Last year my husband and I stayed at the Grand Hotel in Punta Cana (the adults only section of the Iberostar location), but this year decided to bring our daughter so we stayed in the Bavaro. We were sure to email and make dinner reservations in advance, about a week prior to arriving. Check in was a breeze and we were driven to our hotel room on a golf cart and assisted with our bags. Everyone was friendly and we were offered refreshing drinks upon arrival as well. Lived up to my expectations, everything from the food to the wait staff to the bartenders were tremendous. We loved the Star friends and the entertaining shows after dinner. We were particularly impressed with one cirque-du-solei inspired show with very impressive acrobatics etc. The location is scenic and beautiful and well maintained. Our favorite restaurant was the Cajun themed.
I noticed other travelers with young children chose to eat at the same buffet every night. What they may not have realized is that children are offered their own separate menu not necessarily listed outside of the restaurant. I had no problem pleasing her picky tastes and allowing my husband and I to enjoy not only variety in our meals, but the service as well.
We brushed our teeth in the sinks and experienced no problems with the water in the shower or sinks, just obviously don't fill your water bottle up with it and drink it. None of us had any illness drinking the water they offered us at the table that may or may not have been bottled, I am not sure.
One thing I wanted the point out is that although the resort is all inclusive, it is really nice to still bring tip money. For some travelers that complained they may not have received as much attention from the servers on the beach, a couple of dollars goes a long way and you should show your appreciation by taking care of all cocktail waitresses and bartenders at least. I even tipped the towel girl by the pool at the end of the week but that is just me.
Additionally the childcare/ 'Kids' Club' was great, my daughter only went one day during our stay but she had a blast and we had time to go to the gym and relax alone on the beach in quiet for a bit which was nice.
I also cannot recommend the photo shop staff enough. We scheduled family portraits with Nik and the pictures were absolutely beautiful, they really knew what they were doing. We were actually quite blown away as they were more than we were expecting in terms of quality and professionalism.