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Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #43 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
State College, PA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Good Choice”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2012

My wife and I spent a week at the Gran Bahia – Ambar in Punta Cana. It's important to remember that the Ambar has facilities which are not available to other members of the property. Here are some of our experiences:

1.Check-in was a little strange, the front desk had our room information ready, along with dinner reservations, which I had emailed the hotel earlier. However, they insisted on a paper copy of the hotels.com email reservation. I provided them with both reservation numbers from hotels.com and the Gran Bahia. After three different employees and three different emails to accounts they specified, the issue was finally resolved.
2.The service, selection and food at the Palmrya buffet was great, we had breakfast and lunch at the Palmyra every day, except one, when we ate at the buffet by the beach, which I would not recommend. Dinner at the Palmrya was great too, for all the reasons listed above.
3.Dinner at the Belle Italiano was less than great, to begin with it seemed strange that the format is to serve the meals, but tell the guests to help themselves to the salad bar. Both the appetizers and meal took a long time to arrive and when the meal did arrive it wasn't very good. We had a few bites and then left to return to the Palmrya buffet.
4.The beach was great, we had plenty of shade under the palapas. And drinks were available at the hut on the beach.
5.We never got to lounge by the pool. Unfortunately, all shaded seats were occupied by 7:30 – 7:45 am. There are other seats available at that time, however, we preferred shade over proximity to the pool. One morning I did secure a set of chairs at approx. 7:45 and made the mistake of going back to the room, unfortunately security removed my towels, books and sunscreen, because it was before 8:00am. It seems like poor customer service, to be THAT strict about removing belongings.
6.While I'm not a wine drinker, my wife was disappointed at the house red wine, we heard this complaint from others as well. However, the mojitos at the lobby bar were good.
7.The pillow service proved elusive, my wife tried four different nights to get a scented pillow. She called the “Express Service” number twice, she asked at the front desk, she asked “Guest Services” but never received a pillow.
8.It did appear that tipping was very prominent here, in my stays at all-inclusive hotels, I have not seen this much tipping. I also noticed that the bartenders would pass me over to take a woman's order. Not a complaint, just an observation.
9.The room was well maintained, the maids were great.
10.The grounds are very well kept and attractive.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Wayne1011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2,595)
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English first
Minnesota
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2012

My sister and I travel to a new destination each winter. This year we chose Bahia Principe Ambar in DR. I have a mixed review. My overall experience as good with a few exceptions.

Pros: The room we were assigned as really nice. Marble floor and walls in the bathroom with a separate shower and bathtub. Beds were clean and comfortable. Room service was prompt - delivery within 30 mn or less. As people mention in other reviews the grounds are really beautiful and well kept. Pool is nice. Beach is beautiful with plenty of lounge chairs. If you want a lounge chair right by the water you have to get there before 8:00 am. Overall service was quick. Good drinks and plenty of options. The food at Maiko was the best. Meson was really good too (especially the suckling pig). We went on the overland and sailing excursions. Both were excellent and worth the money, but beware of the trip up the mountain on the overland excursion - this was extremely dangerous in my opinion as there were many ruts in the gravel road - and add a little rain to it plus a steep inclines and declines and it's a recipe for disaster. We almost tipped over at one point - so beware. Our room and location was quiet at night. If you are looking for night life you'll have to go elsewhere.

Cons: We emailed ahead of time to get reservations at various restaurants and make sure we had double beds (this was specified with our travel agent too). We also requested a room on the 2nd or 3rd floor in villa 60 or 67. No response. When we arrived they claimed they didn't have the email and didn't have a room reservation for us. When we provided our reservation number they found it and tried to put us in a King size bed, which was not acceptable. After traveling since 3:30 am in the morning we were tired and ended up spending a hour arguing with the guy at the front desk about our room, but we did eventually get double beds on a second floor in villa 70. We had to make separate arrangements again for dinner reservations. Later in the week we were locked out of our room for half a day. We went back to the front desk repeatedly for help and they finally sent maintenance - the batteries in the door needed to be replaced. There was a language barrier with some of the staff members - there were many occasions where they didn't understand what we ordered/requested, causing problems - this is partly our fault - next time we will be better prepared and learn some basics of whatever language is spoken. In any event I felt that there was an attitude problem with some staff members. The restaurants we had reservations at were not full, but it wasn't easy to get a reservation. The food at most locations was good to excellent, but there was one buffet by the pool where the food was really bad. We brought Imodium along which came in handy. Don Pablo's has a regular menu selection and a tasting menu. A tasting menu to me is getting a small sampling of the items, but they did not interpret this the same way. I think they need to change their menu so this is clearer. Not sure what the thought was with the tasting menu. In the restaurant attached to the main lobby there are no instructions on what the ordering process is at the omelet stations - there were no instructions that you put all the ingredients you want in your omelet on a plate and hand it to the chef. The chef was really rude to my sister and a couple of Canadians were kind enough to explain to us what we needed to do.

In conclusion if I were to return to DR I would try out another resort.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
12 Thank grosc01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chesapeake, Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2012

My husband and I stayed at the Gran Bahia Ambar, the adults only section of the resort, in April 2011. We were there for 7 nights and every day was absolutely wonderful! Every meal was fantastic! We ate in the main Ambar eating area for breakfast and lunch mostly and then we ate at special restaurants throughout the resort for dinner. Make sure you make your dinner reservations for the week on the day you arrive at Gran Bahia. All meals were fantastic! The pool is beautiful and we really enjoyed the beach, too. We had a hard time finding a good beach chair during the day, though. The service was excellent! All of the staff were so kind and willing to help us at all times. The rooms were beautiful. Our bed was very comfortable! I especially love the scented pillows that you can request in your room- the Lavender pillows were amazing!! I can't wait to go back and have those lavender pillows again! The floor in our room always felt a little dirty to me with bare feet. Some of the hardware in the bathroom could have been cleaned just a little bit better as well. The evening shows at the Theater we GREAT! We did take one excursion while we were there. We went snorkeling for half a day and had a wonderful time. It was definitely worth it!! We enjoyed every single day of our stay and we would definitely choose the Gran Bahia Ambar again for a next trip to the Dominican!!

Room Tip: Rooms that give you a view of the pool
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Erin409
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Halifax, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 March 2012

Sorry for the late review,but thought I write one on our experience there! We stayed there in April 2009. First time to the Ambar,but 4th time at a Bahia Principe Resort(twice at the bavaro side and once in Mexico).
We were in bldg. 65 on the 2nd floor, practically in the middle of the complex,close to the lobby and to the pool/beach area. Loved the fact that the Ambar is adults only,and it felt like you were in your own little sanctuary of peace and quiet. With staying at the Ambar,we had full access to the whole resort complex if we wanted to venture to the other areas,or just stay where we were.
The rooms were very well laid out and comfortable and not much wear and tear as the resort was still fairly new. Loved the big bathroom and kingsize bed,although who goes down south to stay in their rooms all day long, not us, lol !!!!
The food was great as usual,and again we really enjoyed the japanese restaurant, love the deep fried ice cream. 2nd favorite rest. is the steakhouse"Garden Grill". The ambar buffet is a little more fancier of a buffet then the other buffets with their food and food displays. But all is good.
Never get tired of the Principe shopping plaza located at the entrance of the resort,love doing alittle shopping there everytime.
We had e-mailed ahead of time our a la carte reservations,and received our requests apon arrival,but also had a reply back to our e-mail before arrival as well.
Love the Bahia, it is our home away from home,and can't wait to be back again soon!!!

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SneakyLil'Devil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bedford, Canada
Level Contributor
96 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2012

This was our second time at the Ambar in two years. Our check in was not as smooth as last year. We arrived at almost midnight. Because we arrived so late, the Ambar and Air Canada Vacations tried do precheck-in on the bus. This failed miserably because the keys for the Ambar people ended up on another bus and we had their keys. Not sure who was to blame there but it was a bit screwed up. The bus dropped us off at the main lobby and we were left waiting for our ride to the Ambar. Because I knew the procedure, after 15 minutes, I grabbed my luggage and took a trolley to the Ambar. We got checked in and were told to wait for the bellman. He did not arrive. In fairness he was probably at the main lobby looking for us. Small hic-up, not a big deal.
We emailed ahead and asked for building 67 on the 2nd or 3rd floor and a King sized bed. We got exactly what we asked for. We got to the room and there was an issue with the toilet seat. We pointed it out to our room attendant the next morning and it was fixed when we got back. The room was spotless and remained so all week. As everyone notes, the grounds are well taken care of. The service for the most part was good.
The beach is beautiful but a little crowded. We did walk the beach often and go past other resorts that had more beachfront but all the shade was well off the water. There was lots of shade close to the water here and that’s what I liked.
The food – I need to be very clear, if I take a vacation where the food is going to make or break my vacation, I’ll go to Paris. And this Paris vacation will cost me 5 times more than this one did. The food here was OK to Excellent. Last year we went to a lot of a la cartes. We found that we did not want to be tied to a time so this year we frequented the buffet with less a la cartes. My GF had two nights where she couldn’t find anything to eat. She is a bit of a picky eater though. Each night I found something to eat and most nights there was plenty for me and her to choose from.
Our experience overall was good but there were a couple of exceptions.
The Timeshare scam – I just don’t like people wasting my time and having a person dressed as an employee approaching me to attend a seminar. Just a personal pet peeve.
The Guest Services Desk – This year I was a little shocked with the service here. We arrived late so the second day there we went to the Guest Services desk to get our a la carte reservations. The lady sitting there showed such an air of contempt. I didn’t get the feeling we were bothering her, we were bothering her. I cannot believe that they would allow this person to do the job she does.
Lobby bar – Once again, the service here lacked a little also. One evening the server misheard me and took our order as 1 beer not 2. When she delivered the 1 beer, I told her about the mistake. She said ok, then continued to clear tables. She cleared tables all the way back to the bar. Then 20 minutes later reappeared with the second beer.
None of the above issues made my vacation at the Ambar bad but did deserve mention. Our next vacation will be somewhere else but I will return to the Ambar as it is one of the best resorts we have been to.

Room Tip: Request ahead by email.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank notkevin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Thunder Bay, ON
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2012

A property like the Ambar is proving to be difficult to rate. This is our first time using a section of a resort where you had your choice of using other sections amenities. So, I'm torn between lumping everything into one experience, or sticking with only the Ambar portion.

I'm going to break this review down into pro's, con's, and tips. Some fit into multiple sections depending on how you view them.

Pro's:

-The resort is so beautiful it almost hurts your eyes to look at it. Everyday you will find something new thats amazing and you will appreciate what you regularily notice more.

-Size of the Ambar is perfect. No building is more than a 2 or 3 minute stroll to lobby or the pool/beach.

-Staff. You will find multiple members of the staff here that really go out of their way to make everyone enjoy their vacation. This was like 98% of the staff we interacted with. Desiree(sp), who serves drinks by the pool was the star of this trip.

-Food. This is one of the gray areas that is hard to define.

Buffet: Always something that was delicious and a few not so good things, personal taste considered of course. Hey, its a buffet, go take some more of the stuff you really liked. None of the 21 of us had any problems getting something good at the main buffet for any meal, or having lunch at the one beside the pool or the Bavaro beach.

Gala seafood night was a mixed bag, the lobster over fried and funny tasting. The crab delicious, its served cold which some people don't like, but I loved it.

A la carts: We don't care what time we eat at and adjust, actually found the later times to work much better for us.

Maiko/Mikado: Excellent as always, don't miss this one, book it multiple times if you want. Thats enough said.

-Trolleys. Yes, you read that right. Ambar guests have their own trolley that picks you up in front of the lobby and there will be one at the Bavaro lobby just for you. Look for the small one that doesn't have the luggage or extra seating trailer.

-Rooms. Got a corner room as requested, which was kept spotlessly clean. Maid even cleaned our Bubba's one day when we forgot them.


Cons:

-Staff. If you don't have breasts or don't bring a stack of ones with you everywhere you go, you can expect a different level of service from some. A couple of them look at everyone like you just farted in their direction regardless.

-Food.

Don Pablo: Wow, and not meaning that in a good way either. New chef or low class taste buds but none of the 6 of us enjoyed the meal. If raw meat, bits of shell in your food, and mussel gum are your thing, then you will love it.

Late night buffet seems to consist of all the burgers they had left over from lunch.

-Had a problem with our remote that took two trips to the lobby, very minor inconvienance.

-The doors of other rooms shutting can be annoying. Still unable to figure out why a resort can't put something simple like rubber plugs as buffers on the doors so it is not wood on wood banging.


Tips:

-Grab your plate at the buffets from the edges. Some of the plates are damaged on the ridges in the middle and you can cut yourself if not careful.

-Watch your step. Some parts of the floor are very slippery. Might have just been my shoes but watch for it.

-The staff behind the scenes that make your stay wonderful are also the ones most overlooked. Tipped a few bucks to some of the gardeners, security, and trolley drivers and their honest and happy appreciation of just one of these people will brighten your stay.

-Some of the shows such as the Mr/Miss Bahia Principe might be a little much for younger viewers. If you don't mind some delicate questions from your children or have already had the "talk" with them, then it might be ok.

-Be careful of what you do with your keycards. We didn't have a problem but if you get them wet or stick them next to something like a laptop they do seem to be easily wiped requiring a trip to the lobby.


Overall, this resort was great and we can't wait to return and I would easily recommend it to anyone. Having the greatest wife and best friends anyone could hope to have also helps in making a fantastic trip.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
13 Thank Senor_Frog12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Illinois
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 March 2012

We will never return to this location. Although our room was very nice, our expectations were not met. We had encounters with some staff that were not very friendly and you could not understand their English. The food had no taste. The fruit was as if it had been picked green and then ripened. The first night we were assigned a late (9:15) time for dinner. When we arrived the restaurant was virtually empty. The second night we arrived a half hour early, the restaurant was half empty yet they would not seat us until our designated time. Although we thought an all inclusive meant all you could eat or drink, that was not the case. We had lobster for dinner one night and asked if we could have a sample platter and we were denied saying we could only order one item. We were disappointed that there were no hot tubs only sitting areas near the pool which was of the same water temperature as the pool. There were no pool activities (i.e., vollyball, etc.). Overall, we were very disappointed. We will be going back to Jamaica.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank J S
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: Crta. 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
#26 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#36 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#38 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#39 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#40 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue Don Pablo Collection 4*
Number of rooms: 1026
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Facilities and services 1 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 (additional charge) 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 (additional charge) 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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