.

The Ambar is adult only, I don't think the Esmerelda is.

At the time, I had a less than stellar room at the Ambar and would have happly switched.

If the new dreamliner isn't worth the difference in cost, I'd go with the Esmerelda at the lower cost...

Surrey, UK
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2. Re: Trying to decide between Esmeralda & Ambar? Brooklin :-)

Thank you.

You thought the beach at the Esmerelda was nicer then?

Thats very important to us.

With the Ambar there is a (slim) chance of getting a sea-view room, I don't think there is any with the Esmerelda.

The only difference I can see apart from children is the Ambar has a turn down service!

Dartmouth, Canada
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3. Re: Trying to decide between Esmeralda & Ambar? Brooklin :-)

The beach at both of them is very similar. Wonderful sandy beach. What I meant was that the Esmerelda had newer beach loungers and I liked the look of them better.

Myself I wouldn't consider turn down service to be worth the difference in cost.

Brooklin, Canada
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4. Re: Trying to decide between Esmeralda & Ambar? Brooklin :-)

kimevans,

If staying at the adult only Luxury Bahia Ambar is not a priority in relation to an "adult only" Bahia resort, then a good way of summing it up between the two resorts is to say - it is 6 of one and half dozen of the other. You are really getting both resorts for the price of one.

To explain it further, guests of the Luxury Bahia Esmeralda resort (first built in 2010 but expanded in 2012) and guests of the Luxury Bahia Ambar resort (built in 2007) may use all of each others facilities with the exception of each others main lobby buffets - a key point to remember as you read through the information below - guests of the other 3 Bahia resorts (Bahia Principe Bavaro, Bahia Principe Punta Cana and Bahia Principe Bavaro-Premier) may not use any of the facilities at the Ambar or the Esmeralda, but guests at the Esmeralda and Ambar may use all of their facilities with the exception of their main lobby buffet and their gourmet a la carte called the "La Gourmet" - as you have your own along with your own gourmet a la carte called the "Don Pablo", which is located at the Ambar resort.

Here is a link to the new map of the Bahia resorts which may also assist you:

www.resortsmaps.com/popup.html…

The Esmeralda resort is shown in the bottom right corner and the Ambar resort in the top right corner.

There is a nice legend at the bottom of the map to further assist you.

The Esmeralda resort has just gone through some additions where it is now basically the same size at the Ambar resort - Esmeralda has 510 rooms versus the Ambar at 528 rooms.

The room layouts at both resorts are very similar, with the Esmeralda having a slightly different washroom layout and a window in it with privacy curtains - the Esmeralda room buildings have carpeted halls, the Ambar does not - the Esmeralda has an adult only jacuzzi pool, centered between their two larger pools, surrounded by 9 cabanas for shade and privacy - the Ambar does not, the Ambar has a gym on site, the Esmeralda does not.

Both have identical room amenities such as room safe included in the cost, turn down service at night, mini fridge stocked daily, butler service, pillow menu, 4 poster canopy beds with pillow top mattress's, coffee perk, coffee, flat screen LCD televisions, hair dryers, ironing board and iron, umbrella, private beach areas directly in front of their main pools, both have their own spas and so on, both require guests to have reservations for the a la cartes they have "requested" which may be pre booked prior to your arrival along with being able to "request" a room location (always subject to availability) - I think you get the picture combined with viewing the guest reviews and photos from these guests here on Tripadvisor will give you a good idea.

The Esmeralda is quieter in the evening, and guests there without children, can wander over to the Ambar lobby and lobby bar for later entertainment - after 11pm, guests from all resorts will often make their way over to the large shopping & entertainment area shared by all guests, called the "Pueblo Principe" (map blue #14) which contains the casino (drinks extra as it is not owned by the resort, internet shop, disco, sports bar, kareoke bar and patio lounge, numerous clothing, gift and jewellery shops, local vendors with their carts of products and an outdoor stage where a house band and audience participation nights are regularly found.

The Esmeralda has 2 pools (if you count the jacuzzi pool, that makes it 3), the Ambar has one - all pools throughout all resorts have swim up bars. The Ambar lobby is larger than the lobby of the Esmeralda. The Esmeralda has 2 main buffets - both have beach snack bars, top shelf liquor choices in the lobby bar and waiter service at the pools and at the private beach area.

I personally feel that the beach at the Esmeralda has a slight edge to that at he Ambar - but very slight - either beach area would truly be fine in my opinion.

As a side note - I have two sisters who visit the Bahia every year - one prefers the Ambar, the other .... you guessed it .... the Esmeralda .... but, regardless, they can use each others facilities, private beach, snack bars, pools and they just reside in different resorts !! Basically one prefers to have children in the vicinity, wheras the other does not (they want that somewhat more peaceful vacation it seems) ! LOL

You may see the ocean and pool from certain rooms in both resorts - at the Ambar if a guest is located in room buildings 60,64 or 67, and at the Esmeralda if located facing the pool in buildings 90, 91 or 92 - the rooms in the resorts do not face the ocean directly - one would have to look out the balcony and to one side or the other.

Not an easy decision to make, but, as I stated, if there is that much of a difference in price, and children are not an issue having around, is something that may sway you one way or the other.

I do hope that this does assist you.

John

Brooklin (Bubba King)

Ottawa, Canada
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5. Re: Trying to decide between Esmeralda & Ambar? Brooklin :-)

Brooklin to the rescue, you are such a wealth of information....lol.

Cheers from snowy Ottawa.

Saint John, Canada
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6. Re: Trying to decide between Esmeralda & Ambar? Brooklin :-)

kim....just my opinion for you.

my husband and i went to the Esmeralda in 2010 and loved it for these reasons:

1. very small part of a larger resort, have quiet when you want it.

2. pool never busy

3. no line ups at the bars

4. great spot on the beach, never an issue finding a chair or a spot.

5. everything within a 2 min walk

6. fairly new so nice clean rooms and grounds

however we didnt like it for the following reasons:

1. very quite

2. no annimation at the pool, no music, no games, no entertainment.

3. pool almost always empty nobody to strike up a conversation with.

4. had to go to big part of resort for shopping and entertainment

we are in our mid-late 30s and I hate to say that the esmeralda felt a little bit like an older crowd resort even though there were a few families there with small children.

all this being said however, it was a beautiful resort very relaxing and i would go back. we were booked to go to the ambar for 2011 but had to cancel (hubby had back surgery) when we were there we ventured over to the Ambar and it seemed to be a bit livelier. more people in pool and more happening in general. if we book the bahia again it will be to the Ambar

hope this helps with your decision.

cherie

Surrey, UK
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7. Re: Trying to decide between Esmeralda & Ambar? Brooklin :-)

Can I say a HUGE thank you Brooklin for what is probably the best internet reply ever :-)

You really are the master on this forum :-)

Surrey, UK
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8. Re: Trying to decide between Esmeralda & Ambar? Brooklin :-)

So my choices are

Esmeralda 15 Oct 13 £2,372

Cheaper, Newest decor.

Ambar 1 Nov 13 £2,596 (£224.00 more).

No kids, Dreamliner.

I guess there aren't many children at the Esmeralda & those there are probably quite civilised :-)

Instead of paying an extra couple of hundred pounds I can book premium seating on the return leg for about £40-£50.

Ottawa, Canada
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9. Re: Trying to decide between Esmeralda & Ambar? Brooklin :-)

Great advice as usual from Brooklin! Just to add - we've been twice to the Ambar and loved it - we were also trying to decide between these two but decided on Ambar because of it being adults-only and we were going during spring break when more families would be travelling. A friend of mine has been to the Bahia at least 10 times (Golden section, Ambar and Esmeralda) and she prefers the Esmeralda.

Surrey, UK
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10. Re: Trying to decide between Esmeralda & Ambar? Brooklin :-)

I think if all things were equal it would be the Ambar.

But I checked the website where I can get a discount on Thomas Cook via work. I can shave another £200 off the Esmerelda cost AND premium seating on the homeward flight is included, so nearly 300 cheaper - as thats an upgrade I would have bought :-)

That decides it.

I will email them & try & get block 90 & reserve my restaurant bookings in advance :-)

The Gourment restaurant in the Ambar section is for the Esmerelda gusts too, isn't it?

Edited: 31 December 2012, 16:44