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“I'm hoping to give you more fact than opinion”

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Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #50 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Alberta,
Level 5 Contributor
31 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
“I'm hoping to give you more fact than opinion”
Reviewed December 21, 2011

We travelled to the Bahia Gran Principe Ambar on November 17, and stayed until December 1. I’ll try to help out with the areas of query that we had that other reviewers may not have addressed, giving fact where possible as opposed to mere opinion. The photos I’ve included are not of the rooms, etc, as I found previously posted photos were very accurate. Instead this review will address real concerns that would affect someone trying to make booking decisions at this resort.
It is indeed a huge resort, as my aerial shot will show. I have a bad knee, so my travel agent requested a ground floor room. This room was beautiful, not noisy, nor musty smelling, as other reviews cited, and very accessible. There really are no direct to the beach views...maybe the corner rooms can see the beach from their balcony. Check out my aerial photo for an idea of this, (taken on my free helicopter ride). The Ambar, The Bavaro, and The Esmeralda all have some rooms that will be close to the beach. The Punta Cana, and other facets of this resort do not, and are in fact a long distance from the ocean. Most of the Bavaro is also far from the ocean. The Ambar consists of 11 room complexes, with 60,61,64,67 & 68 being a reasonable walk to the beach. It is really only 3 complexes deep to walk to the lobby, and you can literally walk all the hallways of each building to get to the main lobby. We did this in the rain a few times, as this does seem to be somewhat of a rainy season, and on the last walk asked where everyone was getting their umbrellas. We then found out they are to be in your closet, so if you don’t have one on arrival, ask your maid for it.
As previous reviews all said, the Ambar lobby does close early, like 11:00, but let me assure you, we were not once shooed out as indicated in some reviews. We were offered drinks right up to close, and given ample time to finish them. The lights were mostly turned out to be sure, but we still had lights left on for us. These people work long hours, and while it does seem ridiculous to have an early lights out policy at an adulat resort, simply move on down to another lobby which will be happy to serve you till all hours of the morning. These lobbies are all a short shuttle ride away. If you wish to visit quietly, this is also the lobby that would likely give you the best opportunity for that. It should be recognized that not everyone enjoys loud entertainment.
The pool security is something that I feel this resort should address. They DO NOT speak English, and should you have a concern to bring up to them, forget it, or learn Spanish. The DO NOT reserve a lounge chair rule is something that they should either enforce completely, or throw out the window. We had read that if you were on your lounge chair till 8a.m., then it was yours for the day. Countless mornings we went out to sit on our loungers and read till breakfast, and most of the chairs had already been staked out by 6:30 to 7:00, by a piece of clothing, a single shoe, or a book. Deciding I would go shoot some sunrise pictures prior to 8a.m., I left my towel and book, and invited my husband along. A security guard showed up, and started to rip a strip off of us in Spanish, and so we simply left for the beach, personal belongings in tow. From then on until the end of our holiday, the loungers that were reserved had people in them. So, we were just confused, and I imagine, they let this rule slide as often as they enforce it. We found there was usually no shortage of loungers in the shade on the beach, and this was nice and quiet anyhow, so we did just this for the remainder of our time there.
So many of the reviews put the food down, but I feel food is a personal thing. There was never a lack of anything tasteful and flavorful to eat; the question would be, is this food to your liking? It was always well prepared, and with tons of variety. I even found all the same things that I cook at home – just not every day. I simply don’t like a lot of the foods that were prepared, so chose instead to eat a salad, or some of their delicious soups. Their deserts were also full of variety. I also had a –BQ steak at the beach restaurant that compared to an Alberta Grade A steak. Best meal of the whole trip. (Just watch for the smoke from the -BQ to find out where they're -BQing that day). I unfortunately found all of the fish that I tried to be very ‘ fishy’. You are never limited to the number of times you can book at a certain a’lacarte restaurant, so if you find one you like, you can book there every night if you desire. (Lobster every night at Don Pablo if you desire). If you try to make a reservation, and they’re full, ask them to check cancellations. These people found us a place to eat that very night every time we asked. You only have to be time flexible. And you’re on a vacation, so why wouldn’t your schedule be a little flexible? All the rave reviews were Don Pablo, and maybe I’m not classy enough to enjoy only this, but I found most all of the restaurants enjoyable. Don Pablo, everything is off the menu, most others have a buffet salad and dessert bar. So perhaps instead of complaining about the food, find yourself a different place to eat. There is no shortage here with 11 a la cartes, and as many or more buffets.
When I say this resort is big, that is somewhat of an understatement, with 3000 rooms, and a population of 7000 guests. That said, we were never in a situation where we felt crowded. They have enough pools, buffets, restaurants, lobbies, etc. to keep everyone satisfied. If you don’t like the situation where you are, go somewhere else in this resort. If you’re in the Ambar, you have that choice! If you’re into walking, then do that, but take good shoes, as the paths are cobblestone effect, and tough in stilettos, (as witnessed). It could be distressing to some that due to the high amount of traffic from shuttles and resort vehicles, there is a lingering smell of exhaust on the connecting driveways. If exhaust smell bothers you, this could be a drawback, as with the humidity and high temps, the smell does hang in the air.
This beach is cited as one of the most beautiful in the world, and I do understand why. It is not made up of only sand as such, but crushed shells as well, and so it doesn’t grit or irritate you when it’s in your bathing suit or when stuck to your skin. It is the most amazing white sand beach anywhere. No matter how far you go into the ocean, there are no rocks under your feet, and the beach is so soft to walk on in bare feet. Seaweed of course washes up occasionally, but rest assured, these people are up before dark clearing it. Some had complained about the waves this time of year, and that can’t be denied, but we made the best of the situation, and bought a float tube for 15.00 beside the pool, and used it in the ocean. It was great fun. It was even more fun to pass it on to a family with children who were staying two weeks longer. Easy to find, if you just walk down to the Bavaro section of the beach, as that is where the families are.
If every tourist could be educated, every resort could have 5 star potential. I was told this by a guy leaving the resort. It was indeed sad to see how many people use the beach as an ashtray, or rubbish box. Rest assured, the staff work continually cleaning up behind these less than well mannered citizens. Even the boardwalk down to the beach is swept three times a day. The vendors don’t bug you if you don’t give them your attention. Go for the free helicopter ride. It really is free, and it’s fabulous. Book your tours through your tour operator, as you don’t actually have insurance through the resort. Swim with the dolphins through Dolphin Explorer if this is on your bucket list of things to do, or even if it’s not. My husband didn’t plan to go, but had a fabulous time, and is so happy he went. 45 minutes in the ocean dolphin enclosure! Just make sure you take your camera, (a cheap one if you can), to leave in their deck box, so you can take dolphin pictures after your swim. No one told us this, so we missed out. Our camera was locked in the locker they gave us, with no chance to go back for it.
We never did find this butler some reviewers talk about, but our friends did. Regardless, our service was still great. Our mini bar was stocked every day, sheets changed every day, and the cleaning was very good, without them infringing on your personal belongings. It must be a hard decision to know what to move when cleaning up behind someone. I would say to lock up your valuables, as when the maids are cleaning, it is possible that someone could whip in and out of your room, and gain access to valuables lying around. Someone apparently lost a camera in this manner while we were there. We read that the safes are dark, and they are, so we took a small flashlight and used it just for that. The safe really is free, so this is a great plus. In Cuba we paid around 30.00$ for a safe.
Use the pillow menu, and make sure to order yourself a new pillow every day before going out to dinner. They collect them daily to refresh them, so don’t hide them as one reviewer stated. This just makes their job difficult. Just remember to order early enough. The room service here is also lovely, and very prompt as far as room service goes. Remember that they don’t know what in your room is not working unless you let them know. If you have something broken, fill out the form and hang it on your door. Our balcony light was out, but how would they know, if we didn’t tell them? November seems to be a rainy season, as we had light rain most days, but when it’s 30 degrees, how can you complain? We played scrabble on our deck on one particularly rainy day; it was great!(Or, you could sit in the lobby, or play in the pool, etc. Use your imagination..it's can rain on every holiday!) The free internet in the lobby is provided on three computers, and if you wait in line, most people are good about keeping to a short time limit. Have a drink while you wait :) You are also welcome to bring your own wifi if you consider this a holiday must.
As far as clothing goes, I wish I had known that men MUST wear sleeves for every meal. Short pants are allowed, and you must wear shoes in all restaurants except the beach snacks, where bathing suits only and bare feet are allowed. (and don’t try to take the food from the restaurant, ever! We saw this several times; bad idea, security stops you!) In Cuba,and Jamaica, we dressed for all meals, so didn’t realize we could dress so casually here during the day. So men, don’t bother with sleeveless attire, and women can take a nice beach cover-up, and pop on your bathing suit first thing in the morning. We saw all kinds of attire for dinner, from glitter and rhinestones, to very simple casual, and men in short pants. So we took too many clothes. Make your load light…unless you’re travelling with friends, no one will see you twice in this large place. They also dish out hand sanitizer at each meal place. This is a nice touch, as you know where your hands have been, but what about everyone else’s? Gives you a little peace of mind.
The beds are fine, but take some Deet along, as little mosquitos get in if you use your patio door at all, and we did. My husband got bit a lot while sleeping, and they definitely were not bed bugs, but mosquitoes.
As far as snorkeling here goes, there is apparently some to the left of the complex, closer to the Colonial Majestic, which is a 10 minute walk down the beach. The water was very rough, so we didn't take out our snorkel gear, so can't confirm this, except what one couple told us.
If you’re planning a wedding, and there are several here each day, I would say you should directly inquire with someone who’s gotten married here as to the satisfaction of their wedding day. The wedding place is directly on the beach, roped off for guests, however, at any given time, expect at least 300 tourists in swim attire to be watching, photographing, and videotaping your wedding. It is a very public affair at this resort. Our daughter got married at the Iberostar Daiquiri in Cuba 3 years ago, and I must say, hers was a beautiful, semi-private wedding, on an isolated part of the beach, surrounded by palms. The choice ultimately has to be yours. Wherever you get married tropically, your wedding is going to be windy. The wind always blows in these Caribbean countries. Makes for challenging, but pretty pictures. The photographer at this resort by the way is fabulous. As a photographer myself who had the resort photographer do portraits of my husband and me, I can speak from experience.
As far as the complaints about language go,(and oh some people do have lots to say about this), if you try to have a conversation with the workers at the resort, and they don’t know your language, remember, you have come to their country…if this bothers you, learn some Spanish. Don’t be cruel to them. You have the money to come to this resort. Some of them have little enough money for food, let alone to learn another language.
It's hard not to give this resort a full 5 stars, as it really has everything you could want for a great holiday. (That said, I'm going for 4 1/2 Stars here, but can't do that with the green buttons on this page) The little things you don't like are made up for by other things that are fabulous at this place. For me a 5 star rating comes from the overall experience, and is not ruined by little things that happen incidentally. I truly prefer a small intimate resort, but this is sure to suit anyone used to living in a city or larger town, and if there wasn’t so many places in the world I want to check out, I’d come back here.

Room Tip: Look at my aerial photos for a good idea of location
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
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78 Thank ramriverhiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Ajijic, Mexico
Level 6 Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed December 21, 2011

Fourth visit to a Gran Bahia Resort (so received black wristband) second visit to the Ambar (first was in March this year). 14 day stay with a lifelong friend - annual "buddy" holiday.
Arrived Saturday December 3rd and departed Saturday December 17th.

AIRPORT TRANSPORT
Based on research in the Punta Cana forum we opted to taxi to the resort rather than use the Transat-provided coach and notified the Airport Transat Rep accordingly. No problem getting a taxi at the airport - rates to various resorts are posted at the taxi stand ($38 to Gran Bahia) we asked the cabbie to stop at the Shell station so we could pick up some cans of Presidente for the ride - no problem. Ride took about half an hour with the stop. If you are considering taking a cab you may want to check with fellow travellers for others going to the Gran Bahia (which resort doesn't matter because all have to go to the Bavaro Lobby then tram from there) - split the cab fare that way. It is nice to arrive and check-in and be seated comfortably in the lobby having a drink when the guests start rolling in from the airport coaches.

ROOM
Asked for and received a ground floor 2 bedroom suite. We were placed in Building 67 on the back (fenced side). Excellent access to pool and beach area. Everything worked fine in the room - lots of hot water, good water pressure. Television (Phillips flat screen) has additional HDMI inputs (for the media player we brought) - good quality, simple hook-up. Housekeeping was excellent and our meager daily tip ensured plenty of Presidente in the 'fridge every day.

FOOD
Did not bother with any of the a la cartes this trip - I don't like to keep appointments while on holiday and the buffet and snack bars have plenty of good food and a decent variety - it did start to get a little boring by the end of the second week but could have booked a la cartes then (was just too lazy)

BOOZE
Other than in-room, mainly consumed at the Lobby bar - good quality, fast service and if you ask for your drinks "mas fuerte" they will be plenty strong. Servers in the Lobby bar trip over each other trying to get to you - service is great.

SPA
Endulged myself with a one hour Relaxing Massage (discounted price for black wristband - $56 for the hour). Very good, professional, exactly what you'd expect.

GROUNDS
Still beautiful and well-maintained; workers constantly around taking care to make sure everything looks great.

OTHER
Had an allegic reaction to an insect bite and ended up consulting the Doctor at the clinic in the Pueblo Principe (I didn't realize there was one right in the Ambar as well) Doctor spoke perfect English and was very attentive. Medical attention is very expensive - have travel insurance IT IS A MUST!

OVERALL
Love this resort - it is perfect for a quiet relaxing stress free vacation.

Room Tip: Corner Suites have a larger terrace/balcony but are only available with one bed. Building 67 is very...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
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15 Thank Bill C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississauga, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
17 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed December 19, 2011

This was our fourth time back at the Ambar and I couldn't believe in the way they welcomed us back. We were treated like cattle and herded into very a small hot room with no air conditioning, no cold towel service and the welcome drinks were only offered to a third of the guests and we were made to feel very unwelcome.This did not happen on our previous three stays here. We were given our so called room at the very back of the resort on the first floor which had such a bad odor and very noisy. We had requested a room on the third floor and non smoking so much for that on our first night. Before we even went to our room we went to complain at the front desk, but told that we had to come back in the morning.

First thing in the morning went to the front desk to resolve this issue, but told to come back at 10:00 a.m., to speak with the front desk manager, which we did. When we finally got a chance to speak with him, instead of his acknowledgment of an error and correcting it, he made many excuses. We had to persist and tell him to check his records as they proved that this was not acceptable. Finally the manager agreed to change our rooms to the second floor closer to the pool and changed our white colored bracelets to black which means we are repeat quests.....V.I.P.......What a joke! More waste of time because we are told to come back at 3:00 p.m. to do the change of rooms. So we have to get our things packed up again to be moved to our new room. Instead of our welcome back package we were presented with a filthy room. When we arrive to our new room I could not believe it, there were dirty towels, dirty glasses, dirty washroom and the garbage was full. More time delayed as these issues had to be taken care of.

We finally did get to enjoy our trip to this amazing resort and there really should be an effort made to repeat quests to meet their needs.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank AJP1958
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 19, 2011

Here's my summary after staying at GBP Ambar for one week (Dec 11-18).

Check-in was easy. We got the room location we requested by email 10 days prior, closest to pool/beach and on 2nd floor.

Room pros: room was nice and large.
Room cons: sliding door didn't lock and we had to call maintenance. After they tightened the handle it worked better but it still took several tries each time we used it before it would lock. Door key-cards weren't working well and we had to have them replaced. New ones were fine. TV suddenly stopped working (couldn't change the channel and we were stuck on a music channel with no picture) but we couldn't be bothered to call them about it as it was the last couple of days and we weren't in the room except when we were getting ready for the evening. 2nd last evening heard water running above us in bathroom, thought person above was showering. 5 hours later returned to room and water was still running, and ceiling was leaking onto toilet in our suite. Maintenance came; told them the issue and they went upstairs to check it out. It was just the water tank above.

Resort review: I would only stay at Ambar or Esmerelda as proximity to beach is important to me. If that doesn't bother you then the resorts are quite similar otherwise. I hate the "towel game" people play. I've never experienced it to the degree I did here, on my previous vacations at other resorts. It was crazy! Beach was the same game. Ambar part of beach was too far back from the water for my liking only because when I'm at the beach it's because I want to lay NEAR the water and SEE the water, not walk through a crazy maze of trees and shrubs and palapas and chairs to get to the water. But that's just me. There was some seaweed because the waters were rough (to be expected in December) but it wasn't the gross slimy type of seaweed; it was just the same type of dried up plant and I was surprised to find that it didn't bother me like I thought it would. So water was very rough yet so much fun to bounce in the waves. Had a lot of laughs doing that! Sand beneath was clean and pure which was nice. Quite overcrowded with people which I wasn't crazy about but I got over it. All considering, I enjoyed the pool and beach very much. Oh, except for the one time this one wave came splashing up way too far to where we were laying and we jumped up in our chairs to find the water rushing underneath us, washing our belongings away and my beachbag was floating away (in the direction of the pool!!) My book got wet from the water and my NEW camera was ruined. I turned it on that evening and smoke came from it and it made a loud pop sound and smelled burnt and was getting "hot" to the touch. So that sucked. The waves never came that far up off the shore prior to, or after that. It was a freak wave. We were sitting far enough away. Crazy.
Staff are fantastic. I loved everyone and wanted to take them home with me!! Food was fine in buffets and snack bars -Some things tasted great and other things were just, meh. Out of the restaurants, Don Pablo and Steakhouse were the best. Mikado was closed down (not sure why). I'm not very hard to please but the service at Bella Italia was terrible and the food was cold. They forgot to bring us the first course and never came around to offer more buns, or ask if we wanted coffee after the meal. We didn't know we were entitled to dessert as we ordered a-la-carte instead of the buffet option and the dessert was only listed under the buffet side of the menu, so we left. A man came back to apologize about everything and asked us to return for dessert/coffee but at that point we didn't want to. I found the drinks to be good at all the bars. I'm a red wine drinker but didn't like their red, had to drink their white all week. Not great tasting but I got used to it.
Lots of places to walk around. Resort is huge and we found it quite enjoyable because it felt like you were "going out" every night when it was time to go to the entertainment complex at the front of the resort. Lobby bars and outdoor patios were always lively, Main theater shows were fun (Michael Jackson and the Circus ones were the best). We'd then go on to the other theater in the outdoor area by the shops afterwards and the shows that involved audience participation were fun times. Animation staff work very hard keeping everyone entertained all evening each night -kudos to them all!!
Overall we had a great experience and loved the resort. I would go back there again even considering the cons we experienced, but I'm the type of person that enjoys trying different resorts and have never stayed at the same place twice, yet I still do recommend Ambar.

Room Tip: Closer to the pool/beach is more convenient. 2nd floor is good. 3rd floor is too many stairs
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank cmark24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
Reviewed December 19, 2011

My husband and I just came back from our very first vacation ever. Amber was an amazing choice for us. We are in our early thirties and was able to have quiet nights of just relaxing or go to more entertainment areas. The food was good and each a'la carte we went to was great service. Our room was kept very well and fridge stocked every day by Antonio. Our only disappointment would be with the Butler service. On the first day a young girl introduced herself as our butler but she was extreamly hard to get ahold of and then when we asked for something in advance it didn't happen. Overall we really had a great time. Leonardo was someone who really made us feel special.

  • Stayed December 2011
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Helpful?
Thank Cupateakath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 19, 2011

This will be an in-depth review of our time at the Gran Bahia Principe Ambar (adult only), it is divided into categories so jump around if you don’t want to strain your eyes on this long a** review. My husband and I checked in 12/6/11 and checked out 12/16/11. This resort is housed within a Mega Resort Complex and is 1 of 4 resorts (Ambar, Bavaro, Punta Cana and the Esmeralda not including the timeshare bldgs) within the complex.

My husband and I always have a good time and make the best of any vacation and this is our opinion on the Gran Bahia Principe Complex. This is NOT a 5 star resort, it’s more like a 3.5 - 4 star which is fine for the $$ we spent expect for the last day (Read Security for details)!
The things on our checklist for a great AI experience are:
1. Food (quality over quantity), 2. Prompt and dependable service from the workers, 3. Nice and clean room and resort, 4. Adult Only and 5. Security (by that I mean feeling safe on this huge resort late at night and with leaving valuables in the room.

Security:
My husband thought it would be hilarious to yell out the combination to our room safe as we were leaving our room for breakfast on our last day. I immediately changed the number (I used two different set of numbers and changed them up every other day so NO I didn’t forget the combo) and we headed to breakfast. When we got back to our room, there was a faint smell of cologne in front of our door and just inside the room where the safe is located. The only person on our floor at the time of my husband’s “joke” was the cleaning man, I mention this because all of the sudden I couldn’t get into the safe. After a few failed attempts I call the front desk for assistance. The workers spent the next 25 mins dismantling and drilling (with power tools) into the safe to get it open. Everything was in the safe and we were able to finally check-out after a stressful 45 mins!
And I get it, a property this size employs probably close to a 1,000 works so there is no way to insure that every one is above board and I don’t believe this incident was anything more than a crime of opportunity but it was still very unsettling. And no, I didn't bother reporting it for 2 reasons – 1. how would I be able to prove what I know happened and 2. we had a plane to catch! I was just glad the guy couldn't get in to the safe and chalked it up to us never returning to any of the Gran Bahia Principe resorts! And I am sure that this kind of incident does not happen often but it does happen so next we will go with a smaller resort where there will be more security and accountability.

So if you choose to come to this resort just be smart and don't yell out your safe combo and lock up everything of value!

Check-in: Since we took private transportation we beat most other guests coming from the airport and we given individual attention as opposed to being herded into the conference room for mass check-in.
Room: We were in villa 68, floor 3 and room 09 (Rm# 68309), it’s a corner unit (largest of the rooms) and has a larger balcony with views of the coconut grooves to the side of the resort. I picked this view because it had the least foot traffic and no tram traffic because when came to the resort to relax.

The buffets: There are two buffets in the Ambar, 1 in the lobby and 1 by the beach but within the mega complex there are other buffets at the Bavaro and Punta Cana. These were mostly a miss, we are by no means picky eaters and once we find things we like we don’t mind having them day after day but there was very little we wanted to have day after day. I guess if you are into Continental breakfasts and salads for lunch you will be more than satisfied but if you like a solid breakfast of eggs, French toast and such you will be very disappointed. The men working the grills seemed to take no interest in what they were cooking which led to either very over cooked or very under cooked food items. Our only saving grace was the restaurants which we ate at every single night.

The restaurants:
Here are the ones we liked and frequented - Don Pablo (in the Ambar), El Olivo (in the Ambar) and Bella Italia (in the Esmeralda).
Did not like at all - Maiko – (in the Bavaro) – we disliked everything we tasted except the fried ice cream. We did not have high expectations for a true Japanese experience and but we also did not expect to see the only sushi option on the menu described as “assorted sushi rolls” with no description as to what those rolls consisted of.
These were the only restaurants we didn'r try as we didn’t want to waste our reservations so we just went back to the top three I mentioned above.

The beach: The towel game is in full swing with more than half of the available palapas (shade umbrellas) being taken by 7:00 am and all being taken by 9:00 am. I usually got to the beach around 7 and couldn’t find anything closer to the water than 4 rows back and on a few occasions had people ran past me to grab a spot I was walking toward! I mean come on people, there is never a reason to run on vacation unless someone is chasing you! Get a grip!

ATMs / money exchange: Here is were we definitely ran into constant issues, we usually bring 100 in $1 and then some $5s, $10s and $20s but we ran out of $1 pretty quickly and need to break some $10s. When you ask reception no matter what time of day it is they will only give you 5 $1, that is ridiculous! Are we supposed to believe a Mega Complex which has it’s own Casino doesn’t have change? REALLY??? There are no ATMs in the Ambar so you will need to go to the Bavaro lobby and keep in mind the ATMs only dispense Pesos which the hotel will NOT exchange for US $.

Wow, what a ridiculously long review! Haha! Better to get to know the resort before, wish someone else had done this before we picked it and we probably would NOT have come here as it does not fit all of our needs.
Any questions that I didn’t cover in this review, if that’s even possible– ask away!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank BeatriceL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Bend, Indiana
Level 4 Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed December 19, 2011

My wife and I stayed at the Ambar for two weeks in Feb, 2011. When we went to check in we were told the resort was over booked and the took us away to the esmeralda. I told the front desk that we booked the Ambar because it was adults only, and I was told not to worry there are not many children at the esmeralda. However when we got there I was greeted by a crying baby in the lobby and as we passed the pool several kids spitting water out of there mouth into the pool. However the biggest problem was the next morning when we headed for the beach.

The main thing I always go for is the beach and ocean, I never swim in the pool and rarley visit one on vacation. When we went to the beach in front of the esmeralda we found there was barley any. The water sports shack is in front and if you wanted to even see the ocean you would have to get up way too early because of the way they allow anyone from all three resorts to take the chairs closest to the beach. We ended up having to walk the beach all the way to the far side of the Ambar to find a spot where you could find a chair and still at least see some water. After that I went to the front desk to see when we were going to be moved to the Ambar. The front desk told me that they would not be moving us... Well seeing that I had the vacation insurance I called my travel agent, who informed me that he would take care of it or we were going to be reimbersed, since we were not getting what we were supposed to have. (ps dont know why the esmeralda is rated so high, it had nice rooms but the beach and food was very bad) He did and the next day we were moved to the Ambar.

Once at the Ambar we totaly enjoyed our stay. The food was the best I have ever had in Punta Cana. The beach was beautiful, but it was way too crowded and if you wanted to be close to the water you had to get up and out to the beach at sunrise. The drinks were OK, not the best I have ever had. Not much selection and all were only OK

Overall it was a good time once we got to where we were suppose to be. Just wish they would seperate the beach front better. Too many people from the other two low rent resorts take up all the best chairs in front of the Ambar.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank RAW110
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue Don Pablo Collection

Property: Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue Don Pablo Collection
Address: Carretera Arena Gorda - Macao, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (Formerly Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Don Pablo Collection)
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#12 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#30 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#45 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#46 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#47 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue Don Pablo Collection 4*
Number of rooms: 528
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Facilities and services 2 pool Sun terrace with sun umbrellas and loungers Relaxation zone with Bali beds Outdoor Jacuzzi BAHIA SPA (additional charge) Sports facilities: gym, 3 tennis courts, multi-sports court Water activity centre Motorised water sports (additionalcharge) WiFi access in the lobby (free) and in rooms (free) Entertainment amphitheatre Wedding gazebo 1 buffetrestaurant 3 speciality restaurants 4 bars 1 snack- bar Gazebo de bodas Smokers' lounge with bar service (cigar menu with additional charge) 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 528 Deluxe Junior Suites Room facilities: King size bed or two full size beds Ceiling fan Air conditioning Sitting area with sofa Terrace Fully-equipped bathroom with hydromassage bath tub and separate shower, hair dryer Bathrobe and slippers Don Pablo Collection amenities Direct phone line (additional charge for external calls) Alarm clock with iPod docking station Flat screen TV Coffee-making machine Minibar Safe Butler service 24 hour room service Evening turndown service Pillow menu 2 disabled rooms for a maximum of 3 adults Prime location right on the sea front Exclusive lake-style pool Aroma menu WiFi (free) 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 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Gran Bahia Principe Ambar Hotel Punta Cana

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