Wife and I's 1st trip to the Dominican. Booked Dominican Beach by price and picture, THEN found the reviews and started to wonder, because they are all over the place. Now that we're back, we realized that it's all about expectations. Other reviewers are right - if you want to be spoken to in clear English at all times, don't come here. If you want to stay in a brand new resort, don't stay here. If you want 4 star cuisine, why book a place with a buffet? If this is what you want, don't book Barcelo Dominican Beach. Now that's out of the way.
For $100ish a night, this place can't be beat. We didn't get to the resort until 10:00 at night, but they checked us right in. That sat us down and brought us the cocktail of the day and "The Boss" explained all the ins and outs of what was available, how and when to make ala carte restaurant reservations, how to use the pool towel cards, etc. then they put us on a cart and drove us to our room, where a plate of fresh fruit and a bottle of Ron Barcelo Anejo was waiting for us. AC was great, but beware, if you leave it cranked high, it will get a lot of condensation and will drip on the floor - it's not a leak, your AC is too high for too long. Try turning it down a bit while you're out. Grounds were meticulous, and we saw people cleaning all the time keeping everything neat. Beach and breeze were absolutely heavenly! All the staff were friendly and helpful. Helpful tip - tip your maid, then leave her a note (learn some Spanish, you're not in the US) if there's anything you need. Extra water? Diet Coke? A couple of Presidentes? Done, done, done.
Food was delicious day in and day out, though be prepared, everything in the buffet has a very distinctly Dominican slant to it. Once you know that, you're good to go. This means lots of fresh fruit in lots of things. Lots of chicken, pork, sausage, beans, rice, plantains. The pineapple is heavenly! Fresh juice of pineapple, papaya, melon. The bread station is a spectacle. And we will never be happy until we figure out their balance and blend for the cafe con leche (coffee with milk). We ordered it almost every meal. In fact, the only less-than-stellar experience we had eating was at the Italian ala carte! It wasn't bad, but it wasn't special enough that we liked it better than the buffet.
A dollar here and there to your bartender and waitress, and your drinks will show up without even asking (especially in the lobby). The coffee is to die for, no matter where you get it, but go to Le Cafe and get the best AC aside from your room, great coffeehouse atmosphere, and so much fantastic Dominican Coffee. And get a massage. The 25 minute relaxation massage was no more expensive than back home, quiet music, scented oil, and my masseuse found all the knots without my saying a word. Gift shop had decent stuff at really reasonable prices (except the soft drinks, which you can get at the bar), even on the rum and (for the most part) cigars.
Was everything perfect? No! The AC broke down. The repair guy was there 5 minutes after our call. It was running again by the time we got back from dinner. The floors and walkways are often wet, and can get slick. Bring shoes and sandals with traction. It's super-humid and nothing dries out, ever. Nothing you can do about that. Shower door leaked on the floor. Never did fix that.
We plan to come back. Learn some Spanish and try to use it. Shoes with traction. Tip your maid, and anyone else that gives you good service, no different than anywhere else. Don't expect a tropical vacation where everything is like the USA. If you want that, go to Key West. Expect to hear 4 different languages in any setting (we got Spanish, English, lots of Russian, and German), enjoy the awesome water and fantastic ocean breeze, and drink stuff with rum in it. This place is a Dominican vacation. Enjoy it.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with BookIt.com, Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Caribbean Online Mgt Corp., Barcelo, Cheap Tickets, Orbitz, Despegar.com, Odigeo and Tingo so you can book your Barcelo Dominican Beach 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:
- Barcelo Dominican Beach Hotel Punta Cana
- Barcelo Punta Cana
- Barcelo Hotel Dominican Beach
- Ocean Bavaro Spa Beach Resort
- Ocean Bavaro Punta Cana
- Punta Cana Ocean Bavaro
- Puta Cana