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IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa
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Reviews (6,378)
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Reviewed June 5, 2012

Piasa Travel specializes in all-inclusive vacation getaways and we booked a group of 29 people for IFA Villas for a week, traveling 05/27/12-06/03/12. After reading the reviews, I was very nervous about booking at IFA and that guests in my group would be upset with their vacation choice. However, we were very surprised that many of the reviews did not do the resort justice.

We have been to Punta Cana 5 times and had stayed at a different resort previousy so we were no stranger to the airport and transfers.

The things that would make the resort more enjoyable, in my opinion...comparing to Bavaro Princess All-Suites - animation staff was not as active/interactive with the guests; a bar and restroom on the beach as well as a towel hut; have the shuttle running more often; reservation restaurants available more often, more variety in the buffet and king size beds available.

The positives...fast, curteous front desk staff, they took care of the few issues we had with air conditioning promptly and were willing to move guests to other rooms with no qualms. They have 3 pools and one whole area of jacuzzis. Wait staff was friendly, we met our favorite waitress at the jacuzzi bar and we followed her to the different bars each day and she gave us great service, a little $ goes a long way. The rooms were spacious and fit the needs for a vacation, when you don't spend much time in it anyway. We did not have any problems with our maid cleaning or leaving us towels or stocking our fridge, again, a small tip a few days always helps.

Also, excursions are safe to be booked with the Apple rep or the other people allowed on the resort, they do not recommend booking with anyone on the beach. However, with this said, we booked a private party boat with Blue Seas which is right by the resort and had a BLAST! We didn't have to pay a deposit and we got it for $20/person...22 of our group of 29 went on the tour. It was 2 hours, including drinks and a sandwich. They took you by the dolphins, and to a natural swimming pool, and we got to go snorkeling too. They played music and games and kept everyone entertained. Well worth it!

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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6  Thank PiasaTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2012

I absoutely love this Resort....I was here in Feb and again in May and will return in Sept...the staff is super friendly...especially if you come armed with a smile and wanting to have fun in the sun....the animators make the experience even better....Blackie, Ada, Edward, Jackson, Claudio, Carlos....to name the ones that I've gotten to know...when you participate in the games...u r guaranteed a really good laugh....and if you win you get a bottle of rum...added bonus.....

I prefer the rooms closest to the ocean...4000-4400 blocks...I was in 4400 (closest to the beach) 4200 in between the Theatre and the main pool/Pikalo Bar/Pizza place....

The food in the main buffet...ok is not the greatest but the omelettes in the morning are great and the pasta bar in the evening is also great....the inbetween...well you will always find something to eat that is decent...you will by no means starve....

The beach bar/buffet is great...bartenders/waiters are the best....the buffet is open from 12:00-4:00 ... so if the main buffet is not to your liking you can have a late lunch and then pizza later on...unless of course you line up to reserve at the restaurants...my favorites are the Japanese...International..then the Mexican is pretty good...the Italian is beach bar buffet by day...italian restaurant by night...

The entertainment by the animators will make u crack a rib at times...they are so funny and talented...after that it's the dancers that put on a show for you....I always want to be at the theatre from 9:30 to 11:00....then off to the disco....it rocks.....

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me..

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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6  Thank JudysJewel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2012

I was a little nervous by reading some of the reviews but do not listen to them. Everyone was so friendly! Check in was easy and communication was fine. The young lady spoke good English as well as mostly every other staff member we encountered. The first night we had to eat at the buffet but I preferred the pizza place! Was my fav. So good! Try an IFA, that was my drink of choice the whole weekend. Be careful because they are not stingy with the alcohol! We ate at the Mexian place 2x becuse we didnt wake up early enough to get a reservation at Caribe. They only had 2 places open that weekend. I read many reviews about the Mexican place being almost unedible but my boyfriend and I both enjoyed it very much. The beach buffet is great for lunch. Breakfast is aslo great in the buffet by the lobby. I have stayed at Barcelo before and the food was so much better! We went tubing on the beach and the guys who work the excursions are so fun! There is also a hena tattoo booth on the walk to the beach. I wish I was good with names because everyone we encountered was great! I noticed that many people did not tip. i know it says tips are included but I was sure to tip. We had excellant service every where we went. The maid even left us a bottle of rum! She filledour fridge every day with soda and beer. We were very active during the day and never made it to the disco. Theres always next time! I highly reccomend IFA!

Room Tip: If you want to be near the action Id stay close to the pool. (3100)
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank Elana B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2012

I must agree with 80% of AVG22 interpretation of this complex.. We just returned from a seven day vacation stay. The check in staff hardly ever acknowledges you. We were given a room in the rear Room 1232. It was awful, immediately return to the reception area and was given a better room in the 1000 units. But prior to that we notice some prostitution transaction taking place in the lobby and wouldn't you know she and the trick was on the same shuttle as us and dropped off
and telling the driver to be back for them in 2 hrs. The front desk people knew what was going on because I went back up front to inquire, Once you check in you are given an arm bracelet and they did not have one. That was very scary!!
The food is not that good,but you won't starve. The beach buffet is far better. Their drinks are very sweet so beware. I always had to get double shots because the drinks were so weak.
Housekeeping needs a lot of improvement. They work at a snail pace and never really give you what you request.
The grounds are beautiful and well maintained. The pools and the beach are wonderful. Would I return? Yes, with caution and tips I learned from this trip.

Room Tip: Upgrade to the 4000 building. Or stay in a 1000 unit near the pool
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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6  Thank x2go
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2012

I usually don't write reviews about hotels, but after returning from my horrendous 5 day stay at the IFA Villas Bavaro Resort and Spa, I want to make it a point to advise everyone not to book this hotel. The villa rooms are equivalent to a college dorm room (bed, TV, sink, and shower). We had issues with no hot water, toilet clogging, and the AC completely stopped working. We continuously had to call the front desk to have someone come to the room to fix the issues, and eventually we were given another room that had the same issues. The food is horrible, this is the only vacation that I went on that I lost weight instead of gaining weight from the food (in the bathroom). The buffet was always cold and consisted of leftover food from the other a la carte restaurants at the hotel from the night before. Flies were everywhere on the food. Simple things like hamburgers (mystery meat not beef) and hot dogs were horrible. The safest thing to eat was the fresh cooked omelets and the fresh pasta station. Everything else is eat at your own risk. Good luck trying to get a reservation for one of the a la carte restaurants. We dined at the Italian restaurant (eat there if you want to clean out your colon), and the Japanese restaurant (not too bad). The local liquor is better used to strip paint than consume. There is no top shelf at this place. The grounds of the hotel were clean (besides the random chickens that were walking around by the villas). The activities at this place consist of watching random guests do aerobics during the middle of the day as entertainment by the pool. The beach was nice but a lot of seaweed in the water.

Room Tip: !!!!!!!!!THIS IS NOT A FOUR STAR RESORT CONSUMER BEWARE!!!!!!!!!! Do not waste your money on the upgrade they charge an additional 8 dollars a day per person for the same room but with a couch.
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank D N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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