There are very mixed reviews about this place on this site, so we weren't sure what to expect when we arrived.
Overall: It was good. Nothing amazing, but good. Knowing now what to expect, I would stay here again for the price.
Food: The food was the worst part of the resort, to me. The a la carte restaurants (we had no trouble getting reservations for a party of six all week) are the best dining options. The French was pretty good (but not really French), the Mexican was OK, but the Italian was not great and took a long, long time. If you want to make reservations, get to the lobby at 9 or a little before. The line gets long quick.
The buffet and snack bar were hit or miss, and just about everyone in our party had some stomach issues at least one day, presumably from something we ate. The food isn't well marked, so it's often unclear exactly what you're eating. My advice: Stick to the basics: Rice, beans, chicken from the cutting station, fruits, omelet station, etc. (We also had one in our party who ate everything and felt fine all week, for what that's worth.)
The rooms: Simple, but comfortable. We had two double beds and alternated sleeping on them. They were a bit hard, but comfortable. Room had a mini-fridge (regularly stocked with bottled water) and a TV, but don't trust the channel guide in the welcome packet. Our AC worked great half of the nights, but it got a bit warm the other half (77 degrees at most). A fan would have helped. Shower had good water pressure and didn't leak.
The beach: Beautiful, breezy, shady. Water was calm and clear most days. There are people selling things on the beach, but the security guard does a pretty good job of keeping them from pestering folks on the beach. The Animacion staff is loud sometimes, but that's their job: To get people to have fun and get excited. We didn't have trouble finding six chairs to pull together each day.
We loved the beach bartenders, Washington and Manuel. They were friendly and always seemed to be having a good time. Ask for drinks "heavy" if you want more alcohol, but nothing seemed watered down. They seemed to pour with a heavier hand as the day went on. A "heavy" sex on the beach at about 5:30 p.m. was vodka with a splash of juice. (Not really complaining, there.)
Other amenities: Didn't do a whole lot of these. The dance show we went to in the theatre was fine. The disco seemed cool, but we were only up late enough one night to go to it. The three pools looked nice, but we never used them because the beach felt nicer with the breeze. Never saw the tennis courts. They may have been across the street. (Apparently they're building a casino in the same area.) Free internet is only offered in the theatre and it's a little spotty, but we rarely needed to use it. It's vacation, after all.
Staff: Friendly enough, though we didn't interact with them all that much (other than Washington and Manuel).
I would recommend this place to others, but I would tell them all of the above so they know what to expect.
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- Also Known As:
- Carabela Beach Resort And Casino
- Carabela Beach Hotel Punta Cana
- Carabela Bavaro Hotel
- Carabela Bavaro Punta Cana