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Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #29 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Montreal
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Great choice”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 May 2012

My wife and I stayed at the grand Bahia Esmerelda from May 5 - 20 for our honeymoon. It was the first time we stayed at a Bahia hotel and overall we were quite pleased with our Bahia is a large complex with multiple hotels located within. We booked at the Esmerelda given we knew it was the most recently constructed and asked to be as close to the beach thus we were placed in building 90. Below are the specifics on our stay and overall opinions.

Esmerelda vs. Others- the Esmerelda is the newest hotel within the complex, and closest to the beach. There are a few families that stay here but overall it is tranquil. The atmosphere borders relaxing as there are no activities that take place here, it's more about the sun, pool & food/drink. Right next door, there is the punta Cana hotel pool by the beach where all the action takes place... And it's only a 2 minute walk if you want to party. The Anbar is the other hotel which is close to the beach yet even more quiet given it's adults only. Slightly older than the Esm, but basically the same room layouts and decor. Note: the buildings are cement so sound resonates! We stayed on first floor so the child in the family above us had a tendency to drop things so you would hear stuff bouncing around which was only annoying if you tried to sleep in after 8 or take a nap. Overall, not a deal breaker but Anbar may be a solution. Then again..you may have other noises later at night.
Room- we stayed in building 90 which is closest to the beach in our hotel. It was a 1 minute walk to have your feet in the sand. We were on the first floor which was nice not to have to climb stairs in the high humidity! We were in room 90020 which faced the pool. Very nice decor, very nice bathroom amenities. No bugs, no musty smell..great room overall. A perk to being on the side facing the pool, you have a chance at catching the free wifi signal from the lobby and pool right in your room...so we had the comfort of sitting in our rooms while checking emails.
Beach- the beach is long and sand is beautiful. At the dive shop, the worker said the hotels face the Atlantic so water less calm, less underwater visibility,water a little colder and run the risk of seaweed storms. (then again a map on the internet says differently- Caribbean sea) Most of the first week we had lots of seaweed washing up on shore due to a storm out at sea. The cleanup was slow..so we adjusted to having to move in the water to avoid masses of the stuff. Other hotels like the riu right next door had clean ups done regularly where as the Bahia just had crews pile it up to pick up at the end of the week...kinda stunk..literally!
Food- the food bordered excellent! The buffet was good but we found the Palladium chain of hotels had one up on the Bahia. The a la cartes that made the grade were the Don Pablo, Bella Italia, Maiko, and Le Gourmet. The others were ok...but not as good.
Fitness centre- this was a HUGE disappointment. One would think that in this day and age where lifestyle is a huge focus point...with wellness spas, and healthy meal choices..that a fitness room is not the last thing you plan for when designing a hotel. There are two disappointing "rooms" that they call gyms. One is in the basement of a buffet that stinks of mold and the other is a room with no windows and poor neon lighting. Both have very old equipment...all with some type of damage and rust. I tried on several occasions to psyche myself up....with no success. The last time I tried, the supervisor was not helpful and when I left, he had fallen asleep on his desk and didn't even know I left. Good thing no one dropped from a heart attack. Very disappointing!
Dive centre- the dive centre at the Bahia seemed mediocre at best. They do not have a real dive boat for scuba trips but small aluminum/fiberglass out board engine crafts that would seem to be difficult to reboard when fully geared out when out at sea. Just next door at the Riu, there is a well known company called ScubaCaribe which have locations all throughout the caribbean. They have a proper dive boat and prices are in line with the company at Bahia. We took the package with them which included Catalina island excursion. Worth the money. One bright spot is a dive shop worker who works by the pool by the name of "Domingo" . Nice guy.


Overall we would recommend this hotel giving it an 8.5/10. My wife is not a gym goer on vacation like most but I like to kill some time and burn some calories taken in from the good food. I would venture to say that we would try the Riu next time just to try something different but would not hesitate to book here again!

Room Tip: Building 90- we had 90020. Ask for pool side...you may catch free pool wifi
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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9 Thank Montreal2125
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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  • Rooms
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    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Lisbon, Portugal
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 May 2012

me and my wife have been in esmeralda for 1 wonderful week in April 2012, and we only can say that we loved it. food in the buffet is great, and many variety to be chosen.
The room was on the ground floor and was right next to the pool, in our opinion it was great and we had wifi internet in the balcony.
the beach is so beautiful, with a clear, blue and warm water.

about the staff we only have good things to say, always great and available to help in any occasion, very very friendly people
and no need to give any tips (i didn't give any during my staying there) for them to be friendly and serve us well.

overall...we are looking for to go back there again! we simply loved our honeymoon there.

ps: on our room there were european plugs no need to use convertors.

Room Tip: the rooms near the pool can get wifi internet in the balcony, others a bit more far from it can'...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank Sam_Honey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Corner Brook, Canada
Level Contributor
35 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 May 2012

First of all, I am not a complainer but I do expect excellence at a 5* Resort. Overall experience at the Esmeralda was great! I do have a few suggestions for the Esmeralda to work on and hopefully increase customer service to make it even more luxurious. We stayed at the Esmeralda from May 11 to May 18, 2012.
-My husband ordered room service, and it never arrived.
-This resort must have an issue with faceclothes, we had to ask for them at least 4/7 days.
-We arrived on Friday evening and the time share people came on very strong on Saturday. We were approached about 5 times, by phone in our room and in person. The welcome letter with the Free gift is about the time share-ignore it. Once they tell you about the time share they will offer you a Gran Bahia Principe necklace with the logo, I believe this is to show that you already have been approached. You have to be very firm about not being interested and be willing to walk away, one guy followed us from our building to the pool area pursuing the time share pitch.
-The little gift stores outside the Punta Cana are great, however, the kiosks in the theatre area have the peddlers who are extremely pushy at selling. Stay inside the fence or go on the outside of the stores to avoid.
-Luis in the Esmeralda buffet was great, he sang while he worked and was always pleasant.
-Food was great, lots of good cocktails, from white russians, margaritas or my favorite chocolate monkeys. Drinks are not measured, so some of them have ++alcohol.
-If your a non-smoker or are allergic to cigarette smoke. There are people lighting up all around the resort, including the lobbies.
-HUGE resort, had no problems getting trams.
-Ate Italian (Porto Fino), French and steak house (Garden Grill) for al la carte-All were very good.
-Pools were great, water was warm, good bars.
-The Ambar had a great adult vibe, and was much more party oriented then the Esmeralda. It was nice to visit for a change!

Room Tip: We had a room in Bld 92, first floor. Did not see one bug!!!
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
11 Thank reflectionofvenus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mount dora, fl
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 May 2012

Got back yesterday, Wednesday 5/16 from the Esmeralda. I will give my honest opinion of this hotel and keep in mind this is the opinion of the 4 of us who went - me, husband, husband's brother and wife.

Hotel: The Esmeralda is a beautiful resort. It is very, very clean. The staff is constantly, scrubbing, washing, sweeping and even painting. Even the outdoor restaurant tables were being scrubbed down. The pool area was always being scrubbed too. The room was very clean and the decor is very nice. There was a mild musty smell but we sort of got used to it. We stayed in bldg. 92 on the second floor which looked out onto the pool area side.

Food: Well, to be completely honest, the buffets were not really good. But, we always could find SOMETHING to eat so we didn't starve. While there is a great deal of variety of food, not too much of it was to our liking. Also, most of the food that was supposed to be hot was cold. So, if I had to rate the buffet food on a scale of 1 to 10 I would give it a 3 maybe. We liked the a la cartes better - we went to Maiko - it was okay - not great, Bella Italia = again, okay - not great, Garden Grill -pretty good, Don Pablo - pretty good and the El Olivo = pretty good.

Oh yes, on the seafood night at the Esmeralda buffet, there were a lot of men in suits and we were handed some opinion sheets and when I went to fill mine out - they were standing over me and as I was filling out the food quality portion he begged me not to put anything other than the highest mark - I thought that was sort of defeating the purpose of the survey - felt very pressured to give real good marks. Not a big deal though but why ask opinions if you don't want an honest one.

Drinks: Drinks were great - could get mostly anything you could want.

We only went to one show - the circus one. It was fair.

Beach/Pool: The pool is very nice - very clean - it was so hot that week that the water was like bath water - but I don't mind that. The beach area has tons of seaweed that the men put into piles but only twice were the piles cleaned up. The water had a lot of seaweed in it and it is a bit wavy =- if you walked a bit to the left - in front of the Majestic Colonial it became clear, calm water - very nice.

Spa: I went to the Ambar spa for a massage. It really wasn't very good - in my opinion.

All of the staff that we interacted with were very pleasant and efficient.

That's about it for my review. Overall, we had a good time. Would we go back to Punta Cana? Probably not. There are so many more places to visit on our "bucket list."

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank chrisp414
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Natick, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
35 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 May 2012

Can't believe I'm not writing a gleaming review for the Esmeralda considering I made my choice to stay here based on the excellent reviews... I usually ignore negative reviews for a hotel if they are sprinkled in the midst of majority great ones but my experience was mediocre at best here.

My husband and I booked this trip to get away and relax in preparation for our baby coming in a few months. I emailed the hotel in advance asking if pregnancy massages were available and got a response saying yes. Once at the hotel, the spa told me I couldn't get any kind of spa treatment besides a mani/pedi because I'm pregnant, what a bummer.
We had a person from housekeeping walk into our room at 9:45 pm, not long after we had gone to bed.... Another staff knocked on our room once and when my husband opened the door she just walked right in with what looked like timeshare info. This after we received letters under the door and phone calls to come get our welcome gift at the front desk - aka timeshare info. They just would not leave us alone. Food was OK, good variety, lots of restaurants and buffets to pick from. Beautiful beach. Esmeralda pool was heated and we enjoyed that.
For a 5 star hotel, not all staff had 5 star professionalism. There were numerous examples of this but one is if we needed to resolve an issue, they didn't speak English (I speak Spanish but still...) but when they needed to sell the timeshares, they did speak English. Rated 3 for sleep quality - beds were excellent, big beautiful rooms but staff calling us at 8 am for random meetings we didn't schedule and walking in on us at 10 pm did interrupt our much needed sleep.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank kiska07
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): $255 - $598
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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