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Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #43 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
montreal
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Romantic getaway”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 31, 2009

We just came back from a week's vacation at the Gran Bahia Principe Ambar.

The Ambar is one of the three buildings of the resort which include also Gran bahia principe Bavaro and Gran Bahia Pricipe( Punta Cana). All three buildings are a walking distance to one another.

We had access to all three parts of the resort and the Ambar was by far the best of the three. There are fewer people so the buffet, bars, pool area and lobby are never overcrowded. Seeing as there are less people, service is quicker and more personalized than the other resorts. Also, the Ambar is located very close to the beach.

Our room was very romantic with a wonderful King bed and a nice balcony. The bathroom has a shower and a jacuzzi bath.

The food was good....not as good as in Mexico,Bahia Prinicipe Tulum...but it was all around good. The buffet has great presentations and a lot of variety. The A la Carte restaurants are good too...the best were the Don Pablo( gourmet) and the Japanese restaurant. Being at the Ambar we were allowed to eat every day at any of the A la Carte restaurants and this includes all the other A la Carte restaurants in the three buildings.

The only thing is that some people had their reservations already done for them by their travel agent...our travel agent did not do them for us...so we had only three reservations done for the three restaurants at the Ambar...I have no idea who chose these reservations for us, but it is not our travel agent as she was unaware of this....The reservations were in a white envelope when we checked in....We did not go by these reservations as we preferred making our own choices on the days and times we chose...

So it is really important to go to the Customer Relations desk and make your reservations the day you arrive...if you do not like the reservations that were made for you...ask them to change them or tell them....

Overall, great experience...wonderful weather,,,great beach...good service...good food...variety of good drinks....

Loved it...I wish I could go back tomorrow....

Gen and Jean

Stayed January 2009
Helpful?
7 Thank ginnyfudge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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New Brunswick, Canada
Level Contributor
36 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 225 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 31, 2009

Gran Bahia Principe Ambar Review
A friend and I vacationed at the Gran Bahia Principe Ambar for 2 weeks from Jan 12th-26, 2009. This was our 14th trip south, our 8th to Punta Cana, and our 4th stay at an Adults Only resort. The 2 weeks at the Ambar just flew by and it was time to pack and come home before we knew it! We would rate the Ambar right up there with our stay at the other Adult Only resorts. As expected there were good and bad but the good certainly far outweighed the bad. Overall rating 9/10
Check-in was predone and we were given our room package and wristband on the bus. The main problem is that you are dropped off at the Bavaro entrance and have to take a shuttle to the Ambar lobby. Once on site it took us no time at all to find our room and our luggage arrived soon thereafter.

Room- We were given room 61301, in building 61, 3rd floor, corner room. Building 61 is close to the pool area and about a 2 min walk to the lobby. There was a somewhat oceanview from our large corner balcony but we were on the sunrise side which was very nice in the morning. This corner room was one of the biggest rooms we have had. There was good comfy sitting areas, ok lighting, plenty of closet space and an included programmable safe. Beach towels were in our room upon arrival and could be exchanged for fresh ones as needed at the Towel Hut at the pool. The room was kept quite clean and the mini bar was replenished daily although the items left were not always the same. The bathroom was a very good size with a separate shower and Jacuzzi tub. Water pressure was good and lots of hot water once it got hot! We had Turn Down service most nights. Room – 8.5/10
Layout and Grounds- The Ambar section is very compact and everything is only a couple mins away. The large lobby area is very nice and more upscale then most we have seen. There was plenty of seating both inside and out on the patio area where smoking was allowed. The buffet is located off the lobby area and around the back of the buffet is the Gourmet a la carte. There are 3 rows of room buildings running from the lobby to the pool/beach area. The pool is a large size with a pool/swim-up bar. To one side of the pool area is a snack restaurant as well as 2 more a la cartes. There is also easy access to the regular sections either walking or taking the resort shuttle. For only being just over a year old the grounds here are gorgeous and very well kept. Walkways at the Ambar side were well lit – not so the case on the other side though. The beach in front of the Ambar section is very wide and there is a section marked for Adults only. Layout 10/10
Staff –The staff at the Ambar itself are very good. We on the most part received very good service. Most staff were very obliging and really seemed to want to make your stay enjoyable. There is no better way to start your day then with a smiling face and a nice greeting – and that is what we usually received here. Often most staff would chit-chat with you- ask how you were, how your vacation was going, where you were from, etc , and even joke around with you. Service and staff on the regular side were good but just not as ‘outstanding’ But this probably is due to the size difference between the sections. Almost every staff member you passed greeted you with an Hola! At the a la cartes a server from the buffet would see you and would come over and say hi even though you were not at their table. You’d enter the buffet and some staff would recognize you and wave from across the room. One day at lunch I saw a staff member help a lady with a cane on the buffet line – holding her plate and scoping up what she wanted and even offering his arm to help her back to her seat. Now that is what I call service. Staff 9.5/10
Buffet–The Ambar buffet would have to be the best buffet we have experience in our travels. The layout was great – large restaurant with lots of space between the tables. There was always a great selection of dishes which changed daily. Everything was well labeled – even the different kinds of bread and cheeses. The staff were constantly checking and replacing trays of food as needed. Service was also very good, glasses were never empty and dirty dishes were cleared right away. The staff really seemed to work as a team here and anyone going by would fill a glass or clear away a plate. There was a hostess to greet you and hold the door for you on entering and leaving. At lunch here was a great Tapas section and bread section as well as usually 5 or 6 items to choose from at the grill station. Most days there was not even a long line at the grill! There was a good selection of veggies daily that were not over cooked! There were no carts here laden with stacks of dirty dishes – they were lugged off to the kitchen asap. The buffet used linen tablecloths and napkins even for breakfast. As soon as a table was vacant the staff were there resetting it – they were very efficient. No matter what time we entered the buffet we did not see tables with dirty dishes left piled there waiting to be removed and the table reset. The only drawback we saw with the buffet was the food area could have been larger– it was a little tight getting through sometimes. Buffet – 9.5/10
Las Brisas Pool side Buffet- This snack restaurant was open for breakfast and lunch. Although not the same selection as at the main buffet we found it quite adequate for both breakfast and lunch. It also was a nice change to sit here for a meal over looking the pool and beach. Service here too was very good and food trays were constantly being checked and replaced as needed. 9/10
A La Cartes – There are 3 a la cartes right at the Ambar section but as an “Ambarite” we had access to almost all the a la cartes within the Bahia Complex - a total of about 14 to choose from! There are no limits on the number of bookings allowed so we did 13 of our 14 nights at the a la cartes. We had 4 pre-booked through e-mail prior to arrival and there never was a problem booking the rest. It does make a difference if you are open to what times and evenings are available. We did find the 3 a la cartes at the Ambar more to our liking since they were a little more upscale and not as hectic as the ones at the other sections. Most of those were set up the same – the only thing you actually ordered off a menu was your main course – everything else was buffet style. All the a la cartes were of a good size and the buffet selections at any of them would be plenty for a meal in itself. Although the service was good on the other sections it was not quite the same as at the Ambar and therefore we only tried each one we booked once. We never seemed rushed at any of the a la cartes that we visited. One thing we did note was that the menus at each restaurant were rather limited but this could be because they do have so many restaurants to choose from.
El Pescador – Seafood restaurant on the Punta Cana side. Service and food were just OK here. This was the 1st a la carte we went to on the regular side and we were somewhat disappointed when we compared it to the ones we had dined at at the Ambar. 7/10
Garden Grill – Steakhouse restaurant on the Punta Cana side. Good service and friendly staff. Food here was quite good. 8/10
Le Charro – Mexican restaurant on the Bavaro side. Staff were attentive and the food was good – just not too our liking although my shrimp fajita was quite good. 7.5/10
Meson – A Spanish restaurant in a new section being built just behind the Ambar. The style of this restaurant was more like those in the Ambar section although again the only thing you ordered off the menu was the main course. Service here was a little spotty (could be because it is new) but the food was good. 7.5/10
Note- there is a new Italian restaurant in this area too that looked nice but with an Italian restaurant right at the Ambar we didn’t see the need to try this one.
Maiko – The Japanese restaurant on the Bavaro side. This a la carte was different in that you sit at a table with 12 people and watch the chef prepare the main dishes in front of you. There is plenty of food available here! You get 3 app courses to start – sushi, tempura, and soup. The main course has rice, chop suey, shrimp, chicken, beef and fish. 8/10
Note – We did not have access to the Gourmet a la cartes at either the Bavaro or the Punta Cana sides, or we would have given them a try since I had read good things about them.
Don Pablo – Gourmet restaurant located at the Ambar. We ate here 3 times and each time was very nice with the last 2 being better then the 1st. It is a very nicely decorated large restaurant with the tables nicely spaced. The dishes were well presented and for the most part were very good. Portions were not big but more then enough for us. Service was very good as well. There is no rushed meal here – it is a nice relaxing dining experience. This is the one restaurant where there is no buffet – you order all 3 courses off a menu after a small app is brought around. The Smoked Salmon was the best app dish and the Lobster, Snapper and Fillet for the main course were all very good. All the deserts we tried here were very good and were very creative – including a Chocolate Cup which was actually a choc dessert in the shape of a cup! They even came around with pre-dinner warm towels here and brushed off the table after your main course. There really were some nice touches at the Ambar restaurants! 9.5/10
El Olivo – Mediterranean restaurant at the Ambar. We ate here 3 times as well with the 1st and last times being very good and the 2nd time not as good. This was another good sized restaurant again with the tables well spaced. There is a large buffet to start but you also order an app, main and dessert course off a menu. The Shrimp app was our fav and the Fillet was the best main course. Desserts here were good too and also well presented. Again no rushed meals here – just more relaxed dining experiences. Again we found the portions to be a good size – no heaping plates! Service for the most part was very good. 9.5/10
Portofino – Italian restaurant at the Ambar. We ate here twice. Another good sized well spaced restaurant. This a la carte had a large buffet to start as well. These buffets could be meals in themselves! The next 3 courses are ordered off a menu. Everything we had here was good. I had the Fried Sea Mix both times which was very good – this was not the big heaping plate of deep fried seafood one might get at a diner at home! Again we had 2 nice relaxed dinners at a nice restaurant with some very good service. 9/10
The El Olivo and the Portofino are located next to each other down by the pool but we found it odd that there was not a bar area for these two restaurants which we thought would have added to the evening’s experience.
We commented to each other how the service at the Ambar a la cartes was better then we have received in some top local restaurants where one can pay over $100 easily for dinner and how the staff at the Ambar could put some local servers to shame.
I am very picky when it comes to beef and steaks and usually do not order them when down south (or even a lot when out at home) since I do not like any pink in my meat! Well after trying a taste of my friends Fillet one night I decided to try it the next night at El Olivo and I was very surprised that it was done to my liking and was very good!

Best Stuff of note about the Ambar:
- The staff, the staff, the staff!!!!!!
- The compact size - Nothing is far away – we even walked to most of the restaurants at the other sections
- Adults only
- The use of the other sections and the ease with which to get there
- The total number of a la cartes throughout the Bahia sections and the ability and ease with which to book as many as wanted as an Ambarite.
- The upscale feel of the lobby and restaurants
- The quiet laid back feel – nothing at the Ambar felt crowded or busy
- The quality of the overall service
- The ability to have a nice relaxed evening of drinks and dining out in a nice eloquent tropical setting

Good Stuff of note at the Ambar:
- Language was not a problem here – but they did seem to really appreciate it when you did try to use some Spanish.
- The whole resort was kept very clean even the bathrooms by the pool and beach were almost immaculate.
- Adults Only was enforced
- Guest Service desk available most of the time for doing a la carte bookings – we even did some after dinner one night
- Next to the lobby bar were tables set up with coffee, tea, juice and pastries available most of the day
- Went to both the buffet or Las Brisas to have my Thermal Mug filled with my morning coffee and they were very obliging at both places
- The shuttle service is very good and the trains come along very regularly – we never had to wait more then a min or 2.
- There seemed to be more staff in all sections of the Ambar – buffet, lobby, pool bar, ground keepers, and a la cartes then we have seen at any other resort
- No Towel cards – (also see under not so good)
- Guest Services called our room twice (that we were aware of) to check how everything was
- This was one of the few places that I have not had to make at least one trip to the guest service desk to check on something we were suppose to have or to complain about a service that was somewhat lacking

Not So Good Stuff: ( but none of which ruined our view of this resort)
- The better International Drinks were only available at the Lobby Bar and not the same selections were included at the bars on the regular side even though they had them there. As well the selection of included Top Shelf drinks even at the Ambar were limited. Other Top Brands were there – but for a cost.
- As we have found with other resorts, they do run out of certain brands quite often
- Checkout – although it is easily done at the Ambar lobby you have to transfer over to the Bavaro Lobby to wait for pick-up for the Airport – this was the case if you even wanted to catch a Taxi
- No Towel Cards – this had it draw backs in that people would take 2 or 3 towels a piece so they could save more chairs and would just leave their towels on their chairs when they left the pool area for the day. This also meant that some days they would run out of fresh towels.
- The Towel game is in full swing here especially around the pool where they really could use quite a few more shade huts.
- Security and staff were not always consistent with allowing other guests to use the Ambar section – some days they were on top of it and other days those from the other sections could set at the pool, use the pool and even get drinks without anyone saying a word.
- Internet Access – although it is included free here for 15 mins per use there are only 2 computers and they can be quite busy at times – as well this means people line up behind you while you are on the computer so there is no privacy at all. You also have to be logged in by someone at the front desk which can take a while if it is at a time of arrivals or departures - I found the best time to use the computers was in the morning when I went for my morning coffee.

Few things of Note:
- Crispy bacon was available at the buffet and Las Brisas any morning we ate at either.
- The wine was not bad at any of the restaurants we went to. We have had worse at home.
- At the a la cartes they come around with a basket of rolls and let you choose which you would like
- Butter was readily available – both salted and unsalted near the bread and roll sections
- The coffee at this resort was some of the best we have had down south
- The stools at the swim-up bar are sand paper rough- not very comfortable next to bare skin
- Entertainment and activities are only available at the other sections – which was fine with us
- The room had facecloths, a hair dryer, an umbrella, iron and board and the plugs were the same as ours
- There were a few power outages – quite a few over night – no prob but if you had set the alarm this could be a problem
- Some days around the pool a couple of the bar staff would come around with a cart with a special drink for you to try – during the last week this was almost daily – there also was a kitchen staff member who would bring around a tray of fresh fruit on skewers
- At the pool bar and Las Brisas there were help yourself juice and water machines
- For an Adults Only resort there was very little Toplessness – especially around the pool
- We had so many staff members that stood out that it is not possible to list them all (too many names to remember too) – they are what we will miss the most – the smiling faces that made the vacation so much more special

In conclusion – this is a nice quiet Adults Only resort. There is no loud music playing or animation team around the Ambar pool or on the beach. The lobby/bar is the place to hang out in the evening and there is a piano player/singer there most nights – but it is never loud or rowdy here even though it is quite busy most nights. For us this is what we wanted and therefore would recommend this resort to those seeking the same. If you are looking for a more party resort this is not the section for you. We would return to the Ambar without hesitation except for the fact that we do like trying different resorts. But it is however on my Top Resorts to keep an eye on for a return trip! We have been very lucky with our resort choices over the past few years, thanks to TA and Debbie’s site, and now have a number of resorts that we would return to.

Notes about Air Canada – We did Business Class this time and we can now say it is not as good as Club Class with Transat – which actually costs less. One of the best things was of course the use of the Maple Leaf Lounge – but that was only on the flight down. Where Transat made you feel special as soon as you got on board Air Canada took awhile before they even came around to offer you anything. With Transat you have a choice of 4 or 5 meals – with AC it was only 2. And with AC once dinner was over we hardly saw the attendant. People had to ‘buzz’ for service to order another drink and this was with only 12 people in business class on the return flight. At the Montreal Airport 1st Class luggage was on the most part the last luggage on the belt! The AC onsite rep however was very good and she did not try to sell the side trips during the information session which only took about 10-15 mins! But since we did fly through Montreal it was assumed we all spoke French and on the bus rides to the resort and back everything was in French and I had no idea if we were being given vital information or not. At the PC Airport the Priority Check-in was even checking in others ahead of those waiting in the Business Class line. It really was not a big deal but just not what you expect when you pay an extra $300!

  • Liked — Nice, quiet and very clean
  • Disliked — Nothing Really
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
21 Thank BooksinPC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 31, 2009

This is a partial review of the Ambar, and the Gran Bahia as a whole.

First, and most important - shell out the extra few dollars to stay at the Ambar (if you don't have kids - it's adults only). The drinks are better, the rooms are better, the food was better, the bathrooms were cleaner, there's a private beach, and every room comes with butler service, though we didn't use it. Also, the front desk staff was much more helpful than at the main area.

Second - bring a thermos. The cups at the complementary bars are tiny, but they'll fill anything up that you bring to them.

The food was okay overall, but it was included so we had low expectations. Anything with chicken was great, however.

The Punta Cana airport was great, but getting to the hotel was a pain as there are only tour services, no hotel shuttles. Minor detail that should be included in the package deal.

Overall, an excellent experience and a place that we will probably go back to.

  • Liked — Value
  • Disliked — Food
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank seamus78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
1 review
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 30, 2009

First I want to say the Dominican ocean and beach are fantastic!!
Now lets start with the resort. We arived early morning at 5 am because of a storm we were 4 hours late. We went down with another couple and made sure we would be close together in the resort, when we were assigned our rooms we were approx. 1 km away from eachother but because it was so early in the morning they said we could change it later in the morning. We went back to the front desk and they did re locate us to the same building that the other coulple was in which was great but we had to live out of our suitcases for another night because it was not available that day, I wasn't to happy about it but it is what it is.

When we did move to our new location we were happy till we got in after dinner that's when we noticed that we had Cockroaches! I killed 10 of them before I called the front desk about our problem. When I called I got transfered 3 or 4 times before I got someone to talk to me and tell me what can be done. They told me that they will fumigate the room after we leave in the morning and the room beside us because it was ajoining rooms, so not to be back in our room till after at least noon which was fine we didn't get back till after 5pm. We got back everything seemed fine we went for dinner and came back around 12am in the morning and to our surprise we saw Cockroaches again this time I only killed 3 before I called the front desk and again i went through 3 to 4 people before someone could help us. They sent a gentleman that brought me a can of bug spray and told me in broken english to spray them when I see them which I thought was the dumbest advise they could give me considering I'll be sleeping in those fumes which clearly it states on the can not to be in the room after spraying!!!

I told him to get someone that speaks english so we could work it out because his was so limited. So another gentleman came and he new a little more english than the first guy but not much more, so the end result was that we got nowhere with him as well.

The next day I went to the front desk and complained and the gentleman there said he new nothing about my case so he would take care of it personally and get the room cleaned so we would have no more Cockroaches!!!

Needless to say they never did clean it because that night I killed at least 10 Cockroaches!!! All they did was send me a bottle of Rum and 2 T-shirts for my trouble!!

Unfortunetly I had to live with the Roaches for my whole trip because they didn't do anything about it. It was either that or be 1 km away from the couple we came down with.

That was my room.

Now the people, I would order a coffee and they would bring me a coke!!! The guy serving wine did not know what red and white meant we would have to point out the bottle or he would give us the wrong one. We ask for something they ALWAYS say YES and either go away and never come back or come back with the wrong thing.

We would ask when is the show starting and they would say 5 minutes and 45 min. later we would get up and leave because there was no sign of a show starting. Understand we would be at the show that was supposed to start at 10:15 on time and leave at 11:00 because it wasn't happening!!!!

It got to the point that it became a joke on if we would get what we asked for or not.

No one new how to communicate which I found trying, it felt like they just don't give a damn.

Like I said the beach and sand was great but the resort......not so much I would not go again.

Also the food was hit and miss, for a 5 star I don't think that is right.

Anyway I could go on and on but what's the point.

Oh and don't buy the Cohibas they are fake!

Cheers

George

  • Liked — The Beach
  • Disliked — The lack of communications
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank GeorgeandLinda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tlbm
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 30, 2009

Grand Bahia Principe Ambar.
Jan 21 - Jan 28, 2009
My husband and I just returned from the best holiday we have ever had. We were treated like royalty from the moment we arrived to the time we left. We fell in love with this resort, with its beautiful appearance, people and atmosphere.
We didn't go to any of the shows because we wanted to make the most of the pool and beach. It was a holiday to just relax. The evenings were spent socializing and making memories with friends. We did go for an evening of drinking and dancing at the disco one night though. For entertainment, most of it is at the connecting Bahia resorts. It is easy enough to take the trolly to these places and the trolly's run till 2or 3 in the morning.
The people (staff) were wonderful and patient as we tried learning and speaking the spanish language. The buffet was overwhelming to us, there was plenty to keep you from being bored each day.
The a la carte restaraunts were all good, with our favorite being the Don Pablo. Jaun was # 1.
Any problems we had (safe wasn't working) were taken care of immediately, or within a convient time frame for both parties.
We had a shower door that didn't quite close all the way, but to us, it was insignificant. It didn't interfer in a shower any way.
The beach was beautiful with its white flour sand. A bit of seaweed washed up for a bit, but I am assuming it had a lot to do with the weather. It was pretty windy.
The pool was more than sufficiant, with it's swim up bar and whirl pools. We did have to go down and put towels on our chairs before we went for breakfast which I found sad. After breakfast we would go to the pool. But there are many that didn't even come near those chairs they saved while we were there. With the many trees around though, there was always shade to be shared.
We will go back to the Ambar. Hopefully for 2 weeks and hopefully next year.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank tlbm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dayton, Ohio
Level Contributor
66 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 28, 2009

We stayed at the Ambar 1/17/09 through 1/24/09. Got there no problem with US Air from Philadelphia to PUJ. Be prepared with 10 dollars (cash) US to buy the Tourist Card, then give it right back. Someone said to hold onto the receipt or we would be charged when leaving. We were charged nothing else on departure, I was never even asked for a receipt.

Luggage was no problem and came right out. We took a pink shirt cab right from the airport and was shown in a book it would be 38 dollars to Ambar-which we paid plus tip.Be sure not to miss the bar immediately on the right when you come out of the airport. Get your cold Presidente here before you leave. I did not see it until we pulled out. Our cabbie spoke no English so knowing how to ask in Spanish to stop and buy rum and beer was very valuable.

On arrival we told them we were in Ambar (thanks to TA) and were shuttled right over. Alexander checked us in and asked for our confirmation. We gave him what we had and he said he did not need it. Then he sat us in a chair for about 1/2 hour until one of the other people asked what we were waiting for. All of sudden Alexander was over with us giving us an "orientation'. He wasted our time. He could not answer any questions and had no idea about the "pilow menu". I knew more about the hotel than he did. Thanks again TA. BTW-we got no Welcome drink, or gift basket. Oh well, we brought our own.

The front desk later called our room repeatedly disturbing us and waking us up from a nap asking about our confirmation. It was the piece of paper we gave Alexander. He could have saved us the trip and hassle. But Oh well, we were on vaca, so we got over it fast.

The grounds were beautiful and well maintained. Our room was in Villa 65-not a bad villa to be found at this hotel. All of them were close to the pool and beach.

Pillow menu-loved it and do reserve early. Green apple was the best!!!

Butler-what butler?? Never saw one.

The gym was OK but gets hot, but you can get a workout in.

Bar service in the lobby was great. Pool bar had some inconsistancy in the way drinks tasted. But hey, it was sunny and warm so who cares! Drinks of the day were usually great!

We had Ala Carte 5 times. We had El Olivio (good but service was VERY slow-other people left but the wine was flowing and we were on no schedule). Don Pable Gourmet was very good. El Pesacador was OK, but we had (gratis) mamajuana here so all in all worked out great. Maiko was excellent!!! The Steak House (ribeye was thin but very good!) also was excellent. El Palmirya (main buffet) and Las Brisas (outside near el Olivio)were the buffets and lacked variety but no going hungry here. Las Olas (snack bar) served only the basics..every day-but OK if you needed a quick bite. There is also a midnight hamburger place near the entrance but we never were up that late. The gourmet portions were small so we ordered snacks from room service a couple of times. Fries were gross and nachos were typical ball park type with fake cheese-but hey, it was there in under 30 minutes.
We saw the Michael Jackson show (Monday) and Stars on Tuesday. I would suggest the Micheal Jackson show and take your video recorder and camera. The other shows were so so. You have to go to the main entrance to the Theater or Teatro-take the tram. The shows are M-F 9pm and 10:15pm. They have bar service there but not the selection they have a Ambar. We also went to the shops here. Hold on to your wallet-they price gouge here!! Be sure to offer half of what they ask and work up to 2/3 of the price. Take the trams everywhere and see the whole place as soon as you can so you make the most of your trip. You will see and hear kids here, and on the beach.

We did the Crazy Wheels Boogie trip and had a blast. I would totally recommend it, but take old clothes and throw them away-they will be so dirty and not worth taking home again.

Ok now the warts, and they have nothing to do with the hotel or service. I have traveled ...alot. I have not put all my pins on my profile cause there were so many to do I gave up. But let me tell you, I have never seen so many out of control, rude people in one place. when we first got there we could hear shouts from the pool. I thought it could NOT be from the Ambar pool cause everything I read here described it as peaceful. Well... there were some people (about 10) who were so totally drunk and out of control, I could not believe they were acting like they did. They were screaming, cussing, using the F word LOUDLY, and even performed a simulated sex act on one of their own in front of everyone while shouting [-] him baby!!-over and over, and over. I could not believe how they acted. A man with a British accent tried to talk to them, and they mocked him. Even security could not shut them up. This went on for two days. The third day they disappeared. I have no idea what happened but we did see then on the beach the rest of the week-being very quiet????

Another time I was waiting patiently in line at the bar. A couple came up and actually pushed me out of the way, yep pushed me. Another time a woman got right in front of me at the buffet and tried to order ahead of me , the cook told her I was there first and took my order which really honked her off-go figure.In addition the people who smoke are really rude about blowing in in your face etc. The whole thing of saving chairs here is out of control. I have never seen this done on this scale. Many chairs were "saved" with towels but no one ever showed up to claim them. They were empty all day.How rude.

Another (gross) issue we noticed. We had chairs that we picked at the pool because we were close to the bar, and bathroom. We were directly facing the bathroom so we could face the sun. Many people stayed on the pool all day drinking beer and cocktails with their LARGE Bubba mugs. Very FEW of them ever exited to use the bathroom-ewwww. Made me not want to get in the pool. They would just sit there all day in the pool getting refills. Ewww again.

However we took Bubba mugs and they worked great-make sure to pack one, bars did refill them with no hassle.

On one occasion a kid did come in-security had them out in a minute. Also some people with pink bands tried to get drinks but were escorted out-politely.

Several people openly talked in front of us about Americans and how they do not like us. Do they really think that absolutely none of us know French?? Again-how rude.

I did find that speaking Spanish here was a great asset and the Dominican people appreciate the effort-so learn a few phrases and take a spanish/eng dictionary. We got great service that way.

BTW-leave tips in your mini bar and for the maid (3 dollars a day) and you will get enough water, pop, beer towels etc. We met some great people from the US , Canada, England and Poland while there. If you have any questions feel free to PM me!

  • Liked — Closeness to beach and pool. Quiet but plenty of activity at Pueble Prinicipe if needed.
  • Disliked — Maids woke us up with the noise from carts every morning. Drunks going by door at night did the same.
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
15 Thank liza m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whitby, Ontario
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 27, 2009

For someone who has been to Mexico, Cuba and the Dominican on more than one occassion, I have to say that by far, the Ambar was the nicest resort that I have stayed in.

My boyfriend and I went just to get away and relax, and BOY did we relax. Yes, it is true that this is truly a HUGE resort (9000 at it's capacity) yet being on the Ambar side-Adults Only made us feel as though we were in an entirely different resort!

The great thing about this place is that if you want the nightlife and the party, you just head to the Pueblo area of the resort....if you just want relaxation and quiet, you stay on the Ambar side - it is the best of both worlds!!

The rooms were absolutely gorgeous (yet, how much time do you really spend in them anyhow??) and the staff were nothing but friendly from day one! They honestly could not do enough for you.

The food was great and the best thing is that you could eat a la carte EVERY NIGHT!! I would higly recommend the Mexican and the Gourmet plus the Japanese...the service was great and the food was excellent!! If going to the Gourmet restaurant, ask for Juan...he will take good care of you!!

I know that everyone is entitled to their opinions and we all want to get away for different reasons...if yours is to get away and relax, enjoying the BEAUTIFUL beachfront (the sand is amazing and the water is fantastic!!), then this is the place for you!

The only thing to be cautious of is the fact that when going to the other areas of the resort, you will need to take one of their trolleys (which are VERY frequent, not to worry)...if you are one to have difficulty with long walks, I would suggest waiting for the trolley. Do not be afraid of this resort's size...you can take it or leave it! That is the beauty of being on the Ambar side! I would recommend this resort and would DEFINATELY return!

  • Liked — Having the option of going to the other resorts
  • Disliked — Having to leave!!
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank LITTED007
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
#26 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#36 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#38 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#39 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#40 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 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Gran Bahia Principe Ambar Hotel Punta Cana

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