Third trip to the DR, second to Punta Cana (and many more to Mexico, Jamaica and the Caribbean). My wife and booked a last minute trip to the Bavaro Princess through Funjet just one week before departure.
I do intensive research/ read reviews on multiple sites (although Trip Advisor has always proven the most useful) and couldn't really believe that this resort was available and at a very reasonable price. We have stayed at several RIU and Barcelo resorts and consider them more or less the level we like. So, due to the longer and colder winter than normal we decided to book it and escape for 7 days. Needless to say we were very happy with the decision.
We'll start with the positives:
Beach: better than any in Mexico, Jamaica, or any other "value" locations. Soft, clean sand and water, no rocks, and looong (great for walks!). The only negative was strong winds most of the week, so swimming over head deep water was not safe. (If you want to snorkel from shore, this resort and entire beach is not for you.) Always lots of lounge chairs and even palm umbrellas all day on the beach.
Room: we were upgraded to a regular suite (from a Jr suite) when we arrived (again, the resort was not nearly full) and it was the nicest room we have ever been at (besides a Sandals, at twice the price). Huge space, raised platform for bed, nice hot tub in room, modern shower/bathroom . . . Even extra pillows already on the bed (we had brought our own just in case due to past experience). Hot water whenever we needed it with reasonable pressure.
Grounds: always impressed with how well most resorts maintain their grounds and the Bavaro Princess was no exception.
Pool Bar and bar staff in general: Yes I know a few tips go a long way, but every bartender an nearly all restaurant staff were great. More Mamajuana!?!?! Please!
Restaurants: started out great; buffet had enough variety, although less than others we have visited. But, there were 5-6 a la carte restaurants, so you could practically skip the buffet for dinners. The best were the fish/seafood and steakhouse. The Italian was decent. Chinese was the only bad experience - didn't like anything and the staff was also the coldest. Missed the Asian/Japanese which we heard was excellent from others.
As for Negatives:
Lack of information: we "skipped" the morning orientation because we heard it was a time-share sales pitch. So, a part of the issue may have been our fault. But, simple things like a clear explanation of what types of food each a la carte restaurant served, accurate restaurant hours (some closed early, like 90 minutes early), etc. We knew we were on "island time", so it didn't bother us much. But, getting answers to simple questions was difficult at times, which leads to:
Language: I speak "rusty" Spanish, so we got along pretty good. But, as some others have said the level of English most of the staff spoke, with the exception of bartenders, was little to non-existent. Even ordering dinner at the a la carte restaurants was a bit challenging. Again, overall a minor quibble. But, I could imagine this bothering some people.
Entertainment (evening): We only stayed up to start watching the "shows" two evenings, and we left both pretty quickly. Part of it is we have seen so many of these shows, and they are all the same at all resorts, that we have just lost interest in seeing them . . .
Marinarium Excursion: I'd read some good reviews on this excursion, and my wife is a beginner snorkeler at best, so we decided to try it out. Very disappointing to me. For beginning snorkelers there was no instruction; they dump you in the water and have you paddle into a penned-off area where you can snorkel among a few nurse sharks and sting rays For newbees it was a thrill I'm told, but I just felt badly for them, caged-up for people to stir-up and "appreciate nature". Yah, no! Then the staff held up one sting ray for everyone (40+ in our group) to "pet and take a photo. It all just turned me off. Then, after a 40 minute slow cruise along the shoreline we stopped for a 30 minute "swim" in waste deep water...more like a "pee" break. The, back on the boat for a 40 minute "cruise" along the beach back to the dock. I wouldn't waste my money on something like this ever again.
Just to clarify, although I have mentioned some negative items, we would definitely place this resort among the top ones we have visited in the Caribbean and Mexico. You just have to come knowing what to expect. Those who have strong negative reviews here need to stay in their 5+ star luxury hotels and pay the price to be "pampered" as they want.
So, you can book this place at a good price, by all means jump! You'll have a great time.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Bavaro Princess, situated in the Dominican Republic in an area renowned for its incomparable beauty, the quality of the sand and the clarity of the water on the famous Bavaro Beach. Accommodation at this prestigious resort more than meets the expectations of the most demanding of customers.136 splendid Platinum Suites, 16 Honeymoon Spa Suites, 82 functional Junior Suites, or the 572 spacious and fully equipped Bungalow Suites, provide the ideal added value to enjoy an unforgettable holiday. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Expedia, Booking.com, Caribbean Online Mgt Corp., BookIt.com, Orbitz, Agoda, Despegar.com, Odigeo and Tingo so you can book your Bavaro Princess All Suites Resort, Spa & Casino reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Bavaro Princess Punta Cana
- Bavaro Princess Resort Punta Cana
- Bavaro Princess Hotel Punta Cana
- Hotel Bavaro Princess
- Punta Cana Bavaro Princess Hotel Resort
- Princess Bavaro
- Bavaro Princess Dominican Republic
- Bavaro Princess Hotel Dominican Republic
- Bavaro Princess All Suites Resort Spa & Casino
- Princess Hotel Punta Cana