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Reviewed 8 April 2010

I had really mixed feelings about this resort. First off , we had an upgrade to the Esmeralda...from the Punta Cana ..very nice. Check in was very pleasant, everyone who greeted us was very nice. The lobby is pleasant. The room assigned was one of 4 buildings in the Esmeralda complex. We had a third floor room in building 92 and faced the constuction with a nice small view of the ocean from the balcony. The room was lovely ( if not plain) and the bed ( king) was comfy, the bathroom spacious ( separate showere and small tub) Ok, I don't spend a lot of time in the room, but from morning til night u could not enjoy a coffee in the morning, or a pre dinner drink on the balcony unless you wanted to listen to beep, beep, beep of the construction machinery.... I like sitting on the balcony before dinner... not possible. Could not use the adult pool as it was right in the construction zone. Houskeeping was ok, some days no facecloths ( i brought my own) , some days beautiful display on bed, our balcony door never did lock but we did not fuss as we were on third floor. We had a room with a connecting door and for 3 days at 7 am we listened to a screaming kid.....parents yelling at the kid and thankfully by 8 they left. The buffet at Esemeralda... very nice... never a problem. Lots of choice, not very busy and good service. Booking desk for dinner reservations...very good, very pleasant and tryed to accomodate requests. We were not very demanding and just sought out a spot for a few dinners at the speciality places at a late dinner time. Was not a problem for us. Ate at the Mediterraen and the French. Both very nice, but plates that arrived were not as ordered. No big deal. I travel a lot and I am not fussy, but I could not drink the red house wine. For first time ever on A1, I actually ordered wine and paid for it.. And the drinks, really poor, without exception. While Baileys. Jim Beam , premium vodka etc. was included in our package, 9 times out of 10 the response when we asked was , we are out. The bar tenders would make a point of opening the bottle , pouring it to show it was empty. Simply not nice. I did not have many drinks as I could not tolerate the taste of the local stuff. I ended up drinking cava ( sparkling wine) which was drinkable and I could see them pour it from the bottle or a cold beer. None of the bar tenders at any bar were memorable ( that was disappointing as Iusually like to chat with them. ) except at the lobby bar. Very nice fellow there, but he left after a few days. Met some very nice people. Many from Quebec, a few places from other provinces in Canada, some from USA , Europe and a large contingent that week from Cuba. The beach was outstanding. That is why I returned to Punta Cana. Swam everyday, always found a spot under a palapa or tree no matter the time of day ( contrary to all the reports on this site), met many nice people who actually said they were leaving, did we want the palapa. Walked for miles on the beach. Unfortunaltely both my travelling partner and I were sick on day 3 . Can happen anywhere despite precautions , usual tourista stuff, we had a supply of meds, .but we mostly settled on soup, rice and bread for day 4 through 7 . Not entirely pleasant but we made the best of it. . Would I go back...not likely, would I recommend it.... price was excellent, beach lovely, service sporadic but ok, rooms nice.... company fab! But , Next trip.. back to Mexico. Punta Cana just is not for me after 2 visits.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with friends
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1  Thank MySunFun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2010

I got married at this resort on March 29th 2010. Let me say that the wedding coordinator was absolutley wonderful and the wedding was very organized and beautiful. However, because they have added so many hotels to their property, the beach front they have is very packed and crowded. We got married on the beach and it was hard to get pictures without having fat men in speedos in our pictures. People actually video taped my wedding and snapped pictures and hollared out to me congradulating me as I walked down the aisle. Very unclassy. Like I wanted to be speaking to strangers as I was walking to greet my future husband. How annoying. They had only abit of the area marked off for us. Not near enough. Strangers were actually only feet away from us literally. I do not recommend a beach wedding at this resort for that reason only. However the wedding minus that was wonderful. But we bought the remember package and paid extra money to have a private reception etc... and everything was great until we got back to our room. Our room every day was never made up until after 4 or 5 in the afternoon and the wedding day hey actually forgot to do our room. So on our wedding night we had no towels or face cloths. We called down to the reception and they said we would have to wait til morning. We were supposed to have our room made up special because of the wedding night, with champagne, we were supposed to get breakfast in bed th next morning, none of this happened. We went with all my family and they had baths drawn for them, towel art, flowers..we got nothing, some days they even forgot to do ourroom. I didn't bother to complain much because I am not like that I just don't go back. Too many places to go and explore before I would go back to a 5 star that looked after a wedding couple like that. The resort itsself was very clean and beautiful. It was march break but the esmeralda section was nice and quiet. They have no pool or beach service, so their is no waiters getting you drinks, but the bar was close by. There was also no food allowed allowed by the pools. Most resorts we have been to will bring you nachos or fruit byt he beach this place offered nothing. Food was average. We have been to sandals whitehouse and the paradisus in punta cana and would recommend sandals whitehouse for a romantic vacation for two, or the paridisus punta cana in the reserve section or royal service section over this place in a heartbeat. But if you are on a budget you wont be disapointed in this resort, lots for the kids to do a great family spot but dont recommend for a romatic couples getaway, no pamering here. But staff were all friendly, always smiling even at the people that were complaining. The spa was amazing at the Ambar. Best massage I have ever had.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with family
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Thank travelgirl10057
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2010

Wow, Where to begin? Everything here is extraordinary. Great staff, friendly and always laughing! Really great food with lots of variety.Very clean, Meticullously so. Pool is great, beach is beautiful.Not too big, trolly and the drivers will answer any questions, and run very frequently. Only negative would be that the drinks are of the sweetened, mixed stuff, not real juice.At the restaurants, the juice is of good quality, but the bars have the fake stuff. Overall, its a good family resort, especially this section, which is only 4 months old. You'll love it!!
Entertainment is good as well.Saw Michael Jackson show, great!

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with family
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Thank kmerrimen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2010

This is my third year in a row travelling with my husband and 2 daughters to the Bahia Principe, and this year was our first stay at the Esmeralda. First of all, it was the most enjoyable vacation of all the three years. The Esmeralda staff treats you like family, and they go out of your way to make your vacation wonderful. There was no language barrier to overcome, as I could understand them perfectly, and I thought they spoke English very well. The buffet restaurant, Jazmin was great. Linny would greet you with her beautiful cheery self each morning and if you asked her how she was she would always answer , quite enthusiastically, “super super super.” All of the staff, and Santos in particular, worked very hard to make sure we were all happy, and they were always so polite and courteous. Gala night on Thursday was fabulous. They served lobster, crab leg , turkey and beef and their filet mignon was the best. I found the beds comfortable. Some days room service was better than others. Usually, our mini fridge was filled with a bag of chips, various alcoholic beverages, soda, and water. One day, however, our mini fridge wasn't restocked, and neither was the water or coffee. The next morning I told our male housekeeper about the issue, and there was an improvement. Even though this happened, it was a very minor issue and it paled in comparison to the great service we received during our stay. I certainly hope to return again and bravo to this resort.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with family
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Thank springrusher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2010

The hotel and grounds were beautiful. The check in was horrible. We were a group of 14 and requested rooms be near each other. Called to confirm this a few days before departure and were told it was done. We were all seperated in different bldgs. The two Carlos" at the front desk were extremely rude and did not want to listen to a word we said. We spoke to the General manager and he changed one of the rooms to be closer. There was also a major communication problem. The majority of the staff spoke no english but the ones who did were friendly. The Garden grill and Japenese restaurants were excellent and all of staff were friendly and accomodating. Spa was excellent and well worth the money. Ordered room service and they spoke no english so order was mixed up. We found communication problem to be the major complaint amoung most of the guests we met. If you plan on going to the beach you need to get up at 5 am to reserve a spot under the huts. Beds were uncomfortable. If you speak spanish I would most definately recommend. Most of shows in the evening were all in spanish.

  • Stayed: March 2010
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1  Thank katt1162
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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