I don't want to come off as a high maintenance person who doesn't know what they are getting into. I have spent nights in the jungle, getting eaten by ants and other insects, and I would take that over staying here. I have stayed in basically sheds where mosquito netting is a requirement and the plumbing barely works. However, when I go to an all inclusive, I expect half decent accommodations, even if it is a lower star property.
This will be a little long, so here is the brief summary
-OK rooms (good for when you are stuck in them with food poisoning) with bad showers/water source
-Bad food that gives you food poisoning, forcing you to spend 2 days in your OK room
-Little to no choice in where you get your bad food
-Bad bar service with tiny cups (bring a travel mug!)
-Inconsistent drinks (no one knew how to make anything)
-Small beach a few minutes walk from the resort (beach was mostly washed out when I was there!)
-Your choice of 3 pools - one with no seating or sun, one that often smelled like sewage and garbage, and one that was never cleaned and couldn't filter anything
-No entertainment, day or night, and no booze after 11! Except for the beach bar, where all inclusive guests have to pay for booze after 11
-Expensive, incredibly slow WiFi (normally I wouldn't care about this, but this time I actually needed it)
-Just don't go here! Look elsewhere! Can't afford anywhere else in the Dominican? Get a better hotel in Mexico!
The main review:
The room wasn't TOO terrible. The bed was alright, and the channel selection on the TV wasn't half bad, which was good for when I was holed up in my room for two days from food poisoning from the food this place served. However, there were a couple cockroaches (big whoop, don't really care, its a tropical island) and mosquitos kept getting in (more of a concern due to the recent appearance of the chikungunya virus), so many that I wish I had brought my mosquito net. The shower also backed up by the 3rd day there and would not drain. It was next to impossible to get maintenance to come fix it. The water is also salt water which was highly irritating for those of us who wear contact lenses. Even with them out, my eyes would burn for a while after a shower.
Food options are limited. There is a buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food ranged from terrible to average. I'm not a coffee drinker, but the rest of my family said it was undrinkable. Looking at it, I would guess that was fair. It came out of the machine like sludge. This seems unacceptable for a country renowned for its coffee. The fruit selection was horrid. I have had better fruit selection at a Super 8 continental breakfast. Most meat items in the buffet were overcooked, so if for whatever reason you still choose to book this place, get the fish from the grill (generally it was not bad).
For lunch, you can also go to the beach and get a hot dog or hamburger or fried chicken and fries. They were edible. For dinner, there is one a la carte restaurant. You have to book it in the morning, along with making your order, choosing from a menu they have sitting there. Nothing looks particularly appetizing, and the only half decent meal I had there was the fried squid and grilled plantain chips.
One night during your week (I really hope you are not staying any longer, again, if for whatever reason you decide to go) they have a pool side bbq. The food at this was actually quite tasty. HOWEVER, this was the last meal I had before I was stuck in my room for two days with the worst food poisoning I have ever experienced. I could not eat in those two days and actually dropped 10+ lbs in that time. By the third day, I was feeling well enough to venture out of my room and away from the toilet, but could only stomach about half the amount I normally eat and couldn't drink anything besides water.
Service from the bar staff was not great, even if I tipped them well. There was one bartender who gave decent service after I dropped a 20 in his tip jar, but beyond that it was limited. On top of that, the drink cups they provide are the smallest I have ever seen. This can be remedied if you brought your own travel mug, but come on guys. Little bigger cups would be great. Knowledge of how to make drinks was also pretty bad. Simple things like rum punches and mai tais must have been made 13 different ways (I mean, it was still rum and juice, so it was good, but where is the consistency?). Service at the beach bar seemed to be the worst.
The beach: pretty much non existent. It is a bit of a walk from the property - few minutes from the front door of the hotel down a narrow public street. Locals will go ripping by on mopeds, motorcycles and cars. Careful. When I arrived at the beach, there were a few chairs that spent a good portion of the day out of the sun, a long neglected volleyball court, and a washed away section of beach right after the beach bar. This may have been fixed (crews were repairing it on our final few days), but don't be shocked to find minimal space to settle down on the beach.
Because there was no beach, we spent a lot of time at the pools. There are 3. One is right outside the buffet. Seating/space in general at this one is minimal and due to this, was often uncrowded. The next one is between the two main guest buildings. This is the largest pool and many days it was filled with a strong garbage/sewage stench. The main bar is also here. The third pool is at the back of the resort, surrounded by the nicer villa rooms. This is where we spent all of our time. Good sun exposure at all times of the day, but there is certainly a shortage of seats. Drop some belongings early to claim your spot. Unfortunately, pool cleaning seemed to be at a premium here. The pool did not seem to filter very well, and a disgusting film of oil, debris, bugs, vegetation, whatever would collect around the edges of the pool. It was pretty gross, but I dealt with it. Jumping over it and staying to the middle of the pool is your best bet.
Entertainment: There is none! I did not see any day time activities, though I swear I saw a person wandering around who looked like it was their job to set up some sort of activity. There didn't seem to be anything for water sports. There are no evening shows, which I really didn't mind. They're all the same and usually bad. The beach bar stays open until 1am and sort of acts as their "disco." No one went really. The busiest of nights saw maybe a dozen people there. The bar at the resort shuts down at 11 PM. The beach bar starts charging(!) after 11. Doesn't matter that you are there as an all inclusive guest!! Boggled my mind.
The "fitness room": Well... it existed. It contained three machines. The weight machine was awful and clunky, with a brutal range of motion. Get creative and you can get a quick workout in, but be prepared to rely on pushups, dips, sitting ab work, and that's about it.
The WiFi is stupidly expensive, and is "per device." They give you one code, and if you are logged in, no other device can log in. This seems insane for a room that will house two people, many of which will have multiple devices! Now you can log out, allowing the other to log in, but come on Whala!, get with it. On top of that, it is painfully slow. I would care less if they cut the price WAY down. I thought it was reasonable at first, assuming the number provided was pesos, but turned out to be USD. Total rip-off for a barely functioning service. I had no reception in my room, which sucks when you are incapable of leaving it for two straight days!
All in all, I would not go back here. Spend a little extra money and go anywhere else. The only thing the resort had going for it was the great weather, but I would have got that staying literally anywhere else.
- 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