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Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #50 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 April 2011

Just came back from an incredible week at the Ambar. Highly recommend for anyone looking to have a nice relaxing week in a tropical paradise.
I read many reviews before my boyfriend and I headed there and there is a lot of great reviews.
First off the grounds were immaculate and very beautiful, lots of greens and fountains throughout the complex. Beach was well maintained and plenty of places to soak in the sun. If you're wondering about the "towel game" you do need to claim your place early around 7am (for the prime areas). One common courtesy request if you're going early to claim please don't take 4 hours to come back to your spot as someone else could be enjoying it (hotel policy is that they will move your stuff if you try and claim before 8 and are not there). We went every morning early and read in the early sun, only leaving for a maximum of 20 min here or there to swim, eat, etc. It's just respectful to others.
We took a walk up the beach one day and realized how well maintained the Gran Bahia keeps their portion of the beach relative to the nearby resorts (seaweed, etc piling up).
The rooms were very spacious and was thoroughly enjoyed. Sleep was excellent as the king size poster bed was just right! They have a pillow service that we unfortunately did not take advantage of, but was a nice touch. Room service was excellent and fast, which came in handy at different times through the week. Our only little negative point was that the room had a faint musty smell and felt damp. We believe that this has to do with the humidity of the DR and not to do with any inadequacy of the cleaning.

Service- We were blown away at how nice everyone on the resort was right down to the maintenance staff. Everyone was ready to help and ensure our experience was a positive one. We're both easy going and I find that positive people get positive experiences. Freddy at the lobby bar is stellar and will make you awesome drinks...everytime. My boyfriend favoured his Tom Collins above all other bartenders on the resort.

Food-First the buffet was phenomenal. There was always approx 100 items to pick from hot&cold...breakfast, lunch and dinner. They had theme nights every day of the week and lots of variety. The staff in the buffet was always quick and courteous. Aside from the Don Pablo we favoured the buffet most of all.
A la Cartes, we went to the Bella Italia, Steakhouse and the Don Pablo. Our favourite was the Don Pablo as it was the fanciest and highest caliber. The staff were very well organized and very welcoming. The Bella Italia was a beautiful atmosphere and the food was very delicious. The steakhouse was good but found our only complaint was that the staff here seemed really bitter, we didn't feel very welcomed and it wasn't for lack of politeness on our part. Ah well you can't have it all. But the filet mignon was just the way we had asked for it and was delectable.

Entertainment-The Michael Jackson show was amazing!!! We saw 3 shows during our stay and they were all wonderful. The circus show was phenomenal, was like a mini cirque du soleil. The group providing entertainment pulled out all the stops and you really saw how hard they worked to provide only the best for all the gran bahia guests.

Excursions- we booked through our Air Transat rep at the resort and we had two wonderful trips. We booked the reef explorer on the floating platform where you got to snorkel, swim with sharks/ stingrays and then get pampered with a massage while the sound of waves is all around you. The second excursion was the zip line adventure which was an amazing and physical excursion. The people there spoke english, french exceptionally well and being terrified of heights I felt safe through the whole course (the highest point platform #11 is 1500 meters high and 900 meters long). If you like adventure then we highly recommend this one.
All in all great trip and will definitely return. Enthusiastically recommended!

Room Tip: Villa 60 as it is closest to the pool and beach
  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank schmoopster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6,612 - 6,618 of 10,352 reviews

Reviewed 30 March 2011

My husband and I stayed at the Ambar March 22 - 29 and absolutely loved the resort. We are a couple in our early 40's and felt like we fit right into the demographic here.

We had requested room locations and a la carte reservations prior to arrival and all requests were met, which I think really added to our positive experience here. We loved our 2nd floor corner room in building 67, super close to pool, beach restaurant and beach. The room is huge (bigger than you really need, we felt spoiled). Every time we remembered to hang our little sign on the door to have the room cleaned, it was always clean upon our return.

It is a very quiet, relaxing atmosphere and the grounds and decor are beautiful (in my opinion). The buffet is mostly very good and the a la cartes were all enjoyable. Our favourite was the Japanese Makado and the Steak House at the Esmerelda (although it took a few attempts to get the steak done to my preference) I don't mind when a mistake is made when I see every attempt being made to correct it. I have been to the Bahia in Riviera Maya and found the food to better in Punta Cana. If you are a beef and seafood lover, you will be very happy here.

The powdery white sand beach is gorgeous and we were always able to get a palapa on the beach as long as we got out before 8:00am. On the beach you could just leave your towels and come back after breakfast but at the pool, you had to be sitting in your chairs until 8:00 am or else security removed your towels immediately. They were 100% consistent with this and every Palapa was taken by 7:00 when we were there. This would have bothered me had we been pool people. The beach is quite crowded which at times bothered me and at other times, we enjoyed all of the people watching.

The entertainment was pretty good and we enjoyed visiting other parts of the resort (but were happy we were returning to the Ambar).

My husband golfed at the Playa Blanca golf course next door and thought it was excellent service and quite a decent quality course overall.

We went to the Macao Surf Camp which we both loved and highly recommend. Gustavo and his team did their utmost to ensure a positive experience. I am almost 44 and not particularly athletic and felt like a surfing superstar by the end.

At the Ambar, we felt like we were at the best part of the larger resort complex. I loved that we were right on the beach and could walk easily to everything yet had the option to go to many other lobby bars, restaurants and shops. Overall excellent value.

Room Tip: Send an e-mail ahead of time to make a request
  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Desperateforwarmth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2011

We spent a week at this location. Beautiful location. Well kept grounds and very good food. The buffet was excellent. Although it is extremely difficult to obtain reservations at the speciality restaurants. The only open times are around 9pm.
Rooms are well kept and clean. Staff is extremely helpful and always serving with a smile.
the regulation not to reserve lounge chairs by the pool is not inforced. You arrive at 9:00 am, no one is there but every lounge chair is reserved?

All in all was a lovely vacation and thank you .

Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
1  Thank sunshine155032
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2011

We just returned from the Ambar and had a great two week vacation. As stated in many other reviews, you can feel safe in ignoring the negative ones. We have traveled to many resorts and this one is an outstanding one considering the cost and services provided. We have stayed at the GBP Coba in Mexico a couple times and this one compares right with it.

I had read trip advisor extensively and use it religiously when going anywhere. Yes, there may be some problems or issues but if you get right down to it most negative comments are small items blown out of porportion. This resort is A1 and I recomend staying at it over the other areas of the complex. The adult only part is really worth it and the pool/eateries/lobby excel because of this. Yes, they are quiet but only steps away is all the action at the Bavarro Pool, literally a one minute walk from the Ambar Pool. If you want to partake in loud events, drinking games, congested pool area, etc, slide over there when desired and it awaits. We did that but sure liked coming back to heaven once we tired of it.

Our room was in Villa 64, 2nd floor. This villa is the closest to the pool/beach so we were very pleased with location. Everything was perfect, no issues with anything. I guess I did have a safe problem upon arrival, called visitor services and a fellow arrived in under 5 minutes, got it working and that was it. We left the maid $5.00 a day and were treated to all kinds of towel art and constant service. We used room service, always prompt and exactly in order. Also took advantage of the pillow service and that was great with scented feather pillows each night delivered to your room whenever you call butler service. Thats a real nice touch with chocolates on the pillow. We found that the maid attended the room while we were out for supper and left clean towels, tidied up, etc. Doesn't get any better than that unless you're on a cruise ship so the room experience was truly perfect. A comment about lighting, YES it's dim and all resorts do this to save $'s. All bulbs are 15 watt. I bring two 100 watt bulbs and it solves the problem so I can read with ease. It's a cheap solution to what some folks write bad reviews about............

We had emailed guest services prior to arriving regarding A La Carte dinners. I had requested 10 reservations and all were provided at check in in our package. I had never done this before but they were great with it and we had exactly where we wanted with preferred times. Now that's great service!!!

The food in this resort was very good. The buffet is fine, lots of variety, great service and ambiance. We preferred the pool buffet site for breakfasts and lunch. This site is much smaller but basically provides the same foods. The service here is great and food very good. Great lunch selections like pizza. burgers, roasted chicken, nachos and lots of salads. The pizza and chicken are consistent and top notch.

One thing we did was try the other buffets/snack bars because as Ambar guests you can eat wherever you want. The larger Bavarro buffet in that section was very good. Not to take away from the Ambar one but we preferred it as it has more selections, cooking stations and a great ambiance. It's only a leisurely 5 minute walk so go check it to make your own decisions. I don't think you'll be disappointed. We also tried the Bavarro pool side lunch snack bars that are just adjacent to the Ambar pool . They are less formal that Ambars but served some different foods like chicken wings that you never saw at Ambars. Basically you can move around and find whatever suits your personal tastes. Lots of choices makes for happy folks.

For A La Cartes, we did most of them. We thoroughly enjoyed the Steakhouse at the Esmerelda section and went twice. The rib eyes are great and the appetizers/salads A1. The Bella Italian there was also very good and both have great ambiance/service.

The Japanese is really good and we did it twice at the cooking table. Lots of fun and great food with large portions. We were very pleased with it both times.

The BBQ is a new A la Carte and we went to it twice . We thoroughly loved the rib eyes, tenderloins and bacon wrapped prawns. Some people didn't like it because it is all buffet style. The waiters still attended to all our wine/drink needs and we don't mind getting our own grub if it's good food!!! Check it out, you'll enjoy it.

Both the Don Pablo and El Olivo were very good and we never had a complaint with any of them. They book up fast so book early to aviod disappoinment.

The pool area at the Ambar is great. Bar service is A1 and they come around taking orders at your chair.....nice touch. I like sunrises so get up ealry and I was one who always was out there at 630 AM and got a "preferred" spot where liked. I note critical comments from some about this and can only say that the playing field is level, get up and get what you want or you have no right to complain. I watched with ammusement the daily antics of reserving chairs. It's not an issue if you stay there until after 800 AM. Before that, security removes you stuff and another lucky sole gets the site.I like this because it elliminates the greedy folks that put out towels at 600 AM and come hours later. The bottom line is that if you want the pool area and shade palapas, get out there by 700 AM. After that there are always chairs but not shade. your choice.

The beach here is excellent and they keep it clean at all times. You can walk east or west on pure white sands for miles. Hard to beat the resort for that. There are many sections to sit and lots of shade palapas. again, I wouldn't sleep in if I wanted to ensure I got what I wanted. A 40 minute gorgeous beach walk east takes you to the beach flea market where you can buy anything you want. worth the trek.

We found the staff and service at this resort excellent and very helpful. Disregard the poor comments some folks make about staff. Yes it's true that some struggle with English, hey should that surprise you? Have you been to Europe? Would it surprise folks to know that English isn't well spoken in many countries there either? We found that everyone tried very hard to make it work and a little understanding goes a long ways as you are in a foreign land where English isn't the language.

If you are looking for a great, affordable resort with oustanding services, don't hesitate to book the Ambar. Oh, nearly forgot, we had beach massages by the pool, spectacular and a must do.We will be going back.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank RamboNWAlberta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2011

My wife and I have visited 7 all inclusives in Mexico over the past decade, but decided to branch out this Spring Break of '11 and try Punta Cana. While we had an enjoyable experience, overall, we feel our all-inclusive experiences in Mexico surpassed our Ambar experience of March, 2011, as we felt an inability at Ambar to effectively communicate with hotel staff at all levels, and didn't sense a real staff friendliness at Ambar when we compare our Ambar experience to our Mexican experiences. We enjoyed the adult exclusivity of Ambar and its pool area, and the constant security presence that kept the place as such. The spaciousness of the grounds made for enjoyable walks and runs, but we were bummed on two occassions when a bartender at another part of the resort would not serve us a drink given the color of our wristband. Don Pablo, El Meson, Mikado, and El Olivio provided outstanding dining experiences that were distinct, tasty, and well served. We felt the service each a.m. for breakfast was mediocre when it came to requested hot beverages. Drinks at the pool bar were fruity and icy, with drinks in the lobby bar before and after dinner well prepared and well served. Our room, convenient to the lobby in Villa 63, was noisy late night with returning guests, but comfortable. We disliked the fact that our maid rearranged and moved personal items inside our room. We felt on two occassions, upon returning to our room, that our belongings had been gone through, and we still cannot account for an item we purchased. We were glad to have been able to have use of the in room safe. We felt the vendors in Pueblo Principe and the vendors brought onto the resort Tuesday night were outlandishly aggressive in attempting to sell their items. We were disappointed upon arriving at 3:00 pm but not having access to our room until 4:30 pm, being told by the staff at the registration area "15 minutes" over and over again. Frankly, we sensed they didn't care that our room wasn't ready, and were not too concerned when, upon our room being ready, the door keys wouldn't function. Overall, a good place to stay on many levels, but some concerns on our part about that we wanted to share with others. PS: in reviewing pictures others have taken and posted, it's amazing how many of the same sort of pictures we took!

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank SpringBreaker52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2011

Traveled to GBPA in October 2010 with my husband and 2 other couples. We had an amazing trip. The hotel was beautiful, food was great, the beach was breath taking. The entire trip was wonderful..... except for one thing ! The vendors !!! This could have been avoided for sure, they did not bother us on the resort at all.... we went to them ! We plan on going back to GBPA again this year but we will definitely stay away from "walmart". I wanted to buy souvenirs and I really wanted to support the locals..... unfortunately they were far to aggressive and drove me away empty handed.
When we first arrived at the beach they came flocking toward us and grabbing my arm to lead me into one of their shops/stalls, "here lady come look" I had picked up a child's golf shirt and asked how much? He told me $50. I was stunned and told him that was ridiculous.... then he tried to go down by $5. increments until he got to $30. I told him I could get a better quality shirt at the hotel for $18. When I finally threw my hands up and walked away he chased me down the beach telling me $15.I was so annoyed that I just went and bought a beer and sat far away down the beach and waited for everyone else to finish being mobbed ! The rest of the group was irritated by it too but not nearly as much as I was.
So I learned my lesson and will not be buying from the vendors when I return to the Dominican ! Which is really unfortunate, as I really would like to support the locals !
Great trip all around other than this !
We did three half day excursions.... Dune Buggies (would not recommend this one) the ride was boring and slow and didn't go off road.
Zip Lining- was a great day loved every minute of it, felt very safe, the staff were very supportive as I was quite nervous, the equipment seemed top notch. The tour guide talked to us about local history, politics,food, culture and education ! He was fabulous !
Swam with sting rays and sharks and went snorkeling- wonderful day would highly recommend !
Love GBPA and can't wait to return !

  • Stayed: October 2010
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2  Thank rayne01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2011

Home for 4 days now in 20 dagree weather, wishing I was still at the Ambar. The Ambar is in a very large complex of other Bahia resorts. We did not have a problem with that it is down by the beach and they have these cute little trams for you to ride if you would like to go to the other parts of the complex.
When we arrived we were checked in right away our room was ready,you don't check in at the desk your concierge checks you in at a private table in the lobby. I have stayed at other resorts and waited up to 4 hours to get in a room. We had a first floor room facing the pool it was great for easy access to our room.Friends were on the 3rd floor right above us.
The room was very nice, clean ,and big.Wish my bathroom at home was that big.I did use the Pillow menue and got very nice pillows but the pillows on the bed were nice anyway.We had no problems with the electricity going out the AC was good too.
The food was very good we ate at the buffet most nights.. I have to say it is one of the best buffets I have seen. Plenty of choices every day.There is 2 outside buffet for lunch and breakfast also.We did eat at the Don Pablo 1 night it was 1 of 3 reservations they had ready for us when we got there.
Okay the important stuff .The staff was very nice and efficiant. Our concierge got me champagne one night and wanted to run a bath for me. we had fruit in our room on arrival.
We stayed by the pool most days its quiet there they only play music around 3 or 4 in the afternoon.There is that game of saving chairs at the pool but they have security, if you leave anything before 8 and leave they will move your things to the towel hut.
I have never stayed at a resort with such a nice sandy ,clean seaweed free beach.It does get a little crowded down there but Ambar guest have there own section.we never had trouble finding a chair. The weather was absolutely gorgeous I was surprised there was no humidity.We had a few sprinkles of rain a couple of nights but if you didn't see it you missed it.
Well i guess that covers everything.I just want to say don't listen to the petty bad reviews go and check it out for yourself.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank GAMA-K06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue Don Pablo Collection

Address: Carretera Arena Gorda - Macao, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (Formerly Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Don Pablo Collection)
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#12 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#30 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#45 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#46 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#47 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: £126 - £348 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue Don Pablo Collection 4*
Number of rooms: 528
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Facilities and services 2 pool Sun terrace with sun umbrellas and loungers Relaxation zone with Bali beds Outdoor Jacuzzi BAHIA SPA (additional charge) Sports facilities: gym, 3 tennis courts, multi-sports court Water activity centre Motorised water sports (additionalcharge) WiFi access in the lobby (free) and in rooms (free) Entertainment amphitheatre Wedding gazebo 1 buffetrestaurant 3 speciality restaurants 4 bars 1 snack- bar Gazebo de bodas Smokers' lounge with bar service (cigar menu with additional charge) Punta Blanca Golf Club: 18 hole Punta Blanca Golf Club, designed by Nick Price (additional charge) Pueblo Principe: Shopping and Leisure Mall with local craft stores, live music, shows, stores, bars, karaoke, disco and casino. Rooms 528 Deluxe Junior Suites Room facilities: King size bed or two full size beds Ceiling fan Air conditioning Sitting area with sofa Terrace Fully-equipped bathroom with hydromassage bath tub and separate shower, hair dryer Bathrobe and slippers Don Pablo Collection amenities Direct phone line (additional charge for external calls) Alarm clock with iPod docking station Flat screen TV Coffee-making machine Minibar Safe Butler service 24 hour room service Evening turndown service Pillow menu 2 disabled rooms for a maximum of 3 adults Prime location right on the sea front Exclusive lake-style pool Aroma menu WiFi (free) Other services Medical service (additional charge) Pharmacy (additional charge) Specialised service for organising weddings, incentive trips, events and anniversaries Personalised menus (for celiacs, diabetics, etc.) Available on request ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gran Bahia Principe Ambar Hotel Punta Cana

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