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Reviewed 23 August 2004

We had a wonderful time in Punta Cana

The Princess Bavaro Suites was a very nice resort with a fabulous beach. If you have any knowledge of Spanish it will be really useful because the staff's use of English is quite limited. This does not get in the way of their warmth, service or hospitality. We even got to see a beautiful wedding the staff organized.

My husband and I did not opt for the VIP package and I don't think we missed a thing. I would make dinner reservations each morning for that same night and/or the next. There were various seatings available at almost all the a la carte restaurants.

The Animacion staff had numerous activities going on all day along the beach and around the pool. Our main goals was to rest and try as many of the different cocktails as possible. Favourites were - Cai Perina (?) and Coco Loco.

We enjoyed all the restaurants (although we did not go to the Asian Sakura). The Hispaniola is the regular buffet style restaurant with a wide selection of dishes including a pasta bar and a meat/fish grill stn. Chopin is a higher end buffet with finer gourmet dishes and requires reservations. Bella Pasta (Italian) was very good - the pastas were almost as good as homemade (we're Italian <g>) I had a beautiful fish stew and my husband thoroughly enjoyed his lamb chops. There is also an Argentinean Grill and El Pescador , fish specialties. We were not disappointed at any.

The bar tenders are very friendly and generous - especially if you offer a tip (US$1- $2/day) at the beginning of your order, they'll look after you all day! We left housekeeping $1 /day, a friendly thank you note and some candy. Our fridge was often stocked with an extra beer or 2 and sheets changed daily. On one ocassion the room had not be made up when we got back from the beach at 4pm. I called housekeeping and the staff was there in less than 10 minutes prepared to clean the room. The poor woman was so apologetic explaining there was a very high number of checkouts that day. Her working partner was prepared to give her a hand, but we explained we were not cross and she could take all the time she needed.

My only criticism was that a large part of the evening entertainment was focussed on children and by the time the adult music and dancing started (after 11) we were too tired from a day in the sun. But it certainly didn't hinder our fun. We would go back to our suite, watch some American TV, fall asleep before midnight and be raring to go early the next morning.

You may want to note:
Occasionally there is a slight odour of "stale" water. I think it's b/c they water the grass and plants with pond water. For this reason avoid units in the 200 block - they are near the watering stn.

Trams can take you around the complex but are sometimes crowded. My husband and I walked everywhere and didn't mind at all.

All in all it was a wonderful vacation.

Would we go back? Only after I have visited ALL the other places on my dream list - and then yes - I would return.

  • Stayed: August 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11  Thank Dolores27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Mississauga, Ont, Canada
18
Reviewed 23 August 2004

Got back Aug 14 from a one week stay. Had a really relaxing holiday with my husband and 3 year old! Room was big and clean, resort was huge and beautiful, and staff was very nice and tried their best to be helpful and accommodating even with the language barrier. The "clown show" every night was great for the kids! Food was good considering you were in another country which people seem to forget for some reason (You are not at home for all those complaining!!!) El Gaucho steaks were the best, Bella Pasta pizza & pasta to die for and the buffets had something for everyone everyday - even my really picky son!) McPrincess had burgers, hot dogs and fries for all the picky people. Hi-light of the vacation was the amazing beach! Try to book a room closer to the beach - we were by the main building which was no problem because the trolleys would come every few minutes. I would recommend this place to anyone for a little R & R! Enjoy - we did!

8  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Toronto, ON
16
Reviewed 23 August 2004

Last year, we went to Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort and Spa and we were sooo impressed. Naturally, we have very high expectations for the next resort. So my experience at Bavaro may have been tainted with constant comparisons to Sandals. In any case, here's my review:

Check-in: It was done in five minutes, no sweat. BUT, we were told that the rooms wouldn't be ready until 3 p.m. So we went to lunch and did some walking around. Around 3 p.m. we went to the counter and was told that the room wouldn't be ready for another 35 minutes because the people left late. I was hot and tired and was therefore very upset by the news. They offered us another room but I wasn't about to pass up on the room we were waiting for. So we waited. When the 35 minutes was up, we went back to the counter with renewed hope only to be told to wait another 20 minutes! I was sooo mad by then! So we walked to the front and found our luggage exactly where we left it three hours earlier. Only then that we were told that we could go to our room. What a nightmare! It probably wouldn't have been so bad if it wasn't so hot!

Resort: At 96 acres, bring comfy sandals and plan to walk a lot (in spite of the trams provided for transportation as empty seats are hard to come across at peak times). Be warned that the only place that has air-conditioning is YOUR room and that people smoke EVERYWHERE! - including restaurants and pools! Other than that, it is absolutely beautiful! It's very clean and the landscaping is impeccable.

Staff: Most are good and very respectful. But the friendliest bunch are the maids, bartenders and waitstaff. A dollar or two will get you an even more superb service the next time they see you.

Pool: Large and clean. It can be overcrowded, but I like it that way because it gives it a lively feeling. There were a lot of shallow ends - perfect for the little ones. The swim-up bar had the best pina coladas. But if you want chairs, get up between 7 and 8 and hang your towels on your chosen spot, otherwise, good luck finding any for the rest of the day! Same with the beach area.

Beach: It was packed with topless women of all shapes and sizes. But it is a beautiful beach. I was impressed.

Suite: Wow. It was huge! The pictures in the Bavaro sites does not do it any justice. We had minor ant problems here and there, but nothing that a quick squirt of Skintastics spray couldn't fix. But the smell in the washroom could be gross sometimes. I think it's the pipes linking to the sink. The sheets weren't bad but I religiously sprayed it with Febreeze before each use and it helped a lot. The mini-bar in the VIP was stocked daily. And any services required for the room was met in an instant. Our maid was Jocelyn and she was a very sweet lady. We always got extra towels, extra bottled water and always got our room cleaned early.

Bars: I only went to the one at the Lobby and the swim-up bar in the main pool. And let's just say that it's a complete waste of time to go to the one in the Lobby. And if you're a smoker, you can buy cigaretttes for a cool dollar at the swim-up bar.

Gift shop: Can you say rip-off? The lady tried to charge us $25 US for a normal bottle of sunblock!

RESTAURANTS
Bella Pasta: I was expecting a good selection of pastas. Well, I only had two to choose from everyday and it was the same sauce everyday - Alfredo and Tomato and no meat whatsoever. The rest were fruits, vegetables and "pizzas".

Mac Princess: Tasty chicken and beef burgers. But please do tip the poor guy (a dollar will do) that spends 12 hours a day in front of the hot grill everyday.

El Gaucho: Sausage was good and that's it. Steak was so-so.

Chopin: Awww, I was looking forward to this restaurant since it got so many great reviews. My personal review for it? It sucked and it's totally over-rated.

La Hispaniola: This is the only restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But do get up early since it closes at 10 a.m. Try the smoothies and donuts.

Licey: We had reservations as part of VIP package. But what good would it do for anyone with children if you can't bring your kids with you? Our daughter is 2. What were we supoosed to do with her? So we skipped it altogether.

Tourists: It was a gold-mine to find people who spoke English! The majority are Europeans (like many people said in here) and I experienced first-hand just how rude these Europeans are. It's like they own the place! And not once have I ever heard anyone who has knocked me over or cut in front of me say the words "SORRY" or "Excuse me" - even in their language!

VIP package:
- didn't get bathrobes, but got lots of extra towels
- steps to the main pool and beach
- massage was good, but it was hardly relaxing what with the sound of the tram, people walking by and the lawnmower going off in the background.

For us, just being near the pool, having extras of everything and having nightly turn-down service was worth it.

Check-out: Easy as 1-2-3.
Overall, this resort is perfect in some ways, but it could be better in many other ways.

  • Stayed: August 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
bronx, ny
11
Reviewed 22 August 2004

I really recommeded Barcelo bavaro princess for a good and enjoyable vacation. My boyfriend and I spend 10 days which were beautiful. First, very good food for instance, el pecador with the lobster on the grill. second el gaucho with el churascho or la parrillada argentina. in addition, the beach is beautiful and the entertaiment people work very hard to keep the huespedes busy. Moreover, the disco at night with the entertaiment people was very nice. the rooms which i stay was #375 it was well decorated of course you can find that the sink in the bar was not working or a cokrauch was around which i kill but this not spoiled my vacation. The refrigerator always filled with water, soda and beer. i read some review which people complain about cucaracharas but i will ask them in which will city you do not find cucarachas just if you leave in the moon. the location was very convinience because el gaucho and el pescador( we ate lobster for almost a week) was a few minutes away. I really recommeded this hotel

1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2004

I just came back from my stay at the Bavaro Princess Resort in Punta Cana. I personally felt that this is a trip that is a well kept secret. I have taken many trips before, to Jamaica, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Mexico, etc. but have found that this is my favorite place to visit. I plan to return next year. Why? The resort is beautiful, a natural rainforest, the service was wonderful. There are seven different restaurants along with the buffet. The buffet was okay. You had the same foods served each day. The workers are so pleasant. They try so hard to please you. If you like grilled lobster and shrimp, go to the seafood restaurant. Before I took this trip, I read the reviews on this resort, and became nervous because some of the reviews said this was not a place they would want to come to again. They are wrong. I was treated so well. Maybe it was their attitude toward the workers. They always greeted me with a smile.As far as comments, about bringing face towels, I brought my own, but found I really didn't need to. They don't use face towels there. You get a hand and bath towel daily, along with a robe. Also, upgrade to the VIP package when you arrive there. It's worth it. It includes a massage, horseback riding, your better alcohol, a bottle of rum and box of cigars. As far as excursions, take the Monster Safari. I would highly recommend that trip if you are adventurous and want to see how the people live. Take a bag of gifts for the children on that trip. One lady had a bag of notebooks, crayons, glue and bags of wrapped candy to give to the children. The children appreciated anything you gave them. I even took my earrings off, and gave them to one girl with pierced ears. I gave away my ink pen that lit up, and even my box of Velamints. Buy shoes if you can. There were children without shoes. Some children asked for our shoes. I cried seeing so many children, and looking at how they lived. Many families in the rural areas make only $5.00 a week picking sugar cane. Education is not required of the children. I plan to return next year, better prepared. I didn't get a chance to take the tour that was offered to Santo Domingo. I was told that that is another tour that shows you the culture and lifestyle of the Domincans. The only downside of the trip was not being able to speak Spanish. Before you go, take a Spanish dictionary. It was sometimes difficult communicating with the people.

8  Thank mstravel1-52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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