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“Awesome vacation! Perfect resort for couples!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa

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IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playas de Bavaro, Punta Cana 51101, Dominican Republic   |  
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Ranked #53 of 100 hotels in Punta Cana
Waterloo, Canada
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Awesome vacation! Perfect resort for couples!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

We are a mid 20's couple traveling to DR for the first time, was not my first time all inclusive though.

IFA is a great, well maintained and lively resort, I will break my review down in categories of what we liked best and least.

Food: The buffet dinner/lunch is very mediocre, not very much selection. The a la cartes were AMAZING though so if you can wake up every morning to book those that is your best bet. Our fave was Mexican and least fave was the Caribbean. PS save yourself the trouble of going to the lobby to book every morning, we would call at like 8:05- 8:10 and always got though no problem.

PIKALO PIZZERIA was one of our favourite parts of this resort. Awesome for lunch or a late night snack of the best pizza EVER and great fries and chicken fingers etc and delicious drinks.
The breakfast buffet was really good especially the omlette station.

Grounds: well kept, always clean, we saw them washing the ground every single day with soap and water. This is a very small resort, you can get from the lobby to the beach in about 10 minutes. we did not take a trolly the entire trip. The VILLAGE and OCEAN area are much nicer, newer and closer to everything than the Villas. We were lucky enough to stay in the Ocean area right beside the theatre and loved the spot. this is the superior rooms 4000 block, the 3000 block looked good as well.

Beach: sooo pretty, IFA is pretty small but you can walk onto any other part of the beach as well. If you walk left you will get harassed by locals trying to sell to you, to the right is Barcelo resort.

Entertainment: not the greatest, have seen better shows in Mayan Riviera, the Disco was mostly 19 year old kids so not the greatest for the rest of us/

Cafe Dominicano: amazing spot for the BEST drinks, bananamama is made with a whole banana in every drink! just make sure you say with rum or they do not put any in it. This was our fave place to meet other travellers, relax, play cards, etc.

Cigar shop: Amazing cigars and good prices. Better to buy here for quality than on the beach where they try to inflate the prices. Also a hidden gem spot to sit on the comfy chairs outside of the shop overlooking the pool to relax and enjoy some drinks or play cards etc.

Excursions: the first one we did we found on the beach a local Canadian guy named Gringo who now lives in the Dominican claiming he would take us out to snorkle and swim with the sharks and dolphins. We did snorkle but only drove BY the shark area....so misleading and such a rip off. We only paid 30 bucks each for this but definitely taught us the lesson that it is better to spend more and book through the resort. The second excursion we did was the Polaris (similiar to ATV) called "1 adevnture" and we LOVED this excursion...it was 4 hours long and we got a lot of driving time got to go through mud and rough terrain and also went to the caribean sea and to see local cigar and coffee/chocolate makers where we bought a few things.

People: well you better like the people you are traveling with because you will not get much interaction with other travellers. We met a few Americans and english speaking Canadians but for the most part was mainly French Canadians who were mostly rude and obnoxious and loud. We didnt really care too much because we wanted to just have our romantic trip but they definitely did get annoying.

All in all i would rate this an 8 out of 10...perfect sized resort, staff work really hard and the food is much better than people have given IFA credit for and I myself am a pretty picky eater. Barcelo next door may be "fancier" but I would be overwelmed at a resort that large where you have to shuttle to get anywhere. I would recommend this resort for sure!

TIP: bring your own pillow if you can, theirs are basically unbearable how lumpy they are, and bring bug spray as I got bit the first night before I had a chance to spray myself!
and BE SURE to try the local drink the mamawana!

Room Tip: upgrade to a superior room in the 4000 block
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LopesanHotelGroup, Guest Relations Manager at IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 22, 2013
Dear guest,

First of all we thank you for choosing IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa for your holidays and for the time you spent sharing your review with the Tripadvisor community.

We thank you for highlighting all the things that made your stay memorable in a positive way. On the other hand, we have taken notes about your comments regarding the food service. Our Executive Chef appreciates tips that can help deliver a higher level of service at the buffet and restaurants.

We will be honored to welcome you back. Do not hesitate to contact us prior your next visit.

Regards.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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London, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed here for 10 days in December. The weather was a little stormy but mainly hot, sunny weather. Perfect for laying by the pool or on the beach.
I was very distressed on arrival due to a nightmare journey. Due to circumstances out of our controll I had to travel alone to the hotel, hoping that my boyfriend would join me the following day. I was greeted by Rene who was very unhelpful and did not show any sympathy to my situation. I was very emotional and tired. A lone female, he decides to place me in one of the Villlas at the back of the resort. The Villas are like little bungalows and are very basic and small. Ours had 2 double beds with VERY lumpy pillows and a very small bathroom. The shower was very cold - eventually warming up after running for a good 5 minutes and the drainage was poor, the smell was awful and we had to call out maintenance to unblock the drain. There is no Iron or Ironing board provided, when I asked at Reception I was told I had to pay for the Ironing service. They charge you on average $4 per item. I had at least 50 Items to iron and found this quite unreasonable. I have never been to a hotel where this is not a standard provision. There is no tea or coffee facilities in the Villas and its a bit of a walk to the restaurant for a cup.The best thing about the Villas are the Chickens, Peacocks and Cockerels roaming free. They will wake you rather early with their pleasant noise.
We decided to upgrade to the main rooms-apartments after 4 days as the Villas felt very much like 'Butlins', not cosy at all. A small charge applies, $10 daily approx. Worth the charge.
The apartments are more modern, balcony, Super king bed, sofa, tea/coffee. fridge which is stocked with bottled water daily, seperate toilet, large shower room, Large storage space, tv. NO IRON!
The view from our apartment over looked the grounds to the beach, a beautiful view and very peaceful.
The hotel has 7 Restaurants- 4 of which are A La Carte- early bookings are recommended i,e 9am as they fill up quick.. The main buffet restaurant for All Inclusive dining is the Colibri. The restaurant is large and gets busy at times but you would never wait more than 5 minutes to be seated. There was a selection of foods but unfortunately it was mainly Pork. There was a chef frying up omelettes for breakfast but on the same hot plate he was frying pork-again no good if you're vegetarian. As we are vegetarians we found our diet during the stay very limited-even the salads had pork! The variety of food was limited, almost the same daily.
Las Velas is on the beach and again all incluisive between 7am-4pm. Lots of flies over the food and around the tables, same food served as Colibri but it is convenient if you are spending the day on the beach. In the evening this becomes an Italian restaurant- which is by reservation only. We booked one evening to make a change from the buffet, the food was poor and bland. My boyfriend refused to eat his pasta as it was under cooked and cold. I also refused to eat my starter of deep fried cheese in breadcrumbs. We didnt book there again
We booked a table for the 'Caribe' restaurant and again had a similar experience. The food was far from Caribbean cuisine and was bland. The remainder of our stay we ended up living on mainly bread.
The cocktails were excellent, a wide range available and all inclusive. They are made with local alcohol but still really good, the best we've had on any of our holidays so far. The bar staff in Cafe Dominicano were very friendly and accommodating. They would attempt to make up a cocktail on request that wasnt on the menu. The 'Cocktail of the day' is always worth trying.
Pikalo bar is a snack bar and provided burgers, chips, pizza. Very popular and open almost 24/7. Convenient if you are going to the night club on the resort.
We didn't visit all of the restaurants but there is a good selection of bars by the pools and snacks available.
We watched the entertainment on a few nights in the Theatre, starting from 8.30pm for children then adult shows. There are waitresses attending the tables and they are really friendly. Service was quick. The shows were set for children then adults. Both interactive. Not our idea of a good night out though. It would have been great if there was more to do in the evenings as our only options were the shows or the 'nightclub'
THE VENDORS..........or for the want of a more polite phrase- daylight robbers!! who are on the premises twice per week were very expensive and annoying! They will not leave you alone unless you visit their shop and if you try to leave without buying anything they become rude. On several occasions the vendors 'switch' from being your 'Brother' to your enemy in the blink of an eye.
The shopping mall trips are free from the hotel- San Juan and Palma Real are your typical american malls, but dont waste your time. As a Brit I've found shopping at Harrods alot cheaper, no exaggeration! Unless you have more money than sense, dont bother.
Overall the Hotel is very modern, there are shops on site but the beach vendors are cheaper-if you haggle, the grounds are well kept and nice to walk around, golf carts run throughout the day and evening down to the beach and back to the rooms. The beach is clean with plenty of sun loungers available. Make sure you bring all the medication you need beforehand as it is very expensive from the pharmacy- be warned- you will get bitten.....alot!!
We would stay at this resort again but they need to improve on the food and the room facilities and also offer more variety of evening entertainment.

Room Tip: Bring your own iron equipment as this is not provided and they charge for the service. Research loc...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Ottawa, Canada
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
123 helpful votes 123 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

It's hard to summarize this resort, so I will divide my review into the great, the okay and the lousy.
We booked this resort through Sunwing, as an after-Christmas last minute get-away. As a result, we paid a fair amount ($1750 each), so that may temper my ratings. Perhaps if it was cheaper I would not have expected as much? Please do read my "Lousy Things" as some of these could have been avoided with knowledge ahead of time!

Things I Loved:

Loved the 2 huge and meandering pools, both with bars, one more of a party pool, the other quiet.
Loved the jacuzzi pool area - a bar with 6 jaccuzzis scattered around it.
Loved the Guest Services Booking Desk (where you book a la carte restaurants and rental cars), especially employee Jairo Pena, who was helpful, friendly and well-informed.
Loved Cafe Dominica - a great cafe where you can get capucchinos or drinks (but it would be nice to have something to eat with your coffee - we ended up smuggling out cookies from the buffet to have later with our coffee!).
Loved the cigar lounge/cafe (I don't smoke, but felt like taking up cigars just so I could hang out in this atmospheric place!).
Loved the special New Year's Eve dinner (great decorations, grilled lobster and champagne!) and fireworks.
Loved the grounds of this resort - immaculately kept, with flamingo pond and pools and with wandering hens and peacocks.
Loved the trolleys that would zip you from one end of the resort to the other (a necessity really as the resort takes 20 minutes to walk briskly from end to end).
Loved the little fridge in our room in which we could keep a few snacks, and loved that it was stocked daily with an abundance of water bottles.
Loved the breakfast buffet (omellettes made to order, tons of fresh fruit and fresh bread, lots of standard hot items such as bacon, sausages, boiled eggs, potatoes.
Loved the grill chef stand at afternoon and dinner buffet (changed from meal to meal, with items such as grilled pork chops, steak, beef and chicken fajitas)
Loved the pizza/snack restaurant next to one of the pools
Loved the buffet in general: Good service, beer or wine constantly refilled. Good selection. Lots of variety though food quality and interest varied.
Loved the little but well-rounded A/C gym.
Loved our day trip to Santa Domingo: We enjoyed seeing the colonial centre of the city and really enjoyed our visits to the mansion of Christopher Columbus's son, the cathedral, and wandering the streets. At the end of the trip you are dropped at a large indoor craft market and given an hour of shopping time. We immediately raced back to the main plaza (2 blocks away) and instead had a great time sipping beer at a outdoor cafe and people watching! I highly recommend this!

Things that were OK, but not great and below standard for a resort of this sort:

Our room: nicely placed in the villa section with its own tiny patio. Simple pleasant appearance, though no attempt at art or decor. But... very, very small - you had to SQUEEZE between the double bed and the wall to get to the bathroom, usually banging yourself on the corner of the bed or the thermostat on the wall. Try to get a queen sized bed instead of two doubles. Shampoo and soap push-button dispenser in the shower is very utilitarian and not very classy. Only one outlet for the whole room, and that is awkwardly placed between the beds! So if you want to go on your computer, you need to perch at the top of a bed! Only one bath towel per person, so if you were a woman with long hair like me, you had hair dripping down your back after your shower, unless you stole your husband's towel (I didn't!). Bring an extra towel! A/C, lights and electricity only work when your key card is in the slot on the wall, so you can't recharge camera batteries while away, and your room gets very hot. A/C is barely adequate so there is no way to just pop back into your room for 20 minutes and expect any cool relief. At night the A/C has longer to work so it is adequate.
The A La Carte Restaurants: We tried the Italian restaurant but were unimpressed with the food (my spaghetti carbonara had large chunks of raw onion, my breaded mozzarella was cold and hard inside) and we got EATEN ALIVE by mosquitos. If you go, spray yourself liberally with bugspray!!! Service was great. We also tried the Mexican restaurant where the food was okay but not great (eg. nacho chips and cheese sauce of the kind you get from a jar). Again, service was great though.
The beach: I really, really wanted to snorkel, but the water is murky, the beach is very narrow with motor boats zooming by one foot beyond the swimming area rope, and the location is in a very busy section of Bavaro Beach. If you like lying on the beach watching masses of boats fly by at great speed, pulling parachuters, skiers, banana boaters etc, you will enjoy yourself. If you were hoping for a more natural setting, then this is NOT the beach for you.

Things we HATED, or that IRRITATED us and need to be changed:

- Internet: On arrival we checked with the front desk about wi-fi internet, and asked if you could get it. We were told that you had to do it at the Internet Centre. When we went there, we were quoted a ridiculous price for 30 minutes ($4.00 US - the most expensive we have encountered anywhere in the world and on any continent). We said "What if you have your own computer?" - we were told it is still $4.00 a half hour. So we thought "the hell with internet at that price!". Four days into our trip we were sitting at Cafe Dominica and I noticed the couple at the next table using their ipads. I asked how they got the internet and they said "Oh, we got a week's worth at the Internet Cafe". Seriously????? I can't remember the exact cost but it's around $25 for a week. By the time I got onto the internet on our fourth day, family members were worrying about us. That's annoying.
- Lack of information: There is no tour, the map of the resort is extremely tiny and limited, there is no information about such items as how to book restaurants, what services the dive shop offers, internet, what eating places there are or when they are open, and some things (like the disco) remain a mystery to us even after a week (does it ever open? What is it?).
- Car Rental: We rented a car for three days and had a great time driving around the island. I highly recommend this. We were told roads were bad - they were GREAT! BUT.... the car rental place that IFA uses is NOT a major company but still cost us $120 USD a day. Our SUV (which had suffered a major accident in the front end which was not yet fixed up) was delivered with the gas tank WAY, WAY below empty. We were told to get gas before we drove anywhere but we spent a harrowing hour and a half looking for a gas station with gas (the two we found had run out of gas) before returning in fury to the resort. The car rental guy came back and drove us in tandem to a gas station about 20 minutes drive away. By the time we had gas, more than four hours of daylight were wasted. In return, the car rental guy did let us have the car for another day, but this wasted half a day of a short holiday. This would not have happened with a more reputable car rental place. Why does IFA use this company?
- Front Desk: Most things need to be done through the front desk, but you have to go through the same line as all the people checking in. Good luck with asking for an item for your room if an entire busload of people is checking in! There should be a better system.
- Charge for old fashioned safe: At check-in you are not asked if you want a safe. So when you discover that the safe in your room needs a key, which you need to buy, you need to go all the way back to the front desk and wait through a huge line to pay out big bucks to get the key. Then you have the hassle of carrying that key for the rest of your week. What hotel room nowadays does not have a digital safe that is included with the room????
- Dive Shop: We finally found the dive shop. We love to snorkel. We were told snorkelling is included (free) with our resort. We asked when snorkel trips went out and were told there was a morning trip and an afternoon trip to a reef 7 minutes offshore. Sounded great! We were told to come an hour before the trip. When we arrived at 10:30 we were told that the trip cost $30 each. When I pointed out we were told it was free, they said "Snorkelling is free, but the boat is $30 each"! The boat trip was literally one minute tops. $30 for two minutes of boat trip there and back??? The reef they take you to is directly off the beach (if not for the boat traffic you could easily swim there) and it is completely dead. The coral is white, bleached and covered with sand, and there are very few fish with little variety. There were no instructions given to snorkellers and we saw other people standing on the coral. What's more, there are boats zooming by close to you, so there is constant tension - every time you hear a boat you stop snorkelling to check if you will be hit. I assume that the drivers were watching for snorkellers, but what if a person dived down (as my husband does) and then came back up unexpectedly? Accidents are going to happen - they are inevitable with so many boats driving around with swimmers.
SMOKING EVERYWHERE! Be prepared that in the restaurants, someone WILL light up at the next table. If you sit by the pool, someone WILL light up beside you on a lounge chair. Smoking is permissible everywhere and it seemed like most people were smokers! This is not something that usually bothers me, but if it does bother you, then avoid this resort!

Room Tip: Villa rooms are nicer and quieter but ask for a queen bed, as the rooms are tiny and way too crowded...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LopesanHotelGroup, Guest Relations Manager at IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 18, 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you for choosing our hotel IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa for your holidays and for taking time to post a review about your stay on tripadvisor.com.

We regret to read that you didn’t enjoy 100% your vacation with us. Sometimes the lack of information can lead to misunderstandings that can create misleading evaluations of the service proposed by a service provider.

Because of the latter we offer 03 ways for guest to be informed about the services offered at the hotel:

INFORMATION ENVELOPE: this is given on check-in and includes room key, towel cards, hotel map and information of all the facilities and the time that they are working.

BRIEFINGS: the next day of arrival a representative from the travel agency that you booked us will hold a meeting with you, providing all the information you’ll need.

GUEST SERVICE: open from 08:00 am until 09:00pm will assist you with all the information and any request you might have. They have proficiency speaking English, French, German and Spanish.

All the non-motorized water activities are included and can be reserved at the beach.

I you decide to give us another try on your next vacation. Please contact me before arrival.


Regards,
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013 via mobile

I went to IFA villas Bavaro and it was amazing, I loved it.
The beach, the pools, the drinks, their location, the facilities, their activities, nightlife at IFA is just great, the ballet shows are amazing, great food, great customer service. I really had a great time at IFA villas Bavaro.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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LopesanHotelGroup, Guest Relations Manager at IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 17, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for choosing our hotel IFA Villas Bavaro resort & spa and for sharing your review with other travelers on tripadvisor.com.

We are pleased to read that you had an excellent vacation with us and enjoyed every aspect of your stay.

We will be more than glad to receive you again in our property. If you decide to visit us again, please contact me before arrival.

Regards,
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nowhere
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

My girlfriend and I booked this trip at the advice of a travel agent for 7 days, leaving for Punta Cana at the end of December. Upon arriving in our room, we found the toilet to be out of operation and the phone itself was ripped out of the wall. Being late in the evening and exhausted from a days of travelling I approached the front desk to ask for a different room for the night. I was very surprised to be told no and to be put on a "waiting list"?!? I then enquired about upgrading to a Villa but then I was told I could not even do that and had to do this through my tour rep the next day. This still baffles me. However, the next day at 2PM we were put in a different room which was fine. After talking to several people at the resort we were surprised to find out we were not the only ones who had encountered inoperable toilets all on the first floor. DEFINTELY ask for a room on the 2nd floor or above as all the people we spoke to whose toilets wouldnt flush were on the first floor. The setup of this resort is well done, there is a party pool right in the main hub of all the villas, and a quieter pool out towards the edge of the resort if that is your thing. The night time entertainment was VERY well done, every night the animation staff would put on a terrific show and get the crowd involved. Excellent job. The food in this resort was hit and miss where you went. The A La Cartes were fantastic but the buffet was mediocre at best (Be sure to go to the Caribbean restaurant). The service by the restaurant staff was very prompt and attentive at all restaurants and theater shows. However, the service by the hotel staff defintely left something to be desired. Our second room needed the A/C fixed and upon making a call to the front desk staff I was informed that it would be "dealt with right away". I phoned the next day to follow up and was told that I had to phone guest services so in essence I got lied to with the first call. That and the unfulfilled promises of getting a wake up call several days left a sour taste in my mouth. On the whole, this was an average resort and I enjoyed my stay but I don't believe I would return. Thanks.

Room Tip: Stay off the main floor if possible. Also, stay away from the 4200 block as it is noisy and right by...
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Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LopesanHotelGroup, Guest Relations Manager at IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 11, 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you for sharing your comments about your stay at IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa with other travelers on tripadvisor.com.

I offer you my sincerest apologies for the inconvenience you had on check-in. I’ve investigated your dissatisfaction with the reception staff and was informed that they couldn’t satisfy your request of room exchange because we were fully booked that night, but they offered you a change the next day.

We appreciate your helpful review especially when you refer to our restaurants and our stupendous show because we work continuously on improving our services based on client’s inputs.

If you choose to visit us once again, don’t hesitate to contact us before arrival.

Regards,

Wilbert Santos
Guest service Manager
IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa
rrpp.villasbavaro@ifahotels.com
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Ottawa, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

My boyfriend and I just returned from our trip to Punta Cana tonight. We arrived 30 Dec 12, and stayed for 7 days.
Our room was only cleaned twice during our visit that we could detect, although we were out of our room by 9am every morning (if not earlier), the maid would show up sometime between 4:30 and 5:30pm. There was a sign in the room; if your towels are dirty, please put them on the floor to be changed. We left our towels on the floor to be changed, and when we returned to our room on the 2 days that it was cleaned, the towels were just left on the sink, not even folded, or changed. So, our already dirty towels got even dirtier on the floor, and then were not changed.
We ate at the specialty restaurants every night that we were at the hotel. We enjoyed the food at these restaurants much more than the buffet. There was a snack bar, where pizza, and hamburgers were available anytime we looked, and sometimes you could luck into some delicious chicken strips.
The pools were nice, one much louder than the other. The cold water was a nice refresher after laying in the warm sun. The beach was nice, very windy while we were visiting, that has more to do with Mother Nature than the resort though.
We seemed to always miss the nighttime entertainment. We would walk by, and only really see people who worked at the resort shouting into the microphone, and then other tourists up on stage dancing or playing games. I have been to other resorts with much better entertainment than that.
The gym facility was nice, although small, it had anything you would need to get in a work out if you were interested in that during your trip.
We went on two excursions during our stay, and loved both. We went zip lining, which I highly suggest, and also went on the Bavaro Runners. For the Bavaro Runners we had Sammy as our guide, which was highly entertaining! The excursions away from the hotel were definitely the highlight of our trip.
If you are going to Punta Cana, I would suggest a different resort.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LopesanHotelGroup, Guest Relations Manager at IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 11, 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you for posting your review about your stay at our hotel IFA Villas Bávaro resort & Spa.

We regret to acknowledge that our cleaning service didn’t meet you expectations. I’ve notified our housekeeper that will take corrective measures.

We value your positive remarks about our restaurants, our pools and our beautiful beach. It was a shame that you didn’t have the time to enjoy our outstanding nightly entertainment.

If you decide to visit us again, don’t hesitate to contact us before arrival.

Regards,
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Temple Hills, Maryland, United States
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4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

I booked this trip through my travel agent.. The price was too good to pass up.

The resort was beautiful. The pool bars have pretty decent drinks... I got way too drunk our first night lol. The buffet food is pretty blah.. Breakfast was okay, lunch is blah and we only had dinner in the buffet once and sadly it was blah.

We went to two of the reservation-only restaurants, Caribe was really good. Las Velas Grill (Italian) was decent. The pizza bar was okay, the offer dry popcorn chicken and calzones.

I don't want to seem like I only had complaints, we really enjoyed ourselves! The pool area was nice, the beach was beautiful... As well as the resort grounds themselves. The staff were really friendly (it helps if you know a little Spanish).

During our stay, we decided to try out the couples spa package. Very relaxing! We got to experience the steam-room, sauna and an hour long massage together.

The only excursion we did was the Marinarium and it was definitely worth it. They took us out on a catamaran to see the reef. There we had a chance to snorkel among tropical fish, sting rays and nurse sharks. It was beautiful! After the swim, they offered sandwiches and different drinks and we cruised to a sandbar. There we had a little party in the middle of the ocean, equipped with little floating bars.

Our trip was extremely short but we had a great time. I would love to go back to the DR, but next time...we will probably stay elsewhere... ONLY BECAUSE THE FOOD...

If I hear this resort revamped the menu or hired better chefs and were getting good food reviews... I'd return without hesitation

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LopesanHotelGroup, Guest Relations Manager at IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 11, 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you for posting your review about your stay at our hotel IFA Villas Bávaro resort & Spa.

We regret to acknowledge that you didn’t evaluate our gastronomy on a positive way. Also we are glad to know that you enjoyed your stay and that you pointed out our outstanding service.

If you decide to visit us again, don’t hesitate to contact us before arrival.

Regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa

Address: Playas de Bavaro, Punta Cana 51101, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#18 Business Hotel in Punta Cana
#34 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#45 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#46 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#47 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#50 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & SPA is situated on the fine, white sands of Playa Bavaro. Bordered by a fabulous coral reef and surrounded by turquoise-colored waters this extraordinary vacation complex offers its guests a friendly, luxurious environment for sports & cuisine with its 6 charming restaurants and 7 spectacular bars, colorful tropical shows, a wide range of facilities and services especially designed to ensure an unforgettable stay right in heart of the Caribbean. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ifa Hotel Punta Cana
Ifa Hotel Bavaro
Ifa Bavaro Villas
Ifa Villas Bavaro Beach Resort & Spa
Villas Bavaro
Ifa Villas Bavaro Punta Cana

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