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Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda
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Reviews (7,467)
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Reviewed August 24, 2013

Stayed July into August 2013 as a family for 2 weeks. Nothing to add further then the glowing reviews previously posted. Was a top notch holiday with nothing to complain about (although at times service was inconsistent especially at the swim up bar). The Esmerelda itself stands above all as the best of those already on resort (Bahia punta cana/bavarois etc). It even seems better then the Ambar.

Food wise we preffered the buffet at the smaller section, called Los Geronas more so than the Jasmine. The restaurants were ok, best was the Dominican, garden grill, and Italian. Other opinions would perhaps differ, however the buffets did offer excellent choice.

It appears however that the resort is over expanding, another block going through the building/foundation stage at present. It also appears as though another part of land may be subject to building work parallel with the punta cana side. This is also my opinion in relation to Punta Cana as a whole though, row upon row of hotel resorts going for mile upon mile.

Although those at the Esmerelda had acces to the pools etc at the other resorts within bahia I saw no need to utilise them, those sections appeared overcrowded. It is defiantly worth the extra money to stay at the esmerlda. We did use the dive company on site and found the staff / dive masters excellent. However the equipment they use was poor (such as ripped wet suits, not fit for purpose bcds, shoddy boat for getting to dive sites). I know this is not run by the hotel however it's something that those travelling should be aware of. If you are a diver the wreck opposite the resort is a must do.

All in all excellent trip, well looked after grounds, friendly staff, large/tidy rooms, nice beach etc.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank P-Walnuts
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, responded to this reviewResponded August 26, 2013

Dear Client,

We are happy to learn that your holiday was a top notch. We sincerely appreciate all feedback.

We are looking forward to have you with us again in Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, all-inclusive hotels for your holidays in the Dominican Republic.

Kind greetings,


Karen Mantilla
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2013

I just came back yesterday (friday the 23rd of august, and reading the last few comments, I'm not sure if we all have visited the same resort, but for us, it's been pretty disappointing. I'll try to be short, otherwise you won't read it.

The Pros:
- The beach
- The pools

Good comment: We enjoyed a lot of on the beach, we wake up early by nature and went to reserve our places but we didn't really needed to.

Bad comment: The last 3 days, next to the smaller pool in front of the 95 block, they decided to do construction, this isn't nice.... Big machines making a lot of noise, impossible to stay at the pool relaxing.

The Cons (Get prepared)
1. The size of the resort
2. The service
3. The food (We all got sick)
4. The beds
5. The keys
6. The glasses for the drinks on the pool/beach
7. The free internet
8. The shuttle (bus/train)
9. The lack of activities

Let me explain a bit point by point.

1. This resort is too big, much too big. For example, there is an aqua park, but it's 20-25 min walking or almost the same with the shuttle, so we didn't went. Same for the mini-put or other activities. We had booked at the Gourmet, but we were so pissed to have to go again through this long way to it that we just went to the bad buffet...

2. The service on the Esmeralda wasn't good. Waiting to get water too long, no kindness, they just didn't appear to be happy to work. You have a problem, instead of apologizing, they just didn't gave a ....

3. Ok here don't take me wrong. If you love not healthy food (fried food as an example) you'll be happy. We are vegetarian who eat fish, and we really didn't find really good fish or vegetables. I'm an amateur cooker, and I can affirm that they take the day before food for the day after. We all got sick (we were 4), another family we met there too (they were 3) and I spoke with another guy who got sick too, it's not like it was a random event. The Takara was nice though, but they chose to close it for a week for renovation.... So we went 1 time.

4. If you like stiff beds, you'll be served!

5. Every (bad word) day, our cards got deactivated. Before the last day, a technician told me to not put them near a cellphone, yeah nice, could have been useful to know it before.

6. Seriously the plastic cups for the drinks are just too cheap and not recycled.

7. Be patient to have the free internet working, I had to take one for $50 for a week (for work) and even to login it was slow. However, the paid internet was fast.

8. They are often full and late, but the worst is that they smell terribly bad. They pollute like crazy and be sure you'll inhale it.

9. We saw nothing on that week neither on the beach nor the pool. Or sorry yes, the last day I saw empty yoga carpet on the pool.

Regarding the food and the restaurant, I have to add a good comment, but before let me put you in context. Our travel agent (air transat), said that there were an un-written rule on the resort; everybody stays in their backyard. So we did and went to the only 2 buffet places, until we get sick. Then going to a show, I saw a restaurant in the main lobby so we went. These guy were very nice, the service was awesome, the food much better and very diversified, this saved our trip.

I'd not recommend the Esmeralda itself, I've heard that the ambar is nice but for adult only.

PS : If like me at first, you don't get why esmeralda, why grand bahia, what's all of that? Well, this resort is Grand Bahia Principe, than it's split in many sections, such as Esmeralda.

Room Tip: I've heard that the kind size bed room is nice, but not for a family.
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank iwber
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, responded to this reviewResponded August 26, 2013

Dear Client,

Our customer´s comments are very important for us. We deeply apologize not being able to cover your expectations and we regret any inconvenience encountered.

Allows us to inform you that on those days and taking into account the high occupancy, we cannot conclude that our hotel is the causative of your illness. Our hotel follows a very strict hygiene, quality and security program monitored by the international company Cristal.

We reiterate our deepest apologies and we really hope to have the opportunity to welcome you once again in any of our hotels.

Kind regards,


Karen Mantilla
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2013

We had the worst week ever at this hotel. Check in staff are the only people who speak English and were okay at best. Ada is very nice at the front desk. There was construction going on next to our room so we had to move the next day. Construction commenced at 8am and finished around 10pm. No one from the bell staff was willing to help us move. We had to call for a bellman 6 times and kept getting hung up on. The toilet in our room was constantly clogged and the shower was clogged the last 3 days. We couldn't get towels in our new room because the maid said they were not available when they were clearly on her cart.

The restaurant staff and the buffet staff are not helpful at all. Even after you tip them, they are fairly unresponsive. Some of the workers do not wash their hands after using the restroom. This was observed by various people in our large party. The Mediterranean restaurant had the worst food ever. Skip that totally. Mexican was disgusting. Italian was so-so. Asian restaurant was probably the best (of the worst). The Teppanyaki (Hibachi) was not worth the time. Had a stomach ache afterwards.

If you need towels in the room, make sure you get them early in the day as they run out by 2pm. At the pool, you have to constantly use a wet, old towel as they run out of towels by 11am. You also have to carry your towels from your room to the pool. Smoking is allowed everywhere and you can't protect your kids.

Didn't like the topless beaches. Hard to explain that to our young children.

Lots of hassle upon checkout with additional charges on our bill that weren't authorized. Took two days to remove them. Just another point of aggravation.

Lastly, at the airport upon check-in, the airport service agent from Serv-Air working for United Airlines tried to charge us baggage fees when we are elite members. The agent backed off when I told him what the rules are for elite travellers. Another case of someone trying to extract money from us some way or another.

All in all, save your money and go to another island. Dominican is not known for superb customer service. Any other island is preferable.

Hope this review saves you the money, effort, headaches, and stress we expended.

Room Tip: stay away from construction and bed bugs
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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12  Thank worldtravelerNJ30
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, responded to this reviewResponded August 28, 2013

Dear Guest,

We are sorry for any difficulties encountered during your stay in our hotel. Thank you for taking the time of sharing your opinion with us which have been treated with great interest.

We really hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back in this Caribbean paradise in the Dominican Republic and enjoy all our facilities and services.

Kind regards,


Karen Mantilla
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2013

This was our first trip to Dominican republic and it did not disappoint, the hotel, the food, the location, the cleanliness all first class. The pool was brilliant and being so close to the beach kept everyone in the family happy. We would definitely come back to the Esmeralda, it had absolutely everything anyone would need.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank Lynns27
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, responded to this reviewResponded August 26, 2013

Dear Lynn,

We are pleased to hear that you had a fabulous time during your first trip to the Dominican Republic. Moreover, we are delighted to learn that you enjoyed our all-inclusive program and to see that you are considering repeating this experience.

Looking forward to cater you in the near future!

Family holidays with Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts.

Best regards,


Karen Mantilla
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2013

This was 1 of the best family vacations in awhile. The service was excellent starting with Jose at the Buffet restaurant. Room service with Felix Lebron is to die for. This gentleman was excellent throughout my stay there.The Esmaralda was in a perfect location from the beach to all the restaurants.

Room Tip: stay at Esmaralda for its close location to the beach and restaurants
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank victorforzani
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, responded to this reviewResponded August 23, 2013

Dear Guest,

It is an honor to know that our personnel had provided our guests with the natural warm and hospitality that characterize the Dominican people. They will be proud to learn that they provided you an amazing family vacation.

We hope to cater you in the near future for another family holidays with Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts!

Kind greetings,


Karen Mantilla
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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