Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue Don Pablo Collection (yes it is a mouthful) was the resort I recently stayed at during my family vacation to Punta Cana. I was there for a total of 5 days. This resort is a part of a total of 7 sister resorts that are located right next to each other. I would say that all of the resorts that are owned by Bahia Principe Hotels and Resorts located in the Dominican Republic are pretty similar, but they do have minor differences. The great thing about staying at one of these resorts is that you do have access to many of the amenities offered by the other resorts. The perks of staying at the Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue was that it was located right on the beach, whereas not all the resorts had direct beach access, and it is also an adults only resort, which meant there were no little kids running around and no crying babies to ruin your beach time.
The resort had daily activities and a plethora of restaurants to book from for dinner. They also have an app available for download that gives you easy access to everything that is going on. You are basically living in a village that is combined with multiple resorts. This village was filled with exotic trees and huge statues to decorate the elaborate walk ways. There also is a trolley service that would take you around to the different resorts and locations for all the different events and restaurants. This trolley service was great for all the times that I was drunk, or too full too walk. It was not necessary to use the trollies because in reality all the resorts only spanned about a 1-1.5 miles of beach, so if you really wanted to walk to your destination, you could. Walking around wasn’t actually that bad because of the beautiful scenery and chirping of tropical birds.
This destination was one where I truly felt like taking years of Spanish when I was younger actually paid off. Many of the workers spoke English, but not all of them could speak it fluently, and there were times where some of the workers understood no English at all. What was actually pretty cool about this destination is that the people I encountered were from all over the world. The resort truly was an international destination, and almost everything was spelled out in about 4-5 different languages. When visiting the restaurants the menu would have a different page each spelled out in a different language, and even the different menus available in your room (room service, butler service, etc.) were in a list of different languages. Even some signs were written in English, Spanish, French, and Russian. I would describe this destination of more of a destination for couples or families. My older brother is only four years older than me so I had someone to hang out with for most of the time. Nonetheless, overall I had a fun and relaxing trip, and in this review I will go into detail about each of my days at the Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue:
5 Days at Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue
After waking up early in the morning for a 7 AM flight we arrived in Punta Cana around 12:30 PM. The flight time is a total of 4 hours, and there was a one hour time difference. Our flight actually arrived a little late because of the time spent de-icing our plane from the snowfall. The taxi ride from the airport to Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue took a total of approximately 30 minutes. The taxi ride cost $40, and there is a $20 entry free upon arrival at the airport for every person entering the Dominican Republic.
Upon arrival to Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue our rooms took some time to get set-up, so we were allowed to get our wrist bands and get lunch from the buffet in the mean time. The customer service was excellent and we also were given welcome cocktails in the lobby. The buffet, like any decent resort, has a wide range of food, and a ton of different desserts. There is some sort of food to please even the most picky eaters. After finishing lunch we returned to the lobby to check on our rooms, which still had not been ready. After waiting around in the lobby for a bit after lunch we were finally escorted to our rooms. Although there was a minor issue with our safe and mini fridge, they were fixed within an hour and we began exploring the resort. There were no elevators, but luckily our rooms were located on the 2nd floor. Our wi-fi was also functioning at this point, which was available free of cost, in your rooms, in the lobby of the hotel, and even most spots on the beach of Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue. Fortunately, because I have T-Mobile, international data and texting is free regardless.
The first day wasn’t too crazy, as we were all tired from the traveling and the flight. The great thing about all inclusive resorts is the aspect of unlimited alcohol. Make sure to bring singles for tipping the employees. It isn’t necessary to tip, but it will definitely make you feel better about yourself, and you’ll get better service. On the first day we booked all of our reservations for restaurants for the next few nights. Unfortunately, we were not able to get a reservation for the first night because it was too late, but we were able to get one for each of the next 4 nights. I highly recommended doing this upon arrival, as you may not get reservations at the restaurants of your choice if you wait too long. There were a few restaurants located on the Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue resort, but there was a total of 12 restaurants scattered across our resort, and the sister resorts to choose from. There was a variety of different cuisines including: BBQ, French and International, Italian, Japanese, Mediterranean, Tex Mex, Steak House, oriental, and Local Food. I will go into more detail about the restaurants we reserved later on in this review.
Although the first day was a little slow we were able to travel around the resort a little and explore this area known as the village. This area had a bunch of small shops, the casino, and the club. Back in our lobby there was also a Spanish dancing event going on in the evening. After calling it quits early for the night we headed back to our rooms and indulged in some room service because why not?
Coincidentally two of my brother’s medical school friends happen to be staying at one of the sister resorts the same time we were in Punta Cana. They had told us about this massage spot that they had found out about and we decided to give it a shot. This was not included and cost extra. While waiting on the beach for our turn to get our massages I saw couples and families getting their pictures taken on the beach by photographers. There was a photography studio located on the resort where you could get a photographer to take pictures for you. Also while waiting we faced the first of many rain showers. For the majority of my trip the weather was amazing, after all I can’t complain when going from 22 degrees fahrenheit in New York to 84 degrees fahrenheit in Punta Cana. The rain showers happened periodically (maybe once a day) but would only last 5-10 minutes, during which it would pour rain. Within a few minutes the rain clouds would blow over and the sun would come out again.
After our massages we went and ate at the buffet and then hit the beach. Relaxing on the beach at Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue is awesome because the workers will constantly come up to you and ask you what you would like to drink. The water was nice and clean too, with the occasional seaweed up front, but once you got about waist deep it was all clear. I highly recommend wearing a pair of these at all times. I accidentally get my Converses all wet and sandy one night. After the beach we hit the pool and while conversing learned about this cool menu that was offered in the rooms. This menu allowed you to call in for different pillows and different scents for your room. After returning to the room and getting ready for dinner I had to try it, so I gave a call.
Dinner at Rodizio – Steak House
Rodizio is an authentic Brazilian steakhouse that would satisfy any meat lover. After arriving at first they allow you to go to a salad bar and get whatever you like, and then they also give you a card (on the left of the picture). Then they brought an array of sauces and veggies to the table. The card that they gave is green on one side and red on the other. This simply means go for green and red for stop. There are waiters walking around the restaurant with giant skewers of meat. They come over to your table and if your card is green will ask you if you want the meat. They had a ton of different meats. The ones I remember: turkey wrapped in bacon, filet minot, ribeye steak, beef, pork, chorizo, and chicken. Then they simply cut off slabs of meat into your plate until you are satisfied.
After dinner we returned to the lobby of Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue. They had a blackjack promotion going on, and my brother happened to win a free voucher for a $10 bet in blackjack. Later at night they had a beach party. At the beach party they had dancing and a fire show, and also special drinks that were in coconuts. The fire show was really cool and they did a lot of different tricks with fire and spun it around in different ways.
After waking up this morning we hit the buffet area for breakfast. The same guy that was our waiter at dinner the night before just happened to be our waiter at the buffet this morning. They have exceptional service and always seat you and ask you what drinks you would like. They usually always had some sort of special drink for each time of the day. This morning it was mimosas so I downed a couple of those. If you go for breakfast a little later they usually had sangrias.
After breakfast we went to the excursion guy in the lobby and booked our excursion. Earlier on I had a quick glimpse of the excursions offered in a pamphlet and knew I wanted to do the Adventure Boogies one. More on this later, but make sure you shop around in order to get the best deal. When exploring on the first or second day I had asked in the lobby of another sister resort for the price of this excursion and the guy quoted me $50. In our lobby the guy asked for $65 a person, after telling him I was offered $50 by the other resort he quickly matched the price. I highly recommend everyone check out excursions when they go on vacation. It is fun and eye opening to explore the local area and learn new things. After all money spent on experiences is always a better investment than money spent on material objects.
We then hit the beach as usual and then explored this jacuzzi area. They had 3 jacuzzis in this one giant pool. It was a cool separated off area that was surrounded by exotic trees. One thing that I didn’t like is that at Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue, or any of the sister resorts, they had no hot tub jacuzzis. All the jacuzzis had cold water, and if you wanted to have a hot tub jacuzzi you were forced to use the one in your room.
Dinner at Portofino – Italian
This was an a-la-cart italian restaurant with foods like pasta, pizza, and meats. I don’t really remember much about this restaurant, but I know it wasn’t my favorite. After dinner we hit the casino for a bit and I won some money (which I ended up losing on the last day), and also made some new friends. After the casino we headed towards one of the sister resorts for a Gala Show. This show was fun and entertaining, but definitely not the best. They had different shows on different days of the week.
After getting up early we had a quick breakfast and headed to the meet up location for our excursion, Adventure Boogies. They picked everyone up in a big truck like vehicle painted with Adventure Boogies on the side. Once arriving we were given a little background information about our day and were able to purchase waterproof packs for our phones/money and bandanas to cover our faces. I highly recommend buying a bandana or bringing one on this excursion because there is a lot of mud and dirt that is flung around. You also have the chance to book photographers so they can focus on you and your family during the trip.
Once you pick your desired vehicle, there were ATV’s and other off-road vehicles, you are headed on your way to Macao Beach. This is a very beautiful beach that has rough waters and is known to be a great spot for surfers. Once getting there you have the chance to take pictures on the beach with monkeys, iguanas, and parets. The locals on the beach would sometimes just approach you and put the animals on your shoulder without warning. You can also buy small trinkets there (that you can get anywhere else) like coconuts and bracelets.
After leaving Macao Beach you get to drive to this other ranch-like location. This excursion also gives you the opportunity to see real areas of the Dominican Republic, other than just the resort area. When you drive through the town sometimes little kids would come out and try to give you high fives along the way. At the next location there is a private cave where you can take a dip, and they also show you how authentic cigars are rolled. The tour guide also explained a lot about their local culture. They told you about Mama Juana, which is the authentic alcoholic drink of the Dominican Republic. It’s a combination of rum, red wine, and honey, all soaked in a bottle with a special root and herbs over time. Here you were offered other drinks other than just Mama Juana. They offered you different types of coffee and tea. I really liked the chocolate tea that they had.
After this we drove back to the location where we originally came to get on the vehicles. Here you could buy any pictures from the trip, or get on your trucks to go back to the resort. After getting back to Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue we got ready for dinner, and made plans with the new friends we made to check out the club later that night.
Dinner at Maiko – Japanese
This restaurant was definitely my second favorite. They had sushi as one of the starters, and then hibachi cooking for the main course. For anyone that has gone to a hibachi dinner, this dinner was nothing new. They did little tricks and cooked different types of meats to your liking. My favorite part of this restaurant was definitely the dessert. Even though the main course was good, the dessert was delicious. Since everything is all-inclusive you are not limited to one thing on the menu. You can literally order 3 starters or 4 desserts if your heart desires. I ended up getting 2 desserts, but the fried ice cream was my favorite.
After dinner we hung around for a bit and relaxed. We met up with the new friends we made in the lobby in time to hit the club. They would shut down all the bars in the lobby of Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue at around 11:30 PM, and the only place you could get more alcohol would be the club (disco). I met a girl at the club that only spoke Portuguese so communicating was a little hard, but nonetheless had a fun night. Goes to show how truly international this destination was.
This was our last night at Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue. I woke up a little late this morning and was in that awkward time where breakfast was over and lunch had not started yet. The only option for food at this time was room service as none of the food or snack bars were yet open either. I decided to forgo eating and go mini golfing with my family and eat after. This course was a little outdated and could be seen through visible wear and tear. Also it had rained recently so some of the holes were actually under water. Easy improvements could definitely be made here.
After mini golf I had a quick lunch and then we hit the beach again. Luckily my brother had one of these speakers, which made relaxing on the beach so much more enjoyable. Make sure you don’t forget your favorite music, or a nice book when going on your vacation. Shortly after we ran into the friends we had made and decided to play some frisbee in the ocean. After messing around for a bit we explored a bit of the sister resorts and took a pit stop at the sushi bar. Time flew by and soon enough it was time for our dinner reservations, so we headed back to our rooms to get ready.
Dinner at El Olive – French and International
This was by far my favorite restaurant and it just happened to be on our last night. You could easily tell upon walking in that this restaurant was more upscale and classy than all of the other ones. I got the tuna tartar for my starter and it was amazing. For my entree I had the lobster confit that was absolutely delicious. Unfortunately, they had no vegetarian entrees available, but they were extra accommodating and made a special dish for my mom.
After dinner we headed back to our rooms to relax for a bit, and then took the trolley to watch the Grammy Show. This performance was definitely better than the last. It was enjoyable to watch and got the audience involved. After the show we headed back to our resort to meet up with our friends and go out to the club for our last night. Outside my room I was actually approached by a Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue resort employee that tried to sell me a bunch of mini Absolute vodka bottles that are stocked for free in our mini fridge. This wasn’t the first time I got approached for illegal things. I was probably asked about two times during my trip if I wanted to buy weed on the beach as well. Anyhow we started drinking and headed for the club. This night turned out much better than the last. We all had a great time and met two girls from New York, who were cousins, with which we all ended up spending the rest of the night. We left the club really late and took a stop a snack bar, and then chilled on the beach until about 4 AM. It was nice because you could actually see stars in the sky. This was definitely a great ending to an overall amazing trip.
Luckily, me and my brother packed our bags the night before knowing that it would be tough in the morning. We had breakfast, and took a cab to the airport to head back home. I definitely left out a lot in this review, but that leaves for some surprises for you! I would say indefinitely that Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Blue was a good stay, could have been improved upon on small things, but definitely would recommend to it to others. It was a well needed, relaxing break from my daily job.