We were a group of 8 that spent the first week of April at this resort. My wife and I are in our early 60's and I will speak of our time at the resort. We have been traveling to the Caribbean for 10 years. Five of those trips have been to the Punta Cana area the rest have been Cuba and Mexico. We have never stayed at the same resort twice. We are looking for the perfect resort and we know we will never find it because every resort has it flaws based on who you are and what your expectations may be. Having said that this resort is one of the best we have stayed at on the Bavaro Beach Strip for the money. I have read some reviews and wonder where these people stayed and what where their expectations. This is a very good 4 star resort and keep in mind the 4 star rating is based on other resorts in the area and not a hotel and restaurant in downtown Toronto ,Paris or New York. So here are a few of our thoughts about the place.
This is an older resort thus the 4 star rating but it has been newly renovated. We had a standard room on the 3rd floor .The main building has 4 floors (elevators) and the newly renovated rooms are somewhat plain but we had no complaints . The shower and sink had plenty of hot water and drained well , the toilet flushed and refilled properly ,the safe worked, the patio door locked and the A/C worked great. This for first time travelers are what you should check for in a room before you unpack. Our other six companions all had ground floor rooms and all 3 rooms were just as good as ours with none of the musty smells and critters some folks talk about. The standard rooms are in one large building with a centre courtyard and depending on where your room is it is at most a 5 minute walk to either the beach or buffet/lobby. We had a one minute walk to the beach and five to the lobby.
This is where everyone gets picky...don.t. At this resort if I had to guess a quarter of the people spoke english and the rest spoke heavens knows what but there were many different languages spoken thus many different cultures. No resort could possibly keep everyone 100% food happy but of the 10 resorts we have been to the Iberostar has done it the best. The buffet always had something good to eat. Take your time look around and have an open mind there has to be something there you will like to eat. We are not a big fan of open air buffets but this one stayed pretty cool and there were not too many birds flying around. I found the al la cartes good as well. My only real complaint here was our meal times all 9pm or later but then there were 8 of us
The beach buffet had several choices as well so no one should go hungry. The only problem here is the amount of people who want to eat between noon and 2pm. This is a 1000 room hotel complex so good luck getting a seat during those hours. Before 12 or after 2 is fine.The sister resort next door has a smaller beach buffet which seemed easier to get a seat at during those busy hours but was not as cool as the main beach buffet.
The beach is one of the better ones in the Caribbean and everyone raves about it but most people complain about the towel game played here as well as every other resort we have been to. There is no getting the tooth paste back in the tube when it comes to this aspect of resort life. There is little or no natural shade on this resort . All the shade comes from the papulas at the pool or on the beach so the towel game is somewhat more intense. I suspect there is a lot of saving here at both the pool and the beach by the same people. We saved our papulas at 6am on the beach .Two papulas for the 8 of us and we were no where close to being first. Didn't bother with the pools as they are small and most of the little kids are there. But be rest assured if you want shade be at the pool or the beach before 7am to save your spot.This is a very busy resort with lots of people and loud music playing all the time but out on the beach it is not so loud so we didn't mind. I might add a tip here for peoples travel time. We normally leave Halifax on the 6am flights but this year we took an evening flight which for this resort was the right way to go since we arrived at the resort at 10pm. If you arrive at 10am you don't have a hope to get a beach/pool chair let alone something in the shade. So you will spend your first day sitting in the beach buffet papulas by the pool. We didn't leave the resort till 5pm on our last day so we were able to save our spots check out at noon put our luggage in the storage and change/shower area in the lobby and head back to the beach to take advantage of most of the day. We brought our own towels as most resort towels are very thin as was the case here and our towels are easy to spot.. We saw several papulas at this resort go unused till 1pm or later at both the pool and beach.
The service here is more than great. We tipped sometimes and sometimes we didn't just to see if it mattered and it didn't. Some people complain about sour employees and I can see their point. I am retired now but in the 40 years that I worked I never had a bad day.. not once . Give me a break. We've all had bad days even bad weeks ...are these folks any different. 11 or 12 day shifts 14 or 15 hours a day and 99.9% of these folks go overboard to make sure you have a good time. I couldn't do it. Every once in a while tip one of the gardeners and make a new friend. They keep the resort immaculate.We tip the maids 5 dollars a day. Put 5 bucks in the bar fridge and see what happens. We tipped the waitresses 1 buck a trip as well.
The entertainment on this resort was pretty good too. A couple of nights we thought they had brought people in it was that good.Best we have seen.
We did not pick this resort our travel partners did. We prefer adults only resorts with air conditioned buffets and pools with swim-up bars and beaches and pools with natural shade so we need not play the towel game
Our first resort was a 3 star in Cuba and we loved it because we had no expectations. Now after 10 years we have a few. I would highly recommend this resort especially for first timers and family's with young kids. This resort is an excellent deal for the money at around 3000 dollars Canadian.This resort is one of 4 in the complex the last being the Iberostar Grand Bavaro which we may give a look see next year.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Directly on the beautiful, sandy beach of Bavaro (Punta Cana). Colourful Caribbean flair. Water sports galore. All inclusive (generous, varied buffets for all meals). ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Punta Cana Iberostar
- Iberostar Dominicana Punta Cana
- Iberostar Punta Cana
- Dominicana Hotel