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“A great resort but some flaws” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro

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Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro
5.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Arena Gorda | Playa Bavaro, Bavaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 17 Hotels in Bavaro
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
122 reviews 122 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
91 helpful votes 91 helpful votes
“A great resort but some flaws”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed today NEW

Our second stay at this resort within the last year, and whilst not flawless, it’s still stunning. The gardens, public areas, beach and bedrooms are high quality and kept to the highest standard. The customer service is exceptional and nothing is too much trouble, no matter who it was we dealt with.

This year we upgraded to an “Ocean View” room which really wasn’t worth the additional cost. The view we had of the ocean was minimal and everything else was identical to a basic room. More thought needs to be put into the stocking of the mini-bar. The only spirit we drank was gin and this was the only spirit they failed to replenish on a daily basis. We would have to phone down several times a day to have this re-stocked and sometimes would wait in excess of an hour.

The food is of a very high standard and the mixed themes in the buffet work well to break up the dining there.

We ate at two of the restaurants, the Chinese which was excellent and the Italian that has significant room for improvement. From sitting down to standing up to leave, we were ushered in and out inside 50 minutes – and this was a three course meal! Each course followed the other by seconds and we felt constantly under pressure to eat up and leave. The food itself was adequate but not as good as the food served in the buffet. The choice of wine was poor and when served was of very average quality.

The Chinese restaurant was another matter – excellent service and food and no feeling of being rushed.

There is hand sanitiser in the main buffet, there needs to be the same in the beach buffet area for lunch.

I reviewed our last stay less than a year ago and since then there has been a significant change at this resort. Iberostar now push a “Premier” level where a lounge area and about a quarter of the beach has been set aside for those guests prepared to pay for some exclusivity. In the eight days we were at the resort we saw not one person in the lounge and a total of four people using the significant area of beach set aside for them. From the time we arrived to our departure we were advised we needed to sit through a ninety minute presentation with an Iberostar representative and even have them join us for breakfast. It was mentioned that both my wife and I would need to attend, not just one of us. We declined, but this became an irritant and seems a poorly thought out feature of this resort now.

The towel game is played here with some passion. I’m not sure if guests pay staff to reserve sunbeds on the beach, but we spoke with staff who were laying out numerous towels because they’d been told to do so. If you want a decent spot on the beach, get up early and your towel down by 530.

Despite this, we wouldn’t hesitate to return to this resort.

Room Tip: Unless you opt for the ocean view rooms (there are 12 on site) there is little point in upgrading.
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  • Stayed May 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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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English first
Houston, Texas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

We had an amazing stay at Iberostar Grand Bavaro for our honeymoon. We honestly could not have been happier. The accommodations, high quality service, on-site restaurants, friendly staff and overall beauty of the hotel grounds made for a great experience. We stayed for nine days, three of which we went out of the resort on excursions. At the end of the trip, we wished we could have stayed much longer. We really did not want to leave. It is a special place and well worth the money. We highly recommend it!

Room Tip: Ocean view looks to the inside of the resort where the pool area, garden and ship are.
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  • Stayed April 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Fredericksburg, Virginia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

We couldn't be more pleased with our choice of Iberostar Grand Bavaro as the place to celebrate our 40th anniversary. We were joined by family who frequent All Inclusive resorts and the whole week we heard how much better IGB was over other places they had stayed. Our butlers, Gomez and Samuel, were attentive, helpful and prompt when called. The staff to guest ratio means your every need/want is very quickly taken care of. The restaurants served their delicious meals beautifully presented. Our larger group was graciously accommodated with the rearranging of tables so we could eat all together. The lunch buffet had lobster every day! but also steaks cooked to your liking, grilled chicken and more salads, fruit and veggie selections, breads, desserts, etc than we had time or room to sample. The beach stretched further than we could walk, the activities are too numerous to list, a night of dancing in the evening was one of our favorite memories. And Johnny! He was our sommelier for our first dinner who we looked for every morning and evening after that. He was our favorite but his helpfulness, cheerfulness and interaction with us was found in the rest of the staff as well. Golf was fantastic! Tennis courts well maintained. Enough seating by the pools for everyone. Entire hotel had a pleasing aroma, our room was spacious and cleaned thoroughly every day - we're picky with that sort of thing. Communication with the hotel before we even arrived was quick and helpful. From the moment we arrived to the moment we reluctantly left we were very pleased.

Room Tip: Pool /beach side has view. Back side has privacy when sitting on deck. You can't go wrong with...
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  • Stayed April 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

My wife and I chose the Iberostar Grand Bavaro for our honeymoon since it had a direct flight from Chicago and was the top rated hotel on Tripadvisor in the area. We could not be happier with our choice! This was the first time for both of us at a Caribbean All-Inclusive, so we don't claim to be well-seasoned travelers like some reviewers, but I can gladly tell about our experience.

We stayed for one week, Saturday to Saturday and the weather was consistently perfect, which made a huge difference I suppose. Upper 80's daily with a nice breeze, I never felt like I wanted to get in out of the heat!

First off, the grounds here are immaculate. When I say grounds, I mean the beach, the pool area, everything related to the lobby, the rooms, the hallways, the goldfish and flamingo ponds out front, everything. We didn't notice anything that could be improved and there was an army of employees daily keeping up the pristine condition of the property. You could really tell a difference, just between the Grand and the other properties you could see into walking down the beach.

I'm an early riser, so I would wake up and go get us a pool cabana every morning. I arrived usually a few minutes before 7AM when the pool opened, and was able to get the same Cabana each day of our stay. I guess I was sort of playing the towel game that some people complain of, but we were in the cabana for almost all of each day. If we weren't there we were swimming or eating! We had the same waitress in the pool area, Rosey, and developed a very nice relationship with her.

The pools and ocean/sea were both perfect for swimming. The seaweed on the beach I read about in other reviews was not super noticeable and was quickly cleaned each day.

As for the food, we tried 3 of the themed restaurants (Surf and Turf, Japanese, Italian) and ate at the buffet the rest of the time. The themed restaurants were all good, and we don't have any complaints about them, but I think my wife and I actually enjoyed the buffet more. It's just nice to have the variety that they had on the buffet. I personally went crazy for the donuts in the breakfast buffet, I just thought they were some of the best donuts I've ever had! Full disclosure, I did get a burger from the buffet on two separate occasions and it was extremely rare, but it's a buffet, so I just didn't eat it and went and got something else!

The service at the resort was top notch as well. I wasn't sure what to expect with butler service, but it worked out nicely. I wouldn't say that our butler disappeared, but we didn't necessarily see him daily either. They would catch us after breakfast often, and if I needed something, I just called. No big deal, it's not like I expected or wanted an actual butler to be standing outside the door at all times! As for other staff, they all treated us wonderfully, especially the aforementioned Rosey by the pool and Luis Miguel I believe his name was in the pool concierge hut each morning.

As for our room, it was an Ocean View Suite on the 2nd floor, directly in front of us was the ship bar, which I worried could be loud, but in reality, it was nice to be able to hear the playlist from the balcony and fun to people watch. We were asleep each night before the dance bar on the ship closed and never had any problems being kept awake with noise.

I can't say that staying at the Grand was necessarily great value, but this was our honeymoon, we weren't looking for value, we were looking for the nicest, best resort experience that we could afford. Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro delivered it wonderfully! I already can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed April 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Iowa City
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

As a whole, this resort was okay. Beautiful decor, nice rooms, well kept grounds with no trash in sight. Wonderful pools for swimming, and a picture perfect white sand beach.

On the downside, as foodies, my wife and I did not enjoy the food at this resort at all, buffets and restaurants included. As an example at the Mediterrenian restaurant, we both ordered creamy lobster risotto which in fact had a baby lobster in it, but was white rice and fish stock. If food is not a priority and you're not a picky eater, you'll be just fine. We had several issues with our room, one being a broken tv that took a day to fix (I know we're on vacation, but I need sound to help me sleep), and our hot tub water temp was not working right and took a while to get someone there to fix. We had ordered a hot tub preparation with champagne, and it was stunning what they did with rose petals and I suggest you do this, but our champagne was 25 minutes late and our tub was cold by the time we waited. We ordered room service once and was supposed to be under 45 minutes, it was actually over 2 hours until it got there. Lastly, we thought we would try dinner at the sister resort's Mexican restaurant and had a terrible experience. It was extremely hot in there. It was a room intended to be an open air place with walls up, and very little air moving. But getting there was hard, because none of the staff were of much help, they would just point. The wait staff at the restaurant was awful. Not one was friendly, and it was so extreme that it made us feel very uncomfortable. They had a "sommolier" trying to sell wine, in which I'm fine with house wine, so I kept asking over and over if they do single glasses of house wine and he just repeated I need to buy a bottle. I said no, and eventually they came and grabbed my glasses from the table and sure enough, a waiter with house wine started to walk around with house wine for single glasses. I asked to get a glass back and after five minutes of not seeing anyone, we just left. Between the unpleasant wait staff, lying "sommolier" and temperature, it just wasn't worth it. We assumed because of our unpleasant experience at the sister resort, our resort could get us in to a restaurant. We said we'd eat at any of them, but nope, all of them are booked. They didn't seem to try very hard, because a half hour later we walked to the restaurant we wanted to go to and they let us right in. It just feels like these annoyances took away from our time.

  • Stayed April 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peachtree City, Georgia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

The hotel is absolutely stunning, it is obvious that the crew cares for the grounds well. However, the rooms and hotel itself need an upgrade. The carpets in the halls were stained and the flowers/decorations were very dusty.

When we arrived our room wasn't ready, which was fine (although it was after check-in time). We sat down to wait and we were handed a drink. We were called over to check-in and started getting the process started. During check-in I noticed that we were given a room number on the ground floor. I asked if there was anything available any higher since I am a light sleeper and prefer not to be on a ground floor. The woman advised me that they didn't have any rooms available on the higher floor and that we had been "upgrade" to a swim out suite. I knew from reading previous tripadvisor reviews that these rooms faced another hotel and were very shady so I knew immediately I didn't want that room. I explained that I appreciated the upgrade offer, but I prefer an ocean view room which is what we paid for. I was told that even though we paid for an ocean view room that it was just a "request", not a guarantee. My paperwork clearly stated ocean view room so I asked to speak to a manager. Long story short we finally ended up needing to go to dinner first and then come back to check on our room. Each time there was someone different at the desk and no one had followed up on our request. Hours later we were put into an ocean "view" room. Although this isn't what I would consider a great view of the ocean, I knew this prior to arriving.

This was our first trip to the Dominican Republic and our first trip to an Iberostar. We are frequent Caribbean travelers and have stayed at many other all-inclusive and hotel brands. My husband and I agree that after our experiences at Iberostar we will never return back to one of their resorts. Their customer service was severely lacking and the butler was only present on arrival. We tried to get reservations at restaurants for later in the week only to be told that they were full. Each night that we went to dinner the restaurants were empty with the exception of a few tables.

The "towel game" was fierce here. My husband and I refuse to play this game since we are on vacation and wish to relax. However, we rarely have issues with those that do. People here would put their belongings out the night before to reserve chairs and then wouldn't show up to sit in the chairs until late afternoon. Many days we would find a seat in a less than desirable location and sit for HOURS with empty "reserved" chairs all around us.

The food and service in the restaurants was less than desirable. My lobster was overcooked and my steak undercooked several nights. The sommelier came over on our first night and we asked what he thought of their house wines. His response was "House wine is not good, you won't like." He proceeded to recommend the wines that were an extra charge. We enjoy wine and always end up buying a few bottles despite it being all-inclusive, but this didn't sit well with us.

The Dominican people we met on our excursions were wonderful and we had a great experience at the airport (buy your tourist visa online in advance!). Sadly the resort is beautiful, but hard to enjoy due to the lack of customer service.

We also had many issues with the Wifi. It would work occasionally, but only enough to check a few emails and then kick you out. We called several times to try to get this fixed, but only offered apologies. We had a sick family member we wanted to check on so this was quite distressing to us.

I also ended up in the hospital for a week after returning home. I was extremely careful about checking my food to make sure it was cooked properly and I only used bottled water to drink and brush my teeth. I did eat one meal off the property so I have no way to know whether or not this happened at the resort. I've never gotten sick from our many trips to Mexico, Belize, and Honduras so be very careful about food and water!

  • Stayed December 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 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.
QualityManagerDR, Quality Manager at Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro, responded to this review, yesterday
Dear Natalie B,

Thank you for sharing your feedback on TripAdvisor following your recent stay at Iberostar Grand Bavaro.

On behalf our hotel management, may I take this opportunity to reassure you that we always strive to maintain the very highest standards of quality and service, and as a matter of fact, I would like to extend my sincerest apologies for any inconvenience and frustration you have experienced while in our care. Please rest assured that I have also personally looked into all the areas and discussed your valuable feedback and concerns with the management team in order to apply the corrective measures that will avoid ever repeating this experience.

The way you describe your stay is far from our principles and standards, we are sorry to hear that our butler service did not exceed your expectations nor our customer service, we are always willing to help and ensure an excellent service to all our guests, however, I will share your comments with our management so they can verify what went wrong that these services did not go beyond your expectations.

Despite your disappointment, we do hope that we will have the opportunity to welcome you back so we can be able to show you the improvements.

Do not hesitate to contact us should you need further assistance.

Sincerely yours,
Quality Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minnesota
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

My husband and I just returned from Iberostar Grand Punta Cana. We had a great time and found this to be one of the best overall All Inclusive resorts we have vacationed at.

We go for the beach! Of course, Bavaro Beach is expansive and endless. There were plenty of beach chairs and palapas for shade. But I still managed to claim our spot at 6:30 am each day and found other guests to be out even earlier. We had great waiter service all day long on the beach and it was even possible to have lunch or a snack without leaving.
For the pool crowd, the cabana style chairs looked really nice & upscale.

The hotel is only a few years old so everything feels very new and fresh. It is not an overwhelming property size and if you want to explore more, guests can take advantage of the sister property right next door.

Here is my take on dining and food(and I am not a buffet person at all): Breakfast was a really nice buffet. Great fresh fruits, juices, mimosas, coffees & made to order dishes. Lunch was more limited to a smaller buffet in the pool area. The grill aside the pool looked very popular with fish, lobster and paellas but we skipped lunch. With respect to dinner, we found only 2 of the 4 restaurants to be good. Galeon, Surf & Turf was our best experience and the Japanese was our second best. The French and Casa de la Playa restaurants we really did not care for at all. One evening, we chose to leave the property to experience Jelly Fish, it was a nice change and the food was really good.

Or room was right in front of the ship. I have read other reviews encouraging people to try to avoid placement in this area. We actually enjoyed evenings on the patio listening to the music and people watching. If the sliding glass door was shut, it was almost impossible to hear outside. There really are no ocean view rooms although Delta Vacations promotion was a upgrade to ocean view. There are just a few oceanfront suites but they don't appear to be right on the beach either.

My husband and I went for a couples massage. It was not a really impressive spa experience(like Sandals, Beaches or other resorts) so we cancelled the second reservation we had made. We chose to spend the time on the beach.

The service is GREAT! Everyone is very friendly, attentive & accommodating! It is the best service we have experienced so far in our AI travels.

  • Stayed April 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QualityManagerDR, Quality Manager at Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro, responded to this review, yesterday
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for staying with us and I appreciate you taking the time to post a review about your experience at Iberostar Grand Bavaro.

I would like to thank you for your outstanding comments with regards to the resort; there is nothing more encouraging than going beyond our guest´s expectations, we take great pride of our staff being able to accomplish your every need.

We greatly enjoyed reading your review and thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts following your recent stay with us. However, we feel regret that in some aspects of your stay we were not able to exceed your satisfaction, we have taken all your feedback and concerns in consideration and will share them with our management as they will make all sort of effort in order to improve in those areas you mentioned.

The entire team is looking forward to welcome you back, we will remain at your disposal should you need further assistance.

Best Regards,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro

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

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