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“Bavaro Princess - Great Hotel, Great Stay - Go Platinum”

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Bavaro Princess All Suites Resort, Spa & Casino
Ranked #38 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Winnipeg, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
“Bavaro Princess - Great Hotel, Great Stay - Go Platinum”
Reviewed January 13, 2010

My Wife and I have just returned from 2 weeks at the Bavaro Princess December 29-Jan 12, 2010. We are veterans of the ”All Inclusive” circuit, traveling most winters. We have been to the Dominican 4 times (2x Punta Cana, Puerto Plata and Santa Domingo) as well as Mexico and Cuba.

We had a wonderful stay and had very few complaints. The staff, food, beach and room were all first class. We took advantage of a la cartes at the sister resorts and visited 8 or 9 different restaurants. 3 of them we went to twice (Licey, Sakura, Petit Fondue). We ate most lunches at the beach buffet and the barbecues were fantastic. The buffets were quite good as well but we only had two dinners at them but had all of our breakfasts and lunches there.

We booked the Platinum upgrade through Signature Vacations and it was well worth it. We took full advantage of the lounge (thank you Ana!), the private beach area (service on the beach), and the concierge service they provided (booking a la cartes, arranging transportation to the other resorts for dinner, solving any problems that we had which were very few and minor). On a couple of occasions when we left for dinner on a golf cart for a different resort, one of the staff (Margarita) went out of her way and waved from the sidewalk to our departing cart. Margarita also made a point of coming to our table on New Year`s Eve (Special meal) and wished us well. All of the Platinum staff were very helpful and always asked if we were having a good stay. As I said, the Platinum option was well worth it. My wife and I usually travel for a single week at a fairly expensive resort and take the least expensive option. On this two week trip we decided to take the most expensive option (Platinum) at a less expensive resort and we were very happy with the result.

Before I address the mixed reviews on this resort I want to pass on a few tips from our stay:
- If you don’t leave the hotel by car there are 4 shopping options:
o The lobby supermarket – quite reasonable and had most things that you might need such as T-Shirts, etc.
o Across from the main entrance there is a shopping plaza. We felt quite intimidated the large number of vendors that aggressively try to get you to visit their shop and quickly returned to the hotel on both occasions.
o On the beach about 1 kilometre to the right (where the boats are anchored) is a shopping area and they were extremely (!) aggressive and we quickly left after one of the vendors threw a good football pick to force my wife into his shop
o On the beach about 1 kilometre to the left (around the point) is also a very large shopping area and the vendors were not aggressive at all. We did most of our shopping here for things they didn’t have at the lobby (crafts, etc)

- If you do book Platinum (it`s only a few extra hundred $`s) make sure you take advantage of all they offer:
o Massage for 2 was very good
o Concierge service was very helpful – book a different restaurant every night and several days in advance
o There are some excellent restaurants at the other resorts
o Licey is a pretty good restaurant, similar to ones at home
o Private beach area is wonderful

Ok, here`s my theory on the very mixed reviews at this resort. The hotel is very large and I could see how you might have 4 completely different experiences (in order of least to most desirable):
- There are `Junior` suites that are near the lobby in some apartment style buildings and very far from the beach. They are very close to the shopping area outside the gate and the casino. They are also next to the quiet pool . I`m sure these are the least expensive option and the buildings look quite old and unattractive. I certainly would not have stayed there.
- The rest of the resort is referred to as Suites (not junior) or Bungalows. All of them appeared to have the same layout, the main difference being location. The resort is split into two parts (near the lobby, near the beach) with a large mangrove (jungle) in the middle. It’s about a 15 minute walk from the front to the back of the resort.
- Perhaps a third of the suites are located on the Lobby side of the mangrove. If you are looking for a quiet time away from the beach and you want to spend time at the main buffet and quiet pool (also the casino) then these might be for you. This is probably the next tier of rooms pricewise.
- All of the Suites on the beach side of the mangrove (including the Platinum Suites) look very similar and are not very far from the activity pool, beach buffet, a la carte restaurants and the beach.
- The main difference with the Platinum suites is that they are closest ones to the beach and the Platinum lounge and include some of the other extras I have mentioned as well as 4 bottles of liquor in the room in addition to the cold drink fridge.

During our stay we saw constant upgrades being done. Rooms were painted between the time someone checked out and the next group moved in later in the day. There was a truckload of new electronic safes being installed almost every day. They seem to take their maintenance very seriously. I saw no evidence of any “renovations”. All of the upgrades I saw were an hour or two long at best.

As always, the Dominicans were very friendly and excellent hosts. Language was not a problem at all. We would gladly return to this resort and recommend it to anyone with similar interests to ours (great beach, lots of dining options and good accommodations).

I hope this is helpful to you. These reviews are quite useful to us in choosing a resort. If you have any questions, please send me a private message and I’ll see what I can do.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
14 Thank grbayl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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chicago
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 12, 2010

My wife and I went here for 11 days for our honeymoon. We were a little nervous due to all the negative reviews, but I could not have been happier with our experience.

We had the honeymoon package, which consisted of a honeymoon suite and a boatload of freebies.

My review:

PROS:
The food was delicious. There are numerous restaurants on the grounds, never had a bad meal. There were 2 buffets which featured breakfast, lunch and dinner. The actual resort is stunning and beautiful. Room service was prompt and polite, food was always warm and delicious. They had a show to watch every night on the stage in the lobby/lounge area which was a fun twist. There was a shuttle to take you around if you did not feel like walking. We received free massages in the spa which was beautiful. The bartenders were great people to hang around with, they always gave you a handshake/high five when you walked up and made you feel welcomed. When we first checked in, we were given 4 shots of a local rum. The associate who checked us in filled us in on all the info of our stay as well as the logistics of the resort. There are 2 pools, both of which had a bar, loads of sun chairs, and one had a buffet right next to it. There are some shops there which you could purchase necessity items if needed (although the pricing was rather random, for example a pack of smoke were $5 but a bathing suit was $50). Rooms were cleaned each day and they gave you 2 cokes, coke lights, sprites and beers, I asked for "mucho cerveza" and they gave me between 6-10 beers after that each night. Beach was amazing.

CONS:
Please keep in mind these cons did not hurt our trip, they are just worth noting.
The language barrier sometimes was a problem, order a white wine and you might get a red, no biggie, it's understandable. Our room did smell like mildew a bit and after we returned, all of our belongings still smelled (still do, we've been back for about 4 days only although) but it's so humid and warm there, it's expected. In the main lobby, some nights they would have people there selling items by people working at the resort. I almost got into a fight with a hotel associate trying to sell jewelry to us because I decided not to buy. If you do go and you see them selling and you're interested in something, do not listen to anything they say about pricing. The guy when from $150 to $20 in 5 minutes. The ATM only dispenses pesos, if you need american bills, you need to go to the casino to "convert" it. The cleaning service came at different hours, some days 10:00am, some days 3:00pm. There are alot of bugs and little lizards that we had to get out of our room sometimes, only 3 nights, but it's the DR, it's gonna happen, not a big deal. TV reception was poor at times and limited. Don't be fooled by the notices on the phone in the room, you will pay for any call received or placed unless you have a phone card.

I would recommend this resort to everyone I know, it was an amazing time that I will never forget. Don't let the negative reviews steer you away. Some people just cannot be pleased, reviews are in the eye of the reviewer.

If I ever return to the DR, I will stay here and I hope I do return!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank mstanton1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicoutimi, QC
1 review
Reviewed January 12, 2010

Great room, suite style, double sink, but need to be well located (close to pool and beach). We had friends that paid the same amount but located at the end of the resort, street view (not very great). So check in and make sure you are well located. Restaurants (a-la-carte) we're very hard to get into, very limited tables available. BEWARE of the Royal Holiday scam people hunting you down. Don't waste your time and go enjoy the best beach ever. Food was ok... no more... Huge resort, and very interesting park / birds on resort.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PhilKat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2010

We booked this on a bit of a whim and then started reading all the terrible reviews - People you're not paying club med prices or even breezes prices so what exactly do you expect? For the price it was amazing! You just have to figure the place out a little but keep in mind you are in a foreign country - if you want Canadian/American style service stay there! Any problem we had was corrected instantly. Get some $1 - these people make so little $1 goes far and these people work hard. For the price - if you think of 10/day in tips you're still tipping less than 10%. The main buffet was great and had a variety. Some of the a la cartes were better than others - the steakhouse is the best by far. The only complaints were that the beds weren't terribly comfortable (we had twins) and there weren't enough beach chairs but we just went out and did other things in the morning and there were chairs by afternoon. The little tram is awesome and gets you where you want to do. My mother is disabled and being able to get into the room wihout stairs or walking through a big building was a huge plus. Overall we loved it and are looking forward to planning to bring more family next time.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank TorontoLove_the_sun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Greenville, PA
Level 6 Contributor
174 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2010

It was a wonderful experience. The property and the suites were spacious, clean, comfortable and beautifully situated among tropical garden settings with meandering walkways also linked by a tram. Beach was fantastic as well. Staff were very friendly and exceptionally accommodating. Food was well above average with a great selection and no one could go hungry. We are planning a return in 2011 but this time for 10 days instead of a week. Highly, HIGHLY recommend.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PAAbee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2010

When you first arrive they are extremely disorganized and unprofessional. Not only are they vulgar towards women (cursing and sexually aggressive) as soon as you arrive and attempt to check in, they don't even explain anything to you, they just send you to your room and your suppose to wait for your luggage there. Which took close to an hour.
The bungalow was gross, caved in roof, dirty, insects everywhere and the AC wasn't working properly.
The beach was beautiful but crowded, good luck finding a chair let alone a hut.
The pool was dirty small and crowded, no spots there unless you arrive at like 8am.
If you did find a spot on the beach or poolside you will get harassed by the locals to purchase anything from going on tours with them to cigars to any kind of drugs in there words "anything you want".
The food was great at the buffet, but the special dinner they had on new years for everyone was terrible. You didn't have an option of just having buffet instead or snacks afterwards you had to have there a la carte meal. The breakfast buffet was only open until 10 am so if you want to sleep in your not getting breakfast.
The restaurant staff where friendly but hardly any of them speak english, when you did speak to one that spoke english and asked for something like a drink it would come close to the end of your meal.
The towel boys sexually harassed you and were creepy so my husband had to go get the towels every time instead of me but he'd get harassed to buy tours or drugs.
The entertainment was lame and the same show almost every night. By the third night we had there performances memorized. Although one night their music wouldn't stop skipping, one dancers top didn't fit so it kept falling down throughout the show and pillars on the sides of the stage fell almost landing on a dancer and the crowd.
The Casino was small but okay.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SNCN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ontario
1 review
Reviewed January 6, 2010

The staff were rude, the rooms were dirty and smellyand we had 4 twin beds. The food wasn't great as it was usually cold and not necessarily cooked well and there was no variety for children, and the main restaurant always smelled like sewage. Equipment for activities were not available and the kids were able to play tennis one day and then told they couldn' the next. The beach was fantastic except for the peddlers. I have traveled alot and this was the worst vacation we have ever been on.
Save your money.
My sister got married there and it was beautiful but we had our own minister and we went off resort for the reception.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank edwardonatrio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bavaro Princess All Suites Resort, Spa & Casino

Property: Bavaro Princess All Suites Resort, Spa & Casino
Address: Av. Italia, Playas de Bavaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#24 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#27 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#34 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#34 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#34 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#35 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#36 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Bavaro Princess All Suites Resort, Spa & Casino 4*
Number of rooms: 808
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Bavaro Princess, situated in the Dominican Republic in an area renowned for its incomparable beauty, the quality of the sand and the clarity of the water on the famous Bavaro Beach. Accommodation at this prestigious resort more than meets the expectations of the most demanding of customers.136 splendid Platinum Suites, 16 Honeymoon Spa Suites, 82 functional Junior Suites, or the 572 spacious and fully equipped Bungalow Suites, provide the ideal added value to enjoy an unforgettable holiday. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bavaro Princess Punta Cana
Bavaro Princess Resort Punta Cana
Bavaro Princess Hotel Punta Cana
Hotel Bavaro Princess
Punta Cana Bavaro Princess Hotel Resort
Princess Bavaro
Bavaro Princess Dominican Republic
Bavaro Princess Hotel Dominican Republic
Bavaro Princess All Suites Resort Spa & Casino
Princess Hotel Punta Cana

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