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“an outstanding experience at an outstanding resort”

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Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #49 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 15, 2014

The Ambar far exceeded our expectations. It is a stunningly beautiful, extremely well maintained first class adult-only resort and we had a fabulous time there. This was my first and my wife's second time to Punta Cana, and interestingly, on her previous trip she and a girl friend stayed at the Majestic Colonial 3 years ago, which is next to the Bahia Principe Almbar,

My wife and I have relatively high stress jobs and we needed to have a resort that was relaxing and stress free. The Ambar being a extremely service oriented Adult all-inclusive was ideal for this purpose.

Our goal in planning this trip was to find the highest value, and the highest quality for the lowest price. We chose a 7 day trip at the Bahia Principe Ambar in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Talk about last minute: We booked this trip New Years eve 2013 on the Transat Website (Vancouver to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic) and arrived in Punta Cana at 6:15 January 3rd. Some last minute deals can be incredible values. This was one of them.


The Bahia Principe resort in Punta Cana is a large resort that is divided into 4 smaller resorts.

Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda 510 rooms
Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro 1296 rooms
Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana 780 rooms
Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar 528 rooms


The Ambar is on the beach and has it's own private pool and beach area that no one from the other 3 Bahia resorts could use. However as an Ambar guest we had access to all the other 3 Bahia resorts on the Bahia property including all their, activities, restaurants and pools. That said, there really was no reason most of the time to wander far from the Ambar because the service and quality of the Ambar resort was so outstanding.

Travel between the different Bahia resorts on the property was very easy. They had tram that would pick you up in front of your lobby and take you anywhere in the resorts.

A few details:

THE STAFF:

First a note on the Domincan people. Dominican's are by nature a beautiful, warm, friendly, hospitable people. As one Ambar manager said to me, we don't need to train our staff to be this way, Dominican people are this way by nature.

That said, the staff of the Ambar was truly exceptional. Every person involved in customer service, from the chambermaids to the restaurant staff, support services, management and even the grounds keepers we came in contact with were wonderful. The Ambar staff went over the top to make your experience amazing and they did this with a good attitude though many of them worked 12 hour shifts, 20 days straight. When I say the staff at the Ambar is exceptional, they truly are.

A few staff members who were a blessing to us in particularly remarkable ways: Francisco and Albania, in Customer Service, who turned service into friendship and took the time to teach me some essential Spanish. Altugracias and Raphella our wonderful maids who were so diligent with the details to make our rooms elegant and a new fresh experience with towel sculptures, fresh flowers and petal designs in the bathroom and on the bed every day, and spotlessly clean rooms. Bianca, the warm and tireless pool barmaid who didn't just serve, she cared. Arcadi Jucosa, the Ambar Manager who made it his personal task to give attention to the smallest details and took the time to talk to guests and get to know them. All of the dining staff were totally remarkable in every restaurant - definitely 5 star service.

One note on honesty needs to be commended. The first day on the resort I left the safe in our room wide open with hundreds of American dollars, my wallet with credit cards, our passports, camera and other valuables in it, Altugracias was our maid that day. When we arrived back in the room we found the safe open and untouched exactly as we left it. There are many hotels in may places in the world you could never do that. Bless you, Altugracias, You are an asset to your employers and a great representative for your Domincan people.

With some staff there was a bit of a language barrier, but if they didn't know what you were saying they would quickly find someone who could understand you. But the great thing is everyone tried hard to communicate, and that with warmth and genuine care.

TIPPING;

We took down a couple hundred in American 1 dollar bills to tip. That said, you do not have to tip a single person in this resort to get excellent service. Not one person will treat you anything but excellent whether you tip or don't at the Ambar. We brought this money down to bless those who served us because we knew that they all would be working extremely hard to make out holiday an experience to remember. Plus they work long hard hours for a very small fraction of what people on minimum wage earn in Canada. We tip 15% - 20% in Canada and did the same at the Ambar, not because we had to, but because we wanted to.

THE ROOMS:

We were in room (70111) a ground floor room with a balcony facing the jungle. We had called ahead and we asked for a quiet room and that is exactly what we got. The ground level entrance was very nice. We never heard any noise at night the entire time we were there. However, if you want a view, the rooms on the back side where we were had no view, but that isn't what we were looking for. The bottom line is it gets dark in the Dominican at 6 PM and there is nothing to see at night anyway. You can ask for a corner room for the same price, The corner room is a bit larger and has a bit larger balcony.

The rooms are nicely appointed with marble floors throughout. The only downside for us, which is a personal preference, is the bed was a bit hard. We are used to a softer pillow-top mattress at home and the sleep quality beds of the better 4 and 5 star Canadian and American hotel chains.

THE BEACH:

The beach was excellent - cool, light amber, power soft sand. There was a wonderful refreshing breeze coming off the ocean all week. This kept us cooler and made the beach much more enjoyable. This is not an ideal snorkeling beach. It is a bit too wavy and the reef is a fair ways out with waves breaking out there. However, you can take snorkeling excursions to swim with stingrays and nurse sharks and to just putter around on your own. There are also glass bottomed boats if you are not the snorkeling type. We walked 3 miles in each direction from our hotel. That was great. Plus you got to see some of the other resorts, including the quality or lack thereof of those resorts. Let me just say, we were glad we stayed where we did.

There are many shaded areas and grass roof umbrellas with Beach chairs across the whole width of the Ambar resort and the beach area in front of the Ambar is exclusively for Ambar guests. People get up early to save beach chairs and umbrellas, but if you can't find one ask one of the beach grounds cleaners and they with find you a spot and bring you beach chairs. We had no problems with sand flies the entire time we were there.

A note: Be prepared for the odd topless sunbather at times. I had never come across this before in my travels, and because my eyes are for my wife and my wife alone, it made for some removing of some areas from my vision. I would rather have not had to do that. But then, it was required almost continuously anyway with bikinis everywhere.

THE FOOD AND DRINK:

The food at the Ambar was absolutely stellar. They have aimed at 5 star gourmet dining quality, and in many areas they were exceptional. The main buffet at the Ambar was extravagant and elegant with such a variety of everything it was hard to decide what to eat. As with any buffet needing to be food safe, the food arrived cooked and then continued to heated while it was on the buffet. This tended to cause some things to be a bit over-cooked, but if you were discerning you could find many things that were best cooked that way. Overall everything was delicious. The deserts were amazing.

A note on Lobster here. While all the lobster tasted good it was hard to not get it overcooked because of sitting at the buffet. However, if you watch for the day when they are serving lobster seafood freshly grilled at the main buffet ask the chef at the grill to cook you some fresh lobster. He pulled some fresh lobster pieces out and cooked them right there on the spot for me. It was by far the best lobster I had at this resort.

Also, if you like made to order fresh omelets, in the morning there is an amazing "singing" omelet cook at the main buffet. I don't remember his name, but he was a joy to be served by and made delicious omelets.

We ate at 4 a la cartes, all of them were excellent gourmet restaurants.

Although this is an All-inclusive resort, which mean all-you-can-drink too, the all-you-can-drink was kind of lost on us because neither my wife or I are serious drinkers. But from what I could see the drinks used premium brand name brands and they were not skimping, The fresh fruit juices were all good and we had our fair share of non-alcoholic pina coladas.

A word of advice: bring your own large isolated drinking cups or mugs. The cup size at the beach or pool is very small and if you want to stay well hydrated and have continuous fluids at your disposal use your own drink containers.

SECURITY:

We felt entirely safe everywhere on this resort. There are security guards posted all over the resort day and night.

THE SPA

I have to close with this. I have never been to a spa, My wife has been to many. My wife said that this was the best spa experience she has ever had. She got a full body massage, I just did the hand and foot reflexology. I can say it was truly amazing. They were very skilled and it was very relaxing.

IN SUMMARY:

I would recommend the Ambar to anyone and would come back in a heartbeat.

Room Tip: All the rooms in the Ambar are good, but if you want a view don't choose the rooms against the j...
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
14  Thank Mike_Rosenau
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 Don Pablo Collection, responded to this reviewResponded January 18, 2014

Dear Guest,

It is a pleasure to read that you experienced a very and enjoyable and relaxing stay in our wonderful adults-only Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Don Pablo Collection, especially because of our great food and drinks, staff.

We thank you for your comments and looking forward to welcoming you very soon at all-inclusive luxury hotels on the Dominican Republic with Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts.

Warmest regards from Punta Cana.


Vianca Graciano
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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Reviewed January 15, 2014

Having stayed from Christmas Day for two weeks, I would highly recommend this hotel for any time of the year. It's location on the beach with excellent facilities was a paradise. The restaurants are world class and the staff can't do enough for you. I would go back tomorrow if it were possible. My wife, sister in law and myself loved every day of our stay. One of the best holidays we have experienced. :-)

Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
4  Thank David H
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 Don Pablo Collection, responded to this reviewResponded January 18, 2014

Dear Guest,

We would like to thank you for bringing to our attention the comments about your stay in our Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Hotel which we will take in the highest consideration.
We are more than happy and very pleased to heat that you would come back tomorrow and enjoy another stay here with if it is not tomorrow we hope it will be very soon that we can receive you at your second home.

All-inclusive luxury hotels on the Dominican Republic with Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts
Always at your disposal,

Warmest 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 January 15, 2014

I stayed with two other adults at the Ambar (Dominican Republic) from january 4th thru the 11th using a Funjet package. I had a direct flight on United and arrived at the Resort around 5:30pm. Customs was a breeze and non stop shuttle service was certainly the way to start the vacation. I did my research and knew thr building to stay in. I asked for building # 67 and rec'd it. Please be pleasant and curteous when requesting a room or anything else. That goes a long way. I brought tasty treats from Chicago and shared same with staff. Its my way of saying thank you. Hotel staff acknowledged that I am a repeat guest and (color of bracelet reflects that) and you do get VIP treatment. 1st the beach; the best in the area. Plenty of Palapas, shade and powdery white sand. I did get up early every morning (around 7:45am) to put towels down by my favorite spot on the beach. Food; I enjoyed the outside restaurants/grills. I don't like eating indoors when in the caribbean/Mexico. Plenty of choices, although I am not picky. I liked the Ala carte restaurants but have no patience for waiting for my food. The Don Pablo and Olivia (sp) were very good as was the Japanese at the Bavaro resort. Speaking of Bavaro, they have a great lobby with good entertainment and plenty of shops. The ambar is on the quieter side (older clientele and no families may be the reason). All in all, I would go back. Thank you Christian, Fransisco (guesat services) pool bartenders. All of made my trip special. Finally, my I suggest a beach volleyball net at the Ambar and water polo at the Ambar pool. We need activities at the Ambar rather than go to the other resorts such as Esmereldo (sp). That was my only disappointment.

Room Tip: 60, 64, 67; corner room if possible
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank donnie57
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 Don Pablo Collection, responded to this reviewResponded January 18, 2014

Dear Guest,

We greatly appreciate that you have chosen our Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar for your visit in Dominican Republic.
We do not know how to thank you for this kind of comments. Posts such as yours delight us and gives us confidence to keep working hard to satisfy our customers and improve our service. Your greetings will be forwarded to Christian, Francisco. Thank you for mentioniong our a la carte restaurants and that as well you enjoyed a couple of them.

We are looking forwarded to cater you once again at our Luxery Bahia Principe Ambar Don Pablo Collection.

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, su mejor hotel en Punta Cana

Warmest regards from the Caribbean.


Vianca Graciano
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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Reviewed January 14, 2014

As a solo traveler there is always a concern about accommodations being less than desirable. On the contrary I was met by Emmanuel, I believe he was the butler. He was great and prided himself on providing the very best of service 24/7. My accommodations were 5 stars or more. His staff were just as accommodating. There was a slight leak in the bathroom which I reported and it was repaired in very short order. The room was gorgeous and cleaned thoroughly each day. The food in both the restaurants and buffet was excellent. I can not say enough great thing about this experience. This was probably the best vacation I have had thanks to Emmanuel and Grand Bahia Principe Ambar (adult resort). The only downside was shuttle transportation provided by Apple Vacations. That was very frustrating as it was 1 1/2 hours late and would certainly cause you to miss a plane departure. I will definitely return to this resort repeatedly

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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2  Thank levij11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2014

My husband and I went on our honeymoon to the Bahia Principe Ambar in November. We had visted the Bahia in Mexico as well and loved that we could have an "exclusive" stay while getting the perks of being able to go out to the other resorts as well. The Ambar was great, however, not as "luxury" as I had expected. First of all, our room as almost never cleaned. We had to request they clean it on the 4th day of our stay and even then it wasn't done well. The food was edible at best. I was not impressed at all with the buffets and we even went out most nights to the "nicer" restaurants. The building itself seems like a stage prop. Everything is made of cheap materials and seems like it could fall apart at any moment. The beach and pool are beautiful and fantastic, however, the "towel game" is quite ridiculous. You almost have to get there at 8am to get a chair on the beach and even then there are a number of towels "holding" seats. We did go on a Dune Buggy excursion to a natural spring that was very fun. We booked it beforehand online rather through the trip advisor. Beaches were fantastic for walking but again- you have to beware of loosing your chair. I'd recommend taking a big koozie type mug rather than counting on the tiny plastic ones they give you. We took Bubba Kegs and were able to fill them and relax rather than getting up every few minutes to get a new drink. It was a good time, however, I expected higher quality.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank SKrieger
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 Don Pablo Collection, responded to this reviewResponded January 18, 2014

Dear Guest,

We greatly appreciate that you have chosen our Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar as your Honeymoon destination in the Dominican Republic. We apologies if we were not able to fulfill your total expectations but as well to hear that you had some relaxing days here with us.

We hope that we will welcome you once again at one of our Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts.

Regards from the Caribbean!

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, your best hotel in Punta Cana


Vianca Graciano
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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Reviewed January 14, 2014

Enjoyed our stay at the Ambar. Loved the attention to detail and the wonderful food. The service the staff provided was greatly appreciated. Beach was wonderful. Rooms were clean and comfortable. Would travel to this resort again!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank stephen r
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 Don Pablo Collection, responded to this reviewResponded January 18, 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your nice comments it is a great pleasure that we could fulfill your expectations.

We hope you see you for a second time here with us. All-inclusive luxury hotels on the Dominican Republic with Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts.

Warmest 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 January 13, 2014

I had initially planned on doing a detailed review but decided against it. My wife and I were able to stay at Ambar on our honeymoon and thoroughly enjoyed it. In our opinion, the full experience was excellent. I decided against the detailed review because I didn't want to nitpick the resort apart. There are a few things that I could point out that aren't perfect; however, these things wouldn't affect the quality of vacation. There are the few blemishes here and there from the age of the buildings. The only con that I would actually note is the sub par performance of the air conditioner. It was tolerable by all means, but I would have liked it to be a bit cooler at night.

The resort staff and grounds are phenomenal. Every single encounter we had with the staff was pleasurable. Everyone smiles and greets you. In my honest opinion, there is no need for improvement what so ever in this area.

The food was good; however, I do recommend making reservations at some of the a la cartes to give some variation. The buffet can get redundant. We ate at several a la cartes and thought they were all good. Our personal favorites were Maiko and El Olivio.

I emailed them in advance with our room and dinner request which were all met.

I researched tripadvisor for our honeymoon roughly a year in advance. My advice, don't ready too heavily into the negative reviews. Look at the overall picture of the reviews and make your decision. I understand that some people may have a bad experience due to odd circumstances, but overall the resort was great. You can book your vacation to Ambar with confidence. I would definitely pay my hard earned money to visit here again.

Room Tip: We made a broader room request. I tried not to be too specific to increase our odds. I asked for a r...
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank Nathan G
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 Don Pablo Collection, responded to this reviewResponded January 18, 2014

Dear Guest,

We do not know how to thank you for this kind of comments. It is a pleasure for all of us to hear that you had a great time here with us during your honeymoon and we were able to fulfill your expectations in your second visit in our Resort. As well for mentioning our a la carte restaurants especially the Maiko and El Olvio.

We would like to cater you once again in any of our Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts in Dominican Republic, Mexico, Jamaica or Spain, and continue demonstrating you our commitment to excellence. Thank you very much for recommending us.

Your honeymoon in Punta Cana with Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts.

Regards from Punta Cana!


Vianca Graciano
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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
#42 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#44 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#45 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#46 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $170 - $470 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
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Also Known As:
Gran Bahia Principe Ambar Hotel Punta Cana

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