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“BIRTHDAY VACATION” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe

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Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe
4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Bavaro, km. 1, Bavaro, Punta Cana 23301, Dominican Republic   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Up to 35% discount
Ranked #9 of 17 Hotels in Bavaro
Certificate of Excellence 2014
GreenLeadersGold level
Baltimore, Maryland
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“BIRTHDAY VACATION”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014

I want to give a sincere review of this resort so here it is...........I stayed for 6 days returning on 7/22/14. Check in took about 20 minutes after they explained everything and our bags were being carted away to the room. It was four of us and we stayed in a family deluxe room. That was a mistake only because if we wanted to sleep in, the kids were splashing and playing in the pool..next time we are in the adults only section!! The room was as pictured, room service was ok--we did have to request wash cloths but we received them promptly so no big deal--WE WERE ON VACATION!! No time to stress small things!!

The restaurants were ok--I had no problem at all booking dinner reservations for every night we were there. I didn't book when we checked in but I did the next day and I had NO PROBLEMS!!
The buffets were ok. Food was good and not bland to me. I felt the variety was good and it didn't bore me. We ate there almost every day for lunch and once for breakfast. Hoyo19 was great for breakfast and lunch and Seferino(i hope i spelled his name correct) was awesome!! Such a gentleman(very handsome too!!). He made sure everything was perfect. The only complaint about the restaurants is El Coral. The seafood was horrible...but the staff was great!! The Japanese restaurant was our favorite and the Steakhouse was a close second. But I have got to mention my favorite person Rudy Aquino at the Coco bar(i think--it was the swim up one) Not only was he so very attractive he has a great personality and so much fun. Every day he saw me he waved or kissed me (on the cheek) like we've known each other for a while. I would recommend this resort to anyone. Friends with children or without--We had a ball........

We went on a Catamaran excursion with Power Adventures. Snorkeling and scuba diving....with fresh fruit, drinks, and Mamajuana!!! We went to the natural swimming pool and partied there!!! We also went to club Imagine for my birthday. The dancers were great, beautiful bodies, drinks were flowing...nothing bad to say!!

Overall if there was anything to complain about--it was immediately brushed off because it was taken care of immediately. I really appreciate every staff member I encountered. I am planning a return trip as I type!!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Javier C, General Manager at Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe, responded to this review, July 30, 2014
Dear Guest,

First of all we want to thank you for choosing us to celebrate as important occasion as your birthday party. We are honored of having been part of these unforgettable memories and we are very pleased to hear everything went precisely as you wanted to.

I feel proud and grateful for your compliments on the efforts and dedication demonstrated by all members of our staff. It is thanks to our excellent team that we are able to accomplish our goal - the total satisfaction of our guests. We will gladly pass on your compliments to Seferino and Rudy Aquino.

We sorry that we were not able to fulfill your expectations in our Seafood Restaurant, we make menu changes throughout the year and their comments would be passed to our Executive chef to improve on any shortcomings.

It would be a pleasure for us to welcome you again in our Barceló Bávaro Palace Deluxe.

Sincerely,

Javier Cordero Gilsanz
General Manager at Barceló Bávaro Palace Deluxe
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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New York
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014

My family and I traveled with 4 other families staying for five nights in various rooms. We stayed in the family duplex which consists of two floors, three beds, two bathrooms. Room was fantastic, mini bar replenished daily, kids robe for our son, and a gift of a back pack with a tee shirt and sunscreen. The only con of our room was the view which sucked. Wifi was not all that great, I had to continuously sign on because it would log me off and only the internet worked. Next time I would just opt out of the wifi ($35 for 5 days). The resort itself is huge, however, there is a train that makes a few stops throughout the resort but we would just end up walking since the train arrived every 20minutes. Privates waterpark consists of 4 slides and a non functioning wave pool for a $20 entrance fee (which is waived once for families who are staying in the family duplex) however, it is not worth the $20 bucks, luckily it was free and we never returned. Very little pool/beach activities and entertainment which we looked forward to. Pools are also very big, beach has lots of seaweed not sure if its due to the time of year. We stayed at Majestic Elegance last year and the beach was amazing never any seaweed. The food was OKAY, buffet and Kyoto were are favorite foods. Hoyo 19 was also good, cant forget strikers 24 hour food and bar. You have to take the bad with the good, overall great family vacation, friendly staff, fun pool time, kids had fun in the water parks, kids club was small but kids enjoyed it, nightly entertainment was okay better on other nights.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Javier C, General Manager at Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe, responded to this review, July 30, 2014
Dear Guest,

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to send us your comments regarding to your experience during your family vacation with us.

We especially appreciate your positive comments regarding our Hoyo 19, friendly staff and nightly entertainment.

We lament the view to our golf course and some our service not having met your expectations at all, because our main goal strives in having a great ambience to satisfy our guests’ requirements.
We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you again and be able to provide you the most memorable stay in the Caribbean.

Sincerely,

Javier Cordero Gilsanz
General Manager at Barceló Bávaro Palace Deluxe
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1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014

Magnificent beach, good service, comprehensive all-inclusive program! Special note re. U-Spa and fitness-center with aerobics, Pilates and other fitness classes.
Perfect location for holidays with kids - my daughter (11 years) enjoyed the holidays immensely and plans to come back again within few years:)

Stayed July 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Javier C, General Manager at Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe, responded to this review, July 30, 2014
Dear Guest,

First, we may thank you for taken your valued to write us on this page and for having chosen Barceló Bávaro Palace Deluxe.

We are glad to know that you enjoy our facilities and services and that we were able to provide you a delightful stay. At Barceló Hotels & Resorts our main goal is the total satisfaction of all our guests, so we feel pleased of knowing that our Spa and Fitness center were of your liking.

It would be a pleasure to welcome you back in our little caribbean paradise.

Sincerely,

Javier Cordero Gilsanz
General Manager at Barceló Bávaro Palace Deluxe.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moscow, Russia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014

To start with - it was our Honeymoon and we of course expected something wonderful from the trip, however, being the guests of this Hotel we felt like we got into the Paradise! There is absolutely no need to get out because the territory is just huge and so beautiful - white sand, clear, warm and blue sea, flowers everywhere, smiling staff! Moreover - there is a wide range of restaurants (good ones) with different cuisines (Japanese, Mexican, Italian, French, Spanish, etc.). Also, the animation is just great - aerobic, volleyball, dance classes. All the kind of water sports were for free - we never experienced anything like that! The room was so spacious and modern - a nice surprise - jacuzzi on the terrace =). So we would hearty recommend this hotel to everyone - from honeymooners to the families with kids! Many thanks to Mr. Cordero for our great time! Ksenia & Batyr

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Javier C, General Manager at Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe, responded to this review, July 30, 2014
Dear Guest,

We would like to thank you for having choosing us as your honeymoon destination. We would also want to express our gratitude for taking the time to letting us know your impressions about your stay with us.

It’s a pleasure receive your positive feedback; we are very pleased to know that you enjoyed a wonderful vacation. It is thanks to comments such as yours that motivate us as a team to improve every day the quality of service we provide, anticipating to your wishes and exceeding your expectations. Thank you so much for share with other travellers your positive experience in the Trip Advisor. We really appreciated it.

We hope that come many more visits from you. Here we have a big team that each day do their best for offer our guests the quality of service they deserved. Remember, that in the Dominican Republic; we will be at your disposal for whatever you may need and make of your next vacation the most enjoyable and memorable experience in the Caribbean.


Sincerely,

Javier Cordero Gilsanz
General Manager at Barceló Bávaro Palace Deluxe.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014 via mobile

This resort could be much better than it actually is. It is a visually beautiful resort with decent beaches however it misses on the small things.

First let's start with the good: it is a beautiful resort with great beaches, also some employees were amazing such as Jennifer in the premium club and employees in the sports bar and club. My Oceanside junior suite room was absolutely amazing. It provided us with a great view of the ocean, a large balcony, amazing shower and really comfortable beds. The resort is huge so there is always stuff to do for all ages. The selection of restaurants is decent. Almost all of the dinner restaurants are satisfactory. Some are much better than others. The French restaurant is probably the best. Long story short, this resort had most of what any tourist would want to see and buy while there. The sports bar however is pretty fun and has great drunk food 24/7.

Now onto what they missed at the resort.

Firstly, the food. The two main buffets were both in my opinion, unsatisfactory. I expected better food and more of a variety of food. We experienced the same food for much of our stay. And much of that food was cooked improperly. We constantly found meat that was either super over cooked or under cooked. Watch out for the burgers, some of the burgers we received were extremely undercooked. Since both buffets serviced the whole resort it also seemed incredibly busy all the time. Also, many of the dinner restaurants were just okay. I expected more. The Japanese restaurant serves some Japanese food but it's mostly just the same old food you get at every other restaurant but fried on a hibachi table smothered in soy sauce and teriyaki sauce. Biggest tip I can give you is, when eating anywhere there make sure you have all the necessary cutlery, napkins, and clean glasses. It was not uncommon for us to be missing a fork or knife or glass.

Secondly, the house keeping. Routinely our room was not restocked with drinks even though it was supposed to happen every day. Also, we would get a random number of towels every day, we never knew if we'd get 3 or 4 towels each day. Some days the house keeping staff were perfect but other days they were so bad.

Thirdly, our safe. Some days our safe wouldn't lock, when we went down to ask for someone to come fix it they said they would be there in an hour. They never came. We had to ask again the next day and then someone came.

Fourthly, the staff. I understand there are always bad staff members especially in a resort this large but I found that the majority of the staff members really didn't care about the customer at all. Frequently, I would have to ask twice or three times for the same drink or food request. Some employees were outstanding but most just really couldn't care less about you.

Fifthly, the dune buggies. These dune buggy experiences are sold through the resort. You go off the resort to another place to actually drive the dune buggies. Don't do it. It was a waste of money. The day we went there was approximately 50 buggies. Which meant that we had to follow in a line down sketchy Dominican roads. Then we'd stop our convoy at a truly beautiful beach, coffee plantation, and cave. We were promised that we would be able to go swimming in the cave, that didn't happen because there were 3 other massive tour groups there as well.

Sixthly, the wifi. I know on vacation the need for wifi isn't as pressing as at home but the wifi there was disappointing. When it worked it was great however it would constantly boot my iPhone and iPad off the network and I would have to sign in again with the code.

Overall, I had a great trip and while it seems like I had a lot of negative points I did have a very good time. All of my negative points were mostly about things that I expected to be better. The resort provided me with a fun 10 days in the Caribbean. I don't think I would go again because they missed so many little things though.

Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Javier C, General Manager at Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe, responded to this review, August 4, 2014
Dear Guest,

It is a real pleasure to receive your kind comments and letting us know that you could enjoy a wonderful time during your stay with us. We appreciate your compliment about our room design and the assistance from Jennifer at the Club Premium, please be assured that will be pass your kind comments to her.

We are very sorry of not having achieved your satisfaction at 100% and we apologize if you perceived lack of attention from our staff member. We lament that we were not able to fulfill your expectations regarding our food concept from our buffet, we make menu changes throughout the year and their comments would be passed to our Executive chef to improve on any shortcomings.

We apologize if you felt your demands were not attended as you desire regarding the safe and restocked minibar, please be assured that your comments will be taken into consideration, with the hope of better serving to our valued guests.

Please let me inform you that matter will be given the proper attention and that we are continuously working on improving our services to make our guests feel like in paradise.

We hope that when returning to the Dominican Republic, you will give us the opportunity to welcome you again at our resort, thank you so much for your comment.

Sincerely,

Javier Cordero Gilsanz
General Manager at Barceló Bávaro Palace Deluxe.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, Alabama
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014

My husband & I booked our room on bookit.com (See book it review for my comments there) We traveled with our three children July 19-26, 2014. We have a 15 yo son, 13 yo daughter, and 10 yo son. This was all in all a wonderful vacation with our kids. Disconnected (mostly) from all distractions and the world we left behind. Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe has a lot to offer, & there were only a few things that we felt could've been better. I would have rated this resort as excellent except for the few things that I have mentioned below. But for the most part we were VERY pleased. I have written a very long review because I know that all the reviews I read leading up to our trip helped me so much. I will begin with how we booked our vacation.

Bookit.com and VIP rep Andy:
As a whole we were generally pleased with bookit.com. Just make sure whenever you book something online and print your vouchers read your dates and the fine print. We had to call and have one thing corrected on our transfer vouchers before we left for our vacation. And the vouchers state that you will receive a bottle of water and a wet towel on your arrival to the airport, none of which happened. There is a VIP representative at this resort. However through some miscommunication we didn't get the info about meeting w him, Andy, on the day after our arrival to the property. Not a problem that we did not meet with him, as it did not change anything about our vacation. However....

Near the end of our week, I met with Andy to schedule our transfer back to the airport. He asked me if we had scheduled any tours. He was noticeably irritated that we booked 2 tours outside of him. One of which we booked months before we even came on our trip because of its high demand: Punta Cana Mike- see review on trip advisor page; has his own website, excellent, the highlight of our trip - agreed by our whole family.

The other: we booked while we were there because we didn't want to go on a day long snorkeling excursion/booze cruise. We just wanted to go snorkeling with our kids for an hour and not be gone all day long with the party crowd. My husband scheduled a snorkeling trip for one hour to a nearby reef. We booked & paid for it through the scuba diving facility on the beach that is connected to the resort. Andy asked me if , "we really intended to go out with those guys?" Telling me that unless you are scuba diving, the person operating the boat to take you snorkeling has no license to do so. He told me that if we were pulled over "we could all be arrested and taken to jail for a week". He said "they pay no taxes and have no insurance and that is why they can do the snorkeling tours so cheaply".

I am not sure that this was accurate information. I would love for someone with a little more experience to let me know if this is truth. It definitely put a little fear in me, but when I shared it with my husband he was absolutely irritated with Andy and felt like it was very unprofessional for him to tell me this, in the way that he told me. I did not see Andy again as he was not the representative that put us on the bus when we left our resort, but I'm certain if we had seen him my husband would have expressed this to him.

Again, there may be some truth to what he told me?? but we did not have enough experience to know one way or the other, and we had already booked and paid for everything. Plus, we were departing on our snorkel tour 30 minutes after I met with Andy. If this information were true, he could have presented it to me in a different way. He clearly was using it as a scare tactic and seemingly out of frustration on his part that we had not booked a tour through him.

Regardless, our Punta Cana Mike tour was perfect offsite, & our onsite snorkeling guide, Danny, was excellent as well. He was pleasant, helpful and took pictures for us. He also assisted my children as needed. We were provided with the appropriate gear & life vests. They operated out of a building that is fully staffed and attached to the resort, with a gift shop alongside the scuba diving shop. I found it very hard to believe, according to Andy, that this organization was not associated with the resort. The cleaning staff for the resort were the same ones that cleaned the restrooms at the scuba diving building. Danny "aka Pirhana" took us out to a reef where other resort boats/guests were snorkeling, and brought us back to the resort in the time frame promised. We had a great time. $35 per person.

Accommodations, space, beach and pools:
We stayed in a family deluxe room. Room 8327. 4th floor, no elevator. Be prepared for steps. (But the bellman carries your bags up & down for you). Some of the family complexes have two levels so if you could get on the second level with no one above you that could also be ideal. But I'm uncertain if those complexes have the same room set up as we did. Our room (2 rooms/1 bath) had plenty of space for 5. I only wish the deluxe rooms had two bathrooms, however we managed very well. Our views on both balconies (our room & kids room) were great, peaceful & private. Beds were comfortable. After reading several reviews, we requested a top floor room in our reservation. I even emailed the resort 3 days ahead & asked again to confirm our request for a top floor. Our emails were answered promptly, stating that it could not be guaranteed but they would definitely make sure that our request was noted. However, when we got to check in, we were given a bottom floor reservation and we were told by the check in lady that there was no request noted for a top floor. We asked for it to be changed and we got a top floor. After being in our top floor room, I can see how the noise level could get bad if you are on lower levels with sliding doors etc. Our room was situated next to the young children's pool/slides/activities area, water park area, church & golf course. Our kids were too old to really enjoy the slides/pool next to our room, but that pool would be ideal for any children up to 8 years old. My 10-year-old could have gone there but he hung out with us and the kids in this pool area were much younger than he was. There is also a really fun area w/ tiny slides and shallow pool area next to the buffet for toddlers, it was adorable. I would find this very convenient if my children were a lot younger. Very ideal for families with small children.

We felt like the majority of people in the resort were families. However, there were a few adult groups as well as couples. Adults may opt to stay at the adults-only part of the complex and just walk down to our pool areas for activities etc.? Also, it seemed like there were small wedding ceremonies almost every day, either on the beach or right by the pool.

There is plenty of space for everyone so if you want to be in a quieter atmosphere just move further down the beach. There are tons of chairs around the pool areas as well as on the beach. Each pool area has its own crowd, so obviously the swim up bar area is your rowdiest/louder crowd as the day progresses. But no one was out of hand or too loud. Also the activities area with shuffleboard etc. has more going on i.e. aerobics in the water, beach volleyball. You can be involved in as much as you want or as little as you want. Which is very nice. The photographer is available most of the time around the pool & beach. Some days they may have a monkey to take pictures with, other days parrots. There is a photo office in the main complex.

Internet access & kids:
We did decide to purchase the Internet Wi-Fi, (only one device at a time.) It was $45 for the week. Not a bad price but "free" would've been a nice amenity for the property to offer. My 2 oldest enjoyed accessing their Instagram in the evenings for an hour or two before dinner. I posted a couple of times to Facebook. However, my husband & I never once accessed personal or work emails. It was great to disconnect!!!! The Internet was nice to have for my interpretation app so that I could communicate with the housekeeper in Spanish. I was a little worried about only one device being accessible at a time, thinking that the kids might need to text my husband and me if we were on another part of the property. Only one time did we get separated and texting would've been nice, however most of the time we were all together or we left notes for the kids. They 3 stuck together & were old enough to be alone in the room together if we were still on the beach or elsewhere. We felt very safe and never worried about their safety on the property. They ate together when they wanted and would go get drinks together whenever they were thirsty.

More about the Property & activities:
The property is large, and there is a train shuttle if you need it. My husband and I used it when we ate dinner at the adult only resort. We enjoyed the walking/exercise and nothing is too far away. There is also an exercise room with elliptical, treadmill, some weights, spin, aerobic, yoga classes if you want to attend them. We utilized the exercise room but did not do any classes or go to the spa. Lots of shopping choices if you forget something or wanna get a souvenir. Pricey as expect. 24 hr medical area onsite & pharmacy.

We loved the luscious grounds and beautiful scenery. Birds, fish, beautiful plants and trees, immaculate. The staff cleans everything constantly around the property. There is a small baseball field and a soccer field. There are basketball courts (attached to tennis courts) there are tennis courts and a paddleball court. My boys brought baseballs and their gloves but did not use them. My husband, youngest son and I all 3 played paddle ball one morning and it was very fun! Afterwards we hit/played a little tennis on the tennis courts. The sports courts are all inclusive unless you use them at night. If you have to have lights you have to pay $15 per person. We played in the morning. The adult only area also has tennis courts and basketball courts but children are not allowed over there.

We had a one-day admission included in our reservation for the waterpark. It only has a few slides, and the wave pool was not working on the day that we went. The one day pass was perfectly fine and it was plenty. We only stayed a couple of hours and the kids had fun, but they never asked to go back. I think it is $10 a person if you go back again. Our older kids looked inside the teen disco, but they were not interested. We did not do putt putt or any of the other laser tag/activities in the kid area. We did not play golf. Depending on how long you stay you get a booklet of coupons, none of which we ever used for anything.

We enjoyed the beach, water & the pools. We played shuffleboard and bocce ball as a family. It was too windy for ping-pong. You can also check out cards and board games if you want them. The activities desk closes at 5 or 6 PM every day. The swimming pools close at 7 PM and the younger pools close at 6pm. This was never a problem. We swam in the pools plenty. We took out the kayaks one day, but mainly just enjoyed snorkeling & swimming around the reefs in front of our property. We ended up purchasing masks and snorkels for the kids because it was difficult to check them out at the activities desk. They were always in use. The kids found starfish in the reef areas right out in front of our chairs. We liked to get beach chairs further down the beach away from the main activities. Perfect for resting, reading, relaxing & people watching. We did plenty of that. As some reviews have commented & people have asked (bc we have children I can understand & was also interested to know)- the only top-less sunbathing my husband & I saw were on the "adult - only" end of the resort. We walked there one day. Another day, one couple walked down the beach in front of our resort. The children were in the room at this time. Regardless - I guess it would have made for interesting conversations later, but for us personally, we were thankful the resort was very family friendly & those that enjoyed sun bathing in other ways, were respectfully on the adult end of the resort.

Food:
You must have dinner reservations for the main restaurants. Go to the concierge immediately after you check in to get the times you want & the restaurants you want. We found 7:30 to be a good time. Men must wear long pants - jeans are fine - and even a t shirt. Collared shirt not required. Closed toe shoes - tennis shoes are fine. My 10-year-old probably could've worn a pair of khaki shorts but I didn't try it as I didn't want to be turned away and have to go back to the room & change.
My husband & I had dinner one night at La Brisa. This is located at the adult only part of the resort. It is located on the water, and would probably be lovely during the day for lunch, however, lunch was not a part of our all-inclusive. Dinner, however, was a part of our all-inclusive. At the restaurants there is a separate wine list if you want to order something that is not the "house wine". You pay extra for wine that is on the list - and the prices are provided. All other food & drink is a part of the all-inclusive. The French restaurant is not a part of the all-inclusive.

We took the kids to eat at the Steakhouse, Japanese & Italian. We could not get reservations at Mexican or Spanish before 10:30 at night. We did not want to go to the Seafood restaurant bc of poor reviews & we knew we would have fresh seafood on a tour we booked outside of the hotel. Also, wanted to leave a couple of options open for other dining at night and not having to be somewhere at a certain time. The food in the restaurants was good. Service at the 4 dinner restaurants we went to was also good, timely. No wait. We felt a little bit rushed at the Italian restaurant. "Get in, get out" kind of feeling there. But the kids & we had a very enjoyable time at all meals.

There are two buffet type restaurants by the main pool. I would say that the buffets are typical. Fresh salad preparations, fruit and variety of fruit juices. All very good. However, some of the food has been sitting out for a while & looks like it. My kids ate a lot of burgers, pasta & some of the meats. (No one starved, I can assure you) I enjoyed the fresh pasta bar where the cook adds ingredients in front of you. I also did the same with the omelet bar as this was a "freshly prepared" meal. The oatmeal was also good. The desserts were only so-so in the buffet (bland) & at the restaurants - a little better. Not much taste. The kids enjoyed a lot of soft serve ice cream. Service at the buffet areas is hit or miss. Everyone was basically friendly but the waitresses seem to be so task oriented that they aren't very personable. Truly everything in there is self-serve, but the waitresses will bring your drinks and coffee, set your table. The only thing you can't get without asking someone is your utensils and napkins. Sometimes we tipped the wait staff at the buffet but most often we did not. Only when we had someone very friendly that seemed very interested in serving us. Strikers is another restaurant but it is totally buffet and open 24 hours. Super casual. It is an option when the 2 buffets are closed.

Japanese was the best onsite meal. At the Japanese restaurant, we sat around the table and enjoyed the chef's show as he cooked our food. Make sure you ask to sit at the table where they prepare the food if you want this experience. Very entertaining, good portions & very tasty. For dessert, fried banana w ice cream was very good.

We did not have the best experiences at Hoyo 19- hostess communication poor/ uninterested (same hostess each time) & service slow. One breakfast waiter was very enjoyable but we were only able to do the limited/quick buffet that morning. Timing mattered at Hoyo 19. Minimal seating -so at high volume times, wait too long & service took forever. It was very convenient to our room & the setting was nice, so we tried to utilize it 4 times, but each time fairly disappointed. It is located near the golf course, you don't need reservations, the dress is casual. We probably should have gone to breakfast there early one morning with time to sit & enjoy a long breakfast, however that didn't really fit the plans of our day on any occasion. The one time we had dinner after we had waited (and it was very confusing to whether we were going to even get a table or not) our meal was actually very good. The buffets were just a lot easier for eating breakfast and lunch, as most everything we did during the day was on that side of the resort.

Kids loved (atleast 3 times a day) nonalcohol strawberry daiquiris at the bars. And they call it a chocolate milkshake that is basically milk blended with some chocolate syrup. The kids also liked that as well.

Outside tour:
Punta Cana Mike tour of city, school & meet children in the area, chocolate & rum tasting (if you like) cigar making & lunch/swim on Macao beach. See a separate review about this tour. Mike had to pick us up just a little off our property (resort rules) but it was within walking distance on the beach. Excellent tour!

The shows:
We attended the Circus Show on Sun night as a family & enjoyed. Tues night my 13yo daughter & I went to the Michael Jackson show. It was so entertaining and very fun. We did take pictures & video to share with the rest of the family. I really regret that they did not go to the show w us that night. They would have loved it. We all went as a family on Thursday night to the Broadway show. Costumes good, however choreography had a little bit to be desired. As well as the songs were with a cultural/Spanish accent & a little more original twist. The kids & we did not enjoy as much as the circus show. And again, Michael Jackson had the most energy, dancing, original songs/lip synced but great & really nice choreography. Break dancers were talented. Very fun. We didn't do any other shows but they have one every night. The open theater is great. Plenty of room for seating & waitresses come to your individual seating area tables.

Activity huts:
there are two water sport huts at the beach, one is a pay to use- (anything motorized, including scuba, etc) the other is included in your stay, (kayaks, shuffle board, etc)

Tipping:
We tipped housekeeping every day. B/c you don't have the same staff all week. I wrote notes in Spanish to leave w the tips when we needed more of something. We always tipped at the restaurants that required reservations. If we got good service at the other restaurants and the buffet we would tip them as well. We tipped at the bars randomly. No one really acts as if they expect a tip and it is not required, but we personally tipped based on service with a smile, attentiveness to detail & those that acted interested in serving my husband & our family. In some cases we would tip large amounts if someone showed us great service. Mainly because we wanted them to know they did a good job and that we appreciated them. It was our pleasure to tip some staff well, but we also expected pleasant, helpful service prior to. We also tipped our bellmen according to the number of bags they carried for us. And, a little more considering we were on the top floor w no elevator.

Staff:
Most of the staff was extremely pleasant and kind. One day my youngest son dropped his buffet plate on his foot and it shattered in a million pieces. His big toe turned blue but otherwise he was fine after shedding some major tears. Immediately five staff persons as well as the buffet manager were at our side and assisting us to a table for him to sit down. They immediately brought over ice & propped his foot on a chair. They continued to check on him until they knew he was ok. Very kind.

Cleaning staff:
Our favorite, beloved staff member (housekeeping) was a beautifully pleasant, smiling young lady named Yokasta Sosa. We had others that were great, but Yokasta was our special friend all week. She worked in our building or near it & I would find her. Or she would see me and call me by name & tell my family hello when they would pass by. She had a special touch that was so nice!!! Of course I had to use my translator app to communicate w her, which was great bc it converted both of our conversations back & forth. It helped me to learn a little Spanish along the way as well. Please tell her Leslie said hello and our family misses her already if you are reading this and she happens to be your housekeeper at the resort or if you are on the management team reviewing this for the resort!!!
: )

We would definitely recommend this resort for families who want to get away together and spend some quality time in a beautiful place!!!

Room Tip: Choose a room with enough space for your family and I recommend a room on the top floor.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Javier C, General Manager at Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe, responded to this review, July 30, 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for having chosen Barceló Bávaro Palace Deluxe for your vacation in Punta Cana. We appreciate the time you have taken to share this nice comment about your stay with us.

We would like to extend you our most sincere apologies for the inconveniences you may have encountered with your tour representative, please be assured that will be passing your complain to the general manager from VIP Travel.

Regarding to your question about the aquatic legal documentation, please let me inform you that the staff member for the aquatic center that it's in our facilities is licensed and documentation necessary to provide tour services in Dominican Republic.

Our main goal is the total satisfaction of our guests, so we are pleased of knowing we met your expectations. We are glad to know that our customer service, facilities and gastronomy were of your liking.

We feel sorry for the inconvenient that you encounter in our restaurant Hoyo 19 and Italian Restaurant that some of our personnel in the restaurants were not attentive enough. Please be assured that we will take the issues mentioned into consideration.

Thank you so much for your special comments to our coworker Mrs. Yokasta Sosa will be passing your nice comment and she will be happy to hear from you.

We hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you again in the near future, thank you so much for your recommendation.

Sincerely,

Javier Cordero Gilsanz
General Manager at Barceló Bávaro Palace Deluxe.
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New Jersey
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014

We were a family of five, elderly parents, my husband and my 16 year old nephew. We had never been to an all inclusive resort. We reserved two Junior Suite Deluxe rooms on the hotel's website. We received a great deal because we booked early. We do speak Spanish, which I have to admit does help, but we were always first addressed in English by most staff. I read MANY (hundred +) reviews on TA before our stay so I knew what to expect and what people were complaining about.

CHECK-IN: We arrived at 1 PM on a Monday, July 7th, 2014 before our check in time; reception deck was pretty empty and we did not have to wait to check in. We were patient while they tried to find us the best adjacent rooms. My parent’s room was ready, ours was not so we left our luggage at their room, while we checked out the facilities and made our restaurant and excursion reservations.

ROOMS: We were in Building #2, close to the train shuttle, which my parents always used, but we preferred to walk the five minutes to all the amenities and pool. Beach was a minute walk! Gorgeous clean modern décor; large rooms; lots of closet and drawer space. Balcony was great with the Jacuzzi and view of the immaculate gardens; at the railing just had to look left and saw the ocean; one night we used the Jacuzzi and had a view of a full moon, gorgeous!

IMPORTANT: balcony sliding doors need to be closed in proper location for air conditioning to turn on; will shut off as soon as you open the door. One day we were left with only one towel but after mentioning to cleaning woman, we always had plenty of extra towels; we tipped 2 to 3 dollars a day, always had plenty of water bottles; we did not touch any of the other drinks

DINING: We loved the buffets! They had a huge selection which slightly changed day to day. Service was excellent! It was very difficult to make restaurant reservations before 10:30 PM which was way too late for us. We were able to get reservations earlier for the Santa Fe Steakhouse which was very good and our waiters, Angel and unfortunately do not remember the other one’s name, made our dining experience very enjoyable!!! The seafood restaurant, El Coral, was good, we all had lobster. The only disappointment was the Japanese, Kyoto. We were not able to get the hibachi table and did not know that the menu was different for a regular table. You were allowed two appetizers and the main course was sushi. The fried rice was horrible, dry and not very tasty; I would have called it re-fried rice. Sushi, egg rolls, calamari, tuna, and shrimp tempura were all very disappointing. My mother said the sushi from Trader Joe’s was a whole lot better!! I did check out the hibachi table and the food looked fresh and delicious! We missed the lobster at the buffet for bad Japanese food!! The golf course restaurant Hoyo 19 was excellent, ate there for breakfast and lunch and were delicious and no reservations required. We would have preferred there rather than the other restaurants. Coffee bar by reception desk was excellent and had the best cappuccino!!!

POOLS: Gorgeous, clean, and huge!!! No food service and not allowed to take food out of buffets. But that is why you do not see a lot of garbage thrown on the ground.
SPA & Fitness Center: The fitness center has exercise classes every day; pick up the schedule at the front desk at the spa. I did the abdominal class and it was OK, too many breaks between each exercise. The spa had a two for one special and we had two 50 min. facials and two 50 min. basic massages, which were all excellent!!! Included before or after the service was the hydro therapy which included the sauna, Turkish bath, hot and cold showers and small pools, which was excellent!! Also included was the spa pool which is gorgeous and only had 2 other people using it. For $315 for all four of us it was quite a deal!!! We spent about 3 1/2 hours and nobody rushed us out. I also used the Salon for a traditional French braid, paid $15 and Celia did a perfect job!!!

BEACH: Amazing white sand, aqua water, and lots of lounge chairs and palm trees!!!! Absolutely gorgeous!!! So long you can either sit away from all the action and relax or stay by the pools with the water sports, music, bars, aerobic and dance classes. No drink or food service at the beach but we like to walk and burn those calories! This also minimized the amount of garbage on the beach. Seaweed cleaned off every morning.

SHOPPING: In the resort it was very nice but expensive. There was one kiosk (occupied by two very nice men), right below the check-in lobby that had very good prices and very good quality for Larimar jewelry. For the best prices for Larimar, turn left on the beach and walk to the end of the resort and you will find a flea market where you can haggle the prices, quality was good.

EXCURSIONS: We booked two excursions; zip lining was excellent, very well run, professional, and very safe; dune buggies were UNSAFE!!! Breaks did not work and had to change vehicles, one woman’s accelerator got jammed, flipped over, was hurt and they didn’t even have a first aid kit!!! DO NOT RECOMMEND!!!

Overall the service was superior, grounds were beautiful!!! We would definitely recommend this resort and return for another excellent vacation!!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Javier C, General Manager at Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe, responded to this review, July 29, 2014
Dear Guest,

It is very pleasant to know that you enjoyed our services, infrastructure and facilities and that we were able to provide you a delightful stay. It is a real pleasure for us to learn that we have achieved our goal. This definitely strengthens our philosophy of seeking the highest level of service excellence. Thank you for your kind note about our staff member Angel and Celia whom will be happy to receive.

We are glad that we were able to provide you beautiful vacations and that you enjoyed your time in our resort. However we are taking note of your impressions about our Japanese restaurant which will be forwarding to all our international chefs to continue working in improve the variety and quality of the menus offered to our valued guests. We lament the misunderstood regarding the menus serve at Japanese restaurant, please be assured the appropriate measure has been taken with the executives involved.

We hope that when returning to the Dominican Republic, you will give us the opportunity to welcome you again at our resort.

Sincerely,

Javier Cordero Gilsanz
General Manager at Barceló Bávaro Palace Deluxe.
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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 Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe

Address: Carretera Bavaro, km. 1, Bavaro, Punta Cana 23301, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana > Bavaro
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Bavaro
#6 Casino Hotel in Bavaro
#7 Luxury Hotel in Bavaro
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Bavaro
#8 Romantic Hotel in Bavaro
#9 Family Hotel in Bavaro
#9 Business Hotel in Bavaro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe 4.5*
Number of rooms: 1402
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

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