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Reviewed 24 April 2006

My husband and I stayed at the Bavaro Princess the first week of March 2006. To qualify my statements, I have travelled and stayed in resorts in the following locations: Mazatlan, Puerta Vallarta, Cancun, Jamaica, Cuba, and Costa Rica prior to this trip.

Pool: nice, big and lots of shade to get out of the sun

Beach: One of the nicest I have ever stepped foot on. We walked for miles along the beach each day and people watched others walking by. Bavaro had lots of chairs available but you had to be up at the crack of dawn if you wanted a big umbrella thingy to sit under. People reserved then with beach towels and didn't come back until mid-late morning. This usually happens at all resorts.

Grounds: This property was beautifully manicured and well kept but HUGE. Trams come around quite frequently so this wasn't a big deal!

Service: Poor. poor. poor. No one wants to help with anything. For example.......The front desk forgot to give us a lock for the safe so we called and asked that one be brought to us. We wanted to lock our valuables up. They told us that we would have to come all the way back to the front desk to get the lock and that one would not be available until the next day.

Good luck on getting a drink if you don't have a dollar bill in your hand. The bartenders scan the bar for money and skip over everyone who is not showing the cash. And they will serve people that walk up beside you after you have been waiting for 10 minutes, if they have a dollar in their hands.

Room: Spacious suites are well kept and clean.

FOOD AND DRINK: POOR...... I didn't go with high expectation for food, but I was still disappointed. The best food I found was at the beach bar and found myself having a hamburger and fries every day. The food was generally bland and everything was luke warm, regardless of whether it was supposed to be hot or cold.

My husband and I both got food poisioning our second last night when we ate at Bella Pasta. We both had the beef carpaccio as an appetizer and different main courses so there is the link. My husband woke up in the middle of the night and puked his guts out the next 24 hours along with hot and cold spells. And we both suffered from severe stomach cramping and 'the runs' for the following 10 days.

We only drank bottled water and even brushed our teeth with bottled, so we know it was not from the water.

We found the drinks to be watered down (not a huge deal), but the cocktails were sooooo sweet that we could not drink them. Stick to highballs and beer if you don't want your teeth to rot and fall out.

OVERALL: I would recommend travelling to Punta Cana to everyone, but not this resort because of the poor food, drink and service. This is a 3-star resort in 5-star clothing!

  • Stayed: March 2005
    • Value
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3  Thank snork1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Calgary, Alberta
16
Reviewed 20 April 2006

We returned from our 2 week stay on April 18/06. I have been sick from some sort of food poisining since April 14/06. I was layed up in bed for 1 day and was not able to eat for 2 days. We went with a group of 30 people and 6 of the 30 are suffering the same symtoms. They tell you that everything is washed with filtered water but is this really true? After about 4 days all the food starts to taste the same.
The service in this resort is terrible. Our trip started with my 5 year olds suitcase not at the airport. When we got to the hotel, I asked the guy at the front desk if he could call the airport and see if anyone had turned in the suitcase. I told me to talk to my travel rep. This was fine except that the travel rep would not be there until the following morning. I told him this and he refused to call and pointed to a pay phone. I literally begged this guy to phone for me and all he could do was say "use the pay phone". The following morning the bag showed up as it had been sent to Porta Plata, but not because of anyones help at the resort. One night we went to the lobby for supper. It was very busy, and after getting our plates we found that there was no tables open. After 5 mins, a table of 4 left. Our group was 4 adults and my 5 year old daughter. The table next to us was kind enough to give us 1 chair they were not using so my daughter could sit down. We put the cahir off the corner of the table and before she could even sit down the waitress came and pulled the chair away and said you can't sit 5 people at a 4 person table and put the chair back. I grabbed the chair back and set my daughter down. This waitress was "MAD". She was talking to the other servers in spanish and pointing at us. So to not cause a seen, I put my daughter on lap for dinner and put the chair back. The waitress had removed her name tag so I could not get her name to complain. After dinner I tried to talk to a "superviser" to complain and after talking to 3 different people that could not understand my complaint I left. We ran into a language barrier problem quite a few times. It is suprising how little to no english some of them speak that work in a resort. All the bars are under staffed. You would sometimes wait 5 mins to get served and there was for the most part no hurry to get you your drinks.
On a positive note we met a bartender on the first night by the name of "Plinto". This guy was awesome. He took good care of us the whole trip and always had a smile on his face. He would go out of his way to make sure the kids had a slush and that he said "hi" to them each night. The resort is beautiful and is kept clean. You will not find a nicer ocean view and beach. The security on the beach and resort is good so you are not getting bothered buy peddlers all day. The rooms are spacious and clean. The kids club is good and they always seem to have something going on for the kids.
I recomend this resort if you want a nice beach and resort. Do not go here if you are looking for good food or good service.

  • Stayed: April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
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6  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Hilliard, Ohio
113
Reviewed 20 April 2006

We stayed at the Bavaro Princess April 7-10 and had an amazing time. The beach is beautiful, the pool is amazing. We were a group of 19 and not a single person became ill during or after our stay. We tried the buffets-very good lots of variety. For dinner we ate at El Gaucho-Argentenian steak best I ever had , and Bella Pasta= so/so. The other times we ate at the buffets. I would recommend eating at the buffet at El Gaucho for breakfast or lunch and sit on the patio, the view is amazing.

We found the staff to be very friendly and accomidating. WE were always greeted with a smile and "hola". They did appreciate when you attempted to say a few words in Spanish (i'm sure they got a kick out of my attemps to speak to them). Most of the resturant staff does not speak English, but pointing to the menu usually got the job done.

Our room was outdated and had a musty smell, but after 24 hours the smell wasn't even noticed. Our room was always stocked with beer,water and diet 'light". Always very clean. WE did have ants on our shelf above the bed but it's to be expected in the area.

We took the snorkling trip and it was the highlight of our trip. Swimming with sharks! The staff on the boat were very entertaining and it was just a great time with wonderful scenery.

Overall I would give an excellent rating. If they could update the rooms it would be the perfect place. We plan on returning as soon as possible.

Oh= one hint. there are no wash/face cloths provided and they don't even have them at the resort. We took a few of our own (old ones) and tossed them on the last day. Some of the other members of our group found it hard not to have a small cloth for face washing.

feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions.

Stayed: April 2006
13  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2006

I promised myself before I went on holiday that I would not come back and write a huge review - but needs must. The reviews for this hotel are almost exclusively from the US and Canada so I thought i would add a more European view for the people who have booked an might be put off by a lot of the neagtive comments!

There are good and bad with all nationalities I'm sure, and it was 'spring break' at the time but we did witness some apalling behaviour by teenagers, including jumping all over the furniture, walking in the fountains in the reception area, dropping food all over the floor and just leaving it for someone else to clear up, and generally walking around like the world owed them a living - I stress at this point that this seemed to be a minority and equally there were some horrible European children as well (you don't throw stones at the flamingos!)I know spring break might be a time for fun but a lot of other people have come a long way for a relaxing holiday so a little bit of consideration would go a long way. I didn't realise about the spring break thing so to be fair I would probably just avoid it, so the kids can have their fun and I can have my quiet.

I agree totally with some of the comments in previous reviews - a lot of the negatives are things that with a bit of foresight people could have avoided. It is also true that people are more inclined to write a negative review than a positive.

Firstly we were in room 266 which was a ground floor suite in the middle of the resort (with no musty smell and no insect problems!)- and was a pleasant 5-10 minute walk to both the beach and the reception area. Even if you had to walk the full length of the resort it doesn't take too long, but may get a bit hot during the middle of the day. The decor was carribean stylie (bright colours and wicker furniture) - it wasn't offensive at all. They recommend you keep the doors shut while you have the air conditioning on as the humidity coming in from outside is what makes the rooms damp but we still saw a lot of people sitting outside with the doors wide open- the cause of slight mustiness me thinks?!

We didn't get lost - when we checked in they gave us all details of restaurants, activities, dress codes, water drinking, pool towels and a map then told us where to get the bus, so finding our way around was not a problem.

The grounds were beautiful as was the beach, and all were spotless. The ground staff seem to work constantly to keep the whole place tidy. After the third day i have to admit to being on the beach at 7.30 to get an umberella. The sunbeds are in plentiful supply and there is always shade under the palms but after a 'burning' incident on the first day the more shade the better at around midday! I apologise unreservedly to anyone I offended, teenage boy or otherwise) but I was one of the evil hussies sunbathing topless, but we did seem to be clustered at the far end away from most people and it is the norm in Europe.

The food was fine and I think most people know not to drink the water when you go on holiday unless you are specifically told it is safe to drink.
If you go to a gourmet Dominican restaurant I don't think you can expect it to be exactly like the equivalent at home, especially when they are all included. El Gaucho did good steaks, Bella Pasta did good pasta and the service was great in both. We did try Chopin and I have to agree it was a let down (lasagne and battered'english style'fish doesn't constitute a meal) but we put it down to experience and didn't go back. At the buffet you could get virtually anything you wanted, they would cook fish, steak, pasta etc to order so you can always find something- mmmm chips and gravy!

I would like to know what the people who were ill ate, as I saw some people with huge plates of seafood and they following it with equally enormous plates of fresh fruit. This is obviously a healthy diet but how many of those people would eat that much of either in a normal day? (Own up - do you eat your 5 portions a day?) Plus it was all washed down with copious amounts of beer/cocktails. (Compare it to the morning after a heavy night out on the beer followed by a burger from the van outside the club - does your stomach feel great then?!)

The reservations for the restaurants is a bit hectic but it was a busy time at the resort - even so when you are in a queue for 30 mins with a board clearly displaying what times are available surely you can make your mind up by the time you get to the front! - It seems not.

Buses can also be a bit pushy-shovey, they could probably improve the queuing system for that. I saw a couple of times older guests, people with walking sticks and people with small children trying desparately to get a seat and being pushed out of the way - surely its just a case of manners (or do i sound a bit English now?!)

We found service at the bar to be fine without tipping. The staff are very busy and they do serve people in turn when they get to the bar - except of course when people just shout at them, as though they are in some way backward, because they expect to have better service- some people just can't be patient. Language is not a problem either. I will admit to not knowing any spanish other than 'hola!', but you learn quickly and if you have to ask in English they appreciate it i you ask what it is in Spanish for next time. A 'hola!' to everyone passing always gets one back.

Cleaning of the room was good, always fresh towels, flowers by the sink and for once the shower was quite powerful (again maybe we have lower epectations but 2 weeks self catering in Greece or toilets in France prepare you for anything!)

A word of warning though - beware of the Royal Club reps who wait outside of the buffet restarant in the morning. They will promise you the moon on a stick if you go to Licey with them for 'just a minute'- they may also lay on the emotional blackmail regarding their $10 commission. We got sick of the hassle and went under the promise of some shopping vouchers which we did not recieve and were stuck for over 2 precious sunbathing hours! (What they are trying to sell you costs about $15,000 in total - like i have that sort of money lying about!)They were very upset when we told them we could fly to europe for £10 return on Ryanair - that messes up their pitch a bit.

All in all if you maintain a sense of humour (people spotting in the lobby area is fun!), take plenty of high factor sun screen and give the due respect to the hardworking staff then you will have a very enjoyable holiday. We would definatly go back, just maybe not at spring break!

  • Stayed: April 2006
    • Value
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24  Thank SpanishBobUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2006

my husband and i along with our 17 year old daughter (and her friend) stayed here 9 april thru 16 april. we've been to AI's before and never have we experienced such lame service.

when we arrived on sunday afternoon(we booked thru apple), our transfer from the airport went smoothly. got to the resort and found the staff to be like they didn't want to be there. we had 2 separate suites (1 for the teens and one for us). the rooms were nice size and lots of drawer and closet space but they look like they need some refurbishing (and they smell moldy).

the location of our suite was in the middle of the resort (building 15) which was good because it was a 3 minute walk to the pool/beach and 7 minute walk to the lobby. we're new yorkers so we love the walking anway. however, you feel like you are always on guard because of the trams and other various vehicles constantly whizzing by. it was really annoying actually.

had dinner at the lobby buffet the first night. it was nasty. we weren't expecting much but the food was gross. even our daughter and her friend found the food nausiating (and they'll eat anything).

the next morning we slept in and got to the pool at 11AM only to find that there were no towels left. huh? the towel lady (who was moody and rude) said to come back in 15 minutes. this "15 minute" ritual went on for over 2 hours when we finally got our towels. of course there were no chairs (even without the palapas) at the pool and none at the beach.

the next morning we got out to the pool by 7:30 AM so we could claim our spot under the palapas. then on to the "reservation for dinner" line back at the lobby. by the time we got there the line was huge. of course by the time we got to the man taking the reservations (who was also in a bad mood) there were no reservations left for that day and only a 10PM at the asian restaurant (which was lousy and the service worse) for the following day. oh, and whatever reservation/seating you do get, take note of all of the EMPTY tables around you. it's a lousy system. the only restaurant that we tolerated was chopin which is a buffet (much better than lobby buffet which isn't saying much). we preferred buffet style becuase the service in all of the other restaurants was below par.

boy, were we happy that we didn't pay the extra $30/day for the platinum card. for what? pre-booked reservations for lousy restaurants and service.

oh, by the way, the only restaurant that was ALWAYS available was LICEY -- but you have to pay for that!!! like $46 per person. give me a break. apparently, no one ever went!

the maids. maybe we just hit a bad week. we tipped every day and i even brought some new sealed beauty products from home and left it for her. one day we came back to the room at 3:30 and it wasn't made up. another day, we were very obviously out of TP and tissues (i actually put the empty box of tissues right near the sink for a clue) and when we came back to the room, no TP and no tissues. fridge wasn't re-stocked either. later, when we were in the lobby, we mentioned it to someone at the "information" counter and he said to talk to the bad mood guy at the dinner reservation desk!

we feel the place is managed very poorly (except the grounds are kept beautiful). the food is lousy (except for the pineapple and the passion fruit). the service is sub-standard and we were very happy to return to NYC!

this is far from a "5 star" or as apple vacations rates it "5 apples". don't go here!!

  • Stayed: April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank kuckookat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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