Hubby and I just returned yesterday from 6 nights/7 days as an anniversary/belated honeymoon trip and couldn't be more pleased with the entire experience! So much so that we are already excited to plan our next visit as a group with other couples. The beach itself is absolutely beautiful and the impeccably maintained grounds only add to the "awe" factor. I highly recommend the Club Premium upgrade due to the additional option of unlimited access to the "sister" resort next door (Palace Deluxe) as well as the absolutely incredible concierge services offered with this upgrade. Even though we had full access to all of the specialty restaurants at both resorts, we were quite content the majority of the time to eat breakfast and lunch at the buffets due to the variety and quality. The local fresh fruit and juices that were offered 24 hours a day were at a quality level that simply cannot be found anywhere else, and when combined with omelet stations, crepe stations, meat carving boards, seafood grilling stations and a plethera of addtional international cuisine, there really is no need to look for any other options especially when you're partaking in langostino and mimosas every day! =) We did reserve dinner at a few of the specialty restaurants and they were all enjoyable experiences. Chez Gourmet is one of the more formal atmospheres, but the food and service matched the atmosphere and aside from most of the dessert options being somewhat gelatinous and the dinner portions being a little small, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Kyoto has quite an exciting atmosphere with couples /families being seated at the next hibachi table that is available until it is full.....great opportunity to make new friends while enjoying the interactive chef's show on the cooktop (our cheeks were hurting from laughing) and if you tip the wait staff a buck or 2 after the first water and/or cocktail refill then your drinks will never get below half full without being refilled. The "starter" portions are small but incredibly yummy, and the dinner portions are quite large. Santa Fe Steakhouse was a bit of hustle and bustle, but not unusual for a traditional steakhouse. Soup, entrees and drinks are ordered from wait staff and salad, appetizers, breads, desserts etc are buffet style with a GREAT variety! If you're a wine drinker like I am then it's well worth it to spend the money to purchase a bottle from the SUBSTANTIAL wine menu at any of the restaurants as opposed to trying to drink the "house" wine (vinegar water) that is included at no additional charge. If you want to purchase souvenirs, go to the local shops on the beach at the west end of the adult only side, and you can also get better deals on the party boat and snorkeling excursions and they'll remember you and treat you right every time you return. We did, however, parasail with SeaPro Divers because we had booked online a week prior to our trip and they were absolutely AMAZING to deal with......ask for Marcos! Pretty much any water activity that you could possibly want is available right on the beach and due to the fact that it's essentially a lagoon with no water break close by, it's even reasonable to enjoy the kayaking and peddle boats! There is definitely more night time activity on the Palace Deluxe side, especially with the night club and casino being available, but the Adult Only has much more of the authentic Caribbean feel that we were looking for, and reserving a Club Premium room gave us the option to be more adventurous with the additional amenities at Palace Deluxe when we chose to, so it was the best of BOTH worlds! The customer service throughout the entire complex was what really impressed us. The employees and locals are just so happy and positive and want to do anything and everything that they can to ensure that you get the most out of your vacation and it's incredibly refreshing and inspiring! Take plenty of $1's and $5's for tipping because they TRULY earn it AND appreciate it! From what we saw, essentially EVERY room in the Adult Only complex has some version of an ocean view, but the rooms that are designated as Ocean Front have full views and are not as close to the noise from the pool, evening entertainment pavilion, bar etc. There are also five 2- room suites on the premises with double ocean front balconies, 2 bathrooms, full closets, 2 mini bars, CA King size beds, and a second smaller corner balcony with a hot tub and ocean views as well! I would highly recommend room 4079 that we were in due to the fact that it's the only one of the 5 suites that the hot tub balcony is actually private and not viewable by any other rooms on the resort! LOL
If you are going for a great beach, this resort is located on the best part of Bavaro beach. (I walked the entire beach - it is the nicest part!) If you are going for luxury, the food and the rooms leave something to be desired. Although I upgraded from the standard room to superior, when I questioned our room,I was told all of the rooms were superior, so why did I pay extra for the upgrade? The names are also very confusing, so be careful you are booking where you want to be. We booked (as the top states - Barcelo Bavaro Palace.) We ended up at the Barcelo Bavaro Convention Center. The other place is Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe. I questioned this, but was told I was in the right place. The Palace Deluxe is where you want to be with kids or if you like a lot of action. I did not push the issue because the convention center (all adult) and very quiet was what we preferred, but I'm still not sure we didn't pay for one place and end up in the other. The Palace Deluxe is more glamoroius and newer. The rooms in the convention center were as pictured; however, I did not anticipate a room on ground level garden view when I upgraded. There is a wide variety of food; however, I was not particularly fond of the idea that you are limited to one night per restuarant, must make reservations, and there were many restaurants at the Palace we could not access. Even the Japanese restaurant (part of our package) was full for our entire stay, so we could not go there. Choices in the restaurants are limited to about 5-7 entrees. The chicken and steak were the safest choices. The lobster thermidor was the driest lobster I've ever eaten. The scallops au gratin at the fish restaurant would not even be considered an appetizer (four large shells sporting four finger-nail size scallops. Service ranges from those being phenominally helpful to many who did not understand English and offered little. This is not your place if you expect to be treated like royalty. Service by Cheap Carribbean is outstanding! Before leaving all calls were answered prompty and the staff was extremely helpful! Likewise, our contact on the Dominican was always available and within minutes had a response to our needs. I would definitely recommend booking with Cheap Carribbean! For an on line company, they went beyond my expectations. We had a great time because the weather and the beach were fantastic! The room and the food were okay (we didn't starve by any means). Just be careful that you are booking the right place and getting all that you paid for.
We had a party of 6 for my sister's bachelorette party in Punta Cana at the Adults Only Bavaro Beach Resort. We had never been to the Caribbean before, but this was a great first experience and we would love to go back. The AmStar group was easy to spot and great to work with. The informative meeting on the first morning of your arrival is very helpful. We did not understand how things were charged to our room and what the $1,000 in credits and 25% discount meant. It means that you can get up to $1,000 off in 25% discounts. It wasn't a balance for your food and drink. You are only charged if you went to two of the restaurants that weren't on the list or ordered a bottle of wine with your dinner. We made reservations for three nights at a restaurant, and we were easily accommodated. We left the other days out to see if there were recommendations from other travelers. (Skip the Coral Seafood restaurant, go to the Spanish La Fuente and the Santa Fe Steakhouse.) The Mexican restaurant was pretty good too. La Fuente had the best service; The Hoyo (the restaurant on the golf course side) had the worst service and worst breakfast. I can not say for dinner as we never ate dinner there. Many said it was great, but we didn't witness any of this by the breakfast service. Juanito in the guest services building was incredibly helpful! He answered all of our questions and made our reservations. The attention paid to shuttle and pick up for the airport was also greatly appreciated. They had a list with all of our flight information and what time they would be there to get us to the airport on time. (It may leave just a shade before they say, so get there about 15-20 minutes before they recommend.) I don't think I'll ever go on a vacation again that isn't all inclusive. I spent $60 while I was there for 4 nights and 5 days. It is an incredible bargain. The rooms were clean, large, and very functional. I recommend a first floor room, as you have lounge chairs into a beautiful courtyard of sorts. It was so nice to have an a assortment of sodas, juices, water, snacks and beer in your room! The safes were very easy to use. Our air conditioner was not as powerful as the one in my mother's room, but it was better than outside. Just keep the door closed into the bathroom area to maximize the ac in your sleeping area. The rooms had robes, slippers, every toiletry item you could need, and a scale to weigh your luggage! Ours did not work, but the one in my sister's room did. Don't over pack. Take copious amounts of sunscreen and reapply every time you pop out of the water. Applying 50spf cream twice a day with spray touch ups of 30-50spf during the day, I still burned a little bit as I am very pale. I got a spray tan before I left to help and I am glad I did. Take very dark sunglasses. My eyes watered like crazy every time I was in the water from the glare. Next time, I will take a dark, chrome-finished pair of sunglasses.
Great travel service. I only wish I had a direct flight from Boston to Punta Cana. Never again 1 stop or more conections. It can be a long day of traveling. Resort was beautiful. Food to die for !!!!! Beach clean and always orginized for the next day. I felt very special. Bring a lot of singles for tips. Everybody loves you if you leave few dollars for a drink !!!! Im going back in March for a week again. Dont take too much clothes ! You dont need a warm clothes. Weather was BEAUTIFUL every day !!!! See you there !!!
My boyfriend and I traveled to this resort for five nights during the first week in June. It was my first trip to the Caribbean and each of our first all-inclusive experience. I did a fair amount of research and got a positive word-of-mouth recommendation before booking Bavaro Beach with Cheap Caribbean (with whom I had a really great experience). Food: We were not expecting the food to be the highlight of our trip; it was not. With the exception of Coral restaurant though, the food was fine. We ate at Coral the first night and it was BAD (ambiance & meal). The second night we ate at Chez Gourmet and were pleasantly surprised. Being afraid of a second experience like the one at Coral, we cancelled our reservation at the Mexican restaurant and ate Chez Gourmet again. Based on reports from other guests we spoke with, that was a mistake. By all accounts the Mexican restaurant was good. We heard negative things about Santa Fe. On our last night we ate at the Japanese restaurant & had a great time. We didn't know until our last night about the cigar, coffee, & rum bar upstairs on the Palace side. It was a gem that we wish we'd found earlier. I had an upset stomach the last few nights, but my boyfriend had no such issues. I would suggest sticking to foods you know are fresh or that would be ok sitting out for a bit (think made-to-order eggs, pasta, veggies & fruits). Service: In general the staff was very friendly and helpful. The front-desk and guest services staff is all multi-lingual. Not all of the servers, housekeeping, or maintenance staffs are- but little Spanish is required for a polite interaction (I got by with a smile & “Hola”). All of the a la carte restaurants had servers proficient in English. Rooms: We arrived at noon and were mistakenly dropped off on the Palace side. A porter drove us directly to the Beach side where we were greeted with a drink and checked in. Our room, however, was not available until 3:00pm at which time we did have to wait in line to get our key. Our request for an ocean view was accommodated (it seemed to be a slow week so there may have been more availability). The bathroom could use updates, but the room was kept spotless. The bed was comfy, water pressure was good, and there were a good handful of English channels on the TV (they're high numbers). The staff made extra efforts to stock the mini-fridge with what they noticed we liked. The toilet clogged once the 2nd day we were there, but it was fixed immediately and the problem did not repeat itself. Regarding security, we had no issues. I bought small luggage locks after reading some of the reviews that noted theft. One afternoon my boyfriend forgot the close the sliding glass door to our first floor room before joining me at the pool. When we came back the door was wide open, and nothing was out of place. I killed two small bugs in the room one night (after the door was left open), but that was it for what I saw of bugs. Excursions: Avoid the excursions run by the hotel. They are overpriced. Head down the beach to where the local vendors have their stands. They are super aggressive, but you can get much better deals. We met an ex-patriot Canadian named Greg, but he told us that he goes by "El Gringo". We had a better time for less than 1/2 the price for an excursion similar to one we booked through the hotel. Orlando our excursion guide was fantastic & so were the rest of the crew. Best deal on the Island! Overall we had a great time. The pool and beach were gorgeous, the grounds were beautiful, our room was comfortable, and the staff was lovely. The food was not great, but we were never hungry. The adult only atmosphere was priceless. We had a fabulous time for not a lot of money.
This is my first all-inclusive hotel. And I would have to admit that it was definitely the perfect getaway with all the other necessary fringes. My room was not earth-shattering. But, I didn't expect it to be since the majority of my time was not meant to be spent inside. The beauty of this resort is outdoors -- the quiet, serene pool on the Adult Only side; or the activity of the staff on the beach. Guests of the BBB are allowed to use the facilities and amenities of the Palace Deluxe side as well. The activities there are non-stop throughout the afternoon hours: Water Volleyball, Volleyball, Beach Paddle tennis,Water Polo, Dance Lessons, Exercise hour, and guest interactive games abound. Of course, the winner of the games is awarded a bottle of Dominican rum. So, you would be foolish not to participate. Enjoy the shuffleboard, lifesize chess game, pool tables, ping pong tables, and more. You can never be bored! There are several pools and plenty of surrounding chairs for all guests to enjoy. The poolside pergolas offer a respite from the hot, morning and afternoon sun. And the location of the bars is ideal to grab an all-inclusive beverage. The hotel nightclub, which opens at 11pm nightly, was HUGE, and afforded dancing while the gigantic movie-style screen streamed music videos until 3a. The casino is somewhat small. But, it has all of the basics from slot machines to roulette, black jack tables, and dancing ladies. I felt safe on the resort, as I am a female and traveled alone for this last minute vacation. The other guests visiting the resort were so nice that it was easy to meet strangers and make instant friendships. There's not much to do outside of the resort at night unless you want to venture to the few local bars (by taxi). "Imagine", the cave bar, is worth the $20 admission, which includes one drink. The Open Bar package $40 allows you to wait in an obnoxious mass amongst other thirsty people in order to get your beverage. So, I'm not so sure that it is worth the aggravation. It is best to get there around midnight, and is open until 4a during the week. 6a on weekends. Saturday is their busiest day, otherwise, they close off the other sections of the cave. Mangu (about 30 min away) is laden with "friendly women" So, if you are a male, you will be a constant target for "services". So, make sure that you travel with other females to avoid the hassel All of the hotel restaurants are not included in the package; so depending upon which side (BBB vs. Palace Deluxe) you booked your room, determined if any additional costs were needed for the Japanese or French restaurants. And nightly reservations were needed for the individual restaurants; otherwise, buffets were always the other option. Of course, if you wanted to enjoy the buffet, or the late night sport's bar buffet, you should get there fairly early as the food tends to sit for a long time if you do not plan it during peak times. The are trains that will take you around the resort to avoid the walk. They frequent every 15 minutes or so and circle around to each hotel, to the casino, to the remote golf area rooms, etc... A round trip will take approx 30 minutes, so make sure that you catch the train in the appropriate direction, otherwise, you will be committed to the full ride around the resort. The walk from one resort to the other is only 7-10 minutes. So, if you don't mind walking, I would advise this convenience. There is an awesome area/pool for kids to play, as that area is full of water slides, wave pools, and other water activities. Since I traveled alone, I really didn't venture here so I'm sure that there is more to do then what I described. But, from walking past the family pool, it looked like fun. The golf course appeared well manicured, as the resort gets irrigated nightly to maintain it's lush green color. I was impressed by the landscaping crew who meticulously cleaned, raked, and gathered palm tree debris on a daily basis to keep the beaches and grounds beautiful. There is night-time entertainment scheduled for each hotel that ranges from Karaoke night, to Dominican Dancing, to Theater performances, to orchestra and night club singers. Both start around 9p or so. All of the staff were very friendly. And the bartenders throughout both resorts made excellent drinks. I had no complaints!! But, it seemed as though the night shift staff was not as informed as the day shift staff. So, definitely save your questions for the day-time folks. Overall, this was a great get-away. Well worth the value of an all-inclusive resort. If you can afford the upgrade to a Junior Suite, then I would recommend the extra luxury of a modern room with amenities of room service and an outdoor jacuzzi on the balcony. Otherwise, the standard rooms were just fine. I stayed on the BBB side and noticed that the housekeeping staff are beyond noisy when they begin their day at 8:30a. And the way that the rooms are configured, in a "U" shape, allows talking and heel/flip-flop noises to echo and magnify. So, hopefully, you are an early riser. Otherwise, don't plan to sleep in while you are here. Plan to take an afternoon nap on the beach!
We've been to Caribbean many times but this was 1st time in Dominican Republic. My wife and I were impressed with everything; the beauty of the countryside, the friendly and equally beautiful people, the great beaches at our resort (the seaweed that washes up constantly is a nuisance but small price to pay for that greatness), the pools on the Bavaro Beach property were spotless, the variety of eating options exceeded expectations, etc., etc. Lots of positives to add here. If you're considering this property, you won't go wrong for its overall value and comfort. :)
This was a long deserved vacation/anniversary. Both the pre-trip service and the onsite service provided by Cheap Caribbean were fantastic. Everything and I mean everything went off as expected and planned. As for the resort, the service was good to great. We would definitely go back. If you go on vacation looking for things to complain about, you will find them. The rooms were comfortable and clean, we upgraded to on ocean front room in advance and got one at check in. The view was great and worth the upgrade. If you book a an all inclusive vacation like this one, picture a really nice cruise ship that does not move and has a great beach. Go in with that expectation and you will be blown away. If you are are thinking the Ritz, well, book the Ritz. Already planning our return trip with Cheap Caribbean and back to Barcelo Bavaro Beach (Adults-Only) for next year!
We spent 5nights/6days in March 2017 at Barceló Bavaro- the weather couldn't have been more perfect; low/mid 80's, breezy, not humid. The beach is definitely the gem of this resort. With it's fine white sand, crystal blue water and relative privacy it has to be one of the nicest beaches I have been on thus far. The pool ain't too shabby either. A few suggestions; bring lots of sunscreen. My boyfriend and I went thru an entire family sized spray bottle of 30 sunscreen in about a day and a half. We used 15 after but that didn't cut it. The sun is strong. We ended up purchasing another bottle of 30 at the gift shop to the tune of $20! Oh, if you plan on indulging in any of the spa services do so the first day or so of your trip. Like just about everyone at the resort, you're going to end up a bit pink after a day in the sun. And ladies ( & men for that matter) don't be shy about your bathing suit choice. There were people of all shapes, sizes and ages in bikinis and speedos. No body shaming here. And go topless for Pete's sake!- it's freeing and I promise, no one's staring or caring! Our main goal was to relax and that we did. We did not go on any excursions this trip. We did however take a taxi ($10 each way) to San Juan shopping center. Wasn't worth the trip, in my opinion. It's basically a mall and souvenirs are not much cheaper there than at the resort, especially once you factor in the $20 taxi ride. Nothing "authentic" about it. Now onto food- buffet not so good. Breakfast was the best meal. Although I did enjoy the coffee machine. Restaurants not a whole heck of a lot better. The seafood restaurant was bad- not just my opinion either. Steak place was ok, Mexican was not bad. The best meal by far was the Japanese place. Food was really good, hibachi was fun, atmosphere & service good. It is totally worth the extra $15 per person. We didn't have a chance to try any of the other restaurants but I'm betting that the ones where you have to pay extra are better. Oh, and book your dinner reservations as soon as you get there or even ahead of time or you'll end up eating dinner at 10:30pm. As for tipping- you can do it if you want to but it really doesn't make a difference as far as service goes. We tipped the waitress at the pool $5 hoping we'd never have an empty cup and we never saw her again. We continued to tip the bartenders a buck or two but only because, as Americans, we're so used to doing so. Now the cups they give you for drinks at the bar by the pool are small. If you plan on drinking do yourself a favor and bring a refillable plastic bottle/cup with you. You know the kind with a lid and straw. The bar will fill it with your beverage of choice and you won't have to make 52 trips to the bar a day. We didn't know this ahead of time but caught on quick and purchased cups at the gift shop for $10 each. Well worth the investment! Well, I think that's all I got for ya! Enjoy and have a strawberry-banana daiquiri for me or a Sammy Sousa. Don't forget to try the Mauna Juana!!!
I pick hotels based on reviews, so i knew i had to submit one after our vacation. I am a very easy going traveler, not very picky, but i have been to a lot of all inclusives and this was my least favorite so far. The reviews were consistently positive, so i chose this resort but now wish we had gone somewhere else. I definitely would not go back and would NOT recommend to anyone. Again, i am not a high maintenance traveler. We were 3 couples in our mid-30s, and spent 5 days there. The grounds are pristine, the pictures do represent the property correctly. The rooms didn't seem outdated to me, and we didn't upgrade. It is a beautiful resort. Sure, the staff might not always speak great english, but if that's your complaint, GO SOMEWHERE WHERE THEY SPEAK ENGLISH! There are plenty of gorgeous caribbean islands where they speak english. That complaint annoys me. There were just a few problems with this hotel that are enough to make me not recommend it. The adults only side is great- you get the best of both worlds and the main resort (Palace Deluxe) is a quick walk or tram ride away. The adult side does not have a swim-up pool bar and there was no wait service on the beach. Deluxe has the swim up bar and more lively activities so we spent more time there, but still no wait staff on the beach! I even asked an entertainment staff if they could get us some water since we were playing volleyball and they said NO. One of the staff was even playing volleyball while a guest stood on the sideline waiting for a turn to play! The service by the pool, if any, was very slow. And there is no snack bar near the pool or beach at either. That may seem like a small thing, but having to get dressed just to get a snack at the restaurants was inconvenient. And the hours for the restaurants mean you don't have access to food 24/7. Also inconvenient. Top shelf alcohol cost extra, some of the restaurants cost extra, and the resort credits were a joke! I have never been to an all inclusive where you had to pay extra for stuff, thats the point of an all inclusive! About the food...i am not a foodie and never expect 5 star food at a resort this size. I didn't think the food was bad or amazing, but i have realistic expectations. I thought the steak at the santa fe steakhouse was really good! And the chocolate covered strawberries at each buffet were great! You definitely won't starve! You will find it tough to get reservations so make them early! But, also just GO to the restaurants without one- plenty of tables seemed available so folks must cancel all the time. If you've never been to an all inclusive, and already booked this, you will have a good time regardless. I just have been to better for the same price (in DR and Mexico) Other tips: Make sure you have $10 per person on arrival for the tourist tax or whatever they call it. And unless u want Wendy's or Sbarro's or Nathan's when at the airport again waiting to depart, eat before you get there! Oh, and bring your ipod, the rooms have a little player, which was convenient.