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Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue
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Reviews (10,956)
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Reviewed November 24, 2013

I am a travel agent who has done alot of All inclusives and cruises and here is my opinion of the different aspects of this resort. I travelled with two other couples, so this review is a summary of all of our experiences.
Front desk: Chaos - disorganized, one card given with one room and another given with another room number to one couple. Room key wasnt programmed properly, so we had to go back to reception to get it to work. But dining and room requests were mostly respected and given.

Food and Service: This was a hit and miss experience. At the Portofino, we hadn't finished our appetizers and the food came out and they didn't offer to bring them back later, cover them apologize and the food was ok. At the Don Pablo, the food was better (mostly) but the service was terrible (we had to pile our own plates and put them aside) to even have room for the meals. The Takara (Asian) was amazing, service and food was great and this was the same for the Bella Italia (both at the Esmeralda resort). The food at our buffet was good but the service was good and bad, depending on the day and the server. The International/Lobster Gala dinner in the buffet restaurant is crazy, they make you book a reservation but then don't check that you have one at the door and then it is ridiculous the number of people lining up for food at the different stations. If you don't like lining up for food, don't go!

Beach/Pool / Resort: Glad we brought our thermos cups, beach is amazing and we had no problem with chairs but we were out by 8:00. The pool gets extremely hot (less breeze and shade than beach) but there is music and activities. The landscaping and maintenance is well done.

Room: Our room was good but you can see that the resort will need an update in the near future, but it was well cleaned and with a corner room, we got a little more space. The place is marble and it is very noisy between the doors slamming and any movement on the floors, but it is more the lack of consideration amonst the travellers that cause alot of the issue we had with noise. We were awaken every morning at 6:30 with our neighbour playing his tv and then the slamming of doors, but this is not a resort issue.

Communication: Language is an issue if you don't speak spanish when asking anything besides the basic questions. The activities schedule given at reception was not accurate. There is no board with activities indicated at the Ambar, which would be nice.

If you have stayed at the Excellence chain or the Valentin Imperial in Mexico, this will probably be a dissappointment but it is a good 4 - 4-1/2* resort and is definitely a good value for the money.

Entertainment: Shows were basically the same as most all inclusives (they do not come close to a cruise). Activities were sparse at the Ambar and they seem to change with no notice. The entertainment in the lobby /courtyard is nice for those that do not want to go to the main section or stay out too late but it would be nice to know what kind of entertainment they would have there on a daily basis to enable people to decide to stay for it or go to the main entertainment center at the main hotel.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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3  Thank jpkdmw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Customer Service at Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue, responded to this reviewResponded November 25, 2013

Dear client,

Thank you for your recent review on TripAdvisor. We apologize for the impression you could perceive for the language barrier, food, services and entertainment.

We strongly believe that our guest’s satisfaction depends of daily performance.

Please feel sure that your observations are taking into great consideration for their analysis.

Kindest regards,

Vianca Graciano
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2013

This was my first trip to Punta Cana. I went with a group of friends. We stayed at the Ambar Nov 2-9. Many of the arrangements (i.e. restaurant reservations, room requests) were made by one in our group so I will not comment on her experience with that stuff. To start, the transport to the resort can take a while, depends on how many other places you stop. We were last. When we arrived at Bavaro, it was a little confusing how to get to Ambar. We found a bellhop that took us to a tram that quickly filled up and was actually going to a different lobby and had to wait for another. Not a big deal, just some confusion. When we arrived at Ambar, we met Angel Perez. He is fabulous! Angel and his team of butlers quickly took care of checking us in, reviewing our restaurant reservations, took us to our rooms, and gave a tour of the room to familiarize us. All very helpful. The room was clean and comfortable (and it stayed that way the whole week). AC, water pressure, minibar all good. I could not sleep on the bed (too firm). That is not unusual; I rarely find a hotel bed that does not give me a backache. I was in building 64, right next to the pool and the beach was just past that! Very convenient. I was on the first floor and you do hear some corridor noise but nothing disruptive. Ask your butler if you need anything. Dario was my butler and he was wonderful!!
The resort complex is very large. There are trams that run regular routes; you can catch one about every 10 min or less. We had a group of 7 so sometimes would request one just for us from the bellhop if we were going to a dinner reservation and didn’t want to risk finding a full tram.
The food was good. We ate at the ala carte restaurants all but 2 of the nights. My favorites were the Japanese (there are 2 of these, I think the one we were at was Mako) and Don Pablo. My least favorite was the Garden Grill. Coming from the Midwest, I should know better than to try steak. It was not that bad, just not like what I can get here. The buffets all had a good selection, there are options to get cooked to order (highly recommend this, had the best calamari!). I found all of the wait staff to be accommodating and friendly. I really enjoyed Juan every morning at the mimosa table!
We spent a lot of time at the pool and were waited on by a very attentive Bianca. All of the wait staff at the pool was good, but she was our favorite! When we were on the beach, again the wait staff was great. I wish I knew the name of the very nice man that swept the sand off the chairs. He kept everything neat and tidy!
We spent more than one evening at the lobby bar. Usually, we sat on the patio because it can get a bit warm inside. I did not try the Wifi in the lobby, instead using one of the computers available. These are a little outdated but I’m not on vacation to check my Facebook page and they served my purpose.
Overall, it was a very good experience. I would definitely recommend the Ambar.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank cahanz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Customer Service at Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue, responded to this reviewResponded November 25, 2013

Dear Guest,

Please allow us to reassure that we are extremely proud to know that in your first trip to our Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar you loved it even more. Thank you for highlighting our incredible and helpfulness staff, good food and a la carte restaurants.

This kind of comments represents a challenge to maintain the magic that makes our dear customers choose for their holiday destination this paradise called Dominican Republic.

Looking forward to welcome you for second time at Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, all-inclusive hotels for your holidays in Punta Cana.

Greetings,

Vianca Graciano
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 22, 2013

This was my third trip to the Ambar, and my 7th trip overall to the Bahia complex in Punta Cana. We arrived November 1
I travelled with a friend for a "Moms get-away" Obviously I keep going back to this resort because I LOVE IT. There are plenty of reviews on here with general details pertaining to the resort - plus you can find answers to questions on the forum regarding pretty much anything - I will give my observations and opinions about the resort and try not to be too repetitive.
Our transfer bus from the airport had travelers for all Bahia resorts. You need to know what resort you are staying at when you get on this bus! The bus will drop off guests for the Esmerlda and Punta Cana, and Royal Golden at the Punta Cana Resort - and then take the Bavaro, Diamond club and Ambar guests to the Bavaro lobby. The tour operator tried to explain this several times - I was SHOCKED by how many people did not know what resort they were staying in - they just kept saying "we are staying in the Bahia Principe"
Once you get dropped off at the Bavaro Lobby, a smaller tram or bus will come and pick up all the Ambar guests and their luggage and take them to the Ambar lobby to check in. They do this because the Ambar is secluded away from the big roads, and the space in front of the Ambar is not big enough for a giant coach to turn around in.
The night we arrived the skies had opened up and it was pouring rain. The small buses had to have their rain flaps pulled down and the seats wiped off before we could get into them. This seemed to greatly annoy some people - I was appreciative that they took the extra time to do this rather than whisking us through the pouring rain to the Ambar Lobby .
The check in staff was friendly and efficient - we were checked in in moments on our way to our room. Our luggage was delivered a few minutes later by a bell hop.
We had asked for a building by the pool on the 2nd or 3rd floor, and this is exactly what we got. We were in a nice room (67202) with 2 beds - AC, hot water, hair dryer, TV, clock, coffee pot, lighting - everything was in perfect working order.
There were reservation tickets for our meals waiting for us in our room - and were exactly what we requested. Knowing that we would be in late - and wouldn't feel like doing much after a long day of travel, I had asked for a late reservation for the BBQ at the beach a'la carte. We freshened up and took the 2 minute walk to Olas.
I know lots of people prefer the fancy restaurants - however I have to say that this a' la carte remains my favorite. It is casual - the food is great - love the steak and chimmichurri - the staff here are so much fun - and for our first night there, they helped set the tone for the rest of the trip. Friendly and laughing - joking around - and not missing an opportunity to fill your glass or bring you anything you need. I cannot possibly remember all the names of the staff at this restaurant - but I can honestly tell you that there was not an unfriendly one in the bunch. The hostess that greets you as you enter as well as Adonis seem to be the ones that keep everyone smiling and on their toes. A special mention of our server Ishmael, he really took care of us.
We spent the rest of the week wondering what people could possibly have to complain about. There was not a single meal that was bad. We did speak to a person or 2 that said they couldn't find a thing they liked at the buffet. HUH? How is that possible? I am a picky eater. I'm not much for seafood at all except for shellfish - but trust me - I did not have any trouble finding plenty to eat. Every breakfast, lunch and possibly dinner is served buffet style. That is the nature of the all inclusive. You are here for a week (or more) - be creative! If at first you don't see anything that appeals to you - look again - combine dishes to make what you love. There are thousands of ingredients - surely you can't be serious when you say you can't find anything.
POOL/BEACH
We spilt our days between the pool and the beach. In the past there was a strict "no reserving chairs by the pool" rule that was enforced. The week we were there the rule didn't seem to be in effect. Loads of chairs were covered by 6 am with nobody in sight - and there wasn't any security removing items either. If you wanted an umbrella at the pool the early bird got the worm - if you wanted to be at the beach - there were plenty. There is - as always - ignorant people that reserve more than one chair per person. There would be lots to go around if people didn't do this. This is not a problem with anything the resort is doing as they have many more chairs than people. It is a problem with people being selfish and inconsiderate .
They have made some nice changes to the beach - boardwalks have been added or improved. Some spots are now wheelchair accessible with boardwalks going right to the seats or umbrellas. Better marking - more palapas - just a more organized beach with the space being better used. Lino - our favorite beach server - kept you filled up on drinks (and alcohol) He sure is a hard worker!
The drink service by the pool was perfect - no complaints there at all - nice to see they have added some male servers here - always smiling. Each day by the pool a server would come around with fruit skewers. I'm not sure if that is a regular occurrence or if we just got lucky - but they should keep it up! We were so happy to see that our favorite server Bianca is still there working hard and always taking care of everyone. Desiree - who used to be a pool server is now a lobby server as she is having a baby - and couldn't do the long hours on her feet in the sun. We missed her smile and laugh at the pool - but she was a fun addition to the lobby.
Our room was cleaned and well stocked every day. We left a note on the first couple days for lots of water - and each day we had many bottles in the room. We had someone come in and tidy the bathroom and turn down our beds each night, and leave chocolates. If the towels were really wet or on the floor they were replaced at that time with fresh ones. This was a really nice touch.
There are parties that happen on Saturday nights - some weeks at the beach some weeks at the pool. I wish I could say more about this, however ours was rained out :-(
The staff seemed to be really excited about these parties and I think they would be so much fun.
In the evening the lobby can get really rocking. Rafael the DJ seems to be a new addition, and he and Kelly from the animation team are really good at getting everyone up and enjoying themselves. If you aren't up dancing, you are sure to have fun watching the others! I can imagine that if you end up at the resort with a quieter group then the lobby may not be as lively - but again - it is not because the opportunity isn't there - it may just be the people there that week. If you aren't having fun - make fun!
For restaurants we tried the Takara - Loved it - I had the chicken and beef teppanyaki - more food than I could eat. We ate the the BBq (Olas) on the beach twice - I already said that it's my fav. The best steak we had at the resort was served here. We ate at El Olivo - pleasantly surprised by how good it was. Small portion - but delicious.The Garden Grill - oddly, most people say this is their favorite, however I found it to be my least favorite. The steak there was no where near as thick and flavorful as the BBQ - and it was tiny. The salad/ buffet section was picked over - but I know it is a very busy restaurant and seems very rushed and crowded.
I had the pleasure of meeting the management team at a cocktail hour for repeat guests. Sr. Lima, the new hotel Manager is a warm, humorous and friendly man. He was able to communicate fluently in many languages with each of the guests. I think he is a great addition to the Ambar, and I think he will do great things for the resort.
The staff at the Ambar all work so hard to make your stay memorable. They are the main reason that we keep coming back. It boggles my mind how you can show up for breakfast or coffee - blurry eyed - at 7:30 in the morning, and be greeted by the warm smiles and faces of the staff, as they rush around to make sure each guest is taken care of. They take the time to learn your name & remember your preferences. You go back for lunch, and these same people are there - still running....still singing and smiling . Later in the evening, after a wonderful day in the sun and a relaxing evening getting ready for dinner, you take you seat at your table in a fancy restaurant - and who is there serving you? The same wonderful people - still smiling and still as friendly as they were at :730 AM. If you think that these staff members are not friendly, I challenge you to look them right in the eye and say Hola, and introduce yourself - I can assure you that you will receive a genuine smile and a friendly Hola! in return.
A special mention of the people that make us feel like family there each and every day : Melania, Rafael, Leonardo,Santa, Luilly, Maura, Emilio. Juan, Bianca, Jesy and Desiree - you guys are great and I hope your management knows how lucky they are to have you.
How would I rate this resort? Super excellente'!

Room Tip: If you tend to be a late night type look for building 63, 66 or 70 as they are closest to the lobby and easy to stumble home to
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11  Thank CanadaNeed2relax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Customer Service at Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue, responded to this reviewResponded November 23, 2013

Dear guest,

We would like to thank you for your loyalty. As a repeater client your opinion is very important to us. It is thanks to guests like you, that Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts has reached the success and gained prestige through the last years.

We do not know how to thank you for this kind of comments. On the name of the staff member that you mentioned we thank you for these marvelous comments, which inspire us to continue providing top shelf service to create outstanding experiences to our clients.

We would be absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to welcome you back in this your second house Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, all-inclusive hotels for your holidays in the Dominican Republic.

Warm regards,

Vianca Graciano
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 22, 2013

We stayed at the Ambar for 2 weeks from the 1st November 2013. When we arrived at the Ambar lobby we were greeted with a cocktail and a nice cool towel and where then checked in quickly. We received a corner room as per my room request and were in block 65 (which was right in the middle of all the buildings so nice and easy to get everywhere). The staff were all lovely and the service was very very good, whether you tipped or not. Both the beach and the pool are lovely although the towel game was played at the pool (in our second week we did notice that the staff had been removing towels on some chairs and leaving notes saying they could not be reserved before 8am).

The food at the hotel buffet was good with a wide selection, so there should be something for everyone. We ate at a few of the a'la cartes and our 2 favourites were the Don Pablo and The Maiko. We also ate at The Takara where the food was just ok but the staff were lovely. Our big dissapointment was The Garden Grill where we were made to fell quite unwelcome (my bf had to ask for a beer 4 times and it only turned up once we had finished our food), the food here was also not that great and we found the starter buffet to be a bit of a let down.

We loved this resort and we would definitley return if we were to go back to the Dominican Republic.

Room Tip: Ask for a corner room as these are a bit larger
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Helen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Customer Service at Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue, responded to this reviewResponded November 23, 2013

Dear Simmo,

It is wonderful to read that our Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar attention fulfill your expectations. We would like to thank you for acknowledging our friendly staff, great food, and lovely pool and beach.

We deeply apologize any difficulties you may have encountered. Thank you for sharing your observations which have been treated with great interest.

We will wait for you once again in our All-inclusive luxury hotel on Dominican Republic with Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts

Regards,

Vianca Graciano
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2013

This was our eighth trip to the Ambar. We went with friends for the week of Oct. 21st to the 28th.
After 5 trips you are given a different color wrist band which you must ask for because they forget.

The GOOD- A walkway was installed on the beach which leads right to the beach bar.
A nicety that was added was Franklin on the beach who swept the sand from our beach chairs.
Finally, we were allowed to swim in the pool after dark ( only one night) because they have a pool party for guest.
It appears they have upgraded the liquor to semi top shelf from the island liquor. Sorry, still only Presidente beer.
We saw security placing notices on pool chairs that you could not reserve them and there were plenty of chairs around the pool during our stay.
All of the food was very good quality. The Don Pablo restaurant and our waiter Hector were excelente.
The room was on the first floor of building 69 with good hot water and an adequate air conditioner.
The beach had more servers for drink request.
All of the working staff were friendly and out going.

The BAD- Our minibar was not stocked all week except for water and soda. The maid said we had to wait as they were out of small liquor bottles.
Twice, I had to call for room towels as they forgot to leave them.
On past stays our room would be straighened up and towel animals were left on the bed but not this time. Not even a hefty tip motivated our maid.
I had read other reviews that said there was no shrimp at the buffet. Until this trip I never had that problem but this time there was no shrimp or lobster at the buffet which in the past was very abundant. Maybe it was there on the nights we ate at sit down restaurants.
The lobby could use more ventilation and giant fans. It gets hot in there.

The Ugly- Our usual butler Jorge does not work there anymore and it shows. He was replaced by Yeyson who was useless and missing after day 2.
As usual our rooms were not ready until well after 3 pm. Our room had a door key problem that caused us to miss our reservation for dinner because we could not get in.
Note to management. Do not send a maintenance man to push and pull the card in the lock twenty times. I already tried that. Several trips to the front desk and it was still not fixed. No wonder down the hall there was loud cursing. They were angry about their room key not working.
Finally the night manager had the lock fixed around 10 pm. This service was a disgrace.
The next morning we saw Yeyson and told him of the problem and he said he would send champaigne to our rooms. Wow, free champaigne that I can get for free anyway. What a deal. Guess what? It never arrived and that was the last time we saw Yeyson during our stay.
Second note to management.- A door lock problem happened at another resort I stayed at and they gave me complimentary passes for 2 massages.
Third note to management.- You should make Emuquil the new head butller. On the next to last day he saw us, remembered we were frequent guest and asked how was our stay. He showed great concern when we said we were not happy with our butler service and the room key mess.

Fianl review. If this was our first stay at this resort we would of been estatic. Having 7 other visits to compare it too we feel this resort has gone down a notch.

Room Tip: Do not bother to ask for certain rooms. You will be wasting your time.
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank mrsaturday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Customer Service at Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue, responded to this reviewResponded November 22, 2013

Dear Guest,

Your observations are taking into great consideration and have been share with the General Manager of our Resort for their analysis in order to improve the points you mentioned.

We are really sorry to hear that you were not satisfied with our services in your 8th visit. You can be sure that we will never cease our efforts to comply with our guests’ needs and expectations.

As a repeater client your opinion is very important to us, that´s why we would like to take this opportunity to extend our most sincere apologies for the inconveniences you encountered during your stay at our hotel.

All-inclusive luxury hotels on Dominican Republic with Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts

Vianca Graciano
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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