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Reviewed 15 August 2022

Here is an honest review from last week, from a couple that has never visited the Dominican Republic. Upon arrival, we were enthusiastically greeted with cool towels and a cocktail of choice during check in. Prior to arrival I had emailed the hotel requesting a king size bed; however, the response back was that they would do their best to accommodate. When we checked in, they remembered my email and we got our king size we wanted. We initially came in contact with many individuals, including the concierge who was extremely friendly. Our luggage was taken to our room swiftly and we got to see our amazing room, with a swim up suite, which contained a nice size terrace with a table/chairs as well as a small sofa for lounging outside.
So let’s break down the various categories including cleanliness/accommodations, service, food, and nightlife:

Cleanliness/Accommodations: Our room was kept clean daily (including floors mopped). When I would go to the pool for the day, I could clearly tell housekeeping had come and everything was in order. I was always greeted with Hola! and beautiful, genuine smiles as I passed through the hallways of the resort.

Service: The service we received was the best part of our trip. We were assigned two amazing butlers: Julio and Darlyn. These gentlemen went out of their way to ensure that all our needs/wants were addressed and handled. There were numerous times they went on a hunt looking for us (at the pool/beach, etc.) to see what our plans for the day were, what we needed, and how can they help. This ranged from making dinner reservations, spa appointments, restocking our mini bar with our personalized requests, and recognizing it was my 50th birthday. They decorated my room, drawn bubble bath in the Jacuzzi tub with rose petals and champagne, a small cake, and a door banner. Their interest was making me happy, and taking care of what made me smile. They took note of our requests and habits, and put everything they knew we liked/wanted into motion without hesitation. They do it all with a smile and eagerness!!! Julio and Darlyn are clearly the best of the best, and we could not have asked for two better butlers to make our trip special. Note: tip your butlers and all others that serve you, it goes a long way!!!!

Food: Please understand, you are likely in a different country than your originating country. As a result, customs and food taste ARE going to be different. The food is plentiful with a wide variety of options. Will it taste exactly like what you are used to? Probably not because again, you are likely in another country and they prepare food differently. Can you eat anytime?? Yes!!! Room service is great, and is 24/7. The buffet has so many choices it can almost be over whelming. Try the Surf and Turf restaurant. This was our favorite and the chimichurri sauce is phenomenal on a filet.

Nightlife: This is not a party place! It is for middle aged people or younger folks who are deemed old souls. It is overall quiet, but even all the guests we encountered were pleasant and we shared dinner/drinks with several.

In summary: This is an honest review from a couple that is over the top about what we consider our 5 star experience. With that being said, what each person considers 5 star will vary, based on your personal prior experiences and expectations. We left feeling like a king/queen with our every need and desire catered to with a smile from everyone including housekeeping and grounds keepers who work constantly to ensure the grounds are beautiful and enjoyable. We don’t regret one penny or minute spent at Iberostar Grand Bavaro. We made memories that will last a lifetime! If I haven’t already said it (I actually did, but worth repeating), TIP YOUR BUTLERS/HOUSEKEEPING/BARTENDERS, etc. They will work tirelessly to ensure you are happy, and they work 24 days on, 6 days off. They appreciate you, so appreciate them!

P.S. Julio and Darlyn, we already miss you guys!!! Thank you for making our experience such a memorable one.

P.S.S. Golf is amazing!!!!! Beautiful course. Also, treat yourself to a massage. You won’t regret it!

The Lockharts

Date of stay: August 2022
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank autumnnek72
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 15 August 2022 via mobile

On the surface, this hotel is high-tier luxury for civilized adults. It's quieter and the demographic more mature than neighboring hotels, but 24 hours later you'll find the dirty underbelly past the fancy facade.

The Iberostar app, which is required for room service and viewing current amenities & hours, barely works, freezing literally EVERY time you use it (both Android & iOS - check the reviews). The butler system is interesting, but I found that people were CONSTANTLY knocking at my door, making naps basically impossible. Sleep was a major issue on this trip because of the interruptions and ridiculous volume of housekeepers yelling to each other while servicing neighboring rooms. Within a single 8-hour period I would have housekeeping, the butler, and random food deliverers (who loitered expecting a tip for unsolicited snack deliveries) knocking on my door. Granted, I didn't find the Do Not Disturb card until the last day of my trip, but I was STILL woken up by my butler via phone call. His heart was in the right place, but it hurt more than it helped.

The restaurants were better than expected and the sommelier was fantastic, following us from restaurant to restaurant for nearly a week, recommending good wines, but not sharing the price (one was $90 extra!). But outside of the dinner meals, the choices are limited to the buffet (decent, but only open during mid-day hours) and room service, which is difficult to navigate given the useless app and semi-English-fluent concierge workers. Food and drinks were surprisingly hard to come by. Don't want the buffet or to sit down for a full 3-5 course meal? Tough luck. There are no quick food options unless you count the dry pastries near the lobby. If you sleep in and stay up late, you'll spend a lot of time hungry. Tourbillon is the best restaurant, but the beef temperature is horribly inconsistent (had a medium-rare steak come out medium-well on multiple occasions).

The quality of the rooms seems nice at first, but there are a lot of minor-to-medium quality control issues. Paint overspray is everywhere, and the toilet didn't flush reliability - I had to remove the tank cover and re-hook the chain daily, and the cold, glass shower door kept wanting to swing inward when I was showering, and the shampoo/body wash was literally bolted to the shower wall, meaning you can't actually bathe in the jacuzzi bath tub without yet another special request to the butler to get additional soap.

The beach was riddled with a row of seaweed >2ft tall and 5ft wide, so you had to search for a gap that had been cleared by hotel staff to actually make it to the water unless you want to free-solo the seaweed seawall.

If you're not eating at a restaurant, sitting by the beach (being constantly accosted by knick-knack salesmen), or at the pool, there's not much to do here.

Currency was another huge issue. ATMs? None. Do you want change? The staff wouldn't do it. So the tip-hungry staff only got $20s (until I stopped caring and gave $0).

Do NOT book excursions through the hotel. The price is significantly higher because they take a cut. We saved HUNDREDS booking directly through the companies.

They also cut off your room service access in the app 24 hours before your planned checkout. So after drinking Saturday night there are literally 0 food options for me in the morning without taking an Uber off-site.

There are enough "luxuries" to make the price seem justified, but I'm leaving feeling ripped-off. They promise an $800 credit for services upon check-in, but the minimum purchase amount is silly (ex. You can't use your laundry coupon until you spend $200 on laundry). You do NOT get what you pay for here. If you must stay in Punta Cana, stay at the Hard Rock. Better yet, avoid the D.R. entirely. The locals are pushy in selling their low-quality tchotchkes and the waters and sea-life are worse than what you can find in the Keys.

Date of stay: August 2022
Trip type: Travelled with friends
2  Thank Daniel C
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Iberostar Hotels and Resorts, Marketing at Iberostar Grand Bavaro, responded to this reviewResponded 20 August 2022

Dear Guest,

Although we sincerely regret reading that your holiday at our hotel was not to your liking, we are grateful that you have taken the time to send us your review.

Your willingness to share your thoughts is very much appreciated. We are committed to providing our guests with the highest quality services and facilities and we sincerely regret if we fell short of our goal in this instance. Of course, we will also gladly investigate the areas of concern you raise in your review as it is through constant dialogue with our guests we can always be made aware of their particular wishes and preferences and thus ensure their well-being and satisfaction whilst staying at our hotel in the future.

Please rest assured that we have taken your concerns seriously and we hope that you will allow us another opportunity at one of our hotels in the future.

Best regards,

Online Reputation Manager
Iberostar Grand Bavaro

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2022

Our stay here in Iberostar Grand was top notch! Everyone was very friendly, helpful and
accommodating. The hotel is beautiful and super clean.
Our butler Staling was amazing!! He went over the top and made sure we had everything we needed, Staling was there everyday and thru out the day checking up on Stanley left his little surprises in our room every day which was awesome. Can’t wait to book our next trip.

Date of stay: August 2022
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank cristinat135
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 14 August 2022 via mobile

Our butlers Julio and Darlyn was great. Ask for him when you make reservation. Great food, great entertainment, and beautiful property. I would recommend to others. You will happy that you chose this resort.

Date of stay: August 2022
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank bishoph2467
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 14 August 2022 via mobile

We visited DR particularly Punta Cana over 10 times..Secrets Royal beach was our last visit which was in March , prior to our Visit here to Iberostar Grand Bavaro ..The resort is beautiful..but this is where the charm ends…Several of the staff members here are outright rude/ unfriendly and the food is just average.. We had two butler’s..One name Alby and the other name Donilo..Donilo was excellent, attentive, and the friendliest staff member throughout this entire resort….We stayed here for 14 days..if this was our first visit to DR..I would never return due to the service we received here at Iberostar Grand Bavaro….We will be returning to Secrets Royal Beach for the fourth time in August…I hope others receive better treatment than what we received here..Good Luck!!!

Room tip: If You expect five star service…such as friendly staff members who treat you like royalty..don’t come here.
Date of stay: August 2022
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank AmazingSherri2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Rossina Garcia, Owner at Iberostar Grand Bavaro, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Dear guest,

We would like to thank you for taking the time to share your impressions with us. We are very sorry that we could not fully meet your expectations.

We would also like to apologize if the service did not seem adequate to you at the time of your stay. We will forward your comments to those responsible so that the situation is reviewed internally. First-class service quality is very important to us.

We thank you for your comment, because only through the feedback of our guests can we check the quality of our services and facilities. We would be happy to welcome you again in our hotel.

Kind regards,

Online Reputation Manager
Iberostar Selection Bávaro

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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