We are reasonable small town/ Regina, Saskatchewan people who read and disregarded the bad reviews about food, major stomach illness, lack of English, cleanliness etc. HOWEVER THEY ARE MAINLY ALL TRUE! Save your valuable time and money and pick a better resort without risking a major stomach infection or virus, something seems to be floating around this resort!!
My husband and I visited ifa from feb 13 to 20. Our first couple days were great we had fun sitting on the beach and by the pool having drinks. After our stomachs adjusted to the food and drinks was when things drastically changed. My husband got it the worst! He was so sick we had to see the on-resort doctor, she was lovely and had him sent to the hospital by ambulance for extreme dehydration, as he could no longer keep food or water in his system (vomiting, diarrhea every 5-15mins). After spending an entire evening in the hospital with no real medical care we left with a prescription to control the stomach infection he had. So from practically day 4 to day 6 my husband was so bed ridden or in close proximity to the bathroom! We put it down to the food as many other Canadian/English speaking couples or groups we spoke too, had members with their group or themselves who the exact stomach problems and they all figured it's the food. We had Mexican (beef tacos) the night before he got sick as did another couple.
This sickness ruined our holiday and a majority of our trip! We are both still getting over being sick but have been lucky that we are young and don't have weak immune systems.
In regards to the resort, it's nice but not amazing. It's old and shows in the buildings, the pool, the furniture, beach chairs, etc.
Cleanliness is ok but not excellent, your definitely sharing other peoples germs. We observed them washing glasses, they just rub the glass on a bristle brush in soapy water and dunk it under water. No hot dishwasher process to kill germs. Our room was semi clean. Dust on the lights and fixtures. Tile everywhere so grout lines by the sink where water was, was gross. I cleaned the toilet area up after my husband missed the toilet. I was definitely not just cleaning his mess up. The cleaning staff doesn't get much to clean with so I honestly don't think they can do much to improve sanitization.
The staff are friendly, the bar staff are probably the best at being happy and understanding English and other languages! Alejandro, Ariel, Carlos and Maria at the mojito bar are awesome we had a fun time with them! However staff at the front desk are kinda rude and ignore you until they are done having their conversations (which definitely weren't about hotel business). The servers are good but more business as in get in get out!
You will get haggled by everyone, the spa staff want you to get massages, the photo shop want you to get pictures on the beach, the excursion companies have their staff their trying to get you to do the same excursions your travel company offers. They bring on locals to sell, who are right outside the main buffet/place to eat and will pull you to look and can get really annoying fast! We avoided them and took the cart path to our room.
It is a biggish resort, people hog chairs who are likely on the beach or "will be there later" yes we moved towels or some non important thing if your personal belongings weren't there (we paid to enjoy ourselves not to observe your towel flap in the wind and sit on the cobble stones), it takes a couple minutes to walk from the lobby to the beach but the beach is worth it! Beautiful beautiful! But preparers to be haggled there too, there is a shopping centre close by. We turned someone down twice in a row and he was a dick about it! It was ridiculous behavior since tourist are how they make their money, they try hard to rip you off so haggle the bastards down!
Food at the pizzeria and the Caribbean/international al e carte were the best! Italian al acarte could be compared to having a microwave dinner or can of ravioli! Mexican was good for me but I didn't eat much as I was feeling to good. We didn't get a chance to try the oriental one. The buffet is ok but some really weird stuff, we found it hit or miss. Lunch is probably my favorite for selection. I also found it weird that they served hot chocolate for breakfast lol.
People at the resort varied, there were Germans, Russians, Americans, Canadians, French Canadians, and other people who spoke fluent Spanish (lucky people). Tons of people smoke, it's like living in an ash tray, people's moral standards seem to drop because they didn't have to abide by the laws of their own country. There isn't a way to avoid it, even in our room our neighbor leaned out his window to smoke so it drifted into our (which then I shut the window)
There is too much to comment on about negative things more than positive. I just don't recommend it unless you want to party and can live on a liquid diet which I cannot even though I'm 24!
I don't like to be a negative nancy but even friends who came after us had got sick and friends we made there got sick. So it just wasn't us who felt this way. Plus everyone we spoke to wouldn't come back and said this is rated more the a two or three star. Standards must have changed in relation to its current 4 star review!
Not a great resort if you want to relax and enjoy yourself!
- 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:
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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