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Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #29 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Newton, Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Good Vacation”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2012

Me and my husband traveled to the DR Monday, May 28th - June 1st for a 5 year anniversary trip. The resort did not disappoint for the most part.

The resort is very large and actually contains several other properties (the Punta Cana, Bavaro, Ambar) besides the Esmerelda, where we stayed. The rooms were pretty clean though not decorated in my taste. The shower door was a little ajar and wouldn't shut all the way. Also, there was a lot of dirt in the tile grout lines, which was a little off putting. The resort grounds were beautiful and well maintained. We stayed in building 90, and there was definitely a musty odor in the corridors of the building, but not the actual rooms.

The pool and swim up bar are very large and also clean. The bartenders were very friendly and made very good drinks. As with most all inclusives, if you want the top shelf liquour, ask for it, because although they display it on the bar, they will put the cheap stuff in your drink unless you say "smirnoff& OJ". The beach was terrific. We have stayed at Sandals Grande Ocho Rios & Royal Playa del Carmen (Mexico) and of the three, this resort had the most wonderful beach. We played beach volleyball and enjoyed laying out by the ocean. Plenty of nice lounge chairs, not too crowded. Loved the beach!

Restaraunts -- Food was as good at this resort as anywhere. I have traveled throughout the Carribbean and never been sick from resort food, but always pack Immodium just in case. Happy to say we didn't need it. Garden Grill was great, Jazmin buffet was where we ate breakfast. I really enjoyed Le Gourmet too, make sure you get the banans foster if you go there!

The gym was disappointing. I am an active girl, so I opted for beach runs and tennis to stay fit during our stay. I am a rather spoiled gym goer, so maybe my standards are too high, but the "gym" was a small 20x20 room with a 1992 TV set, 2 treadmills and some free weights. Most people don't care about going to the gym on vacay, so I know I am in the minority, but this was a disappointment for me.

WARNING - avoid Pueblo Principe, the "shopping area" of the resort. Unless you want hasseled for a dollar to buy complete junk, don't even bother. Typical tourist trap where you are pressured into buying jewelry, souveniers, etc from the locals. Touted as a "safe" way to experience true DR shopping for arts,crafts etc, since it is within the resort confines and not in a village somewhere, but not enjoyable. If you need to walk around their during the shopping hours, just ignore ignore ignore the people asking you to stop and look around.

Lobby bars were very clean, open air, great drinks. All in all, we had a good time. We don't make a habit of staying at the same place twice in the Carribbean, what with all the AI's to choose from, but I would recommend the Esmerelda to anyone that wants a quality AI on a budget.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Vic O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6,205 reviews from our community

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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
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 June 2012

Sorry for my late review!! My Family had a great time at Bahia Principe Esmeralda, Punta Cana. The food was excellent, our suite was spacious and clean, the beach was refreshing and the staff were the best, VERY WARM AND FRIENDLY!! Pls note: General Manager never speaks to the guests, he is definately in the wrong business!!
Hats off to the Staff!! See you soon.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank south012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
illinois
Level Contributor
37 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 May 2012

We just returned from celebrating our anniversary in the GBP Esmeralda, from May 19 to May 26, and we had a wonderful time. I would first like to thank Brooklin and the other experts on this forum for their very helpful advice and information. As suggested, we emailed our room requests (five rooms as close together as possible, etc.) ten days prior to our arrival and we received all five rooms clustered together on the third floor of the beach end of Building 90 (the best seats in the house). We also emailed our ala carte requests for ten of us to dine together and we received all of the dates and times requested. I just emailed our appreciation for both the rooms and the restaurant reservations to the appropriate staff at the Esmeralda and received kind responses from each.

While most of the recent reviews have been very positive, I had been slightly concerned about some of the previous comments. First, we found the staff to be extremely gracious and helpful, with no indications of poor or less-than-average service. All of our rooms were made up before noon each day, each had fresh towels and turn down service each evening, and each of the mini-bars were restocked daily. The wait staff in all of the restaurants, buffett and ala carte, provided very attentive service and many recognized us by name from the first day on. But, I think that friendly is as friendly does in that a greeting from us always brought a friendly response from the staff members.

Second, the guest rooms, the lobby, the bars, restaurants and all of the public spaces were spotless, with no indications of deferred maintenance (a term that we appraisers use) obvious anywhere. The pools were crystal clear at all times and provided an excellent place to spend the day or to gather for happy hour after a day at the beach. And I have read some complaints that the private Esmeralda beach was not directly on the ocean. Like some of the other members of our family group, walking the extra 15 or 20 steps to the water's edge was not nearly enough exercise to compensate for all of the food (and drink) that we had been consuming on a day to day basis.

Third, we found no evidence of bugs in or around the complex, nor did we notice ANY unpleasant odors or mildew smells. We have stayed at a number of other AI properties in the DR and elsewhere and this is the first time that we didn't use the room fresheners we brought with us.

Fourth, the food in all of the facilities was at a par with, or better than, any other AI resort we have visited. Of course, it is not at a par with some of the higher end restaurants in the US or Europe, but for properties turning out that amount of food, we were not disappointed. Nor were we paying the kind of prices that these other food outlets required.

Fifth, the staff speaks Spanish so adapt. Alternatively, download one of the translation apps to your i-phone and try to function.

It has been noted in the past that almost all of my reviews are four or five stars. Well, we try to pick places, with the help of our friends here on TripAdvisor, that will likely result in positive reactions. In addition, we try to have a positive attitude and have always found reciprocation.

I don't really have any negative factors to report, but there are a couple of less positive reactions. One is that the wifi is not available in all rooms. We were able to access it from our balcony overlooking the main pool, but the service in the lobby appeared to be somewhat faster. Second, while the third floor rooms were very quiet and well located, an elevator would have been welcome for my almost 70 year old legs. However, we were aware of both of these factors before we chose the GBPE, so we have no complaints.

Finally, a couple of hints. As has been suggested on this forum over and over again, email the resort in advance with room and restaurant requests. Second, the bellman can be your best friend. A simple request to the bellman can take you directly from the Esmeralda to the Ambar by cart without having to use the tram, although the trams are certainly convenient. Third, always tip the maid and the wait staff. They work very hard and are certainly worth a few dollars. This applies to the waiters in the dining and bar areas. And fourth, bubba mugs are the greatest invention since sliced bread.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled 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?
14 Thank Michael C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 May 2012

My wife and I stayed at the Ambar (Adult only, same resort and excellent) the same time last year and we joined the Bahia Principe Privilege Club (BPPC) and this was our 1st trip going it alone, we have always used a Tour operator prior to this. With a couple of emails and on-line flight to Punta Cana the holiday was booked. I am disabled with walking disabilities but not wheel chair bound and have other medical problems.

We arrived at Punta Cana at 4.30pm, after a 9hr flight, and we were immediately greeted by Victoria from the BPPC. During the private journey to the resort we were told all the details required about the hotel and concierge service. No need to check in so straight to our room which was just perfect, so bright and airy compared to the darker style of the Ambar.

What can I say? our 2 weeks were fantastic. We ate in every resturant and found the food and service to be excellent in all aspects. With the BPPC you have full use of a private buggy service which was perfect for me and my medical problems and the size of the resort is huge. All our reservations were made by BPPC staff ( we had 7 days of reservations pre planned by staff on arrival) all over the resort and if not for the buggy I could not have gone to a lot of them.

Our room was spotless every day and decorated with balloons (wife's birthday) and returning to our room one night found flower petals from doorway into bathroom and a bubble filled spa bath, and to top it off a bottle of champaign on Ice. So romantic even for a couple who have been married for 39 years.

Would I recommend the hotel ........... yes, and I will be returning in May 2014 with my son and daughter and partners, off to Cayo Levantardo next year and already booked.

All the staff were excellent and could not do enough for us, how they remain smiling for 14hrs day in day out baffles me.

A massive thank you to Isadora and all her staff (especially Victoria/Lisa/Jean) at the BPPC who made our holiday special.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled 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 Derek P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 May 2012

This was the 2nd time I stayed a Bahia resort and it was a great vacation! I usually have a difficult time finding food I enjoy while away and this resort blew me away with selection and quality of food! I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of my vacation at this resort and will definitely return. I would recommend this resort to anyone traveling to Punta Cana.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled 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?
4 Thank Kris_LaLa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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
#24 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#26 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#28 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price range (per night): ₹ 14,611 - ₹ 38,916
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 (additional charge) Children Bahia Scouts The hotel is perfect for families, offering a range of facilities tailored especially for children, including the following: Mini Club for children aged 4 to 12 (at the Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana) Evening Mini Disco Babysitting service (additional charge) Bahia Scouts Water park Fun Area and Adventure Park (additional charge) Teen's club (11 - 16 years) 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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