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5,942 - 5,947 of 11,732 reviews
Reviewed 1 June 2007

We got back from Punta Cana on May 20th, 2007 and had LOTS OF FUN AND RELAXATION in the sun...the service was great and the food was alright...the beach and water...AMAZING!!!!! If you wanna go somewhere to relax and enjoy the beach, this is the place. Unless you wanna stay in a pool everyday then u should book a Holiday Inn vacation!!!! We had the Platinum (oceanview) package well worth it, you have your own lobby (besides the main lobby). The Platinum Lounge was open from morning to 11pm and you had your own front desk, open lounge to all kinds of beverages (alcohol) and snacks, book your a la carte whenever during the day for the week and not have to worry about doing it first thing in the morning. The resort is pretty big and you might wanna think about taking the train that runs in the resort to get around, for those who r lazy and can't walk 3 feet to the next stop, (you'll see alot of that especially when there are 10 other people waiting at a stop trying to get around the resort), that runs until midnight, u can call one to the front of the main lobby to pick u up after 12. Tip your maid everyday couple of $$, the bartenders, and don't forget the people who make this place beautiful the landscapers (wear green uniform). The food was alright if u don't mind it being a lil bland, buffet was pretty good, they have an all american buffet just for the americanos (if you go to another country and can't eat there food...c'mon) stay in the USA. The weather was incredible except for a couple of nights were it rained for a couple of hours other than that...HOT! Also check out the markets that are on the other side of the beach, just around the bend (remember, everything to your left)! Entertainment was alright, there's not much else to do in the evening and the live band was pretty good. Try the MAMAJUANA, excellente!! Worth that one week of peace, relaxation and fun! It's not an adult only resort there r kids everywhere, if that's what your looking for.

  • Stayed: May 2007, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank ydj099
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2007

We went to this resort for our honeymoon, we had booked a honeymoon suite which I do not recommend only because they put the honeymooners all the way in the back of the resort and no where near the beach and you can see the street, so we ended up switching our room to be closer to the main pool and the beach. The service was AMAZING they were very nice and switched our room with no problems at all. The food was ok it wasn't bad but not fantastic. We ate at every restaurant except for the seafood place. I found the La Hispaniola the best because it is buffet and there were many options to choose from. However most of the restaurant is not air conditioned The room was great very spacious and the grounds were so nice very well up keep there was always someone working on the grounds. One thing we really enjoyed is the wildlife we saw so many different animals like fish, geese, peacocks, flamingos, parrots, woodpeckers. It was really nice.
The was a fire there back in March and though all the restaurants were open except for one they are rebuilding and that is right behind the main pool so while your trying to relax at the pool you can hear the banging and construction going on they tried to keep the music always playing to cover it up but didn't really work. The other thing was there was not much for entertainment they had a show every night at 10pm and that was pretty much it.
The resort is extremely big and require you to take trolleys everywhere which wasn't bad but when you want to grab a bite to eat and you have to wait for a trolley it can be annoying. If you make reservations at a la carte restaurant you cannot be late or they do not accept you so when you need to get somewhere and waiting for a trolley (that has enough room on it) it makes it difficult.
Overall we had a decent trip the resort was a nice place but would not return to that resort but would go back to DR they have amazing beaches!!!

  • Stayed: May 2007, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank chika21187
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2007

2 Couples went to Punta Cana from Friday May 11 thru Friday May 18th. We booked thru Nancy at Liberty Travel but did an Apple vacation. The plane ride was smooth no problems coming and going on USA3000. The movies were terrible. Our plane landed a little after 1000 and we were on the beach by noon. The complex was very large. We did upgrade to the Platinum. I did think it was worth it..... The lounge was nice.....They had a cappucino machine there....you could get ice from the attendent....they had sandwiches and lots of drinks( they ran out of Amaretto , which is what I drink). Anna was very attentive at night to all our needs.

Having the platinum upgrade ...we were pretty close to the beach. Our friends room was ready so we went to their suite. The bathroom could do for upgrading. We did have hot water, but it was sometimes just trickles. It was nice to have a coffemaker and a refridgerator. Also with the platinum, you could make your reservations in the lounge at any time. I heard one woman ( who did not upgrade) went to the Apple tour guide and stood in line around noon for a half an hour and was told to come back at 530pm. ( she probably didn't attend the orientation)
I also had the 40 minute massage. Both people have to go together or if one person shows up ...they get the 40 minutes.
We also went into the jacuzzis in the spa. The water was not that hot. The hottest water was in the spa showers. They were delightful.

We did the Outback Safari......We had Sammy and Ramon. They were very funny and infomative.
Our friends did the snorkeling . They said it was the best snorkling they had done.
The food was okay. Remember you don't come here for the food. We went to the fondue place at Punta Cana Princessand it was fun. We ate at Lichey (free with the upgrade). The filet mignon with the pepper sauce was delicious. The only problem with this restaurant was they were slow. Also we ordered coffee with dessert......never got the coffee.
We went to a Tex Mex restaurant , I think at the Punta Cana Princess......they brought us complimentary frozen marghettas ( the made it just like home) the food there was above average.
We also ate at El Gaucho. We had the Argenitine steak, which was quite tasty. The nice thing about the platinum upgrade was that you could go to other resorts......They picked us up at the platinum lounge and brought us back about 2 hrs later.

The casino ( outside the hotel) was not worth it. It was not Atlantic City or Vegas. The shows were in Spanish at the main Lobby .We went to one show only. Never did go back.....They started at 1000pm ( I thought it was a little late). The TV were big in the rooms. I was surprised at all the American stations you could get.
I especially enjoyed the swim up bar. The internet at the platinum lounge was broken ( they had 2 terminals). When I contacted the Apple representive both were fixed the next day. That was nice you could check your email free.
We also went to one of the resorts to play mini-golf. Don't waste your time.....It is a very old 9 hole course.

Apple vacations did give you a beach party. They did go thru a lot of trouble.....It rained after we had eaten and we ran back to the room in the rain.

All in all....we did have a good time. Just watch what you eat and drink and you will be fine.

Everyone here was very friendly. I never met a rude person the whole time we were there.

  • Stayed: May 2007, travelled with friends
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3  Thank VEGASD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2007

Just got back yesterday from 4 days and 3 nights at the Bavaro Princess and would highly recommend this hotel for anyone! We went Platinum and enjoyed the extra services. We also waited to upgrade until we got there. Apple wanted like $55 per person per day to upgrade, when in fact the resort only charges $35 pp per day or in our case $110 per person. Not sure why Apple is charging more…..so just a hint….upgrade when you get there and save yourself some money.

The Platinum Upgrade - Gets you a couple boxes of cheap cigars, bottle of rum, fruit basket, 20 minute free massage pp, free water sport activity, one dinner at Licey (discussed below), use of the Platinum Lounge during your stay, better booze, and if you can get it, the upgraded suite (closer to the beach & main pool and a liquor dispenser in your room). We upgraded the service only, since they had no Platinum rooms available during our stay. The nicest thing about the upgrade was the use of the Platinum Lounge. It’s basically concierge service for check-in, check-out, booking all your dinners and activities, and dealing with any problems you may have. They have top shelf alcohol and all the beer you could want (Presidente, Bud and MGD). They serve a light breakfast buffet, lunch and snack sandwiches throughout the day. It’s also very strategically located at the resort. It’s a nice place to meet, relax, and plan your day. And oh ya, you get free room service as well.

The rooms – the nicest in DR we’ve seen so far. We’ve been to the Melia Caribe Tropical, the Sunscape Beach, Sunscape Casa Del Mar, Jack Tar Village, and the Catalonia Bavaro. By far these are the best and cleanest rooms we’ve seen. Very large suites, no problems with water pressure (depends what you are use to), not one bug and plenty of cold air to cool you off. We did talk to 3 couples that had bugs in their rooms. Advice, check your bed and room for ants/bugs prior to getting into it at night. Remember, you are on a tropical island with lots of bugs. Be careful out there! The resort immediately transferred them to another bug-less room, fumigated the original, and they were satisfied. All the rooms are the same size but some come with hot tubs in the bathroom and liquor dispensers as stated above when you upgrade!!!!!

The restaurants – Reservations can be booked when you arrive for every night. Book in the main lobby across from the Check-out desk in the rotunda area, almost right outside the Main Buffet. Platinum guests can book everything from the Platinum lounge. We tried the following restaurants. Pescador (the seafood restaurant) is set up in
the main buffet since the fire. It was wonderful. Each of us got something different and the quality of the food and service was excellent. El Gaucho (the beef restaurant) is set up in the Choppin since the fire. It was our favorite spot. Get the Argentinean Steak, or the chicken was also to die for. And finally, Licey (the Seafood place that comes free with the Platinum upgrade…$32 pp if you choose to eat there) is the only restaurant that is air conditioned. The meal and service were incredible thanks to our friend Juan. He did a great job keeping our glass and plates full. The place is real nice because you get to watch the Flamingos frolic outside your window as you eat. Of all the places we’ve been in the DR, this was definitely the best food I’ve come across. Breakfast was in the main buffet area
and always good. The omelets and eggs are made to order, and they plenty of other stuff to fill you up. The juice bar is really cool. Freshly squeezed right there in front of you. For lunch you can do the main buffet, go to the platinum lounge, or they set up a nice buffet on the beach with plenty of lunch items to keep you interested.

The beach – Bavaro Beach is rated one of the best in the Caribbean and I can see why. Wow! The sand is incredible, plenty of chaises and palpas (huts) to sit under and oh so clean. The water was rough during our stay. The waves were quite large. If you are expecting the crystal clear glass calm waters of the Caribbean Sea don’t go here. This is the Atlantic, or at least where the Atlantic and Caribbean come together. It’s choppy, and the under-toe is rough. If you want calmer waters, go to La Romana on the south east part of the island. Or search for a resort with a more protected (coral reef or cove) shore.

Service & Staff – these people understand that tourism is their life blood. They are the most pleasant, happy and helpful people I ever come across. The degree of the service you receive is going to be up to you during your vacation. If you are pleasant with them, they will
be 100x more pleasant in return. If you moan all day and night, they will tire of you, and you will not receive good service. They will purposely ignore you, as they should. We found that some vacationers will just never be happy and they will try and “bring down” everyone around them. Misery breeds misery! Try and learn some of the language
(Spanish) before you get down there or have them help you while you are there. Make that a goal of yours. Try and learn 2 words or phrases a day. The workers appreciate that. A friendly “Holla” (Hello) goes a long way in making someone’s day. It’s actually very fun! Try it, relax, and smile people…..you are on vacation! They work very very hard to make you feel at home and relaxed, maybe….
just maybe….you could show them a little respect and appreciation with a smile or a tip here and there as well. Whenever I visit the DR I know that a “George Washington” ($1 bill) goes a long way. We always put a couple singles on our table after we eat, slide the drink servers a buck here and there, hand the grounds keepers a single every once in a while in passing, and even tip the train drivers when we get off. You will see the same workers day in and day out. By tipping them, they will remember your face, and your name as well. Remember, you don’t have to tip to get great service. Just be happy and respectful. They will return the favor.

Grounds and getting around – The grounds are beautiful! There are peacocks, flamingos, chickens, and ducks roaming free all over the property…..babies in tow. There is also a mini zoo on property that’s
real cool. If you get there at feeding time (early am), they will actually let you in the cages with some of the animals. The resort is spotless with flowers blooming and all kinds of interesting vegetation. DON’T WEAR HIGH HEALS ladies. Many of twisted ankles because of it. The sidewalks are stamped concrete and have pretty big
cracks. Many of heals got caught in the cracks and ankles go twisted.
Your on vacation so get comfortable, go with flats and save those ankles. Also, be careful not to roll your ankles as you get off the sidewalks when the train is coming. It doesn’t appear so, but there is quite the lip off the sidewalks. The trains run all night long at various intervals. This is what we found during our stay. 7:00-11:00am every 2-3 minutes, from 11:00am-5:00pm every 5-10 minutes (they slow down), from 5-12:00pm every 3-5 minutes. If you don’t want to walk….don’t! Wait for the train to come. If there is no room on the first one, the second one will be right behind it and have room. There are specified stops, but it will stop and pick you up or drop you off anywhere. By the way, the construction is coming along nicely. It appears everything will be complete by the end of June.

The Spa – very nice and fairly in-expensive as far as spa services go. The ladies used our complementary 20 minute massages (provided with the Platinum Upgrade) to get 40 minutes each. Then they did a signature facial (55 minutes) as well. Relaxed, relaxed, relaxed! They enjoyed themselves immensely, and if you use the spa once, you can use some of it’s fee for service items such as the steam bath or sauna, for free. Book your appointment, and use the spa early, and you’ll be able to take advantage of some the services that would normally cost you a couple extra bucks. I took a steam bath each morning. The first one cost me $5.00, and every other day was free. Why? Because I was friendly, nice, and got to know the staff at the spa.

Pools – there are two pools, each with it’s own personality. There is the Swim-up Bar Pool by the beach. It’s a very nice free form pool with lots of activities going on all day. The water is very clean and the bartenders are very entertaining. The Quiet Pool is just on the other side of the lobby train stop. It is just that….quite. It does have a bar with service, but the pool is there for folks who don’t want the noise and just relax. German (pronounced
ERMAN) is the bartender. Great guy! Say hi from Mike and Mike (Miguel & Miguel) if you see him.

And finally, don’t drink the tap water! If you do, you’ll be out of commission for a good 24-48 hours. The ice, drinks, water in the restaurants, and bottled water are all fine. Also, the pool water is safe if you happen to swallow any.

  • Stayed: May 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
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12  Thank TheMayorAndover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2007

We stayed at the Bavaro Princess May 12-19. My husband and our son's family. We had a very relaxing and comfortable week. Don't let the negative reviews keep you away. Our experience was a pleasant one.

The staff could not be more accommodating. We did have some problems with the key not working the first day and the refrigerator died on day 2. However, one call to the desk and both were taken care of within 15 min. The food was good, not great, but we had plenty of different dishes to choose from. The lazy way is to choose the buffet each night, but do try each of the different restaurants. You will need to make your reservations the first day of arrival (I don't know why, they are never full). Be sure to take your reservation card with you to each restaurant. They will let you in, but it seems to rattle them when you don't have one.

Be careful with the drinking the water...they will give you all the bottled water you ask for. Do take Pepto Bismol tabs just in case...they may come in handy.

Everything the other reviews say about the beautiful beach and pool are true. The rooms are spacious and clean. The Bavaro is laid out in bungalows with 8 suites per bungalow over 96 acres. We loved that! Beautiful coconut palms offer shade all around the resort. Several trams run constantly to transport you wherever you want to go. Walking is nice, but the week we were there, it was hot hot hot! Oh, I did get sun poisoning, so protect your skin.

The staff never seemed to expect tips, but we did tip routinely. Each day, I gave the maid a zip-lock type of baggie with items like hair clippies, lip gloss, etc. (items from the Dollar Store) and $1. They were shy about taking it, but I think they appreciated it. There is definetly a language barrier with the maids. The desk help spoke well enough.

They told us our Verizon cell phones would work there at a $2/min. roaming charge...ours did not. We had a family emergency back home, and found using the credit card instructions on the room phone worked better.

If you venture outside the resort to the city for some shopping, be prepared to be completely annoyed by the vendors. They are very persistent. We were advised not to leave the resort at night. And, plan to haggle over EVERYTHING!

One other thing we noticed: The other guests were open and friendly. We met many nice people from all over the world. Everyone seemed relaxed and willing to talk or join in with water volley ball or whatever activity was going on.

The Bavaro tries very hard to make your stay pleasant and ours was - in spite of a couple things that went wrong.

  • Stayed: May 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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5  Thank SuzyOhio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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