This is my 7th trip to the Caribbean in recent years and my 2nd to this resort. This is the only resort that I have visited twice because it is the best so far. My wife and I took my parents and they say it was their best vacation ever. I have also referred a few friends to this resort and they have thanked me and described it as their favorite holiday.
Beyond good are the beaches of Punta Cana - truly amazing. If you haven't been there, you must go to believe. The added benefit of the view of the ship wrecked Russian ship is the icing for this resort.
The service - the resort was much busier this visit and the service was only "amazing" as opposed to "unbelieveable" like it was in the first visit.
The room was my second favorite that I have stayed in in the Caribbean (first being Cuba - Cayo Ensenachos). The Esmeralda suites were beautiful and brand new and very close to the beach. If you are booking though, do request an upper floor as I am betting the view of the ocean would be amazing. We were on the main floor and had no complaints as we had a a view of the pool and the beautiful gardens.
The beauty and upkeep of this resort is easily the best I have visited. In spite of all of the expansion and renovations going on, we were never disturbed as they are very careful to not impact the guests.
The food was excellent in both the a la cartes and the buffets. I especially enjoyed building mixed salads out of all of the fresh vegetables available.
I have a few very minor complaints / suggestions. First, the resort needs more kayaks as there are always people waiting. Even implementing a simple booking list would help in this regard. Being told to hang around and check back every hour is not conducive to enjoying a relaxing vacation. My wife and I love to do the 2 person Kayak but were never able as there was only one of these available. We did do the 1 person kayaks after hanging around and waiting and thoroughly enjoyed.
The shuttle service is not as good as it was the first visit. With the resort being so large and busy, the service was not regular enough and the shuttles would often be full leaving you to wait another 10 or 15 minutes. By adding a few more, it would make the people flow much better.
Nothing - this resort is spectacular. The Dominican people are amazing. Will likely return a third time in next couple of years.
My ranking of places I have visited:
Punta Cana (Gran Bahia) 10/10 first visit - 9.5/10 this visit
Mayan (Grand Palladium) 9/10
Cuba (Cayo Ensenachos) 8.5/10
Puerto Plata (Riu) 8.0/10
Mayan (Gran Bahia) 6.0/10
Barbados (Almond Casuarina) 2.0/10
Things we did in Punta Cana this time:
Extreme Dune Buggy - was awesome
Deep Sea fishing - not great
Horseback riding rancho Dominicano - was awesome
Outback Adventures - was very good
Hope you find this review helpful and truly hope you are able to visit this amazing place. Feel free to msg me with any questions.
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- Also Known As:
- Gran Bahia Principe Esmeralda Hotel Punta Cana