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“PERFECT vacation!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection

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Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #31 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“PERFECT vacation!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 15, 2014

This is our second time at a Grand Bahia property (the first was in Mexico) and we absolutely loved it! We had originally booked at the Bavaro, but upon check-in were upgraded to Esmerelda along with the couple we were travelling with - what a pleasant and much appreciated surprise! The rooms are spacious, quiet, clean and well-appointed. Esmerelda is one part of a group of 5 GBP's in the complex and I would have to say it is the best. It almost feels like a secluded resort, but if you want more activities or action you can easily access the other complexes.

I found the food to be incredible and for the first time I went against my own travelling rules and ate the seafood, which usually causes major stomach problems but I did not have an issue at all. Big shout outs to the best waiters - Franklin, Cesar and Keidy who made the trip so much fun and enjoyable. Also, a big thank you to our butler Victor who decorated our room for my partner's birthday complete with a cake, balloons, champagne, bubble bath and roses. The whole crew there is amazing, and although some do not speak English very well, I do not care as we are visitors to their country and made it a point to try to converse in Spanish, which seemed appreciated and made things fun.

The trollies are a great way to get around, although they do not run as often as in Mexico, however, we did not mind as it meant walking around the beautiful resort. Oh, and the beach is amazing! Never had a problem getting chairs, even under an umbrella. A few times the cabanas near the pool were available at all points during the day so I am not sure where people think there are not enough chairs. We NEVER had a problem.

There is no doubt that we will be back, and will stay at the Esmerelda. Would highly recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Jibby K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Viancagraciano, Customer service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, May 16, 2014
Dear Jibby,

We feel proud to hear that you had a perfect vacation at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection. It is good for us to know that you liked the incredible food and the friendly and best waitress you have seen.

We are already waiting for you at Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, all-inclusive hotels for your holidays in the Dominican Republic.

Vianca Graciano
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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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,474)
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atlanta
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 14, 2014

We enjoyed our stay at the Esmeralda! Though it wasn't perfect, the pros definitely outweighed the cons. In general, we enjoyed the shows, the buffet and the ease of mobility around the resort.

Pros:
-Great deal of activities and shows
-Spacious room
-Lovely grounds
-Convenient and easy transportation around the resort
-Excellent Buffets!
-Great pools and beach
-Helpful staff

Cons:
-Mildewy smell in hallway of our building (seeped a bit into our room, but nothing Febreeze couldn't fix)
-A la Carte restaurants were not that great, buffet is actually your best bet
-Watered down drinks

I would definitely return to this resort!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank malgw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Viancagraciano, Customer service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, May 15, 2014
Dear Client,

It is a pleasure for all of us to hear that we could fulfill your expectations during your nice trip. We are glad you find worth to remark the shuttle service, lovely grounds, spacious rooms, excellent buffets and helpful staff.

You are welcome to contact us for a next visit and be able to provide the most unforgettable experiences!!!

Sincerely,

Vianca Graciano
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aurora, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2014

This resort was Fantastic, Rooms were nice and clean, food was good, beaches were beautiful, the Staff was AWESOME. Joangel was our Butler he and his staff met all our needs and some. We will definitely be back. Thanks to everyone there. Angie

Room Tip: I would suggest rooms closer to pools and beach area.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank nelson1986
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Viancagraciano, Customer service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, May 14, 2014
Dear Angie,

We pride ourselves to know you have enjoyed the most memorable experience at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda. We are delighted to know that our amazing staff, especially Joangel contributed in creating that memorable stay. This is what is allowing us to make a difference in each guest experience and motivate us to continue striving towards excellence.

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

Vianca Graciano
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
White Bear Lake, Minnesota
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2014

Spent a wonderful week at this fabulous resort! The grounds are beautiful and constantly being maintained. You also have direct access to the beach and ocean and the beach has lots of palapas and lounge chairs and beverage service so you don't even have to leave your lounge chair unless you want to go directly to a bar yourself.

The villa rooms are spacious and bright. The housekeeping staff did an awesome job keeping the room spotless (it was cleaned and refreshed on a daily basis) The mini bar (a small refrigerator) was stocked on a daily basis with soft drinks and beer. If you want different alcoholic beverages than originally provided just leave a note for your housekeeper. Likewise the toiletries in the bathroom which has a double sink, shower and jacuzzi tub were replenished as needed. (Although not required, because of the great service we received we also left a small tip on a daily basis to show our appreciation.) Rooms on the first, second and third floors all have lovely balconies. None of the villas have elevators so if you have problems with stairs, request a first floor room. Don't worry about getting luggage to your room as the resort has bellmen who will do that for you. They will also get your luggage for you on the day you leave. Just call the bell desk and let them know when to come and get your luggage.

The resort has two pools, two pool bars plus other bars, three whirlpools (not hot tubs), 24-hour room service, three buffets (including a full snack bar buffet) which have an amazing selection of quality food choices and two specialty restaurants - Bella Italia and Takara which serves asian cuisine. The specialty restaurants have an a la carte menu and a specialty buffet. You can select from the menu or the buffet or both. You can also make reservations for the specialty restaurants before your arrival. We submitted our requests a week before we left home by sending an email to customerservicebpbav@bahia-principe.com and asking that our requests be forwarded to the Guest Service Department. Because you are at the Esmeralda, you can also make reservations and dine at the many other specialty restaurants at the other resorts in the BP complex.The other option is to wait and speak with Guest Service upon your arrival.

As just a note, all excursions outside the Esmeralda depart from the BP Punta Cana resort lobby. There are regular "trains" that will take you there in approx. 5 minutes. We went on a Catamanan Tour to Saona Island (an all day excursion) and took a free shopping tour that took us to a variety of places - a shopping center that included a cigar and liquor store and a chocolate factory. All the places we visited had really good prices (much cheaper than the resort stores.) It was great! To book excursions and tours, check with any onsite tour representative and they can help you get tickets. We got our tickets and went on the free shopping tour on the same day.

One more thing, there is no need to be concerned about the staff speaking English. We had no problems communicating with anyone.

All in all, our visit was fabulous and far exceeded our expectations. The staff, service, food, room, grounds, pools and amenities were excellent.We definitely plan on returning and staying at the Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda the next time we go to the Dominican Republic.

Room Tip: Rooms in Villa 94 on the second floor were close to everything. Interior rooms, for example room 118...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Nancy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Viancagraciano, Customer service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, May 14, 2014
Dear Nancy,

It is a pleasure for all of us to hear that we could exceed your expectations during your stay in our Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda. We are proud to hear that in your first time with us you spent a wonderful week.

We will be more than happy to receive you for second time in this your second home Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, your best hotel in Punta Cana.

Regards from Dominican Republic!

Vianca Graciano
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2014

More customer service. I stayed with a wedding party and we all wanted the pool open at night like other resorts, it closed early at 6 pm.

We asked for a bag of dry rice and were refused by multiple staff (we dropped our camera in water )

The drinks were watered down and when asked for stronger it wasn't

Towels were only replenished once a day
Minibar only had mickys and a few beer replenished once a day

We were with a wedding party and only some of us got gold bracelets and few of us could ever eat together as a party (wedding, rehearsal dinner was it) we had to eat as couples.

We were supposed to have the bride and groom and their parents rooms for late check out and they moved us to another building the day we were leaving taking up most of our day with waiting for them to decide, and love us all.. It had no air conditioning and two towels for 28 people to shower before leaving the resort at 655 pm

They were not very accommodating for reservations, and most of the resturants were empty or half empty.

Reef is too far away to swim and excursions are expensive.. You are told you get more then you do.

Rooms are nice, some close to pool, none are very good views of pool/beach

Pools close very early and your not allowed to swim in the ocean after either so if you like to swim I wouldn't recommend this resort.


The local merchants are very aggressive and make shopping not very enjoyable, gift shops were expensive. They love to make deals ( still not great prices)

The overall was ok. I've been to other resorts I enjoyed much more. We found it very expensive with tips/vacation package/ gifts etc and the service was just ok. They didn't speak English very well at all.
Food was ok. Better in the resturants. If you do go try to reserve your resturants the day you arrive for the entire week.

Other then that I wouldn't go to Catalina island, it's basically a day trip to get there 40min snorkel, BBQ that's not refilled and the liquor we had was gone quickly (rum and coke and beer)
Beautiful island, bumpy boat ride, met some great people,
But overall very expensive for what we were told would be all day snorkelling at a reef.



I would suggest this resort to people who like the beach and reserving resturants and that are happy to just do a few activities on the beach/by poolside before 6 pm.

I wouldn't recommend it to people who are used to resorts that are more inclusive like couples/sandals. That like to do more activities all day/night or that enjoy to be in the pool all night or even after a late dinner.
Staff were mostly, friendly but not overly accommodating. Bring lots of money if you want excellent service.


We had a good time but it could have been more organized by staff.

Cheers!

  • Stayed May 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Lovetravel8413
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
socialmedia b, Director Comercial at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, May 14, 2014
Dear client,

We thank you for taking the time of sharing your opinion with others on TripAdvisor which we will take in the highest consideration. It is through communications of this nature that our customers give us an opportunity to assess and evaluate our performance. We regret not having been able to achieve our main objective with you, which is our guests´ entire satisfaction.

Thank you for your comments and we would like to have another opportunity with you in any of our Resorts.

Kindest regards,

Vianca Graciano
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 12, 2014

The Grand Bahia is a beautiful resort with access to multiple pools and a great beach. If you enjoy just swimming and lounging, this is the place to go. If you have children and like to keep busy, you may want to reconsider.

The kids club was very disappointing. The staff do not interact with the children. I saw them either just sitting around, having conversations among themselves, or texting on their iphones. We took our 7 year old and our friends brought their 8 year old on two separate occasions. The kids liked the water park but when the activity was video games, the controllers were all broken and no alternative was planned. After that, they had zero interest in returning.

They also have a teen club and our 12 year old tried on two occasions to go but found it boring with very few kids attending. This was disappointing for us since we have gone to other resorts and on cruises with kids clubs where the kids made many friends and became quite attached to the staff.

We were also disappointed by the water sports. The resorts says you can take out equipment like the windsurfers one hours per day for free. What they fail to mention is that they insist you take a lesson at the cost of $35.00. I understand that they want to ensure the safety of guests and their equipment, but I've been to other resorts where there was no fee for the instructions. We were allowed to take out the kayaks without the lesson, but apparently they were all broken.

There is also an aerial park on the resort-but guess what- it's broken, too.

There were some positives. The rooms are very nice and the complimentary minibar is a very nice feature.

My husband celebrated his birthday while we were there and they decorated the room and gave him a gift. Very nice touches. We also ordered a birthday cake for dinner and it was the best cake I have ever had.

We stayed at the Esmeralda so we were very close to the beach and had lots of fun swimming in the ocean, or at the pool which was never crowded.

People staying at the Esmeralda can e-mail reservations one week in advance for the à la carte restaurants (rrppbpesm@bahia-principe.com) and we did just that. By far Bella Italia offered the best service and food.

We also enjoyed the shows. The Michael Jackson show was great.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Erica257
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Viancagraciano, Customer service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, May 16, 2014
Dear Erica,

We would like to extend our most sincere apologies because you were disappointing with our kids club, please be assured that your comments have been transfer to the General Management to analyze the points you mentioned. We regret very much that we were not able to fulfill your expectations this time.

At the same time we feel good to know that your husband enjoyed his birthday and also the best cake have received.

Best Regards,

Vianca Graciano
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brampton, Canada
Level Contributor
237 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 12, 2014 via mobile

This is my first visit to this resort. So far, my wife and I are enjoying it (this is day 3).

I do have some suggestions though:

1) at the airport, figuring out where to go for transportation to the hotel was difficult, as there was no one around (from Air Transat or the hotel) to direct us to the correct bus. Had it not been for two fellow travellers who had been here before, it would have taken much longer to sort things out I am sure. A tad more organization would be an idea.
2) arrival at the hotel was quite disorganized also. We had to disembark from the bus and transfer to trams to take us to the section of the resort we are staying in. There was an excessive amount of waiting involved in this exercise.
3) once at the Esmerelda section, thing got a lot smoother. Check in was quite a bit better organized and the staff was very friendly and helpful. The porter was excellent.
4) financial: as with many countries, here things run typically in American dollars. This is not an issue, nor was it unexpected. What is irritating is that the ATM's around the site dispense Dominican Pesos with NO option for receiving US currency. Acquiring US dollars requires a trip OFF RESORT. You can either buy pesos from the machine and then go to town to exchange them (and paying TWO fees to do so) or just go to town directly and try and find a bank open. Either way, this is a MAJOR inconvenience and not exactly a selling feature for the resort.
5) Food: generally speaking, the food is "okay" but not quite what I expected, given the reviews I have read before coming. I am not a picky eater and expect to experience a different dining experience when abroad, but I did expect better. The predictions regarding reservations mentioned in reviews here are true. Don't wait very long after arriving to book or you will be disappointed (not kidding as I tried booking on Saturday and EVERYTHING was booked up to beyond our return date).
5) the room is lovely. They restock the mini bar daily with a fixed number of sodas, mini bottles and a couple of beers. This in included, there is no "mini bar charge" as is typical with many other places I have stayed. The rooms are cleaned thoroughly daily.

All and all, so far, we are enjoying ourselves so far, aside from the aforementioned "hiccups". Notwithstanding the above, I am giving this resort a very good. Fixing the above would net an excellent.

Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank cdnviking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
socialmedia b, Customer service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, May 13, 2014
Dear Guest,

We greatly appreciate that you have chosen Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda as your holiday destination. It is a real pleasure to read that you are enjoying a nice time with your wife in your first visit to our Resort.

We wish to continue providing the best of our personnel hospitality, the quality of our services and facilities, and continue offering you an unforgettable experience at Dominican Republic.

Best regards,

Vianca Graciano
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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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
#26 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#27 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#30 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 (additional 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 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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