I came here last year and stayed in the Punta Cana resort. This year I stayed in Ambar. I enjoyed Ambar not having children screaming. I will compare and contrast the two.
Room: the rooms seemed fairly similar in size. The bathroom in Ambar was much bigger and nicer. There was a separate shower and the toilet is in a little cove. There was no curtain around the tub and I found that a bit odd. The beds were decent in comfort and I didn't notice a difference there. The "mini bar" was stocked with 3 mini bottles of liquor and that's it. Granted they replenish it everyday but. It a lot of variety. Luckily I'm not a drinker.
I thought we were supposed to have a butler but I never saw him. We only got turn down service once in our 6 day stay.
Buffet: I found that I enjoyed the food served in the buffet at the Punta Cana hotel better. The selection was better and the taste was better. Ambar did feature things like lobster and crab legs on their Gala night but there was still much left to be desired. At one point we went back over to Punta Cana to see what they had and the food looked better and tasted better.
Restaurants: the best one by far is Don Pablo the French restaurant. The Japanese restaurant Maiko is so so. The Asian restaurant Takara left a lot to be desired though the appetizer buffet was the best part.
Drinks: if you are looking for "American beers" they are not included in the inclusive price. You can find then in the bars over in Pueblo Principe. Be careful there because the drinks have extra charges if not in the inclusive package. I am not a drinker but the non alcoholic drinks offered are not bad. The piña colada is the best of all of them. The milkshakes are not what we are used to here in the states and not enough flavor or sugar.
Beach: there is a section marked adults only for Ambar guests and there are people constantly cleaning the lounges as well as a waiter walking around getting drink orders. It is much quieter there but even close by on the non-exclusive side it was quiet up to a point. There are many topless women so if you are American prepare yourself. You will see all shapes and sizes in bikinis so don't feel bad about how you look.
Spa: we did a spa treatment last year and this year. Both were equally enjoyable. I do have a (pardon the pun) huge complaint. Not everyone is a size small medium or large. Why do you not have robes to cater to women of a larger size? This is incredibly frustrating and in a sense disrespectful. We deserve the same amount of accommodation and respect as a smaller woman. With as many large women I saw on the beach it baffled my mind. A tip for the plus sized gal in this situation, get a towel and place it across your front then put the robe on. The panties and brad they give may be a struggle. If you take the wrapper of the bra you can get an extra inch or two and it won't fly off.
Shopping: they want you to shop on the grounds but if you go just 10 minutes outside of the resort there is a market that you can get the same stuff for half the price. The reason for the mark up is the hefty fees vendors must pay to set up there. A bottle of sunscreen was between $12-58.
Entertainment: the entertainment in the evenings is in the Teatro Tropical between the Bavaro and Punta Cana hotels. It can leave a lot to be desired but I am an avid theatre goer so my expectations vary. I applaud the dancers for keeping their energy up in the heat. I would not have been able to do that.
LADIES BEWARE: Dominican men are attractive. They are also smooth talkers. One of the security guards took a liking to me and handed me a note that had his contact info and a "script" that he thought I was very beautiful and he wanted to get to know me. He probably had several of these written out. I tried to avoid him but he found me the next day. This time he tells me that he wanted to take me somewhere where we can talk and get to know each other. He then tells me that he wants to marry me and have a family with me. It made me chuckle. Some women may fall for that but I don't. I translated this as "I want you to get me into America and I will marry you just to make it happen." It's not that easy buddy. Anyways ladies beware.
TIMESHARE WARNING: if you see a person in a white shirt that says "privilege club" RUN! It is a push for purchasing a time share. They don't come out and tell you that but it is. They enticed us last year by offering a free gift. We went for the gift like most folks. They call that "moochers". Their goal is to take you and not let you leave until you agree to buy. Apparently they have upped the anty and are offering helicopter flights. I will give you a brief glance at what you are looking at.
They will approach you and say when did you arrive to get you engaged in conversation. They will arrange for you to be picked up in a golf cart and taken to the Exclusive resort. You will go down into the sales cellar (that's what I call it). A nice person will come over and ask questions about you to gather info before the pitch. They pitch you on being able to use any of the hotels whenever you want. If you say no they come back with questions and pressure. It's never ending. They remind me of a mlm sales pitch. If you are lucky enough for them to take no for an answer they tell you they have to have quality control come over to see if they did their job. Then QC proceeds to start another sales pitch and discounts. If you appear to not be moved you will be rudely dismissed and taken to the front.
It chews up about 2-3 hours and the gift is not worth it. Tell them you are leaving the next day or that you already went. Watch the first 30 minutes of the documentary Queen of Versailles
Conclusion: I do love the resort and amenities. There are improvements that are needed. They need to back off on the sales pitch. I will probably be back next year and probably stay in Ambar. I expect someone from the resort will give me a canned response and not pay any attention to the recommendations.