My wife and I traveled to Punta Cana from June 10th to the 17th. The primary purpose of our trip was to have a few days to relax prior to my sister's wedding, which was held on the resort on June 15th. Also, we stayed on the adult only side of the resort.
1) Beach was very nice, but so are most beaches in the Caribbean. Not a jab, just saying this is pretty much expected for any resort located in the Caribbean.
2) Kyoto Japanese restaurant - best food on the resort, but will cost you $15/person.
3) Hotel is beautiful with lots of shopping on or off the resort (market located just off the resort grounds).
4) Poseidon restaurant (right next to the resort on the beach by the market) - awesome seafood!!! They bring out what the fisherman caught that morning and ask what you want cooked. We had fish, baby lobster and calamari. Definetly worth the money to break up bland hotel food.
5) Bartenders/maids are very nice, however since it is a tipping resort expect to tip to get good service. Big difference in quality of drink and how clean your room gets.
1) No snack bar (i.e. chips, salsa, burgers, fries, etc.)!!! This is the first resort that we've been to where there wasn't a snack bar either by the pool or beach. Really a downer if you just want to grab a quick lunch to avoid the buffet lines. Also, the buffets do not let you take food out of the dining area which is inconvenient if you are trying to grab something quick to eat prior to an excursion. Again, not sure what the big deal is with food outside of the dining halls since every other all inclusive that we've stayed at or friends of ours have stayed at allows food outside of the dining halls.
2) Coffee and food not very good. One of the things that my wife and I look forward on our travels is trying the local food and coffee. We found out from talking to some of the locals that Domicans do not like a lot of spice in their food and most of it is bland. Since we have stayed in Mexico and Jamaica on prior trips to the Caribbean, we were bummed that there were no local specialties like jerk chicken, patties and blue mountain coffee (Jamaica) and tacos and pico de gallo (Mexico). Also, to make the coffee drinkable the restaurants add about a half of cup of cream to your coffee when you drink it. Still not very good. We brought along coffee mate flavor creamer which helped take the bitterness out of the coffee.
3) Adult side of resort has very few entertainment options and no swim up bar. Not sure what the developers were thinking here, but most of the sit down restaurants, casino/night club, sports bar, beach entertainment, swim up bar and shops are all located on the family side of the resort. We wish that we knew this prior to booking as we would have stayed on this side since you end up walking over there anyways every night for something to do.
1) $3,000 Resort Credit (i.e. coupon book). The resort tries to dupe people in thinking that you are getting a $3,000 credit to spend on the resort. What they are really doing is jacking up the price on everything from massages at the spa, wine at dinner, etc. so if you don't use their coupon book, you pay an inflated price. This drove my wife and I nuts since you really didn't know if you were getting a fair deal or not. Also, most all inclusives include many of the items that this resort makes you buy as extras. For example, wine at dinner is usually free at most all inclusives, but here you need a coupon were you have to buy a $45 bottle of wine to get $20 off. Additionally, the wine is not very good. I've had better wine for $10/bottle.
2) Resort Guest getting sick. My wife and I were lucking not to get sick, but something was going around the resort the last part of our trip. Many people that came for my sister's wedding (~30 people) had GI issues where they couldn't find a bathroom fast enough!! Furthermore, there was another wedding party at the resort where the groom got so sick that he could barely stand at his wedding and they had to rush him back to the US to get treatment. Not sure what he had, but some in is group said it was Hepatitis A, which is caused by contaminated food or water. Since the resort only serves bottled water, guessing it was the food. Also, many people in our group were still sick with GI issues for at least two weeks after returning home.
My wife and I probably won't be returning to this resort and probably wouldn't resommend it to our friends. If considering a trip to the Caribbean, we would suggest Jamaica, any resort located in Negril (Couples Swept Away in Negril is our personal favorite)!!!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
July 5, 2013
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We thank you for choosing Barceló Bávaro Beach for your holidays and for sharing your experience with the online community and give us your feedback.
I have read thoroughly your comments because they are very important for us as a responsible and professional hotel chain.
I’m terribly sorry that your husband was hill on the first day of vacations. With regards to your comments stating that it was the foods quality I must inform you that we have an external British audit company called Crystal or Check Service First that makes random audits, which awards this Hotel as the safest in Dominican Republic, not from Bavaro, from the all Island and that is a award to be very proud of. There are many reasons for clients to have a stomach upset; one of them is to take medicines for malaria or any other Caribbean diseases, once some of the side effects are diarrhea, stomach upset, fever and chills. Other factors are the difference in temperature between a cold country and Dominican Republic, once many guests come from countries that are below zero or just over zero degrees and in Dominican the average temperature is 27 Celsius, or a radical change of food ingestion mixing different foods.
With regards to the food selection at the A La carte restaurants being the same as the food at the buffet, I must clear this point to you that we have a totally different menu, once we do not offer choices of sirloin or cod fish, grouper and many others on the buffet, but I understand that you can find lobster and shrimp on the Buffet and also on the A La Carte Restaurants.
As general information we do have a 10 day menu for the Buffet restaurants with 18 different salad choices and 4 fish and 4 meat options on the show cooking to be selected and cooked according to the guest’s satisfaction.
With regards to resort credits, this is a gift that makes the hotel to our customers so you can get different discounts on various services in the complex, so to decide whether to use it. I invite you to learn more about the resort credits on our http://www.barcelo.com/BarceloHotels/es_ES/
We hope to give us the opportunity to provide the care and quality you deserve at a future visit. We remain at your entire disposition for any assistance you might need before your visit.
As with any business like ours, the greatest advertising we can have is word of mouth from a satisfied customer. It’s our goal to retain you as a satisfied customer and will hope to serve you again in the future.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.