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Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #29 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Hampstead, New Hampshire, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“One of the best...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 June 2012

I stayed in the Gran Bahia Principe Esmeralda with my boyfriend June 9-16. This is my first stay at the Esmeralda and my third stay in Punta Cana.

I booked through JetBlue Getaways, which included the flight, hotel and transportation. Two weeks before we arrived I emailed the hotel asking to be in building 90 on the top floor and requested two reservations to the a la carte restaurants. When we arrived at the airport in Punta Cana, we were quickly taken to a van and transported to the Gran Bahia Principe Bavaro (the wrong hotel to be dropped off at). We should have been taken to the Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana, where we could have been picked up and taken to the Esmeralda (there is no direct way to get there via transportation). When we arrived at the Esmeralda, we met with reception for check-in and were quickly given our room keys and any information about the hotel. If you had emailed them prior to your arrival about reservations at any a la carte restaurants, make sure they give you your reservation tickets at check-in.

It is important that you get a map of the Gran Bahia Principe resort complex at it is very large and can be quite confusing (consists of Ambar, Punta Cana, Bavaro, Bavaro Premier and Esmeralda). There are three tram lines: the red line runs from the Esmeralda to Punta Cana Lobby; the green line runs from Bavaro/Punta Cana to the theater area; the blue line runs from the Ambar to the Bavaro Lobby. The trams run about every 10-20 minutes depending on how busy it is. If you don’t want to wait it is only a 10-15 minute walk from one end of the complex to the other. The Esmeralda, itself, is very small and easy to get around.

Our room was in the top floor of building 90, near the pool and closest to the beach (exactly what we wanted!). The room was very nice and clean, with a large bathroom, including a tub/Jacuzzi combo. The rooms were cleaned daily with lots of fresh towels and if you needed anything, you could just ask or leave a note. The room service menu is limited but if you go on a day excursion and miss meals it is nice to have for free. There are four other building 91, 92, 93 and the newer building 94 (construction next to it). All the buildings are not too far from the pool or beach, all within a 1-2 minute walk. I would recommend buildings 90-92, away from the construction noise. I would give the rooms a 4.5 out of 5.

The beach and pool areas in the Esmeralda are nice and clean, for the most part. The beach has the typical white sand and warm aqua water. The beach can become quite busy during the afternoon so I would recommend going there earlier in the day to avoid the craziness. There is a private area on the beach for the Esmeralda guests set back just a tad from the ocean, and there were always empty chairs (even in the afternoon). It is surrounded by many palm trees and plenty of umbrellas. The pool area also has several umbrellas, but there is definitely less shade. To be in shade in the pool area I would recommend getting up and grabbing a spot before breakfast (by 9 a.m.). The pool water is very warm, maybe 85-90 degrees (a little too warm for my liking). There is a bar on the beach and also in the pool. The Jacuzzi is nice and private, and hardly anyone is ever there. I would give the pool/beach areas a 4 out of 5.

As a guest at the Esmeralda you have access to any of the a la carte’s and all of the buffets (except the Ambar’s). The Jazmin Buffet Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food for all meals was quite good, with an abundant selection and plenty of fresh fruit. From late morning into midafternoon the snack bar next to the pool serves a mixture of foods. There are 18 a la carte restaurants, however many are seasonally and were not open. We visited the Bella Italia Restaurant (at the Esmeralda) and the Maiko Japanese Restaurant (at the Bavaro). Both experiences were good and I would recommend either of them. Again, I would email the resort requesting reservations prior to arrival. The waiters at all restaurants are friendly and try their best to get you anything you may need. The bar in the Lobby area was a nice spot to hang out during the evening. I would give the food a 4.5 out of 5.

As for entertainment and activities, the Esmeralda resort is very small and there is not much to do during the evening/night. However, with access to the other resorts you can go to the shows, hang out at the karaoke bar or dance the night away at the disco. If you want a quiet evening, then staying at the Esmeralda gives you that option.

Overall, I give this resort a 4.5 out of 5 and would highly recommend the Esmeralda to anyone!

Room Tip: Rooms on the top floor of buildings 90 or 91, facing the pool.
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Jake802
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, Customer Service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, 7 July 2012
Dear Jake,

Receive cordial greetings from all the team working at Gran Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort, especially from our Quality & Customer Service Department.

We would like to thank you for bringing to our attention the comments about your stay in our Esmeralda Hotel.

It is a pleasure for all of us to hear that we could fulfill your expectations and be assured that it is wonderful to know that you and your boyfriend had everything you needed.

Looking forward to seeing you soon

Regards from Bavaro!!



Looking forward to seeing you soon

Regards from Bavaro!!
Report response as inappropriate
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
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Milton, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 June 2012

Just returned from the Bahia Principe Esmeralda. I absolutely loved it there and wished I could've stayed for another week! Beautiful grounds, amazing food, great drinks, and great rooms! The staff over there were also very friendly and welcoming. I'd previously read some reviews for this resort that suggested the staff were unfriendly and were bothered if you asked them for things. I didn't experience this at all throughout my 7-day stay. They were all polite and most of them always smiled. And before you finish your drink, your glass gets filled up again! All in all, the service in my opinion was top notch and a true reflection of a 5 star experience.

We tried 5 different A La Cartes in total: Don Pablo, Bella Italia, Maiko Japanese, El Olivio, and Garden Grill. On Thursday, we went to the Buffet Seafood Gala night (which you still need to book for in advance like you do for the A La Cartes). My absolute favourite was Maiko Japanese and Garden Grill. I LOVED the steak in Garden Grill. They also had an open buffet for appetizers and desserts. Their ceasar salad sauce is to die for if you ask me! And as for the Maiko Japanese, I was truly surprised by how amazing their Sushi was. As for their appetizers and the main course, it was all extremely delicious as well. We all loved it very much, and the cooking show there is really fun as well. My least favourite restaurant would have to be the Don Pablo. I ordered steak over there but didn't really enjoy it. It just doesn't compare to Garden Grill's steak in my opinion! But we all have different tastes after all and I'm not suggesting it's a horrible restaurant. Some people love it, but just not me! Bella Italia was OK and El Olivio was OK. I guess what I liked most about these 2 were their open buffets (for appetizers and desserts). As for the main course, well I'll put it this way: better than Don Pablo's meal for me! We had breakfast everyday at the main buffet and there's always a wide selection to choose from. The food there is really really good! The Punta Cana buffet is also amazing and bigger than the Esmeralda one. As for lunch, sometimes we would have it in the Esmeralda main buffet and sometimes in the Arrecife (Pool restaurant/snack bar).The Arrecife was very good as well. Overall, experience with food was great. Sucks that I gained some pounds, but it's all very tempting stuff over there! Something for everyone, that's for sure.

The room was very nice, clean, and big. Didn't have a problem with it at all. Bed is nice and comfy. The hotel grounds are well cleaned and fancy looking. I personally love its modern look. At night, Esmeralda has no entertainment in the lobby. If you want entertainment, Punta Cana resort is your place. This is also where the club, casino, and karaoke bar are, as well as the theatre. Shows are fun to watch at the theatre. They have a different show every night.

The beach in the Esmeralda section is 1 of the cleanest. Believe me. I took a long walk along the beach and went to other beach areas of different resorts. Some areas literally had black looking water b/c of all the seeweed covering it. I was shocked at how dirty some areas were. But the Esmeralda section was very nice. Of course, you'll still find occasional seeweed and what not. But it's so much better than other places. The pool is nice and big and not as crowded as the Bavaro pool right next door. So if you want all the party, action and activities, take a walk for a few seconds down to Bavaro pool and voila! I can confidently say you will not get bored because there really is so much to do. I felt like we could've done so much more, and one week just isn't enough to cover it all. So yes, I totally reccommend this hotel to just about anyone who's looking for a great vacation and great variety. Wether you like quietness and relaxation or partying and loud music, you'll find it all if you book in the Esmeralda. Remember, you have access not just to 1 resort, but FOUR. You can do anything in all four resorts, except go to the Ambar buffet. But that's it! So go there and enjoy a piece of paradise!!

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Mira E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, Customer Service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, 7 July 2012
Dear Marmar,

Receive cordial greetings from all the team working at Gran Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort, especially from our Quality & Customer Service Department.

We would like to thank you for bringing to our attention the comments about your stay in our Esmeralda Hotel.

It is a pleasure for all of us to hear that we could fulfill your expectations and be assured that it is wonderful to know that you had everything you needed.

Looking forward to seeing you soon

Regards from Bavaro!!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
76 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 June 2012

Stayed here for a 7 night relaxing break, the resort was clean and well maintained
Food
Jasmine buffet choice was above average, the restaurants bella vista, mikado and olivio were average but i really do recommend don pablo for quality, service and flavour. It was low season so a number of restaurants were closed as well as the pool snack bar. Must book restaurants a few days in advance even in low season)
Rooms
Spacious, clean and fridge restocked daily (we asked for extra large water bottles and we received these everyday), we hard turn down service for few days and then it suddenly stopped but we did not bring it up
Service
This was the aspect most lacking in the resort, from the reception desk (check-in and check-out we had to be at the lobby of another hotel for airport pickup and there was no urgency to locate a porter for us, it took 15mins), guest services (unfriendly and sticklers for not making a same day reservation for restaurants at 3.30 because of a 3pm cut off even though no place was more than 50% full during our stay), lobby waitresses and the people trying to sell the privilege package. The best service was from the waiters in the Jasmine restaurant, they were always welcoming
we liked the quietness of esmeralda but enjoyed the access to the other gran bahia resorts,restaurants and entertainment (although the map of the resorts could be improved, often struggled to locate the restaurants)
The adult pool was a real sanctuary and it was never full at anytime of the day, compared to the beach that was a crowded small section
All round great customer service and wi-fi in rooms would have bumped my review to 5 stars

Room Tip: to be near the adult pool stay in section 93
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank jmepani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 June 2012

My family, consisting of husband , 20 yr old and 11 yr old daughter just returned from a week at the Esmeralda in Bahia Principe. I've been to Punta Cana several times and this has been the best hotel overall. I read some of the negative reviews and I'm honestly doubting these people went to the same hotel. I usually never write reivews but I had to this time. The hotel is beautiful, new and clean. The rooms are huge, clean and very new. These rooms are jr suites with huge bathrooms. One problem I have always encountered when visiting DR is their AC system. I never find that they truly make our rooms cold enough. Well I was very satisfied with the AC in the rooms as well as the AC in all of the restaurants. There is no night life at this particular hotel, but you can easily walk to the other hotels on this property, which are all included, and enjoy a variety of shows, music and shopping. The Esmeralda is the newest hotel on the Bahia Principe property. Their property consists of several hotels, which you can easily access via carts that are constantly passing by. Our nights consisted of dinner, the 9pm show and the 11 pm show. My oldest would then head to the disco which opened until 2 am. The food was very good both at the buffet and the specialty restaurants. The staff was extremely welcoming and helpful. -----------My only dissapointment was the beach...I am a beach lover and this area of the beach is not very good. I'ts a bit dirty and lots of waves :(

The staff is friendly, helpful but they do work very long hours...so PLEASE PEOPLE...tip these folks!! I sit there and watch how very few do tip and it's really upsetting.....We are usually FORCED to tip up to 20% in the US for "whatever" service and we can't tip a couple of dollars here and there while in the DR??????

We all enjoyed it very much and are looking forward to visiting again in the future!!!!

Room Tip: I enjoyed my rooms which was closer to the lobby and pool. This would be in the "90" buil...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Terri0000000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sheffield
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 June 2012

nice clean hotel with large comfy rooms.great location for beach. food in all restaurants is very good.service in restaurants and buffet is very good.
the lobby at night is very quiet and boring. the waitress service in the lobby is terrible they will bring your first drink straight away then spend the rest of the night trying to look busy moving ashtrays and hiding behind the statue.if you do not want to watch a tacky show then you will be in bed for ten o clock

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank sunloverSheffield
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
#25 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#26 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#28 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price range (per night): ₹ 11,950 - ₹ 28,911
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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