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.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Couldn't Get Me Out of the Pool!”

Best prices for -
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 12 more sites!
Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #29 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
Orange, Connecticut
Level Contributor
120 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Couldn't Get Me Out of the Pool!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 May 2012

Here are the few "negatives"---If you are a first time traveler to Punta Cana, it can be very confusing in the airport and at the drop off at the hotel. You have to fill out a tourist form and pay for a tourist pass in the airport, unfortunately no one on the plan or at the airport tells you that. Then when you get to the hotel, you are dropped at the main lobby of the Punta Cana section of the resort, you have to get a tram to the Esmerelda. Many people carry your luggage from the airport to the room, have plenty of singles and fives ready.
Once we checked in and got to our room we discovered that it smelled of smoke, which seemed to be in the walls, the closet, the bedding, etc. We immediately asked for a room change and were told there were none that night (it was 9 pm by that time). We left the balcony door open to try to clear the room, but then we heard noise all night. The next day all they had was first floor rooms, not acceptable for two women traveling. By the day after we were given a FANTASTIC room facing the pool with an ocean view, on the 3rd floor, with two beds, Perfect. many thanks to the desk staff, especially Judid (Judy) who was exceptionally patient and helpful.
Despite the early problem with the room we still felt that this place rated 5 stars. The staff was friendly, helpful and almost all spoke English. The Dining Room and Restaurant staff really went out of their way to make the meals fun. The bar staff were excellent and the pool bar made perfect Mojitos for me and coco Locos for my daughter.
About the pool: my only complaint was that it didn't open until 8 am and closed at 6. I would have loved an earlier morning swim and certainly would have loved a night swim (with the swim up bar open). the pool itself was delightfully warm, uncrowded and immaculately clean. And very quiet--no games, loud music, etc. We never had a problem getting a chaise, except for those in the shade of the "huts"---those seem to have been held with towels by 7 am. But my chaise was barely occupied, as I spent most of my time in the water. And when I wasn't in the water, I was at the beach.
The beach for the Esperanza is not a "private" as the hotel advertises, but it really wasn't a problem, we always got chaises where we wanted them. The beach was also immaculate, with an employee constantly picking up trash. It is a nice walk along the beach to the other parts of the resort where you can hear the pool music games, etc and take part if you wish. We actually came upon a salsa lesson on the beach--we did the lesson in the water which was great fun and good exercise. The water was clear but there was a lot of seaweed, especially at the Esperanza section. there was no effort on the part of the resort to rake the seaweed off the beach which was disappointing as they did so much else.
Food: uggh,,, The buffets reminded me of bad college food...the restaurants were mediocre at best. The only restaurant I would recommend was the Garden Grill, and that was excellent and the reason why I did not give the food a "poor" rating (although we thought that being at the Esperanza gave us access to all of the restaurants, there are some that are for Ambar guests only--and because it was the beginning of the off season there were many closed restaurants.) Make sure to reserve early. We made due with yogurt and fruit for breakfast; salad for lunch and restaurants for dinner. Frankly the hot food on the buffet looked as tho it was there for too long to be safe and much of the cold food looked too warm. The good news is that we managed to vacation with drinks, beer and wine throughout the day and came home not having gained any weight!
All, in all, a fantastic hotel, great resort and a wonderful time.

Room Tip: If you get a room facing the tram line ask for a change immediately. the tram runs until 3 am and y...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank PATRICIA S R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

6,535 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    4,309
    1,386
    543
    171
    126
See reviews for
2,534
2,700
73
28
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 (1,504)
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
Bensalem, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 May 2012

Thank you Bubba King for your expert guidance. Its been like two months since our trip and we are still smiling. Our mutual friends at the Bahia Resort delivered everything I wished for my wife and myself as we celebrated our 20th wedding Anniversity. We had the end room on the third floor facing the other pool. We got every one of our dinner reservations too, Perfection.

Thank you. Everyone on trip advisors have created such a awesome community. Me and my bride are tuley in your debt.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Logan B B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wilmington, Vermont
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 May 2012

We really loved everything about this hotel. We made one mistake, which was allowing the "priviledge club" people to convince us to listen to their sales pitch, but it only wasted an hour and half of our time. It could have been worse, but our advice to you is skip it, it is a pretty standard time share deal. Outside of this, the place was great. We had a corner room in building 90 on the second floor, so we had a view of the pool next door and the beach from our terrace. Perfect for relaxing in the late afternoon and having a drink before dinner. The food was good, we went to restaurants in all areas of the hotel, except Ambar (we have a 9 year old), and felt that the food and the service at the Esmeralda were the best. Most of the employees were so kind and pleasant, no matter what their job was. I speak a very modest amount of spanish and they all seemed to appreciate the effort. We tried to leave tips in our room each day, at meals, and at the bar, which elevated our service even more. We hope to return again. So, don't hesitate book a visit today! You will be glad you did.

Room Tip: The reviews that said building 90 was the place to be were right, but it is such an intimate resort...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank mingo05363
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 May 2012

In a word - Fantastic !
If you are looking for an all-inclusive without the crowds and queues with delicious cuisine, helpful friendly staff,and clean spacious rooms you've found the right place.
Just a few more reasons to pick this location and resort:
- Wonderful beach
- Clear blue ocean
- Private (adult only) Jacuzzi area
- Hotel surroundings - tasteful, clean, beautiful gardens - fresh coconuts just ask the gardner's
- Staff - very helpful - especially Wander in the Buffet - thank you for making a special effort for two birthday's Not only did he arrange cakes but also decorated the table with Happy Birthday in flower petals.
- Buffet - filet mignon and lobster.. (Need I say more... book if you want to try the seafood special - every Thursday - highly recommended) Lots of vegetarian options too..
Activites - Scuba course can be booked directly from the resort - they took great care of Shira who at only 13 took her Open Water course
Spa - easy access to the Spa at the next door Amber - thanks for taking great care of our 85 year old grandfather.. he loved the massage and his pedicure :)

Enjoy and have fun, we look forward to returning to this gem.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank P K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
129 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 May 2012

Returned from a 1 week stay @Bahia Esmeralda and here is the breakdown:
PROS:
1-Grounds are spotless and incredibly groomed. Nothing was ever out of place anywhere!
2-Rooms are equally spotless and spacious as well. Stayed in Block 90.
3-Drinks at the Lobby Bar are always great...premium liquor, which is hard to find in the Dominican, one of the reasons we picked this place.
4-Front Desk Staff----ALWAYS amazing and willing to help! They do an excellent job of representing the face of the Esmeralda...keep it up!
5-The "private area" on the beach for ESMERALDA guests, while not right up to the edge of the sea, this small spot was quiet, had a nice view of the water, was close to a bathroom, and always seemed to have chairs available.
6-Food was mostly good everywhere we ate.
CONS:
1-As other reviewers have said, it is sad but true in saying that the tips and Spanish-speaking dictate your level of service in more areas of the resort than not. My husband and I found this to be very disappointing, as we always attempted the language to ask for things, but found that this did not help us in any way for outstanding service because we were not fluent. As for the tipping, it is frustrating to feel the need to do this at an ALL INCLUSIVE resort. I myself am a savvy traveler of the Caribbean (my 16th trip), and after a 2nd trip to Punta Cana have found that the Dominicans seemed to be the most expectant of a tip, and in my opinion not overly grateful to get one either (please note, we are NOT against tipping). This is not the fault of the resort itself, but being voted BEST ALL INCLUSIVE on TA was a bit of a letdown. For example, we even saw a bell hop roll his eyes to another co-worker when a couple gave him $2 to move their 2 suitcases 15 FT! He counted the money, and showed the other worker, and then rolled his eyes.....so NOT cool!
2-The beach access of the other Bahia resort guests was a disappointment as well. The Esmeralda is the "top dog" of this complex, and for all of the lower-end hotel guests to be able to plop their towels down @6am and spend the day on Esmeralda's beach really UN-glamorized the experience. Paying for the upgraded resort should really separate you from the other ones, I feel.
3-The food, while I listed this as a PRO, is also a CON in terms of availability. It became sort of a game to run around and see who was serving food at what time (it seemed the other resorts in the complex had better availability than Esmeralda). If you have an early morning excursion, prepare yourself to jump through a few hoops to get a bite. It's not impossible, just not easy.
4-Lack of explanation/communication/etc.....while being on an island, part of the adventure is the exploring, but the Gran Bahia slacked quite a bit in explaining the ins and outs of this HUGE complex (I will not hold the front desk responsible, as they are still fabulous). Just to give an example (and not make this any more lengthy of a review), 2 of the restaurants we went to were CLOSED (we had reservations), but after walking around found that the actual restaurant itself was in a building of a restaurant by a different name. It was funny the first time, but the second time was a bit of an eye roller. None of the mishaps ruined the vacation by any means, just that we both felt there seemed to be a little more leg work doing the "easy stuff," so to speak.
5-Foreigners everywhere....WE do not consider this a CON, or the ESMERALDA's issue but for some people who travel this might be. Each trip we've taken we've come back with great experiences of meeting new people. BOTH trips to Punta Cana have fallen short in that area. If you enjoy socializing with other travelers by the pool/beach or at dinner then this might not be the place for you. Again, not impossible, just not easy.
Overall, the ESMERALDA does have its good points, but we feel that the resort is not worth the extra cash in the end. Hope this review was both fair and honest, and will help you in your choices when you vacation in Punta Cana. Happy travels!

Room Tip: Block 90, as others have said.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank GuppyGetaways
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 May 2012

We stayed in Gran Bahia Principe Esmeralda in May/June 2011.
The grounds are immaculate: beautiful, well presented, clean just wonderful.
The rooms are 3.5*. The size is extremely good (we come from London =))), every room has a balcony or terrace, the bed is very comfortable as well as pillows. But the overall look of the room is a bit outdated and has now the WOW factor.
The food is good with great variety, huge number of a la cart restaurants. The only a la cart we enjoyed was Japanese. After 3 more tries other in other a la carts we ended up sticking to buffet. Every evening has it's special theme, though after 1 week you notice that the dishes repeat a lot. But there is food for everyone: fresh juices in the mornings, plenty of fruit and veg, fish, meat, poultry, bread, soups, everything is great. The desserts are not amazing, but you can always skip them and have a fruit instead =)))
The beach is clean and immaculate. Always some lounges available. Swimming pool is great size.
If you like alcoholic cocktails better bring alcohol from the room (fridge/bar restocked daily) and ask the barmen to use you little bottles - as the alcohol at the bars - horrible. For us it was not an issue as we are not heavy drinkers.

The only slightly not that amazing points for us were room not 5* and wireless Internet only in the lobby (BUT you are on holiday, so maybe it is not bad thing))))

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Olga L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hessle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 May 2012

just returned yesterday after 2 weeks of luxury, DO NOT be put off by any negative reviews we found this hotel fantastic definitely worth the 5*,all the staff are very friendly and eager to please.
The rooms are spotless and really big, the maids clean really well and leave fresh towels every day and a nice treat of chocolates at nightly turn down service, the mini bar is well stocked daily and a couple of dollars tip sometimes gets you extra beers and crisps.Pool towels were easy to change (no silly cards to hand in).we were in block 92 with a lovely view of the lobby and Jacuzzi we requested in advance a high floor pool facing and this is what we got brilliant, we also requested dinner reservations a week before we arrived and they were there handed to us on arrival (saves booking on when you get there).

BEACH,
we used the beach every day it was great a lovely breeze blowing but it is still hot hot hot! if you wanted loungers with umbrellas you needed to to be on the beach between 8 and 9am but there is still plenty of loungers available,we never had a problem getting them.the beach bar is great the barman is constantly happy, friendly and always dancing and singing and remembers your faces well as he always was pouring my drinks before i got to the counter a lovely touch, the sea is great a lovely temperature and depth (i don't like to be out of my depth)a walk along the beach is highly recommended especially to the left of the hotel there is a section of water crystal clear loads of fish and a great palm tree for taking pictures on on the beach.

POOL AND JACUZZI,
pool is great although we only used it at the end of the day for a relaxing swim it is one depth all over great if your not good in deep water! there is a separate section for children fenced off, also a jacuzzi section integrated in it. The pool bar is great again very friendly bar staff.Not many parasols round the pool but plenty of beds. We did like the adults only jacuzzi section very relaxing and has cabana's for shade as it does get hot around it lovely with no children around.

FOOD,
the buffet at the esmeralda is good plenty of selection especially if you like puddings! its always fresh and has a different theme every night especially the gala on a thursday (you need to book this night) lots of lobster as much as you want as well as meats to choose from,the staff are good always replenishing you glass especially the water, i can recommend the house wine (white) even better as its free, the only criticism i have is sometimes the buffet food unless they have just brought it out it could do with been hotter but this is something i have found in most all inclusive buffets so this didn't bother us.
We ate at only a few al la carte restaurants so can only review on them the EL OLIVIO superb especially seafood lovers hence we ate there twice it is a lovely romantic setting too. We also ate the MAIKO this was great we ate there twice too we did not do the cooking show as we did that on previous holiday but worth doing if you not done to before. The GARDEN GRILL steak house is the only meal we didn't enjoy the steak was not seasoned enough and a little on the greasy side and if you like your steak well done make sure you ask for very well done or it comes medium. Don't let this put you off trying it as every ones tastes are different.

Entertainment shows are good especially the Michael Jackson show and the circus just make sure you don't watch them all in the first week as they repeat them the second week, the lobby bars in the sister hotels have more atmosphere than the esmeralda but as expected more busy and you can't get your branded drinks included at these bars but device is still good, the esmeralda bar is great for starter drinks before a meal or a quiet nigh or nightcap as at this bar you can get good quality branded drinks included.

Over all this hotel i would highly recommend, but if you want entertainment for children you would be best staying at the sister hotels, i wouldn't hesitate to go back to it we have been to the dominican before and stayed at the majestic and we much preferred this hotel so if your thinking go going book it you won't regret it. The only improvement that could be made, is to make it adults only like the Amber but if you travel in term time as we did there were hardly no children at all.

P.S TAKE MOSQUITO SPRAY OFF IS THE BEST YOU CAN BUY IT THERE.

Room Tip: high floor pool view
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank taglee
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
26.1 km away
AlSol Tiara Cap Cana
AlSol Tiara Cap Cana
#23 of 110 in Punta Cana
4.5 of 5 bubbles 1,679 reviews
29.5 km away
Alsol Del Mar
Alsol Del Mar
#47 of 110 in Punta Cana
4.5 of 5 bubbles 925 reviews
0.5 km away
Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Green Don Pablo Collection
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.3 km away
Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue Don Pablo Collection
0.4 km away
Luxury Bahia Principe Fantasia Don Pablo Collection
5.0 km away
Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa & Casino
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
Phone Number:
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
#25 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#26 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#28 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 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, Priceline, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Travelocity.ca, Agoda, TripOnline SA, Evoline ltd and Cancelon 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