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Reviewed December 6, 2012

This was our first time in this hotel,though we have travelled to the DR many times before.
It realy is a nice hotel and the service on average was very good.Beautiful beach ,nice pools and for a change,a comfy bed.Room was cleaned well and after the customery tip our bar fridge was stocked daily.
However the real trouble i think with the foods bland and sameness is the fact that this is a hotel complex of Iberostars of varying standards and they all need a collosal supply daily,this must affect the variation and selection available.Please dont think the food is poor it is just repetative in the Buffet and boring in the Restaurants,and for the price you pay it is disapointing.

As was mentioned the towel game is alive and well around the pools and not so much on the beach.The day beds around the pool are the only shade and as we dont get up at 4am usualy we had no chance,people were tipping the staff to save them early on as the hotel was pretty full.This thing goes on everywhere we know but to see towels on empty shade beds the whole day is annoying and for the price again dissappointing.

On a good note the pool and bar service was excellent,big thanks to Rosie and Maria they realy work hard as do most of the staff at this Resort.The people we met were great big hello and all the best to Spencer and Nancy,keep your head down.The Golf is excellent we heard ,we dont play ourselves,and you dont have to hire a caddy which is nice.

All in all the Hotel was good but again for the price it should be great,and in our view it was a little disappointing,especialy after braving the utter shambles of Punta Cana airport.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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5  Thank pjwinter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IberostarHotelsRD, Quality Manager Iberostar República Dominicana at Iberostar Grand Bavaro, responded to this reviewResponded December 8, 2012

Dear guest,
First of all we would like to thank you for choosing the Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro for your holidays and for posting your experience in Tripadvisor.
We appreciate your positive valuation about the service provided by our staff at the pool, especially by Maria and Rossy. One of our guiding principles is to provide the best service so our guest can “enjoy being a Star”.
On the other hand, our Management team has received all your suggestions regarding the reservation of shades by the pool and the flavor of our international cuisine. Thank you for valuable feedback.
In case you decide to visit us again, please feel free to contact us.
Yours sincerely,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2012

We have just returned after spending 2 weeks at the Iberostar Grand.

The Iberostar estate is huge - after going through the security entrance you drive for about 2km past golf courses and villa / condo estates before getting to the Grand. It has a 1 km beach front with 4 resorts, all of which Grand guests can access (but not the other way round).

The Grand is stunning with very well maintained and manicured gardens, water-features, wild-life pond, swimming pools (bizarrely no-one swims, they just stand and drink and talk amongst themselves) and beach area. We hadn't appreciated from pictures quite how big it was. We had emailed a week before arriving to request a high floor room facing inward and we couldn't have been more pleased with our allocation. We had also requested some specific dinner reservations and these were waiting for us on arrival too.

In the first day or two we did feel the resort was immaculate but a little sterile in atmosphere, but we increasingly warmed to it as we got to see and know the staff - they are what makes this resort special. Without exception all the bar, waiting and entertainments staff were exceptional - always cheerful and friendly. We have to mention the lovely Sandra who brought us drinks most days near the pool - her smile was always a ray of sunshine.

We met about 5 different butlers over the 2 weeks. They were helpful in sorting out minor problems, but we did have an issue booking the Chinese restaurant in one of the other hotels - our butler booked a Japanese one for us, repeatedly insisting it was Chinese when we queried. (difficulties with dinner reservations have been reported in countless other reviews). There was also a nice touch when we arrived back in our room a couple of times to find a bottle of wine chilling, but had to go hunting a butler to open it as rooms do not have corkscrews.

We tried a few of the activities to break up the day - air rifle shooting was our favourite and my wife showed an unexpected talent there, winning most times.

There is a huge range of drinks and food on offer. The breakfast room service was on time and exceptional. We ate most lunches in the poolside buffet - not sure why the hotel has 2 buffets serving essentially the same food? We ate at the Surf & Turf (good), Gourmet (very rich food) and Japanese (tepanyaki was very salty).

Had everything gone well, we would have come home rested after a fantastic holiday, however two things marred our stay.

4-5 days into our stay we both got an upset stomach. Mine persisted for the rest of the holiday at a low level. My wife though had 6 days of extreme discomfort. Immodium from home and other meds from the resort pharmacy didn't touch it and by the 7th day she was taken to hospital in an ambulance with severe dehydration and resultant low blood pressure. After 24 hours on a drip and pumped full of anti-biotics etc. she had recovered sufficiently to return for our final 2 days. We are now ploughing through insurance claim forms to try to recover the $2500 it all cost. We notified the hotel and they were very concerned and sympathetic and said that they would thoroughly check all their hygene standards. Having seen the cleanliness of the food areas we would have been ready to accept it as bad luck, however we have just read 2 other Tripadvisor reviews where guests had problems at the same time as us (and we met 3 other people while we were there with mild problems). We were told by management that no-one else had reported anything and we now see that the hotel has responded on Trip to one of the other guests saying that they too were an isolated case. The hotel is not being honest here and we worry about their willingness to address the problem.

The other issue should have been a minor one, but after 2 weeks became a real irritant for us and everyone else we spoke to. The resort plays music everywhere throughout the day. The was no escape in the pool, gardens, on our balconies, even in our room we could hear it. We were woken up at 7.15 one morning hearing it. What made it so irritating was that it was the same 15 or so songs played over & over & over again. We were told that it was "controlled by Spain", there was no off or volume switch, no-one knew how to change it, etc etc. The staff were clearly embarrassed and frustrated but nothing was done. After 2 days of peace (in hospital!) we returned to find one Jamie Cullen song playing on a loop for over 3 hours!!! At the time of leaving, the music had finally changed and we wish everyone arriving over the next few weeks all the best and hope they enjoy "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth" and the other Xmas classics carefully selected for them.

Sorry this has been a long review. This is a fantastic hotel with so much going for it, unfortunately there seem to be a number of issues that management simply do not seem willing or able to resolve. If you are looking for a peaceful and relaxing break this may not be the place for you.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank DerbyVoyagers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IberostarHotelsRD, Quality Manager Iberostar República Dominicana at Iberostar Grand Bavaro, responded to this reviewResponded December 7, 2012

Dear Guests,
On the behalf of Iberostar Grand Hotel Management team, we thank you for choosing our hotel premises and facilities for your holidays, and also for taking the time to post a review about your experience.
In Iberostar hotels and resorts some of our guiding principles are to provide the best service to our “stars” on vacation, to upkeep our premises and to offer the best quality of products in exquisite gastronomy so we can ensure our beloved guests memorable stays. We are pleased to read that we could achieve our goal during your visit. We will congratulate Sandra for making your holidays especial.
We thank you for your feedback and for sharing your concerns regarding how much we endeavor to give our best to our beloved guests. Allow me to clarify one more time that In Iberostar we take Hygiene seriously. We follow strict sanitary procedures and recommendations based not only on the Dominican Republic’s Regulations, but also by Saniconsult, Spanish Company, which is our external consulter. We have one special department which check and ensure that all regulations and recommendations are followed in all areas of our hotel premises and facilities. It is the Quality and Hygiene Control Department. These staff members are constantly visiting all areas to check that all regulations and recommendations as long as HACCP (Hazard analysis and critical control points) procedures are strictly followed by all staff members to reduce and eliminate potential risks. We feel deeply concerned to hear that you have left our premises and facilities with an opposite idea. I would like to reassure that in the last 15 days of November we encounter no more than 4 cases of stomach issues, according to our records, during those days our occupation was more than 400 guests daily and more than 300 employees who eat from the same food prepared by our professional cooks and chefs. Stomach pains and disorders could be associate with other factors not only lack of Hygiene or hygienically procedures. We are extremely sorry to learn of your disappointing experience at the end of your stay.
We once again thank you for taking the time to post your feedback. Our Managers are aware of the importance of listening to the voice of our customers: their suggestions, remarks, comments and concerns. We will double our effort in our quality and hygiene control.
In case you decide to visit us again, we remain personally at your entire disposition for whatever you may require of our hotel in the future.
Yours Sincerely,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2012

When I book at a property that advertises itself as the best, and most luxurious property in the area, I expect to get what they advertise, especially for what they charge. I realize that this is the Caribbean and not the Ritz or the Fairmont. My comments and comparisons are all based on previous stays at another Iberostar Grand Hotel. Therefore, Iberostar themselves set the bar that this hotel is not meeting.

I am currently staying at the Grand Bavaro the Dominican Republic. I travel often and have been a guest at many other Iberostar properties. Iberostar is our preferred hotel chain while travelling to the south. We have stayed at mid-range (in Mexico and Cuba) and high range properties, including the Grand Paraiso in the Mayan Riviera. The Grand Bavaro is advertised and sold as being of the same class as the Grand Paraiso in Mexico. I can tell you that the property is beautiful and the grounds are well taken care of, however the food quality and the level of service is well below what is advertised or what can be expected for an Iberostar "Grand" branded property. These, and the issues I will be describing below certainly do not justify the cost.

Restaurants:
There are many issues with the food quality: The beef/veal is usually very tough to the point it is not edible. This was seen in both the Surf and Turf à-la-carte and in the buffet. In the Italian à-la-carte I was severed an obviously very burnt appetizer.
After these and other issues, we decided to try the buffet. My partner decided to keep it simple and picked a hamburger for dinner. The partially cooked patties were on display in a non-refrigerated display for people to select. Upon selecting the burger the staff member took the patty and finished preparing the burger. However, when my partner took a bite of his burger, the patty was still very raw (blue rare) and cold rather then being well done as requested. Neither the burger nor the bacon on it was cooked. Not wanting to get sick by eating an undercooked and non-refrigerated burger he decided to try something else. The freshly grilled chicken breast he was served was also completely raw on the inside. One night I became ill immediately after eating dinner. Having a medical background and as I do not drink alcohol I am sure this was a result of the food.
While overall the property can use help with the food overall, I would like to say that they got it right on the “The Oriental night” in the buffet. The food on that night was very good served steaming hot and was delicious.

Service:
The service is also very poor by “Grand” or any other standards. When asking for the wine list in the à-la-carte restaurants the staff seem to be very put out. Often they come back and tell you that the wine that you asked for is not available. However, it often appeared elsewhere for other guest. It quickly became clear that if you didn't give large tips you didn't get good service or any service in some case. This does not apply to all staff, as some were very good. We found that the female staff members were much better, friendlier, and better trained on how to properly serve guests. For example, we had some staff reach in front of us to serve the person beside us rather then walk around to the side of that person or remove plates from people who where obviously still eating.

On the beach the serving staff would walk by but never ask if we wanted anything and we watched them do the same to other people. If people did flag them down and place an order they were very lucky to get it. We found many people talking about this issue. Also, beach staff would actually stop and stare at female guest on the beach to the point that it was uncomfortable. They would go out of their way to serve them while ignoring other male or older guest.

Rooms:
The rooms are much smaller than the Grand Paraiso but still very nice. I do have to say that this is the first room that I have been to in a tropical country where the air conditioning really works well. The hot tub in the room was in a great need of cleaning and servicing. A large amount of black residue/chunks came out of the jets upon filling it with water and engaging the pump. A second attempt to use the tub resulted in the same results making the tub disgustingly dirty.
We have had ongoing issues with items such as room and beach towels, thermal mugs, a TV remote and assorted glasses/cups that were taken from the room and not returned by the cleaning staff. It has gotten to the point that every time we returned to the room we would play the “guess what is missing today” game. The running joke with us is that by the end of our stay, the bed to be missing and/or the entire room would be cleared out of furniture! The hotel states clearly (in the room information binder and in room cost list brochure) that guests will be charged for missing items if they decide to “take them home”. So far, nothing has come home with us (remember, we are still here), yet many things have disappeared. We also had to track down the staff to request that mini bar be restocked even though it is supposed to be restocked daily.

Pool/Beach:
The beach is beautiful with lots of places to relax. However, the hotel allows quests to have multiple towels, which is very nice, but results in people reserving multiple poolside and beachfront loungers. This makes it almost impossible to get a cabana around the pool if you need shade or want the more comfortable bed type seat. On one occasion we seen 5 of these “reserved” cabanas never touched the entire day and could have been used by other people. At times it is impossible to get a seat around the pool at all. At the Paraiso Grand, the staff would pick up towels that were left unattended for a period of time (yes, they actually kept track of the guests and interacted with them on a regular basis) and made these spots available for other guests who were actually using them.

Room Tip: Ask for ocean view away from the disco (ship).
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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10  Thank Jay S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IberostarHotelsRD, Quality Manager Iberostar República Dominicana at Iberostar Grand Bavaro, responded to this reviewResponded December 7, 2012

Dear guest,
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on “Trip Advisor” and for your loyalty towards Iberostar Grand Hotel Collection as your holiday’s destination.
We regret to read that our hotel premises, services and quality could not meet your expectations as an Iberostar Grand Hotel Collection regular visitor although the title of your review gives us some credit. We will forward the aforementioned comments to all relevant department heads as to ensure that service is up to Iberostar Grand Hotel Collection standards. I would like to extend apologies for any and all inconveniences that you experienced during your vacation here at the Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro. It is through communications of this nature that we are given an opportunity to assess and evaluate our performance, as well as to ensure that we maintain and deliver the level of service expected from our Hotel. For the breakdown of services we will certainly take an objective approach to ascertain how best we can rectify these. Once this is done, we will do our best not to have a reoccurrence of the situations mentioned, for example the room cleaning service. Likewise, we apologize for the impression you might have gotten regarding tipping. We remind you though that tipping is always optional and completely your choice. We will be addressing this situation to ensure that our guests at no time feel pressured to tip. We would like to reassure you however that this is not a true depiction of our standards of operation here at the Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro.
Our team in Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso will be pleased to welcome you back. We remain at your entire disposition in case you decide to visit our hotel in the future.
Best regards,

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Reviewed December 5, 2012

This is our first stay with the Iberostar Resort chain and I was plesantly suprised. After a long day of travels the check-in process was easy. Our room was ready and our butler greeted us just after we had setteled in the room. Gomez was knowledgable, friendly and made all of our weeks dinner reservations for us. He quickly explained features of the room and what light switch controlled which item. The wifi in the room was nice and worked well. The mini bar has a good selection and was always stocked. Room service wait was quick. Maid service always created new towel art each day and room cleanliness was great.
This resort had the best food selection and quailty I have experienced. The dinner reservations are a hassel, but it seems to help get your food quicker. There was only 5-6 couples eating in each specialty restraunt each night. Lunch selection and waiter service was the best. I enjoyed all of the bartenders equally. The bar staff was top shelf and almost seemed to anticipate my needs.
There was a couple small touches that I noticed that seemed to stand out. The young lady that served drinks and pushed a cigar cart in the evenings was a nice touch. A dedicated cigar bar with a decent selection of smokes also impressed me.
We visited the gym a couple times in the morning and I was surprised with the quality and selection of equipment that was availible. The view from the gym was awesome. We also booked a trip to the spa. The spa lacked some ambiance and wasn't great. We had a couples hot stone message and express facial performed. The message felt nice, but the employees kept whispering to each other during the treatment. I felt like they were tallking about us the whole time. I had a pretty nasty sunburn on my forehead and after the facial it was almost gone! The quailty of the treatments impressed me, but the ambiance sucked.
Now the beach, which is why we went in the first place. The beach was soft, clean, and had comfortable chairs. The ocean was nice for swimming. The beach waiter service was the best I have ever had. I really liked this beach.

Overall I would recommend and also travel back to the Grand Bavaro in a heartbeat!
I am a beliver that this is the top resort in Punta cana.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank racer525
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IberostarHotelsRD, Quality Manager Iberostar República Dominicana at Iberostar Grand Bavaro, responded to this reviewResponded December 6, 2012

Dear guest,
We would like to thank you for having chosen Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro as the destination for your vacations also for taking the time to post a review about your stay among us.
We are much honored to read that our hotel premises, services and quality ensured you a pleasant stay and you consider us to be “the paradise” according to the title of your review. Thank you for highlighting out the excellent service that provides our staff in all areas of our hotel and the variety of our gastronomy in the nightly themed buffet, 24 hours room service and four a la carte restaurants. Iberostar Grand Hotel Collection is committed to provide the best personalized service to all our beloved guests. We will Gómez, your butler, for his remarkable work.
We extend our apologies for the spa ambiance. We have delivered your concern to the appropriated Manager to prevent this kind of uncomfortable situation in the future.
We are looking forward to welcome you back. Please contact us before your next visit.
Yours Sincerely,

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Reviewed December 5, 2012

My wife and I went to the Iberostar Grand Bavaro for our honeymoon the week of 10/27. We did quite a bit of research prior to booking at the Iberostar Grand. Since the trip was more expensive than some of the other options, I had pretty high expectations going into it. However, I must say that the extra $$$ was well worth it and I would have paid even more knowing what i know now. There is very little that I can say that hasn't already been mentioned in past reviews, but I'll give a quick summary.

The rooms are great. They are modern looking, comfortable and have everything you need. Remember, if you are doing it right, you are not going to spend too much time in your room anyhow. The butler service was great though we didn't utilize our butler (Mendy) for much of anything. He was always there when we needed him though, I thought he was awesome.

The food was great, particularly considering the fact it's an all-inclusive resort. This was my 4th all inclusive and I can't even start to explain how much better the food was at the Iberostar compared to the other resorts. The buffet was great, we actually skipped our restaurant reservations one night in favor of the buffet. As for the restaurants, we really liked the surf and turf and the Japanese. We didn't care for the Italian based on our preferences. We skipped the French restaurant based on feedback and our affinity for the buffet.

The drinks were great. Top shelf liquor was available in the lobby bar and also the bar on the ship. The pool bar had some good liquor but not all the same that is available in the lobby. Overall, no complaints whatsoever. Also, for beer drinkers, you can get bottled Budweiser and Corona from the lobby and ship bars, i thought this was pretty awesome.

Last, the service was INCREDIBLE. I was so impressed with the staff. They are beyond friendly and never seem bothered aside from the grump that works in the towel shed. We particularly loved Edwin, Boom Boom, Manuel and the lady who works the omelette station (such a happy face to see in the morning). We tipped pretty regularly and quite honestly I felt like we should have tipped even more. Yes, it's all inclusive and not mandatory to tip, but it's a 3rd world country and our tips go a long way for these guys who works 12 day rotations with only 2 days off in between. Thank you to everyone at the Iberostar for making our trip so memorable, we are already planning on going back next year.

Room Tip: Get a room facing inwards towards the pool
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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4  Thank cestrike2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IberostarHotelsRD, Quality Manager Iberostar República Dominicana at Iberostar Grand Bavaro, responded to this reviewResponded December 6, 2012

Dear guest,
First at all, we would like to thank you for taking the time to post a review about your experience at Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro, and for having chosen our hotel for your honeymoon. In the name of the Hotel Manager, we would like to congratulate you for your wedding and to wish you the best for this new step in your lives.
It is a pleasure for the whole team to acknowledge that you had such as memorable experience in this special celebration due to their excellent service and the variety of our gastronomy. In Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro we aim to be the best place for honeymooners in Punta Cana. According to your review, we are doing nice steps in the right direction. We will congratulate Edwin, Ayendi, Manuel and Mendy for making your stay especial.
We will be glad to celebrate your first anniversary in our hotel; please do not hesitate to contact us for further assistance.
Kindest regards,

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