My wife and I were at the Esmeralda between March 14th and 21st. We arrived at the resort just before midnight. Staff rushed out to help us with our luggage. When I identified myself as going to the Esmeralda, they called for transportation and it was there within 10 minutes. Check-in at the Esmeralda was quick and effortless. We were given a package containing a pocket map, key cards and a la carte reservations. We were escorted to our room and shown how to use the safe.
The room was everything we expected. No need to go into details that others have reported and can be seen in photos. However, I do wish to note that our bedding was changed daily and towels were delivered twice each day. The floor was mopped each day. We left a note requesting two extra pillows and they were there when we returned to the room. We heard no noise from the hallway, adjoining room or from the floors above or below.
We had requested a middle floor room in building 90 and this is exactly what we were given. The had room 90101, the end room closest to the beach with a view from our balcony of the beach and ocean.
We requested 5 a la cartes on specific evenings with early seatings. We got each on the night requested and all times were between 6:00 and 645. The a la cartes we attended were Dan Pablo, Esmeralda steak house, Mikado, El Olivo and Bella Italia. The first three were excellent and the other two very good. We could not understand the complaints we had read about these 5 restaurants. People compare them to restaurants in New York, London and Toronto. If people are looking for that type of dining, perhaps that is where they should go. For our part, we appreciated the efforts of the staff in making the a la carte dining experiences special. They obviously took pride in their work.
We found a good selection of quality, tasty food at the buffet. The staff were very attentive in refilling coffee or water and removing dirty dishes. They were friendly and spoke passable or good English.
The beach was nice and well used. There was a constant stream of people walking in both directions. We tended to walk to the right at the beach. The one day we went left, towards the Ambar section, we had to make our way through activities organized by the animation team. There were always free loungers in the Esmeralda section of the beach, no matter what the time of day. We did spend most of our time at the pool. The towel game was evident. All the loungers under the palapas or umbrellas were reserved by 7:30 each morning. This was not a surprise as it was well reported and something we have found at other resorts. The only thing that bothered me was the security staff removing belongings from loungers before 8:00 if they were unoccupied. There is no notice that this will happen and several people were annoyed to return and find their belongings moved. We knew about it so this didn't happen to us. We tried the adult pool one afternoon but found it too hot as it is further from the beach and doesn't get the ocean breeze.
We found the tram service to be excellent. All three lines ran roughly every 10 minutes. At busier times, such as when the pools close at 6:00 and people are returning to their rooms, we saw 4 trams within a 10 minute period.
We were approached only once about attending a time share meeting. After we said that we would rather be sitting by the pool than going to a meeting, the sales pitch ended.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the Esmeralda. It was our best vacation of the four locations we have visited in the Carribbean. We would definitely go again.
- 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 (free of 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 (free of 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 Esmeralda Hotel Punta Cana