I will explain all of my ratings, followed by a comparison of the other sections of the complex, and I will end with a comparison of other resorts I have stayed at in Punta Cana. I know it will be long but I will have it in sections in case you want to skip, but I wanted to be thorough.
Service: Excellent - while the rooms we had requested were not provided the first day, they were very quick to accommodate to exactly what we had asked for the second day. People are extremely friendly, and the only people who complain about the Spanish or unfriendliness are those who are unfriendly themselves and don't try to even say thank you or hello in Spanish. A little goes a long way and is appreciated.
Value: Very good - we didn't get a steal, nor did we pay an arm and a leg. I said average at first, though in comparison to other hotels in this price range this one seemed to be the clear winner.
Sleep Quality: Average - This ranged from very poor to very good depending on the night and how tired we were. I slept well as I like a firm mattress, however my boyfriend had a hard time with the mattresses. Noise wasn't much of an issue except for a couple of occasions, but we can't get angry as we went to bed quite early a few nights.
Cleanliness: Excellent - I'm not sure if I've ever seen a cleaner resort. I did notice a difference in cleanliness compared to other sections of the resort. Impeccable cleaning service.
Location: Excellent- no complaints.
Rooms: Excellent - absolutely beautiful. Stunning, bright rooms. Far nicer than any other area of the Gran Bahia Principe complex. The buildings felt nicer and much more open.
Food: Average - the buffet was quite tiresome. It was strange to see cold cuts, hot dogs, cauliflower and broccoli every morning at breakfast. However, at night they did have a different theme every night. We tried several À la cartes. Our favourite was Maiko, the Japanese, though as all the other restaurants, nothing had very much flavour. The sushi was delicious though, and everything was quite tasty. The Don Pablo had the best dessert with the chocolate volcano.
Spa: Can't speak to it, heard it was nice though.
Entertainment: Can't speak to it. Never heard anything good though, except that the disco was busy every night. If you are looking for a lively resort, this section is not for you. You are better off staying in the middle where there is more of a party crowd. We chose this section as we had access to every part of the resort, and could thus have a relaxing atmosphere or a party atmosphere if we wanted.
Note: As far as the complaint about getting a chair, we never had an issue with this. Now if you want it in a specific spot with specific shade, you may have more problems, but we are very flexible people and not hard to please!
OTHER SECTIONS OF THE COMPLEX:
While they are still nice, they do not really compare to the Esmerelda. We heard various complaints about the service in the middle sections (not the Ambar). The Punta Cana/Bavaró section was still nice, however it is worth the extra few dollars to stay at Esmerelda if cleanliness and quality is important to you. Not that the others weren't clean, or low quality, just not AS high of a standard it seemed.
OTHER RESORTS WE'VE STAYED AT:
Grand Palladium Palace (2009, 2011): Food was much better (especially breakfast, much more variety and the à la cartes were great). The Japanese was much better here (so good!!), and the Brazilian food was to die for. The beach front at this property is undeniably the best. It is huge. However, not enough chairs. 2009 was in Feb and extremely busy, 2011 was in May and was very dead.
Occidental Grand (2010) : Honestly doesn't even compare to any other place we stayed. The only good thing I can really say is the night club Mangu is right off the property, still in it on their driveway. A great time. Food, not good.
Ocean Blue & Sand (2011) : Beautiful. Food not AS good as the Palladium, however the buffet was still great with lots of variety and the à la cartes were better than Occidental or GBP.
Gran Bahia Principe Esmerelda (2012): The only complaint we have is about the food. That is it. It was beautiful.
If I didn't cover something, feel free to message me with any questions.
- 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