My family and I recently returned from the Esmeralda. When we arrived, at 3:00 pm, our room was not ready. They invited us to eat at "El Snack" by the beach. That was fine because we were starving! It was an open air buffet style restaurant. As you walk in the waiters are immediately ready to please and serve. I had a delicious Sangria and my husband did as well. The food was pretty good. It was right by the beach and it was a very relaxing hour or so. I am the type of person that needs to get acclimated to my surroundings and it is very difficult for me to relax until I do so, but everyone was so helpful, I did not feel that way.
Well, as we finished our meal and I made reservations for our dinners at a couple of the a la carte restaurants, we were taken to our room. When we walked in, the first thing that I experienced was an awful musty smell and only one bed! I told the young lady Liberika that we are four, how could we have one bed and I believe there was like a very small day bed couch with an extremely hard mattress. I was extremely stressed out and I really felt that I made a wrong decision staying at the Esmeralda. They said that they were going to bring us another bed. A couple of hours passed and nothing was done. I went to the lobby to talk to someone and they said that if a room becomes available the next day they would move us and that someone was on the way with a bed. A few minutes later, a cot arrives! I could not believe that I was staying at a resort with good reviews, and one of my children were going to have to sleep on a cot?! I was so disappointed and upset. Well, as a family we decided to be positive and try to enjoy our well deserved vacation. We started walking towards our dinner at the buffet at the main lobby, and I spot the young lady Liberika. She flags us down and told us she got a room for us with two beds! I felt like grabbing her and hugging her. She said that if we did not mind moving now and of course I said "Let's go". We let her know how much we truly appreciated her efforts. The room was on the second floor. When we walked in, there was not a musty smell AND WE ACTUALLY HAD TWO BEDS!!! At that movement I felt like stress was lifted off of me. It was a nice room and it was spacious. I am so grateful for Liberika's help. I really felt that she helped us and made our vacation enjoyable.
After we settled in, we went to the buffet restaurant by the back pool. I was very impressed with the selection and quality of the food. We ate outdoors because there was a nice breeze. The service that day was also exceptional.
The next day, we woke up and had breakfast at the buffet restaurant found at the main lobby and it was also very good. Such a wide variety of breakfast/brunch items. I truly enjoyed the buffets at Esmeralda. I did not get bored of the food and looked forward to eating there. I only made reservations at two other restaurants because we were satisfied with the buffets and they were located very close to us. After breakfast we were taken to a time share type presentation. We were not interested so I did feel like we lost some time there. Next time, we will just say no.
The beach was beautiful! We were out there for hours. The sand is very soft and does not really get hot when you walk on it. We always found beach chairs, but hardly used them since we enjoyed every moment in the water and playing with the kids on the sand. We went to the beach everyday throughout our stay and were never disappointed. We always found lounge chairs, the weather everyday was sunny with a nice breeze, and the ocean water was refreshing and was very clear. Now, here is a tip! Since there is a nice breeze you don't really feel the sun as much. Take breaks from the sun and sit under one of the many tikis they have available! We wore sunscreen and would reapply, but still got burned. It was just so difficult to not be out there, it was beautiful.
For lunch, we always ate at what they call, "El Snack". Since it was outdoors right by the beach it was extremely convenient and could go in wearing our damp beach wear. I believe Angel would usually take care of us very well. He would always refill our drinks and had a friendly demenor each day.
That evening, we had issues with our toilet. The staff came up twice to try to fix it but it would not flush. They moved us once again. The room we moved to was downstairs, but also very nice. We made sure that the toilet was working and that we had two beds! ;) Liberika helped us once again.. What a hard working and efficient young lady she was. I am truly impressed by her effort.
During the rest of our stay we had dinner at the Barbecue grill at the Bavaro hotel. The steak there was delicious and tender. We also ate at the Italian restaurant located at the Esmeralda. The servers there Jorge and Willy did an outstanding job serving us. During the rest of our stay we had dinner at the buffets which were just convenient and very good.
The pools were nice as well, but the one closest to the beach was too warm for my taste. The one furthest from the beach was much cooler and less crowded. They both had bars that you could swim up to. Very nice. The bartenders were always smiling and efficient trying to get everyone their drinks.
Overall, we had an amazing vacation. I would have given the Esmeralda five stars if the issues with the rooms did not occur. The issues were very inconvenient and stressful. I think when people make reservations and they see that there are four people they should just automatically give them two beds unless requested otherwise. What made our vacation great was the service, the weather, the food, and the beaches. It is a beautiful hotel in an amazing location. I would probably go back if I was guaranteed that there would be no issues with our room when we checked in. Like I shared before, the beginning was not so pleasant, but the rest of the vacation to the very end was fantastic. I want to thank Liberika again for helping us out! You helped us out and went above and beyond to make sure our stay was enjoyable! Thank you!!!
- 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