We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Disappointing!!” 2 of 5 stars
Review of IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa

Save Saved
You added IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa to your Saves list
Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 2 more sites!
IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playas de Bavaro, Punta Cana 51101, Dominican Republic   |  
  |  
Hotel website
  |  
  |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #55 of 100 hotels in Punta Cana
Barrie, Canada
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Disappointing!!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2014

We visited this resort to celebrate a couple of special family milestones. While this was our first trip to Punta Cana, we certainly have traveled south many times. Never have we been so disappointed.

This resort seems to cater to smokers; sadly, we missed the memo. Smoking was permitted everywhere, including in restaurants :( It's very difficult to get away from cigarette smoke in this resort.

The food was extremely disappointing. Additionally, the majority of us became ill during our stay despite the fact that we didn't drink or brush our teeth with the tap water. Needless to say this is much more than a coincidence...

Customer service is poor, poor, poor! My mother became ill poolside one day and despite asking 3 different staff members for assistance no one ever came, leaving us to clean up the area.

Although the cleaning staff make a daily appearance, clean towels are not provided. There was no shampoo in the dispensers and no washcloths. Despite having 11 people in our party and 5 rooms, we were charged $40 for a cake to celebrate our parents anniversary. Even more ridiculous was the fact that when I attempted to pay for the cake the day of the anniversary, I was told that no cake had been ordered. Luckily our Sunwing rep could validate our order. There weren't enough hangers in the room and despite asking for them on 4 different occasions they never came.

The ocean was no where in sight from our ocean rooms. They were a considerable walk to the ocean. A problem for our elderly parents. Golf cars drive around the resort however were typically full making the journey to the beach was an ordeal.

So much more to share but you get the point!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

2,323 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    790
    839
    367
    188
    139
See reviews for
523
947
52
12
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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (246)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2014

I found it to be a really nice experience. Reading some of the reviews seems like some folks I complained about the facilities, the food, etc, but I thought it was all great. I haven't visited other resorts in Punta Cana, but I was really happy with our time here. I've broken down our visit in sections below and rated them individually.


STAFF- The staff are very nice here. Friendly and seem to enjoy working there. Many of them live on site for a period of 10-12 days and then go back to their home town, so it is likely that you'll see the same people over and over again while you are there.

It seems like people really enjoy their work and are happy to be there.

Because I was noticeably pregnant during our stay, staff were extra nice and went out of their way to help us.

Language -- people are cool with you practicing Spanish even if you butcher it. I found that the staff would speak Spanish with you first, and would wait for you to reply to figure out which language you needed them to speak back to you. I personally liked that. All the wait staff and bartenders can manage basic English to get you taken care of if you don't speak Spanish(and it seemed to be they were also speaking in French and possibly Russian as well).

If you need someone who speaks your language (English, French, Russian) the best place is to start at the front desk or customer service. Don't expect the gardeners and baggage guys to be able to speak your language. I heard people complaining about this, and was surprised--- come on people--- it is a Spanish speaking country! You can't expect all the staff to have fluent English. The front desk and customer service people are all good communicators, so they are the ones to go to if you have any requests or issues. With everyone else, I recommend practicing your Spanish.

My advice--- pick up a few basic Spanish phrases and courtesies and you'll feel empowered -- how to ask for drinks, food and other basic necessities since that is where you mostly interact with people.

FACILITIES--
After a day or two, I wondered "where are the bugs?" For a tropical climate, I saw almost no bugs, and only a few mosquitoes. I expected a lot more, but just didn't see them. Either IFA keeps stuff VERY clean or they just aren't around here.

I have to say, this place is more beautiful than they show on the website. It is VERY clean, and the buildings and gardening are beautiful. They have a variety of different pools and areas to hang out for people who want more activities or more relaxation. Something for everyone and whatever mood you're in.

However, a lot of walking is required if you aren't in one of the rooms right by the main eating area and reception. If you're in a standard room, you'll most likely have to walk about .5 to .75 mile to the reception and dining area.

ROOMS- We started off in the standard rooms which were really far from the beach and dining halls. The rooms themselves were fine. Clean, with basic necessities and lovely gardening all around. We upgraded to a "superior" room the last few days which was closer to the dining hall because I'm pregnant and got pretty tired from walking back and forth for food, drinks, entertainment, the beach, and the pool.

One thing about the superior rooms-- if you're not a couple just note that the showers have a glass wall so other people in your room can see you bathing. So if you're coming with friends or parents or something, just note that you might want to ask about that while you are booking to be sure you have the private shower wall.

I saw complaints about the beds on some reviews. I thought the beds were very comfortable. We sleep on a firm mattress at home, and this one was slightly softer than a standard firm mattress in the US.

FOOD---The theme restaurants are fun--- and a neat experience to mix up the variety. The food is not drastically different in any of them, but the ambiance is varied. These provide a nice quiet break from the busy dining hall environment.

If you're a vegetarian, there is stuff here for you, although you might get a little tired of the food because most of the variety is in the fish, chicken, and egg cuisines. I feel like there was a lot of European food in the dining hall. I think they do a good job of appealing to the European crowd. (But I'm an American, so it could just be my perception. For a more accurate review about European preferences, check a European's review.)

If you're a spicy lover, you might want to bring a hot sauce of your choice, because the food is not all that spicy overall, and the hot sauces aren't all that varied. A minor point, but if you can't live without your hot food, this would help.

OTHER GUESTS-
We went during the busy season in late January and the place was pretty busy. Short waits for food, tables, pool chairs and things like that. But if you live in a big city or are used to having a lot of people around you, I don't think you'll be bothered by this one bit. As an American, it took me 2 days before I met any other Americans. When we went it was mostly Canadians (English and French speaking), French, Russians, and Germans.

When we went there were a LOT of smokers, so for Americans who aren't used to people smoking in restaurants and all over the place, just be aware of where you're sitting so you're not stuck next to a chain smoker at breakfast.

We heard some people complaining about other rude guess, but I wasn't bothered by it at all. We mostly kept to ourselves, were polite to other guests, didn't mess with people's stuff on the beach or pool chairs, waited in line like civilized people, and just practiced basic courtesies. We had no problems whatsoever.

OVERALL - we really enjoyed our experience and would go back here.

Room Tip: If you don't want to walk too far, get a more expensive room. The standard rooms (cheapest ones...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bilbao, Spain
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2014

me encanto la villa que nos dieron,un poco lejos de la playa, pero el paseo hasta ella fue maravilloso, el personal fantastico ,se comia muy bien.
I loved the town that gave us a bit away from the beach, but the walk until she was wonderful, the staff fantastic, they ate very well

Room Tip: visitarlo---I visit
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2014

This was the first time we traveled w/ our son who was 6 months at the time. The hotel was nice and clean and provided a sturdy crib for my son. The beach was a little bit of a far walk from everything but overall the hotel was good...

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2014

Stayed at IFA in February 2014.....enjoyed the facilities...good hotel....good service....food was ok....everything was fine....no complaints.....best drinks are at Cafe Dominicano......beach was beautiful.....only complaint....there never seems to be enough lounge chairs to go around....that's both at the pool and at the beach

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit, Michigan
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2014 via mobile

The Dominican Republic is my favorite vacation spot, and IFA made my stay in this beautiful, exciting country better than I could imagine! For starters, the service there was extremely good. In particular, Victor Sosa, an employee at IFA, was excellent! He was very welcoming and professional, and nonetheless hardworking. This hotel's friendly staff, cleanliness, and fun-filled nightlife made this trip a very memorable one. I cannot wait to go back!

  • Stayed December 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Arlington, NJ
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2014

I had the opportunity to stay at the IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa for 9 days week of January 24th to February 2nd. The rooms all in all are average, and however, are in need of a facelift; but who stays in the room on vacation anyway but to shower and sleep (beds were comfortable). Maids did an awesome job keeping the room clean and surprising me with flower designs everyday. The food was just OK; not what I am use to and could use improvement. The entertainment team was fun keeping us all entertained everyday! The best part of my stay were the employees who went above and beyond my expectations; I'd like to give a shout out to Erica at the front desk; she greated me every morning with a smile and was always willing to help or answer any questions that I had during my stay... Muchas Gracias, Erica!!! The guy who handleled the wi-fi (I don't recall his name) was also helpful in every way to ensure I was always connected to my loved ones back home; and last but not least all the gals in the Spa; these ladies are amazing and one in particular who did my hair every other day (I don't recall her name)... Thank you!!! I have been to many other islands but the beaches in the Dominican Republic are the best; beautiful white sand, plam trees and the clear blue water and the sweetest people you ever want to meet. All in all, I had an amazing vacation and was sad to leave... I can't wait for my next trip back to the beautiful island of the Dominican Republic.

Room Tip: I stayed in a superior room close to the lobby, restaurants, pool and entertainment; quieter rooms a...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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:
#35 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#46 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#46 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#49 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Travelocity, Expedia, getaroom.com and Venere so you can book your IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa 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:
Ifa Hotel Punta Cana
Ifa Hotel Bavaro
Ifa Bavaro Villas
Ifa Villas Bavaro Beach Resort & Spa
Villas Bavaro
Ifa Villas Bavaro Punta Cana

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.