We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
New! Find and book your ideal hotel on TripAdvisor — and get the lowest prices

“Another great vacation” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection

Best prices for -
Enter dates for best prices
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 6 more sites!
Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #27 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Orangeville, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Another great vacation”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 February 2012

I hate to say this because everyone will discover our favorite resort but this was our second trip to Esmeralda and it was even better than last year.
First I want to address some of the negative comments in a few of the recent reviews.

Bugs etc. - We saw one small salamander on the beach. It was about 3 inches long and non threatening. No bugs in the room at all. Ever!! We were on the top floor so few crawling bugs could make it up the stairs. Last year our friends were on the ground floor and had no bugs in their room either. 2 mosquitoes forced us off the balcony one evening. (At home in the summer we see thousands of the critters.) We were bitten a few times while sitting on the beach. Since we didn’t see anything, we assume that it was “no-seeums” or I think they might be called sand flees.

Saving seats – I’m sure this goes on everywhere and I saw no effort by the staff to stop it. I am an early riser and I would go out on the balcony at around 7:30 to drink my coffee. By that time most of the seats in the shade around the pool were already saved with towels.

Time Share – Last year we got a note asking us to pick our free gift at the desk. We figured it was a sales gimmick and we didn’t want to waste any of our precious week so we never picked it up. Once we were approached and chatted up by a salesman in the lobby but were saved when our dinner companions arrived.
This year there was no offer of a free gift and we were never approached by a salesperson. We did see some tours going on but not as many as last year.

Personally, we found that waiters at the a la carte restaurants seem to be subdued and very formal. If that’s what you like, that’s great, but we preferred the buffet. We found the waiters much friendlier and the atmosphere more relaxed. In fact, we loved the buffet so much that we cancelled two of our dinner reservations. The buffet always had a wide variety of foods from authentic Dominican to roast beef and turkey. If you like fish, you won’t be disappointed. The stone bass was amazing. On some nights sushi was available. Other nights had lobster and caviar.

There are so many other things we love about this resort. It is very quiet which is a plus for us. The beach is great and the adult pool is a nice addition. The staff were all friendly and helpful. There is even a waiter on the beach this year to get drinks for you. I could go on and on.

We are already looking forward to going back again next year.

  • 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
18 Thank Pattio63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

6,075 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    4,033
    1,270
    496
    161
    115
See reviews for
2,433
2,434
64
26
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 (1,384)
Date | Rating
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Slovak first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Grimsby, Canada
Level Contributor
81 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2012

Will knock this into several sections so its somewhat organized in approach. We stayed at the Esmarelda but this resort (or small city) is made up of the Bavaro, Punta Cana, Ambar and Esmeralda resorts, depending where you stay you get various levels of access to the other resorts, staying at the Esmeralda allows you access to everywhere but the Ambar buffet. It is 5 kilometers to walk a circle around this place.

1) Pretrip, booked again thru itravel2000, consistently best or equal to best prices, easily can compare flights, hotels, arrival times etc on their website, as mentioned last year, call the 800 number to book, you'll get a capable person willing to help and answer your questions.

2) Went with AirTransat, no problems, no suprizes, good service etc.

3) Food, Buffets were decent, lots of food choices and types, beef was so tough you couldn't chew it but this isn't Alberta, overall well done. A la cartes in general were pretty average with the exception of the Don Pablo which was outstanding, best lobster I've ever had in my life and this is saying something where I've eaten fresh lobster right off the boats on the east coast. Email them ahead of time and book your a la cartes, otherwise you could find out its not available or you eat at 9 at night.

4) Beverages/Drinks, being our second time in PC it seems that the low end drinks are Normandy brand, this is what they will give you if you don't ask for the better selections, some sections of the resort limit whats available as part of the all inclusive, we were able to get much better brandies etc in the Esmeralda to go with our coffee's end of day than you could elsewhere. Beer is Presidente on tap, not bad but its draft non the less.

5) Facilities were excellent, well kept, clean, Esmeralda section is isolated/stand alone from the rest of the resort, you can go anywhere, the rest of the resort can not come to the Esmeralda, everything is very close, Steak House, Bella Italia, Buffet, bar(s), lobby, pool(s) all located within Esmeralda, just a few steps from the sand, beach and ocean.

6) Beach/Pool, beach is excellent, was pretty rough a few days but this is unusual. Pool is great, swim up bar and not over crowded since its for Esmeralda guests only. We went over to the main pool one day just for the change, way to many people, no room to sit, noisy as all get out, left after a while and went back to the Esmeralda, main beach is the same, common areas are too crowded to be comfortable. Esmeralda has its own area where you usually had no problem getting beach lounges etc.

7) Entertainment, show(s) in the large theatre (open air) at night, short which I like, you can sit for 1 1/2 hours, enjoy a couple drinks, take in a show and then move on, best of the week was Michael Jackson, we had heard of this in the other resort we stayed at last year so were eager to see, well worth the effort.

8) Golf course on site, if you rent clubs on top of green fee they want 220$ US for a round, I play at least once a week in Southern Ontario/Niagara Region so am an avid golfer, but no way was I going to pay this ridiculous rate for a round.

9) Staff are on the most part pleasant and willing to please, learn some basic spanish and it will go along way, these people work for somewhere around 300$ a month, and they put in huge hours, they are making their money on tips, we always take down about 100 singles, leave a couple for the maid every day, drop a single on the people you deal with daily every now and again, your service level goes up, they can make a slightly better living, everyone wins.

10) Shopping, there is a market square on the front end of the resort, a square of shops around a football size area, in the middle are carts, if you like to haggle go to the carts, be prepared to get pressured, everyone is suddenly your friend, they have learned to play on the decent behaviour of others, best to tell them give me your best price, then you tell them you will check the shops around the square and if its the best price you'll come back, they don't like this and the price comes down significantly, its all a game, have fun with it. There is a Canadian gal outside the resort who runs a store, crafts, rum, cigars, jewelry, prices are better than anywhere I've seen, silver won't change colour over time since its truly sterling, cigars are hand rolled on site with excellent tobacco, you can get a free shuttle off the resort to and from, maybe 15 minutes away, arrange with your trip provider at the tour office. Drop a couple singles on the driver.

In closing, this is a huge resort, 3 shuttle lines run from front to back to get you around, once you get the lay out its not a big deal to navigate the place, if you don't use google earth start now, you can zoom in on the resort, see the building layout, shuttle lines etc (compare to map on their site) you'll know the lay of the land before you arrive and will be more comfortable getting around.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
14 Thank dgm999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ontario
Level Contributor
109 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 February 2012

2 couples feb8-15th . First about Air Canada Vacations...they can do better, ran out of food on the flight, AC did not disclose that the first 18 rows are for elite points travelers, the “privilege” program you get with this package in my (as advertised) is worth zero, just smoke and mirrors. Never saw the AC on this resort...and We did not want to take away 2 hours for the intro at the front of the resort from my vacation. If we pay for a 5 star from AC THEY should service on the 5 star resort.
The Esmeralda was great. We read negatives but could not find any that one should be upset about, nasty people deserve what they get LOL. Food- buffet service was very good always. The al a cartes need work we went to need work. We went to 2 of 4 booked decided buffets were better.
Staff People - Bar tenders, servers, EVERYONE where fantastic!
I made request and I believe they did everything they could to meet them as best as they could. A+.. We read about the 90&91 block, I would say it does not matter, what’s wrong with a 2 minute stroll to your room from the beach? I say there are really are no bad views.
Rooms themselves are great. Maid service great. All the butler talk in the reviews ...never asked nor offered. But I am sure if we asked they would do whatever it takes.
That privileges club thing, approached many times, stopped chatted a few seconds and left with a no. No idea what they are selling.
The vendors in the town square are very aggressive. Best way is to acknowledge them or ignore them, a friendly chant and a strong NO works good too. And saying I spend all my money works too. Use 20% as a starting point, and 25 to 30% of whatever number they give you, as a deal closer. Keep an eye on what you buy, open the envelopes, be sure they do not switch out things, just a suspicion I had.
The Esmeralda is a 5 star, or very close to it, and you can see and experience the efforts of the staff to make sure you enjoy your stay. We would definitely return!

Room Tip: any facing the "pool side"
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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank pokher_ace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sault Ste. Marie, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 February 2012

spent two weeks jan 24-feb 7 20122 at the esmerelda.Thought the food and srvice was excellent at the esmerelda.WE had a few buffets at the main dining room at the gran bahia and it was very noisy and crowded.Milfa lorenzo was our butler and she gave us excellent service and she was added several touches to our room candles etc that made us feel special.Luis at the Jasmin buffet was fun and entertaining.The staff really tried hard to make you feel special.The only complaint i had was on check in our room wasnt ready until the next day so they had us stay at the ambar part for the first night.This was a hassle as we had to re check in the next day at 1pm kind of ruining our first beach day

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 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?
5 Thank dino f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 February 2012

We spent one week at Gran Bahia Principe resort - Esmeralda at the begining of Nov. 2011. We had a great time at the hotel. The Esmeralda resort is small and quiet. The pool and the beach were near the lobby and the restaurants. We had wireless acces even at the beach. The food and the service were excellent. We had a great time.

  • Stayed November 2011, 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank SchatziQc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
35 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 February 2012

We have been several times to Bahia Principe main hotel, Ambar and now we've just returned from Esmeralda. All was great, food, service, rooms (I dont know about The "cocrouhes" as almoe07 blogged about, we never saw any bugs anywhere). However the BIG problem now at Bahia Principe is The time sharing! Although the sales people try to convince you that it is not time sharing. Paul gave us an appointment for one morning at 11am and we did not show up because we knew it would be a trap; so that evening we received a phone call from another person who insisted that we go and when I got annoyed at his being so aggressive when I told him we were not interested he told me that if we did not attend, Paul would lose his job.... That was horrible. I called the manager who kept putting me on hold while I was talking to him about this situation. He just did not care until I confronted him in person. He sent us a fruit plate (as if I couldnt get any at the buffets). So this might be it for us as far as Bahia Principe is concerned. We are never going back, it was quite annoying to be harrassed all week. They want you to attend a meeting and ask you for $20,0000. ....... All this while you are trying to rest on your vacation. Very sad, great resort but not for us anymore! I hope Bahia Principe and the Pinero group sees this critic and understand that the hotel guests were all really annoyed at this new practice.

Room Tip: Ask for second or third floor; always a better view .....
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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
13 Thank Deedz M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 February 2012

The Esmeralda is a beautiful compact resort, kept immaculately clean by very hard working staff. We visited in January 2012 and overall our experience there was close to perfect with just one or two minor issues. Check in went smoothly and we were given a room in Building 90 on 3rd floor, close to beach and overlooking the pool. I had requested this ahead of time by calling the hotel and they made a note on our file. Bedroom was very nice, clean and fresh, with very comfortable king size bed, modern bathroom with double vanity, jacuzzi bath, walk-in shower with glass door and separate wc. Balcony was private. We enjoyed sitting there early evening, with patio doors wide open....not a single bug or gecko to be seen the entire week. The maids cleaned the room promptly every morning, and left beautiful towel creations and rose petals, etc. Fridge always restocked.

Loved the fact that the resort had its own outdoor and indoor buffet restaurant. Nice to have breakfast and lunch and feel that warm carribean breeze while you enjoy your food. Plenty of selection in the buffets. One of only two complaints about the entire resort was that the food was always lukewarm. It seemed the same way in the a la carte restaurants.

We ventured away from the peace and tranquility of the Esmeralda resort in the evening to enjoy the entertainment of the shows. The theatre is located in the Gran Bahia Punta Cana resort (crazy busy there). Only a 10 minute walk, but most people seemed to hang around and wait for the shuttles. Shows were well done......some talented dancers and gymnasts.
The Don Pablo Gourmet and the French Gourmet restaurants both excellent.......Japanese and Italian just so so. It always felt good to return to the Esmeralda later in the evening, enjoy a drink in the lobby bar, where there was usually some relaxing live music.

The beach is amazing for walking......you can literally walk for hours. Loved watching a couple of pelicans in the morning flying low and swooping down into the ocean for their breakfast! Unfortunately the area is swamped with resorts, side by side, so the beach is incredibly busy.

The pool area is again very clean. Pool chairs are reserved early by people placing towels but the staff will not allow this before 8am. No pool activities at this resort which suited us fine. If you are looking for activities you need to walk to the Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana pool area. We also liked the adult only jacuzzi pool area at the Esmeralda with cabanas. Nice clean outdoor restrooms located there too.

The Esmeralda offers "free" sailing and canoes. But BEWARE of the watersports staff. Unlike the rest of the staff in this resort, they are not very friendly and will make you wait for hours unless you hand over $$$$. We gladly tipped waiters, maids, barmen who all offered great service and I believe their service would have been just as good without tipping. Somehow the vibe down at the watersports desk was very different.

Otherwise I would not hesitate to recommend the Esmeralda. I feel, based on experiences at many other all inclusive resorts in the Carribean, this one does merit 5 stars.

  • Stayed January 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?
9 Thank Shiobhan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Punta Cana hotels
29.5 km away
Alsol Del Mar
Alsol Del Mar
#41 of 110 in Punta Cana
4.5 of 5 bubbles 830 reviews
0.4 km away
Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue Don Pablo Collection
0.4 km away
Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
1.0 km away
Majestic Elegance Punta Cana
0.4 km away
Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro
Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro
#51 of 110 in Punta Cana
4.0 of 5 bubbles 9,779 reviews
0.3 km away
Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Green Don Pablo Collection
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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
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
#22 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#23 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#27 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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 (additional charge) Children Bahia Scouts The hotel is perfect for families, offering a range of facilities tailored especially for children, including the following: Mini Club for children aged 4 to 12 (at the Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana) Evening Mini Disco Babysitting service (additional charge) Bahia Scouts Water park Fun Area and Adventure Park (additional charge) Teen's club (11 - 16 years) 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, TripOnline SA, Booking.com and Hotels.com so you can book your Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Gran Bahia Principe Esmeralda Hotel Punta Cana

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing