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Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #50 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Kincardine, Ontario, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Very Good Stay”
Reviewed 14 April 2012

The stay was exceptional and would easily entice us back. It did seem like it was intentional that people could not get change for the purpose of tipping. Thankfully we did find a way to do this.
Wody, who works the bar in the lobby, deserves a hearty well done for all his work and pleasant demeanor.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Dave T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2,721)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
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English first
sudbury
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 14 April 2012

We have traveled to many islands in the Caribbean over the years. However the island we thought the least of visiting is the one that we enjoyed the most. The Ambar has a beautiful and relaxing environment. Check in and check out was speedy. Our suite was lovely with a great landscaped view off the patio. Staff responded to us politely at all times. The shuttle service throughout the Gran Bahie was excellent. We enjoyed a la carte suppers every evening, having reserved through our travel agent weeks before our trip. Certainly we will return to Ambar again...truly a 5 star to us!

Room Tip: Stayed in the room we were assigned to. It was in bldg 64 main floor, near the pool.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank pat p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2012

Beautiful beach and resort!
Food was abundant and delicious!
Room was spacious, comfortable and clean!
(No bugs, birds or lizards on site!)
Staff was friendly and prompt!
Pool was perfect temperature for enjoying frozen drinks at the swim-up bar!

Room Tip: 3rd floor is best for quiet and view (except no elevators)
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank kcbaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chorley, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2012

Holiday date: Last two weeks of March 2012.

Good:-
Rooms, buildings, reception, gardens, lobby.

Bad:-
FOOD - Looks good but is cold and has a texture in the mouth of having been cooked ages ago, this includes the Ala Cartes.
BEACH - The beach probably was okay but was hidden by beds and people. We had to be up and out by 7.30am to get a sun bed with shade, many many beds reserved in the dark!
NOISE - Due to the fact the the buildings are so close together, any noise reverberates between and through the buildings, you hear every person that comes back to their room late. This also includes the bags and trolleys rumbling over the tiles.
ALA CARTES - The themed restaurants look great but the food quality is poor with all dishes served tepid.
AFTERNOON BEACH PARTY (a few metres down the beach) - Military grade amplification with
many hundreds of people wanting to impair their hearing.
POOL - Full of people standing in the water all day, talking, drinking alchol and complaining that the pool is too quiet?

Very bad:-
Santa Fe resaurant - One bite and left. Food and service worse than bad.

CONCLUSION
We very much looked forward to this holiday having booked a previous Gran Bahia Principe hotel in Mexico, The bottom line is that we felt claustrophobic in a very crowded environment.
I normally take hundreds of photographs, I took about ten.
Lastly, my partner caught a chest infection that seemed to be prevalent across the whole complex. In the main Ambar Restaurant, the chef carving the turkey had to rush to the back of the serving area, and with carving knife and fork in hand had a long coughing fit then went back to carve the meat. I felt sorry for the guy who was just trying to earn his wage.

This is my first posting on Tripadvisor, normally I just go with flow, but this was so what we did not expect from Gran Bahia Principe.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
4 Thank Jim C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ohio
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 April 2012

This place has several things going for it - a beautiful white-sand beach with turquoise-clear water, no screaming kids to be seen or heard, and for the most part, friendly staff and service. I also found the bed to be comfortable and the bathroom finishings and room overall to be nice. I was surprised, though, to find that probably only 5-10% of the rooms on this property have a view of the pool or maybe teeny-partial ocean view. The rest look at other rooms, the sidewalks/greenspace, or, like ours, at a barbed wire fence surrounding the property. Many tripadvisor reviewers say it doesn't matter what your room is like, because you are never in it, but this is a matter of personal preference. To us, a romantic getaway should feature a morning cup of coffee or evening glass of wine on a balcony overlooking SOMETHING beautiful. Barbed wire was just disappointing, but not something we cared enough about to change rooms, especially because none seemed to have really great views.

As for our other disappointments - the aspects that knocked this down from excellent to average for us - many have already been documented here. First, the a la cartes. There were only two restaurants my husband and I planned on getting reservations to, Don Pablo and Mikado, per tripadvisor reviews. I went straight to guest services upon arrival to make reservations to those two restaurants. We didn't care what time or which nights - we just wanted to eat at those two a la cartes during our stay. We were told there were no available tables at either restaurant for our entire stay. Sorry, there was nothing they could do. Of course, as many others have reported, the restaurants had open tables - as in, over 50% of the tables were open when we showed up and tried to get seated as walk-ins at 7pm. We also tried to join another couple we'd met and add chairs to their table, but that was not allowed and we were asked to leave. So even though the restaurant is over half empty, they do not take walk-ins, nor do they have a waiting list to call people's rooms if they have a cancellation. It basically appears that the Ambar does not want all of their guests enjoying the finest dining experience they have to offer. I assume this is because the Don Pablo offers filet mignon, lobster, etc. and they save money by avoiding serving very many guests. This is a terrible way to do business, and left a very sour taste in our mouths. Oh, and the woman at guest services scoffed at the fact that we were only staying for five days, and mentioned that we "should stay for longer, like a whole week, if you want to eat at those restaurants." Thanks for your advice, but there are reasons why we only stayed 5 days. Perhaps your restaurant reservation system should accommodate guests no matter how long or short they stay.

The "Palmyra" buffet was unimpressive and we got really sick of it by the third dinner. The meat was consistently overcooked or, in some cases, just unidentifiable. This is coming from a very NOT PICKY eater. The lunch buffet by the pool seemed a little fresher and better to us, so we filled up there each day. The drinks at the Ambar are fine - a little watered down at certain bars, which is to be expected at an all-inclusive. They do serve Stoli vodka which is a plus in my book. We tipped everywhere we went - spent $80 in tips over 5 days. We don't do it to receive better service, but because the staff works hard and deserve it.

The last thing I'll say is to couples in their 20's-early 30's as we are: The trade off with an adults-only resort is that, while it's lovely having no screaming kids disturbing you on the beach or by the pool, you will be the youngest people in the place. The Ambar seems to cater to 40's-60's. I did not really have a problem with this, but it was just something my husband and I consistently noticed.

One more thing - the palapa situation. Ridiculous. I do blame the resort. I woke up at 8 the first morning to reserve one because the TA reviews had said this was the time to throw your towels down, and at 8am there was exactly ONE palapa still available, way in the back hardly in earshot of the waves. So on the second day I set my alarm and got down there at 7:05, and again, ONE palapa free. At this point, I was done. I like to sleep until 9 or even 10 on vacation (I am still young!), but evidently, the towel game starts at, who knows, 6am? 4am? They have such a strict policy with their a la carte dinner reservations, perhaps they should devise a system for the palapa reservations so people like me at least KNOW what time we have to get down there. One solution I can think of is, if you make people take a number/card/sign to put on the palapa to reserve it, hand these out beginning at 8am, and you only give one number to each room of guests, then the same guests can't reserve BOTH a pool AND a beach spot. This would at least free up some more of the spaces. I believe the same people reserved both a beach and poolside space, when they clearly can't be two places at once all day.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank ohiomichigangal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alden
2 reviews
Reviewed 12 April 2012

Great place
Get to the pool early. Chairs fill up. Must stay til 8am or the pool security will take away your towels.
Get to the beach by 6:30am to reserve a chair
Good food - not great, but good
Don Pablo was the best restaurant - recommend the lobster
Bring singles - don't have to tip, but they really do appreciate it.
Read map carefully - place is huge - easy to get lost!
King size beds are not guaranteed - can only be requested.
Housekeeping staff wonderful. Very clean. Someone always sweeping, mopping, etc.
Pool warm, ocean warm.
No need for reservations, restaurants never full to capacity.
Ask for top shelf (Stoli, Baileys, etc) they have it, but don't display it.
Don't venture off the resort. It's another world out there. Guys with machine guns on every corner.
Would not recommend the shark/sting ray/party boat cruise. The reef is littered with garbage.
There's a casino and a disco. The disco opens at 12am.
Easy to make friends. Most of the people were from Canada at our resort. Only a few from NY. Met people from Switzerland and Germany. Made friends with many.

Room Tip: If you don't like to walk stairs, request the first floor. You'd be surprised how many time...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank wendyz292
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Windsor, Ontario
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 April 2012

We loved our stay at the Gran Bahia Principe Ambar. The buffet food was good and the a la cart restaurants were great. The service was amazing throughout the resort, and the staff were very helpful. We especially loved the pool, and the pristine beach. We will definitely be going back.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Robert B
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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