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“Beautiful resort BUT very disorganized”

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Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #48 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Connecticut
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Beautiful resort BUT very disorganized”
Reviewed 18 February 2009

This is the first time that I have every written a review on a resort because I am typical very easy to please. I always read reviews and think that people are just too critical and expect too much from a resort. This time I am writing a review because I feel that this resort is nice but there are definitely certain things that if we knew beforehand would have made our trip ALOT better....

The good things:

BEAUTIFUL RESORT & BEACH: The resort is beautiful as is the beach. The pool is really nice and very clean. There is a wonderful swim up bar at the pool as well.

The rooms are very clean and each have thier own private balconies which is great. The maids do a wonderful job turning over your rooms.

FOOD: The food was very good. Definitely better than most all-inclusive places. The waitstaff is also very friendly and attentive.

ENTERTAINMENT: We are a family with age ranges in our late 20's & 50's/60's. The lobby bar was really nice and offered music/dancing which we all enjoyed. At night, the younger people in our group enjoyed the live entertainment as well as the disco. (Although the disco was s slightly younger crowd, it was still fun nonetheless). The men in our group also played golf at one of the nearby courses and said it was in unbelievably good shape.

SPA: I had a 50 minute massage at the Bahia Spa. It was great. I would highly suggest the one with the bamboo sticks. Plus, it only costs $69 which I felt was $$ well spent. Reservations need to be made a day or so in advance so I would advise doing it in the begining of your stay.

The bad things:

NOT GROUP FRIENDLY: Do not travel to this hotel if you are travelling in a group of 4 or more!!! Trust me. We had a group of 12 and we were unable to get dinner reservation at any of the Ambar restaurants. We tried the minute we got there to make reservation and were told they were completely booked the whole time. We even offered to split up into 2 groups of 6 or groups of 4. The hotel would not even consider it for any of the nights of our stay. We had to eat at the restaurants at the other parts of the resort, all of which were good but kind of far away and not adults only. (there were ALOT of kids) TIp: We heard a woman at the bar saying that she emailed the hotel before her arrival and made all of her dinner reservations...may be something that would save a lot of stress once you get there.

POOR MANAGEMENT/FRONT DESK: Warning!!! Several people at this hotel will be told that the hotel is overbooked and that they do not have any rooms left in the Ambar section of the hotel. Management will then tell you that you are going to be in a room at another part of the hotel and will be able to switch rooms at 12 noon the next day. They will also comp you $100 per couple for the trouble. Doesn't sound so bad, right? Well, be aware that at 12noon the next day, your new rooms will not yet be ready but they will deactivate the keys to your old room and won't let you back in without an escort from the hotel!! So basically if you need to go back a room from 12-3pm, you can't. Plus, they tell you to bring your towel back to your room or they will charge you $20. So, in the middle of our first day on vacation, we had to sit in the lobby for an hour while our rooms got straightened out...then you are expected to move your own luggage once the escort can bring you to your old room.

Also, in order to get the $100 they promise you, you must give them a copy of your passport plus sign a release that you are "completely satisfied" with the money. We heard at least 4 other couples saying the same thing happened to them.

TRANSPORTATION: We arranged with the hotel to have a hotel tram pick us up at the Ambar part of the resort and bring us to the main area of the resort (where we were getting our bus to the airport). We arranged for the pickup from the lobby at 11:00am. At 11:40, a tram finally showed up big enough for only 6 people. Took another 10 minutes for another tram to get the rest of the party.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled with family
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1 Thank Apple1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 18 February 2009

My husband and I just returned from the Ambar; we stayed a week. It is a beautiful facility, very clean, wonderful, friendly people. English is not a problem, and we even heard the staff speaking in French and German. Menus at a la carte restaurants are printed in Spanish, English, French and German. The Spa is very good , beaches amazing, landscaping very lush with a wide variety of foliage. We'd return in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank canadahappy032
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alberta
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 February 2009

We stayed at the GBP Ambar and thought it was a great resort for the most part. We found the whole resort was neat and clean. We spent our time all across the whole resort, Ambar, Bavaro and Punta Cana sections. The grounds of the complex were huge and we did a lot of walking. So if you like a spread out, 3 storey walk up style resort this place is for you.

The Beach: We loved the beach, absolutely gorgeous blue waters and the sunken ship just off shore was really neat! The sand was amazing and very clean, although there was a little bit of seaweed in the waters it was not bad at all. The beach bar was great. We were usually able to find beach chairs for our whole group of 6 pretty easily.

The Pools: The pools were a bit difficult as the particular color of bracelet you have determines exactly which pools you can go into. Secuirty enforces the bracelet colors at each pool and even with the Ambar package we could not use all of them. We used the Ambar pool, which was always dead, or had very few people at it. The environment was relaxing but the real action was at the main pool. The main pool area was pretty good acept for the fact that it was closed off twice during the week for upkeep from people deficating in it! Gross. So we avoided that pool after the first incident and instead went over to the Punta Cana side pool. It was right off of the Steakhouse Restaurant and had a lot of sun and was clean.

Drinks: We found were not bad. The inconsistency from bar to bar took a bit of getting used to. Some places were really watered down and others were strong. So we would recomend the beach bar highly! Mamajuana was plenty all over and you have to try it if you go. If I remember correctly it is a mix of Red wine, Rum, honey and tree bark. I'm sure that there we're other things in it too. It burns ALL the way down, and it's rumored to give you a "kick" in the romance department. That's all I will say about that...

Food: The buffets were good. We only ate breakfasts at the Amber side. The buffet breakfasts were huge. They had almost anything that you could want for breakfast and the custom made omlettes were very yummy. I did find it odd that they had a lot of choclate and donuts on the breakfast buffet, but I guess to each their own. They always had western dishes at the lunch buffets and seemed to never run out of food no matter what time of day you went. We ate mostly at the buffet by the main pool for lunches. Our dinners/suppers we ate almost exclusively A la Carte. We loved the Italian restaurant, highly recomended. The Mexican place was pretty good as well although we had some communication issues since we didn't speak very good Spanish. We went twice to the Japanese places Mikado and Maiko and the cooked food was amazing. Just watch out for the sushi. Half our group got sick after eating it the second time around.

Entertainment: The nightly shows were entertaining and a good way to pass the time before the Karaoke bar opened. Each night was a different show theme, some being for kids like the Lion King, and some being not so much for kids with scantily clad women and men dancing on stage. All and all the shows are worth seeing. Our only thought was the resort needed more things to do in the evenings because by day 5 we were getting bored. They had a Casino which we didnt visit and a Disco club which opened later in the evening and ran until about 2am. There was also a market inside the resort complex which housed various shops and vendors for trinkets and whatnot. Also in the market was a nightly stage show seperate from the main theatre show.

Diving: The SCUBA hut here is amazing. You go out on the dive boat with the Dive Instructors and they take you to gorgeous places where you can swim with the fishes and see rays and eels. The boats hold about 12 people and the rides are fairly short to the reefs. The staff were so friendly. We just can't say enough good things about them. We dove 3 out of our 7 days and never saw the same place twice.

Tours: The only tour we went on was the Catalina Island Tour. You go by bus to La Romana and take a dive boat out to the island for a day of snorkling and a very nice lunch, some small markets and scuba diving if you wish. We were hoping to see a dolphin as well, but no luck this time. The most amazing wall dive was at Catalina Island and we can't wait to go back to do it again!

Rooms: The only real downside to the resort we noticed was the lack of maintence on the over all buildings. The general grounds were very well kept and everything was neat and for the most part clean. The Ambar room we were in had some problems. The glass shower door fell off, which was a bit scary. The huge wall mirror in the bathroom came unglued from the wall and slowly began to creep down the wall. For two days we were afraid it would come crashing down on us until the staff came to repair it. On the positive side the butler was very friendly and the maid staff left us chocolates on our pillows each night. Our friends staying in the Punta Cana section had a massive water problem when the water pipes above their room exploded and their bathroom became a personal swimming pool. The staff came to fix this within a day for them.

Wildlife: We never saw any bugs the whole week we were there which was very nice. We did however see lots of tiny geckos early in the mornings before the sun came out. I guess they went dormant during the days because of the heat. We saw parrots, even if they were captive ones for the photography shop on site in the market area. The shop even had a small monkey, which I wanted to take home with me. He was so cute!

Overall, even with all the little things that went wrong we loved this place. It was paradise and you really have to overlook the small stuff. If our friends want to go back for their third trip, we will not hesitate to join them.

  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
10 Thank Tidence
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
georgetown ontario
Level Contributor
31 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 February 2009

First off, sorry for the long review but if you're anything like me, you can't get enough information!! I travelled to the Ambar from 7-14 Feb 2009 with a friend for some R&R without our families and this hotel fit the bill! Unfortunately we had 3 days of rain at the beginning of the week and spent 8 hours at the Punta Cana airport at the end of the week (more on that later) but still I loved it.

We booked with Transat Holidays but flew with Skyservice from Toronto. Flight was at 4:15 p.m. leaving 25 min. late and arrived in PUJ around 10:45. We moved quickly through immigration and out to the luggage claim. A bit of confusion getting our luggage though. The carousel identified for our flight did have luggage coming out but after waiting over 15min someone else from out flight mentioned that they got their luggage from the next one over which was supposed to be for the Air Canada flight. 15 more minutes wtg at that one and we finally got our luggage. We exited to the front of the airport and checked with the kiosk for Transat and they gave us our bus number. This was my first trip to DR so I was too sure on where to go. The parking lot is very dark at night and filled with busses but we found ours within a few minutes. I also thought it strange that there was no Transat Rep checking off names of people getting on the bus. I usually travel with Signature and they seem to be more organized about this type of things. The bus left appox 10 minutes later and took about 30minutes to get to the hotel.

Check In: We arrived at the BP Bavaro lobby and having done my research on TA I knew that we had to take a golf cart to the Ambar lobby. There were about 12 people on our bus also travelling on to the Ambar. They loaded our luggage (in the rain!) and we were whisked down the road to our lobby. It was approx. 11:40p.m. by this time so there was only 1 person at the check in. He gave us all our bracelets and envelopes with our room keys, and had us fill out the forms. He then gathered us all together to give us some general information. The bell boy came with his trolley and took us in groups of 4 to our rooms (again only 1 bell boy on duty).

Room: Approx 10 days prior to arrival I emailed the hotel to request either building 60,64 or 67, 3rd floor. I was very pleased when we arrived at our room in building 64 on the 3rd floor. This building is located in front of the pool and close to the beach. When we looked out of our balcony to the right we could see the waves and the ocean. All buildings run vertically to the beach so you wont have a room that actually faces the beach or pool, but the front 2 corner rooms in any of the 3 building mentioned do have a slightly more "front on" view. Arriving so late we were worried that we would have to wait to get room service or make our way back up to the Pueblo Principe to get something to eat. What a nice surprise to arrive in our room to 2 covered plates with ham and cheese sandwiches, an apple, banana and a yogurt. A great snack to tide us over till breakfast. At our request our room had 2 double beds which were very comfortable with a pillow top mattress. The room has 2 wicker chairs and a day bed. There was also a 26" LCD TV with satellite. There were I think about 90 stations to choose from, mostly spanish but you do get ABC, NBC, CNN etc.. didn't really care too much but it was nice to have. The closet was big and had 12 hangers (still not enough for 2 women!!) and 3 drawers in the dresser. The bathroom had a jacuzzi tub (never used it) and a large separate shower with a rain head and a hand held spray. The pressure wasn't very good so it takes a long time to get the soap out of long hair. Water was always hot, never had a problem. Maid service varied from 9am to 4pm through out the week. The room was very clean as were the linens and towels. We got 3 bath towels, 2 hand towels and 1 facecloth each day. The evening maid comes in around 9pm to change the towels and leave a box of 2 chocolates on the pillow. There are no towel cards in this resort so when you arrive in your room, your beach towel is waiting for you. The maid will not change the beach towels you have to do this a the towel hut by the pool. You also have the use of 2 robes and 2 pairs of slippers in your room. We got 1 towel sculpture during our stay on our last night so I'm not sure if this is the norm. There was a door to the next room which would be handy if you wanted adjoining rooms but there not very sound proof. There was obviously a couple next door and lets just say ear plugs after bed time would have been nice! The hallways also echo a bit so light sleepers may have a problem with some noise but overall during our week it wasn't too much of an issue.

The Pool: The pool was quite bit and cool, there are 2 hot tubs attached (or should I say cold tubs). The pool was never busy nor was the swim up bar but he deck area was alway packed. I got up one morning at 6:30 to get a palapa and there were only 3 or 4 left by the pool at that time. I was told that during our week the resort was full and actually over booked. There is drink service by the pool but not many waitresses so we usually went to get our own drinks. I found the drinks adequeate at the bar not too much or too little alcohol.

The Beach: The beach was stunning, lots of waves and very clean, no shells or rocks, we always found chairs on the beach in front of the Ambar to the left of the beach bar but again the palapas seem to get reserved very early. There are no activities arranged in the Ambar section other than yoga or aerobics, you can use the kayaks or pedal boats from the beach sports hut but we didn't see anyone using them.

The restaurants: The buffet restaurant is in the lobby and opens at 7-10a.m for breakfast. Breakfast was really good and there are lots of things to choose from, eggs, omlettes made to order as well as made to oder smoothies. Lunch is from 1pm to 3:30pm and also excellent selections. They have a fresh meat or fish section where they grill to order. Dinner was from 7-10 (I think) only ate 1 dinner and the theme was mexican. They are very strict with the dress code at the buffet, I saw several men turned away at breakfast because they were wearing tank tops, they have to wear T-shirts.

Again prior to arrival I emailed and requested 5 reservations at different a la cartes. The hotel once again came through and in my envelope at check in I had all 5 reservation slips with a letter from customer service.

Italian (Ambar) I enjoyed the Chicken marsala and Tiramisu for dessert but my friend ordered lasagne and didn't care for it. The appetizer buffets was great.

Seafood (BP Bavaro side) The food here was really good, mixed grill with lobster, shrimp, mussels, fish. Not sure if it was the food here or something else that didn't agree with me, but I threw up for most of the next day and was fine 24 hours later.

Gourmet (Ambar) Everything about this restaurant was good, they serve you your appetizer, main course and dessert. Very 5* service and ambiance.

Garden Grill (BP Punta Cana side) This was probably my favourite. The beef tenderloin was grilled to perfection and could probably be cut with a fork. Appetizer buffet again was great as were the desserts.

Japanese (Maiko Bavaro side) Overall the food was good (a bit salty for my liking but still good). The only problem we had with this restaurant was that our reservation was for 7:30 and the rest of the table was seated at 7:00, which meant that we missed most of the "show" where the chef cooked the meal. You get your appetizer and main dishes served at the grill table and then you are moved to table for 2 or 4 to have dessert and coffee. We were in and out in an hour so that was a bit disappointing.

Beach Snack Bar - Las Brisas: Located next to the pool in the Ambar section, it serves breakfast and lunch. We ate there a couple of times and found the food to be only luke warm and not much variety. Chicken, hot dogs and hamburgers are there usually every day and pizza every other day. Buffet is still better but you have to change out of your swimsuit or cover up well to eat at the buffet.

Entertainment: We attended all of the shows at the theatre which is very busy. There are 2 shows per night, both the same, one at 9 and one a 10:15. The later show is not as busy. There is only 1 theatre for all of the Bahia complex. At 11pm there is also a live band that plays at the Pueblo Principe complex at the front of the resort. Also here, there is the casino (opens a 4pm), the disco (opens at midnight), the Karioke bar and a snack bar for food from 11pm to ? The Karioke bar looked small with only about 10 tables and the snack bar only serves hot dogs, hamburgers and nachos.

Overall I enjoyed my stay at the Ambar, the staff is very friendly and the food was better than other 5* family type resorts that I have stayed at in Mexico and Cuba. The security by the pool is very quick to escort people out if they don't belong and its a quieter atmosphere than the rest of the BP complex which seemed extremely busy.

Check Out: We had to leave our room at noon and couldn't get a later check out due to the hotel being overbooked. We stored our luggage in a locked room in the lobby and were told we could use the gym for showers etc. since our bus wasn't picking us up for the airport till 6:40p.m. Everything went smoothly. The bell boy loaded our luggage onto a golf cart when we asked and then took us back to the Bavaro lobby to wait for our bus to the airport.

The bus arrived at the Bavaro at 6:50 to transfer us to the airport. We arrived at the airport around 7:40 where we waiting in line for about 30 minutes before the Skyservice windows opened. The were waiting for confirmation that our flight hadn't even left Toronto yet and would be delayed until 4:10 a.m. I had already had a text message from home at 6pm saying that our flight would probably be delayed but didn't know for how long. They checked us in and gave us a $15 voucher to use at Wendy's once we went through security. Due to the number of people using the vouchers (only to be used at Wendys) they ran out of water and salads and they closed at 11pm so I'm sure that some didn't even get to use the voucher. We never saw a Transat rep at the airport at all. We spent 8 hours waiting at the airport that could have been spent at our hotel. Unfortunately a rotten end to a great vacation. We finally arrived at home at 8:30 a,m after being up for 26 straight hours, but I won't let it deter me from travelling...I love it too much!

If anyone has any questions, please send me a message and I will be more than happy to answer them.

I hope this review helps someone out there! Happy travels.

  • Liked — Location, food, beach, service, adults only
  • Disliked — Having only 1 theatre for 5 resorts, lobby bar closing at 11pm
  • Stayed February 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
17 Thank Gtown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Alberta
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 February 2009

Gran Bahia Principe Ambar is definitely the best of the resorts in the Punta Cana Bahia Principe Complex. A few helpful tips:

Currency
Bring US currency. With the exception of the Casino, this resort does not convert US travellers cheques to US cash. The exchange counter at the resort is open sporadically and they will only convert to Dominican Pesos. The on-site banks charge a 4% fee (above the premium on exchange) to cash US travellers cheques. The tour operators will give you a much better peso exchange rate if you are using US dollars. Overall, you are better off bringing US cash.

Service
The resort is fantastic. Definitely a five star in terms of amenities and quality. The service, however, is marginal. I am certain it is a cultural issue. Staff do not like to serve and will not go out of their way to assist. Tipping does not help. We tipped generously ($10 us for breakfast, thrice that at dinner) and service was no better than had we not tipped at all. Service improves greatly, however, if you are spending money. We ordered chamapagne from the wine list for our second dinner at El Olivo and service improved considerably.

A La Cartes & Food
Book your a-la-cartes before you leave. You can do this via e-mail to the resort directly. You have the benefit of choosing your time(s) and you also guarantee the restaurants you want. I did this prior to our trip (read about it in the forums section) and saved a lot of grief. Best case you get the times and places you want. Worst case you can switch out on-site if you want to. Our dinners were pre-booked and we needed only to go to the lobby reservations area and get the dinner "tickets" that are required for entry into the a-la-cartes. Many couples complained of getting 9:00 p.m. dinner times, not getting the restaurants they wanted and being booked out of a-la-cartes entirely. Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana is made up of four or five adjoining resorts. A-la-cartes at Ambar are top-notch for third world food. Not so much when you go to the adjoining resorts. My recommendation is to book your a-la-cartes early and book them at the Ambar restaurants. Don Pablo and El Olivo are the best by far. Of note: the A-la-cartes generally open 15-20 minutes late. Dress code is strictly enforced. Although the restaurants are rarely at capacity, reservation times also are striclty enforced and you are not able to just walk up.

Accommodations
You can also request your building prior to arrival and the resort will do its best to accommodate. Buildings 60 and 67 are pool side with ocean view front or back. The beach is a bit of a walk so getting into either of these buildings is a coup. Accommodations are great with none of the issues endemic to third world resorts (poor craftsmanship, rust, poor plumbing, dirty sheets/towels). Ambar truly is at the top of the heap for third world five-stars. Buildings are two-storey with no elevators. If you have difficulty with stairs, take the time to specifically request a ground floor room. I'm in my 30's so it wasn't an issue for me but I could see seniors having some trouble.

Beach
Best beaches in the Caribbean, bar none. The reef is a few hundred yards off shore so the water is generally calm. Not the best for body surfing but fantastic for swimming, snorkelling, kayaking, catamarans, etc. Nude sunbathing is de rigeur at Ambar so be prepared. It is adults only so not an issue for kids. Beaches at Ambar are also clean as you will find. Walked the beach to other resorts and the same can not be said.

Drinks
Drinks are weak. Dominican rum is 35% alc. to start and the alcohol is watered down considerably from there. Notwithstanding claims of unlimited domestic and import drinks, you will be charged a premium at any of the Bahia Resorts for import alcohol- generally $6 us/oz. Import alcohol is unlimited to the extent that you can drink as much as you want but it is not free.

Atmosphere
Ambar caters to a higher end tourist. Awesome accommodations. Pristine beach. Immaculate pool. But the place shuts down at 7:00 p.m....no nightlife to speak of. That having been said there is a great, albeit small, night club at the adjoining Principe resort which is a five minute walk or a quick ride away on one of the frequent tourist carts that run the roadway adjoining the resorts. Night life in the main bahia lounge is much more lively and caters to a younger (20-30 yo) crowd. The casino is small with few slots, a roulette table, two blackjack tables and a texas hold 'em table that rarely gets enough players in peak season (when we travelled). That having been said it is the best (and only) place to convert your US travellers chequest to US cash with no premium. Punta Cana is not Cancun. There are no high end shops. Cigar shops are rife with counterfeit cubans and even counterfeit dominican brands. If you want to purchase rum or cigars, wait and go to the Duty Free at the airport on your way home. Cigars are authentic and the rum is no more expensive than at any of the side shops you will find on resorts.

Tours
We only took one tour- the Cataline Island diving/snorkelling tour and it was fantastic. The water off shore is crystal clear and the fish are unafriad to school toward you and treat you as a coral. Diving was great at 30 metres and colors were unebelievable. There were no strong current below the water and the water was very warm. They tend to book the tours on days when the big cruise lines are not ashore so the beach on Catalina Island is not at all crowded.

Overall,the Bahia Principe Ambar is an awesome resort for a romantic, relaxing getaway. It is a great place if you want to go and decompress or spend some time really getting to know your lady. Accommodations and food are top notch for a thrid world resort although service is, at best, marginal. Would have no reservations at all about going back . In terms of bang for the buck, Bahia Principe Ambar is a perfect value.

  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
18 Thank PackinUp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oakville, Canada
Level Contributor
33 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2009

This was our first time at an all adult resort and we enjoyed it very much and would choose to stay at one again. We did not see one child on the grounds or on the adults only part of the beach. The beach is public so only the part that belongs to the Ambar may be designated as adult only.

The Ambar is a small resort that has the benefit of being part of a larger group of resorts. We look for this type of resort when we travel to areas where travel outside the resort may be limited due to location.

We enjoyed being able to eat at an a la carte restaurant every night should we choose, although the buffet was excellent as well. Rosa is a wonderful customer service person and I so enjoyed meeting her. We ate twice at the Gourmet, Don Pablo, twice at the Garden Grill, twice at El Olivio, once at Portofino, once at the Trattoria, once at the El Meson and once at the Maiko. We probably enjoyed the Maiko the least simply because we eat Japanese food on a regular basis at home and it doesn't compare but it was an enjoyable evening. We enjoyed steak, lobster, fish, pasta, shrimp for our main courses. Like all restaurants, some things were better than others but that was a matter of personal taste. My husband and I enjoy our food and are extremely picky and we were very pleased.

For breakfast we loved having the small restaurant close to the beach because we could go in our bathing suit cover ups. although we did get dressed and eat at the main buffet a few times just to enjoy the smoothies and the custom omelets.

We're not big on lunch but the buffet was excellent in the Bavaro section before we got on the bus to go to the airport.

The lobby bar made very good drinks and the service was prompt. We enjoyed being able to sit after dinner and have a spanish coffee.

Our maid was wonderful. Our room was kept extremely clean and we enjoyed the pillow service. We tried them all.

We had no problem getting a palapa on the beach as long as we were down by 9 or even 9:30. The pool seemed to be another story. Our room overlooked the pool and there were towels out no matter how early we woke up.

Speaking of our room, we had a 3rd floor corner room overlooking the lovely pool and the gorgeous beach and ocean. Simply said, probably one of the nicest rooms we've had in our travels. I could have moved in forever just for the view! That said, I don't think that there is a really bad room in the place. It's not big enough to be far from anything. We loved the mattress, firm but comfy.

I used the computer every day and only usually had to wait for one person before getting on. Be sure to log off. It's surprising how many people forget.

We went to Santo Domingo and very much enjoyed seeing the country. Do try to get off the resort and see the area and learn a bit of the history.

All in all a very nice vacation and I would recommend the Ambar and would definitely consider it again in the future.

  • Liked — Lovely spacious clean rooms with nice amenities
  • Disliked — doors can be loud when care not taken to shut gently
  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
16 Thank 1uvthe5un
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chatham Ontario
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2009

My friend and I travel every year somewhere different, but we think we have found our favourite spot.
First you need to understand you are in another country and not at home, but with that said the standards were abosulutely fantastic.
We arrived very late or very early Feb 1. due to delays in Toronto. When we got to the resort it was a ghost town very strange. Our driver dropped us off at the wrong entrance, but the bellboys comandeared some golf carts and took us to the right reception area. Once we were there Juan and Javier checked the group in which took about 10 minutes and we were off to our room. Our luggage followed and was there in 5 minutes. Once we figured out how the electricity worked (key card in box on the wall) we were abosolutuely delighted with our room. 2 four post beds large bathroom with jet tub lots of room lots of towels.( please note bring a couple of facelcloths from home they seem to be hard to come by) Everything worked water tv clock safe.Upon awakening the next day we unpacked and headed to our travel meeting very important to go and learn some helpful tips.
Now everyone comments how large the resort is and yes it is, yes there are trams to take you from spot to spot. But it is not like going from one end of disney world to the next. To get to the main reception from ambar is maybe a 5 minute walk and please the sites are lovely the palms the flowers the warm air. people you are on vacation relax and slow down enjoy yourselves take a walk. One morning I walked the whole resort took me 2 and half hours, liesurley strool, took pictures looked around very lovely.
We became familiar with the resort and all the reception names. and booked a couple of excursions. about 100.00 each. there are many shops to look in and the market .Be prepared to be approached but it is not that big a deal have fun with it.
Back to our resort the Ambar. Never had a problem getting a lounge chair at the pool any time of the day swim up bar was great. towel exchange no problem whenever needed. the beach filled up fast so learned to reserve loungers early before we went for breakfast. The beach is beautiful and clean the water was fantastic bring sunscreen gets very hot.
The food was fantastic and I travel with one of the pickiest eaters I know and she fond loads to eat. The buffet offfers great variety and if you want a bigger buffet go to the main one on the resort at the Bavaro.The a la cartes were good only 1 out of 4 did not really care for..the gourmet restaurant. The snack bars for lunch were great. If by the middle of the week you want some junk food bring some from home as it is very expensive to buy there. (ie pringles or lays chips about $6-$7 american.)
Our room was always clean and our maid always checked we had enough of everything even at night. Mini bar was filled everyday. The only fault with the vacation was it rained the last day.
The entertainment was good lets be honest your not in Vegas where you are buying tickets to a big name celeb. They do a pretty good job.
Booked a massage at the spa great atmosphere and the massage therapists were very good, very realxing. Very friendly and helpful.
The only thing you require patience is the language barrier.If the person you are speaking with is a manager they will know some english but if they are just a worker not so much so be patient. Met some great people from all over a lot of Canadians, had a great time snorkelling and mingling. Came home tanned and relaxed what a holiday should be. Bring money to tip sinlges and enjoy yourself. and dont set yourself up, keep the expensive stuff at home.
The only thing I would change the next time I go is the air carrier. Skyservice oh my god... cramped grumpy staff...etc.Most uncomfortable flight unless you like being a sardine. if you have a chance to go to Bahia go it is absolutley fantastic and loosen up and have some fun.If you want things fast and and furious like at home may I suggest a canadian vacation for you.

  • Liked — rooms were clean and modern resort well maintained location to pool and beach
  • Disliked — doors in hotel very loud when trying to sleep you hear everyone coming and going
  • Stayed February 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
10 Thank C2-C3
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

Property: 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
#41 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#44 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#44 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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 (additional charge) 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 (additional charge) 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 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Gran Bahia Principe Ambar Hotel Punta Cana

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