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“good service overall” 4 of 5 stars
Review of IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa

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IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playas de Bavaro, Bavaro, Punta Cana 51101, Dominican Republic   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #14 of 17 Hotels in Bavaro
West New York, New Jersey
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“good service overall”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2011

stayed at ifa villas , a little skeptical at first before bookin g this trip for my short getaway .staff was very friendly and nice .rooms where modern, which i really liked. beach was nice ,can be quite a walk , but you can take the shuttle to the beach.the only thing i disliked was the tremendous amounts of puerto ricans that come from puerto rico , they take over the hotel and think they own it!!! besides that it was a great stay . also, make sure to try there jacuzzis throughout the resort.

i didnt lik ethe fact they didnt serve Presidente as the national drink to their guests ,instead they chose Brahma which is a brazilian beer , still dont get why they would do that

make sure you go to mangu and club imagine outside of the resort , the disco from the resort is quite boring

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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4,202 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Schiller-Park, Il
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2011

Stayed July 9-16th 2011. Punta Cana is beautiful but the IFA Bavaro could use ALOT of IMPROVING. We arrived at noon and waited in line at front desk for over an hour. You're being taken care of and another person walks up and speaks the language and there you stand. If the phone rings the call also takes precedence over your standing there.There were 6 of us, 3 rooms.All rooms were supposed to be kept together, 2 were in one building and one was in another building. One room needed to be changed 3 times to get working air conditioning. Then the final room given always had the smell of a backed up sewer (we were tired of complaining so we just dealt with it) The bed linens smelled like mildew because of high humidity and the air turning off every time you leave the room and take your key card with you. Our towels and clothes were always damp. (got 2 cards and always left one in the room-so it would be cool when we returned) but everything was still damp. Buffet and restaurants have plenty of food but they are all outside (NO air conditioning) and the birds swoop in and steal food off of the buffet and fruit bar constantly. It is rather disgusting to eat your food after a bird has walked all over it, and then you have to put it in your mouth. Cleaniliness is not a top priority here. I'm sorry I didn't pay $1014.00 per person AI to have 5 of the people in my party get sick with diarrhea and vomiting for 2 days each out of our vacation. I could go on but...we did make the most of our vacation together and should have heeded the warnings from the other BAD trip reviews. But I figured everyone is different and entitled to their opinion and maybe they were all making too much of it. Well, WE ALL came to find out they were NOT all wrong! I'm sure there are other nice places to stay in Punta Cana but "IFA BAVARO RESORT and SPA" turned us off so bad they we will never return again. Do yourself the favor and book an All Inclusive at ANY other resort but here.

Room Tip: There are No rooms with an ocean view people.The best you get is a loogan to look at!
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Troy, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2011

We booked this trip through Apple Vacations. We actually stayed in June of 2010, but it would only go back to August on the date choice above. This was our first tropical getaway vacation together as a couple. Upon arrival our room was not ready so we had to sit in 90 degree weather in jeans and short sleeves, we flew in from WI. We were told by the travel agency that we would have an ocean view room. However, there are no ocean view rooms at this resort come to find out. Not necessarily the resorts fault but that was the second issue within 5 minutes of checking in. The food and restaurants had a variety of food and we liked pretty much everything that was on the buffet and the menus. We met several other couples from the US which was fun. The swim up bar was great during the day. However, if you stay here be prepared for the pool to close at 7pm every night. We thought that was bogus! They don't tell you that anywhere when booking your vacation. Our room was clean and crisp, air conditioning included. The only downfall was the television, there were hardly any channels and the channels that did come in were non-English speaking. They should invest in Satellite television. I tried to book a wrap and massage with the spa twice during our one week stay and each time I tried I was unable to do so because no one spoke English and no one was available to translate. However, no downfall for me I guess, they were the ones out of the money and revenue. It just kinda sucked since I was on vacation and really wanted a relaxation treatment. We were also told that in room WiFi would be available at no extra charge when we booked, which was important because I was taking online courses for college. Um no, we had to go to the internet cafe which was $2.00 USD for 30 min on a Dominican web browser. That was interesting to say the least. The coffee in the cafe rocked, the beach was okay. We went in off season so I understand if some things were not up to par but we really didn't feel that we got what we paid for or that we even got half of what we were promised by Apple Vacations. Oh one more thing, do not expect to get served tropical drinks here as they have no clue how to make them. We ordered daiquiri's off the drink menu and we were given pure rum on cubed ice with a splash of grenadine...lol....talk about yuck! We didn't finish them and left them on the table.

Room Tip: There are not ocean view rooms so if you are promised one - Dont buy it!!!
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  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Pickering, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2011

Me and my girlfriend went to IFA VILLAS BAVARO and had an amazing vacation in our superior room. It was nothing like what we seen on the computer. It has a BEAUTIFUL beach and giant palm trees!! SUPER FRIENDLY AND FUNNY EMPLOYEES. Our room had doves kissing (dos batos in Spanish), it was amaizing.We did to stingray bay (Caribbean festival) excursion, on the way open bar, when we got to a netting area, swam with sting rays which were debarbed, swam with nursing sharks!!! At the end you go to a HUGE coral reef and a guy films the whole thing and buy at the end. Next day we swam with dolphins at Maniti Park. SOOO COOOL!!!! The resort it pretty big, get superior if you can, closer to beach and buffet. Buffet serves breakfast, lunch, dinner. I went to sports bar on the beach once for lunch and Helen was our waiter, not sure if serves breakfast and dinner. Helen is so kind and friendly. There is also a stage which a crew dances on and has a different show every night. A MICHAEL JACKSON LOOK ALIKE!!!!!!!!!!!The crew comes to the crowd and pulls you on stage to dance with you after the show, that’s from 10 or 1030 till 11. Then the disco opens 11and bar and disco close at 4am. PARTY! PARTY! PARTY!!!!!!!!!!! Pools were great, swim up bar was where we stayed a lot and the beach. LIKE I SAID NOTHING YOU SEE ON COMPUTER. IFA BAVARO IS SOO AMAZING AND GREAT PRICE.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2011


I think considering they only make the quarter of an average canadian salary. Working 12 hours a day, 11 days straight and 4 days off. I don't blame them to be a little burnt out by the end of their work week. However, I do wish they speak a tad-bit more english. It was a struggle to communicate with the staff. I do suggest you to travel with a spanish-english dictionary. Please tip generously, they really count on your tips as income.

Restaurants: (I think all of the restaurants have no a/c, with the exception of the international a la cart restaurant)

Pikalo - has the best snacks on the resort, fresh made pizza every day.
Buffet - Way too many mosquitoes, the food quality is hit and miss.
A la carts - Ensure you're awake and in line by 7:45 or you won't be able to make RSVP's. You can only book on the same day. Japanese restaurant (7/10), International (4/10), Mexican (6/10),


I was a little disappointed since they primary played latin-amercian music, I was hoping a mix of clubbing music too. However, the go-go dancers on stage is highly entertaining. Especially if you are an all guys group...you'll love it!


I wasn't aware until the last day. Peddle boats + Kayak's are free during the day. But its a bit hard to manoeuvre around the beach because there is a lot of parked boats floating around.

Overall experience was just a B- rating. I think for its value you can't really expect to get the royal treatment. But I just wanted to make note that I found a lot of bugs and gecko here and there in my room. I returned back to Toronto with over 30+ bites. Please make sure you find a good repellent, the higher the deets level the better. Also, it is safe to book excursions with guys by the pool. They give really good deals better than the agencies in the lobby. So don't get scammed by those popular agencies.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2011

My wife and I stayed at IFA Bavaro Village from June 10-17, 2011. We have always stayed at adults-only, 4.5 or 5 star properties, but this year we were looking for a great deal and we got it at this resort! A solid 4 star for sure, with aspects that were comparable or even better than other resorts we’ve stayed at. For us, the pool, beach, room and food top our list of priorities. Service goes a long way too. We don’t do the activities, shows, excursions, discos and so on. We go to a resort to relax, spend most of our time in the water and appreciate decent food and a comfortable room after a full day in the sun!

Check-in was a rather disorganized. I'm glad that not too many of us arrived at the same time, or check-in could have been alot longer than it took. It also helped that we were one of the first in line. Buy the lock for your safe when you check-in, it will save you the time of returning later. No welcome drinks or any real welcome provided. Once checked-in, a porter took our luggage to our room directly.

The Room:
We were in the Village Section, building 45. It was fairly central to everything- with the small quiet pool and the beach in one direction and the main pool and everything else in the other direction. The room had a fairly modern decor, with some wear and tear visible and the finishings were somewhat subpar. We had two double beds, even though we requested one king, but made due. The flat screen TV was great and there were lots of English channels to watch. As others have commented, the toilet area didn't provide much privacy and was short on space. The sink area and shower were fine- we always had hot water. The A/C wasn't working properly when we arrived- we love tropical weather, but we also like a cold room after a long day in the hot sun. We went to reception the following morning and made the request for it to be fixed. Later that day, the A/C was better, but still there seemed to be a problem. After a second request to reception, the A/C was fixed and we had a cold room for the rest of the week! The technician arranged it so that the A/C was running continuously. This is the first time we went to resort where you had to use you room card to turn on the power in the room. And due to the fact that you only had one card per room, you would come back to a warm room anytime you left. Luckily, we avoided this and it was great. The other issue we had with the room was our key card wouldn't let us into our room one night and the next day the entire door knob and lock had to be replaced. Not a big deal, but just another issue to deal with. The beds were comfortable and we brought our own pillows to ensure a good night’s sleep. The fridge was re-stocked daily with water only. The maid did a good job every day and was appreciative of the gifts and tips we left her daily.

We spent the majority of our time at the Villas quiet pool. Very beautiful pool with various 'sections' that made it feel less crowded. And with a few exceptions, it was fairly quiet. The only time we spent in the main pool was the first evening we arrived- we took a quick dip before it closed. When we walked by it, it was always busy. The other small pool closer to the beach was a nice change a few times as well, although there was no bar service here. We also spent one morning at the jacuzzis in the Villas Section- very relaxing! Each of the four jacuzzis was shaded. There were no umbrellas or huts at any of the pools. Any shade you had was from the palm trees. We didn't find this overly problematic, but it was the first time we had encountered this at a resort.

I had researched this resort on Trip Advisor before we booked, so I wasn’t expecting a lot from the beach, but it was still my biggest disappointment of the resort. Lots of white sand and palm trees, but the ocean view and water quality was not what we had experienced at other resorts we had stayed at along Bavaro Beach. We were also spoiled having experienced the beach in Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba, last year. The coral reef started fairly close to the shore, so the water looked dark into the distance, not a turquoise green color that goes on forever. The swimming area was fairly small and there was quite alot of seaweed in the water. And there were boats in the water surrounding the swimming area, which didn't really pose a problem, but didn't really add anything to the view either. Again, no sun huts at the beach and you really do need proper shade if you plan spending any amount of time at the beach.

I enjoyed the food at this resort the most out of any resort I have stayed at in Punta Cana or Cuba so far. My wife didn’t agree, but she did love Pikalo’s pizza! The main buffet was the only place to eat breakfast and I enjoyed the bacon, pancakes, breads and pastries offered. It all tasted like food we would normally eat and there weren’t any ‘unusual flavoring’ that I have previously experienced at other resorts. Lunch and dinner at the main buffet was ok, it was just a matter of finding a few things that you liked. Pikalo’s was great for lunch and dinner. The pizza really is tasty with quite a few varieties to choose from. We ate at the Japanese restaurant twice, the Mexican and Gourmet once. All were good, with decent service. Of course, you may order something that you don’t necessarily like, but that’s a chance you take. The ambiance of the Japanese restaurant was the best and probably had the best food too. Unfortunately, none of the restaurants or main buffet has A/C. And, lining before 7:30 each morning to get a reservation at one of the restaurants wasn’t exactly fun, but I think the restaurants were worth it.

The grounds are beautiful and well-manicured throughout the resort, with cobblestone walkways. The Café Dominicana, Creperie, Bell Tower, Pikalo’s are all nice settings. We didn’t find the resort to be too big or find the walk to the beach long. However, we did hop on the shuttle one day when we were in the Villas section and wanted to go to the beach- it was convenient for sure!

Service was good for the most part. Sometimes at the restaurants, buffet or even Pikalo’s, there could be some lengthy waits between courses, or just waiting for someone to take your drink/food order. But most of the servers were friendly and we did tip. We did find that there is often more than one person coming to your table with either the food or drinks- this makes it a bit more difficult for tipping. Sometimes we gave one server the tip directly and sometimes we just left it on the table.

We enjoyed our week at this resort and were really surprised at the value we got for the price paid. The resort was at capacity during our stay, so there were lots of people, but you could still find places to relax that weren’t busy. Except for the beach, the scenery was amazing and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this resort to others.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillsborough, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2011

My boyfriend and I are from NJ and went through a travel agent who suggested IFA for the price. I trusted her and we booked it. We knew going down to DR that 1. they are not known for food and 2. you don't leave your resort. We weren't going down there for activities everyday we wanted a mindless vacation and that is what we got. For all the American's reading this, I will you not BS you some of the reviews are true. The food is excellent by all means, it's a 3rd world country if you want good food visit NYC. You always found something edible, breakfast was good, lunch was better at the beach and dinner was ok as well. The japanese place was the best to eat, it was not only decorated fun but the food was good as well.

The beach was awesome!! They played music, you drank, swam and sunned. What else do you want to do?? It was perfect! The pool was fun as well, we went to all of them after each beach day. Late night the shows and disco were fun!! Gave you something to do every night and they were entertaining.

As far as the rooms go, we had a upgraded room. Was cleaned everyday with fresh towels. I tipped her a few bucks each day and they were very nice and always supplied our fridge with bottles of water. If you don't speak spanish its ok..we knew little spanish and got around fine.

We did do one excursion which was the mini boats and snorkling, only book your trips with the reps inside the lobby, other guys are scams. I do not think we would stay there again just because when we left I saw other resorts and spoke with American's who stayed there, and they raved about it. You just have to keep in mind that it is a 3rd world country and you can't always expect things to be perfect like they are where ever you live. But if you're looking for a mindless stress-free vacation and you're on a budget come here!!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa

Address: Playas de Bavaro, Bavaro, Punta Cana 51101, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana > Bavaro
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Business Hotel in Bavaro
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Bavaro
#11 Romantic Hotel in Bavaro
#11 Family Hotel in Bavaro
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Bavaro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 262
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & SPA is situated on the fine, white sands of Playa Bavaro. Bordered by a fabulous coral reef and surrounded by turquoise-colored waters this extraordinary vacation complex offers its guests a friendly, luxurious environment for sports & cuisine with its 6 charming restaurants and 7 spectacular bars, colorful tropical shows, a wide range of facilities and services especially designed to ensure an unforgettable stay right in heart of the Caribbean. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ifa Hotel Punta Cana
Ifa Hotel Bavaro
Ifa Bavaro Villas
Ifa Villas Bavaro Beach Resort & Spa
Villas Bavaro
Ifa Villas Bavaro Punta Cana

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