Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda – All Inclusive
- Free WiFi
- Golf Course
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
Located in La Altagracia (Bavaro), Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda – All Inclusive is convenient to Punta Blanca Golf Course and Iberostar Golf Course. This 4-star resort is within close proximity of Hard Rock Golf Club at Cana Bay and White Sands Golf Course.
Make yourself at home in one of the 570 air-conditioned rooms featuring minibars and plasma televisions. Rooms have private furnished balconies or patios. Complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and satellite programming is available for your entertainment. Private bathrooms with separate bathtubs and showers feature jetted bathtubs and designer toiletries.
Spa, Wellness & Premium Amenities
Pamper yourself with a visit to the spa, which offers massages, body treatments, and facials. After practicing your swing on the golf course, you can dip into one of the 2 outdoor swimming pools. This resort also features complimentary wireless Internet access, babysitting/childcare (surcharge), and an arcade/game room.
Food & Drink
This resort is all inclusive. Rates include meals and beverages at onsite dining establishments. Charges may be applied for dining at some restaurants, special dinners and dishes, some beverages, and other amenities.
Grab a bite at one of the resort’s 6 restaurants, or stay in and take advantage of 24-hour room service. When you are in need of a refreshing drink, visit a beach bar or one of 8 bars/lounges, or 2 poolside bars.
Business & Travel Amenities
Featured amenities include complimentary newspapers in the lobby, dry cleaning/laundry services, and a 24-hour front desk. Free self parking is available onsite.
How to Get There
Our group stayed at Esmeralda for my brother's wedding. For group travel, the check-in experience was good - they were prepared for us and quickly had each reservation assigned. My own destination wedding at a different resort chain, however, was much more organized and stress-free than what my brother went through. No one in the group knew where to be or when until the morning of the wedding (4 days into the trip), and we were left in a secluded, extremely hot and non-breezy location for 3 hours while the bride and groom did pictures. The wedding couple had trouble getting information on their service in the weeks leading up to the wedding and were quite stressed about that (needlessly, in my opinion).
The Good: Maria and Alexis are wonderful servers at the Tamarindo pool bar - this pool is usually much quieter for relaxing and soaking up the sun (no pool activities here, go to the other one for that). You can visit the entire resort, except for Fantasia, and use all facilities except for their buffets, which is nice. The Ambar lobby bar is quite beautiful! All resorts in the chain are walkable but there is a convenient trolly system to get you around. The gym at Ambar is equipped with a Synergy system plus they do daily classes; you have your standard gym equipment too. Esmeralda has a gym on site too (convenient). The MEAT steakhouse was super; the Brazilian BBQ was definitely 4.5/5 and the Santa Fe was AMAZING! The Italian restaurants were hit and miss (based on feedback from our group).
There is tons of room for everyone so people do not have to get up and annoyingly try to reserve chairs by the beach or pool. The pool entertainment is typical and fun to watch or take part in.
I love to eat and don't typically have too much trouble with resort food. However, I found that the buffets had a lot of "stuff" but not a lot of options for someone who eats healthy. A LOT of processed meat, breads and baked goods and cheese. The best for breakfast was the omelet made to order (the scrambled eggs in the buffet were runny and bland). The fresh fruit is always delicious. I found most of the hot food in the buffet pretty bland overall, even local foods I typically love while traveling to the Caribbean, like fried plantain or rice and beans.
If we needed anything from our housekeeping staff, they were super quick to help out.
The Bad: The a la carte restaurant reservation system is awful. It was impossible to get into most of the restaurants because, for whatever reason, they were limited reservations. We'd go in to a restaurant we were told was too full to accommodate 2 more people and it was over half empty. We couldn't reserve for the night we arrived so essentially lost 1 of our allotted reservations. You had to have all your parties' info to book because you couldn't go back in to add another person without cancelling first. It's not an efficient system, in my opinion, especially for large groups.
The Wifi is sufficient but a massive PIA to get into at first, especially if you're not very technical or patient! I had to get onto the local cell service to get my login email for the Wifi. Coverage isn't consistent across the entire resort and doing any video seemed really laggy. It would be hard to run an online business from the Wifi, most of the time.
One person in our group had a condom in her shower for 2 days. It took 6 complaints for someone to finally come clean that up and she couldn't shower for 2 full days. Our pipes kept backing up into our sinks and shower. We told maintenance twice, they came twice, and it still kept happening. One time the pressure shot the filter and drain out of our shower. The overall cleanliness of the rooms was okay but the rooms are quite dated; dirty, old grout that the housecleaning staff couldn't fix, etc. Our bathroom mirror was losing its tint so it had a bunch of dark brown spots all over it. The beds are ridiculously hard but after a few bad nights, we were able to get some thin mattress pads put on that helped a little.
The staff were decent. Most of the bar and pool service people were friendly and easy-going. The concierge people always seemed annoyed to be helping us. They have a money exchange at the concierge but never any money, and when they do, it's always an excuse why they can only give you 20s back instead of anything smaller.
Typical to tropical resorts, the halls echo every little sound anyone makes. As this is a kid-friendly resort, there were quite a few screaming kids outside our door one day that was not appreciated. Ambar is adults only for those not wanting this to wake them up each day.
Overall, from my brother's wedding experience and the restaurant reservation system, I would not recommend this place for a wedding or large group unless you are super easygoing about things being quite difficult. There are better resorts equipped for more spontaneous dinner arrangement and knowing what to expect on your wedding day. We all did have fun. No one got sick from the food (that I'm aware of).
My experience was good enough that I may consider this chain again (albeit at the adults only). I've traveled to a number of 5 star resorts that were nicer and paid hundreds of dollars less for the same amount of time so the price wasn't on par with the experience...I'd rate this as 4 star personally.
Adding some pictures of the a la carte meals.
We stayed at Bahia Pricipe Esmeralda last week to celebrate my birthday. During our stay, we decide that we wanted to change our room to be closer to the pool and the beach. A gentleman at the front desk named Jackner Gilot, handled our request. Our room was switched the next day by our butler named Edward Sosa. I must say that the way our request was handled was superb. Both gentleman exhibited excellent customer service and care when completing our request. Moreover, the next few days when we would see Jackner, he would ask how are things and did we need anything. My wife and I felt very special and we were treated with the utmost respect. We are no strangers to this resort, but feel that they go the extra mile for the customer. We plan to return soon.
We stayed at Esmeralda, our second time returning, the food was amazing, such a variety for every palette, you could never go hungry. Our rooms were clean and spacious, our maids always eager to provide what ever else extra we needed. The beach, endless sandy beach for our long walks. Most of all, the staff went above and beyond for all of our needs. They were always friendly and greeted you with a smile.
We WILL be returning next year to our paradise Esmerelda. Thank you for a lovely vacation.
Fred and Nancy