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“I miss it already!”

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Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #50 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“I miss it already!”
Reviewed 2 April 2012

We stayed at the Ambar from Mar 24-31st. From the moment we arrived until the moment we departed we had a fantastic time! I loved that everything in the Ambar section was no more than a short walk away, and being so small it was reasonably quiet and peaceful, while allowing us the flexibilty to go to party at the common areas like the Disco, Theatre, and especially the (Piano? I saw no piano...) Sports/Karaoke Bar.
We did a la cartes almost every night, and if food is important to your vacation, it is definitely the way to go. We dined mostly in the Ambar and Esmerelda outlets and I think that is the way to go. Our only "outside" experience was at El Pescador, which was extremely disappointing.
Don Pablo was the best, but we did El Olivo, Bella Italia, and Arrecifa which were all good as well. We did the Thursday "seafood" buffet at the Ambar, but it didn't quite live up to the hype that other TA reviews have given it.
During the day we spilt time between the beach and pool when we weren't on excursions, and they were both really nice. The only complaint is the "towel game" which is a little ridiculous.
In the evenings we starting doing pre/post dinner cocktails at the Ambar lobby lounge, but we soon found ourselves spending each evening at the Esmerelda lobby bar. The atmosphere was much happier and festive over there, and the entertainment was more interactive. The servers actually looked like they were enjoying themselves(!), unlke the Ambar where the servers were very clearly punching the clock.
Other likes were 24 hour room service and that the trolleys moved your around the complex pretty efficiently.
The mild dislikes were that the front desk never seemed to have change, which unfortunately meant that some of their staff got less tips than they might have, and the hyper aggressive vendors in the square. The timeshare folks were an annoyance, but not too much of one as I had been forwarned here.
Outside of the resort together we did zip lining, a night at the Hard Rock casino, and Imagine Night Club. I recommend them all. I golfed at the local course which was convenient, and a great place to golf. One of the girls in our group did the shark/stingray adventure and loved that as well.
Overall a great vacation!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank AP_in_Toronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Halifax, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2012

Hi there
We just returned on Thursday from a great week in Punta Cana. We left on the 21st for our week. Wow..so much to tell you, so I will start at the beginning:
- Our flight was delayed by a few hours , nothing serious. We landed in Punta Cana and took the bus to our resort. On the bus were people going to the Ambar, Esmerelda and people that had taken the upgrade. Bus drive was about 25 minutes and smooth. Only issue I had was that the tour guide on the bus spoke directly to the other two groups and ignored our group for the Amber. He did tell us when we stopped where to go but no chitchat at all. Felt a little ignored. We were told to go to the buffet and get something to eat because it closed at 3 and this was 2:30 and then to go to another room to register
- We went to a room in the lobby and it was there that we were greated with a delicious welcome drink and an envelope with our keys, a map of the resort and some info on excursions. That was our checkin..quick and painless..we didnt even have to go to the front desk!
- Rooms : Clean, Neat and Gorgeous! We were in section 68 , middle floor. This is close to the pool and the beach. Perfect place to be.
- Maid service: Excellant but sometimes a little too frequent. They probably visited your room 4-5 times a day. In the morning to clean, then to fill up pop and chips in mini fridge, then clean towels and then at night turn down service on your bed. The same person fills your mini fridge that does the rest of the room so you need only leave a tip on the bed for everything.
-Lobbies: Ambar- quiet and sometimes a bit boring
Esmeralda- a little more lively
-Entertainment- Very good- Michael Jackson - better show than I had seen in the past here although I am not one for the shows
- Pools: Ambar -quiet and Esmeralda lively . Clean, clean but you need to play the towel game everyday. There was 2 chairs that had the same head rest on it for three days which is very annoying. I think people get up early..save a chair at the pool..then go to the beach.. very very greedy.
- Beach: Beautiful . Only 1 day a bit of seaweed but certainly tolerable. Further down the beach towards the Esmeralda section the water was full of it. A few of us got bitten badly from sand fleas. Educate yourself on them before you go. We layed out in the rain and dampness and this is what they like. Early mornings, evenings and rain. We will know better next time.
- Weather: Rained our first day and our last. Torential rain but we went in it anyway!
-Restaurants:Try and prebook from home before you go
: Ambar buffet- excellant- if you cant find something here, you are too damn fussy! This is the best buffet. Go to the omelet guy at the far end ,he is always singing!
: Buffet by pool (Ambar) is reallly good as well
: Don Pablo- excellant. I was a little iffy on the soup appetizers (soup) but the main cource was amazing and dessert..to die for ( get the strawberry & chocolate lava cake)
: Steak house in the Esmeralda section good as well as the Japenese ( show was not as good as other years but food still good) We also went to the Barbeque Restaurant but it was a late reservation and it was slim pickings
Excursions: Zip Lining- husban said it was well worth the money and we all went on the catamaran that took you snorkeling and then thai food on the beach...well worth the money

Overall this resort is great but it is HUGE. We normally like large resorts but for us it was a little too large. Ambar section is definately the quiet area as there are no kids which if quiet is what you want definately stay here. The grounds are beautiful and the Employees are very friendly. They work sooo hard and such crazy long hours. I can definately tell you that their work ethics out shine ours!

Room Tip: Rooms 68 series are great because they are close to the pool and beach. Doors slam hard so dont be a...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
7 Thank keasterp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bathurst, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2012

We were at the Ambar March 14 to March 28th 2012. It was our 40th wedding anniversary and we have no complaints at all. From the room , the food, the service, the staff everything was above our expectations . We plan on returning next March for the fourth time. The Ambar is our little bit of Heaven.

Room Tip: Any building close to pool, example building 67 ,68, 69
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Gordon R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2012

The Ambar should be rated as a 3 star, not a 5 star.

Service: Not up to North American standards, nor is it anything close to 5 star. No one smiles and the smallest request was a challenge, though it soon became apparent that the proffer of cash at every transaction would assure speed and attention. This was most obvious one evening when at the meat grilling section of the buffet I noticed some tempting rib-eye steaks on the grill. These were given to their intended guests and I watched as the request exchange of cash took place. I was next, and when I asked for the same I was directed to a tray of overcooked, wafer thin selections.

Food: Just OK. Getting someone’s attention for water or service once seated in was hit or miss. Service was slow and sometimes rude. Once again cash before service seemed to work for many, though I prefer the traditional tip as a reward, not an inducement. I was disappointed to not see any grilled fish everyday. The best fish was the day they served salmon on the BBQ at the buffet, around the pool.
Don Pablo was the best “A La Carte”| Restaurant, though the attempt at “fine dining” was actually comical in a SNL skit type of way. One evening we wanted to try the Japanese restaurant in the 5 star resort, however guest services made an error in my reservation & we were booked at the Japanese restaurant in the 3 star family resort, and one without the requisite grill table experience.

Ocean front: This is where one senses the volume over value approach this island as a whole has chosen. Nowhere is this more apparent than the beach with its wall to wall chairs, and rush hour traffic of people who seemingly lose all sense of dimension and modesty when choosing bathing suits. I do highly recommend rising early experiencing a most bizarre ritual – the march of the blue towels. As the sun begins to peaks over the horizon, guests armed with masses of towels walk briskly towards the beach and pool, careful not to overtake those in front, but obviously plotting the best approach to the multiple nesting sites they intend to reserve. The beach section simply calls for placing a towel to lay claim, but the pool requires that you are physically present prior to 8AM, after which your unmarked towel will hold your spot for the duration. So the attack plan calls for a dash to the beach chairs where the hunters fain disinterest and a stroll while actively hunting the best site. Then up to the pool where you nonchalantly sit and read a book as if a 7AM read by the pool is something you always do.

Rooms: The rooms were clean though starting to show some wear and tear. Towels were old and hard, somewhere around 120-grit if I had to guess. Sheets were old and not crisp. Pillows were lumpy, flat and old. Requesting a pillow was a challenge each day even though they had a selection of pillows listed in their guest book from feather to scented pillows. Pls. note…you have to request your pillow on a daily basis and the availability and delivery to your room is challenging. It took 6 calls to receive my feather pillow the first night, and then the next morning the cleaning lady took it away, thus assuring another fun evening of chasing down the illusive feather pillow. The trick we learned is to hide the pillows in the drawers or behind luggage before you leave for the day. The sliding balcony door did not lock, and in talking to other guests, this seemed to be the norm – the trick here is to use the umbrella in the closet as a door stop.

Gardens: Absolutely beautiful and very well maintained.

Pool: Really nice. Enjoyed my laps every morning.

Activities: Where was the Salsa and Meringue? I did not enjoy listening to disco-rap-salsa over true Latin music.
In summary, any resort that has 3 train lines running through the resort and tries to cater to a clientele from 3 to 5 star should rethink their ratings. The shear magnitude of the entire resort was a complete turn-off. Cuba – I’m sorry to have forsaken you!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Jake J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pouce Coupe, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2012

We stayed 2 weeks starting March 15. My wife and I travelled with another couple on a relaxing holiday. No complaints at all about the resort. Everything was great. It was very busy all the time we were there. We went to 5 ala cartes. All of us agreed that the Don Pablo was our least favorite. Not a complaint but the Don Pablo wasnt near as good as the el olivio , steathouse or the italian restaurants.Unfriendly service, poorer meals etc.
Staff at the resort was great. buffet and all meals great. rooms great. We stayed 3rd floor bldg. 66.Close to the lobby but a very short walk to the beach and pool.
Would reccomend this resort to anyone. Our 5th trip to the DR and would probably rate this the best resort so far. Stayed on the Bavaro side 4 years ago and it was also very good.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank GolfJack56
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 Ambar Blue Don Pablo Collection

Property: Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue Don Pablo Collection
Address: Carretera Arena Gorda - Macao, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (Formerly Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Don Pablo Collection)
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#12 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#30 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#45 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#46 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#47 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price range (per night): $197 - $545
Hotel Class:4 star — Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue Don Pablo Collection 4*
Number of rooms: 528
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Facilities and services 2 pool Sun terrace with sun umbrellas and loungers Relaxation zone with Bali beds Outdoor Jacuzzi BAHIA SPA (additional charge) Sports facilities: gym, 3 tennis courts, multi-sports court Water activity centre Motorised water sports (additionalcharge) WiFi access in the lobby (free) and in rooms (free) Entertainment amphitheatre Wedding gazebo 1 buffetrestaurant 3 speciality restaurants 4 bars 1 snack- bar Gazebo de bodas Smokers' lounge with bar service (cigar menu with additional charge) 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 528 Deluxe Junior Suites Room facilities: King size bed or two full size beds Ceiling fan Air conditioning Sitting area with sofa Terrace Fully-equipped bathroom with hydromassage bath tub and separate shower, hair dryer Bathrobe and slippers Don Pablo Collection amenities Direct phone line (additional charge for external calls) Alarm clock with iPod docking station Flat screen TV Coffee-making machine Minibar Safe Butler service 24 hour room service Evening turndown service Pillow menu 2 disabled rooms for a maximum of 3 adults Prime location right on the sea front Exclusive lake-style pool Aroma menu WiFi (free) 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 Ambar Hotel Punta Cana

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