Our first Caribbean vacation and we'd definitely go back. Temp was mid 80's, sunshine, breezes, beautiful beach, beautiful palm trees and foliage. This was a lovely, relaxing vacation. Here are some of our highlights/comments.
Before our vacation, we had read a comment that if we purchase a $20 cash Tourist Card at the airport, we would experience a quicker trip through the lines and through customs. It didn't seem like we had the option NOT to purchase this card. Everyone was shuffled to a desk to make this purchase and no one line or area seemed to move any quicker. Not sure what this was all about.
Our VIP Service rep was awesome. She guided us through the maze of people and other travel reps and made sure we boarded the correct bus to the resort. Our bus dropped us off at the main hotel and then we were transported via tram to our hotel. There were plenty of men always making sure we were going to the correct location. These guys work hard.
CHECK-IN TIP -- bring a printed copy of your reservation confirmation. They would NOT accept an email at check-in. To accomplish printing at the resort, you must wait for an available Guest Services rep. This wait could be lengthy because guest services handles everything for everyone. This part was annoying, frustrating and time-consuming.
Room -- Email your room request 2 weeks before your arrival. We were in bldg 67, facing the "jungle," 3rd floor, closer to the pool. This was a great location: close to the pool (not a rowdy pool atmosphere) for daytime but quiet at night. Beautiful walk to the lobby area for the buffet. We requested a king-size bed but had 2 queen? beds. The room was clean and a very nice size. The bathroom was a nice size, too. Lighting in the room and especially bathroom was very dim. One night, we got a 10PM knock-on-the-door-open-the-door turn-down service. We were sound asleep so this scared the "you know what" out of us. Guest Services told us turn-down service can occur from 6-11PM. After that, we asked for turn-down no later than 7PM.
Food -- There was plenty of food for many different "tastes" at the buffets. We had reservations at Don Pablo and El Olivio. My husband ordered filet mignon at Don Pablo that he said was very tough, "the worst filet I've ever had." El Olivio had the best service, very friendly staff and good food. Overall, the food was very good.
Pool -- loved! loved! Loved the pool! Bring plenty of high number sunscreen. We usually use SPF15 but we should've started with SPF30 for a couple of days. We went to the pool for 4 mornings and never had a problem getting loungers. We had read negative comments regarding holding/reserving loungers -- we did this every morning (because we preferred a particular area) and no one ever said anything to us about doing this. No matter what time of the day, there were always plenty of available loungers at the pool. The swim-up bar was great. Aerobics and zumba in the pool were fun. The beach area, however, was a different story. The loungers along the water were either held/reserved very early in the morning (at sunrise or earlier) or could they possibly have been held the night before?? The beach area had plenty of loungers and huts for shade but that area filled up early and quickly. The beach was clean, the sand was like sugar and the water was warm, clean and pretty clear. Loved our beach walks. Lots of people on the beach but never felt crowded or congested.
The Ambar is a well-manicured and beautifully landscaped resort. Very lush. We didn't really notice any bugs. One evening around 6 or 6:30PM, a fumigation truck emitting a huge billow of smoke (insecticide, we presume) drove directly down the main and side walkways. This did not smell good and could not have been good for us. This should be done at a different time when fewer people are around.
Allow plenty of time for airport processing -- there are lots of people and the lines are long.
- 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