I stayed at the Esmeralda between Dec 1 - Dec 8. This hotel is absolutely incredible. One of my favorites (and I've been to a lot). The reason why we booked the Esmeralda section is because we wanted to be close to the beach. This resort is so huge that to get around, they offer trolley service. We walked from the Esmeralda section to the Punta Cana section in just under 12 minutes so it's not totally difficult to get around but if you have mobility issues, definitely take advantage of the trolleys.
The staff at this resort is incredible. While a bit frustrating at times trying to communicate in English (I don't speak Spanish), these people go out of there way to accomodate you. We were travelling with a one year baby and at all the restaurants the staff went out of their way to get a high chair, hot water, soap to wash her bottles, etc… I would give the staff ten out of ten for exceptional service.
The beach is nice (I've been to nicer). The water is a beautiful color, almost from a magazine but there is a lot of seaweed and the waves are quite rough at times and there is an under current. So for non swimmers (like myself), I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I would however go into the water every day to about my waist but that's about it. I wasn't taking any chances.
This resort has so many pools. Big ones, smaller ones, some with Jacuzzis, you name it this resort has it. We stayed at the Esmeralda pool most of the time because it was a bit quieter than the others. The pool area and the pool itself is very clean and there were no issues with any of it. The drinks at the swim up bar were hit and miss. Sometimes good, sometimes not good.
We ate at the Jasmine Buffet from breakfast and most lunches. The food is quite good for Punta Cana and there are a lot of variety each day. I found it a bit strange though that they only open for lunch at 1pm but we made do and spent the time at the pool while waiting to eat.
We also ate at the snack bar near the beach a few times for lunch and that was also quite good.
Because we were travelling with a one year old, we were not granted access to the Ambar restaurants but that didn't bother us, since there were plenty others to choose from for dinner. We pre-booked our a la cartes ahead of the trip and we were not disappointed as the hotel had our reservations ready for us. The first night we ate at Le Gourmet. The food was pretty good and worth trying to find the restaurant. We asked about 30 people where it was located and got a different answer from each person we asked. LOL. The second night we ate at one of the three Japanese restaurants at the resort. This one was called Maiko. We did the teppanaki style dining and were not disappointed. One Tuesday nights at each of the buffet restaurants its what's called the GALA night where they serve lobster and seafood. Make sure you don't book an a la carte that night because the seafood was amazing and in abundance. Another night we ate at the Garden Grill which was lovely and also El Pescador (Mediterranean Cuisine on the Punta Cana side by the beach). Our last night we ate at the Santa Fe, which we were disappointed because none of us really like Mexican food so I'm not sure why we ended up there LOL
On the Esmeralda side the rooms are very spacious. House cleaning was done once a day and at night we were provided with new towels, etc… I have one MAJOR beef with the beds. They are as hard as a rock and the pillows are awful. I am not a complainer and when I read others taking about this I didn't believe them. I had neck and back pains for the first few nights until I guess I got used to sleeping on the hard mattress and so did the others in our group of 6. I hope the resort listens to what people have to say about.
I found the airport prices ok. Since we didn't leave the resort, this is where I did my shopping. There are a lot of fast food places there too for example: Wendy's, Baskin Robbins, Cinnabon, Sabarro, etc…
All in all we had a great time, fantastic weather and a great resort.
- 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