First off: this hotel is superb: the rooms, the food, the service...the whole package.
ROOMS - are all suites. Our bathroom was large with a spa bath and a good selection of toiletries (including shaving and dental kits) that were replenished regularly. The shower wasn't exactly a power shower but was perfectly acceptable. Robes and slippers provided. Plenty of hanging space with hangers. A coffee machine with fresh coffee pouches; again, replenished daily. Mini bar was hit and miss but you only needed to ask once and it was done. You're given two keys so that the air con can be left on when you're out.
BARS - the lobby bar is lovely with the cocktail of the day served on an elaborate display and always with a smile. Premium spirits are part of the all-inclusive package: Tanqueray & Bombay Sapphire gin etc, which is unusual. Hors D'Oevres are served at mid-afternoon and a very civilised pot of tea can be had. It gets busy in the evening but the service was not affected at all. The waitresses are very attentive so don't expect to sit with an empty glass for long. They appreciate the odd dollar tip.
Beach Bar - this serves most drinks but the cocktails are great - ice cold and served either with or without rum.
RESTAURANTS - We had breakfast each morning in the Palmyra (main) restaurant and went for evening buffet meals on some evenings. The food was excellent: fresh and plentiful. The service was outstanding, which is a feature of this hotel. Tuesday evening - gala dinner is certainly worth going to - lobster and any other seafood you can imagine.
A la carte restaurants can be booked as many times as you wish. We managed to book all the days and times we wanted, with a bit of forward planning. Don't leave it until the day you want to go. You can also book for the Bavaro Hotel restaurants but bear in mind that it is a 4* hotel and not a 5*; also, there will be those small noisy things (children)! Don Pablo (French) is by far, the best Ambar a la carte. We ate there four times and every time was a delight. We had: fois gras, lobster, chateaubriand and their tasting menu one night. Definitely wort a visit.
El Olivo (mediterranean) was very good. We visited twice abd enjoyed both our meals.
Portofino I was a little disappointed with, only because I was looking forward to pizza and it wasn't the best. My husband had ravioli, which he says was tasty. The staff didn't come across as friendly as the other two restaurants.
Lunch was usually taken at the snack bar, which had a great selection. The snack bar isn't air conditioned though, so the food isn't always chilled. Lots of salads, pizza, pasta, chicken, burgers, anti pasti, cheese... you name it! The cocktails on the centre drinks station in here can be potent, especially at lunchtime...beware!
We didn't visit the Spa; it was very expensive, and so cannot comment.
The weather was glorious mostly, with a couple of overcast days. It rains quite often but very quickly clears. The rain is something to behold!
A couple of tips: don't bother to get Dominican Pesos as you won't be able to change them at home anyway. The shops take US dollars and you won't be finding yourself with a bill at the end of your hotel stay anyway!
Order small denomination dollars - singles, before you leave. These are handy for tips, especially when you first arrive and the bell boy takes your cases to your room (this always catches me out!)
The staff appreciate the effort if you try a few Spanish words so it is worth practising a few. They work so hard and nothing is too much trouble.
We travelled with Thomson and booked three excursions with them: Outback Safai (recommended), Reef Explorer (not great value for money) and Caribbean Cruise (recommended).
All in all, this is a little corner of paradise and one that we would willingly visit again...but only if we could stay at the Ambar!
- 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