This is my first visit to this resort. So far, my wife and I are enjoying it (this is day 3).
I do have some suggestions though:
1) at the airport, figuring out where to go for transportation to the hotel was difficult, as there was no one around (from Air Transat or the hotel) to direct us to the correct bus. Had it not been for two fellow travellers who had been here before, it would have taken much longer to sort things out I am sure. A tad more organization would be an idea.
2) arrival at the hotel was quite disorganized also. We had to disembark from the bus and transfer to trams to take us to the section of the resort we are staying in. There was an excessive amount of waiting involved in this exercise.
3) once at the Esmerelda section, thing got a lot smoother. Check in was quite a bit better organized and the staff was very friendly and helpful. The porter was excellent.
4) financial: as with many countries, here things run typically in American dollars. This is not an issue, nor was it unexpected. What is irritating is that the ATM's around the site dispense Dominican Pesos with NO option for receiving US currency. Acquiring US dollars requires a trip OFF RESORT. You can either buy pesos from the machine and then go to town to exchange them (and paying TWO fees to do so) or just go to town directly and try and find a bank open. Either way, this is a MAJOR inconvenience and not exactly a selling feature for the resort.
5) Food: generally speaking, the food is "okay" but not quite what I expected, given the reviews I have read before coming. I am not a picky eater and expect to experience a different dining experience when abroad, but I did expect better. The predictions regarding reservations mentioned in reviews here are true. Don't wait very long after arriving to book or you will be disappointed (not kidding as I tried booking on Saturday and EVERYTHING was booked up to beyond our return date).
5) the room is lovely. They restock the mini bar daily with a fixed number of sodas, mini bottles and a couple of beers. This in included, there is no "mini bar charge" as is typical with many other places I have stayed. The rooms are cleaned thoroughly daily.
All and all, so far, we are enjoying ourselves so far, aside from the aforementioned "hiccups". Notwithstanding the above, I am giving this resort a very good. Fixing the above would net an excellent.
- 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