I spent A LOT of time reading reviews on Trip Advisor! I eventually found the Esmeralda which read on paper exactly what I was seeking which was safe place, all inclusive, clean, a good value and fun! Well I just got back from a 5 night stay (03/06 -03/10) and can attest that this place is the real deal and delivered on all my requests. So beautiful, so clean, so convenient and the service we received....STELLAR!. The benefit of the Esmeralda is that it's part of a massive complex that has different personalities (Ambar - Adult only, Punta Cana and Bavaro) so if you want more energy and noise you can venture elsewhere and enjoy the reciprocity that the Esmeralda and Ambar allow.
I traveled with my 9 month old baby, my wife and Mother and it was an ideal setting for us. Every Restaurant we went to (Bella Italia, Garden Grill, The Maiko, El Pescador) went out of their way to accommodate us and make us comfortable. For our Anniversary we left our baby with my Mom and ate at the Don Pablo located at the Ambar. It was very nice and romantic. That night we stayed out and experienced the Sports Bar and the Disco which opens at Midnight. Great energy there and a lot of fun. Also we experienced a few of the shows that are performed nightly. I have to say they really put on a great show and those dancers work hard at entertaining the audience. It's a nice way to complete an evening after a delicious dinner at one of the A La Carte Restaurants or Buffets. Let me address the food as many reviewers knocked it a bit. I thought it was really good, not amazing but overall very satisfying with endless choices. I truly think you must be hard pressed not to find something yummy. The Beach and The Pools are awesome! However like others have indicated it's a game to get chairs in either place so while that sucks it encourages you to get up early and seize the day (and Beach & Pool chairs). The staff work so hard in cleaning the property, from Pool maintenance, to gardening to sweeping sand off the wood runway to the beach, very impressive!~ Our room was very pleasant, very clean, very comfortable with a fridge restocked with water, beer, and soft drinks every day.
Now for my list of Cons, which are small but worth mentioning as there is always room for improvement. Entertainment in the Esmeralda is lacking. Since the entire complex is vast it would be nice to stay there and enjoy music or a small show as opposed to going to the large theatre at the Bavaro. One evening there was a singer at the Esmeralda and it was awesome but that didn't occur any of the preceding nights which was disappointing. I sound old writing this but I wish the Disco didn’t open at Midnight and maybe closer to 10:30 or 11PM. Once the show ends that leaves a gap in the evening so I think to appeal to the masses changing the operating hours would be awesome. Lastly, the Alcohol at the bars is a little misleading as Top Shelf Liquors like Jameson for instance are displayed but are not part of the All Inclusive package. The drinks were also sugary so you may want to work with your Bartenders who are extremely friendly to create the drink as you like it. Tip 1: Bring a insulated mug to get more liquor per visit and to keep your drinks colder. Bubba Mug was what we used and it worked out great. Well worth carting it for the trip. Tip 2: Email in advance to attempt to get Restaurant Reservations. This is the rare place that allows this and it worked out perfectly for my family as we ate exactly where we wanted for every evening.
In summary this place is excellent. My cons above are barely cons as it is that nice a place. If you are on the fence between the Esmeralda and a slightly less expensive place you will not regret the extra amount spent for this hotel. It provides so much and allows the intimacy of a small hotel too. We usually don’t travel to the same place twice as the world is vast but since we have a little one now I can easily see ourselves returning and repeating the awesome stay we experienced last week. Well Done Bahia Principe!!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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In the name of our General Manager and all staff members, we would like to thank you for bringing in to our attention your comments about your experience in our Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda.
It is a pleasure to know that you had an excellent stay with us and a great anniversary celebration at the Don Pablo Restaurant and also to read that you would consider to return and repeat this awesome experience. We are proud to see that we did a good job with you and your family!!
Enjoy a Family holidays with Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts.
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.