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“Amazing Hotel, Beach, Service!”

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Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #50 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
London, Ontario, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Amazing Hotel, Beach, Service!”
Reviewed February 15, 2010

We stayed at the Ambar Feb 7-14 and LOVED it!
My worries after reading some reviews were definitely eased when I learned it's not as bad as I had read. There is actually nothing I could say that was 'bad' about the hotel, service, food, rooms etc- all of it was wonderful!

This hotel is adults only and I would say most people are 25+. We are in our mid 20's and seemed to be some of the youngest there. The Ambar is smaller than the Bavaro and Punta Cana, which is nice because it's quiet and free of children! :) If you want entertainment, you can always go to the other resorts to use their pools, restaurants, bars etc. Of course the Pueblo Principe is for everyone- it's a big square for all 3 resorts with tons of shops, the disco, a casino and entertainment. We often went there after dinner to be where the action was. The only bar open late at Ambar is the Lobby bar, which closes at 11:30pm- after that you'll have to go to the other resorts or the Pueblo Principe where the disco is open midnight-2am. The Ambar was definitely more low-key than the others, which we liked because we were only going to relax on the beach.

When you arrive, you are given 3, pre-booked a la cartes but you can book an unlimited amount so talk with guest services to book more or rearrange your booking times. The Gourmet was wonderful!

After reading some reviews, there were only a couple of things I was concerned about before going: the safety of our stuff in our room (some had said they had money stolen from their room safes) and whether we could get a shady spot at the pool/beach.

Safes: we were totally fine and had nothing stolen from us at all. Most of the complaints came right after the Haiti Earthquake so I wonder if that had anything to do with it but I was worried before leaving so I actually called the hotel and asked if this was a problem. They told me: "we are full all the time and if this was a major problem it would happen more often", which I guess is true. That said, we locked our safe properly and checked that it was locked each time by pulling on the handle and had nothing stolen.

Shade: people DO get up VERY early to reserve shady spots under the palapas (umbrellas). One morning I actually got up at 7:30am to see if there was a spot we could save and there was NOTHING under an umbrella at the pool. I think people get up at 6am to reserve those spots (which is very annoying). BUT... you can always find a shady spot at the beach. There are a lot more palapas there and there are also so many palm trees that you can always find shade and pull a chair into it- at any time of the day. There are always enough chairs so that was never a problem for us, even when we came down at noon. The only complaint I would have about the resort is that there aren't enough palapas at the Ambar pool. The pools at Bavaro seemed to have a lot more, but they also have a lot more people at that resort.

Another thing I wondered about was tipping. It says tipping is accepted and some people may tip a lot but we only really tipped the maid, the bellboys, room service (which is 24 hrs!) and the spa where we had massages (wonderful!). Without tipping elsewhere, the service was just as great and we didn't notice a difference when we actually did tip (except one night the maid gave us TWO chocolates for turn down service, instead of one!).


Overall, it was a wonderful vacation- we have nothing to complain about! The food was good (sometimes amazing), the service was good, it was extremely clean, quiet and relaxing! What more could you want from an adults-only resort vacation?

We definitely recommend it!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank RachelG6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Oakville, Ontario
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed February 12, 2010

My Husband and I just came back from a week stay at this resort and we absolutely LOVED it. It was truly a 5* and all the staff were very friendly. They all tried to speak English (but at least they tried).
No Complaints about the food. The buffet had something different every night. We went to three ALA CARTS (Gourmet, Italian and Garden Grill). They were all excellent. Our room ( section 67 pool view) was fantastic (huge rooms and the bed was quite comfortable, considering some of the reviews I read)
Overall, we would definately go back and highly recommend this resort.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank Pidgin7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chatham-Kent, Ontario
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2010

We would go back in a heartbeat! Met a couple who were back for the third time, and they will be back again next year.
Adults only resort was a huge plus -- definitely worth it

Accomodations:
Canopy-style kingsize bed
Marble bathroom
Marble shower with glass door
Whirlpool tub
Flatscreen TV
Sitting area
Safe in room was perfectly secure
Note -- All hotel buildings are three floors with no elevator. If you have mobility problems, definitely ask for the ground floor. The upper rooms do have a bit more privacy though.

Grounds:
Immaculately kept
Lots of shade available on the beach and by the pool
Have seen complaints here about availability of lounge chairs, but we did not find it a problem

Food: at the buffet
Plentiful
Lots of choice at any given meal
Some repetition, but that is to be expected at a buffet
Note -- get food freshly prepared whenever possible (e.g. pasta, omlets) to ensure food is hot, not just warm
Wonderful desserts
Overall very good

A la carte restaurants
More available on the entire resort then could possibly visited on one trip
Guest favorite at the Ambar was definitely the Don Pablo, but the Portifino had excellent lasagna!
Had no trouble making reservations, but if you just show up they will usually fit you in anyway
Note -- In the DR a lobster dinner is grilled, not boiled, so it is drier than we were used to, but still pretty good

Drinks:
We are not real drinkers, but everyone seemed to be happy with the offerings.
Try the Coco Loco, whether alcoholic or not.
Lots of everything
Mini-bar offerings are included, and were kept well-stocked
Note: All the ice and water served is from bottled water, so it is safe, but do not drink from the taps. Tap water is fine for brushing teeth, etc., but not for drinking

Service:
Friendly and very polite
Accomodating
Often saw staff singing as they worked, which was nice.

Excursions: We only went on two.
1. VIP Caribbean
Very bumpy ride! Not for the physically frail! (I have fibromyalgia, and my husband has back problems, and we did suffer some after effects, but not enough to keep us from enjoying the trip.)
The rum and beer (and water and soda) flowed
Best way to see how the Dominican people live -- a real eye-opener, and that alone made it worthwhile for us!
Found a bee in the honey we bought at the coffee-growing place, so "bee" careful!
Bring pencils or other school supplies for the kids, but please do consult with your guide before giving them out.
Staff dancing on the boat ride was fun
Overall -- worthwhile and fun, but very real
2. Reef Explorer
Not for anyone out-of-shape or otherwise handicapped
My husband and I were not prepared for the physical demands of this trip, which was our mistake. Everyone else seemed to enjoy it.
Drinks and a few snacks available on the "floating island"
Chance to have photo taken holding a ray is cool

Shops
If you go to the shops in the complex near the Bavaro Hotel, avoid the guys with the carts in the middle! They are super aggressive and sell lower quality goods. They will try to lure you with "freebies" and tell you that the boss is away and all kinds of nonsense like that, then hand you off to the next guy.
Lots of similar items in the different shops
Some have high-end boutique-type merchandise.

We did not check out any of the nightlife, so I really can't comment on that.

Great resort, great weather, great people! Definitely recommend it highly!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Blackcosmocat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New jersey
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2010

This was an amazing trip; there isn’t anything that I can complain about.
The staff was beyond friendly (almost all of them seemed genuinely happy all the time).
The beach is to die for and the pool is very nice.
Would go back there in a heartbeat.
This place rocks!!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank ztarabay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kingston
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2010

Hey take it from me I read all the reviews prior to going. they were helpful and I still forgot a few of the tips however. Yes I can understand being upset if you lost money or belongings or were charged for extras but remember you are in a 3rd world country. Many of these folks have nothing and I can understand being tempted. I was just really careful not leaving anything around or keeping the do not disturb sign on the door. The idea of keeping the TV on also when not in the room could be helpful. But to tell you the truth all the staff i had encountered and dealt with were great and found them very trustworthy. One staff went running for a lighter to light my cigar with. Maid service was wonderful. If you needed anything they got it for ya. One trip advisor suggested bringing a lot of one dollar bills. great idea. found it hard to change bills down there. thought we were generous with the tips and little gifts for the maids. Food was very good. Sure there were somethings I didn't like but there is no way you will not find something good on the menu or the buffet. Drinks were great. Bar was stocked every day with 2 cans of El Presente and 3 oz of liguour, 4 pops , 3 water and bag of lays chips. As there was no way me and my wife could drink all that everyday we stocked pile them in closet and gave them away at the end of the week to staff. Well worth the smiles of appreciation we received back for doing this. Yes I played the towel game reserving my spot on the beach in shaded area but hey being a earlier riser anyway I always got what I wanted. Sure its not fare and its against their policy to reserve areas but what are you going to do. my beef would be for those who were inconsiderate and reserve spots on the beach and pool and not show up until after lunch. We went on one excursion with tropical storm (catarmarn) sunset cruise and snorkling. Music and dance on the boat was fun and sunset nice but dissapointed with the snorkling. The area is all roped off and the corral reef is in rough shape. saw some fish but not like other areas where i have snorkeld. Didn't reaaly thing it was worth the $148 for the 2 of us. Spend most of the days on the beach. which was the best part. ocean was beatiful endless beach (think its 43 miles long) wonderful breeze and no rain while there. walked down to the vendors and got some good deals on coffee $2.50 per lb as opposed to $7.00 in the shop in the lobby. Same coffee with the same expiration dates. Vendors can be aggressive so be prepared to dinker and just walk away. The grounds are amazing and extremely well kept. Staff were always busy working on them. Went to ala cartes. Japenese Mikato was fun. Not the same as a real Japanese restaraunt but still worth going to. recommend the filet mignon at the steak house rather then the lobster. Lobster just didn't taste the same as ours back home in canada. HAD A GREAT TIME. Will go back with my adult children next year for sure. If there was anything that I did not really like was the amount of topless woman. It was everywhere. Sorry but I just don't get it. Call me old fashion. Call me modest but its sure not goinging to keep me from going back to the area. wish i were still there. oh well should mention my bed sure wasn't as comfy as at home but am particular about beds i sleep in. one thing that was bothersome was people checking in at all hours and when they entered rooms would bang doors loudly. guess you can't control flight delays and such. be sure to check at the front desk prior to checking out concerning flight departure times. There is a small sign on the lobby reception desk that informs about flight delays. Unfortunaltely we did not check departure times (although we were told too) Our flight was delayed 4.5 hrs we were waiting all packed for the shuttle to airport when we found out. Yes the sign was there but we did not notice it. Bonus for us we got more time on the beach another great meal and more drinks so how could ya complain about that. Be sure to use the butler service for scented pillows and speciallized bath. we didn't get the wine or champage and the service was a freebie. flowers pedals auroma therpay bath oils and candles in jacuzzi doesn't get much better then that.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank paulkingston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2010

If this is or isn't a five star.......it is close either way, roll in the price and it comes out pretty much perfect. Sure there are things that don't make it a true 5 star however there are also slight upgrades that make it pretty close. The bar fridge was lacking in substance however one should not compair to their liquor cabnets at home and on request there was sufficent stock the following days once we knew we could request specifics. Sitting and drinking in the room though was not what we had in mind on our trip however it was nice to have a few cocktails before dinner on our balcony especially since the pool bar does close up tight at 5:30. The room was a good size the complimentary safe also a good size easily held laptops and all other important items, which was good because we could never get the patio door to properly lock and being on the first floor it was a slight concern. Called down to have it fixed twice and twice it was fixed until we tried to open it again so finally just gave up and left the TV going when we were out. TV was ok and enough channels to give you some entertainment throughout your stay. Room was dark we found as lighting was low wattage and there were only three electrical outlets in the entire room. Food was good at pretty much all locations some definitley better then others and the Don Pablo was by far the best meal we had. Lobby and patio bar / lounge area were nice as well and provided a place to gather and have what else more cocktails. Only disapointment there was that it did close up tight as well around 11:30. We never saw one mosquito or other bitting insect however there was an interesting looking cat that came around a couple nights. Overall a totally relaxing week with great weather and great travelling companions make this a place we would go back to especially for the price.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank toomanystars
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
spruce grove, alberta
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2010

only one person out of six didn't get bug bites from the rooms. six requests to speak to any hotel managers but none would speak to us. They obviously knew about the bugs because our villa (69) was disinfected twice during our 2 week stay? One from our group was even taken to hospital via ambulance for a few days due to these bug bites. never did find out what type of bug it was? Problems at the pool and beach as well. No reserve policy in place for pool beds or beach beds, although the pool securitity guard "Androsal?" was taking money from hotel guests to reserve beds at the pool...(against policy). Due to this, you could not find shade anywhere!!!! Again, the hotel managers would not respond or comment. We visited/toured the Riu Hotel next door. This is where we wish we booked our holiday.

Stayed January 2010, traveled with friends
Helpful?
6 Thank n0tg00d
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
#30 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#45 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#46 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#47 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 (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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