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“Service Second To None!”

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Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #48 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Halifax, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Service Second To None!”
Reviewed May 27, 2010

My wife and I visited The Ambar recently for the seventh time since it opened.As always ,the service was excellent thanks to a friendly and efficient staff.We had one of the end rooms which are slightly larger with a bigger balcony.A la carte reservations were made prior to our arrival and can be changed ,if desired, subject to availability.The rooms and grounds are well maintained.Check in is swift thanks to Aldo ( Front Desk Manager) and his staff.
The beach with its powdery white sand and tourquoise coloured water is cleaned early every morning.We had no problem getting a palapa on the beach.Security prevent guests from reserving lounge chairs at the pool before 8:00 a.m.
We have stayed at several resorts in the D.R. but none compare with the service provided at The Ambar. Rosa V. is the Guest Services Manager. She fulfilled every request we had .She actually arranged for a surprise cake for me on my birthday without being asked. Her staff are very friendly and efficient.I have heard them assist guests in Spanish,English, French,German and a little Russian.
Several friends have gone on our recommendation and all share our opinions of this resort.It is the excellent service that will lead us to return again.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank wallyeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Levittown Ny
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed May 27, 2010

By no means, this hotel is beautiful. The staff at any bars are quick to serve you a drink, but you should tip. My fiancee and I stayed in Ambar from May 19th to the 25th, 2010. Check in was a breeze, they handed us our envelope with our key, map, and 3 reservations that they made for us. They only downfall was our transfer company, Club Caribe, made us go to the tour operator area at the Bavaro by 9 a.m. the next day to talk about our pickup. Club Caribe basically said you must check your name on the pick up list the day before we leave. When we went to check, our names weren't on the list, so we had to go to public relations to call Club Caribe. Wasn't a problem, they confirmed our pick up and we were fine.

The whole hotel had mostly Canadians who are really religious. They gawked at us constantly, trying to make us uncomfortable, but us being NYers, we didn't give a damn, this wasn't going to ruin our vacation. We mostly kept to ourselves. The hotel staff were very gay friendly, the guests weren't so nice. The grounds are beautiful and breathtaking views of the beach. At night you can go down to the beach or pool and be alone, which was a perk.

One night we decided to go to the Bavaro. We saw vendors who completely attack you as soon as your in their eyesight. It made us feel very uncomfortable and a lil nervous for our safety. We quickly left and went back to our section where we felt secure. We never ventured back.

The pool was beautiful, but a tad warm. The jacuzzi in the pool area is fake, its actually more cold than the pool. The grounds were always being manicured and being cleaned constantly. The buffets were ok. Basically the same food everyday. The restaurants are better, but they try to be more classy than it actually were. They ask that you dress up, but we saw plenty of under dressed people that we never turned away.

So overall, its a good hotel. We would of went to a lesbian or gay resort, but those hotels charge you 3 times the amount for the same vacation. We saw a few gay couples, here and there, they mostly kept to themselves also. I suggest getting the jacuzzi service in room. Its $40.00 USD for them filling your jacuzzi, putting rose petals, candles, and insense, a bottle of champane, and glasses. It was so romantic. They wound up not even charging us for some reason, but we weren't about to say anything. So instead we tipped the lady really well. Def a must do.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
6 Thank Nygrrl26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheltenham, England
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed May 27, 2010

We have just returned from a 2 week stay at the Ambar. This is my review which I will be very honest about, but these are just mine/my husbands opinions, so please bear that in mind.

We were delayed 28 hours so missed over a day of our holiday, not a great start. We were in building 69, even though I did request one nearer the pool. However all villas are close to everything, so no big deal. It was night when we arrived so we unpacked and went to sleep as we were very tired from the horrendous journey.

The Good -
The room was beautiful, very clean, large and comfortable.
The grounds are spotless, very beautiful.
The actual resort - all nice and compact (Ambar), no problems getting around.
The beach - spectacular - no problems getting a chair or shade
Don Pablo - order the Chatteau Briand - it's charved in front of you and you can request as much as you like. The best pud was the hot chocolate - a chocolate cup filled with chocolate ganache & cream, yum!
The Garden Grill - excellent steaks
The Italian rest by the Bavaro diamond pool at lunchtime - for a lovely a la carte lunch
The Seafood rest - I ordered the fillet steak, a really good meal.

The not so good/bad - just little annoyances but no big deal
The pool was really nice, but...it didn't seem to be cleaned very well. By the afternoon the sides were all scummy. We saw it being cleaned the first 2 days we were there but not after that??
The Portofino rest - nothing special & poor choice of food
El Olivio Rest - ordered steak cooked medium, it came out 'blue' so asked for it to be cooked some more. They were not happy and insisted it was medium but they did cook it some more until it was a charred lump. Bad meal and attitude.
Turn down service - not really bothered about this service, it didn't seem to happen our 1st week but as soon as we started tipping we had the service and chocolates too. No big deal, but this was supposed to be included??
Do not disturb! - we has this sign on a few times while we were in the room so the maid etc. would not knock, they phoned us instead. So we were still disturbed. One time my husband opened the door and told the maid not to come in as I was in bed, but she walked right on through anyway.
Pillow menu - ordered pillows quite a few times, but they only came about 50% of the time

The ugly -
BBQ rest - do not go here! It is all open air by the beach (sounds good so far right) but the tables and plates are covered in bugs. The food is like a buffet, all open and the bugs in the food were unbelievable. You could see them doing the backstroke in the sauce! Seriously though, there were many bugs in the actual food and swarming around it, so we walked out.
Buffet - I usually really like the buffet for dinner, but we had a bad experience there so would not go back. There is a hot grill where meats are cooked for you and there is also a cooked meat to carve, next to it as well. We asked for the cooked meat which was roast pork that night, and watched the chef use the same tongs he used to place raw pork chops on the grill, to grip the cooked pork so he could carve it! We immediately went to see the manager and told him what had happened, and he seemed to agree that that was wrong. We also advised guest services and the girl there didn't seem to think there was anything wrong with it. My teenage son even knows that you do not cross contaminate utensils between raw & cooked meats. Food poisoning waiting to happen to some poor person!
Service - unless you are prepared to tip for every single drink/ food item you receive, you will not get good service. Before anyone gets all riled up I understand they are not paid much. I am happy to tip anyone if I have had good service. However, I do not agree with tipping to get good service. This is an all inclusive resort, if I tip for every single item, I may as well book a room only and just buy everything I need. Sorry to ramble, and I'm sure the big tippers out there are horrified with my comments, but tipping is voluntary and it should not mean that you get ignored if you do not tip every time.

All in all this is not a 5 star resort in our opinion. We did have a good holiday but there were just too many things that niggled, not enough to spoil our holiday but not things that should happen at a 5 star resort. I have tried to be honest in our opinions and I have tried to explain the reasons for the bad points so you can see why I have made those points. We have stayed at the GBP Bavaro and San Juan a few years ago, which was great, which is why we decided to go to the Ambar. There are many good points too but I don't think I would come back, unless I managed to get a very cheap deal here.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank MrsWoody8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 27, 2010

My family and I stayed at the Gran Bahia Principe Ambar from May 16-23, 2010. This was our first time at a Gran Bahia and our first time in the Dominican. We got there late in the evening and were immediately thrown off by locals who attacked the tourists at the airport and who requested a 5$ tip to bring our luggages to our tour bus. When we finally did get to the resort, everything was done so sloppy and so quickly that everyone looked rather lost. We had specifically requested a room in the same villa as my parents and got rooms in completely different villas and the furthest possible from the beach (we were in Villa 63). The good thing about Villa 63 and 66 is that they are the closest to the lobby, which had its advantages. We had requested to have our room changed to the same villa as my parents...that was another mess. Each and every time we went to the front desk, we were told to come back at a different hour. When they finally did have our "room" ready we were presented with 2 double beds. So to make a long story short we asked to be moved to the original room and would stay there the rest of the trip. We did encounter some complications with our room (front door did not open, patio door handle broken, shower door did not close).

*Note to all, the reviews about lots of noise in the hallways are VERY TRUE! All you hear is the slamming of doors in the middle of the night. Good luck if you are a light sleeper!

The main issue here is the language barrier and poor customer service. My family and I are not difficult people and we are very understanding, but to those who travel to the Dominican (maybe it's ONLY this hotel), learn more than just the words OLA. 85% of the staff barely spoke more than 5 English words and it does pose many complications and can leave you frustrated. So customer service was a big ZERO for us, considering we spoke 3 languages and could not get by with any of them.

One a more positive note, the hotel and grounds are absolutely beautiful and very clean. The staff is constantly cleaning and maintaining the grounds. The beach is gorgeous (way too many topless women:). The food was good and we especially liked the Japanese, Mediterranean and Gourmet restaurants. The buffet food is good as well, but bland.

We definitely hope to return to Punta Cana someday, but almost positive that it will NOT be the Gran Bahia Principe Ambar.

Sorry to be so negative. If anyone has questions I'm more than happy to answer them.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Cyn17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rhode Island
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KtD1187
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cjmackie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
yoshi00
Level Contributor
53 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
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
Helpful?
3 Thank yoshi00
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
#29 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#41 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#44 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#44 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#44 On the Beach 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 
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Also Known As:
Gran Bahia Principe Ambar Hotel Punta Cana

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