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Reviewed February 6, 2017

I normally don’t write reviews, but I felt compelled to here after seeing all of the negative comments. I must admit that many of the reviews here had me pretty nervous for our vacation, but overall we had a amazing time at Sunscape Bavaro Beach!!

For me, the warm weather and time spent with awesome people is all I really needed for a fun and relaxing vacation. Really you can’t complain too much when it’s sunny and 85, but I’ve summarized below a few things that may be good for readers to be aware of heading in:

Pools: The pools are awesome! The main pool is the liveliest and has a great swim-up bar and fun activities, games and music all day. There are floats in all of the pools to use which I loved. You had to get to the main pool early for prime chairs, but the quiet pool always had ample chairs. The quiet pool was great for the afternoon when there was direct sun. There was lots of shade at all the pools too if that’s your preference. There are no working hot tubs which was kind of disappointing.

Beach: As others have mentioned, there was recently a bad storm that eroded a large portion of the beach and there are large eco-bags to save what’s left. I was worried this would ruin the beach for us, but I didn’t think it was nearly as bad as others made it out to be. The eco-bags don’t impair your ability to swim and enjoy the warm, clean water and if the view bothers you, you can walk 50 feet on either side and have wide open beach/water. I enjoyed several walks and runs on the beach in the morning and you can walk/run for many miles in either direction and it’s gorgeous.

Grounds: The grounds are beautiful and there were always many people working tirelessly planting, raking, mowing, etc. to keep them that way. The sewage smell is nowhere near as bad as some people here have made it out to be. You can faintly smell it in a couple of walkways, but it isn’t a lingering or overpowering smell by any means.

Food: Food was so-so. Some highlights for me were the steak house, Hibachi (with Rafael twice!), Coco Café for espresso and light snacks, and the pizza shop where you could grab slices as you wanted (including at the end of the night). The buffets were ok, seemed pretty standard to me, and a lot of American junk food (hamburgers, fried chicken, hot dogs, etc.) which isn’t really my thing. I would have liked more fresh fish options, local Dominican cuisine (there was none) and/or a Mexican restaurant. It also would have been nice to have the option to order lunch service through a cocktail waitress. I would recommend the smaller lunch spot by the quiet pool for lunch solely because it’s the only place you can get guacamole! A few people in our group (myself included) did experience some stomach-issues, but hard to say if that was from the food.

Drinks: The liquor is all local brands and is generally really bad. I found only the rum to be drinkable. They tried hard to make fun, creative daily drink specials, but for me the low quality alcohol was probably what I had the biggest issue with at this resort. As others mentioned, they were completely out of straws. I’d recommend bringing your own cup! We loved Kelvin and Rico (and his famous shots) at the swim-up bar, Oliver at the quiet pool bar, and Vladimir at the lobby bar.

Entertainment: The entertainment staff here made our trip memorable. We loved King Kong, Sexy Papi, Marlon, Sexy Monkey, Catwoman, Beyonce, and Yamal/Scooby Doo. They were all so much fun and joked around with us and felt like friends by the end. The actual shows were hit or miss. I loved the acrobats and karaoke night was a lot of fun. There is also a “club” which we had fun in (although we usually were among the only ones up there). FYI – they play the same music throughout the resort on a loop (whether at the pool, bar, lounge, wherever) and LOVE Bruno Mars. Be prepared to hear 24k Magic and Who Let the Dogs Out (remixed, of course) at least 9 times per day.

Casino: The casino is a complete sham. Avoid it at all costs. The people who work here will actively steal your money and lie to your face.

Gym: Very impressive gym with many machines and equipment and an awesome playlist!

Apple vacations: This was our first time booking with them. We had to wait for other passengers to take the shuttle from the airport to the resort for over an hour which was frustrating when we wanted to just get there. Otherwise, everything else worked out well.

I’m not sure if I would return to this resort, but overall I thought Sunscape Bavaro Beach was a great value and we had a really fun vacation! Don’t worry about all the negativity on here – unless you are a super picky person, you too will have a nice time here.

Date of stay: January 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
8  Thank carbro88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marcelle E, Social Media Coordinator at Sunscape Bavaro Beach Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded February 7, 2017

Dear Guest,

We would like to express you our gratitude for your positive remarks and sharing with us your past experience in our property. It is truly a pleasure for us to learn that you enjoyed your stay.

Thank you again for your kind comments and we hope to have the occasion of receiving you in our property in the near future.

Cordially,

Marcelle Eusebio
eConcierge
Sunscape Bavaro Beach Punta Cana

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2017

We were a group of 12 at Sunscape Bavaro - Deluxe Pool View. We arrived approx. 5pm on a Saturday. Check in for our 6 rooms took approximately 20 minutes until all of us had room keys. We had 2 rooms in 11, 14, and 15. All had 2nd or 3rd floor pool view rooms as requested. There was an air conditioning problem in one room which was looked after that evening. It broke again the next day, it was fixed on the third day. All rooms were nice and clean. Mini bars, coffee, tea stocked in room. All rooms were cleaned each day and restocked.

We spent most of our day around the activity pool. A lot of people save chairs, but we were always able to find chairs for our group if we went down at 8:30. There are no umbrellas, but ample area with shade provided by the full size palm trees. There are floaties provided in the pool. The pool bartenders Rigo and Kelvin are the nicest guys! Always a greeting and a smile on their face! Angela is one of the pool waitresses, very friendly and such a nice person! We enjoyed the water aerobics each day in the pool at noon. A great way to stay active and enjoy the sunshine. We also participated in some of the other activities or games that changed on a daily basis. One day they brought in a huge inflatable slide and later in the afternoon a huge inflatable obstacle course that was a lot of fun!

The breakfast buffet has a large variety of items and you should be able to find something to your liking. At lunch we ate at the pizza shop, sunset grill or the burger/hot dog place close to the beach. The grill has the BEST fried chicken! Always a nice variety of tasty options! Rotisseire chicken, paella, pork chops, beef pieces in gravy, pasta, salads, ribs, mashed potato's. All of this while looking at the sun, sand and ocean. I have to say lunch was a favourite of mine!

In the evening we enjoyed the Sunset grill which turns into a steak house. They were able to seat our group immediately on 2 different occasions. We made sure we showed up at opening and did not have any problems. A little confusion with our orders, however all was good! We did the hibachi / Chopsticks 2 nights. The tables seat 10. We went at 5:30 the first night and were seated immediately. Finished our meal by 6:15. Another evening we went after 6 and had a 30 minute wait. The meal and show was very good! Rice, veg, chicken, beef and shrimp. Nice to sample all of it. Fried icecream for dessert. A few in our group tried the French restaurant. They had the French onion soup which was awesome. They also had chicken and steak and advised it was very good!

We would enjoy a few drinks before or after dinner at Coconuts the beach bar. Nice place to sit and chill while enjoying views of the sand and ocean. Santos is a great bartender! If it was a quiet evening you could enjoy a nice conversation with him. If it was busy, he did an amazing job to make sure he looked after everyone!

The cons - A lot of our group had problems every now and then with upset tummys. Can't really say if it was the resorts fault or possibly a stomach bug.
No premium or even recognizable liquors, all domestic.
Sewer smells - yes you can smell it in different areas, however it is only at pump stations. These stations need to be vented or the resort would blow up. We have smelled that at every resort we have been at, however maybe some resorts have the stations positioned better. The only reason I have mentioned this is due to the number of negative comments on previous reviews and wanted to clear up questions.

The resort looks big on the map, however we found it very compact and easy to get anywhere quickly. Very nice layout, and beautiful foliage with the mature trees.
Overall, a great place which all of us enjoyed and did not want to leave.

Room tip: Building 15 was very central and close to pool, beach, buffet, lobby.
Date of stay: February 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank Jim M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marcelle E, Social Media Coordinator at Sunscape Bavaro Beach Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded February 6, 2017

Dear Jim,

We are pleased to hear you had a great stay with us and were able to enjoy our Resort; we thank you for choosing out hotel and for taking the time to let us know how your stay was.

We are fortunate to had you as our customer and we do hope you will be back to visit us again on your next trip to our Country.

Cordially,

Marcelle Eusebio
eConcierge
Sunscape Dominican Beach Punta Cana

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2017

Service was excellent. The staff is helpful, friendly and fun. There are several activities that go on throughout the day on the beach and by the pools. Also some live music and entertainment at night. The resort was recently remodeled and they are still working on updates and fixing up the place.

Our building did occasionally smell like sewer as well as a few other areas in the resort.

The food at the buffet wasn't overly fantastic. The restaurants however, have excellent food! I highly recommend the French, Asian and Italian restaurants.

The spa has different deals everyday and some staff members will walk around the beach giving out "free" (most people tipped) 5 minute massages and will then tell you about the deals. We got a buy one get one free deal. The massages were excellent.

The beach is okay. There are a lot of palm tree roots in the sand which aren't fun to walk on. There were sandbags in the sand which were being removed the day we left. There were large unattractive looking wave breakers in the water. You can walk several miles each way from the hotel and the beaches are beautiful. You can see locals with monkeys and iguanas. There are stores to shop at. There are also opportunities to parasail, go kayaking, wind surfing, etc.

A couple times per week the hotel allows people to come in and sell local artwork, vanilla, rum, stone carvings, etc. They are impossible to avoid when walking through the resort and are quite annoying.

The rooms were clean. Our mini fridge was always restocked with bottled water. You need to use a room key to turn on the lights/air conditioning. If you take the key out the lights and air conditioning will turn off within a few minutes. Once you open the patio door the air conditioning turns off. If you close the patio door completely when on the balcony you are locked out. It's a great "eco friendly" feature but took some getting used to. The bathrooms throughout the resort also have energy saving features. If you are in a bathroom stall for more than a minute, the lights will go out and you will be in complete darkness until you open up your stall door or another person walks into the bathroom.

Overall, our stay was good.

Date of stay: January 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank Meg H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marcelle E, Social Media Coordinator at Sunscape Bavaro Beach Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded February 6, 2017

Dear Meg,

Thank you so much for choosing to stay with us on your visit to the Dominican Republic!

We truly appreciate you taking the time to let us know you enjoyed your stay at Sunscape Bavaro Beach Punta Cana. We are pleased to hear how much our staff took excellent care of you in all areas of the hotel. Your comments toward the improvements you consider will suit our hotel will definitely be taken into consideration.

Please come back to visit us again on your next trip to our country.

Cordially,

Marcelle Eusebio
eConcierge
Sunscape Bavaro Beach Punta Cana

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2017

Lots of issues with this place in my opinion. Eight of us stayed from January 28 to February 4. The biggest frustration is the language barrier here. We've been to the DR before, and never had this many issues in communication. This place would benefit greatly from more bilingual staff.

Front desk: Very undertstaffed. When they need 2 people, there's one available. If they need 3 or 4, there's only ever 2. Check in was VERY slow. The staff was not rude in any way, but must have been frustrated with the length of the check ins. Every time at the front desk was a line up of no less than 10 minutes. Keep in mind, There were 8 of us - 5 rooms, so not just me remarking on this. After 45 minutes waiting in line at check in, one of our group was extremely frustrated. Not a great way to start a vacation. We weren't allowed to check out unless we did the survey... this should be an option in my opinion. Maybe we misread this on our way out, language barriers in every aspect here.

Food: We've travelled quite a bit, and the buffet has about half the selection of other places we've been. Food was ok, 3 of our group ended up sick including me - and 5 days later I'm still sick, so I can't comment much on the food. We went to the steak house before I got sick - and it was excellent. Best burgers we've ever had in the South. We also tried the Italian - I was the only one of the 8 of us that liked it. SUPER hot in the building, and no fans - very uncomfortable. Sit on the balcony if going there, there's always a beautiful breeze. The desserts there are amazing though. BIG language barriers here too. I couldn't get milk in my tea, because no one could understand what I said, we asked for coffee 3 times one morning, and we were totally ignored. I don't think they were being rude, they just didn't understand.

Pools - lovely. Many people commented the water was cold - and it is. Lots of places to swim, and very family oriented, so lots of kids splashing and playing and shouting. if you're looking for a quiet adult getaway, this is definitely NOT the place. There are little ones everywhere, and this is a great place for families. We didn't enjoy that aspect, as our children are grown and gone, but we chose to go there, so no complaint from us. Plus there's a quiet pool, but we like a swim up bar... so there you go. But just keep in mind, there are kids shouting/screaming/crying at the pool, the buffets, the beach, and lots of them. I'm glad there's lots for them to do, and I do recommend this place for anyone with a family. Language was a problem here too.... no matter how many times I asked for agua - I heard back "no, no - you drinky drinky!!! You on vacation!" Bartenders for the most part are great, some understand some English and if you can connect with one you'll get great service from them,

Rooms: I was in the room for one whole day, so I will do a bit of nitpicking here. Rooms are clean and well kept. But by the end of the week, the maids weren't even finishing making our beds or stocking the fridge .... I don't know why - I tipped them every day. In a place where the water is undrinkable - 4 small bottles really isn't enough. So I would ask for more - but again, the language barrier - I just couldn't get through to them. Again, they were in no way rude, but it was an extremely frustrating part of our trip. The first time I turned on the shower - the hand held, unkown to me, was broken and dropped off the wall and water sprayed the opposite side of the shower. Went outside to hang my bathing suit on the balcony to dry, and saw that we had a little hanger, so pulled on that and IT ripped out of the wall! We were on the third floor, and our room was HOT! We had the a/c on constantly at 15 degrees, but it never cooled beyond 23-24 degrees. I don't think it was the a/c not working, I think it was just plainly the fact that we were on the third floor and heat rises. Fans would be VERY beneficial in rooms that can't be cooled with a/c. Stay on the ground floor if you can.

Other things here that we've never seen anywhere else -no straws in the drinks.... really? If this hotel is cheaping out and trying to save money on something like straws they are in BIG trouble. Cups are only rinsed not really washed, so everyone is putting their mouths on cups being handed on to the next person. Bring your own drinking glass. We watched someone trying to drink a frozen drink and it fell into his face and into the pool. At least we got a laugh from it. Very strange not to provide a straw in a drink.

And the smell of septic is very intense outside of some of the buildings. Really strong and off putting. Because this place is still trying to find its way, there's no foliage of any kind to look at, everything is new.

I think this place is working hard to get better, but nowhere near a 4 star yet. Solid 2.5 3 star at MOST. We've stayed in 3 star resorts, better than this one. Really disappointing trip for us, and I'm surprised the reviews are so amazing. We really are not picky people, and maybe it's because in 10 years, this is the first time I've gotten so sick anywhere, but it not only turned me off the resort, it turned me off the country. Of all 8 of us, none of us are returning to this place, and likely not the DR at all anymore. We always try to keep in mind that we are in a different country, and things are different down there, but this was just a little too much for us.

If you get an offer to get a free ride to Nicole's don't bother. There's NO deals, you're better off to buy from the vendors that go to the resort.

Date of stay: January 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank Mary-LYnn G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marcelle E, Social Media Coordinator at Sunscape Bavaro Beach Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded February 6, 2017

Dear Mary-Lynn,

Thank you very much for sharing your comments and impressions. We regret that your vacations not were as expected. We extend our most sincere apologies, our client’s opinion is of great importance to us, it makes us grow and improve our service quality.

We are surprised this is the impression you got from our staff this because one of our main tools are the good customer with warmth and friendliness at all times

Thanks for choosing us we hope you to visit us again.

Best Regards

Marcelle Eusebio
eConcierge
Sunscape Bavaro Beach Punta Cana

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2017 via mobile

Amazing staff! A lot to do, attentive staff, great entertainment. Lots to do, water aerobics, Zumba, yoga and so much more. Relaxing and fun getaway with the girls. Bar service is great and super friendly. Good food and many options. Several pools, something for everyone. I would recommend this resort for a great vacation. David in entertainment is fabulous and Javier in dining was great!

Date of stay: February 2017
Trip type: Traveled with friends
1  Thank bethflem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marcelle E, Social Media Coordinator at Sunscape Bavaro Beach Punta Cana, responded to this reviewResponded February 6, 2017

Dear Beth,

Your views and comments help us improve our services in order to ensure the best possible holiday experience for all guests. We appreciate your constructive review, which we will surely be revising with our management team for measures to be taken.

Thank you for sharing your comments regarding your past stay with us, all the best.

Kind Regards,

Marcelle Eusebio
eConcierge
Sunscape Bavaro Beach Punta Cana

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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