In summary I can say that by most criteria’s this was the best hotel we ever been to (see my other reviews). I would go there without any hesitation and I have no doubts we will be back to this hotel soon.
One week before vacation start I send email with my room request. I asked for quiet room close to the beach. I got exactly that – room was in building 90 with very nice pool view and it was quiet. Sound isolation between rooms was decent – our neighbors had kid that was talking loudly and we could hear them but not enough to affect our sleep. Room was large and everything worked perfectly – for example air conditioning was quietest out of all hotels we stayed at. We asked our room to be cleaned early in the morning and this exactly what happened.
One week before vacation start I send email requesting 6 different a la carte reservations. When we arrived our butler brought us envelope with printed out reservations. This was great time savings. If you think in other hotels you often have to wait 10-15 min each morning to make reservation, so you really would be wasting like 70-100min of your vacation prime time. So I strongly believe that making reservations by email is the way to go and is very much appreciated.
I would say that food at this hotel was the best out of all hotels we have been to. There was smoked salmon, red/black caviar (tiny size) for almost every meal. All fruit quality was extremely good. During our stay hotel was at full capacity, but during every meal restaurants/buffet was not that busy. That was very nice. I believe this is because hotel 2 buffet restaurants available with exactly same food. There were never lines for omelets or pasta. What surprised me the most – how good service was at buffet. At most other hotels we were, during peak times servers were too busy to help you. But here at any time absolute majority of servers were very attentive. At the end we used just 3 a la carte reservations and cancelled other ones. Out of a la carte’s we liked “La Gourmet” restaurant the most.
This hotel has beautiful beach but it is small. It was very crowded. This would be one small negative about this hotel. By my standard first row or second row palapas are very good, third row maybe acceptable and after that they are just too far from the water. This did not affect us much - I would get palapa every morning in the first row, except 1 day in second row. But for that I had to sacrifice my sleep time. During most days first row of palapas are reserved around 6am. On Saturday I came to beach at 5:45am and all palapas on first row were already taken! I got good palapa in the second row and was happy with our location. Last few days I noticed that people started to reserve palapas from the night before – I do not believe it is fair, but I saw this happening. I wish security would clear reserved palapas every morning around 5am.
So I notice that most days first row of palapas is gone by 6:10am, then second row by 7am or earlier and then other rows start to fill up quickly. I believe that on most days you can still find palapas in the last rows.
I do not understand why hotel administration decided to give best part of the beach to volleyball area. If they would move that behind “Privilege Club” area, there would be much more space for beach lovers. This is simple fix, I hope administration will do that for our future visits.
We got paid internet for week – we paid 49US$. To be honest it was pain because you could use just one device at the time using that internet connection. You had to disconnect from one device to use it on other device. At first I did not think it is going to be a big deal, but it was very inconvenient. Next time I’ll get internet from other companies that everybody talks in the forums – just because with other companies you can use up to 5 devices. Their internet provider (Kubi) should change that and if they charge 50US$ per week, they should be allowing up to 3 devices at the very least. We also used free internet in the lobby (1hr per day) and speed was acceptable for browsing.
Next day after arrival we go call telling us that we can come by for free gift, but we said “Not interested” and that was it. I was surprised that nobody even talked to us when we were walking by. So they are not an issue – unless of course you want this to be an issue. We watch them few evenings and they do good job in using people greed against them. We saw them telling people that presentation takes just 20min – and then you get this trip, this t-shirt, etc.. Anyway – if you will say not interested – that is going to be it.
Wednesday night there was pool party. Some other nights there was nice singer close to lobby bar. Issue with this hotel – there is no info what is going to happen that night and nobody at reception knows that. I would suggest that hotel post simple page printout on what is going to happen in the lobby or around the pool that night – that would be very helpful. And of course – there were nightly shows at the Punta Cana Tropicana Theater – info about these shows was available.
This was amazing hotel with best service, best food and best drinks we ever been to- and we visited many hotels. I will be back to this hotel in the future and I would not hesitate to recommend this to anybody. Clearly management of this hotel knows what is important during vacation and have their staff trained very well. Thank you Esmeralda staff for amazing vacation!
- 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