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Gran Bahia Esmeralda or Ambar?

Boston...
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Gran Bahia Esmeralda or Ambar?

I know this has been posted before and I read the posts but still can't make up my mind. I have a few questions...which one has the better pool? From what I've read they both seem fairly quiet which is fine with me, we usually sit and read, relax by pool. Are both pools large? Easy to get a seat? It will be a girls week, is Ambar mostly couples? And does one resort have a better buffet over the other? I think I read Ambar has buffets with ocean views. I didn't know if choices or quality of food was better at one. I am vegetarian so I prefer buffets vs restaurants that don't give me many options. Thanks for all your help!

Boston...
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1. Re: Gran Bahia Esmeralda or Ambar?

And is there construction around the Esmeralda?

New Brunswick...
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2. Re: Gran Bahia Esmeralda or Ambar?

I think the main different is that Ambar is AO and Esmeralda is not and the Esmeralda is newer. For some people they find a resort dated after 5 years so thus alot of people perferring the ES. I believe they both have beach side buffets for breakfast and lunch - not for dinner however. A couple of the a la cartes are beach side! Both pools are a good size - not as big as the main Bahia pool - but they don't need to be. Finding loungers depends on the time of year you are going. But this is a common problem in peak season for most resorts. And usually it is not a problem finding a seat but instead finding the ideal seat - front row with shade! We usually travel in peak season - end of Jan 1st of Feb and even staying at resorts where people complain they couldn't find a lounger we have noticed all kinds of empty seats - just not in the right spots. And usually those who complain are those who sleep til 11 or noon and arrive after that at the beach and expect to find the best seats in the house still vacant.

3. Re: Gran Bahia Esmeralda or Ambar?

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DDF
Whitby, Canada
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for Tulum
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4. Re: Gran Bahia Esmeralda or Ambar?

Opps sorry folks, didn't mean to delete my post...don't know what happened.

If it is a "girls" trip, I would definitely stay on the Ambar side. While the Esmeralda is lovely and relatively new, the Ambar is adults only. Last time we were there (last year) friends stayed on the Esmeralda side with their son. We met for drinks during the day and it was little loud around the pool with the children. They do, however, have an area for "quiet time" behind the pool. We prefer the Ambar side because of this reason. As been stated, both pool are about the same size. As for seating, the earlier you get out there, the better seat you will get. We are early risers so we are on the beach to see the sun rise. For dinner, the BBQ ala carte is beachside, and while the Portofino is close to the beach, the restaraunt itself is indoors. There is the Las Brisas buffet (breakfast and lunch) that is oceanview, as is the Las Olas on the other side of the Ambar pool.

Tequesta, Florida
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5. Re: Gran Bahia Esmeralda or Ambar?

There is only a (2) year age difference, the family-friendly Esmeralda section being the newer, albeit smaller of these properties within the huge Gran Bahia complex. Yes, there is currently construction at the Esmeralda that is scheduled to be completed this Fall.

While the Ambar is adult-only, you will find a mix of guests - not just couples!

The Ambar's pool is significantly larger, but the Esmeralda offers a seperate second "pool" that is adult-only. During season at either resort, you will need to get out early to stake claim to one of the preferred pool side loungers or a shade palapa hut. Both resorts also offer a small section of beach just off their respective pool decks that is guest-exclusive and usually has loungers and even palapas available most times of day. Foward of those areas, however, is fully accessible to any Gran Bahia guest of any age and those loungers/palapas close to the water are typically taken very early regardless of the season.

Both resort sections have a casual pool-side buffet for breakfast & lunch. In the evening, the one at the Esmeralda converts to an open-air a la carte for dinner. The lobby buffet at the Ambar is much larger than the lobby buffet at the Esmeralda, but they feature the same themes and nightly entree specials that are offered that night throughout all the buffets at the Gran Bahia complex. The Ambar also hosts several of the more popular a la carte dining venues as well as spa/exercise facilities that are also available to guests of the Esmeralda over age 18. You will find ample vegetarian options - especially at the buffets - regardless of which resort section you are at. For true "ocean view" buffet dining, you will need to go to the Las Olas buffet at the Bavaro resort which is immediately off the pool deck at the Ambar.

Hope this helps!

DDF
Whitby, Canada
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6. Re: Gran Bahia Esmeralda or Ambar?

Funny, I didn't see a "significant" difference in the pools, perhaps the Ambar is a bit bigger - I will definiately check it out when we return in a few months. My apologies if my statement was incorrect.

Brooklin, Canada
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for Punta Cana
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7. Re: Gran Bahia Esmeralda or Ambar?

Just to add to a bit of the excellent information posted above from posters DDF and Travelpro, the Ambar pool is definitely larger than the Main pool at the Esmeralda simply due to the fact that the Anbar is a larger resort - has 528 rooms versus the Esmeralda having 300 rooms.

The beach buffet at the Esmeralda called the Arrecife, no longer converts to an evening a la carte.

The Esmeralda is expanding, whereby they are adding 3 more blocks of rooms for an additional 180 rooms (which will mean that the Esmeralda will have 480 individual guest rooms), one more pool, one more snack bar and one more a la carte.

The construction is well underway and expected to be completed by the end of November 2012.

I certainly agree with the above posters, that the Ambar would likely be best suited to your group.

Keep in mind that the spa for both Ambar and Esmeralda guests is located at the Ambar resort - a bit more convenient.

Both Ambar and Esmerslda guests may use each others facilities with the exception of the main buffets - Esmeralda guests are not permitted to bring any children with them when using the adult only Ambars facilities.

Hope this does help you.

John

Brooklin (Bubba King)

Boston...
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8. Re: Gran Bahia Esmeralda or Ambar?

Thanks for all the quick responses! This was very helpful. At first I was leaning towards Esmeralda. But now I am thinking Ambar. They both sound great and the costs is almost the same so it is a difficult choice. Thank you!

Boston...
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9. Re: Gran Bahia Esmeralda or Ambar?

John, can you use the pools and other buffets at each other's resorts? How about the other Gran Bahia Resorts? Thanks!

Brooklin, Canada
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10. Re: Gran Bahia Esmeralda or Ambar?

Dena

As a guest of the Ambar or the Esmeralda, you may use all of the amenities/facilities at all of the other resorts with the exception of their main buffets and gourmet a la cartes.

Hope this does help you.

John

Brooklin (Bubba King)