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“Amazing Resort! Highly Recommend..wish I could stay longer!!!”

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Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #33 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 10 March 2010

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!

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank LisaLyttle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 March 2010

Stayed at Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana (Esmerelda) 2/17/10-2/24/10.
The staff is absolutely wonderful! These people try so hard to please their guests. They wouldn't let us lift a finger! They carried our bags when we got there and when we were ready to check out we called the desk and two people were there within 5 minutes to carry the bags out. I can't believe just how hard they try to please. I can only say the same for the wonderful waitstaff, maids, bartenders and front desk personnel.
The food was very good but the all inclusive thing can get old after a few days.
The theme night for the buffets were great (Thursday night was seafood night and it was wonderful!!), always something new.

The pools were clean, beach was wonderful. The resort was absolutely spotless! The grounds are kept to perfection. The only issue with our room was that the shower leaked into the toilet area (the toilet is seperated for privacy) and the tile floor got very slippery. My 4 yr. old slipped and fell twice. We did report it to be fixed. The room was very clean and the Esmerelda section is only about 5 months old. The rooms are all very close to the beach and the area has two of it's own pools (one for adults only). The rooms have large whirlpool tubs and the staff made me up a nice surprise bubble bath with candles and rose petals. The pool chairs are very plentiful. Esmerelda has it's own bars, buffet and snack restaurant. It's not crazy busy like the rest of the hotel. We did stroll over to see the other pools and snack areas and they were PACKED! So happy that we upgraded, well worth it unless you like crowds.
The trams to get you around were great. They come every 5 minutes or so.
The night entertainment is at the main lobby area of the hotel and is fun. The kids loved it.
The only negative part of our trip was that my 4 yr old daughter got extremely ill (vommiting for 26 hrs). So, the last three days of the trip were spent in our room nursing her back to health. I'm not blaming the resort food since our family of 4 ate the same foods all week. I'm thinking she got a mouthful of pool or bath water. Who knows...she might have gotten it on the airplane on the way there.?... We did visit the resort Dr. who did speak english. He did not have any meds to stop vommiting but they should. Nobody else got sick but our bellies were not quite right. Probably just the way they cooked the food and we are not used to. The drinks were OK. Very cheap liquor. We are not big drinkers so no biggie.
The beer was yummy!
I do recommend this resort. It was very quiet, relaxing and they really pamper you!
Oh, and you get a FREE safe and 24 hr. room service, which we used a lot with a sick child.
If you have any questions I would be happy to answer.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank zappa73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2010

just returned from a one week vacation at the Bahia principe esmeralda. I have nothing bad to say about this resort. Rooms were excellent, very clean, good room service and maid service. Location of the hotel was right by the beach. Restaurants very clean and service was excellent, even at the buffet restaurant. The pool was very nice, clean, and not overcowded. Beach was spectacular. Would definately recommend.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank lorrbsept
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2010

Just back from 2 weeks at Esmerelda. The place is amazing. Rooms are very spacious and well laid out. The food was fantastic and great selection. Pool was really nice and there was never trouble finding a seat. The beach is busy but if you sit on the end in front of Esmerelda it's just fine. We had lots of room around us and also never had touble finiding a chair. Beach bar service was great. The entire Gran Bahia Principe is huge, but the Esmerela area is like it's very own resort. Never crowded or crazy busy. I would recomend this resort to anyone. All the staff we encountered were friendly and helpfull. Not sure what more I can say! I added as many pics as I could. I think they will speak for themselves. Go and check it out you won't be disappointed I promise!

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank AlbertaShell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 February 2010

We were booked in the Bahia Bavaro and got a upgrade for our three rooms. One for us one for our teen boys and one for my parents. I am so glad as the Bavaro for me is way to big and busy. At eh Esmeralda there was always a place to sit for us by the pool and there was 6 of us. Never sat there but we could have. The food was fantastic, shrimp, sushi, every night and lobster one night on buffet. the staff at the buffet was great we got to know Fermando the first night and tried to get him every night as he was the greatest. One night he was not even in the restaurant he was some where else and he came in seen us and brought us a finger bowl. In the morning we sat where Alexander was. He to was great. You walk into the buffet and the greeters had a squirt of hand sanitizer for every one. We never ate at the ala carts as we enjoyed the buffet and we were there for 10 days. Our room was good overlooking the back room 91101 and 91102 and 91107. Our maid Marcella was the greatest. We left her a tip with some candy, chocolate, every day in both rooms (91107 different maid) . She would leave beautiful towel art every day. Our boys loved to come back to the room and see what she left for them. One day she even left me a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Our room was close to the beach they all are. The pool was wonderful Never busy. Most times we could even get a chair at the swim up bar. Could always find chairs for 6 by the pool. not in the shade but by the pool. There is adults only hot tub there a little warmer then the pool. I loved the Esmeralda . I would go back any day but I do not think I would like the Bavaro as it is to big for my liking and way to busy.. Friends stayed at the same time and did not get the upgrade and liked our resort much better. Our boys age 14 and 16 loved the Michael Jackson show. Note go early because it is busy there we also went to the Neon show
was Ok the boys thought it was really good. Parents went to Casino won a little.. but. Very smokey. Beach was very busy but was OK. We had 10 of us total and so we always played the towel game as my dad had skin cancer and could not sit in the sun. We were not greedy there was 10 of us and only used 1 palapa. WE all loved the Esmeralda.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank Ladytrougher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 February 2010

My girlfriend and I just returned from my first trip down South, and I am still in heaven (even though I have returned to -30 temperatures). For starters, we were extremely lucky and had the most beautiful 7 days of clear skies and sun, and I have never been so tanned in my life, after a most unfortunate first day sunburn (wear your SPF 30 folks).

I was totally amazed when we drove into the Bahia Principe! Initially things were a bit confusing as we were trying to figure out where we were headed on the resort. But once that kink was worked out, we were driven to a beautiful room (our bell boy saying Oh La La as he was walking us in), right in the 90 block, literally ten feet from the beach, unbelieveable! a gorgeous pool was right outside our door, as well as the Jasmin buffet, which my friend and I ended up eating at most nights, in spite of having reservations at five restaurants.

The beach was incredible, staff were about 99% awesome, helpful, and friendly (it probably helped that we were two single girls milling about on the resort, to be honest, we had a loooot of attention, but all of it fairly innocent!), and I have little to no complaints about our stay! The cleaning staff did a wonderful job every day on our room, no one was very expectant of tips, etc. The only thing I was a bit disappointed in was the drinks: I would have liked to have had drinks made with real fruit for the price that we paid and the quality of the resort. They were all made with that super sweet fake slushy stuff, which isn't great. But the wine flowed like a river, I was never left with an empty glass!

All in all, I have been home for not quite 24 hours, and I wish I was back there already! highly recommended :)

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled with friends
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1  Thank microgirl1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2010

I must start off by saying, that we ended up staying in the Esmeralda, as the Ambar was overbooked and the resort offered to move us here - we graciously accepted.
Found the management very visible, always greeting guests as they came by the main desk - how they remember so many guests by name amazes me. They advised me that they would be expanding the Esmeralda - no date determined yet - they just want to make sure they have everything as close to perfection as possible before they add on more rooms.

At the present time the Esmeralda consists of 4 buildings with 60 Jr. Suites in each building - making it very quaint and so easy to get to all areas within the Esmeralda.

I have posted photos so they will show the nice details of the rooms etc.

One big thing we noticed right away was the fact that the halls were carpeted, thereby cutting down immensely on noise in hallways. As usual, the cleanliness throughout the entire Esmeralda was impeccable. Rooms are very well appointed - liked the new washroom layout, with the window above the jacuzzi tub that could be open or closed by curtains if desired. Nice pillow top mattresses - 4 poster beds and lots of room - very spacious. The mini bar was always kept stocked - had the pillow service - very nice, Did not try the room service, but saw many servers bringing meals to rooms constantly.
And yes, they do have face cloths !

Lobby Bar was exquisite - and yes they do have Brugal Extra Viejo for those wondering - enjoyed the buffet - good selection and quality - snack bar was also very good and the a la carte called Bella Vista (Italian) was truly outstanding. I had the sirloin steak that did not need a knife to cut it - done to perfection & delicious. Others in our group had steak or pasta and were very impressed. The appetizers are outstanding - the presentation is deserving of a photo shot - Service could not have been better - very attentive staff.

If you are a smoker, the shop located in the lobby does not stock cigarettes, so make sure you stock up at the gift shops by the main resort lobby or at the Pueblo Principe shops.

The main pool is very nice, but we would spend most of our time at the adult only jacuzzi pool just beyond the large family pool. Because it it much smaller, it is even warmer. This adult only pool is surrounded by 8 cabanas which contain a table and two loungers and the sides can be drawn for any extra privacy.

The beach area is very similar in size to the Ambar - quite deep - lots of palapas and never a shortage of loungers. As this is the far south end of the Bahia property, there is more space on the beach than in the centre area of the resort.

The children sure were enjoying the new activity item that was a combination bunge jump with a trampoline - seemed very safe and operated by a staff member at all times.
The children and wrapped in a harness around the waist and not the feet - thought I should add that.

Taking a tram from the Esmeralda back up to the Main resort lobby or to the Pueblo Principe took longer than other areas of the resort. At the present time, the tram runs from the Esmeralda every 10 minutes, which is really not a major issue. We would just stroll along the path over to the Los Olas restaurant and take the tram from there. This is also the easiest way to return as well as it seemed rather confusing to find the tram at the front of the main resort lobby to return to the Esmeralda - we always did get one, but even the staf at the main lobby were not always sure which one would take us there - am sure they will get that worked out very soon.

If there are any other questions that you may wish to have answered, please send me a PM - would be glad to assist.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled with family
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10  Thank Brooklin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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
#28 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#29 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#31 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: £142 - £385 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 (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

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