Esmeralda is truly a 5 star resort. My boyfriend and I originally booked our trip to the "Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana", once we checked in we realized we were quite far from the beach. The resort is massive and it was quite confusing getting around.
We upgraded the next day to the "Gran Bahia Principe Esmeralda" which was perfect. Definitely worth the extra money!!! This part of the resort is just a few month old. Not crowded at all. Here there are 2 pools, one is adults only. You will always find a chair or table and it's pretty easy to find a cabana too.
THE ROOM: Was beautiful! Didn't smell like smoke at all. (unlike the Bahia Principe Punta Cana) The maid came in a couple of times a day. If we took a nap and messed the bed, she was in to re-make it. There was always bottled water and liquor in our minibar. We were less than a 5 minute walk to the beach, pools, buffet and hotel lobby.
THE BEACH: In one word: SPECTACULAR! Beautiful white sandy beaches. The staff came out everyday to clean the beach in the morning. They were around all day making sure everything was clean and perfect. The ocean is aqua, light blue, clean and very warm. We rented boogie boards and surfed the waves a couple of days. It's free and a lot of fun!!
THE GROUNDS: Everything is well maintained and groomed. Beautiful and green! We saw a little monkey sitting in a palm tree the first day.
THE STAFF: Such wonderful people!! They really make an effort to make your holiday as enjoyable as possible. They don't treat you like a number. They will ask you your name and questions to get to know you. Everyday, Alexander at Jasmin Buffet (beside the lobby) he would greet us and we would sit in his section. Wonderful Server. Richard, he cooked our eggs at the buffet everyday too. Such a pleasant and wonderful man. Emanuel and Nicanoy were the 2 bell boys who helped us out. They wouldn't even think about us carrying our own luggage! Emanuel says "You're on vacation! That means you don't have to lift a finger or do any work!! Let us do it all for you!" If you treat them nice, they will go out of their way for you. Don't act like you're higher or richer or arrogant. They are nice people and have fun with them! They like the entertainment and will treat you like gold if you are nice to them!
THE FOOD: I thought the food was good. My boyfriend thought the food was okay. It was fresh but sometimes a little bland with not enough flavour. I still really enjoyed it. We are in Dominican, not Vancouver, so we can not expect the same food. We ate the buffet everyday for breakfast and lunch. We had reservations at different A la Cartes every night. The Italian Restaurant in Esmeralda was fantastic! The Seafood one, wasn't that great. I ordered the lobster. It was way over-cooked. The french restaurant "Le Gourmet" also very good. The staff at all the restaurants are very friendly and really try to make your stay enjoyable. They really try to make the themed restaurants authentic. I always went back to the Jasmin Buffet for dessert after our meals. The food there is very consistant and tasty. We really liked the buffet.
THE ENTERTAINMENT: "Michael Jackson"-at the Tropicana-Go see it! It was a fantastic show! We saw "Lord of the Dance" also very well done. The dominicans really put on some great performances and you can see that they try hard to please.
We went to the Disco, only once night and only for about an hour. It got extremely smoky in there and we had to leave. That's the only complaint I would have, there's not many designated smoking areas, so people can smoke almost anywhere. Not great, if you're not a smoker like us.
We bargained with the locals at the market square. They start high, but bargain and you can get better prices. I paid too much the first time I went and regret it later, when I brought the jewellery back to the hotel room I realized it wasn't stamped "925" for silver. I paid $35 USD for it. Oh well, these people need the money more than me. It is a beautiful peice of jewellery too.
We went to the dollar store before we left and bought a bunch of school supplies and stuff for the kids in dominican. Everyday we left for our maid 2 or 3 toys or school stuff and a $1 US bill. We tipped the luggage guys $2 US a peice as he had to carry all of our luggage up 3 flights of stairs! Our bartenders we tipped $1 US a day, and our waiters we tipped $1 US per meal.
We had a few days of cloudy/rainy weather, the rest of the trip was sunny. If you want a Cabana on the beach, get up early and watch the sun rise, it's beautiful and you'll claim your spot.
Overall, this is a fantastic resort! I will definitely come back again hopefully next time it will be longer!
- 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