We’ve got an all-inclusive vacation in Bahia Principe Esmeralda Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic for a week of Dec.1-8, 2012. It was our second trip to the same place. For the first trip we went there in November 5-12, 2011. For people who were there before and are considering going there again I would say that Esmeralda resort got twice as big: one more pool, pavilion, new villa, shack bar place on the beach have been added. A new Asian restaurant will be open in December. The construction is still going on but did not bother us much.
The lunch buffet choices were not as good as in the last year. Also I am not a vegetarian but this year non-meat dishes were less interesting. I also agree that it is a huge negative that there is a time (a day time!) when all restaurants are closed and you cannot get food. We were trapped twice in this situation when we got to the Resort after an exhausting flight and when we were going to leave for the airport (before an exhausting flight ). It made our check in and check-out slightly unhappy. During the week we were there, we saw people like as, who just got in looking for the place to eat, some of them with children. Bahia Principe Esmeralda must do something about it.
Also I like that Esmeralda is quiet. I like the convenience that with just a few steps in the right direction I could get all noise I desire, but this time in reality the Main pool had no entertainment either. That was a disappointment.
Expedia vs. Vacations to go: We’ve got a vacation tour in Bahia Principe Resort in Dominican Republic for the week of Dec.1-8, 2012 and we bought it through Expedia. It was our second trip to the same place. First time we went through “vacations to go” in November 2011. Prices were comparable, but services - not so much. First of all the confirmation phone call required with the transportation company had the name of the property wrong – they had “Ambar” instead of “Esmeralda”. We corrected it, but when we arrived – they still had it wrong. Once we landed and got to Expedia kiosk we were told “You must be tomorrow at Bahia Principe Bavarro Main Hall at 9 am to confirm your flight back. Your shuttle will be scheduled. Otherwise you will miss your flight!” I remember that last year all we had to do was a simple phone call from our room two days before the flight and received the time and place of the pickup. Why our physical presence was needed for a simple confirmation remains a mystery. We did not argue, last year it was vacationstogo, this year is Expedia. Different company – different rules. Got it. Next day my husband was there at 9am sharp, please keep in mind that “there” included a two-mile hike and spent 30 minutes looking for a representative, who, as it turned out, had a permanent office, slightly away from the main hall, a fact they neglected to mention when giving out instructions, and was told to come back again on Friday morning. On Friday morning we were told to call after 3pm and confirm our airport shuttle for the third time. Why was it so screwed up?? Why is it that “vacationstogo” a single phone call was enough and for expedia we had to personally contact them in triplicates?
I also want to mention that this year we had one suitcase between the two of us and certainly did not expect to be hit with the $25 baggage fee by US Airways. Twenty five bucks on an international flight for one lousy piece of luggage.. Yes, we should’ve learned the rules before flight, but honestly, it is an international flight and Delta did not charged us last year on the same trip for anything. Of course we paid $25 more on the way back for the same luggage. What really surprised me that during the flight US Airways served drink and no snacks not even a bag with a few pretzels or cookies or customary peanuts. Come on US Airways, don’t be so cheap or you will lose whatever few customers you have left! The plains did not have a TV in front of each seat and even the fight was not too long (about 4 hours), but comparing to Delta both way trip was much better and comfortable with movies and snacks then US Airway.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
December 29, 2012
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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 let us know about your experience at our Hotel. We greatly appreciate your feedback as it enables us to continue improving and providing better service for our guests.
Concerning your observation about our non-meat dishes, we would like to point out that our menus are composed by carefully selected products, and done taking into consideration the diversity of our guests.
Your observations are taking into great consideration and have been share with the General Manager of our Resort, and our Food & Beverage staff for their analysis in order to improve the points you mentioned.
Regarding your comments about our entertainment program, allow us state that, being Esmeralda an exclusive familiar hotel, is planned to have a relaxing atmosphere. By the same way, during the day you can attend to the main pool, where animation is continuing, and the night entertainment at Tropicana Theater and Pueblo Principe.
Thank you for your comments and looking forward to welcoming you once again!
Social Media Coordinator
Grand Bahía Príncipe Bávaro Resort
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.