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.
- 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