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“Less that desirable "Luxury" resort”

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Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #29 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Less that desirable "Luxury" resort”
Reviewed 9 June 2014

This is not a luxury hotel and they should not advertise as such. Its a resort, granted with lots of fancy photo ops, but the service is dismal. The food is practically inedible. The hospitality staff puts on an illusion of helpfulness, but will literally roll their eyes and walk away from you never fully answering questions or requests. The overall attitude is NOT "we are here to help" but rather, "get away from me". This is Hospitality 101 folks, there should never been an unhelpful air with front desk, concierge, or any staff at all. The beach is beautiful, but the music they pump at the resort makes for zero rest or relaxation. Some of restaurants you can select from in the evening are okay, but it in no way makes up for the terrible buffet you are forced into and breakfast and lunch. The value is simply not there for the price you pay, and the fact that they call it all luxury is laughable.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank mrswehrli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Viancagraciano, Customer service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, 10 June 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for bringing to our attention your comments regarding your stay with us and we regret that you did not find the luxury in our Resort.

We sincerely regret any inconvenience you may have experienced. Please let me inform you that Esmeralda`s guests are not forced to eat in one buffet, in this case we have 2 buffets in that section and also it`s allowed to go to other buffets at the complex.

We hope you will be willing to give us the opportunity to welcome you once again to experience the hospitality of our people, the quality of our services and facilities.

Best regards,

Vianca Graciano
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
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  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Level Contributor
222 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2014

I stayed at Grand Bahia Principe from May 17-31st 2014. Let me start off by explaining the resort. The resort in made up of multiple hotels all in the one Grand Bahia Resort. We stayed at the Esmeralda which is apparently the best of them all. Guests of Esmerald are permitted to eat at and attend all of the other hotels but guests staying at the other hotels in the resort are not permited the eat, swim, etc at Esmeralda. Esmeralda is also the closest hotel to the beach. We stayed in room 93007. Again we were informed that if possible to request a room in the 9 building because this is supposed to be the best.

Upon arrival, we were greated by wonderful staff mmebers who were pleasant and nice. The lobby area was breath taking and I could immediately tell I was at a very classy place. Check in was a breeze. They grab your bags and they are in your room waiting for you once you get to your room. Checkout was the same, just easy and hassle free.

Pros:

The resort is absolutely beautiful and well manicured. The foliage and flowers throughout the resort is amazing. The grass is perfectly green and cut, the trees trimmed and just incredible. I kept marvelling at how incredibly beautiful the resort was. The time and effort required to keep it up to these standards is impressive. Workers are continually maintaining the grounds 24/7.

It also amazes me how clean the resort is and how well maintained the buildings are. No dirt anywhere! The floors sparkle, the walls perfectly painted and if there is a cosmetic problem it is fixed immediately. The resort is so clean that when I went to the lobby for coffee and pastries every morning I observed the same guy shining the brass on the tables and fences...amazing. I seriously can't reiterate to you how clean and beautiful this place is.

The rooms are very spacious and again clean! The house keeping staff does a great job and clean the rooms twice per day often leaving chocolates and swans, hearts etc made out of towels on the bed. The mini bar is stocked daily and they never forgot. Bathrooms are great, nice showers. Air conditioning is soooooo cold and have a built in dehumidifier so there is no musty smell and wet/heavy feeling.

The entire resort is enormous (which could also be a con). Many pools to chose from which are gorgeous. Swim up bars, excellent service and great slushy drinks. The beer (Presidente) isn't that bad either. No premium vodka which begins to suck after a few days.

The beach is absolutely stunning! Crystal clear blue water, white sandy beaches with very little seaweed washed up to shore. Any seadweed that does wash up to shore is promptly raked and removed. The bottom of the ocean water is very soft unlike beaches in Mexico that are rough and rocky. This beach is my favourite beach that I have ever seen so far. Parasailing above you, plenty of activities on the beach and the local vendors are not annoying at all! There are also plenty of lounge chairs so no need to worry there! You may have to move them from the shaded area but staff doesn't mind and will even help you move them if they see you need help. Weather was perfect even during their "rainy" season. I think it rained maybe once for ten minutes then sunny.

This hotel is very service oriented. Most of the staff members are genuinely nice and personable. Of course there is the odd worker that seems disgruntled but it's expected in the service industry. I would certainly be miserable if I had to serve tourists day in and day out for 13 hours a day. There are a few people that I believe need to receive some recognition as they made my trip that much more enjoyable. The bell boy Jose at Esmeralda was so nice (he had braces). He seemed so happy to be there and greeted me and shook my hand every time he saw me. He even took it upon himself to drive us into town in his personal vehicle when we wanted to get some "American" food. There was also a shorter male server that served at the buffet near the quiet pool that was always singing and dancing and made our group laugh. Yirlando (really tall guy) who served us every day was also a pleasure.

Now when it comes to service, you will never in your life receive the service we experienced with our butler Joangel. This man is like an angel! When we arrived, we bumped into him in the hallway and he introduced himself as our butler. Let me tell you, if you want something Joangel will get it for you. He got us lavender and memory foam pillows every night! Decorated our room for my birthday with balloons. Need a reservation at a restaurant, done even if they were booked! He would check up on us daily and made sure we had everything we needed. He would even stop by the pool to say hi and was constantly laughing and joking with us. He is an absolute asset to the hotel and a pleasure. I honestly felt like I left Punta Cana gaining a friend and I was sad when having to say goodbye to him. Thanks Joangel you really helped make this trip a memory for life.

Food at the resort is great. Plenty of selection but after two weeks I was kind of sick of it but who wouldn't be. I just needed some Mcdonald's. Oh I forgot to mention that room service is great too. Large menu and you'll have it within 20 mins. This is 24/7 too! The buffet leading out to the beach is by far the best. Fresh guacamole, fajitas etc! The only thing that sucked about the food was their fruit was horrible. It always seemed old, slimy and tasteless.

The majority of the A La Carte restaurants were great. My advice is head to guest services as soon as you get there and book for the entire week as they fill up fast. Takara the Asian restaurant was above average. Maiko the Japanese restaurant was incredible. Great show they put on with even better food. Mexican restaurant was just OK. I wouldn't go again. Garden Grill restaurant was delicious with perfectly cooked steak. Don Pablo Restaurant was the classy formal restaurant. I really didn't like it. Small servings and prissy "stuck up" food if you know what I mean. Italian Restaurant was average (kind of like Olive Garden). BBQ buffet stay away at all costs. Just horrible, I'm almost positive it was just leftovers from lunch. Just awful!

There isn't much to do at night which is expected in these all inclusive resorts although they did have a sports bar which was actually very fun and a disco which was also good. Disco had fun music and a great atmosphere.

Nobody there acts like they expect a tip which was refreshing. Every other all inclusive I've gone to I felt like I was pressured to give tips constantly. Dirty looks, stares etc. but none of that here. Most of the time the person would leave before I even had the time to tip them. But please tip generously, they all work hard and certainly deserve it.

Do check out the excursions. We did the dune buggies which was an ever lasting memory. Just so much fun. We also did the part boat which included snorkelling, Snuba and parasailing. Just amazing!

Cons (there are very few)

I hate hate hated how you only get one free hour of WiFi a day and only in the lobby. If you want WiFi after your hour its $60 a week. That to me is outrageous for an all inclusive.

Like I mentioned before, there isn't much to do at night and it can get boring especially since they shut off the lights in the lobby at 11pm. You can catch a show at the main lobby (Punta Cana) but other than the Michael Jackson show they aren't that good. There was really no entertainment staff there like I experienced at other resorts. If your a teen or young adult looking to come here to party, probably not the right place. This is more of a classy, relaxation type of place.

I didn't like how there was no hot tub or Sauna or the fact that the pools close at 6pm. That's a little too early for me.

Towels are like sandpaper, toilet paper is even worse, just shreds upon contact.............

Pretty much 95% of the workers do not speak English. Its became very frustrating and cumbersome at times when asking for directions or asking for help. Signage is terrible so finding a restaurant was like finding a needle in a haystack. I even tried to order room service once and the clerk couldn't understand what I was saying so I gave up.

Bring ear plugs! You can hear everything, and I mean everything through the walls and from the hallways. It's like the wall and doors are made of paper.

In my opinion this place to too big. Made it very difficult to get around and we had to get trolleys to drive us around if we wanted to head to a show or to a restaurant.

Overall this resort is incredible. Don't even bother reading the very few terrible reviews posted by people. Its obvious when you start reading them the people that write them are the hard to please kind where nothing is enough. They are probably miserable all the time anyways. Don't let them skew your view of this place. I mean of course things can go wrong but nobody is perfect. Trust me stay here and you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
18 Thank Paolo182002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Viancagraciano, Customer service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, 10 June 2014
Dear Paolo,

For all our staff members it is a pleasure to hear that they offered you a memorable experience. Personally I would like to thank you for post your extensive review with all the details that people need to know before coming.

In Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts we are passionate to serve and exceed our guests’ expectations and we feel good to read this kind of comments, where you consider this is an incredible Resort with Pros and Cons.

Don´t hesitate to contact us prior arrival to organize the most unforgettable vacation, where you will not be disappointed.

Always at your disposal,

Vianca Graciano
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mesa, Arizona
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2014

We stayed at the Esmeralda from 5/31 - 6/6 which was our first experience with an All-Inclusive Resort. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay! From the exceptional service of our Butler, JoAngel, to the friendly staff (Angel - driver, Carlos, Randy, Eduardo) and fun bartenders,(Lorenzo, Lorenzo, & Laroit, ) we couldn't have asked for a better experience. (JoAngel was extremely helpful & knowledgeable and exceeded our expectations. He also arranged our zip lining expedition as well as a snorkeling trip.) Our room was comfortable and faced one of the pools. Our only thumbs down would be the long wait when wanting to use the transportation to and from the Punta Cana and the Esmeralda. The grounds were fabulous and very well-maintained. The beach was amazing with a choice of sunshine or shade under the palapas. After walking the beach up to the Majestic to the north and down past the RIU, Bavarostar, and Ocean Sand/Blue to the south, I am convinced that the Gran Bahia has the best beach! We would definitely stay here again!

Room Tip: We were on the second floor of Bldg 93 with an awesome view of the pool area. Just a little noise fr...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Wendy T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Viancagraciano, Customer service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, 9 June 2014
Dear Wendy,

We have shared your wonderful comments with the entire staff at our hotel and they are all very pleased to know that their excellent and helpful service is appreciated. Posts such as yours delight us and gives us confidence to keep working hard to satisfy our customers and improve our service. Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos.

You are welcome to contact us for your next year visit to our Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection in order to prepare all the details to provide you another unforgettable experience in the Dominican Republic.

Greetings from paradise,

Vianca Graciano
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
1 review
Reviewed 8 June 2014

My Greatest Holiday Ever!!

My stay at the Bahia Principe Esmeralda with my family for the past seven days will be remembered for years. The friendly staff and management team, the ambiance was a total package, Thanks to Joangel our personal assistant/butler for making out stay a memorable one.

See you soon.

Room Tip: 2nd floor corner suites are large sunny and very quiet.
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Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Yvonne A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Viancagraciano, Customer service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, 9 June 2014
Dear Yvonne,

It is magnificent to learn that our team was amazing in the greatest family holiday you have been and we feel proud that it will be remembered for years.

We would like to welcome you once again at our Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection to experience the quality of our services and facilities.

Kindest regards,

Vianca Graciano
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laval, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2014

This hotel does not disappoint! Extremely clean, friendly staff, great food and located next to a breathtaking beach. I loved the fact that it's part of a larger complex of hotels (5 Bahia's in all) allowing you to walk around and explore the grounds. I cannot recommend this hotel enough! Will definitely be returning!

Christina

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 19Christina78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Viancagraciano, Customer service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, 9 June 2014
Dear Christina,

In the name of our General Manager and all staff members we would like to thank you for vacationing with us. We are very pleased to know that our Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection did expect your expectations and you had a fantastic time in this wonderful place.

Thank you for your amazing comment and we are already waiting for you!!!!

Kind regards,

Vianca Graciano
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Whitby, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 7 June 2014

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the management and staff of the Bahia Principe Esmeralda for giving our family of 61 people the wonderful opportunity to experience the most amazing time together. A very special Thank-you to Joe Angel who went above and beyond his duty to ensure that our stay at the Esmeralda was one that we will always remember.
JoeAngel was never too busy to immediately address whatever queries we had. JoeAngel is truly "The Best"
The grounds were beautiful, safe and well cared for. The rooms were very clean and spacious, the food was excellent. The Esmeralda is definitely a 5 Star Facility.

Room Tip: Rooms on the second floor are quiet.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Joyce A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Viancagraciano, Customer service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, 9 June 2014
Dear Joyce,

For all our Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda team is great to read that they provided an awesome experience for your family reunion. With your great comments the management and Joangel will be motivated to keep working hard to create wonderful experiences to our clients.

We would like to have the opportunity to welcome you once again to experience the best hospitality, the quality of our services and facilities.

Greetings from the Dominican Republic!

Vianca Graciano
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orangeburg, South Carolina
1 review
Reviewed 7 June 2014

I took my Mother and enjoyed every minute of our stay! Great management...one of the managers was so helpful and fluent in English...thanks Richard! The staff was very friendly and helpful, but Meldy our butler went beyond the call of duty. He has a strong work ethic and truly enjoys his job, the fitness instructor is amazing with unlimited positive energy! The resort was very well kept and beautiful. The food was very good. Try the Italian restaurant and the buffet on Dominican night.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Crystal N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Viancagraciano, Customer service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, 9 June 2014
Dear Client,

We are very delighted to read that you enjoyed a wonderful time in our Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda thanks to our great management, very friendly and helpful staff, especially your butler and the fitness instructor.

At Bahia Principe our goal is to make your vacation become an unforgettable experience.

Warm greetings,

Vianca Graciano
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection

Property: 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
#25 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#26 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#28 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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 (additional 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 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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