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Reviewed September 22, 2013

Again I booked our holiday based on TA feedback plus reports and because we had had such a fantastic holiday at the Gran Bahia Principe Luxury Don Pablo Sian Ka'an in Mexico. (November 2012)
We booked the hotel Esmeralda based on its higher rating on TA than it's sister Luxury Don Pablo hotel, the adults only Hotel Ambar. Although now their ratings are virtually identical.
Having seen both hotels there is very little to choose between them. Esmeralda is the slightly newer and still expanding family Luxury Don Pablo hotel.
As we were a couple you would have thought we would have stayed at the adult only hotel but on all the occasions we went to the Adult only Ambar, the adults were far more rowdy and much noisier than the children at the Esmeralda.

Our room 90110 in block 90 was nearest the beach and directly beside the facilities, the buffet, the 3 restaurants on site, the beach cafe, the pool and the lobby area. At the Ambar the lobby area, the buffet and one of the gourmet restaurants are a fair trek away from the beach where the beach bar and the 2 other a la carte restaurants are.
The room was excellent. Huge bed and excellent facilities, jacuzzi bath and separate shower! Mini bar is re stocked every day, but sometimes they forget to re fill it to our requirements, but a note to the cleaner made sure this was rectified for the remainder of the holiday.

At the other end of the Esmeralda complex they were building another accommodation block, right next to the other pool area. We were well away from the work and never heard a thing during the whole holiday. However if our block had been one of those near to it, I would not have been happy, yet there were loads of people still beside the pool and bars despite there being a building site not 20ft away!!

The beach is awesome, very very long and genuinely busy at all times. The sea is refreshing although the constant flow of seaweed can be off putting. The breeze is heaven sent and if it is not blowing then you are serious trouble as due to the humidity, it is very very hot most of the time. You could walk for miles down the beach in either direction if you had the mind to.

All the staff at Esmeralda were amazing and we really mean that. They were the most polite, helpful, attentive, friendly staff we have come across. To be fair whenever we explored the complex, the staff at the other hotels on the resort were also really friendly and very attentive. This is a massive complex, even bigger than the Riviera Maya complex and that seemed huge when we last visited, but there are constant shuttles driving up and down the main avenues, so easy to jump on and off and get to where you want to go.

Cannot fault any of the food from the main Esmeralda buffet area at the Jazmin, to the beach cafe and all the a la carte restaurants.
From TA I had read it was a good idea to pre book your a la carte meals and we did that 2 weeks before arriving and it worked perfectly. Sometimes they are busy and you are not able to book even a few days in advance.
The meals we preferred were all the a la carte restaurants as they made you feel you were having a special meal. One night we had a barbecue roast in one of the beach cafes and it did not feel that special and food was just ok. Restaurants we tried which we would visit again were:

Bella Italia
Don Pablo
Garden Grill
L'Olivio
Le Gourmet
Takarra
Maiko (Tepinyaki)

Warning: Only frustrating thing regarding the hotel/complex was the availability of wifi. The wifi was only available in the main lobby area. You were allowed to book in to a free service, but this service was slow and restricted access to certain emails and downloads. To get a better service you have to pay $49 for 7 days!! Also whenever you left the lobby area and returned you had to re log into the whole system, every time. I thought this was terrible considering the quality of the hotel/complex. Wifi is so common place at all the best resorts, I cannot rationalise why the Bahia complex made it so difficult to access and offer such a poor wifi service when it is accessed. I admit this was only a minor nuisance.

As has been the case when booking holidays I have thoroughly researched the hotel using TripAdvisor and again must express my thanks to all those reports I read that enabled me to chose a fabulous hotel in a fabulous resort to allow us to have another fabulous refreshing and relaxing holiday.

Room Tip: Block 90 is nearest to beach.
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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11  Thank Tony W
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 September 25, 2013

Dear Tony,

Thank you for taking the time to let us know about your experience at our Hotel. We regret not having been able to achieve our main objective with you, which is our guests´ entire satisfaction. Please be assured that your observations have been taken in the highest consideration.

We would like to state that the feedback expressed by our clients is our top priority and our main goal is to offer a service at all times according to your expectations. We are sorry that the above situations mentioned have tarnished your stay.

We sincerely hope to have the opportunity to welcome you once again.

Kind regards,


Claudia Adames
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2013

Simple really! My husband and I returned from the Esmeralda on 10th Sept, had a fantastic time there is nothing to complain about. The staff are brilliant they're helpful and friendly especially Manolo. Beach is very nice, gardens well maintained, food fabulous, had two weeks of pampering. We would go back to the Esmeralda with our family.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Unique29
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 September 25, 2013

Dear Client,

Thank you for acknowledging our helpful and brilliant staff, especially Manolo, who will be very happy to learn that he was able to contribute in creating a fantastic trip for you.
We would like to have the opportunity to welcome you once again at our Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection to experience the hospitality of our people, the quality of our services and facilities.

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, a 5 star experience in Dominican Republic.

Kindest regards,


Claudia Adames
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2013

Just returned from the Esmeralda Sept 17."Wow wonderful". All the staff are so cheerful and ready to help or just say hello to you, the restaurants are all good even the buffet ones but if you want something special try the Le Gourmet or the Don Pablo Gourmet. The beach is one of the best I have been on. We were in room 92208 and was well equipped and so clean, but you do have to tip the maids regular if you want any towel designs etc. One thing to warn stayers is the building work being carried out by room block 93 but saying that it was no hardship for us.
The only down side was Thomas Cook. it was a holiday to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary which they knew of and did nothing to make the holiday that bit more special unlike other tour operators did.

Room Tip: Blocks 91 & 92 are the best ones.
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank neil p
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 September 19, 2013

Dear Neil,

We greatly appreciate that you have chosen Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection for your visit to Dominican Republic. It is a real pleasure to read that you enjoyed a wonderful family vacation.

Thank you for your nice comments and for highlighting our good food, polite staff, beautiful beach, We are proud to hear that you had a great stay due to the helpfulness of our staff members.

Looking forward to welcoming you once again!

All-inclusive luxury hotels on Dominican Republic with Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts.

Kind regards,


Claudia Adames
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2013

Just returned on Sept 14, 2013, from the Esmeralda, where we celebrated our 10 year anniversary, and my wife's 40th birthday. - the wife and I stayed for 1 week..

We have been to the Caribbean, previously via Carnival Cruise, and this was our first time to a resort and the Esmeralda and we cannot have had it any other way.

From the moment we arrived on Sept 7th, we were respected and treated right. On a day where we were to go for a helicopter ride, my wife got car sick, as the driver was taking curves, and braking had and going over bumps. This prevented us from taking our helicopter ride. However, once we returned back to the hotel, and we told this to Ramon, he quickly exchanged the helicopter, and gave us a gift package containing Tshirt, hat, beach towel, etc.

Overall, excellent Staff all around the resort. There are just too many people to thank with Ramon (Butler Services) & Ada (Guest Services) attended to our needs and did all they can to please us . They made sure we had everything we wanted and needed. Ramon was awesome. So were all the waiters, butlers, cleaners, bartenders, etc.

The Good: Very good & friendly service. Good choice and quality of buffets. Access to various pools and restaurants throughout the resort. A kid friendly zone with access to a water park (we came without our son, so we didn't go there)

The Bad: For me as a espresso coffee lover, the coffee bar in the lobby opened at 08:00, and would be nice if it opened earlier since I was up at 7am. However, I did get my fix at the Jasmine buffet.

All in all, the wife and I loved this resort, and we plan to return next year with our 3 year old, and have yet another great time. Thanks again Ramon..

Room Tip: Didn't see alot of rooms, but I enjoyed my villa which gave us view from the pool..
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank mariog68
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 September 18, 2013

Dear Mario,

Thank you for acknowledging our friendly Staff. We are proud to hear that you had an excellent time in our Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection.

We greatly appreciate that you have chosen us for your 10th year anniversary destination.

We would love to see you next year.

Enjoy an all-inclusive holiday as a couple with Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts.

Best regards,


Claudia Adames.
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2013

Overall, this was a nice resort. There were a few negative aspects of the resort, which I would have not expected with the high star rating (and have not experienced at other 4/5 star resorts).

As recent reviews have mentioned, the staff were unfortunately not overly friendly. The staff at the pool bars and the towel hut were particularly unfriendly. One man at the pool bar had actually argued with my mother over whether or not he had replaced her towel that day already, even though it was my sister and I who had replaced ours. I had never been to a resort where there were towel replacement restrictions. The drinks were typically very sweet (juice) with a LOT of booze. This was their idea of a 'blended drink'. This being said, the staff at the check-in desk and in most of the restaurants were actually quite friendly.

One of the best aspects of this resort was the food. I have never been to a resort where I enjoyed the food so much. The desserts were absolutely incredible. The a-la-carte restaurants were also quite good. My only complaint about the restaurants is that they close quite early in the afternoon. Several times we had tried to have a late afternoon snack and were unable to because the snack bars were closed.

If you are looking for a small, quiet resort, this is probably not the place for you. The main show and many of the a-la-carte restaurants are located at the other resorts. The beach is beautiful, but is very busy.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank kacey89
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 September 18, 2013

Dear Kacey,

We are glad to know that you enjoy our gastronomic offer. Thank you for taking the time to post a review of your stay in Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection.

We hope to see you again in the near future.

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, all-inclusive hotels in Punta Cana.

Sincerely,


Claudia Adames
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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