There are several pros and cons to the Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe. I have been on trips to Rivera Maya, Mexico and Montego Bay, Jamaica to compare to.
-The beach is great. Beautiful blue water and soft sandy beaches lined with palm trees
-The pool was very nice. Large with lots of room to spread out so it didn't seem crowded. I liked that the swim-up bar had a roof over it so you could hang out under there in the shade. We didn't bring kids but there seemed to be good activities for kids as well
-Service was good as long as you tip. As opposed to the US where you tip after the service has been performed, it's in your best interest to tip before hand here. If you drop the bartender a couple of bucks right away, they'll keep their eye out for you when your drink is empty.
-The activities were pretty good. Bocce Ball court, game rental, kayak rental were all included.
-We did the party boat which was organized by the hotel itself and not one of the tour companies. That was a good time and good value.
-The structures, decorations and room architecture were very well done. I really felt like I was in a modern and elaborate resort.
-The drink selection was pretty good. They stocked the mini fridge with beer, water, pop, and juice on a daily basis. They were restocked daily. I was so sick of Presidente by the end of our trip, but they had many other drink options. The Casino bar seemed to have the best drink selection. I would go there for Scotch or any nicer cocktails.
-The bed was very comfortable. I slept great.
-The food was really bad. You can eat all three meals at the buffet and it was terrible. There were some really questionable meats and seafood on the buffet line that I didn't take any chances with. The dinner restaurants were not much better. We did the steak house (bad), the Mexican (ok, but not good), and the Japanese (best food that we had there).
-I've been to Mexico and Jamaica and never had to tip anyone. I thought it was a bit ridiculous that everyone expected a tip for everything. I don't mind throwing someone a few dollars to get better service, but it was a pain to remember to bring small bills everywhere I went. In other resorts I got the same or better service and didn't need to worry about tipping.
-We stayed in the Junior Suite Deluxe rooms. Very nice rooms except that there is no separation between bathroom and bedroom. At least put the toilet in an enclosed room. I really don't need to hear what's going on in there.
-Olympus Tours were responsible for shuttle to and from the hotel and setting up excursions. I won't go into the gory details, but they were very unorganized and seemed really fake. We did the 4x4 buggy excursion through them. The transportation there was very unorganized and nobody seemed to know what's going on. The excursion itself was kind of stupid. Totally not worth $70/person. You get to drive for a couple minutes at a time, then they stop the group and set a bunch of peddlers on you. I don't mind looking at the trinkets once, but we were subjected to it three times on one excursion. Of course, they're all the same thing. Also, the return transport to the airport was all messed up. We verified the time 3 different times and were told not to worry, but we almost missed our transport because there is no communication. I thought an Olympus employee should have been around to facilitate that to make it smoother.
In summary, I think I would consider going back to the DR but not this particular resort. On my future vacations I will research the food quality much more than I did on this one. If the food was good, it would have been a great vacation. As it was, it was an average vacation.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Your opinion is very important for us and we are pleased, that despite some of the issues mentioned our facilities met your expectations. We regret not being able to fulfill your expectations at all. We are sorry if we did not fulfill their expectations regarding the food served at our hotel. We cater people from all over the world and generally get very good comments on our food. We are sorry if they were not similarly impressed. We make menu changes throughout the year and their comments would be passed onto our Executive chef to improve on any shortcomings. Currently we are revising the concept on our Food & Beverage outlets with the main purpose of delivering a high standard service that can adequate to most of our clientele requirements and exceed their culinary expectations. On the other hand, Barceló Bavaro Palace instills in our team members that all of our guests are to be treated equally and receive quality service. We regret the perception you received from certain staff members about preference to guest that were typing. We assure you, that we are continuously working on improving our services and that we will take all your suggestions into consideration.
Please do not stay with the bad image of the hotel, and we would like you to give us the opportunity to make your stay a memorable experience at a future time.
Javier Cordero Gilsanz
General Manager at Barceló Bávaro Palace Deluxe
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.