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“Disappointed..Here's why-” 1 of 5 stars
Review of whala!bavaro

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whala!bavaro
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   El Cortecito | Bávaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (Formerly Alisios Bavaro Beach Hotel)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #66 of 99 Hotels in Punta Cana
St. Louis
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Disappointed..Here's why-”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

I hesitated to write this review for several reasons...first and foremost, I have been to many resorts and always feel anxious to leave a review when I return home because I am so pleased with my experience. I LOVE writing positive reviews! I have NEVER written a negative one....until now.
I feel the need to speak up so that travelers have a clearer idea what they are getting into at the WhalaBavaro.

I did the research on the WhaloBavaro before I booked. I read all the reviews that I could. I made the decision to book it because it seemed to be what we were looking for. When we arrived, Roberto made check-in easy and pleasant...no problems. We had two rooms, which were clean and fairly large, with a little patio with a table and chairs...pretty nice.

The problems first occurred when we went to the "snack bar". There was only some flimsy highly processed lunch meat with sweat beads on it from being out in the heat, cheese and bread. We quickly learned that there was only that one restaurant, which is a buffet. The buffet is small, kind of like the typical size of a salad bar in some restaurants. I am not a picky eater at all! But for lunch and dinner I found myself surviving on tomato slices and rice. I tried the other selections, but mostly found that the food did not appeal to me. Breakfast was average; they do have an omelet grill where you can pick your toppings, so that was good.

Back to the room, we showered in cold water. So cold that I had goose bumps and could not wait to get done. The water coming out of the shower was discolored a brownish color. The water was also salty, as if it were coming out of the ocean. I noticed a urine smell in the rooms that we had, and also the room that we viewed after telling the staff that we had no hot water and they were willing to switch our rooms. However, that room also had no hot water. Now I will say, on the third day, and only the third day, our water in the shower was actually warm, so we thanked the front desk staff for that and also having our hairdryer replaced (because it shorted out and sent a green flash of electricity to my daughters hand causing her hand to go numb).

There were two pools. They closed one on the second day of our trip for repairs...major repairs. They put yellow caution tape completely around the entire pool, which was directly between the front lobby area and the "buffet". It didn't make for a pretty picture, to say the least.

The beach was small. If you wanted a chair, they were stacked up by a palm tree and you had to get it and drag it to a spot you wanted....but one day there were no available sunny spots, so we moved to the side a little and were quickly told we could not sit there. We were told that we had to put our chairs underneath a palm tree in the shade. So, no problem....we walked each day down the beach and found a location by a cafe where we could sit in the sun on their loungers, as long as we ordered something off the menu.

We called BookIt.com (who we booked through) the day we arrived and the second day to try to switch to a different resort. Although they were quite helpful and tried to resolve the issues, we were not able to relocate. Therefore we tried to make the best of it. We went on some very nice excursions including Saona Island and snorkeling. If you run into Augustine on the beach, you will find he is helpful at booking your tours and excursions.

The bartenders at WhaloBavaro were very friendly and made great drinks, we loved Mercedes and Alex! Mercedes was always happy, singing and smiling. He made our stay so much more enjoyable!

Overall, I enjoyed being in the sun and sand with my family. I would just choose a different resort. The last time I went to Punta Cana I stayed at the IFA Bavaro, and was very impressed with everything there. I would not return back to the WhaloBavaro.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
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417 reviews from our community

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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (54)
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English first
Phoenix, Arizona
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

Loved that it was right on the beach. Rooms are clean and great for 2 people with enough room for luggage and clothes. Nice pool and food and drinks were always good to very good. Little seaside bar was popular but never too busy. Good service all round with nice staff and great location.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Burlingame, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

Just got back loved this place relaxing real the people were wonderful helpful especially joseroberto at the front desk! The maintanence was great lead by angel too had morning swims at the beach right outside the hotel the lobby is sweet open air cool breeze mellow! Great local music in espanol can't wait to go back

Room Tip: I think one floor up is best there r three second third are best
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
San Antonio
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

Great spot to relax and unwind. I had some family members who had been to Bavaro beach in the past, so the area came well recommended and I also found I loved the place. This hotel was a good choice with clean rooms and clean well maintained facilities. Enjoyed using the pool every morning for a quiet swim and found the whole hotel very calm and relaxing. Much more personal and enjoyable than the great big hotels you see everywhere. The beach is ideal for long walks and chilling out on and there is a beach hut bar from the hotel serving cool drinks. I forget the guys name who served there most days, but he was very sweet and always smiling. Overall a good hotel priced at a great price and the sort of place I would love to go back to some day.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlantic City, New Jersey
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2013

We wanted to share the good time we had here with others, so here goes;
Room. Spacious with a balcony. A/C and a hairdryer ( all important for my wife ) safe and satellite T.V. Big bed with a firm mattress.
Location. A close distance to the long stretch of beach, palm tree's with room to make a good base all day and not be bothered by too many others. We took a trip to Dolphin Island, well worth it even if it's just to get on the ocean for a day.
Meal Times. The buffet was changed each day so you get a choice, I prefer to find something I like and stick with it, had no problem here, we ate well.
This is the kind of break we enjoy, a real steal for what it offers.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2013

Our first trip to The Dominican Republic and we booked Whala after seeing pictures of the amazing Bavaro beach right outside the door of the hotel. Of course the very reasonable price for such a great location won us over as well! We were all inclusive and the food was very good. Served freshly every day and a good choice available. Apart from the buffet there was a beach side snack bar which was handy! Our room was nice, on the first floor with a pool view and was spotlessly clean. We liked all the staff and had a fantastic time here and happily recommend Whala.

  • Stayed May 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Robertsville, Missouri, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2013

rooms were average, no hot water in shower the whole week, we tried 3 differant rooms. Water in shower and pools were salt water. Water in sink and toilets was brown! Web site says 2 restaurants and 3 bars, that's a lie. Only one buffet area and they only serve food at certain times of day. Food choices very poor and they serve left over food from dinner for breakfast. Bar tender is also waiter/bus boy so getting a drink takes awhile and they have very limited choices to choose from. They couldn't even make something as simple as a whiskey sour and we went all inclusive. My niece got shocked using their hair dryer and it took them 3 days to change it out for a differant one. beach is a short walk but you have to go through the front desk area, down the alley that has cars comming around a curve so it's dangerous. Beach is dirty, lots of sea weed on beach and in water. No snorkling unless you pay to be driven out to a reef to swim for 30 minutes. Beach is roped off per each resort so swimming area is very small. No beach unbrellas and lounge chairs are locked up and you have to find someone to get them for you. You can't go relax at the beach without the island venders wanting you to come into their shop to look, and they don't take no very well. They were very pushy even with security all around. The hotel had no night life, the wi fi was very weak and you might get signal only at front desk. Chairs had mold on cushions. Staff spoke very little english so brush up on your spanish if you want to get anything. I won't go back and do not recommend this place!

Room Tip: go to a differant resort
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about whala!bavaro

Address: El Cortecito | Bávaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (Formerly Alisios Bavaro Beach Hotel)
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Best Value Hotel in Punta Cana
#39 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#54 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#56 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — whala!bavaro 3*
Number of rooms: 147
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in front of the beach, whala!Bavaro is the ideal place to enjoy the summer heat. Bavaro Beach is part of the Dominican Republic most exclusive coast resorts, thanks to its fine white sand bathed by the beautiful Caribbean Sea with crystal clear and emerald tone waters. Located in front of the beach, whala!Bavaro is the ideal place to enjoy the summer heat. The hotel is located in an excellent location that offers a wide variety of sport and leisure activities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Alisios Bavaro Beach Hotel
Hotel Alisios Bavaro Beach

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