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“Esmeralda Excellence” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection

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Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #26 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Canada
Level Contributor
22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Esmeralda Excellence”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2012

The Esmeralda is the shining jewel in the five resort Bahia Principe Complex. You pay a little more, for a lot more. A modern all-suite resort that is hard to beat. Punta Cana's best beach is on your doorstep. Enjoy.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Bluenosers2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6,083 reviews from our community

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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 (1,386)
Date | Rating
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English first
Windsor, Canada
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 March 2012

We have a family of 4. We booked for the Esmerelda but had to stay the first 2 days in the gran bahia which was OK. From where they drop you off it takes 10 mins to walk to the beach. Thats right 10 mins. Yes they do have shuttles if and when they pick you up. REMEMBER its Dominican time lol so when ever! The Esmerelda was very nice, the room clean. beautiful. BUT the staff is NOT organized at all. The first day our room key didnt work sooo back we go to the front (10min walk) did that 3 times cause the key still didnt work.
Then when we did get our room at the esmerelda the manager( Nino R) gave us atttitude cause they told us our room was ready and it was NOT had to wait 5 hours to get our room? Which we booked for? So we complained to him about why would they move us if it was not ready, then he told he didnt have to give us a room and walked away?????? NOT good with customer service at all. The staff does have a major with their english but some do try.
If you like walking this is the place for you. 45 min to the market on the beach which is good and better prices DONT go on the resort way too pricey and they hassle you alot. Have one guy come up to us and say give me your money? lol I told him the same!
All in all..... if your not happy tell them right way.
We would never go to punta cana again. but would go to La Romana again very nice their and the staff is nicer.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 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?
3 Thank AAMW1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester,IOWA
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 March 2012

Just returned home.. beautiful HUGE resort. Esmeralda is just part of the much larger complex.. this and the Ambar were the nicest 'hotel' areas. You will get your exercise walking here unless you take the train everywhere. Room was beautiful and clean, food was good but after 7 days ready for 'home comfort' food. Staff was friendly, attempted to change rooms as I wanted something with a view but was told 3 days in a row "come back after 10 am tomorrow, nothing today".. seems they have that routine down very well,watched them 'perform' it on others. Beach is BEAUTIFUL! You can walk for MILES up and down.. (peek in at other resorts that are close and plan next years trip)..even though the beach is public it is very safe. There are security people watching who comes and goes in the resorts but we were able to walk up to the Hard Rock and took the train in, bought some souvenirs.... that place is amazing and huge (saw Madonna's limo she donated). Plenty to do, be as active as you want or just relax the whole time, you choose.
What I didn't like.. the guys in the SCUBA shirts will push you to the "Premier people".. you are approached thinking they are the scuba (tour) guys but they try to push you into sitting thru the Premier Privilege presentation.. didn't like that they were misrepresenting themselves.
Wifi in the lobby didn't work very well, made it hard to keep in touch at home.
Overall a great vacation spot and will probably return to the Esmeralda or try the Ambar next time.. wouldn't do the Punta cana or Bavaro as they look like older buildings.
Prepare yourself for the airport departure.. it was a ZOO and we felt like cattle being herded. Have to pay $10 to get in the country and $20 to leave... doesn't say "Welcome" to me.. but oh well, we had a GREAT TIME and it beats the heck out of IOWA weather!
AND.. take the Outback Safari excursion.. it was great! They also donate proceeds to the schools and the tour guides were great, (Angel was the best)! We learned alot about Dominic life.

Room Tip: Don't get 1st floor back side,, train runs up and down, fumes and noisy, we had 3rd floor and wa...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank skstelke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Okotoks, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 March 2012

We stayed at this wonderful resort from February 24th - March 2nd. We traveled with 2 other couples. All the postive reviews we read about are absolutely true. The negitive reviews were in my opinioun unfounded.

The room and service was top notch. We always found chairs on the beach in the Esmeralda private section. We were always down to the beach by 9:00 am. We placed our towels over our chairs to reserve before we left to go have breakfast.

Different story if you wanted to reserve a chair by the pool. You could not reserve a chair near the pool before 8:00 am. Sercurity guards walked around and took towels and belongings off chairs if you were not sitting there.

None of us had any complains about the food. There was something for everyone. All the ala cartes we went to were very good. The Don Pablo was our least favorite because the service was incrediblely slow. We emailed 7 days before we left to reserve our ala cartes.

If you want to call home there are no calling cards or pay phones. Our transit rep advised us to use our phone in our room. It cost .69 (cents) per minute.

We never seen one bug during the duration of our stay. All six of us loved this resort and had a wonderful time. If you have any questions please email me and I will try my best to answer your questions. Don't hesitate about this resort it is wonderful.

Room Tip: Building 90 is closest to the beach. We emailed before arriving and requested building 90 third flo...
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  • 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?
10 Thank loves_2_scuba_dive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vaudreuil sur le Lac, Qc
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 March 2012

Its so easy to complain if you are looking for perfection. Get real people! The Esmeralda is a great place to go to. Stayed with wife and 3 kids (10, 7 and 5 mths) and really enjoyed the week (Feb 26 to Mar 4). Yes complex is huge and great if you are looking for more (shopping, Casino, Disco) but if you want tranquility and above average extras the Esmeralda is for you. Keep in mind that if I would have taken the comments I read on this place without an open mind, no hotel would be good enough!!!! Rooms are big and very clean. the grounds are very well maintained and other public areas are also very good. After 1 week food get repetitive at any resort.
Do yourself a favor, leave with above average expectations and you will enjoy this place!

  • Stayed March 2012, 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Stephane R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ajax, Ontario
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2012

Don't forget...you are in the Dominican Republic!!! Not the Ritz in Paris, or a ultra cool boutique hotel in New York...therefore, just know that you will not be getting gourmet food. Buffet and a la carte resto's quite good for a resort in Caribbean...however food gets boring by the end of the vacay.

I agree with the previous reviews:

Nice, newer rooms...not musty...tip: run the AC running while you are out of the room to prevent any mustiness. We brought incense to burn in case this was the case.

Comfy pillows!

You can hear everything going on outside from inside you rooms. Echos...No sound insulation at all. Doors slamming, clicking open, maids talking in halls...tough if you want to sleep in, or take a mid day nap.

I had lotion drip onto my bathroom floor...so I wiped the foor area down with wet tissues and the Kleenex was black with dirt. So...just shows that shiny floors don't mean clean floors.
That is why I love to wear slippers in the room. God knows what your bare feet could be walking on!
I did not see any bugs at all during my whole stay. No Mosquitos at night either!
However: on my last night, we were sitting on the comfy couches by the lobby gift shop, and I saw a roma tomato sized cockroach crawling on the floor, and i almost jumped up through the ceiling. I had only read about ones that big!!! It was not there because the resort was dirty...it was only just visiting, I can understand that.
Staff do know a touch of english, but it does help to use basic, proper English statements spoken slowly otherwise you will be repeating yourself, or end up with an extra cervesa instead of an extra serviette.
I was guilty of having to wake up earlier than I would have liked a couple times to be able to sit by the pool or the beach! Otherwise we would have been disappointed... Because people are actually reserving these spots by draping their towel horizontally across two chairs, or one flip flop on each chair to claim their spot. And to top it off, those people only showed up to their reserved chairs for a total of 20 mins or not at all for the whole day. Ignorant. Too bad we were forced to have to do this! We did not have a chance to sit around the adult pool for this reason.

I did highlight the bad points but that's me being picky...I have high standards, but travelers need to know, and learn from reviews...that's what they are for!

In general, this resort was great...beach spectacular, food ok...good variety, attentive staff, just reception staff didnt give me the warm and fuzzies. Quiet resort for relaxation. Enjoy!

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank PrincessUschi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2012

February 25, 2012 - I am sitting the lobby of the Esmeralda, as we are getting ready to depart our 10-day holiday.
Summary
The facilities are beautiful, the weather was very nice but the service and food were spotty. In short the complex is too big, it is very hard to communicate with the staff, the staff is poorly trained and appear very disorganized (partially to the language issue and partially due to the size of the facility). My wife and I just want to come to a nice resort and have a simple relaxing vacation without a lot of hassles. If that is what you are looking for DON’T COME HERE, AS THE CUSTOMER SERVICE ISSUES WILL DRIVE YOU NUTS.

I don’t blame the staff, as they appear to want to do a good job. I blame the management. We complained to the various managers about poor service on two occasions. Each time they listened and took our room number but we never got any feedback. We only got a response from the hotel management on our second last day when I mentioned to our Air Canada Rep that we were unhappy with the service and as a result would not be back. We also told her that we ran into at least two other Canadian groups that felt the same and would not be back either.

Good
Beautiful facilities
Beautiful beach – walk for miles
Very nice weather
Gardeners very friendly
Had a non-urgent problem in the room the needed fixing and they were there in 10 minutes to fix it

Bad
Language problems – if you want anything more that the basic of basics 50% of the staff don’t understand what you are saying in English. As example in the bar the waitress had to get the manager so I could order a rye and coke – the waitress did not understand the term “rye”. For a minute neither did the manager.
Food – warm food cold after sitting in the buffet
Food – somewhat bland
Food – very repetitive menu in the buffet
A la carte restaurants not very good – service - they try but miss the mark on polish and getting the basic details right – ordered a diet coke twice and no diet coke, sent my steak back twice and still not done right, a waiter dropped a roll at our table while serving me (he knew it) and just left it there on the floor – another waiter came along and kicked it to a third waiter across the room. The third waiter looked daggers at the second waiter and finally picked the roll up.
Seated at a table that had small ant type animals crawling over the surface – not one or two but more than 20 – we told the waiter, pointed the animals out to the waiter and asked to be moved to another table (and were). The waiters removed the place setting and the cutlery from the offending table but did not remove or attempt to clean the tablecloth. Twenty minutes later they reset the table and seated another couple at that table (ants and all)
Resort too large, as there are four resorts in the total complex. The a la carte restaurants are spread out in all four resorts and so you have to walk from one resort to another. My wife just had a foot operation and her foot gets sore if she has to walk a distance – as a result we had to leave 30 minutes early to catch two trams (you have to wait to transfer from on tram to another at the main lobby) to get to the a la carte restaurant two resorts away. Not my idea of restful and relaxing.

When we had a problem at the a la carte restaurants we spoke to the manager after the meal. He told us he was very sorry and took our room number but we never did get any follow up.

At the Esmeralda they had a security guard that would remove your towels and belongings if you tried to reserve a lounger before 8AM. Thus you had to come down at 7AM and sit on your lounge until 8AM so you could get a spot you liked.
If you left (to walk the beach) he took your belongings and when you came back there was someone sitting in your spot. This caused more than on argument between guests.

No spot to get coffee early in the morning. At other resorts I have been to in the Caribbean they would set up a self serve coffee station with some sweet buns or muffins for early risers. It was a nice touch that was really appreciated. No such thing here. You have to “beg” coffee here at the restaurant as they set up for the day.

Result – I would not recommend this resort to a friend.

  • Stayed February 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
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Muskoka47
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 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 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#22 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#26 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 
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Also Known As:
Gran Bahia Principe Esmeralda Hotel Punta Cana

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