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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Relaxation, good service and meals in the restaurants, and the adults privilege beach.Privilege club membership is satisfying. The resort goes that extra mile for privilege members to make you feel special and welcome.Use he Hobie Catamarans at the beach and then relax with a massage in the spa.Food choice and quantity is excellent.We have been twice to Bahia Punta Cana look forward to our next visit.

  • Stayed: October 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with RCI
Thank Mark C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pioneer704144, Customer Service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Dear Mark,

We are very pleased to read that you enjoyed a dream vacation paradise getaway, thanks to our rich gastronomy, as well as the good service from our employees. At Bahia Principe our goal is to make your vacation become an unforgettable experience.

Thank you for your comments and we invite you to contact us for any additional assistance info.esmeralda@bahia-principe.com

Warm greetings,

Jasmin Reyes
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I’ve written this review for those who wish to compare the several hotels within the Bahia Principe complex.

This was the second time we have stayed in the Bahia Principe in the Dominican Republic. The last time we visited the resort we stayed in the Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue hotel which is close to the beach and is adults only.

Unfortunately for us, the Ambar Blue is currently closed for renovation. We went to have a look at the building site and it looks like a lot of changes are being made; with extra swimming pools, a new colour scheme and modern bedroom interiors. We were disappointed to see a new Sport Bar building by the elegant open sided reception and would be concerned about returning to the Ambar Blue based on the type of clientele a sports bar would attract, as it was previously a lovely, tranquil place.

If you are staying at the Bahia Principe in the near future I would check that you are not given a room that borders the Ambar Blue due to noise and dust. We were in Villa 15 which was plenty far enough away from the building site to not notice the building works, which go on well into the evening.

Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana

The Punta Cana hotel is perfectly ok, I have given it a three star rating, but I would class this as a 3.5 star hotel. The Gardens are not as lush and well manicured as other Caribbean resorts that I have previously visited.

Each room has an en-suite bathroom which is perfectly functional, but the décor, furniture and fittings look dated.

There is plenty of space and shade to sit around the swimming pool (there are several to choose from). Whilst we were there (early October) the hotel did not appear to be too busy - perhaps because it is a large site with lots of facilities, so guests are spread out.

The down side of this hotel is that it is long and thin, if your room is near the Lobby then there is a bit of a walk to the beach, I personally prefer to be very close to the beach, which Villa 15 wasn’t. The hotel does have a regular electric golf cart bus type service to take people to and from the beach (which only takes a few minutes).

The buffet restaurant was good, lots of choice which varied day to day. My wife is a vegetarian and she didn’t have much trouble finding things to eat (mainly salad, plain vegetables, Pizza and Pasta) which was ok as we were only there for 7 days, if we were there for any longer the lack of choice might have been tedious. The other down side was that the food wasn’t labelled particularly well, more description would be useful, for instance a sign stating “Quiche” doesn’t actually describe what is in it. If you have a food intolerance or allergy, you may struggle here.

The evening entertainment was quite loud and we could hear it in our room.

There is no room service in this hotel.

The staff were all very helpful and friendly.

After a couple of days at the Punta Cana, we decided we would prefer to be nearer the beach in a more luxurious environment (there is nothing wrong with the Punta Cana hotel, it’s just that we are used to a hotel that offers a bit more) so we paid extra to transfer to the Luxury Bahia Principe Esmerelda. We decided to stay at the Esmerelda instead of the Ambar Green because the Ambar Green was still some distance away from the beach. Although we would have preferred the Ambar Green if it was by the beach due to its adults only policy.

Luxury Bahia Principe Esmerelda

The exterior appearance of the Esmerelda Hotel was far better than the Punta Cana, the gardens are stunning and we very much enjoyed walking along the well-manicured paths looking at the vegetation. The lobby is quite small, but elegant and the reception staff were extremely helpful and lovely.

We stayed in Villa 96 which is quite close to the reception area, unfortunately we didn’t realise until after we had unpacked, that we were very close to where the evening entertainment takes place. We have never been interested in watching hotel entertainment and unfortunately the sound system was extremely loud and we could hear everything in our room which was quite irritating. The entertainment usually ended around 11pm. I think it is important that the reception team discuss this with guests upon check in. We didn’t want to waste any more of our holiday by packing and unpacking again, so we just put up with it.

The room was fine, I expected it to be nicer inside, but like the Punta Cana the appearance was a little out dated. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Esmerelda is the next hotel to be renovated after the Ambar Blue re-opens.

The pool is next to the beach, both of which have plenty of sunbeds and shade. Bar waiters regularly ask if they can bring you drinks (which doesn’t happen in the Punta Cana) and the beach did not feel over populated. The only down side is that a few sellers are allowed on the beach to sell jewellery and tours so they came around a few times a day trying to sell their wares.

Also be aware that when you walk out of the lobby towards the buffet restaurant you will regularly be harassed by men trying to sell the ‘Privilege Club’ which I can only assume is some sort of time share arrangement or a way of upselling guests to something unnecessary. In the end we decided not to use that entrance in the lobby, just to avoid them.

Only one buffet restaurant appeared to be open at the Esmerelda, (there are two apparently) the restaurant that was open is quite small and therefore always busy. The food selection was quite limited and we actually preferred the buffet in the Punta Cana for its choice. Again, the food labelling was lacking, for example “Cheese Tortilla” actually had ham in it. We asked if we could use the buffet at the other hotels, but we were told we could only use their al la carte restaurants (apart from the Fantasia, which is completely out of bounds).

The beach restaurant was lovely and had plenty of space, the only issue again is food labelling “Broccoli Salad” had fine pieces of Tuna in it.

As usual the deserts always look great, but rarely taste as good as they look (this is generally a Caribbean wide problem – not really hotel specific) I don’t understand why synthetic cream is used instead of real cream, it tastes awful!

Al la Carte Restaurants – we visited the Garden Grill, Italian, Mexican and Japanese/ Peruvian fusion restaurant. All restaurants had vegetarian options on the standard menu which was great, we enjoyed the food and wine in all of the restaurants except for the Japanese/ Peruvian restaurant which was a particularly disappointing experience - I have written about this separately on the ‘Mashua Nikkei Restaurant’ Trip Advisor page.

I was thrilled to see that the Bahia Principe complex are taking a stance against the use of plastic drinking straws due to the severe impact they have on the environment, as a very large hotel I think it is a sensible choice, I would however like to see further environmentally friendly measures to be made such as replacing single use plastic cups at the swimming pool and beach bars with re-usable plastic cups – the hotel must throw away thousands of plastic cups every week, which must be having a horrifying impact on the local environment.

I was also disappointed that the hotel don’t appear to employ anyone front of house with a disability, I think a large local employer such as Bahia Principe could do more to have a diverse workforce who bring a wealth of different knowledge and skills to improve their social responsibility and to reflect the diversity of their hotel guests.

Overall I would describe the Esmerelda as a 4/4.5 star hotel. We didn’t pay too much for the upgrade, so I would say that due to its location and exterior appearance it was worth the money.

If you are looking for a quiet and relaxing holiday, I don’t think I would recommend the Bahia Principe, they like loud music and shouting in microphones. Personally, we go away to relax, read and chat in a beautiful environment. The noise would probably put me off from returning in future.

Room Tip: Request a room as far away from the Lobby as possible if you prefer a quieter holiday.
  • Stayed: October 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank danielmortimore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pioneer704144, Customer Service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Dear Daniel,

We would like to take this chance to extend our most sincere apologies for the situations you encountered during your stay with us. We regret not being able to fully fulfill your expectations during your stay at our Hotel.

Moreover, we are very glad to find out that there were some aspects you find worth to mention, especially our friendly staff and our buffet restaurant.

We would like to have the opportunity to welcome you once again at our Resort and change your perception about us.

You are welcome to contact us for your next visit through our email: info.esmeralda@bahia-principe.com with your requests.

Always at your disposal,

Luz Caraballo
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Travelled sept 30 2018. Bahia Principe site is quite large but tucked away beachfront is one of the smallest properties Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda...The employees here are phenomenal and try to fulfill any request you might have to make your stay enjoyable. Food allergies are respected and taken care of at request. Rooms quite large and beach was wonderful.Girls trip for rest and relaxation and it is exactly what we got...It was my first time here and I would definitely go back!

Room Tip: building 90 closest to beach
  • Stayed: October 2018, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Mary M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pioneer704144, Customer Service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Dear Mary,

Thank you for your recent review on TripAdvisor and for mentioning the attention of staff, services and installations.

We hope to welcome you soon and provide you once again a very comfortable stay.

For future assistance, you can contact us at info.esmeralda@bahia-principe.com

Kind regards,

Luz Caraballo
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

First time to Punta Cana. Searched and searched for what I thought would be the perfect resort for our family, my husband, myself, 10 year old son, adult daughter and her boyfriend. Not disappointed with our overall vacation as WE made it fun, but somewhat disappointed with the resort. I thought for sure with the 4.5 Tripadvisor reviews....I had chosen a great resort!! Well, not for us, anyhow. Breakdown:
Rooms: Nice, not gorgeous or luxurious, but nice - bed - hard, hard, hard -- took two days to get a topper for the mattress that helped (a wee tiny bit). I was told by housekeeping when I asked if they had such a thing (as I had read in previous reviews that they did) that, yes, they do, but they could not locate one so I would have it the next day. Met our "Butler" on second day - asked about the topper - he said they did not have such a thing....LOL......okay, your nose is growing Mr. Butler. All of a sudden, yes, he would try to find one for me the next day (but a minute ago you just lied to me and said there was no such thing)......REALLY don't like being lied to!!
Buffet/Restaurants: insert "Meh" emoticon here. Edible, I guess....but not delicious by any means....very repetitive, as others have mentioned....and would have been nice to have a grill where you could order a fresh piece of chicken or a nicely grilled steak........but no. We ate at the Garden Grill one evening....that steak was very good!! Best meal all week. Desserts? Meh. Same old same old "squares" of cake that all taste the same in every restaurant or the buffet, whether lunch or dinner. Really missed having a snack bar where you could get a churro, or ice cream, or burger or nachos, in the mid-day as we have had at other lower starred resorts. Room service? Lol.....never did find a menu in my room, but my daughter's boyfriend ordered a burger one night and he said it definitely was not fresh, probably from the buffet...........Really, just lose the room service if you can't do it right.
Pool/Beach: It's a decent beach, but I guess I have been spoiled with beaches in Cuba...if you like row, upon row, upon row, upon row of palapas and if you are lucky enough to get in the 7th or 8th row back from the water, you might actually catch a glimpse of the water a wee bit once or twice an hour. That is, if there is not someone trying to sell there trinkets walking past you every 5 minutes........just get used to repeatedly saying "no thanks" about every 5 minutes and you will be fine. Not my idea of a peaceful, restful day at the beach, but to each their own.
Pool.......very clean, large, perfect temperature, nice pool bar, great service for drinks......but don't expect any sort of entertainment like other resorts in the afternoon such as group games, trivia games, ANYTHING ........unless you LOVE water aerobics ........then you are completely in luck!!...you can do this in the pool like 2 or 3 times per day!!! And the others that don't enjoy it, can sit back, listen to the same type of music ALL DAY LONG and watch you!! Fun WOW!! Oh, sorry, yes, ONE DAY, they did have a giant floating obstacle course that adults were running down trying to make it to the end (well the same 5 or 6 adults over and over again) which was fun until one guy actually dislocated his shoulder.....hubby talked to him next morning.......took him hours to get help...so please do not get hurt while you are here!!
Entertainment: As I said....Pool - aerobics (again...fun wow) and the obstacle course .....NOTHING else..........Very confusing to try and figure out what's going on for entertainment and where it's being held........went to Tropicana Theater at the Punta Cana resort one night looking forward to a "Circus" according to the Bahia APP I was using all week...........Nope.....no circus......dancers and singers........OK.....but my 10 year old son wasn't very entertained. Actually, other than us entertaining my son....there was really nothing for him to do......we checked out the "Teen Club" downstairs on the first night (as on the photos it looked awesome and thought he would meet some other kids here and be able to hang out and play a bit of PS4).........LOL...........a JOKE!! No paddles or ball for ping pong.....TVs not connected or the PS4....just wires coming out of the wall where it looked like they were doing some kind of construction as there was what looked like drywall dust all over the place.........so scratch that place..........Volleyball on the beach? Yes!!! He was soooo looking forward to this too!! But it was ALL adults ALL the time, and he played a few times but the adults basically ignored him. Scratch that. Tennis??? Yes!! He was looking forward that too!!! Well, if you have about half hour to spare to WAIT on a trolly, take it all the way out to the courts......and then trolly it back, yes, then you can play tennis.
Sorry, I just don't get the appeal to this place. I even signed up to be a "Bahia club member" or whatever they call it because one of the perks was "pick your room location".............LOL....when I TRIED to do that online about 2 weeks before we arrived, there was a choice of like 3 buildings and the "best" one I could get was overlooking the "Adult jacuzzi" -- figured we'd have at least something to look at.........got there, got to our rooms, one room was not a King bed as requested, and the other room was leaking and had a huge puddle..........so they moved us.....YAY.....to building #97 the furthest building from absolutely anything, and we are now looking at the back of the RIU building (with a wee bit of envy I must say) but a view of a huge building.........doesn't feel like a Caribbean view, feels like a "concrete jungle" view.
Lobby was very elegant and clean, but VERY chopped up into several smaller areas.....they do some sort of "entertainment" in a small area here each night, but unless you are one of the first 30 people there, you won't actually see the entertainment from the other areas as there are pillars, etcetera in the way. No real area at the Esmeralda for entertainment, they just move the chairs aside in the lobby and improvise a "stage area" ......just like my son's grade 2 school play kind of idea.
GREAT vacation because of our company, great weather, an awesome all day excursion, and just the fact we had the chance to all be together..........but we could have done ALL of this at a 4 star Cuba resort for half the price! I'm sure we may return to Punta Cana one day, just not this resort.

Room Tip: Can't seem to request a good room here
  • Stayed: October 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank luvhockeyOrangeville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pioneer704144, Customer Service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Dear Guest,

We really appreciate your valuable information. Feedback from our clients gives us the opportunity to evaluate our performance and help us improve our services.

For us, both the positive and negative aspects that you mention are very important.

We offer our sincere apologies for the situation you previously shared and we sincerely regret not being able to fulfil your expectations.

Please, do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need assistance email info.esmeralda@bahia-principe.com

Always at your disposal,

Luz Caraballo
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

my girlfriend has just returned from this hotel after a two week break. it turns out the male staff were propositioning her and her mother. one of them Brian even went as far as to take her phone and put his number in. this is not acceptable behaviour for staff at a five star resort.

Stayed: October 2018, travelled with family
6  Thank Gareth W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pioneer704144, Customer Service at Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Dear Gareth,

First, receive our sincere apologies for the previously shared situation.

We are very worried, which is why we ask you kindly to send us more details about the fact to our email info.esmeralda@bahia-principe.com

We will need the details of your reservation, full name of the guests, date of stay, reservation number, and room number.

We are attentive to your response,

Luz Caraballo
Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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