Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Relaxed adults-only property, but may be too quiet for some
The Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar is the adults-only, more upscale section of a massive resort complex, which includes five separate hotels. The wristbands here grant guests access to features and restaurants at neighboring resorts, but the reverse is not true, making this section a bit quieter.
The bright, elegant lobby of the Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar is home to the main buffet and bar with ample areas for lounging. It's a peaceful atmosphere for couples and the absence of kids is noticeable, particularly compared to the two main lobbies of the larger resort. The main advantage of the entire property, in fact, is the quiet. There are no kids splashing in the pool, crying on the beach, or throwing tantrums in the restaurants. But for some guests, this section of the complex can be a little boring. In the evening there's nothing to do after dinner besides swilling drinks at the lobby bar. It's about a 15-minute walk through a confusing maze of hedges and guest rooms to the late-night disco or the evening shows at other properties, or guests can wait 15 minutes to take the resort's free shuttle.
A good beach location about 35-minutes from the airport
The Bahia resort complex -- a massive place with five separate hotels -- is a 35-minute drive from the airport. This Ambar adults-only property can be an adventure to get to from the main entrance, but it's directly on a nice stretch of beach with a private area -- meaning more lounge chairs -- and no disturbance from screaming little ones. As is the case with all of Punta Cana, most guests come to enjoy the all-inclusive resort (there is not much to do outside of the resort). A free shuttle between properties comes every 15 minutes.
Basic but clean rooms with canopy beds and stocked minibars
There are 528 rooms in this section alone and only one room type to choose from: Junior Suite Deluxe with either two full beds or one king bed. Dark wood beds are canopy-style, and living room areas have a sofa bed for a potential third guest (though no kids, as this property is for guests 18 years and older only). Spacious bathrooms have dual sinks, whirlpool tubs, and separate showers. Modern updates received as part of the Don Pablo collection rebranding include white linens with red throws (which replaced the previous floral pattern). Rooms also have flat-screen TVs, coffeemakers, 24-hour room service, and minibars with water, soda, beer, and mini liquor bottles that are stocked daily.
Restaurants on-site and access to other areas of the resort
Guests at Ambar enjoy a kid-free environment but also have access to the rest of the resort. Inside this property, guests can choose between four restaurants and four bars. The main restaurant is buffet-style, guests will also find three a la carte restaurants serving French, Italian, and Mediterranean cuisine; most guests give the food high marks, but it is recommended to make reservations early for the a la carte options. The bars include a swim-up bar, another bar by the pool, and a beach bar.
The main pool is large and advertised as "lake-style," with a small island with two palms trees, the previously mentioned swim-up bar, and an adjacent whirlpool. Introductory scuba diving sessions take place here. It is exclusively for adults, but confusingly, there is a shallow section that looks like a kiddy pool and a sign saying that children must be supervised. Still, we didn't see any little ones during our visit.
The sandy beach is large, and there is less of a rush for lounge chairs here, since there is a private area for guests of this resort only.
The spa is located in this section of the complex, so guests have easy access to manicures, pedicures, facials, and couples massages. In the sprawling greater resort, there is nightly entertainment, a late night disco, and 24-hour snack bar.
This upper-middle-range, adults-only resort is one of the original sections of an ever-growing resort complex that feels sort of like Dominican Republic’s version of Las Vegas. Make sure your driver knows the exact hotel name -- there are five hotels total -- otherwise you may end up confused at the wrong lobby. Spacious but basic rooms are close to a nice beach, pool, four restaurants, and four bars. The resort is clean but not quite as upscale as advertised; young honeymooners seeking a chic retreat may want to look elsewhere.