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“Worst vacation destination ever!” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of whala!bavaro

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whala!bavaro
Ranked #83 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Weymouth, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Worst vacation destination ever!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 24, 2014

This is the first review ever written by us after travelling south for 11 years also no nightly entertainment unless you call a worker nearly gassed us all by the second pool with fumigation products Beachfront hotel ,no you have to walk to the beach which is shared by royal vacation club,no free wifi in lobby,no 24hr bar closes at 11pm,only cheap drinks not even there local rum if you wanted that you had to pay money for that 7:00$ for one, constant sewer smell at 2nd pool and bar,BBQ supper at 2nd bar and pool with complimentary sewer smell couldn't eat,same smell at main buffet,main buffet choice of 12 things,no bacon for a week,constant vendor hassle on beach,got items stolen from room which was reported to front desk they just shrugged it off,construction at 7:00 am for 5days out of 7days,bathing shower salt water taste,met British couple on a two week stay they ate out for the last 6days,well must say maids were good and staff friendly

Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
6 Thank Vicki M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Estelle L, Gerente at whala!bavaro, responded to this review, March 31, 2014
Dear Vicky,
Thanks for your feedback and we are deeply sorry that your expectations weren't fullfilled during your stay, as our management and all our employees work on that.
We take note of all your comments in order to always improve satisfaction and content of our clients.
Kind regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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881 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (93)
Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 22, 2014

Stayed here in Feb, just haven't got round to leaving feedback yet. Stayed 12 days with the mrs, beach, sun all over tan get the business done. Room and outfit ok. The basic style was v.little money suited our pockets at the minute. Staff all quick to smile and offer to try to get what you ask for(try hard). Location has the best beaches, they are on the money as far as sand and warm sea. Next time I could do with two full weeks here. Felt at home more or less straight away. Think we've found our alter egos in sandals and no socks. Three star paradise. 9/10.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Robin L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 20, 2014

A long awaited week with my sister on a sun holiday was better than a facelift. The airport set the scene, warm breeze hot sun and palm trees..... hello this is more like it!
Cutesy guy on the main desk, showed us around the dining room, pool area and off to the room. Clean and holiday happy style, we booked a standard room and it was fine. Easy going staff, buffet restaurant was good the times we went. Had many relaxed meals on the beach, it was so beautiful we couldn't tear ourselves away from it. Taking a trip here was the best idea, headed home with wonderful memories and a pact to do it all over again in a couple of seasons. Maybe even bring the boys....

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Rita H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 17, 2014

The best thing at this hotel are the chamber maids always happy, friendly, and do a good job cleaning the rooms fresh bedding and towels every other day. The worst thing about this hotel
(The list is a little longer) the bar staff are ignorant, the food is disgusting, the sun beds are few, the smell from the the cesspit can be smelt everyday for most of the day, the noise levels from other rooms is high, the location s not on the beach so no beautiful beach views, one pool out of the three is ok, the water out of the taps is salty and undrinkable, all drinks are served in flimsy small plastic water cups, and even thou the cocktail list is extensive they seem only to make red, green or blue piña coladas. Should you wish to order drinks that's not included in the all inclusive, you can do so at a pricey sum of several $ s and this will be served in a polystyrene cup with more ice than spirit!!!!!!

There s a local bar and several really good restaurants well within walking distance and are very highly recommended to visit rather than eat this disgusting food that does make you ill.

Overall extremely poor, we will not be returning or recommending it to friends and family.

Room Tip: Up grade to little apartments out the back of hotel
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank TracyMo8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Estelle L, Propietario at whala!bavaro, responded to this review, March 27, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to review our property. I would like to offer my sincerest apologies for the inconveniences caused to you and that the hotel wasn't at the level you expected. We will take note of all your comments in order to improve our services. Thank you. Kind regards.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peterborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2014

i lost my iphone4s in this hostel!!1 do not go there!!! Staff was ok, they give my apartment after this accident. But still it is dangerous place to spend nice holiday. Managers was helping but it is not enough. I fill scare. Somebody comes to hotel area and grab me after supper. It is not acceptable.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank mimu2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Estelle L, Gerente at whala!bavaro, responded to this review, March 27, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to review our property.
We are deeply sorry for what happened during your stay and the inconveniences caused to you. Our staff as you mentioned did their best to help you and we understand your concerns. Thank you very much. Kind regards.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
36 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 13, 2014

I would say that Whala!Bavaro is fairly rated at a 3 star. It has great potential but has been neglected. We, fortunately, had chosen the upgrade to a Jr. Suite as we heard from several other guests after we had arrived that the many of the rooms left a lot to be desired. The area where the Jr. Suites are located is very nice, beyond the lobby/buffet/first pool area and the second pool area. There six-4 room buildings in this area, two rooms per story. There is a very nice pool in the middle of the buildings. It has the feeling of a separate resort altogether.
ROOMS:
I had viewed pictures of the rooms on various websites and find them to be misleading. The living area was nice with a wicker loveseat and chair, sofa table and buffet like piece of furniture containing the mini fridge. There is no coffee maker in the room. You are given 2 bottles of water in the fridge on arrival and are then required to refill these from various water coolers on the property - one of which is in the Jr. Suite area.
The bedroom had a double bed (not queen size as indicated on some websites), two night stands, a desk with a TV on top (remote control for the TV didn't work) and a chair. There is a fair sized closet with a small safety deposit box inside. You pay $15 per week for the use of this SD box. Our closet doors didn't function properly as they seemed to be stuck in the tracks. I found the bed to be quite hard, the sheets of poor quality as they were rough on the skin. There was no blanket on the bed, just the top sheet and the bedspread.
There are two "bath" rooms - one with the toilet and a bidet (non-functioning), the other with the vanity sink and shower. As mentioned in other reviews, the bathroom water is salty. For the most part the water never got more than cool to lukewarm. The hair dryer in the bathroom didn't work.
The room is advertised as having a jacuzzi but there was a door that was screwed closed and we later learned that this is where the jacuzzi was located. Apparently once they break, the rooms are just sealed rather than fixing the tubs. This was a common problem as indicated by other occupants of the area whom we spoke with.
Our maid did an excellent job of cleaning the room, was very pleasant despite a language barrier. We asked for an additional pillow and received it within half an hour.
On our final night in the hotel, our air conditioner broke. When we reported the problem to the front desk, they sent a repairman right away and the AC was fixed within an hour.
There is a very nice "restaurant/bar" in the Jr. Suite area but it is not operating. Too bad as it would have been a great selling feature for the upgrade.
The grounds are beautifully kept with nice palm trees and various flowering shrubs and other greenery. Everything was clean.
FOOD
The food was hit and miss. Some nights the buffet was quite good and others, not at all. The soup was always good when I had it (which was fairly often as there were times that was all I found to eat at the buffet). To be fair, I don't like fish and am not fond of pork. The beef was often tough but the sauces on the meats were very flavorful. Dessert selections were very good. Sometime, the fruit selections were limited. Breakfast was good. The omelet chef was friendly and made an excellent omelet to your specifications.
The wait staff in the buffet were always smiling, singing and very friendly.
There is an a la carte apparently but we didn't hear about it until nearly the end of our two weeks so never used it. It supposedly had a fixed menu that you pre-ordered from or you could pay for beef or lobster ($17).
There is a snack bar at the beach where you could have fries, burgers, hot dogs. The "chef" running this was very unpleasant. He often would walk away when you went up to order saying to come back in half an hour. He was slow, putting only one or two burgers on the grill at a time despite having many people lined up for food. We made a complaint to the front desk when we were checking out and were told that he would no longer be working the snack bar.
FRONT DESK
The front desk staff were always friendly and helpful, particularly ROBERTO and SANTANA! All spoke excellent English.
BEACH
The beach is a short walk down a road from the hotel. You have to walk through a building which houses a gift shop on one side and a Royal Holiday (timeshare sales) on the other. The timeshare salesmen are quite persistent but left us alone once they understood we were not going to listen to a presentation or buy in. The beach itself is nice but small. The lounge chairs were often taken by early in the morning. Many of these chairs could use replacement or refurbishing as they have been well used are getting loose and saggy. There are some people on the beach selling things but I didn't find them a problem. I believe Security discourages them from being intrusive. At times the beach itself was a bit dirty with weeds etc. The water had some garbage (water bottles, bags etc.) floating in it. There were days when the water was very weedy which is a bit unpleasant. There are many activities you could pursue if you wished such as para sailing, party boats, an interesting boat/plane combination, kayaks, boats to take you snorkeling etc.
We were told it wasn't really safe to go down to the beach at night as there were not so nice individuals who could cause you harm.
There were massage tables at the beach and 3 members of our party had massages and said they were excellent. $20 for half an hour (back only) $40 for full hour (back and front). Ask for Juanita!
TOWELS
Available from the front desk for a deposit of $10 each. You could only replace them on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Therefore, you had to dry them each day on your balcony. This despite a request not to hang things from the balconies in the welcome envelope!
BARS
Again, advertising indicates two bars. I guess they mean the beach bar and the one at the second pool. So once the beach time was over, there really was only one. This bar closed at 10pm I believe.
THE AREA/OTHER ACTIVITIES
There are many convenience stores within walking distance of the hotel. There are also many restaurants. We went to D'Angelo's Italian restaurant several times and the food/prices were very good. We also went to Danny's Sport Bar and Grill several times where the food was good. We took the free shuttle from the hotel to the San Juan mall one day. It was just a mall like any at home really but it was a break from the beach and sun for a few hours.
CONCLUSION
Whala!Bavaro could be quite nice if some attention were paid to upgrading some aging facilities and noting which items were complimented and which were criticized. The Jr. Suite area could be sold as an exclusive upgrade if the rooms were renovated, repairs made and the buffet/bar in that area opened for meals and beverages. We felt that many would pay a premium for the privacy, exclusive pool and private meals/bar area for just those guests who could be identified by a different wrist band perhaps.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank gimmeabeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bucharest, Romania
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 13, 2014

Hello,we just got back from 2 weeks at Whala!We book our trip from a travel agent and we request better condition being honeymooners,so we had double superior room,but when we got there i told this at reception and they said they don't care cos they cant offer better in case we don't pay extra,so they give us a standard room first in the first part of the building and that was awful! We couldn't sleep there for 14 nights and i got back at reception and complained and was told they can change our room only next day, but they do it on-purpose to make u tip them,so they give us a suit and we made upgrade 30$ per day,( if i knew im gonna pay 1400 euro for 2 weeks at a 3* hotel i would choose different),so at last they give me 70$ discount and we booked the suit which was much better but not best,old furniture,doors not locking,old tv,salty water in shower and sink,rusty bath equipment,stained mattress.Anyway the rooms they have on site in pictures its their best rooms, they don't put pics with bad ones,or destroyed places,room service daily (cleaning lady's deserve 1$/day). Another problem it was they made us write a paper we agree if something missing,in case we don't pay for safe 15$/per week, which again its like u sing a theft agreement,10$ deposit for towels for the sunbeds.Mosquito's and bugs,bad smell from sewerage,in one morning i saw big rat crossing the path,in the room and also bad smell from sewerage.The food its very poor for AI,fish and chicken its almost everyday,for breakfast 2 variety's of salami and cheese,omlette and yogurt,bad coffee, and only 1 machine in the all resort.It's true u won't starve but its the poorest AI i ever saw. Drinks again not to much, white and red wine, drought beer,and some local liquors,Pepsi ,7Up from the bottle, orange juice from the syrup . At bar no list with drinks, they keep it hidden..At the beach bar, the buffet they have its very poor, it was this guy cooking and everything u ask (only fried chicken,french fries and burgers) took 20 minutes...awful again..the drinks at the beach bar was same, beer,wine,rum,vodka..they only make 2 cocktails but not complete:Pina Colada (rum+pineapple juice) and Cuba Libre (rum+cola) ..if u ask different they will change but they don't have all ingredients for the cocktail list they have so u better stick to what they give u..On the beach they have sun beds but i cant say enough,(some days ppl stand on towels) and a part of them r already old..BEWARE of the ROYAL HOLIDAYS guy's...it's a scam.The hotel it's not safe at all. We booked a trip to Saona Island which it's amazing (if u go there don't book it in reception ,or u pay 100$/person), on the beach it;s a small office,behind the bar it's an Italian guy and another local one so u can negotiate, we paid 50$/person cos it was 4 of us,but even so they made an offer for 60$/person...If u go to their malls or trips on the ocean,drivers ask tip every time,so pushy..The stores on the beach r expensive, they asked 9$ for a magnet, and we paid 2$ in the end...we bought their traditional drink Mama Juana and we paid 20$ per bottle,75 ml and in the San Juan Mall it was 12$ same quantity,we bought a paint from the beach and she asked 85$ but i give her 23.5$ and in the airport it was 10$.U r not safe outside, a couple that was with us in the trip to Saona was robbed, they took his safe from the wall in our hotel, another woman was almost robbed too,in front of reception, they cut her purse stripe but her husband fight with them and save it from their hands.Maybe employees deal with thefts.. who knows..Internet its 30$/week but its not good signal and its not working at the beach..NO entertainment at all, the only good thing was Saturday,pool BBQ but u have to be there 6.30 pm to book a table cos BBQ start at 7.00,and its very crowded(not enough tables) every Tuesday Mexican night,i can say good food, and in their a-la-cart restaurant its totally different but u spend 90 min for dinner, i paid 17$ for lobster but it wasn't fresh and they didn't cook it tasty and serve it with french fries,in rest everything we took pork,chicken,fish was good taste. Employees r not all smiling, i know they r poor but it's their lost if they r not friendly(some of them deserve tip).. A lot of Russian people, OMG! After u read my review and want more info's,contact me in case u wanna go there.Good Luck!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Nicol N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about whala!bavaro

Property: whala!bavaro
Address: El Cortecito | Bávaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (Formerly Alisios Bavaro Beach Hotel)
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in Punta Cana
#39 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#70 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#73 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — whala!bavaro 3*
Number of rooms: 157
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in front of the beach, whala!Bavaro is the ideal place to enjoy the summer heat. Bavaro Beach is part of the Dominican Republic most exclusive coast resorts, thanks to its fine white sand bathed by the beautiful Caribbean Sea with crystal clear and emerald tone waters. Located in front of the beach, whala!Bavaro is the ideal place to enjoy the summer heat. The hotel is located in an excellent location that offers a wide variety of sport and leisure activities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Alisios Bavaro Beach Hotel
Hotel Alisios Bavaro Beach

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