My parents needed a vacation and I searched every review board for all-inclusives in the Caribbean area with the best reviews, which lead me to the Iberostar Grand. My expectations were considerably let down.
Yes, the property is lovely, from the layout to the pools. And yes, the staff is all very friendly. That being said, we got rooms that overlooked the neighboring property so there was no view except a service road. The hotel echos like you would not believe.. I wouldn't count on sleeping in any day because you can hear every sound from above you, around you, and possibly below you. I couldn't sleep most nights which was a Huge problem because of noise from above me and then housekeeping shouting their conversations down the hall at each other.
For the activities, think of a glorified summer camp. They bug you all day at the pool trying to "sell" you into signing up and push after you say no. Once you sign up, it's just like they're camp counselors organizing kids games. I was excited that this resort listed archery as an option among other things but it turns out it's nothing more than a game.. they have ONE bow and you get only 3 arrows to try to compete against other guests. Plus they do it at the same time as the next door resort so if you're enjoying your "adults only" time, watch that disappear when you have bleacher seats (yes, bleachers! ugh) full of the other resorts kids yelling and booing. Definitely not for anyone with a genuine interest in the sport and gave me a very sour taste for their offered "activities."
Do not under-estimate all these reviews telling you what a pain in the behind it is to get reservations to eat. They will block you every way they can and try to tell you that your only option is the buffet, which was NOT good unless you watched them make your piece right in front of you.. otherwise it was all stale, cold, and gross. I tried calling weeks before we ever arrived to make reservations because of everything I read and could not reach anyone (aside from one lady who just yelled in Spanish and then when completely silent while I talked until I finally hung up from lack of response) and tried to do it on the website but that whole 'configure your stay' thing doesn't work at all. So we only managed to get to the surf & turf (good) and the Japanese (good).. the other option was restaurants next door where they drive you by golf cart, we tried the Mediterranean which was Terrible. Don't do it.
The beach was ok. It was nice and netted off but there was a lot of seaweed that you just could not escape. It was rather odd considering we walked down the beach across to the other resort lands and they completely clear, sand and water. Guess the Grand just got the bad spot on the coast.
The reason I give this 3 instead of 2 is because my parents just wanted to relax and they got to do that, so that was my goal. But quality-wise, I could have done WAY better for them.
If you're cool with getting up at 6-7am to towel-reserve a nice chair and lounge all day, and aren't particular about your food, then this place works. But if you're looking for things to keep your interest then you're going to be really bored/annoyed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- On the mythical Bavaro de Punta Cana Beach, in the Dominican Republic, a spectacular 5-star, adults-only hotel has been built, belonging to the exclusive IBEROSTAR Grand Collection hotel chain; an “all-inclusive” resort & spa with personalized services in fantastic facilities: the Grand Hotel Bavaro is bathed by the waters of the Caribbean Sea, it is an elegant hotel, designed for an exclusive tourism seeking luxury and one of a kind vacations. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Punta Cana
- Punta Cana Iberostar