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Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #50 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Dartmouth, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Overall good”
Reviewed 13 March 2012

A week before we left we emailed the resort with a request to be close to the pool and a list of a-la-cartes we would like to be booked at. I had hoped we would get both since we were repeat guests. I was very happy to have all the restaurant reservations presented to us during check-in. Perfect. I was much less happy to find that not only were we not near the pool we were about as far away from the pool and the ocean as you could get. Bummer. This did not bother me as much as the fact that the room was not being kept up. For example, the mirror in the bathroom should have belonged to a sleazy motel somewhere. The glass was covered in rusty spots to the extent it was hard to see yourself to put makeup on. Yuck. Bahia you should provide better for your guests.

The beach area is very crowded during the day and the towel game is in full effect since the resort does not offer enough spots for the number of guests.

For the most part I enjoyed all the restaurants and the shows. We really enjoyed the Bella Italia and the Spanish a-la-carte. Must have ordered the wrong thing at Don Pablo - didn't think much of it in comparison - wasn't bad just wasn't special.

The beach at this area is fantastic and we had sunshine every day. The service was good and the staff seemed happy.

I would go again if I could be promised never to have to see the horrible rusty/splotchy mirror ever again.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank NSplover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 March 2012

We just came back from a week at the Gran Bahia Principe Ambar. Overall we had an excellent vacation. Let me break down our experience for you by category and share the positives and negatives of our trip.

Check in: We arrived to the resort at 5:00 am and needless to say, we were very tired as our flight was delayed taking off from Toronto. We were dropped off in the Bavaro lobby and had to wait about 15 minutes for a golf cart to pick us up and bring us to the Ambar lobby for check in. Once we got there everything ran smoothly, someone helped us find our building and our room and we got settled into our room.

The room: The room was overall very nice, spacious and clean. The canopy bed was a nice touch- although, the mattress was hard so it made sleeping difficult for us because we are not used to a harder mattress. The bathroom we had was not as clean as the rest of the room. We had a whirlpool tub + separate shower. We wouldn't think about using the tub due to how unclean it looked. Our shower pressure was low and it leaked so it sprayed water everywhere. The floors in the washroom and throughout the room were not the cleanest. You could see a visible film of dirt and after walking bare foot in the room for 5 minutes my feet were black. They offered complimentary his/her slippers which we wore in the room for the rest of the trip. Our maid was friendly and we found that after generously tipping her everyday the cleanliness of the room improved mid-week. The walls are paper thin. You do hear the neighbors connected to you. (Coughing, television, talking, in the shower, etc). We did not take advantage of the 24 hour butler service but we did utilize the pillow menu. My husband ordered the empire pillow and I got the memory foam pillow. We both ended up using the original pillows in the room. The speciality pillows were just were not comfortable at all.

Buffet (breakfast, lunch and dinner)- We were quite disappointed with the quality of food in the buffets. We found the food to be plentiful in choices; however, not edible at times. A lot of the entree's were extremely salty or over/under cooked. The breakfast buffet was the best out of the 3 meals.

The A La Carte's- The a la carte restaurants by far were much better in the quality of food. We ate the italian, steakhouse and Don Pablo's and had wonderful meals at all 3. (especially at Don Pablo's--- the food was to die for. Do try and get in there at least once ...or twice!) We had made a reservation for the Japenese restaurant; however, upon arrival we discovered the air conditioning was not turned on or working for some reason and it was far to hot in there to sit through a meal. It felt like a sauna and we could barely breathe so we ended up leaving and going to the buffet. It was difficult to get in to all of the a la carte restaurants- despite the fact that we were Ambar guests and had access to them all. I suggest you book all of your a la carte experiences on your first day.

Service: The service we received everywhere was amazing. All of the employees were friendly, approachable and really attentive in all of the restaurants, at the front desk, on the grounds, etc. We were also very impressed with how "present and visible" the manager of the hotel was. We saw him at every single meal. He would interact with all of the guests and help to seat people, clear plates, refill drinks. It was refreshing to see him so involved with his staff. He came and checked in with us many times through out the week to ensure we were happy.

Lobby: The lobby area was the place to be in the evenings (as the Ambar does not have a theatre or shows located in their section. You would need to walk or take a trolley to the attached resort for that) At times it was difficult to find seating and unfortunately since we are non smokers we found it uncomfortable at times to be seated in the lobby due to the heavy smoke. (There is designated areas for non-smokers but due to the open concept of the lobby it is inevitable for smoke to travel) The servers were also attentive in the lobby and got all your drinks for you.

Pool- The pool area is very large and clean. If you want to find seats around the pool then you must go and reserve them early in the morning. (especially if you want shade) My husband and I like to sleep in so by the time we ate breakfast and got to the pool (around 10:30 am) all the lounge chairs were pretty much taken with towels. The pool water temperature was perfect as well. (not too cold or too warm)

Beach- There are plenty of lounge chairs and huts on the beach and they start from the back of the resort leading to the shore line. The beach was beautiful. Pretty much every day there were large waves in the ocean. They kept our beach front clean and free of sea weed. We spent most of our lounging time on the beach since the pool area was so busy.

The grounds- The resort was beautiful. The grounds were clean and impeccably well kept. We enjoyed walking through the entire resort.

The gym- Exercise is important to me and the gym was used frequently by many people; however, the equipment was not in the best condition. Out of the 2 treadmills, only one worked properly, there were problems with the eliptical, the upright bikes were inconsistent when it came to functioning. It made it very difficult to get a proper work out in- especially when it was busy in there. They definitely need to explore updating the equipment. It is clear by the sign in book that the gym is frequented by many guests so it would be a worth while investment.

All in all- we were happy with our vacation. I feel that we paid more than what the actual value of the resort was but aside from some of the downfalls- we came back feeling relaxed and nothing really impacted us enough to ruin our trip. We would return to the Ambar and recommend it to anyone who would like a nice adults only all inclusive experience.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank SJB2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 March 2012

We finally had a rare chance to have a "girls vacation" at Bahia Principe Ambar from feb.26-March 4th! And what a great choice that was!
The Flight with Air Transat at 10am was perfect...on time and the prebooked seats was perfect..row 10..right by the exit!
The bus ride only took 35 min. max! and the check in at the Ambar was uneventful...I did email one week before our arrival to request Bld. 64, by the pool/beach...and that request was fulfilled! We were quite happy with our room, the maid service was fantastic, and the chocolates and roses in the evening was sweet!

We tried the "palapas" on the beach and eventually just stayed by the pool, excellent service..thank you to Desiree for her smiles and happy disposition.!

The a la cartes were fantastic and so was the buffet! We would definitely go back again, in a heartbeat!

The beach, (although quite crowded at the "punta cana/Bavaro" section) was amazing...you can walk forever! which we did!!

Cant wait to book the next one

Room Tip: For the Ambar...bldg..64/67/60
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
6 Thank sarah A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 March 2012

We stayed as a couple from March 2-9 2012.

As a mid-twenties couple we found we were young. My guess is the average age of guests is around 40.

After reading all the trip reviews on here, we were quite excited, but came away dissapointed.

Rooms: Room requests are not always honoured. As suggested we e-mailed 2 weeks in advance and requested a room close to the ocean/pool and also a king room - we were given villa 63 (closest to the lobby, farthest from the ocean, and had two double beds instread. Not as huge deal, but a little disappointing. Rooms were nice. Cleaned daily, and often had turn-down service. one night we even had rose-petals on our bed for a little romance. We did have a musty smell when we first arrived, but it seemed to disappear in a day or so. We did have to go see room services several times - shower was broken (fixed quickly) Fridge did not work (not fixed at all), and the maid kept taking our keycard that kept the power on.

The second last night we were their someone tried to enter our room from the balcony @ 5 am. (we were on the third floor) We were lucky and had a locking door. I called security and they were going to send someone straight up - they never showed.

Food: Mediocre at best. The buffet gets old quickly and by day 3 we were ready for different food. Lots of food was overcooked and had no flavour. The a la cartes ranged in quality. The don Pablo was delicious, the oliverio was ok. The Bella italia was good. The a la cartes were confusing at first as they are a menu/buffet mixture and the staff didnt seem to know what was going on.

Service: This was very dissapointing. The staff just didn't seem to care most times, and expected tips for everything, even if they did not go out of their way to help you. No one was overtly rude to us, but only one or two people made the effort. In the buffet restaurant we always asked to sit in Emilio's section as he was very friendly.

Overall: Although i understand resort ratings vary from country to county, our expectations of a five-star were not met. This resort is equivalent to a 3 star in Mexico. We would not return.

Room Tip: Villa 64 or 67, Although room requests are not always available
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Lindsay B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hameln
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 March 2012

We enjoyed our stay at this hotel although wouldn't choose to stay here again. We decided on the 'amber' because it was 'adult only' and thought it would be a quiet, relaxing holiday away from the kids! Little did we know that many adults (mainly Americans) are louder and more annoying than children, especially when they've been drinking since 10 am! I appreciate they're on holiday too, but we weren't the only ones that were fed up by their constant shouting & boisterous behaviour in the pool, their music being played loudly around the pool area and gathering in large groups at the pool bar! I also don't think it's acceptable that they were allowed to smoke in the pool! I did mention this to reception and was told that it wasn't acceptable and to tell the security staff if it happened again. I did, but to no avail. I found most of the staff to be friendly, although I think the pool bar staff in particular were happiest serving heavy tippers! On a plus point, the gardens were beautifully maintained, the rooms spacious and clean. The food was good but we did find the same problem as other reviewers regarding the speciality restaurants - difficult to make a reservation even though the restaurants were empty, hard to understand why they do this and not good practice when you have a hotel full of guests wanting to sample different menu's.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank FlikandCoco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North Bay, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2012

And then the day where the loud, drunk group of men threw the girl in the pool who served the drinks. That's right, they threw her in - thinking this would be funny! It was pretty obvious that she couldn't swim because she was flailing around (clearly scared, even though it was not deep) and someone had to help her out. She was drenched, in her work uniform and to add to it, she had her cell phone in her pocket when thrown in. For the drunk a-holes to have to replace a cell phone would probably not be much of a hardship but for someone who makes as little as she probably does, this would not be easy. And some around the pool were laughing their heads off until they saw that not everyone was and then suddenly became very protective of her. It was awful to witness, not funny and downright mean and disrespectful. It didn't take long for the big men to run away though.

This is a cut and paste from below, but I think it deserves to highlighted...... As stated a group from what I was told were having a school reunion,(gee i am sure they made their school proud).. pushed a female server into the pool, and could not bothered to help her out of the pool,,, I witnessed this also, not a person on our side found it funny, most felt embarrased by the actions of a few ignorant drunks,,, I was told they had to pay $200.00 to cover cost of cell phone,,, They should have been .
tossed out of the resort or maybe been made to apologize.to the server in front of everyone,,, stand up on a chair in front of the bar, tell the people where they were from..make their city proud. Because of their action , the pool was down a server. If they pulled that stunt in either the States or Canada they would have ended up being charged... These individuals crossed the line, what would their actions be if was them......

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Northernteacher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2012

Had a wonderful stay! The Ambar had the best buffet than all the rest of the resorts. Anyone staying at the Ambar can venture out to ALL the other buffets and al la carts.
Al la cart restaurants that were our favorite was the Don Pablo at the Ambar. It was very delicious French food and by far the best Al La Carte.
Don't waste your time at the BBQ restaurant as the food is the same as the Buffet only difference is that the food at the BBQ has less food than the Ambar, so we got up and left to go back to the Ambar.
The food at the Dominican restaurant was alright but again, it was the exact same food they were serving at the Ambar buffet. Still nice.
Everyday they had some kind of theme night which was nice. Not to mention they always had some type of fun cocktail when you entered.

Alcoholic beverages at the Ambar were excellent. I have never been to an all inclusive with such variety. They had many different kinds of vodkas, gins, rum, etc. Any drink you wanted, they made it.

The lounge always had some kind of entertainment. The ladies in the lounge were super nice!

Pool was excellent! We spent half our time at the pool and the other by the ocean. We love the pool because the friendly staff was constantly coming around and taking drink orders. The lounging chairs are very comfortable. If you want a grass hut by the pool then be prepared to get up at 7am!!! We did only becaus it was worth that burning during the day. The beach also has many many huts however they can be used by ANY Bahia Prinicipe guest and they too fill up by 8am.
The Ambar pool is for Ambar guests ONLY! No kids! That was the biggest reason why my husband and I stayed here.
The Buffet by the pool is also very good!

Rooms were decent. Beds were more comforatable than any other all inclusive we have stayed at. That being said, they are firm beds. The bathroom was nice and very big. The cleanliness was another thing. The shower door was dirty with water stains. The maid cleaned it once and the stains were gone. The cable tv likes to go in and out but when we called them up to fix it, we had service in 3 mins. Very nice!
We stayed in the building closest to the pool which was very nice and quiet.

Staff was very friendly, although we did notice that if you were not a long time patron or if you did not speak Spanish they didn't treat you the same. But they were still nice.

DO NOT GET SUCKERED IN BECOMING A PREMIER MEMBER!!! They wasted 2 hours of our pool time trying to make us buy into some crazy travel scheme. STAY AWAY!! Just say NO! We tried so very hard to say no and the guy made us feel bad so we went! Bad, bad idea! This was the worst part of our stay.

We would definitely go back! We had a wonderful time!

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank ParadiseTZ
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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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