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“Lovely Week at the Bahia Principe Esmerelda”

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Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #35 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 May 2014

My family and I spent a week at the Bahia Principe Esmerelda at the end of March and we had a really nice time! This trip was our first to the Dominican Republic and we were looking for a nice resort for a family vacation that included ours (3) and my sister’s family (5).

The Esmerelda is one resort on the larger Bahia Principe property. A major plus for the Esmerelda is that it is smaller and compact – everything is really easy to get to. The other hotels on the property are HUGE in comparison. From our room in Building 91 at the Esmerelda, we could literally get to everything in under 2 minutes (lobby, pool, restaurants, beach). The tram system is handy if you do want to go to other areas of the property – restaurants at the other hotels, the water park etc.

Our room was nice, not the nicest I’ve stayed in, but still nice. We had requested a room with two beds, but only got a room with a King bed and couch. It wasn’t what we had asked for, but it was ok – we travelled with our 7-yr old and the housekeeping staff made the couch up into a bed for her. The furniture was a little beat up and the room certainly broken in – but everything was functional and clean. We had housekeeping service early in the day each day and everything was always re-stocked. Word of caution – the beds are HARD. My husband couldn’t take it after two nights and slept on the couch for the bulk of our trip. Our room was on the first floor – and faced the service road at the back of the resort, but I did not find it noisy at all. We did not hear anything from the rooms around us, and the patio doors completely blocked any outside noise.

We didn’t have any issues with protecting our belongings, but my sister had some money stolen from her safe during our stay. The amount stolen was just a portion of the cash they had in their safe – so that they wouldn’t immediately notice it being gone. All you can do is be as vigilant as possible with your belongings – keep everything (even medications and electronics) locked in the safe when you are not in the room, keep your patio/balcony door locked and make sure your room door is completely closed when you go out.

We ate breakfast and the majority of our dinners at the Jasmin buffet. I found the selection and quality of food good. There was always enough to choose from to accommodate the variety of tastes in our group (4 adults, 4 children). The kids particularly chocolate fountain dessert bar! The snack bar next to the beach was just great for lunch! The open-air environment was really enjoyable, we could just go in our swimsuits and cover-ups.

The service in any of the restaurants was just so-so. In a lot of cases we would be seated at tables that weren’t entirely set – something was always missing and getting someone’s attention to bring what was needed was difficult. My impression of the staff was that they were polite, but un-interested – everyone was nice, but no one went out of their way to take care of us. Very different from my experiences in Mexico.

We tried the Bella Italia a la carte at the Esmerelda - and I wouldn’t recommend it. The menu was very limited and the food wasn’t very good at all. We didn’t even stay for the dessert course – we just went to the Jasmin. I would recommend the Maiko restaurant on the Bavaro resort – we had a great meal there. Everyone really enjoyed it! My sister e-mailed the resort with requests for a la carte reservations the week before we arrived, and we had no trouble getting booked.

We loved the main pool at the Esmerelda – it has a beach entry, which was perfect for the kids (ranging in age from 1-7). We never had difficulty getting chairs by the pool – but we were shamelessly ‘reserving’ spots for ourselves each day by taking our pool stuff and putting it on our chairs on our way to breakfast. The hotel doesn’t want you ‘reserving’ chairs overnight – but no one seemed to have any issue with staking out spots in the morning.

The beach is lovely – clean and the sand is soft. The beach is crowded though – a lot more people than I’m used to from trips to the Mayan Riviera.

Overall an enjoyable trip - we had the family vacation we were hoping for. The resort is certainly nice, but between the lower level of service (than I'm used to) and someone in our party being robbed - I can only give this a Very Good review.

Room Tip: Building 91 is great - very close to the main pool & lobby
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank LKSebastian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
socialmedia b, Customer service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 9 May 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review of your stay at our hotel. We sincerely appreciate your feedback. We feel good to know you had a lovely first time in Dominican Republic with your family.

I apologize for some inconveniences that you and your family have experienced and if you felt you did not received the service you deserve for some staff.

I would like to invite you once again in any of our Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts to experience the hospitality of our people, the quality of our services and facilities.

Regards from Punta Cana!

Vianca Graciano
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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2,626 - 2,632 of 7,172 reviews

Reviewed 7 May 2014

we had a great experience thanks to all the staff and most of all Richard Morellis and Ricki this hotel is a great place the staff and the food are both great..The pools are all great and it is very close to the ocean.the grounds and the rooms are very very clean

Room Tip: rooms in the 90111 are closest ones to the ocean
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Terry M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
socialmedia b, Customer service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 8 May 2014

Dear Terry,

First of all thank you for choosing Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts for your holiday destination in Punta Cana. We feel proud to read that you enjoyed a great vacation with us.

We hope to cater you once again in this tropical paradise!

Kind regards,

Vianca Graciano
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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Reviewed 7 May 2014

My wife and I, along with our 10-year-old daughter, recently spent a week at the Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda in Punta Cana. We have been to several all-inclusive resorts in Mexico, Cuba, The Bahamas, and Saint Martin, and I must say, this resort outranks them all.

Everything about this resort is just right. It's a short 30 minute drive from the airport. It's located on the best beach we've ever seen. The hotel itself is modern and exceptionally clean. This hotel is, by far, the cleanest we've ever stayed at. The food is great. The service is fantastic. And the staff are both friendly and professional.

If you're thinking about going to Punta Cana, you should seriously consider choosing this hotel. Finally, a hotel where you don't have to get up at the crack of dawn to get a chair on the beach. There are plenty of chairs at this resort, most of which are located underneath much appreciated palapas. I took a long walk along the beach and was surprised to see that many of the neighbouring hotels not only lacked sufficient chairs for their guests, but they also failed to provide any shade whatsoever for the chairs they did provide. This is our first time going to a resort and not having to worry about the beach chair thing. Thank you to the management of Luxury Bahia for realizing the importance of providing a plenitude of chairs and shade for their guests. Not having to worry about securing beach chairs really does make you trip that much more enjoyable.

As other guests have noted, the one fault this hotel does have is its check-in process. When you arrive at the hotel, there is very little communication, and you're simply told to take a seat in a nearby lobby area. We have no problem if our room isn't ready upon our arrival, but please tell us that so we don't just sit there not knowing what is going on.

Apart from the check-in process, this hotel really is superb. Don't let your first impression of this hotel (the check-in) fool you. Once you actually get checked in, you'll see this hotel for what it really is: an exceptionally well-run resort whose service and cleanliness is second to none. There's a reason why so many of the guests at this hotel are repeat customers. After many years of plying the waters of the Caribbean Sea, we've finally found our home. See you next year Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda.

Room Tip: If possible, try to get a room that doesn't adjoin another room. The walls are thin, and the ad...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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6  Thank Andrew M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
socialmedia b, Customer service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 8 May 2014

Dear Andrew,

Our Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda family is very happy to hear that you spent an excellent week, not only because of our superb service, but also because of the best beach in the area and the amount of chairs provide to our guests. We pride ourselves to see that you finally found your second home in the Caribbean; Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda.

Receive cordial greetings from the Dominican Republic!

Vianca Graciano
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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Reviewed 6 May 2014

When I attributed was unwell but what better place than the lovely Esmeralda !!! Food was great best rib eye steak at the Garden Grill. Loved the beaches walked for miles!! One day wasn't feeling the best and decided to take a great bath in the jacuzzi tub and to my surprise Victor had a surprise waiting for me in my room. My bath tub filled with flowers all around nice and hot. He will totally never know how much I appreciated his kind gesture as he did not know I was feelin unwell and it was just what I needed!!! The stay was wonderful and look forward to coming back again!!!

  • Stayed: April 2014
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1  Thank Jojo2134
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
socialmedia b, Customer service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 7 May 2014

Dear client,

I do not know how to thank you for this kind of comments. Please be assured that your wonderful comments will be forwarded to your butler Victor.

It is a pleasure for all of us to hear that we could fulfill your expectations during your stay in our Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda and you were very satisfy with your stay and you enjoyed the surprise provided by Victor.

Looking forward to seeing you soon and provide you another wonderful stay!!!

Vianca Graciano
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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Reviewed 6 May 2014

My husband, 4-year old daughter and myself just returned from a one-week stay. We booked based on the Tripadvisor reviews. It was OK...we have stayed at much better resorts.

The good: Beach is gorgeous and well-maintained, as are the pools. They never ran out of clean towels. The grounds are lovely. The food was good, the buffets have a lot of options, and there are quite a few a la-carte restaurants to choose from (Tex mex was our favourite). The wait staff were exceptional, and we tipped at every meal. The water park was perfect for our daughter - probably best for kids aged 8 and younger. There were other activities for older kids, such as bumper cars and a ropes course that we did not try. The rooms were nice and large. The spa massage was great. There were barely any mosquitoes at night.
The wagons that take you around the (huge) resort were plentiful and always on schedule-tips were always appreciated by the drivers.

The bad: It's a HUGE resort - really it's 4 in 1. For a 4.5*, we expected better service. "I don't know" was a common response (with no attempt to find the answer) and we were often sent in the wrong direction - for instance, we missed an evening kids-club activity because the concierge sent us to the wrong resort (and he refused to check the program on his desk).

The mini-bars in the room were sparse (1 small bag of chips each day+drinks) and the room service menu was very limited.

The policy is no reserving chairs, but that is not enforced, and the chairs closest to the ocean went unused regularly for 1/2 days or more.

The Kids club staff are nice, but we wouldn't leave our daughter with them. In fact, when we went to the water park, there was a 4-year old boy who was at a kids club activity, but he was completely unsupervised for 1/2 hour.

The gym is surprisingly small and poorly equipped for such a large resort.

Last, and most important, the walls are paper-thin. We were awoken by a crying child at 6am. I went to the hall to see if he was in the hall, but he was 4 rooms away in his room. We heard everything - in other rooms and in the hall, both early in the morning and late at night.

Room Tip: Buildings 92-93 seemed to be most quiet. Request a top floor room if you want the quietest rooms, b...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank baba2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
socialmedia b, Customer service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 7 May 2014

Dear Guest,

We feel so sorry to hear that you were not satisfied with this trip and your comments about the kids club have been transmitted to the corresponding department.

Thank you for taking the time of sharing your opinion with us which we will take in the highest consideration and thank you for highlighting the good aspects such as the gorgeous beach and pool, good food, lovely grounds and the variety at the buffet.

Always at your disposal,

Vianca Graciano
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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Reviewed 6 May 2014

My spouse and I have done a fair amount of travelling to the Caribbean, Mexico, Costa Rica and others. This is the first time that I get my prescription medication stolen from our room. It never dawn on me that my prescription medication should also be locked up in the safe but now I know better. Obviously the money left on the pillow in the morning and also at night for the turn down was not enough..... warning to all travellers, if you use prescription drugs, lock them up. I wrote my comments to Esmeralda's office and got no reply, so I wrote to their head office and they provided a reply which had been formatted to satisfy some clients but not this one. Anyways, personnel on the site are friendly, the food was very good, plenty of chairs on the beach and as usual some vacationers reserve their pool side chairs early morning and spend most of the day at the beach, what's with that. I wish there would be someone keeping track of those abusers. The entire site is extremely large but the resort taxi are fairly frequent. Nice location but would not go back.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Renald L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
socialmedia b, Customer service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 7 May 2014

Dear Renald,

Thank you for your recent review on TripAdvisor and for mentioning our good food and friendly staff.

We are very concerned about the situation you mentioned and we sincerely regret if the circumstance mentioned may have affected your vacation experience.

We sincerely regret that our overall image has been tarnished as well as not having been able to fulfill your expectations this time.

It is very unfortunate for us to know that you would not come back.

Vianca Graciano
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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Reviewed 5 May 2014 via mobile

Pros: Friendly staff. Resort is nicely maintained. Grounds are beautiful. Weakness: Food was just ok. Drinks were weak.
If you go try to get a room facing the resort and not adjacent to Rui. We were in the 96000 villas and our room faced a service road. Sitting on the deck was noisey. We did have a glimpse of the ocean.
Pools were clean. Water was a bit warm and not refreshing. They close the pools very early (6 pm) so there is no evening dip!.
Staff will go out of their way to be helpful if you tip. A couple of dollars goes a long way. We also read and followed other advice about bringing small items such as make up and nail polish for room staff. They were very appreciative and brought extra towels and bottled water. We are from David Ortiz country so brought some Red Sox t-shirts and caps that went over very well for staff who did an exceptional job.
Beach had plenty of seating and shade. It was clean and staff came around regularly offering drinks.
We paid $15 for a Caribbean party on Friday night. I would not do this again. Plenty of free entertainment of same caliber. Plenty of vendors selling the same stuff table to table.
Over all good value for money.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
3  Thank marleydog123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
socialmedia b, Customer service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 7 May 2014

Dear Marley,

We greatly appreciate that you have chosen Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda as your holiday destination. It is a real pleasure to see that you enjoyed this beautiful Resort.

We wish to continue providing the best of our personnel hospitality, the quality of our services and facilities, and offer you an unforgettable experience at Dominican Republic in Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, your best hotel.

Vianca Graciano
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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Additional Information about Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection

Address: Crta. Arena Gorda - Macao, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#7 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#30 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#31 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#33 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: £129 - £442 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection 4*
Number of rooms: 570
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Facilities and services 2 Pools Sun terrace 4 Jacuzzis Sun umbrellas and loungers Beach and pool towel service BAHIA SPA (additional charge) Sports facilities: gym, 3 tennis courts, 1 padel tennis court (additional charge), multi-sports court Water activity centre Motorised water sports (additional charge) WiFi access in the lobby (free) and in rooms (free of charge) Entertainment amphitheatre 2 buffet restaurants 3 speciality restaurants 3 Bars 1 Snack- bar Wedding gazebo 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, 570 Deluxe Junior Suite Room facilities: King size bed or two full size beds Air conditioning Ceiling fan Sitting area with sofa Terrace Fully-equipped bathroom with hydromassage bath tub and separate shower, hair dryer and magnifying mirror Bathrobe and slippers VIP amenities Radio-alarm clock Flat screen satellite TV Coffee-making facilities Ironing set Pillow menu Umbrella 24 hour room service Minibar WiFi (free of 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 
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Also Known As:
Gran Bahia Principe Esmeralda Hotel Punta Cana

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