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“I came to relax, not for the upsell!!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection

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Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Crta. Arena Gorda - Macao, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 101 Hotels in Punta Cana
Edmonton, Canada
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“I came to relax, not for the upsell!!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

When you pay several thousand dollars for a vacation, you expect to relax, unwind and enjoy yourself -- you don't expect to get the sales pitch every few seconds.

Be warned! If you go to this resort, you will be HOUNDED by salesmen trying to get you to attend their PRIVILEGE CLUB timeshare/private resort sales meetings. Me and my partner attended the meeting, after being promised a free helicopter ride for attending a 'one hour seminar' on the "Privilege Club". We attended, primarily to shut them up but also because we were told that we didn't have to sign up, and it would be 'low pressure' and there was 'no obligation to buy'.

Our room was then deluged with phone calls, confirming that we would be showing up, confirmations of our appointment times left on our beds, and other materials left in our room.

When we showed up, we were given the rockstar treatment, doors held open for us, a little flag with our country on it, and were plied with booze. What was described as a seminar was actually a one-on-one sales pitch with a very nice woman who used every Dominican sales/pressure/guilt trip in the book to plunk down, at that very moment, $21,000 to this company. When asked to see a copy of the contract or some time to research, we were told this was a 'limited time offer' and we could not have any time. When we said "no thank you," the nice saleswoman was replaced with a large, intimidating bald man with tattooed hands and gold glasses asking why we were wasting their time. When we demanded to leave, a third man (who was obviously American or Canadian) came over to once again convince us to give him $21,000 for this 'wonderful deal'. When we said no the third time we were ushered out (no one holding the door for us, the door slammed in my partner's face), we were given a bottle of rum, some honey and a cigar, and then ignored as we trudged up the stairs, no helicopter ride was in our future.

Even though we endured the 'seminar', the salesman kept hounding us every time we passed through the lobby, it got so bad that we ended up avoiding going anywhere near the lobby for the remainder of our trip.

The staff were very friendly, our room was well stocked with towels and cleaned, but others in our party hardly got service and had to borrow towels from us. The buffet restaurants were good, but the a la carte restaurants sucked with pretentious food and bad service. The grounds were beautifully kept, and the pool and beach were great. The concierge was helpful, and the shuttle buses were on time and never had an issue. One of the members of our party was wheelchair bound, and she seemed to get great service (the resort was also accessible for the most part, except for some issues with the pool)

The Privilege Club stuff was ridiculous, and is why I would never return to another Bahia Principe resort. Having the option to buy into their private property stuff is fine, but making a high pressure and intimidating sales pitch as part of the resort experience is low rent, cheap and not worth my money.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Customer Service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
Dear Guest,

Receive cordial greetings from all the team working at Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort, especially from our Quality & Customer Service department.

First of all, we would like to thank you for bringing to our attention your comments about your stay in our Hotel.

We would like to take this opportunity to extend our most sincere apologies for the inconveniences you encountered during your stay at our hotel.

We regret to hear that your perception was not positive but be assured that your comments have been already brought to the General Manager of our Resort.

Despite these inconveniences, we hope you will be willing to give us the opportunity to welcome you once again at our hotel and that way be able to change any perception you may have.

Best regards,


Customer Service
Grand Bahía Príncipe Bávaro Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,460 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Whistler, Canada
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

This was my first time at an all-inclusive resort and I have to say I was very impressed. The hotel was very close to the airport (about a 20-25 minute drive). The rooms were extremely clean, the staff was excellent, and the options for activities/dining really exceeded my expectations. I can absolutely see why this was rated the #1 hotel in the Punta Cana area, which was the main reason why I booked it. This is a resort I would absolutely go back to, you have a choice of 6 different hotels in the complex and are given the flexibility to use all of the facilities on each as well as a private beach. However, I think the Esmeralda given its location and proximity to the beach was the best choice. It is a little more secluded than the other hotels which are either at the front or middle of the complex and although it is not the “adults-only” hotel there the families that were there were extremely well behaved. The service was fast and efficient no matter if I was at the concierge, front desk, one of the restaurants or on the beach. The staff really pays attention to its guests and makes sure the experience there is one that you will not forget. I would recommend booking the Esmeralda whenever in the Dominican Republic, it was a great value for everything you receive!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Customer Service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
Dear Guest,

Receive cordial greetings from the entire team working at Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort, especially from our Quality & Customer Service Department.

We are very pleased to read that you enjoyed your holidays especially because of the good service from our employees. At Bahia Principe our goal is to make your stay become an unforgettable experience.

It is a pleasure for all of us to hear that we were able to fulfill your expectations and it is wonderful to know that you are considering visiting us once again.

Thank you for your comments and looking forward to seeing you soon!

Regards from Bavaro.


Customer Service
Grand Bahía Príncipe Bávaro Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

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.

G:
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.

B:
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.

U:
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.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Customer Service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
Dear Guest,

Receive cordial greetings from all the team working at Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort, especially from our Quality & Customer Service Department.

We greatly appreciate that you have chosen once again our Resorts as your holiday destination. It is a real pleasure to learn that you could enjoy a nice time together during your last stay with us.

As a repeater client your opinion is very important to us. It is thanks to guests like you, that our Company has reached the success and gained prestige through the last years.

We thank you for taking your time sharing your opinion with us which we will take in the highest consideration.

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Best regards,


Customer Service
Grand Bahía Príncipe Bávaro Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Springfield, Virginia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

We actually upgraded to this hotel due to hurricane Sandy when we decided to delay our trip for a few days. Originally we were supposed to stay at the Iberostar resort but we are so glad we switched. This resort was amazing and out of all the hotels on this resort I think Esmeralda is the best!

Our room was in Villa 90 which is the closest to the beach and sits right in between the Esmeralda pool and the Punta Cana pool. We woke up in the morning and had our pick. If you stay in some of the other hotels you will need to walk or take the tram to get to the beach.

The room itself was beautiful and very well maintained. We left our extra key card in the ac controller to keep the air on and every day our butler came in and cleaned 3-4 times. We would leave to go to the beach and come back and the room was cleaned, then we would go out during the day come back and they would come back. Even when we went out for dinner and the shows we would come back to a nice clean room. I felt very well taken care of.

The resort itself was perfect. The staff was friendly and the grounds were immaculate. I would recommend the Italian restaurant and definitely check out the shows. They were great.

We had such a wonderful time, went kayaking, boogieboarding, 4-wheeling in the mountains and relaxed on the beach. After we checked out we had a few hours to kill so we got a couples massage and it was a perfect way to end the trip. We will definitely return!

The only thing I would change is that the trams run on gas and the exhaust stunk. They also needed to put a espresso machine in the Esmeralda lobby.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Customer Service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, November 12, 2012
Dear Client,

Receive cordial greetings from all the team working at Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort, especially from our Quality & Customer Service Department.

We would like to thank you for bringing to our attention the comments about your stay in our Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Hotel.

Please allow us to reassure that we are extremely proud to have provided you an unforgettable experience during your honeymoon, which reflects the commitment and quality of service we have exhibited through the years.

We thank you for taking the time of sharing your opinion with us which we will take in the highest consideration.

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Regards from Bavaro.


Customer Service
Grand Bahía Príncipe Bávaro Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whitehaven, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

We enjoyed the Esmeralda very much but there is always a negative and at this hotel it was the very dissapointing quality of the A la carte restaurants, we booked A la cart for every night but after sampling the quality and service we preferred to go to the buffet for our second week, for a 5* hotel our party of 4 felt that we were being rushed into finishing our meals,(in our home we do not clear dirty plates away until every one is finished) this was not the case we experenced in all the A la carte restaurants , as one of us finished their plates were taken away. 3* for A la carte 5* for the rest of the hotel facilities.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Customer Service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, November 10, 2012
Dear Guest,

Receive cordial greetings from all the team working at Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort, especially from our Quality & Customer Service Department.

Thank you for taking the time to post a review of your stay at our hotel. We sincerely appreciate all feedback.

We apologize if you felt you did not receive the service you were entitled to, but be assured that your comments have been already brought to the General Manager of our Resort

Our main goal strives in having a great ambiance to satisfy our guest's requirements and we regret to hear that your perception about a la carte restaurants was not positive.

We would like to have the opportunity to welcome you once again at The Gran Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort to experience the hospitality of our people, the quality of our services and facilities and change any misperception you may have about us.

Kind regards,


Customer Service
Grand Bahía Príncipe Bávaro Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

Esmeralda was nice but more for suitable for geriatrics and far from a 5 star hotel. 4 hotels in one large compound and the main hotel has better restaurants but you have to take a shuttle. One of them will knock you out with exhaust fumes. Main lobby WiFi rarely works so I was forced to pay $40U.S. for the week. Also, they have timeshare-type representatives that harass you every single day to go to a meeting and then once you're there, they have hounds that use every sales tactic in the book including a bell that sounds every time someone buys. They try to sell you a $10,000 Bahia Principe membership which is a big waste of money.
Buffet restaurant was very limited and certain days I really couldn't find anything that I found appealing enough. The last night was the best because they had lobster tails. Japanese restaurant was under construction.
No music by the beach or pool and I brought my two year old daughter who was very bored.
Service was good but not as friendly as Mexico or Cuba - not to mention higher-end resorts.
Overall nice but I'd rather try another resort next time.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Customer Service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, November 10, 2012
Dear Guest,

Receive cordial greetings from all the team working at Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort, especially from our Quality & Customer Service department.

First of all, we would like to thank you for bringing to our attention your comments about your stay in our Hotel. It is through communications of this nature that our customers give us an opportunity to assess and evaluate our performance, as well as to ensure that we maintain and deliver the level of service expected from us.

We would like to take this opportunity to extend our most sincere apologies for the inconveniences you encountered during your stay at our hotel.

We regret to hear that your perception was not positive but be assured that your comments have been already brought to the General Manager of our Resort and we will give the proper attention.

Despite these inconveniences, we hope you will be willing to give us the opportunity to welcome you once again at our hotel and that way be able to change any misperception you may have.

Kind regards,


Customer Service
Grand Bahía Príncipe Bávaro Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mirabel, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

Our best vacation yet! Service was exceptional. Every little detail is thought of. Beach is beautiful. Rooms are very confortable and clean, food is excellent. This section of the resort is more quiet so great to relax. Unlimited al la carte restaurants, all very good. Buffet was great too. We had lobster and lamb chops at the buffet. Would definately go back and recommend it to everyone who wants to eat good and relax and enjoy the beautiful beach and all the tropical gardens.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Customer Service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, November 8, 2012
Dear Guest,

Receive cordial greetings from all the team working at Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort, especially from our Quality & Customer Service Department.

We would like to thank you for bringing to our attention the comments about your stay in our Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Hotel.

It is a pleasure for all of us to hear that we could fulfill your expectations and be assured that it is wonderful to know that you are considering coming back to our premises

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Regards from Bavaro.


Customer Service
Grand Bahía Príncipe Bávaro Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center 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
#7 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#8 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#9 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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 (1h per day free of charge) 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 (additional charge) Children Bahia Scouts The hotel is perfect for families, offering a range of facilities tailored especially for children, including the following: Mini Club for children aged 4 to 12 (at the Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana) Evening Mini Disco Babysitting service (additional charge) Bahia Scouts Water park Fun Area and Adventure Park (additional charge) Teen's club (11 - 16 years) 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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