Travelled with wife and buddy to Bahia Ambar from November 10th to 15th. I will touch base with the three points my wife and I look for at these all inclusive resorts; facility, food/drinks, and throughout service.
Facility (resort interior and exterior): The resort is huge, compromised of multiple Bahia sections. The grounds throughout are magnificent and well kept. The lobbies though at times can get quite hot but that's expected especially in the Caribbean. The beach seems to have the best layout compared to the other resorts nearby; lots of palapa in the premises.
Bedroom space is sufficient and the fridge is well stocked daily. Cleanliness though seemed to be inconsistent. My buddy's bed smelled musty all week while mine smelled fresh. There were times when they arranged your toiletries and times when it looks like they just mopped the floor and left you towels.
In regards to the butler service, for our group it was nonexistent. I inquired the first day and the porter who led me to my room had no idea about it...not a good sign. It was not a big deal for my group but it's quite a disappointment when you read such great reviews from other guests. Turndown service also only occurred once within 5 nights, we knew it happened because who ever did it left us a box of chocolate.
Food and drinks: Not a big fan of having to make reservations for dinner. We tried to make reservations for the week the first night we got there. We were told that reservations can only be made from a time period during the day. Hence, we came back first thing in the morning the first full day. Most places, if not all, that we wanted to try we're already full for the week. We ate our breakfast, lunch, and dinner the first couple days at the buffets. Buffets are ok but can get old fast right away. My recommendation for this resort to truly make this a great dining experience for the guests is to throw out the reservation concept. My wife and I have been to numerous all inclusive resorts the past couple years and never have we encountered a time where we weren't able to dine at a place we chose.
For the a la cartes we were able to get into, for the most part were excellent. The two French, Le Gourmet and Don Pablo met the expectations. Service was superb and food was delicious. The Japanese on the other hand disappointed. Again, the service was great but the food quality was inconsistent. I thought the miso soup was very good, I like the onion touch. But my entree though, fish, was quite dry. My wife was not a fan of her's also. The beef was a bit on the salty side. My buddy though I believe liked his entree (mix of shrimp and beef), an example of inconsistency we encountered all week.
In regards to the drinks, my group and I are not much of a drinker. My wife who is pregnant, can not currently consume alcohol. Going in, we had such high hopes about laying on the beach, relaxing, and drinking lots and lots of our favorite coconut juice. From our prior experiences from different AI resorts, coconut was included. When one thinks of the Caribbean, especially my wife and I, we think of beach and coconuts. Again, an example of inconsistency in this resort; coconut is not part of their definition of 'inclusive.' Guests have to pay $4 for each coconut. Also, we noticed that unlike other AI resorts, there were no bakeries or cafe parlors to be found that makes frappe and other cold coffee drinks. This truly makes you realize that for the most part, they truly don't cater much to non drinkers and might have forgotten how to include such. A note to the managers and decision makers at Bahia, there are guests out there who book AI resorts who actually just want to relax by the beach, drink their coconuts, and not want to get drunk. Please keep them in mind for the next executive staff meeting. Feel free to contact me if needed.
Throughout service: What's the deal with the system at the Bahia Ambar crashing? On our first night, we tried to pay with a credit card and guest service was not able to put through the transaction due to system malfunction. Socrates from guest service tried to help as much as possible but virtually could not do anything but urge us to go to the main lobby at the Bavaro to take money out from the ATM. This was not an option though for us due to the credit card we brought was not set up for withdrawals and had no pin. This issue was resolved four days later but could have been escalated to a major catastrophe if this was a checkout.
Overall, like most things in life; you make the best out of the situation. The grounds in this resort are impeccable. It is easy to notice how hard the gardeners and staff work to keep the exterior exquisite. The beach area and layout is superb. The bedrooms are sufficient for a vacation stay, just need consistency from the maid service. Buffet food was on par compared to other AI resorts. The two French restaurants are a must. Staff for the most part were cordial and willing to make the most out of your stay. It is understood that there are many things that are not within their powers and this is where upper management should take a look at their trainings and procedures. Overall, I give this resort a 3.5 review. But due to that is not an option on trip advisor, a 3 rating because of the inconsistencies suffice.
- 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