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Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #51 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 26, 2010

My boyfriend and I booked the trip based on a recommendation from his parents who visited last June and loved the resort. Although we looked at many, we chose the Ambar because of it's adults only appeal and the value it provided.

We arrived Tuesday May 18th and left on Sunday the 23rd. My one must for this trip was transfers had to be provided....if I could recommend one thing, it would be to book transfers wit your vacation! Everything is handeled for you from arrival at the airport to pick up at your resort when leaving.

The resort as a whole was huge! I know reading some reviews it bothered some, however it was no big deal to us. There are two "trolly" lines that continually run through the resort, although there is no science to the timing, remember you are in the Carribean. We were dropped off at the main section and moved to the Ambar where check in was smooth (although no free welcome drink as promised....) We were in Villa 63 which is the closest to the main lobby and buffet and the furthest from the beach and the pool.

The pool situation was not as bad as previously indicated by reviews. My boyfriend went down every morning around 8 to drop off towels and books and to secure some shade and then we would go to breakfast and head straight down to our spot. Not many un-used reserves spots though! My only complaint about the pool is the employees trying to sell services and excursions to you, althoug some were nice and just wanted to talk.

We tipped our maid generously each day there and we never received the same level of service more than once. Either the mini bar was refreshed or the bed was acutally made never both....returned to the room the first day to find the bedspread thrown across the bench half on the floor although the maid had already been, however we had extras in the mini-bar. Not a huge complaint, but if you are paying the money you expect certain things! Other than that we never saw her the entire trip.

My only other complaint about ths trip was the food. We read a number of reviews prior to leaving and they did complain about the same thing. I don't think we ate a full meal until the night before leaving. We ate at the buffet for breakfast and lunch and a few nights while the other nights we had reservations at A la cartes. We first ate at the Italian resturant at the Esmeralda section. The food was far from enjoyable and we felt slightly ignored while here. The second one we tried was the Don Pablo at the Ambar. We both ordered Fillet, my was good, my boyfriend's was hardly cooked. And the final night we ate at Maiko the Hibatchi resturant at the Bavaro section of the resort which was awesome, we highly recommend it! Ordered room service a few times....came in a timely manner and we enjoyed the snack before our late reservations.

All in all the trip was great, all employees are extremely pleasant and will go out of their way to help you! Visit Jose in the lobby bar, he made our vacation that much better :)

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank KtD1187
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7,042 - 7,048 of 10,573 reviews

Reviewed May 24, 2010

I traveled to Gran Bahia Principe AMBER, May 16/2010, The resort is beautiful, the grounds are so well kept and very clean. The staff are there to please!!!
The La Carte meals were very nice. I did find that the food thoughout the resort was alittle bland, I am sure they do this to keep everyone happy.
I saw NO BUGS! I felt very safe there, I left stuff and money in my room and it was never touched!
It was an amazing trip, excellant service, gorgeous beach, beautiful grounds and the room was very nice and clean!

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank cjmackie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2010

This is our 4th all inclusive vacation and 2nd trip to Punta Cana. This was our first adults only and was a short 4 night trip.

The was a lot we like about the Ambar. We liked the smallness of the Ambar section and the closeness to the beach, pool and restaurants. Everything was very close. We were in building 67, which was great and the room was beautiful. The resort is also very well maintained and beautiful. They also have a wonderful beach. We were a little worried that we would not get a spot under a palapa, as we are not early risers. On the day we arrived, we got to the beach at 2 PM and there were plenty of spots under the umbrellas to choose from. The closer ones were taken, but there were still plenty to choose from. The second day we arrived around 10:30 or so and also had no problem. The next two days the weather was cloudy and rainy so there wasn’t a problem then either. The beach is large and it is not cluttered at all. There is a lot of space between the palapas and chairs. It is very quiet and serene, probably because it is adults only. We loved the beach. We also walked a lot, all the way down to the shacks on the right and all the way to the Moon Palace on the left. It was so nice walking the beach. We also liked the a la cart restaurants. We ate at the Don Pablo, the Italian restaurant at the Esmeralda, and the Mediterranean, which was our favorite. Another very nice thing about the resort is the outside patio area outside of the lobby. Some resorts do not have any outside seating areas. We sat at the patio and had drinks before dinner and later in the evening.

There were a few things we did not like, however. None of these were really a major problem, but there are resorts that we have stayed at that were much better in these areas. When we arrived, we did not get a welcome drink. No biggie, but it is a nice touch and makes you feel welcome. The second area that needs improvement is the buffet. We really did not care for the buffets at all. I realize as a smaller resort, the buffet wouldn’t be that large. There was a selection of food, not large, but OK. You coud find something to eat, so you would not go hungry, but nothing was really very good. There was a lot of seafood at the buffet. They really had no desserts at the buffet either, just some 1 inch little tarts or some cookies. We liked the lunch buffet at the beach better than the one at the Ambar lobby. There were no snacks available for later in the evening either at the bars or the theater. The first night we ate at the buffet and it was the gala, supposedly the best of the buffets. We were not satisfied so we decided to go down to the Punta Cana section to see if the selection of food was better. They basically had the same stuff. We tried to get dessert there and we asked for coffee. The waiter told us the coffee was in the lobby. Again not a major issue, but very odd not to be able to get coffee with dessert. We were able to get coffee at the al a carts for dinner just not the buffet. The desserts at the a la carts were very good. The other thing we did not like was the lack of frozen drinks. We generally enjoy a nice frozen margarita or daiquiri. They made these drinks but it was just with the slushy mix. They were very watery. At other resorts the blenders were going constantly. I don’t think there is a blender anywhere at the Bahia. As other reviewers mentioned, the lobby bar closes at 11:30. We knew this from reading other reviews and didn’t think it would be an issue. However, we really enjoyed this area and it would have been nice for it to stay open a bit later. There were 30 or 40 people enjoying themselves every night, who had to leave because the bar shut down. Yes, you can go over to the disco and casino at Pueblo Principe. But the drinks are not included.

All in all, it was a very nice, relaxing trip. The negatives weren’t that big of an issue. However, we have experienced better elsewhere. Would I return? Probably if the price was right, but I would also like to try some other places too.

Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
3  Thank yoshi00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2010

We stayed at the Ambar from 5/3/10-5/13/10. For the money it was our best vacation in the DR yet! If you want to relax, this is the place. This was our 3rd trip to the DR. Secrets, and the Majestic Coloniel were the other hotels we stayed at previosly. they were equally good.
The Good.
Check in at 1:00pm had a minor problem. The room key did not work 4 times.No problem
everytime I went back to the room ( the wife stayed at the room to let me in) I got a beer out of the fridge. (that's slang for the refridgerator). Finally we went to lunch and the pool and later got the key that worked. Christian De Santos the guest services Manager took care of our ala cart reservations and was there the whole 11 days if I needed him. He is a good hardworking man and is a great guy to know at the Ambar. I had a problem with lost sunglasses and he came through in a big way for me.
If anyone can't find something to eat at the Ambar buffet then they are just to picky. I stayed away from the hamburgers and hotdogs because I know they don't make them as good as back home. The fish in the buffet was great. I counted over 8 different offerings of fish over the 11 day period and only disliked 1 variety. The breakfest was teriffic everyday with anything you could imagine. My wife especially liked the fruit in the morning. The lunch offerings were equally good.Except for one night at the DonPablo gourmet,(the Chocolate Fantasy) we found the dessert assortment at the buffet better than the ala carts. We ate lunch at the beach cafe most everyday. the offerings wern't as good as the Ambar buffet but the Chicken at the beach was incredidle. It was cooked perfect everyday.
The ala cart restaurant food was good not great but the staff at all of them made great presentations. I think my best meal would have been at the Mediteranean restaurant. My steak was a little overcooked but that was because my wife ordered hers medium well and I think they just figured mine to be the same. It was still good. The food got an above average grade for the trip.
The pool bar's best Bartender for us was Javier, there was a girl that was very good also but I did not get her name. The water Aquadics at 3:00pm with Robbie with help from the crazy dancing lady was fun to watch. Come to think of it I saw her dancing anywhere there was music being played. I am sure she enjoyed her trip.
My maid Paula was awsome. She kept the fridge going with 4 beers every day. If I needed more she brought them. I don't know if she ever stopped cleaning. She seemed to be in the 67 building all the time. She also made special towel presentations from time to time.
The rooms were spacious and very clean. A great deal for the money
Excursions:
We took two, one through our travel rep VIP (Wendys). She seems a little rough at the beginning but she just likes to have fun. We booked the Zipline and to my surprise my wife who is afraid sometimes had the time of her life. The staff at the Zipline place was excellent in every facet. They explained and demonstrated everthing you needed to know to be safe and have fun. Eddy(Murphy) our tour guide to the Zip (1hr 20inute ride) was very
informative with his knowledge of the DR and he speaks pretty good english. The other tour was with PC Mike, actually, Dominican Dave was our host. and he was great. If you haven't been to a Dominican car wash, I suggest you go in the afternoon. It is a great concept in the DR. The rest of the tour was great too. I had the freshest Mahi-Mahi I have ever tasted at the Arponera Restaurant in Boca de Yuma. Thanks Dave!!!!!
The Bad
All of the bad comments are minor and most can be easily fixed.
The direction signs are poor. The older folks had problems finding restaurants and sometimes where their building were. I helped out a fewof the folks with my limited spanish speaking skills as the drivers of the cart trains did not speak very good english. It took us a little longer to find the Esmeralda Alacart because it wasn't on the map yet.
The entertainment was okay as it is the usual shows that every resort has. The Michael Jackson show had an added pre attraction as an enthusiastic Montreal Canadian fan ran up on the stage after Montreal beat Washington in game 6 that he was streamin from the internet of the Punta Cana Lobby next door.He started chanting Go Habs Go!! then moonwalked across the stage with the spotlight from the stage crew on him.As hard as this is to say for me( I'm a Bruins fan), he was very entertaining. The only negative was the closing of the Karaoke bar after 3 days there. We had good crowds the 2 nights that I went but it mysteriously closed. I did not get a good reason from guest services as to why it did close. I am thinking it may have had to do with the elections coming up on the 16th.
The sevice at the Bavaro and Punta Cana lobby bars was not as good as the Ambar Lobby bar. The live music however was a little bit better. I think they just like to keep things quieter in the Ambar and that was fine with us.
Overall I would return to this resort. I think the entire staff does a great job at trying to make your vacation pleasant. Words of wisdom: Be kind and you will receive kindness back, be bitter and you will not have a good vacation. Attend the Managers cocktail at the Ambar Lobby and get the names of people that are in charge. They can help you if you have a problem, that's what they are there for. Thanks Christian!!!

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank tfs5815
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2010

Well I will start off by saying I am VERY picky. Unfortunately I read reviews from several travel sites and ended up with good and bad reviews that left me confused! So I went to the Ambar with an open mind. I picked the resort out so if it ended up being terrible I knew I would here about it from my Mother and Sister who were my travel companions. This was our Mothers Day trip! First we arrived there at 11:00 pm and I was thinking great if the accomodations are wrong we are going to have to wait until the following day. Well we were greeted by Javier and he was awesome! The room was perfect. We had two four poster beds and the sofa bed. The room itself was very large as well as the bathroom. The mini bar was stocked daily without providing an additional tip. The employees went above and beyond to make sure you were happy. The food was great and we didnt have a bad drink the entire time. Now keep in mind for those who said the drinks were watered down........Its all inclusive so just ask for more alcohol if you dont think your drink is strong enough!!!! This place is beautiful and very clean inside and out. Cant wait to go back! OH and there was plenty of chairs at the pool and on the beach!!! We never went to the pool or beach before noon! My only negative experience was the shopping! DO NOT leave the resort to shop! The t-shirts and souvenirs are much cheaper on the resort.

  • Stayed: May 2010
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4  Thank bprestigious
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2010

The gran bahia is a large resort with different sections the ambar being the adult only. You share entertainment with the other parts of the large complex and are driven by trolly( nice way to meet people) when and where ever needed. The ambar boasts its own private pool ( with swim up bar) beach area with restaurent as well as its own separate lobby where you have free acess to the internet. The rooms are spacious and luxuruous while I'm sure there are other 5 stars which are more so, these were more than adequate acomodations within the 5 star range. Also the resort is impecably clean with wonderful service. I am usually a real fuss pot when it comes to accomodations, food and beach but all three met and surpassed my expectations. This hotel was recommended by a relative who travels the world over and has been there twice now. We are off for a second trip and hope we will still be just as pleased. Oh, the beach is beautiful its the bavaro beach.

Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
2  Thank maggy155032
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2010

My boyfriend and I just got back from a one week stay at the Ambar (May 8th - May 15th) and it was fabulous! I'm not sure how anyone can say the people were rude because we did not meet one staff member that wasn't smiling at us asking how we were.
Here is the thing. You're in the Dominica, they speak spanish. Yes it is a resort and MOST of them speak english pretty well. But at least TRY to communicate with them. "hola' ... it's not THAT hard. It was the stuck up snobs that just started barking orders, using large words that they obviously couldn't understand that got blank stares. It's similar if they told you where your room was and any other information 100% in spanish and you weren't fluent. Simple words go a LONG way.
Jose at the lobby bar was FANTASTIC! he was a lot of fun and would make you anything. Most of the time we couldn't decide and just told him to make whatever he wanted and we NEVER had a drink from him we didn't like.
The buffett was pretty good. The breakfasts were really good. Lunch at the snack bar was okay. More of less the same food every day, but it's lunch and not that big of a deal so didn't bother us at all. Those that say the a'la cart dinners weren't great are crazy. Our favorite was Don Pablo. You must ask for the banana flabe' dessert. it's not on the menu, but they come to your table and cook it right in front of you, lots of fun. El Olivio is also really good. My boyfriend was still a little hungry after his steak (the portions are a little small) and they brought him a second plate. They are more than eager to pelase you! Portofino was also excellent. We also went to Maiko which was really good and to the Garden Grill in the Punta Cana Section. This was really good as well, but also very obvious you were no longer on the Ambar side.
The beach was amazing. People did play the chair game, but big deal, it happens ANYWHERE you go that has chairs on a beach. We didn't mind hanging a little further back from the water so never had a problem finding a pallapa (and we NEVER got out there before 10:30/11:00 am) and if we didn't care about the shade we'd just grab a chair and drag it closer to the water, PROBLEM SOLVED!!!
The pool also had chairs available, but I did find that by 9:00 all the pallapas and umbrellas were claimed. Oh well, we weren't there to stay in the shade. If we got hot, thats what the pool was for. We'd jump in and go sit at the pool bar for a while, which always had some shade.
No one ever gives credit to the entertainment. Anyelina was AMAZING. She starts her day at 10:00 on the beach doing stretching, yoga, and aerobics, then later goes to the pool and does water aerobics again. After that you can find her in the Ambar lobby with the nightly entertainment, and finally she finished out her night at the disco in the bavaro section until 2am. she does this EVERY day. She was the most fun person we met there and couldn't wait to see her every day.
The only negative thing i would have to say was the bed. It was very hard. Although many peopkle like firm matteresses so it may appeal to them. Other than that (which big deal, I don't care where you go, no bed is as comfortable as your own bed at home) there was nothing to complain about. Our maid (Roberto) loved us and we loved him. He cleaned our room every day leaving nothing unturned and ;making beautiful arrangements each day of flowers in the bathroom and on the bed. our butler ran us two bubble baths (the second one with a bottle of wine). We ordered room service around 11:30 one night and they were at our room by 11:45 the latest.
Every staff member was fabulous, and if your tipped a couple dollars (litterally $1 or $2) they would go above for you. We honestly probably ended up spending about $100 in tips during our week there. $2 to the maid each day. a dollar every couple drinks at the bars (no different than if your home, except this time you don't walk away with a huge bill when youre done, just the few bucks you throw them over the time you sit there) a few dollars at the a'la carts, esspecially when one of the servers went out of their way to get you something you wanted. and at the end we tipped entertainment $20 because throughout the whole trip not one person ever tips them, and they work so hard.
I wish I didn't have to come back home, because I could have stayed there another week.
If you have a chance to go, TAKE IT!!!!
I would return here well before I go back to Mexico. LOVED every second of this vacation!!

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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6  Thank jstacy0828
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

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:
#12 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#31 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#44 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#46 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#47 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#48 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $189 - $519 (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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