My wife and I stayed at BBPD mid-March for a week and it pretty much met our expectations (mostly thanks to all the TA reviews). We've been all over the Caribbean but it was our first time in the DR.
Bottom line: Resort is immaculate, rooms are very nice, beach and pool are great, service is hit-or-miss, food/drinks are so-so.
Check-in: There was only a very short line when we arrived but a bus full of visitors showed up as soon as we were done. It still looked like they had plenty of staff to check everyone in rather quickly though. We booked the Junior Suite Deluxe and had asked for a king bed but the receptionist didn't bother telling us we were getting 2 double beds until we showed up to our room. We ended up spending 1 night in the 2 double bed room and then switching to a king room the next day. While this was annoying it certainly didn't ruin the vacation.
Resort: The resort was immaculate and very clean -- even the bathrooms by the pool. Exercise room had plenty of machines but it was really hot in there (good if want to get your sweat on I guess).
Room: Our first night was in building 6 which looked to be the most recently renovated. It was huge but unfortunately it had two double beds so we didn't stay there long. Our king room in building 4 was slightly smaller and but just as nice with comfy bed, flat screen tv, hot tub on patio. Cleaning service was good except for a couple small things: water not replaced in mini-fridge, soap not replaced, ended up with only 1 wash cloth the last 2 days, but other than that I was satisfied.
Beach/Pool/Activities: The beach and pool is the best part of the resort. Sand is white and soft, water is warm with no waves, and plenty of beach chairs. The pool is also great but chairs in the sun were a little harder to come by. We took a kayak and paddle boat out with very little wait for them. If you like palm trees on the beach then this is the place for you :) Also, check out some of the shopping areas up the beach (head north about 10 minute walk). They are way cheaper than getting stuff from the hotel shops. Head south on the beach for a nice walk that is very quiet and remote feeling.
Food: The food is probably the most controversial part of all-inclusives in the DR. I understand the need to feed the masses so quality tends to suffer. We went in with this expectation (especially since we're from NYC) and there were very few surprises for us. The buffet selection is huge. Breakfast quality was by far better than lunch quality in my opinion. I wish lunch had sandwiches but they were only there for breakfast. For dinner -- Japanese (Kyoto) and Mexican were probably our favorites followed by Spanish. The seafood restaurant (Coral) was awful. You are better off eating at another restaurant twice or at the buffet than eating there (seriously).
Drinks: Pro - bartenders didn't skimp on the alcohol so the drinks were strong. Con - there really weren't any frozen drinks. Daquiris and Pina Coladas were just served with ice cubes. We stuck with wine, cervezas and bahama mamas (which were the only drinks somehow sorta frozen...). There are a zillion bars throughout the resort which is great.
Service: Again, I understand the need to serve thousands of hotel guests so service can be hit-or-miss. There were super-friendly people and there were people with sour-faces but we took it all in stride. We had an issue with our hot tub and it took 5 calls to guest services to get someone to come take a look.
We had a great time and got exactly what we wanted - nice, clean room, warm weather, and time at the beach and pool.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Barceló Bávaro Palace Deluxe*****, a unique and unrepeatable location on the best beach of Punta Cana, protected by a coral reef that converts the sea into a natural swimming pool. This an all-inclusive luxury gastronomic hotel is a new concept in luxury on the best beach in Punta Cana. All the rooms have terrace and sea views (front or partial) and jacuzzi for two persons with hydrotherapy, Well-being of the latest generation. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe Hotel Punta Cana