We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Very nice time at the GBP Esmeralda”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 12 more sites!
Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #32 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
38 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 202 helpful votes
“Very nice time at the GBP Esmeralda”
Reviewed December 27, 2011

My husband and I traveled to Punta Cana in late October 2011. This was our 5th trip to Punta Cana and once again we enjoyed our visit. This time we stayed at the Grand Bahia Principe Esmeralda. This was our first time to a Bahia resort. We have previously stayed at Riu Palace (located right next door), Melia, and Dreams in Punta Cana. There were not a lot of guests from the U.S. at this resort compared with Dreams or Riu but we had a great time meeting people from all over. We were the only ones from our plane to come to this resort but 3 other couples were staying at the GBP Ambar. We met up with them a few times at the nightly shows and at dinner.

The GBP Esmeralda is a small colonial style resort within a bigger (and very large) complex. It is located approximately 30 minutes from the airport on the newly completed main road. This hotel grounds are lovely and it is built on a very wide stretch of fine white sand beach.

Our airport transfer brought us to the main lobby of the Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana. As soon as we told the lobby attendants which resort we were staying at, we were directed to a golf cart and whisked off to the private lobby of the Grand Bahia Principe Esmeralda for an easy check in. The lobby of the GBP Punta Cana is very far from the beach. The lobby of the GBP Esmeralda is right up front by the beach.

The entire GBP Esmeralda resort consists of 5 three-story buildings of accommodations, a main pool, an adult’s only jacuzzi pool with cabanas, and a lobby with a lobby bar. It’s a beautiful intimate resort.

Attached to the lobby you will find the Jazmin buffet restaurant, the outdoor buffet and Bella Italia one of the a la carte dinner venues. Staying at the GBP Esmeralda, you also have access to the facilities and dining a la carte restaurants within the Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana resort and the Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro resort. This offers you at least 8 other optional dining venues. Additionally, you can reserve dinner at the Don Pablo gourmet restaurant located at the Gran Bahia Principe Ambar “Adults Only” resort. This is one of the nicest looking restaurants within the complex and it offers gourmet entrees. It is reserved exclusively for “adults only” who are staying at either the GBP Esmeralda or the GBP Ambar. Although this was our least favorite of the a la carte restaurants, others we spoke with seemed to enjoy it. We may have hit an off night because service was extremely slow, and the food was not, in our opinion, very good. We really liked the Bella Italia restaurant at the GBP Esmeralda. That was our favorite and we also enjoyed the Garden Grill steakhouse which was located within the GBP Punta Cana. One other restaurant that was nice was the Mikado Japanese restaurant that has the hibachi show cooking. We had a really fun table that night.

A great “plus” for the GBP Esmeralda resort is that you are able to pre-reserve dining in advance of your arrival via email. We sent our email about a week before our arrival and our reservation slips were handed to us in an envelope when we checked in. We were also told we could make any changes if we needed to.

The lobby at the GBP Esmeralda is open air and beautifully decorated including small tables and chairs for relaxing anytime during the day or night. At the back of a lobby is a large formal bar which hosts relaxing live music in the evenings. The lobby is also the place to go for complimentary internet. You can use your own device or use the hotel computers in the internet room just downstairs from the entrance in a relaxing library style room.

The GBP Esmeralda is not an adult only resort but when we were there, there were very few kids and the ones that were there were very young. This may be because the time of year we vacationed most older kids are in school. Our room was located in building 90. We had a great view of both the pool and the beach. Almost any building seemed like it would be a great location because this resort is so small and intimate. The room furnishings were very nice. The furniture was white, and the rooms were very bright and light. The jacuzzi tub was great. We had a nice sitting area too since all rooms are junior suites.

During the day, we spend most of our time lounging on the white sand beach complete with a reserved section of palapas just for guests of the GBP Esmeralda. There are a variety of watersports to take part in on the beach if you like that. You just walk over to the onsite dive shop located on the beach adjacent to the beach bar. If you prefer more action, right next door to the GBP Esmeralda pool area, is the main pool of the GBP Punta Cana where pool games take place most of the day. This is a great place for kids. You have full access to this pool area too. We checked it out, but it seemed a little too crowded for our liking. We really liked the more quiet GBP Esmeralda areas.

Our favorite place before heading back to our rooms after a day on the beach was the adult’s only jacuzzi area. Each late afternoon, we headed over to enjoy a relaxing dip in the jacuzzi and for some quite time under our cabana. On some days, all the cabanas were taken, but other days we didn’t have any trouble.

After dinner, in the evenings, the main show lounge which is located between the lobbies of the GPB Punta Cana and the GPB Bavaro, put on a variety of evening entertainment shows. Some of the highlighted shows include the 80’s show and the Michael Jackson show. We have seen a lot of Michael Jackson shows in Punta Cana and in Mexico at the various all-inclusive resorts. This was one of the best.

A few of our evenings we ventured out even a little later. We took a ride on the open-air shuttle to the Pueblo Principe area at the front of the Bahia complex. It’s about a 5-8 minute shuttle ride from the farthest beach area, to the Pueblo Principe. This area of the complex has a a lot of small stores selling souvenirs and local crafts. It also has a small casino, a sports bar (yes the Chicago Bears were on screen the night we were there) and a late night show area for more entertainment, music and dancing under the stars. We never made it to the late show but the sports bar was nice.

One item, just an FYI so you know, is that the GBP Esmeralda (and the GBP Ambar for that matter) include upgraded liquor options to choose from that are included in the all-inclusive package. Even though you have access to many of the complex restaurants, lobbies and bars, you are not allowed to order the better liquors if you are anywhere outside of the GBP Esmeralda. The other resorts (except Esmeralda and Ambar) charge their guests for upgraded liquor. For example, if you are watching the evening show, which is upfront in the complex between the GBP Punta Cana and the GBP Bavaro, even though you have an Esmeralda bracelet, they cannot serve you "Jim Beam" without charging you for it. It was just awkward and a little inconvenient. Maybe it won't matter to you, but it is something that did stick out in our minds. It certainly isn't a deal breaker and didn't ruin anything but I felt it was worth making a note of.

In general, if you choose this resort, you will have a very nice time. The grounds are beautiful, the beach is lovely, and it is a little gem within a big complex that offers quiet spots and lots of activities too.

Room Tip: Building 90 is closest to the beach, actually right on it.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
42 Thank ali123travels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

6,725 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    4,431
    1,421
    563
    177
    133
See reviews for
2,588
2,801
73
28
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,538)
Date | Rating
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Slovak first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Bogota, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed December 25, 2011

Nothing less than Awesome. The whole experience was great ... room/service/location. Would love to visit this place sometime soon. Wish English was widely spoken, but, no complains really.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Naseem A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed December 24, 2011

As mentioned in many other reviews, this resort comrprises of many different properties. The grounds are immaculately kept and gorgeous. The staff work hard and are very friendly, with or without tip. My boyfriend and I just got back from a 3 nt & 4 day stay. We were originally booked for a Jr Suite in the Club Golden section but upon arrival were sent & checked into a regular, ground floor room (93016) within the Esmeralda. We weren't charged anything extra and not sure how/why the "upgrade" was granted. The Esmeralda is close to the beach so that was nice for us. We emailed the property before arrival and obtained dinner reservations at the Japanese Restaurant within the Punta Cana section (Mikaido?) and the Steakhouse which turned out to be the Garden Grill. Both were underwhleming and not worth the fuss of making reservations and waiting. The japanese restaurant is set up as a hibachi establishment but there was nothing special about it. They didn't even have sufficient sake to serve on a Wed night. We actually thought the sushi section wthin the buffet was better than the restaurant. The Gran Bahia is DEF NOT a 5 or even a 4 star property but is an average, clean and pretty resort. Fortunately, our trip was short and we went primarily to escape the cold in NY. We also played one morning after having to wait a day due to not having reservations ahead of time. Ironically, we were told our reserved time slot was full but played next to an empty court.

Again, this property isn't luxury but has good bones to be exceptional if the management took notice of some of the negative comments of its patrons and tweaked it's front desk staff and re-organized its a la carte restaurants. Would I go back? Probably not since there are so many other better properties in PC. One more thing, the Esmeralda beach section is small. The sand is very narrow...

Room Tip: email the property guest services ahead of time and request your preferences. It may not get you wh...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank SeoulNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 24, 2011

the resort was nice but there is a wonderful stake house where it took us soo long to get a reservation and when they gave us our stake it was completely burned they said they would give us another one but it was burned too

  • Stayed May 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank purpleturtle596
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
montreal
Level Contributor
81 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed December 23, 2011

was there from dec.12 to dec 21 and had an amazing time!

Room: we were in building 90 room 90301, nice clean room, very private, no rooms to the left or right, big room, great views housekeeping was done everyday always 4 presidentes in the fridge, everything worked great, amazing views, only thing sometimes hot water for shower was not so great between 5 and 6:30 p.m.

Food: we ate at the buffets and ala cartes, food was very good, breakfast buffets always had something we liked, lunch buffet had alot of choice, i am not a big fish eater but really enjoyed the fish, we enjoyed all the ala cartes, steakhouse, don pablo, santa fe, el olvio, the ibella italia, the only one not to crazy was the japanese, the food was good, but alot of young families with young kids running around.

Pool bar: water was warm, drinks were good, all the bartenders were great! always found a spot when we went after 2:30 p.m.

Beach: We would go around 9:00 a.m. no problems finding spots in the esmeralda section, beach is nice and clean (some seaweed) water was beautiful, bar staff were friendly and fun!

Entertainment: we saw couple of shows they were ok, we would hang arount the punta cana lobby then go over to kareoke, or just stay at the esmerelda for drinks.

Overall we had a great time, the staff here is amazing! the grounds are exceptional, and there is alot to do! I would definetely stay at esmerelda or ambar section, punta cana or bavaro was very crowded and hard to get chairs at beach or pool,

Room Tip: try to stay 2nd floor or higher, pool side
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank sillyguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chilton, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
96 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed December 22, 2011

We stayed at the Esmeralda from 12/2/11 - 12/9/11. First of all when you arrive you're dropped off at the Gran Bahia Punta Cana and then carted over to the Esmeralda. The resort is the newest and very compact, which we really liked. We had requested rooms together- 3 rooms total. When we arrived check in seemed to be 3 times more difficult than it needed to be. I would recommend having extra copies of your reservation to save you some time. They seemed hung-up on paperwork although all our rooms were already assigned. They even tried at one point giving us someone else's reservation. In the end we had 3 rooms together, and they had 5 reservations already made for dinner. This was only a slight issue but something they can work on. The rooms are very nice, and the bathroom is very large. We were in building 92 and it was close to everything. Natalie was our butler and was very attentive to our needs. The best restuarants were the steak house and the Japanese. The other restaurants were hit and miss, but you can always find something to eat. We have been to Punta Cana 5 times and normally most of the desserts look great but have no taste. That wasn't the case here. The desserts were the best! I thought the service was very good. Now do they understand everything that you say---No. But they try very hard to please you. Special shout out to Miguelina, Ana, Joesfina, Maximo, and Hector. They don't have towel cards, which is nice. One thing that I found very strange was the early morning security. I tend to be an early riser, and would go down to the pool around 7:00-7:30 to read. One day, I put fresh towels on our chairs along with my bag that had my beach things in it. My husband was on the computer in the lobby around 40 feet away so I went over to talk to him. About 5 minutes later I noticed the security guard picking up my bag and towels off the chairs that I had laid them on. I ran over to him, and he returned them back. Until around 8:00 he would walk around and removed towels and personal items from other chairs. This was an issue for me, because we liked to put our towels down and then take a walk to the beach. We did get a few bug bites throughout the week, and we had 2 out of 6 get hives from something, so make sure you pack the Dramamine. If you want things to do throughout the day you will need to go to either the Punta Cana or the Bavaro resorts/pools. In the evening all the entertainment is at the other big resorts. They have trams that run throughout the day because some of those resorts are huge.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank wifun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mascoutah, Illinois
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed December 16, 2011

Stayed at the hotel 12/4/11 thru 12/11/11. The grounds and hotel are extremely clean, landscaping incredible. Rooms were very large and beautiful. Especially enjoyed the night when the butler(Natalie) had a hot bath drawn for us with rose petals and candles leading the way to the tub. Beach was beautiful and seaweed was not really a problem until the last day. Staff was extremely friendly and always available when drinks needed to be refreshed. Check in was easy and we were greeted by smiling faces and a drink. Buffets were adequate. Could always find something to eat. Don Pablo was our best restaurant, Maiko not bad and Steak House was good. Pescadoro was average. Mexican buffet night was not good at all for us on Monday night. Need to get up before sunrise to reserve a good place on the beach. Not too much of an inconvenience if you enjoy watching the sun rise. Really beautiful. Need to reserve a place at pool also as chairs will fill up quickly. Plenty of alcohol in all drinks, not watered down. Evening shows are good except on Tuesday 'Men vs Women", pretty lame and boring. Don't expect a Vegas show but they were entertaining. For seafood lovers make sure you eat at the Esmeralda buffet on Thursday night. Not the buffet at Punta Cana. Some very minor things could have been improved upon, but overall are stay was fabulous and already planning on returning next year.

Room Tip: Stayed third floor building 91. Could see ocean and the pool was right outside building. Great locat...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Dfeazel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Punta Cana
18.4 mi away
Alsol Del Mar
Alsol Del Mar
#46 of 111 in Punta Cana
949 reviews
16.2 mi away
AlSol Tiara Cap Cana
AlSol Tiara Cap Cana
#24 of 111 in Punta Cana
1,750 reviews
38.2 mi away
Casa de Campo Resort & Villas
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.3 mi away
Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Green Don Pablo Collection
16.1 mi away
Alsol Luxury Village
Alsol Luxury Village
#88 of 111 in Punta Cana
3,279 reviews
52.1 mi away
Grand Bahia Principe La Romana
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection

Property: Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection
Address: Crta. Arena Gorda - Macao, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#7 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#28 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#29 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#30 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection 4*
Number of rooms: 570
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Facilities and services 2 Pools Sun terrace 4 Jacuzzis Sun umbrellas and loungers Beach and pool towel service BAHIA SPA (additional charge) Sports facilities: gym, 3 tennis courts, 1 padel tennis court (additional charge), multi-sports court Water activity centre Motorised water sports (additional charge) WiFi access in the lobby (free) and in rooms (free of charge) Entertainment amphitheatre 2 buffet restaurants 3 speciality restaurants 3 Bars 1 Snack- bar Wedding gazebo 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, 570 Deluxe Junior Suite Room facilities: King size bed or two full size beds Air conditioning Ceiling fan Sitting area with sofa Terrace Fully-equipped bathroom with hydromassage bath tub and separate shower, hair dryer and magnifying mirror Bathrobe and slippers VIP amenities Radio-alarm clock Flat screen satellite TV Coffee-making facilities Ironing set Pillow menu Umbrella 24 hour room service Minibar WiFi (free of 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:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Orbitz, Expedia, BP USA TRAVEL INC, Travelocity, Booking.com, BookIt.com, Hotwire, Hotels.com, TravelUp, TripOnline SA, Cancelon, Cheap Tickets, Evoline ltd and getaroom.com so you can book your Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Gran Bahia Principe Esmeralda Hotel Punta Cana

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing