how does the star rating work? Well as I understand it, it is more based on facilities than service and quality. Is this hotel 5* - It's subjective I guess but here is my view on the pros and cons.
We booked this holiday as individual elements and therefore this review is purely for he hotel. We arrived and were we're pleasantly greeted. check-in went smoothly and the reception staff and porters were excellent.
The room was generally great for us as a family of two adults and children aged 4 & 8, we stayed in a deluxe suite numbered 447 which was centrally located to the hotel but was 2 minutes walk to the pool and beach, less than that to some restaurants, and a short trip on the bus to the main hotel area. I would firstly say that if you are offered a room near the hotel end the complex, don't accept this - you want to be as close to the beach and pool as you can get!
The rooms are well equipped but slightly poorly finished. We had a king sized bed, a double sofa bed and a single bed in the room with space to spare. As a couple the room would be enormous and would have a lounge area as well as a table and chairs. We had a large jacuzzi bath, his and hers wash basins, a large walk in shower, and a wc which you can't flush anything down. The room was generally clean but not spotless despite tipping the cleaner well early on, but generally tired with poorly cleaned grout in the tiles, a broken tv remote, and a ceiling fan above the bed which wobbled to the point that we feared for our lives sleeping under it if turned on.
Food wise you have the option of the main buffet restaurant and 6 a-la-carte eateries. All are included in the AI package once per week and do not require booking in advance which is good in one respect but led to long waits to eat at some of the more popular places. The food quality was ok but nothing to write home about. Equally there are far worse paces to eat and so I would generally rate the food as ok as far as AI eating goes. It's far from gourmet but it is fine.
The staff in the eateries and the bars are generally friendly with a few exceptions and a little tip goes a long way. I would recommend that you learn a little Spanish as this is a Spanish speaking country and the staff appreciate you making the effort. Don't expect to come here and bark English at them as it will be you who will suffer and rightly so. Certain sections of the restaurants are badly run and as such getting coffee in the morning with breakfast can sometimes be challenge but you just have to learn to sit in the right section and me friends with the staff.
The local drink is called mamajuana and should be tried as should the sweet rum. The gardeners pick coconuts each week and cut them so that you can drink the milk and you an also try the local sugar cane. In addition the hotel is stocked with local and not so so local wildlife and the photo people come around each day with tame monkeys, parrots etc which the kids love. Some of the photos were quite good however the gross overpricing meant that nobody we knew ever bought one.
So onto the problems. The sunbeds on the beach and by the pool re reserved almost permanently despite however early you get up in the morning. We also had towels stolen and the hotel was particularly awkward in resolving this issue. Guest relations as they call it are useless and it took some serious pressure to get them provide replacements. I also I asked to speak with the hotel manager regarding several issues but they could not be bothered to even make themselves available to talk - simply unacceptable behaviour. It is a shame that there are so many great staff here but the hotel management is so poor.
This hotel also seems to take the approach of hounding its guests with timeshare salespeople. They line the routes to the restaurants waiting to pounce each day under the guise of offering a welcome pack. Unless you know what is coming they seem genuine but then they take you to a special building where they want you to give credit card details etc. when we refused they suddenly turned nasty and said we were wasting their time - nice! My advice - tell these salespeople very clearly were to go in no uncertain terms and proceed with your holiday. Again I wanted to talk to the hotel manager about his but they were unavailable.
This hotel also operates a bizarre platinum all inclusive system where some people are actually stupid enough to pay $45 each per day to sit behind a rope in the same restaurant and get wi-fi access. Any 5* hotel that does not provide Internet access as a matter of course in 2013 is simply archaic. So until they change it, the wi-fi password for cafe del mar on the beach is princess - enjoy and save yourself $45 per day - take your own red rope if you're really bothered about that part.
Overall this place is acceptable and I would rate it somewhere between 3 & 4 stars for quality but there are undoubtably better places to stay and we will not be going back here due to the poor management and focus on fleecing the guests.
Will we return to Punta Cana, yes! The beaches here are spectacular in places and are some of the best we have been to (which is quite a few) although they can be a little too crowded for my liking. Will we go back to this hotel - no.
- 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
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- 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