We are a family of 4 with 2 children, 18 and 21. This was a perfect resort for our family as well as family reunion when the rest of our extended family joined us there, ages 5 to 85. The rooms were quite spacious, nicely decorated and clean. The restaurants offer a nice variety of foods, and are generous with the beverage offerings. Beware of the vendors walking around the resort selling various day trips. We purchased the dolphin experience for $195 and when our daughter arrived at the attraction and waited for an hour, she was told her voucher was not valid, they were fully booked. By the time she returned back to the resort, most of the day had been wasted. After reporting this to the resort and vendor management- the vendor did refund our money and paid for us to go with another company. We booked another trip for the next day with Dolphin Explorer through Cheap Caribbean and it was a much better experience.
All of the Esmeralda employees were very polite, cheerful and attentive. Do make sure you bring plenty of $1s, $5s and $10s to tip. We usually tip for a job well done after the fact but it appears in the Dominican, you need to tip up front to ensure first class service. And you do not necessarily have to tip but it does help and in our case, we were so pleased with the service that we were happy to do so.
If you prefer finer dining- make sure you email the resort 2 weeks ahead of your trip and request a reservation at Don Pablos (adults only) Portifino (adults only) Takara and Bella Italia. We were able to eat at all the places we wanted to but there was some effort to accomplish that. All in all, the food was best at Don Pablos and very good at all the other restaurants.
We spent a lot of our time at the ocean. The current is strong but we swam every day. We also utilized the sailing and kayaks. Make sure you reserve them early enough in the day. Beach vollyball and dancing on the beach were also big hits with our kids.
All in all, it was a wonderful vacation. The only reason I would not rate this resort a 5 star would be the challenge to get clean towels daily (sometimes we received 2, sometimes 4- never wash clothes although requested, and hand towels sometimes). They also say they refresh your fridge daily and ours was only done correctly 2 out of the 7 days we were there. The maid service was not consistent but we managed fine. Would definitely go back!
- 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