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“Fabulously Relaxing” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Iberostar Grand Bavaro Hotel

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Iberostar Grand Bavaro Hotel
5.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Arena Gorda | Playa Bavaro, Bavaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 13 Hotels in Bavaro
Branchburg, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Fabulously Relaxing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

I traveled to the Grand with a friend the week of Feb 23 - Mar 2. We picked the resort based upon the fabulous trip advisor reviews, and we were not disappointed. There were a few things that could use some improvement, but it was nothing to earn anything less than 5 stars for the total experience. Overall, the place was immaculate and extremely well manicured.

We arrived and were greeted with a glass of champage and were basically told not to lift a finger. We were able to get a room with two beds, which was important to us. I had emailed the hotel a few weeks ahead to request it.

The room:
Our room was on the 3rd floor on the back side of the resort facing the other Iberostar. It was very quiet. I didn't mind looking over the other hotel as some other reviewers did. The room had 2 double beds. We were brought our special (feather) pillows. The room also had a table with two chairs and a chaise lounge. It wasn't overly large, but it had plenty of room. The bathroom had the jacuzzi tub (we didn't use), a vanity with two sinks, and a rainshower head for the shower. I didn't enjoy the rain shower head as it made it difficult to shave my legs in the shower. The hairdryer had decent power, but it was a safety type that you had to hold the button to keep it on. If you have difficult hair, I would suggest bringing your own. (I wish I had.) Ours didn't work (only came out cold) when I tried to use it the first night. I saw our butler on our way to dinner to let him know. We had a new one when we returned. I did find the bed slightly soft for my taste.

The service:
We got fabulous service from almost everyone from the front desk check in (Freddy) to our butlers (Henry and Victor), to the waiters (Jorge), and the pool bartenders/waitresses (Leide & Lely). Everyone seemed happy and greeted us when they saw us. The butlers always had wine chilling for us when we came back from the pool. Our mini bar had things we didn't want in it, so we asked for more of what we did. We didn't have to remind them after we asked once. If you took two drinks out of your wine glass, it would be topped off at lunch and dinner.

The food:
The breakfast buffet had tons of options from omelets/eggs and waffles/pancakes to cheeses, lox, and cured meats. The fruit selection was very good, and they had a smoothie bar. The coffee at breakfast was almost sludge-like. I ordered cappucinos after day two when I saw someone else with one.
Lunch had about anything you could possibly want including salads, chips and homemade guacamole, grilled chicken/lobster tails/hamburgers/steaks, and fruit/dessert.
We did not eat dinner at the buffet, but we were told by others that it was very good. We ate at all 4 ala carte restaurants. My favorite was the Japanese. We got fantastic service at all of them except the Surf/Turf. I felt like we were kind of herded in and our waitress (same one both nights) was not very friendly and didn't provide the service as in the other 3. The food was good there, but the experience was much less enjoyable.
Yes, I got a few things during the week that I liked less than others. If I didn't like it or how it was cooked, I got something else from the buffet.

The drinks:
I only had one drink the whole time I didn't like (bloody mary) because it was just standard bloody mary mix and vodka. The house white & rose were actually very good. I preferred the white house over a couple of the bottles they brought us special. It didn't seem a problem at all at dinner if you wanted to order one from the list. They had more "top shelf" liquor at the bar by the lobby than at the pool.

Dinner reservations:
I had emailed the hotel a couple weeks ahead and asked for reservations for the first four nights at 6:30 (we like to eat early). They were not able to confirm at the time, but our butler arrived with reservation slips on our first day. We were able to secure 6:30 again the other 3 nights.

Cabanas/Pool:
The cabanas were great. We did get up early to be at the pool at 7 to reserve our cabana. I need shade as I am very fair. I didn't mind being up at that time. It was very peaceful. The annoying thing was observing people reserving them then spending the day at the beach. There didn't seem to be any policing of that. One day, we noticed one that was empty all day. Someone showed up about 4:30 PM with a bottle of SPF 8 tanning oil and applied it and went to the pool. They had a "sunscreen bar" at the pool concierge. I would still recommend bringing your own if you burn easily. The highest SPF appeared to be 30, and it wasn't the best waterproof sunscreen.

The whole experience was relaxing and fabulous. I don't think I could stay at a non-grand again. I was absolutely spoiled for a week.

Room Tip: Higher floors and ones in the middle not by the ship/restaurants seemed to be less noisy.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 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.
IberostarHotelsRD, Quality Manager Iberostar República Dominicana at Iberostar Grand Bavaro Hotel, responded to this review, March 6, 2013
Dear Guest,
We thank you for having chosen Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro for your holidays and for taking time to post a review about your experience among us.
In the name of the Hotel Manager, Mr. Stefano Baratelli and the whole team, we would like to express how glad we are to read your positive valuation about our varied and exquisite gastronomy served in our four a la Carte restaurants, 24 hour Room Service, nightly themed buffet and snack bar; about the friendliness of our staff members; about the cleanness and beauty of our grounds. In Iberostar we aim to ensure memorable holidays to our “stars” on vacation. According to your review where you stated that you felt “spoiled”, we accomplished our goal during your visit.
We are looking forward to welcome you back again; please do not hesitate to contact us before your arrival.
With regards,
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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New York
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

Everyone writes rave reviews about The Grand Bavaro. Yes, it is paradise. It is heavan on earth. I will never go back to anything less, and maybe not even stray from the "Grand Collection", but I am going to take a different spin and talk about the decision to upgrade from a 3-4 star resort to a luxuary resort. I've stayed in all inclusives in the Bahamas, Jamica, Domincan Republic, and 3 in Mexico. They were all about the same. 1 or 2 on location restaurants. An employee mad that he actually had to give someone a tennis lesson so he just ran me back and forth across the court, unidentifiable fish in red sauce on the buffet day and night. At one resort, even though it was all inclusive, I had to sign a ticket for every single drink on my room even though it was included. What I found here was an amazing experience. People that love to work here. Multiple activities all day long (if that is your inclination). Plenty of tented cabanas if you get up early enough to play the annoying towel game.

Food: The restaurants were fantastic. We actually did not eat at the dinner buffet since we ate the buffet for lunch and breakfast. We were told we missed out on good food.
The breakfast buffet was quite a spread. Typical spread of fruit and omlet station, but they did have a juice bar and smoothie station that was cool.
Lunch Buffet: Fresh shrimp, lobsters, crab legs and muscles on ice EVERY DAY! It was heavan. You can also have grilled steak or lobsters almost every day. They mixed it up with mexican one day and paella another day. Wine and other drinks flow freely at all times.

I have Celiac disease and the front desk gave me a letter to present at each restaurant. Japanese and Gourmet were very agreable and the Gourment actually altered the sauces to meet my needs. The Galeon (surf and turf) was probably the least agreable. I was told "is not possible" on most of the menu items I asked about. Basically I eneded up with a plain steak and grilled lobster, which was perfectly fine, but after the great experience at Gourmet, I was hopeful for a little more accomidation.

Drinks: Mentioned before, wine flows freely at lunch and dinner. Your glass drops by two sips and someone is buy your side to refill it. The bartenders and servers do get to know you and how you like your frozen drinks. They had a good selection of booze and of many different qualities that they would gladly pull off the shelf to use.

Activities: There is something going on all the time. My friend and I did "aqua gym" everyday at 11;30 to work up our appetite for lunch with Elias. He was such an energetic star friend. he really made our trip fun.

Butlers: We read complaints about "never seeing their butler again". My experience was, if we called, they came. They made dinner reservations, made sure we had post pool wine. One afternoon the butler came to get our ice bucket to chill the ice and motioned he also needed a bag. The day butler had informed him that my knee was hurt and I needed ice in a ziplock so I could ice my knee. Many mornings our day butler would come find us at the pool and check to see how our wine supply was, and when we wanted the ice. All the butlers were great, but I have to say Victor and Henry were fantastic.

Tips:
1. Email in your restaurant reservations the week before. We were unsure if we would get them, but Victor had them arranged when we arrived
2. Get an activities guide from the conceriege if you want to have an active vacaiton. There are so many things going on, you should have the full list, especially if you are interested in yoga or tai chi. Many guys to around and try to recruit for activities, but do you really want to go to spinning at 4pm if you have been drinking since lunch?
3. Know your room number when you head to get your towels. It will save time
4. If you want to stay in the cabanas with the curtains I would suggest bringing BINDER CLIPS - yes from your office drawer. They are much stronger than clothes pins. Pin the curtain to the top valance to keep the curtains from sliding clothes
5. Get up early (7am) to reserve a cabana, but PLEASE only if you are going to use it. We were in our cabana reading by 7:30 every day. One day, there were the two cabanas in front of us with towels on them all day, and no one ever came. Decide if you are going to do pool or beach and do it all day. Don't reserve at the pool "just in case".

To tip or not to tip: We decided to tip. We were descrete about it, but we did not tip in order to get better service. These folks work around the clock and they work hard. If you spend over $2000 on a vacation I feel like you can slip a $10 to a favorite bartender or $1 to folks for drinks or towels. I would advise if someone gave you great service you would like to reward, slip them a little cash directly after dinner. I am not sure how they handle tips, but I think since tipping isn't prevalant whoever gets to the table first probably pockets the money. This is an area striken with poverty - what is a couple of bucks for good service?

My only complaint is this stupid towel game. I think the employees should walk around the pool / beach at 6:55 and collect all the towels that people have smuggled back to their rooms and placed out the night before. I also feel pretty strongly that if you don't have a personal affect on the cabana / chair (hat, shirt, sunscreen, etc) the towels should be pulled at 10:00am. My only exception would be extremely eldely or handicapped. There was a couple that selected a "non prime" cabana and chair and were there every day, all day, just like us. I have no problem with staff holding that chair for them, but maybe they could be noted as "reserved for elderly" to alert others its not "the towel game" being played.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IberostarHotelsRD, Quality Manager Iberostar República Dominicana at Iberostar Grand Bavaro Hotel, responded to this review, March 5, 2013
Dear guest,
First of all we would like to thank you for choosing Iberostar Grand Hotel Bávaro for your holidays and for the time you took to post a review about your experience with us.
In the name of Mr. Stefano Baratelli, Hotel Manager, we would like to express you our satisfaction to acknowledge your motivating review referring the variety of gastronomy, our beautiful premises, the friendliness and excellent service from our staff members, the wide options for daily and nightly entertainment and the personalized service of your butler. In Iberostar we want our beloved guests to “enjoy being a Star”. Likewise, we have shared your suggestions regarding the service provided in the Restaurant “El Galeón” with the corresponding departmental heads so they can accommodate in a better way the needs of our “stars”.
We will be to welcome you back; please feel free to contact before your next visit.
Best regards,
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Acworth, Georgia, USA
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

We went to Iberostar Grand Bavaro with 3 other couples. The place did not disappoint. Everything was wonderful. We loved our butler Alexander! He drew a bubble bath complete with champagne and rose petals. It is very important to make reservations at the restaurants either before you go or the day you get there. The beach and pool were so relaxing and they will bring your drinks non stop. The guys in our group enjoyed playing volleyball daily with Happy Feet and some other star friends. The bottom of the boat was still fun even though there were never many people there dancing/hanging out. We can't wait to return!

  • Stayed February 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with Iberostar

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IberostarHotelsRD, Quality Manager Iberostar República Dominicana at Iberostar Grand Bavaro Hotel, responded to this review, March 5, 2013
Dear guest,
We want to thank you for posting your comment on Tripadvisor about your experience at the Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro. On behalf of Mr. Stefano Baratelli, hotel Manager, we also thank you for choosing our hotel for your holidays.
We would like to express you how satisfied we are to hear that you enjoyed from an unforgettable experience due to our beautiful premises and facilities, our exquisite gastronomy, and the friendliness of our staff members, especially by Romel and Alexander. Those are aspect of our commitments in Iberostar so our valuable costumers can “enjoy being a Star”.
We remain at your disposition for further assistance and will be more than glad on welcoming you back.
With kindest regards,
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Montreal, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

To qualify this review, my wife and I are very seasoned travellers and have been fortunate enough to experience some excellent hotels in our travels. This to say, we know a good hotel from a pretender.

My wife and I arrived at the Iberostar Grand Bavaro on January 26th for a week. At first glance, the hotel and grounds are stunning. The hotel was is well appointed, but a few small cracks quickly became evident. Nothing earth shattering, but disconcerting considering the price we paid for the supposed 5-star and #2 rated hotel in Punta Cana. Little things like loose tiles on the balcony, loose bathroom fixtures and a view directly overlooking an family resort complex with noisy children, which defeats the purpose of booking at an adults only resort. We requested a room change which took 24 hours.

During the latter days of the week, my wife was stricken with a severe gastro-intensinal infection from food consumed at the resort. We ate only at the resort. This illness was serious enough that my wife was taken with haste to the hospital by ambulance from the resort clinic with an IV sticking out of her arm. This was very stressful for me to see this was obviously more than a case of food poisoning. It was confirmed at the hospital by a specialist that my wife had a severe gastro infection caused by poorly prepared food. My wife and I stayed at the hospital all day until about 7:00 PM, but against doctor's recommendation, discharged herself as we were flying home the next morning. A very rough 24 hours at this point. We left the hospital with a sackful of medication that my wife had to take for three weeks afterwards. Thoughout this stay at the hospital, we were contacted once by the hotel butler to see how my wife's conditon was.

We returned to the resort by taxi and were not contacted in any way by hotel management, which surprised me considering how sick the hotel had made her. She spent her last night of our vacation sleeping off the effects of the past 24 hours and the drugs given to her.

My wife contacted the hotel a week after we returned home to lodge a complaint. The hotel's first reaction was to insinuate that my wife had eaten contaminated food elsewhere, or perhaps arrived to the resort with this condition, in a blatant attempt to remove themselves from any responsibiity from poisoning my wife.

The hotel did make a goodwill offfer a three night stay, but this offer has no value to us. We live in Montreal, so to fly to the DR and pay transfers etc. for 3 nights is a hollow offer. Not only was the offer useless, but in their arrogance, the hotel continues to insist they were not respsonsible for the poisoning, despite the fact that we ate at no other place than the Iberostar Grand. The management actually implied the fault was ours. We incurred a lot of costs over the hotel's lack of Best Practices, but also lost two days of a seven day holiday.

In closing, the last two days of our vacation at the Iberostar Grand were lost due to bad food consumed at this hotel. We will not be returning.

A five-star hotel is more than flamingos and marble, but also about taking care of your Customers. To allow your guests to get severely ill, then absolve yourself of responsibility is the sign of a much lower rated hotel.

Sincerely,

Rene Pregent

Room Tip: Avoid the section of the hotel that overlooks the next door resort. When I say overlook, I mean, ove...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

We recently visited the Iberostar Grand Bavaro Hotel to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary in Feb 2013. The only regret we have is that we did not discover this place sooner. Our room was beautiful, spacious and clean, and our personal butlers were always available to attend to our needs. The air-conditioning in our room worked perfectly.

The service is exceptional, and the staff members go above and beyond to meet your needs. They are friendly and always try to get you involved in their numerous daily actives. However, they will respect your time to rest and relax if that is what you desire.

This is not our first trip to Punta Cana, and we have stayed at other all-adult inclusive resorts. We have never met a friendlier staff and left there feeling that we made numerous friends. We would like to express our sincere thanks to the following staff members who made our trip memorable: Luis and Danielle (the butlers), Lizette, Kennedy, Jorge, Margarita, Happy Feet, Ricardo, Tomas, Elijah, Lorraine, Carlos, Coronado, Isabel, America, Candy and Maria...just to name a few.

The food and drinks were great at both the lunch buffet and private restaurants. We loved this hotel so much that we have already booked another trip and we plan to visit it again in June. We have recommended this hotel to many of our family members and friends.

  • Stayed February 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
    • 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.
IberostarHotelsRD, Quality Manager Iberostar República Dominicana at Iberostar Grand Bavaro Hotel, responded to this review, March 5, 2013
Dear Guest,
Thank you for posting a review about your stay at the Iberostar Grand Hotel Bávaro. In the name of Mr. Stefano Baratelli, Hotel Manager, and his team, we also thank you for choosing our hotel to celebrate your wedding anniversary.
We are really thankful for your motivating words referring the friendliness and availability of our staff members, especially those whom you named in the review (e.g. Lizette, Kennedy, Jorge, Margarita, Happy Feet, Ricardo, Tomas, Elijah, Lorraine, Carlos, Coronado, Isabel, America, Candy, Maria, Luis and Daniel). In Iberostar we are committed to provide the best service to our beloved guests and ensure them memorable stays as it was yours in such as especial occasion.
We are looking forward to welcome you back; please feel free to contact us before your arrival.
With kindest regards,
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ny
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

My husband and I traveled to Ibero Grand during the week of Feb. 16th. We travel often throughout the year to resorts and other types of vacations and this was our first time at an Iberostar resort and our 4th time in Punta Cana. I was expecting a grand experience.

Cons:
The Management: Upon arrival at 3:00 the check in person told us our fantastic room with views of the ocean and quiet location was not ready and we could go and have a late lunch. No problem we had our lunch and returned to a full lobby of recent arrivals being checked in. The front desk ignored us even after reminding them twice that we were still waiting for our room.
4 nights later in our room 7372 at about 11:30 we heard unusual booming sounds. I thought they were fireworks from a nearby hotel checked and saw nothing. Ok so we fell asleep from a full day of activities only to wake up at 2am to hear the same sound. We call the front desk and they send over several people but the issue is not resolved. We finally fell asleep after 4:30 to the sound of booms. Very strange. Upon waking up we can still hear this sound even among the regular sounds of the day. We ate breakfast and went to talk to the front desk. You would think that this GRAND hotel would have have the Grand Butler waiting by my room to resolve this issue but NO we had to hunt them down. Finally after much complaining they show us a room down the hall from us with a jacuzzi with a dark yellow ring around the bottom. We decline. Then they give us a room with an air conditioner that did not work properly and a jacuzzi that did not have all of the jets working properly. There were also stains on the wall around the vanity near the jacuzzi. We find out about these issues after unpacking and getting settled in for a 2nd time. This is not GRAND service.

Dear Management, You really should fix your stand by rooms to be in working order for mishaps that occur. In addition we later learned that the great room 7372 has had other clients complain of noise. This was your chance to win us over to visit your resorts on a regular basis. As I mentioned earlier we vacation as a couple and with our daughters several times a year. We came home very disappointed with the management of this hotel when issues occur.

Pros: The general staff are great and friendly. We enjoyed the food at the buffet it was fresh and cooked to order. The waitstaff was attentive and got to know us during our stay. Thank you to Ortiz, Antonio, Natali and all of the others! The chefs at both buffets also prepared us some spanish dishes that we like and know. Rosy and Misael were always very sweet at the lobby bar and chatted with us while we had our morning coffee. Our first butler Adelso was very nice and attentive and surprised us with a prepared jacuzzi and champagne after our massage. The rest I can't comment on since I was so annoyed after Tuesday I really did not want anything from them.
Hotel: The hotel is well maintained and clean.
Restaurants: We did go to the Italian restaurant and we were not impressed. They presented us with an appetizer of olives in the same black water from the can. You could try and marinate them in some olive oil and garlic first? Then my husband ordered a Malbec which was bad. Our main dishes were not any better. I ordered the ravioli which was overly cheesy and had a strange taste. Later my tiramisu was frozen. Oh I forgot to mention the 1 hard mini roll you get with a cold pat of butter. Note the bread in the buffet was very good and always fresh. Needless to say we canceled our future reservations and went to the buffet.

All in all I am not sure if we will choose an Iberostar again for a vacation in the near future. I will also add that in our 23 years of vacationing I have never been to a hotel where I was treated this way and ended my trip feeling so disappointed by the service.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IberostarHotelsRD, Quality Manager Iberostar República Dominicana at Iberostar Grand Bavaro Hotel, responded to this review, March 6, 2013
Dear Guest,
We want to thank you for taking time to write a review about your stay at Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro. On behalf of the Hotel Manager, Mr. Stefano Baratelli, we also thank you for choosing our hotel as your holiday destination.
On the one hand, we want to thank you for your positive valuation about the friendliness of our staff, the beauty of our hotel grounds and the variety of our gastronomy. In Iberostar we are engaged to offer an exquisite gastronomy and the best service to our beloved guests so they can feel themselves as “Stars” during their vacations. We have congratulated Ortiz, Antonio, Natali, Rosy, Misael, and Adelso whose service did a difference during your stay.
On the other hand, we deeply apologize as our Management team did personally for any and all inconveniences related to the room conditions after changing you from the room 7372. We would like to reassure you though that after having carried an exhausting investigation, we did not find any issue with the mentioned room related to noisiness or uncommon or peculiar sounds.
We remain at your entire disposition for further assistance especially in case you decide to visit us once again.
Yours Sincerely,
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Alexandria, Virginia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

Having just returned from the Iberostar Bavaro Grand Hotel, a few days ago, I can say without reservation, this destination will not disappoint. My wife and I went here just to kick back a few days, get some sun, some salt water and sand in our toes. It was our first all-inclusive resort.

Stepping inside to check in, we are first handed a cool, scented washcloth to freshen-up with, which was quickly followed by your choice of champagne or a pina colada. OK, we’re feeling this is just what the doctor ordered.
Alone at the desk is Johan, an affable, ever-smiling, helpful local who assured us that everything was good and that we were here to relax. We are given a color-coded wristband and told that we may freely visit ANY of the other Iberostar resorts while we are here. Cool. One trip to the other properties and you quickly discover that your gold wristband is the one to have.

Off we are whisked to our room and within minutes our own personal butler appears who is there to answer questions and to ask us when to arrange our special champagne bath and other goodies that are part of the Iberostar experience. There’s a huge comfy King sized bed, a pillow menu (!!!) a nice bathroom glassed-in but completely open to the swaying palms outside. Yes there are shades to drop with the touch of a button, but there was no one that could see into our rooms. The minibar is stocked with chilled water, tonic, beer, various call brand mini-bottles as well as wine and chips. These are re-stocked daily…no extra charges.

This place is amazing. First off, it’s huge. You never really see too many folks about except at meal times and even then, we never had trouble getting a table. The food seems non-stop, and it’s fresh, extremely varied with something for everyone.
Breakfast is a buffet, which included smoked salmon, a cerviche station, a charcuiterie station complete with Parma Ham carving, 2 omelette stations, dozens of cereals, yogurt, pastries …you get the picture.
Lunch was equally overwhelming where one could indulge in grilled rib-eye steaks cooked to order, massive lobster, fresh fish, clams oysters, sandwich bars, pizza, cheese…you name it, and you found it there. Of course drinks are always included everywhere you went and most of my lunchtimes found me smiling with an ice-cold Presidente beer and grilled lobster or langoustine.
Dinner choice included 4 themed restaurants and another buffet-style offering. We went to each of the restaurants and decided the Japanese was the best choice. The others are good, but not exactly 4 star offerings.

Staff is ever present and ever-friendly. Everyone smiles at you, greets you with “Hola” and wants to shake your hand. They are busy attending to guests as well as maintaining the immaculate property that is so clean, so meticulously trimmed, clipped and watered you might think you are in some giant arboretum. Except that there’s a 90 foot schooner right in the middle of the sea of water and orchids that abound.

Activities include nightly shows that begin at 10pm, dance contests etc for those inclined to let their hair down. During the day, you will be “encouraged” to play volleyball, darts, target practice, miniature golf etc. It’s not like Club Med, where they drag you to these activities…they just sit down, smile, make eye contact and start up a conversation. It’s really nice and a great way to share language and experiences.
BTW, I think as Americans, we were probably in the minority here…German, Russian and French accents were everywhere.

OK. Here are a few things that might be helpful to know:

At dinner, men must wear long pants and no open-toed shoes. I was not prepared for this so folks saw a lot of my traveling tan cargo pants each night! Lunch and breakfast are looser but ladies must have shorts or a cover-up…no bathing suits for women. Men’s bathing suits that look like shorts, got by, but you still need a shirt. Flip-flops OK here.
Also please note that you must make dinner reservations to the themed restaurants early on as they do not take walk-ins. We actually did this stateside before we left, but if you don’t, be sure to do this early on as spaces are limited.

The breakfast and lunch meals are served in covered but open-air type pavilions. Smoking is allowed so be forewarned. More than once we had to relocate upwind to avoid the stifling effects of cigar or cigarette smoke. This disappointed us quite a bit, but we are non-smoking Americans and much of the rest of the world has not figured out the connection between cigarettes and life threatening diseases…but I digress.

In order to enjoy the comfort of a shaded pool side cabana, you must rise before 6:30 am to “reserve” your location. To do so, you throw some magazines or a book on the padded lounge. At 7 am you sign for saffron-colored towels which also work. To reserve a lounge down in the sand on the beach that is shaded, you can go a little later but after 8:30 we noticed choices were thin. This practice of reserving is disappointing as we observed folks saving 8 locations at a time and management does not seem interested in intervening in this unfair practice. It’s just a reality, so if you want shade (and you need shade!) get up early!

We only had one negative occasion the 5 days we were there where a group of about 10 adults who had private poolside rooms got very rowdy and loud so much so that we had to abandon all plans for an afternoon G&T on our deck because we couldn’t even hear ourselves think it was so loud. We called the desk clerk who apologized and said he would look into the matter. They called back a few minutes later to tell us they were sending a butler and security to the party rooms. At this point we decided to go to dinner early as the party was still raging. When we returned there was a message on our phone from the manager who apologized again and told us that this was not the kind of hotel that tolerates the antics of rude people, that this was a quiet place respectful of others. All I can say is class act of them to manage so professionally and quickly.
In summary, I’d give this place a 10/10. We could find nothing that wasn’t complementary to say. It will charge your batteries, renew your spirit and if you’re not careful, add to your waistline…just what the doctor ordered!

  • Stayed February 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IberostarHotelsRD, Quality Manager Iberostar República Dominicana at Iberostar Grand Bavaro Hotel, responded to this review, March 5, 2013
Dear guest,
In the name of Mr. Stefano Baratelli, and his team, we want to thank you for writing a review about your experience in our hotel facilities and premises and for choosing Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro for your holidays.
It is a pleasure for the whole team to read that the excellent service provided by our friendly staff made you feel “pampered” according to the title of your publication. We appreciate your positive words referring the cleanness of care of our beautiful grounds, and the variety and quality of our gastronomy. In Iberostar we are committed to ensure to our guests to experience being “star during holidays”. We have congratulated Johan whose service made a difference during your stay.
We are already willing to welcome you back, please do not hesitate to contact us to assist you before your next visit.
With regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Iberostar Grand Bavaro Hotel

Address: Carretera Arena Gorda | Playa Bavaro, Bavaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana > Bavaro
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Bavaro
#1 Romantic Hotel in Bavaro
#1 Family Hotel in Bavaro
#1 Business Hotel in Bavaro
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Bavaro
#1 Spa Hotel in Bavaro
#1 Luxury Hotel in Bavaro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Iberostar Grand Bavaro Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 274
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Iberostar Punta Cana
Punta Cana Iberostar

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