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“Paradise for the third time”

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Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #48 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
ottawa
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Paradise for the third time”
Reviewed March 19, 2012

We are currently at the Gran Bahia Principe Ambar!! This is our third visit and this time we brought our 26 year old daughter with us. She finds this place exceptional!!!! If you are looking for a party place this is not it! However the Ambar is one part of a big resort and I am sure those needs can be met. It is truly a 5 star resort! The staff is amazing, the most friendly and always willing to help you! I am a very picky traveller - the ambar meets all of my expectations from the room, to the food which is by far the best! To the exceptional beach! Once again we are having a great holiday!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank GKGK3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Montreal
Level Contributor
20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2012

In short, the Ambar is not perfect, because there is no perfect resort.... all depends what you're looking for. For a 5-star rated resort, to my experience, the only thing lacking is service on the beach every 1/2 hour.

The Arena Gorda beach is much more crowded than the Bavaro beach which is more South.
The staff at Ambar was adequatly nice... BUT I tip quit generously.

Management will make all efforts possible for any issue you may have.
My maid Merise was a very sweet and hard working lady.

Alex enternaining at the beach is a very friendly young dude... very considerate.

Can't talk about pool staff or bar staff... don't hang out there.

Here's the NUMBER ONE tip is you like being close to your breakfast, lunch, the beach and your room. BOOK BUILDING 67. Actually get the corner room number 67301. You'll then get some ocean view.

Those who complain about being robbed or floor not so clean are dishonest. Never was robbed in DR and for spotless floors and no bug... STAY HOME !

Contact me in private for other details... other resorts...

Voilà !

Room Tip: Building 67, third floor
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank ConTodos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincoln, Nebraska
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2012

We traveled to the Ambar Feb 28th - March 6th with a group of 8. We were dropped off at the Bavaro lobby, then shuttled to the Ambar lobby. The check in process was easy. After presenting our itineraries, a packet was given to us with information and room assignments. We received a 3rd floor, corner room in building 63. Although the furthest from the beach on the Ambar property, it was close to the lobby, Palmyra buffet and the tram stop. Only downfall of a 2nd or 3rd floor room was that you couldn't sit on your balcony and see over the balcony wall.

Our room had a few issues when we arrived, missing outlet cover, balcony door wouldn't lock and the safe wouldn't open. We called the front desk. The problem we encountered with this was we waited for quite a while for someone to come, then finally gave up on waiting. They kept telling us we didn't need to be in the room for them to do the repairs. Which is normally fine, but when you want to put things in the safe that isn't working, that is a problem. All repairs were completed later on in the day.

Our room was ok. The housekeeper did a great job with the exception of our floor. I wore slippers in the room, but my husband didn't and always had black feet. Gross! The bathroom was nice, but the shower pressure was inconsistent. The jacuzzi tub was good for one person. Our fridge was restocked daily. Our room was ok, but not as nice as other resorts we have stayed at in Mexico/Jamaica.

Always use the safe! Twice during the day (we are not normally in our room during the day) we happen to be in the room to get a few things. There was a knock on our door. It was a maintenance person asking us to come in for repairs. On both occasions we hadn't requested maintenance and did not let him in. We wonder what he would have done had we not been there. Again, always use the safe with anything you don't want to part with! Our friends had a pair of prescription sunglasses stolen. A 15" laptop will fit in the safe.

If you are not interested in the time-share info...just stay away from them. If they approach you, tell them no politely/firmly and most generally they will leave you alone.

I am not a picky eater what-so-ever. There was always something I could find I liked on the buffet. My husband liked the omelets; I liked the variety of chicken and fruit juices throughout the week. We ate at the Maiko @ Bavaro and it was good, very friendly service. We ate at the Steakhouse@ Esmerelda twice. I had the rib eye and chicken, both were good. There steak would be better if they didn't cook it over a 12" flame – obviously it was a good cut of meat. Our favorite was the bacon wrapped shrimp. The best we've ever had!

The beach and ocean are beautiful. The Ambar portion of the beach is less crowded than the others. You do have to go out early if you want a palpaya with a view of the ocean, even earlier if you want shade by the pool. We are beach people and loved the beach! The water is clear, with the exception of when it had rained during the night or early morning. On some days there was seaweed, but that is natural - it is the ocean! Still, the beach was amazing. The pool was cold our first few days of vacation, but we heard they had been doing some work on it. It did warm up later in the week. What I noticed is you have people sitting/tanning/reading who enjoy the quiet and you have people who are in the pool talking/laughing/drinking at the swim-up bar. Both groups are fine, they just need to be more tolerant of each other. Afterall, it is a pool for all Ambar guests.

I found the drinks to be disappointing. The only blended drinks I could get them to serve without getting irritated were the pre-made frozen drinks. I asked them to use the blender once and they wouldn't. They wanted to put limeade in everything. :( I didn't care for the beach bar at all. We loved the workers at the pool bars. Much more friendly and made better drinks - although sometimes they put too much alcohol in them. (No wonder people at the pool get drunk).

I recommend bringing bug spray if you are a person who normally gets bites. I had over a dozen on one leg on our first night (I always get mosquito bites at home). My husband had none. In the evenings or early morning after putting sunscreen on I sprayed my legs and didn’t have a problem after that.

We went to the Bavaro complex most evenings and enjoyed the entertainment. The only show I thought was terrible was the Men vs Women show. The 9pm shows were usually crowded but we could always found some open chairs except for the Michael Jackson show which we came back for the 10:15pm show and easily found chairs. We preferred the shows at the Tropicana theatre over the other. We used the shuttle and also walked to the Bavaro equally. The walk was about 5 – 10 min easy.

We went on the Canopy Adventure Zip Line Tour and also the Extreme Buggy Tour. Both were very good. I will post reviews on both.

We are in our early 40’s and felt very young (almost out of place) for the Ambar section. Although we had a nice vacation, I would not return to the Ambar. If I would ever return to the Dominican I would find a different AO.

Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
6 Thank travelfox38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2012

we stayed here 4-18 jan 2012 and had an amazing time! we where able to do what we intended and relaxed for 2 whole weeks! our room was perfect,staff where fabulous,especially the bar staff and our butler emanual who spoilt us rotten!!
loved not even having to get up to go the bar as they come and serve you around the pool,on the beach, in the lobby anywhere!! by the end of the second week they knew what drinks you liked and just appeared with them!!
chocolates and scented pillows at night time was a nice little touch,as was the free room service,mini-bar etc...
this was our first time at an adults only hotel and although familys dont bother us, normally traveling as one ourselves...WOW what a diference it makes, it was so relaxing!
great selection of restaraunts although most of the time we ate at the buffet restaraunt because it was less formal and more relaxed.
nice music in the lobby most nights and if you want something a bit more lively its a short journey over to the other hotels with a nightclub and casino.
would we return?
without a doubt,go with an open mind and see for yourself!!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank etremat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2012

We were at the Ambar Mar. 9-13. It was our first trip back to the DR in 3 years. We are a married couple in our mid-30's and travel twice a year.

Check-in - Very smooth and quick with Cesar. I had requested a top floor, corner room in a building close to the pool, and we pretty much got just that! We were in building 65, which was right in the middle of the action. If you are placed in a building close to the lobby, it wouldn't even matter as the Ambar section is not that large.

Room - spotless! A/C didn't work that great, but not a huge deal. We didn't bother calling the front desk about it. Our room was always cleaned by the time we returned to the room after hitting the beach (around 2 p.m.). The maid was usually cleaning other rooms before we even left our room in the morning!

Food - We have taken many trips to Punta Cana, but this was our first in 3 years (Cuba last year and Mayan Riviera the year before). The food was great! We're not picky eaters, so we usually find something to satisfy us. There was lamb, turkey, rabbit...We are happy with potatoes, chicken, eggs & bacon, and a good pasta station. We were only there for 5 days, so we didn't venture to any of the a la cartes. Maybe next time. We've heard so many good things about the Don Pablo.

Beach - very crowded. We're used to travelling in July or August, so hunting for a lounger was new to us. It still amazes me the number of people who think they need 4 loungers for 2 people! You know who I'm talking about! They would have 2 under the palapa, and 2 in the sun. Meanwhile, there are people wandering aimlessly trying to find any loungers they can get their hands on. The "lounger hogs" will then disappear for 2-3 hours. I'm pretty sure they had loungers at the pool as well.

One thing we did notice this time was the strong under-tow in the ocean. Our last stay was at the PC Princess, and we had nothing that strong; not even close. Not sure if it's the time of year, or all of this climate change doing weird things.

Pool - very clean and large. Bartenders at the swim-up bar always had a smile on their faces.

Overall - we had an amazing time! We plan to go back next year. We figured we could avoid the spring break crowd by choosing an adults-only. We pretty much did, except for a group of young people who thought they should take one girl's top off, and another guy's shorts off. People didn't seem to mind the young lady having her top off, but once the young man had his shorts taken off, people were disgusted. Security and management were speaking with them within minutes, and they were on their way. Word was they had a dinner reservation. We didn't see them again.

If you want to avoid the spring breakers, the Ambar would be a good choice. I don't think it's possible to completely avoid them, but we had no major issues. We did venture to the rest of the Bahia complex, and noticed plenty of young partiers at the Punta Cana/Bavaro. It seemed to be more families at the Esmerelda.

Time-Share - We were given an envelope under our door on our second day, from the Privilege club with a voucher about a free gift. We figured it was time-share related, so we just threw it out. The next night, we received a phone call. I only picked up the phone as I thought it might be an emergency back home (we have 2 kids who stayed with their grandparents). The person on the other end was asking us how we were enjoying our stay, so I thought it was just a courtesy call, then he proceeded to ask me if I got the envelope. He then instructed us to meet him in the lobby at 8 p.m. and so on. I told him we weren't interested and he hung up.

I was not pleased that the hotel allows the Privilege people to phone rooms to get them to attend their seminar, or whatever it is. I thought there might be something wrong at home. This needs to be stopped. The envelope under the door is fine, but don't call my room when I'm on vacation. If I'm interested, I'll stop by your desk on my own.

Overall, a great trip. Looking forward to our next one.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank canada2412
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2012

Me and my Wife just returned from the Ambar after spending 7 days there!(march4-mar 11th)!We had just a Great time there!We travel lots( 2times a yr to A I's)for the last16 yrs about!Many times in fact to the DR! Mostly to different resorts each time.We went Apple and decided to take a Taxi this time from the Airport, which was very smooth and 38$ only!We usually take back a quantity of coffee each time so this time we were able to make a stop at the grocery store on the way to the Ambar! Very easy!Arrived at the Ambar with a easy and smooth check-in! Was shown our room which was Just what I had requested a couple weeks prior via- e-mail !Top floor, corner room( not the bldg but hey, only so many top floor-corner rooms), and, we were happy with it!The room was large and Clean.
The Beach, was just as beautiful as ever! Being back in Punta Cana, DR was first in about 3yrs( spending more time in Mexico) So we couldn't wait to get back onto the long stretches of beach to walk n walk!plus a private area on the beach for Ambar guests!
The Food, was very good as it turned out especially for the Dominican Republic!Lots to choose from with all of the Buffets to choose from with lots of choices!Breakfast time we usually went for the eggs...and omelets where they would make them up to your order!

Lunches- we decided to go up to the Main Buffet as everything still looked good ,I preferred to have them Make-up my order(special) at their grill, which amassed me with because they seemed so eager to do so for me! Therefore, I had Beef filets and Seafood each day for lunch just the way I wanted it all cooked! ( I did eat other things as well though too!)!
Dinner's, Once again we made our selection of the a la carte reservations a couple weeks in advance which were all met! The Restaurants were all just Great! The Don Pablo was the only one where the Men had to wear slacks at or for our British friends, Trousers...lol..!The food was prepared just the way We wanted it all!All the a la carte's were very nice and so was the Food, again! One, the Mediterranean, was also very nice, the service seemed a bit slow that evening and My Lobster came out overcooked...by that time, I was hungry and just ate. Afterwards, the next day ,realizing I really should have asked for one ,Not so cooked,but No big deal. Although, on one night in the Main Buffet they have the 'Seafood Gala' and therefore I had Three lobsters that eve and just the way I liked them which easily Made up for a few nights earlier!
The Service, over all for the Week, was just amazing! Everyone was just great in making our time there so perfect ! Jorge, in the Main lobby area,always asking us if Everything was good, once seeing us, which was just so nice a feeling! Matter of fact, While at the Ambar it happened to be My Birthday! They could not go out of their way enough! My Wife mentioned to Jorge about it,Mostly about getting us a Bottle of Spanish Cava for our room for,Later!After our Beach time that day and returning back to our room, WOW! The room was All decorated with Balloons everywhere,on the bed-posts, Towel Art withRose petals on the Bed, Rose petals on the floor from the door leading a path to the Table where there was a B-Day cake and That Bottle in Ice! That was definitely some cool WOW factor there! Not done yet with That day...Dinner once again at Don Pablo which again was Just great service and Food and again My Wife had mentioned it being My day! After dinner, they brought us out A Cake(another cake!) After dinner we went to the Lobby! we were talking with some people and as it turned out from again Earlier that day,My Wife had Mentioned to Murfi the bar-tender at the Lobby....well, I guess we were taking too long talking with others so he had come over saying we were needing to come for a drink and He had reserved a special Table for us! We sat down and immediately, all these Waitresses came out singing and Carrying A cake( another # 3!)! Needless to say I, and my Wife had a Great Birthday celebration at the Ambar! While talking about the Bar, Lobby bar,I was very happy about their Liquor choices! They did happen to have lots of Top Shelve ! I like to have Good Tequila and Good Scotch( I also am very much into Presidente as well mind you!)I did tip and usually do for Service and after a short while the bar-tenders knew exactly what and how I wanted my drinks prepared!

Room Service, we had requested for each morning calling the night before. There is coffee in the rooms although while we are on vacation we still want our butts out of bed other wise we would sleep til about 10am.We would have a wake-up cal land 15 mins later Room service would arrive, and ALWAYS on Time 8am! Coffee and a fruit plate!

Maid service was very good,friendly and did a great job cleaning and if it weren't in the Morning it was cleaned by early afternoon!
Yes there are some what Time share reps wanting you to spend some of Your good time with them ,but, if that is Not for you then simple say "No Thanks".
The Ambar is made up of part of 5 other resorts of The Gran Bahia Principe group.We have stayed at one of them prior of about 6 years ago! At that time we were very Happy with it But, It was too big for us, as we do like some-what smaller resorts.Our Travel agent had been telling us about The Ambar for some time now and felt relunctate about trying it.We also for the last few resorts have been going Adults Only, which the Ambar is.We were very surprised as how small the Ambar really feels.We never did go for Any shows in the Theater, just never felt the need of being part of That crowd.
I could really go on and on raving about this resort! We would definitely Return to the Ambar!Mater of fact, in March of Next year we would very much consider that! As of our August, get-away, we would be looking at Mexico again! Being Back in the Dominican Republic was just Great! We keep finding that the people there are just so warm and friendly! If anyone would have any Questions, feel free in in-boxing me, would be happy to answer any Q's! Also Remember....you are on Vacation and Vacationing in another Country where Spanish is Their Language...Lots do speak english...so it helps to Brush -up on some Spanish which They love you at least Trying! Another thing while vacationing....Relax and Enjoy! Cheers, Mark

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
10 Thank EmZee21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sarnia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2012

first time on a trip like this,didn't know what to exspect it was perfect in every way.can't wait to go back,trust me did not want to leave,i'll sell the old lady or house to go back

Room Tip: all rooms perfect
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank bobharper
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
#29 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#41 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#44 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#44 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#44 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 (additional charge) 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 (additional charge) 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 Ambar Hotel Punta Cana

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