We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Nearby Hotels
Reviews (11,201)
Filter reviews
11,201 results
Traveler rating
9,283
1,376
367
123
52
Traveler type
Time of year
LanguageAll languages
More languages
9,283
1,376
367
123
52
Show reviews that mention
All reviewssurf and turfboom boomstar friendskobe beeflobsterdinner reservationscigar barbutler servicepool barour honeymoonother resortsspecialty restaurantslunch buffetbubble bathpina coladaocean frontjapanese restaurant
Filter
Updating list...
8,510 - 8,515 of 11,201 reviews
Reviewed December 6, 2009

My wife and I have never been so spoiled in our married life. There are many more pros than cons, but I'll share both. This is a new facility, having just opened in April 2009. We booked through cheapcaribbean.com, and were quite pleased with the deal....no hassles, very reasonable price.

Staff: Very, very hard workers...all of them. We tipped them $1 each on a daily basis, and that seemed to be appropriate. Staff are eager to meet your needs, and are adept at anticipating your needs/wants. They go the extra mile every time and are very polite, friendly, and courteous. We didn't have any problems with the staff. You'll notice that the same staff work throughout the day in various settings (especially food service).

Room: Clean...always clean. You walk in, and there is your closet and minibar (dewars, tangere, irish cream liqour (forgot the brand), russian vodka, beer - 3 kinds, soda). All alcohol in the fridge is top shelf. Turn left, and you have your main bedroom...a bottle of champagne on your first day (and whenever the heck you want it after that). Bathrooms have the glass enclosed shower and toilet, and a separate jacuzzi, double vanities. Balcony is decent-sized with the couch, table and chairs. They clean the rooms TWICE/day, leaving rose pettles on your bed, and cute, suggestive towel sculptures. Ceiling fans inside and outside. Bed: I haven't slept that well in years. But then, I haven't drank that much in years, either. No, but really, the beds are excellent.

Grounds: Gorgeous, upscale, bellagio-type look in the lobby and surrounding areas, ping pong, billards, internet. There were 2 working computers (3 computers there) when we were there, which results in some waiting time for the internet usage, but there's a pool table in that room to kill time. The pool is awesome, with a swim up bar (ask for top shelf if you want it, otherwise, they will give you the cheapo stuff). Pool-based and beach-based volleyball. They have music going all of the time...mostly salsa stuff, but one of those songs sounded like Chipmunks on crack. The beach is clean, no shells. There are 3 Iberostars next to the Grand (Punta Cana, Dominican, and Bavaro), and other resorts further East. That entire coast is loaded with resorts. Bavaro beach has moderate traffic...depends on the time of day. NO WAVERUNNERS OR JETSKIS PERMITTED IN THE DOM REP! My wife didn't care, but I was dissapointed. It must be a liability issue. They have sailboats, kayaks...run of the mill. Parasailing and banana boats are available, and snorkeling/diving. You can rent a "speed" boat, and follow the other boat with the guide around behind the swimming area....joy, joy. No James Bond stuff here.

Food: Ok, here's the interesting part. First off, reserve your al a carte restaurants AS SOON AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. Get on the stick with this one...then you can relax. But, get your running shoes on, and drink some red bull, because you will need to sprint to the conceirge lady first thing. They have two desks...on either side of the resort after you get past the lobby. We did this 1 hour after checking in (minus the red bull). French was booked up, and we went to Bavaro "next door" for two dinners due to lack of availability. It's not an issue of not having enought tables and chairs. They don't have enough staff, and the staff are already bustin their butts, believe me. It's a management issue. It's a new hotel, their occupency % is not super high yet, and they're building their reputation. One would think they would staff their restaurants better. I don't know.
Obviously, food is an issue of personal preference. We are from Indiana, I grew up in Kansas, and we freqeuntly visit Chicago, so I know what a good steak is. Surf and turf at the Grand...no good steak. You get all the lobster you want for lunch....I had 8 lobster tails at lunch one day...they are that good. Ok, but the steak at the surf and turf....nope, not worth it. Italian at the Grand was fantastic. I had the lobster lasagne, which is their most popular dish there. Japanese: very good as well, but, and I agree with a previous trip advisor report on this....a little salty. I had lobster curry there. Dinner buffett...don't know, didn't go. OK, the two restaurants at Iberostar Bavaro...the french and meditteranean. This is the 4 star, older hotel next door. It reminds me of the Rainforest Cafe. The French Restaurant was excellent! Fantastic taste, but the ambiance was average...it's older. The Meditteranean...seafood paella...could live on that for a month. Appetizer buffett...only in your dreams, now a reality. They've been doing this longer, and they have a good handle on it. The ambiance in the Meditteranean was pathetic. The walls look like a high school boys gym locker room...with the blue tiles and such. BUT, the food was excellent.

Entertainment: H O T. We went every night. It's like a latin vegas. Shows that we saw, rated:
Michael Jackson show #1
Big Band #2
Circe de solei thing #3
Tropical show #4
Domincan Musical #5
The "star boys and girls," as they are introduced, are excellent dancers and singers. There's one guy in particular, the gentleman with lighter complection..clean cut. He's an absolutely incredible singer. The Michael Jackson show was exceptional: Thriller, Billie Jean, Smooth Criminal. Thriller was fun :-)
You can also go to Iberostar Bavaro for entertainment, including dancing and shows involving the audience (don't volunteer). It's more laid back. The grand is much more quiet, upscale, and professional, but the Bavaro is a nice change of pace, if you want it. The casino is at the Dominican-Punta Cana. They can drive you over there in the golf-cart thing.

Overall, I can't stop thinking about this resort. In the airport, which is small, humid, and very crowded on Sunday afternoons, people talked about other resorts. They had stories about bugs, worms, toilets backing up, getting sick from oysters. Just spend the extra few hundred dollars and go for the 5 star #1 resort in the country...The Iberostar Grand. You will not be dissappointed.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank neitzypie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2009

This was our sixth annual honeymoon (our 5th Anniversary) celebrated at an all-inclusive. We’ve stayed at six different properties in three countries, twice each in Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Mexico. For the last three years we’ve stayed at properties that were just about one year old when we arrived. We’re in our late 30s early 40s.

Our experience at Iberostar Grand Bavaro was superb. Had I not read all of the reviews, and had my expectations so built up, I’d have been blow away. That said, those high expectations were met and exceeded. The property is as lovely as the photos, and though it was nearly 90 degrees each day the ocean breeze made it so comfortable that I couldn’t stop remarking how PERFECT the weather was. The pools were the perfect temp. The ocean was perfect. If I were going to be picky on the topic of temperature, I’d say that the Jacuzzi tubs could have been a bit warmer and the food a bit warmer here and there.

Our room was great. We had one of the ocean front rooms and the terraces are a bit larger and features both table and chairs as well as two loungers. Very comfortable and of course, an amazing view. I agree that storage space is lacking but we requested extra hangers from housekeeping and that took care of it. Plus hanging things is a bit better in the humid climate anyway, I think. And I really loved the décor in the rooms. Everything was just so crisp, clean and modern – which gave the space such an open and airy feeling, and yet the art and woodwork seemed grounded in the tropics, but not in a corny way. I read a review that mentioned frustration with the bathroom layout, but we really had no problems at all. Counter space is slightly limited, but I just put all of the hotel amenities on one of the lower center shelves and used the tray they were sitting on for my own things. Problem solved. BTW, I don’t know if others have mentioned but there is a nice bathroom scale, should you want to keep track of the damage those Coco Locos are doing. The AC worked great. It only took a couple of minutes to cool down the room. The mini-fridge was stocked daily as were the snacks.

I won’t say much about the food, as it’s been well covered here. It was good and in many cases surprisingly good. We loved the mushroom risotto and the lamb at the Italian, the lobster thermidor and the onion soup at the French, and the filet at the Surf and Turf. Our least favorite was the Japanese, but it was standard decent teppanyaki – so no complaints. I wasn’t keen on the reservation system. On our first day we waited while the concierge spent 20 minutes booking several nights of reservations for another couple. At first I was thinking that was kind of rude to spend so much time booking several days ahead, then to realize that the only way you can be sure to get to try all of the restaurants was to book several days at once. So we spent 30 minutes booking four of our ten nights, before the itch to get to the pool and beach overcame us and we settled for the four bookings, knowing we’d have to do this all over again later in the week. There’s just no reason to make it so complicated. It’s all computerized and yet it takes ages to do each one.

The pools, beds, cabanas, beach, layout, amenities, entertainment, bars, concept for this resort are all exceptional. It seems that the designers of this place had noted all of the things trip advisor reviewers most appreciate and avoid and created the perfect adults only resort.

On our second to last day we were sitting under a palapa enjoying the shade and our books at the top of the beach area and we suddenly heard a toddler crying from behind us (so, from the resort) it was such a surprising sound after a week of such tranquility that everyone on the beach collectively turned to find out what was going on. The family must have gotten a bit misdirected on the beach and within a few minutes they were off on their way, but that’s the kind of relaxation and seclusion you’re in store for at this resort – one baby cry in ten days.

The service and friendliness of the staff, are, as everyone says, the key differentiators of this resort. It was simply exceptional. We’re not the most outgoing pair in the world, and yet within a few hours of our arrival we’d developed friendships with several of the staff. Rosa, Pedro, Ishmael, Leonardo, Thomas, Clarkson, Lely, and Victor were all exceptional service staff who we feel honored to have met. And to our Star Friends- wow – you are all so gifted, authentic, warm and you MADE our holiday: Cisa, Maria, Kassandra, Ross, Grisel, Conan, and Felix.

Wendy and David from Chicago

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank wenndixie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 3, 2009

My husband and I stayed at this resort November 20-28 and we can't stop talking about what a great holiday it was. From the momemt we arrived at the hotel we knew that we were in for a special treat. We have stayed in several different Iberostar properties in the DR as well as Mexico and this was by far the best!. The resort is gorgeous, the beach is beautiful and the staff are fabulous, especially Leonardo at the pool bar. We loved the bed style lounders under the canopies all around the pool. We ate at the Japanese, Gourmet and Surf & Turf. Our favourites were the Gourmet and the Surf & Turf. The buffet was great also, lobster tail every day at lunch and dinner. The pool was fantastic and the hot tubs were actually hot (not jus the same as the pool) which was a nice treat. We met lots of great people (Hi Claudia, Adam, Heather, Nate, Wendy, John, and all the rest). We would definately go back to this resort (and we never say that!) Nightlife at the the Theater was better than most resorts we have been to. This place is a true gem. Can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank RaspberryMartini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 3, 2009

We stayed in Punta Cana for 9 days and had a great time. We would definitely consider staying here again. We liked the smaller size of the resort, the fact that it wasn't a big party scene, but still fun, and the staff was wonderful. Most staff spoke very good English and the service was great. The star friends were very friendly and fun, but not annoying at all if you didn't want to participate. The rooms were well-appointed and comfortable. The beach was beautiful and chairs were plentiful without having to wake up really early. We really enjoyed the a la carte restaurants, especially Surf and Turf, though reservations to Gourmet and Surf and Turf weren't that easy to come by so we only went to those 2 and 1 times respectively. We really enjoyed the rest and relaxation, but that there was also things to do with the star friends activities if we wanted.

We had a few minor complaints, but most are not big deal. The food is quite bland and repetitive at the buffets (and somewhat hit or miss in the a la carte restaurants as well) and the beach was quite seaweedy. They raked the shore twice a day, but the water had a lot of seaweed in it and wasn't very clear (not that they can do anything about that). Although the chairs at the beach and pool are plentiful, I feel they could have more shade. If you get up early you can easily get shade, but it gets harder if you sleep in. Still, this is probably a better situation than almost any other resort and are all very minor problems.
My biggest complaint is the insulation in the room. We were on the third floor and had one floor above us. All the floors in the hotel are tile, which is nice being in a sandy place. However, this creates a lot of noise. The noise in the hall came from the room service carts which starts early in the morning. This was somewhat mitigated by an internal door that you could close to the entry way of the room. What couldn't be mitigated is that the floors did not have enough insulation between them and the furniture did not have pads on the bottom. So anytime the people above us used their desk chair (which they did a lot) or dropped something (which they did more than I would have thought possible), you could hear it really well. It made it hard to sleep at times, though I am a very light sleeper. My husband is a sound sleeper and he was not as bothered by it.

We went on two off-resort excursions and those were the highlight of our trip. We loved learning more about the country and people and would recommend to anyone to get off the resort. We enjoyed our trip and would recommend this resort for couples staying in Punta Cana.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank ksgirl8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2009

The Iberostar Grand Bavaro is a beautiful hotel set on a fantastic beach, however it still has a few service issues. I would recommend this hotel to anyone as I believe Iberostar to be the best hotelier in the Carribbean and Mexico. Through the years I have stayed exclusively with this company (14 times) due mostly to the fantastic service, wonderful locations, and competitive pricing offered through my travel agency. If you're going to Punta Cana take a look at the IB "Grand" or "Bavaro" because they are both terriffic!
The service issue I mentioned is minor - 2 nights of slow and confused looking table service in the ale carte restaurants. I chalk this up to inadequate staffing and maybe some more training in which I have no doubt corrective action will be taken.
Some other reviews have touched on this also so I know I'm not picky.
BUT this does not detract from the fact that this is a stunning hotel that will become even more fantastic in the future! When you have lunch at the fantastic buffet overlooking the beach you'll know what I mean. The staff are very friendly and sincere in their efforts to make you feel welcome, comfortable, and happy. I'd like to mention Kassandra, Elvis and the entire Star Friends team - they are all tremendous and I thank them for their hard work. The guys at the pool bar rock - very entertaining and remember your name. I'd really like to compliment the lady who made my omlets each morning in the buffet (shame on me for forgeting her name) she is very sweet and deserves real recognition by the hotel for her very happy and sweet demeanor at breakfast each and every morning!!!
In conclusion I'd just like to say that everyone is human and has off days and that I really enjoyed my trip to the Grand, highly recommend it, and would go back again.
For other Iberostar loyalist's I would best compare this hotel to the Iberostar Maya - the Maya is part of a huge complex of Iberostar hotels in Playa Paraiso, Mexico. Many room and restaurant similarities, fantastic beach and pools, and as always great service.
Please feel free to ask me any specific questions regarding this hotel and I'll do my best to answer all.
Happy Holidays to all!
Tom

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank tctravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
View more reviews