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Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #32 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Halifax, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great Resort”
Reviewed May 11, 2013

Just got back from visiting the Esmeralda in early May. We travelled as a group of 4 (2 couples, early 20's). We all thoroughly enjoyed our trip and the resort itself lived up to all of our expectations.

Let me start by saying that given the price paid for this resort, it is well worth it. We all agreed that this resort does fall short of 5 stars, but still posseses many amazing qualities:

Grounds - the hotel is beautiful. As most other reviews state, the grounds are immaculate. I am sure that anyone who visits will agree. The hotel is situated in a large complex, along with three other resorts. They do provide a very efficient tram system to navigate the complex, but the Esmeralda does have most ammenities that one desires while on vacation - buffet, a la cartes, snackbar, 3 pools, lobby bar with premium alcohol and a private beach area.

The only time we required leaving the Esmeralda was when we wanted to go to the disco, the casino or to play golf. I'm sure that most would not even need to leave the property. Although guests of the Esmeralda can visit any of the resorts on the complex, only guests from the Ambar section can use the facilities of the Esmeralda, and vice versa.

Food- Let me start by saying that I am an extremely picky eater. Not only do I like particular foods, but I really look for quality as well. Most notably, I love my beef rare, and of high quality!!

Honestly, my first impression of the food was awful. My first meal was a lunch at the snack bar, and after a few bites I was convinced that I was dealing with the same quality of food that I experienced last year in Puerto Plata (not edible). I was definitely too quick to judge - the food is average to good throughout the entire complex, and I even had a cut of fresh sliced roast beef (rare) at the buffet one day that would qualify as excellent. Other then the cold meats (ham, salami etc.), I was quite impressed with the quality of the meats as a whole (chicken, beef and pork). The buffet offered a wide variety of foods of which I would consider half to be 'average' to 'good'. Again, take that for what it is as I am picky. I can assure you that the food at this resort will at least not be a burden on your trip and some people will definitely enjoy some, if not most of the food.

As for the a la cartes, I would not say that their quality of foods were any better then the buffet. We were less then impressed with their flagship a la carte, 'Don Pablo'. We found the atmosphere and food to be average - not bad, but not the best. We also visited the 'Garden Grill' which was also average. The Takara Asian restaurant had good flavor but there was plenty of gristle in their tapenyaki meals. The El Olivio was good all around, but judging by the food temperature, I don't think the food was cooked to order. I just want to reiterate that all of the food was good, but they do lable themselves as a five star so that warrants a critical review.

Bar/drinks - All of the bars were great. Friendly bartenders and qucik service - tipping certainly helps but is not necessary for good service. The beer on tap is Presidente (very good IMO) and is extremely cold, kudos for that. The girls in our group found the drinks to be way too strong, but I took that as a bonus. Most people complain of having drinks watered down at all inclusive resorts - certainly not the problem here. After asking the bartender for premium alcohol (and less of it) their issue was quickly resolved.

Disco was half decent. We felt a little bit old there as it seemed to be mostly 18-20 year olds so we stuck to the lobby bars. The casino on site was ok. It was small with some slot machines and limited table games. Drinks are not included so our visits here never lasted too long.

Rooms - rooms were great. The bathroom had a jacuzzi, seperate shower, his and her sinks and a private toilet. The bed was very firm, but not uncomfortable. Everything in the room was functional, and the TV even had a good selection of english channels. Our maid, Yubelkis, was great. She knew that we preffered beer and vodka to the other liquors that were regularly stocked in our fridge and gave us extra each day. Although our room was cleaned at different times each day of the week, the cleaning was thorough and she always left a nice gesture such as towel art, or flowers, or something of that nature.

Beach - beach was also great. It is more of a shaded beach then I'm familiar with, but this was welcomed by me as the Dominican sun is HOT. Although we never got a chance, renting non motorized sports equipment (kayaks, boogie boards etc) was free and taking a kayak out in the waves looked awesome.

Golf - the golf course (Punta Blanca) was adequate. We found it a little pricey for the calibre of course. We paid around $150 for a round with cart. Easy course, very forgiving in excellent condition but absolutely no 'wow' factor to it.

Overall this resort is very good IMO. It falls short of 5 stars for the following reasons.
- food is good, but not close to excellent
- maid service needs more consistency at what time a room is cleaned
- you should not have to ask for premium liquor, it should be implied. Who wants Esternoff vodka when they have Smirnoff and Absolute?

The overall impression of a resort is akin to whether one would return or not. I think we all agreed that we return. This is a solid 4 star resort with great ammenities, beautiful property, above average all inclusive food and the option of premium alcohol. It has everything you need and I can say with confidence that most will love this resort.

Room Tip: building 90 is close to everything
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Hali902
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Customer Service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, May 13, 2013
Dear Guest,

We really appreciate this detailed feedback which helps us identify and address areas for improvement. It is a pleasure for all of us to hear that we could meet your expectations during your visit to our Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda.

We hope you will be willing to give us the opportunity to welcome you once again to experience the hospitality of our people, the quality of our services and facilities.

Warmest regards from the Dominican Republic!


Karen Mantilla
Social Media Coordinator
Grand Bahía Príncipe Bávaro Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Halle, Brabant, Belgium
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed May 11, 2013

During the last 2 weeks in April at this luxury giant hotel with the perfect weather conditions.
We had a very relaxing vacation and we recommend the SPA. The rooms are perfect with a nice whirlpool in it.

The infrastructure is kept very clean and the everywhere you hear latin music. The staff is very helpful but sometimes they understand something different (English is also not our native language) but a lot of them understands also French; so we could switch language.

These are the aspects to say ... we come again BUT the food is often lukewarm or cold.
The food comes warm and VERY tasteful from the kitchen but on the buffet only some light are used to try the keep the food warm in a room with air-conditioning.
Best advise for management : use infra-red light or some kind of heating system underneath.
In the meantime : look what is coming out of the kitchen of have something prepared on the spot (pasta, eggs or make a special request of preparation).

The reception in Esmeralda is unfriendly, lack good knowledge of English/French and do not make any effort to be helpful. Even Esteban who claims to be the responsible does not either speak very well English. He does not keep (forgets) his promises.
On the counterpart the reception of e.g. Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana (where we bought some tickets for a concert) are very friendly and helpful.

We wanted to switch rooms (king size versus 2 queen size) but we had to wait 2 days.
After 4 days we met the couple that arrived at the same time with the same operator and they had requested just the opposite. Both of us did call immediate the reception upon arrival at the room and the Esmeralda reception was apparently reluctant to with switch on the spot (Nobody had used the room or unpacked clothing and still a NO at the reception).

It is a huge set of 5 hotels and use the little trains as transport to the theatre otherwise you are for a long walk.

Should I choose this hotel : YES at the condition they do something about keeping the food warm.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Willy V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Customer Service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, May 13, 2013
Dear Willy,

We are pleased to read that you had a very relaxing vacation and to know that you recommend our Spa.

Please allow us to inform you that we have a microwave in the buffet to heat the food as guests’ wishes.

Thank you for taking the time to post a review of your recent stay at our hotel, which we will take in the highest consideration.

Best regards,


Karen Mantilla
Social Media Coordinator
Grand Bahía Príncipe Bávaro Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 11, 2013

Our family stayed at this resort in March. The resort was very clean and relaxing. The beach was a quick walk and very beautiful. The waiter service from Rafael was one of the highlights of our day. His constant smile and humor was great. He had a way of making our large family feel at home. Thank you so much!!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Shelley B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Customer Service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, May 13, 2013
Dear Shelley,

Please be assured that it is a great compliment and an honor for us to forward your comments to Rafael, who constant smile and made your large family feel as home. Also, we would like to thank you for highlighting our clean resort and beautiful beach.

Kind regards,


Karen Mantilla
Social Media Coordinator
Grand Bahía Príncipe Bávaro Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lititz, pa
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed May 9, 2013

During the last week of March I traveled with 3 friends to Esmeralda. This resort was all we could have asked for and more. Although most guests were couples or families, we still had an amazing time thanks to the beautiful resort, the warm weather, and most of all, the friendliness of the staff. Our room was perfect-the minibar was always stocked, towels were plentiful, and the beds were very comfortable. We stayed in building number 95, which was so convenient to the small pool and Los Geranios buffet.

The best thing about this resort for us was certainly the amazing staff and we'd like to give a shout out to a few of them. First, Maximo and Manolo at the lobby bar: their expert drink mixing and fun attitude helped kick off our evenings. Next, we would never have gotten anywhere around the resort had it not been for our trusty tram driver Felix(Freddy). Finally, to Luis and Luvaldo at Los Geranios:: they made sure we always had everything we needed each time we visited the buffet. Their personal attention made our stay memorable!!!

Can't wait to come back at the end of November!!!!!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank rthrbatthbch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Customer Service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, May 10, 2013
Dear Guest,

It is wonderful to know that you had an amazing girl´s getaway thanks to our beautiful resort, warm weather, and friendly staff. Your positive comments will be forward to Maximo, Manolo, and Felix, who will be happy to learn that with their personal attention they made your stay memorable.

You are welcome to contact us for your next visit on November.

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Regards from Punta Cana,


Karen Mantilla
Social Media Coordinator
Grand Bahía Príncipe Bávaro Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Methuen, Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed May 9, 2013

Worth every penny. It was a very relaxed trip and the Esmeralda had the best rooms and service amongst all of the attached resorts...we had friends staying at the adjoining resorts so we were able to check out their rooms. We had 8 people on the trip with ages ranging between 20 and 55 and everyone was equally happy. The pools at the Esmeralda were quiet and relaxing but within walking distance was the "hip" younger pool which my niece and younger sister enjoyed. The beaches were great and the food was good as well, something for everyone. The only complaint would be that dinner reservations were hard to get and they were very sticky about times (you should definitely book your evening meals when you book the trip, don't wait until you get there). Also if you need to be "connected" while away, 99% of the time the "free" wifi didn't work....I personally wasn't bothered by this but I know this bothered other guests. I would definitely recommend this resort to others for a quiet romantic get away to a family friendly trip. There was something for everyone and it was never crowded.
Have a great trip!! :)

Room Tip: all of the rooms were nice, the 3rd and 4th floors seemed to be a bit better as far as noise.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Morninghiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Customer Service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, May 10, 2013
Dear Guest,

We are very pleased to know that you had an excellent and relaxed trip in our Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda. Thank you for recommending us to others who want a quiet romantic getaway, and for mentioning our good rooms and service. Rest assured that your observations have been taken in the highest consideration.

Looking forward to welcoming you once again!

Always at your disposal,


Karen Mantilla
Social Media Coordinator
Grand Bahía Príncipe Bávaro Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississauga, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2013

My family and I (Wife two kids aged 5 and 2.5) stayed at the Esmeralda from Apr 26-May 3 (unfortunatley I had to leave half way through as my father fell ill). For me and my family this is a 5 star resort: Staff are great in all aspects, the front desk, maids/butlers to the greeters and servers they were all very helpful and attentive. The grounds are SPOTLESS all the pools are SPOTLESS, the rooms are beautiful and always had enough towels face cloths soap and the fridge was re-stocked daily. The water park is amazing for kids of all ages and the beach was beautiful (Yes you have to play the towel game for beach chairs) we never had a problem finding chairs by any of the pools. I can speak both French and Italian so I can easily understand and speak a little spanish. For the reviewers that have a problem with the language barrier, please keep in mind that you are in a spanish speaking country, you should try and learn some phrases to help you through your stay, but most staff that I dealt with could speak english. Also We will go back to the Esmeralda in a heart beat we all loved it!
As I said this is a 5 star for my family (we are not picky eaters or drinkers) but I can see why others will only give it a 4 star rating, no premium drinks (unless you pay extra or beg for it) and the food can use a bit of work, but as far as staff, and the accomidations and amenities, this is a 5 star for us. And for the price of this resort, you cannot go wrong.

Room Tip: All the rooms at the Esmeralda are close to the pools, restuarants and beach.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Sal C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Customer Service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, May 8, 2013
Dear Guest,

Your opinion is very important to us. It represents a challenge, an opportunity to improve our services, and maintain the magic that makes our dear customers choose for their holiday destination this paradise called Dominican Republic.

Please rest assured that it will be a pleasure to cater you once again!

Yours sincerely,


Karen Mantilla
Social Media Coordinator
Grand Bahía Príncipe Bávaro Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2013

We spent 2 weeks at the Esmeralda from April 12 to the 26th. We had a wonderful time. We had 6 friends who we surprised at the Ambar. Let’s just say that Ambar management accommodated us so we can spend our time with our friends. Thanks very much for this, it made our vacation.

Yes, the darn bed is hard, but I survived. Ask for a mattress top, I hear they have them. Rooms are spotless. It doesn’t matter what building you get. We had 95, it was quiet and perfect.

We’ve been to the Ambar twice before, I love the buffet. It beats all a la carte hand down. You be the judge. I like eating and going, the a la carte take too long. The food at the restaurants all come from the same kitchens as the buffet. As I said, you be the judge.

Beach is the best, lots of chairs. Ya might have to get up early to save the front rows by the beach but whatever, you can always find some shade.

The terrace at the Ambar is so wonderful at night with the music, the ambiance, friends, the wonderful weather, the drinks. I miss it so much, wonderful memories.

The weather sucked, 85 to 90 and sunny every darn day. The evenings were so comfortable and clear. Yes I said sucked, I like t-storms, I don't mind rain and yes, I have to stay out of the sun so it being sunny for 2 darn weeks did not meet my requirements :o)

We went to the Mall, it was fun and safe. Not many deals but good to get out and run around. We took a Taxi and had the guy for about 2 hours and it was only $60. There were 7 of us. One of our friends decided not to go. I heard him mumble something about finding his friend Johnny Walker.

Tour the place, don’t just hang around the beach or pool. The shows are great (we didn’t see one, we just hung around the beach and pool), visit the Pueblo, say NO to any of the guys trying to sell you wood stuff that will dry out in a month and crack. The Casino is not the best. If you want one, go to the Hard Rock. It’s a $15 taxi ride. Play hard ball with the guys at the Hard Rock trying to sell you Timeshare. I found the HR Casino fair. It still took our money but free drinks if you’re playing and we played for a long time. I still think that was the sun coming up when we got back to our room :o)

They serve you drinks everywhere, beach, pool, buffet, a la carts. They sweep the sand off your chairs at the beach. They are always cleaning and painting and cutting and picking up. They work so hard and get paid so little. I read a previous review and the person had nailed it, if you are picky, stubborn and can never be satisfied, then stay home. Yes, everything is not perfect but then again, you are not either.

We had a BLAST !!

Would we go back ? Yes, in a heartbeat.

Happy birthdays again R & T

Hi D__S

Hi R__E

Hi T & K

Room Tip: Book the trip. If you don't, you can't have any room. They are all perfect.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Hotheadbob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Customer Service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, May 8, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review of your recent stay at our hotel. We sincerely appreciate all feedback. We are happy to know that you had wonderful memories from your recent vacation in our Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda

You are welcome to contact us for a next visit to any of our hotels that forms our Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts family.

Looking forward to welcome you in a heartbeat!

Warmest regards,


Karen Mantilla
Social Media Coordinator
Grand Bahía Príncipe Bávaro Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#31 Luxury 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 
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Also Known As:
Gran Bahia Principe Esmeralda Hotel Punta Cana

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