Grand Paradise Bavaro Resorts Reviews

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Grand Paradise Bavaro Resorts  

PLaya Arena Gorda, Bavaro. Punta Cana

"Terrible, fu##kin, terrible!!!!!"
Posted by: Bev on May 3, 2013
see all reviews

Grand Paradise Bavaro Resorts Reviews
Grand Paradise Bavaro Resorts Pictures and Information
Grand Paradise Bavaro Resorts Bavaro Beach Dominican Republic

#2
of 29 Hotels in Bavaro Beach

User rating 3.1

Based on 69 reviews

Grand Paradise Bavaro Resorts Information


The all inclusive Grand Paradise Bavaro four-stars Resort, located in Bavaro Beach Punta Cana has an unique white sands and crystal clear waters of its beach, tall coconut trees and colorful landscapes, all make this resort a real jewel of the Caribbean.

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Grand Paradise Bavaro Resorts Reviews

Grand Paradise Bavaro Resorts Review: 3.1 of 5 69 reviews
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"* Grand Paradise Bavaro is a nice hotel"

Grand Paradise Bavaro Resorts
User Rating:  Grand Paradise Bavaro Resorts Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Debbie  on Oct 1, 2003  >  34 contribution(s) 
Visited on: Oct, 2003
255 people found this review helpful

October 19 - 26, 2003

Location:
Grand Paradise Bavaro is about a 35 minute drive from Punta Cana Airport, being one of the northernmost hotels on the Punta Cana strip. This is a relatively new hotel, opened in July 2001 by Amhsa Marina Hotels.

The hotel is located directly next to Superclubs Breezes hotel, and there are no other hotels in the immediate area. The next closest hotels are the Riu hotels, which are about a 25 minute walk down the beach to the south. A new Bahia Principe hotel scheduled to open next summer, is currently under construction about midway between Grand Paradise and the Riu Hotels.

The occupancy rate at Grand Paradise when we were there was around 75 Ė 80%, with 45% of the guests being from France, 26% from North America, and the rest from Germany, the U.K., and other European countries. There seemed to be lots of younger people around, and towards the end of the week there were lots of children.

Checkin:
Checkin is at 3 p.m., checkout is 1 p.m. If you have an early flight into Punta Cana, you may have to wait a while for your room to be ready. Late checkouts may be available (at an extra charge) if you have a late flight going home. Otherwise a courtesy room will be available where you can shower and change.

On checkin you are given a wristband, 2 electronic key cards (note that one card has to be put in the slot inside the room to operate the lights and air-conditioning), towel cards, a remote for the TV, and an information sheet about the hotel. A key for the in-room safe is available at an extra charge of $19 U.S. per week. (I highly recommend this). The front desk staff speak good English.

Grounds and Beach:
The lobby area is very large, with comfortable seating, and two staircases leading up to the Piano Bar and some shops. From the lobby, you go down more stairs to the grounds of the resort. The buildings are kind of in a horseshoe shape, with the lobby at the top, buildings on the sides, and lots of open space in the middle, and then you have the two swimming pools in the centre, closest to the beach. From the lobby you have an unobstructed view of the whole resort. There is a large natural pond near the lobby filled with fish, turtles, and frequented by the resident ducks. Even the turtles will stick their heads up and take food from your hand. (A review submitted recently talked about a duck with a ďtuftĒ on its head that she named Priscilla, I spotted Priscilla right away). There are a couple of fountains in the pond to keep the water circulating, but I still found that it smelled a bit once in a while. You walk across a wooden bridge over the pond (in the middle there are benches where you can sit) and then there are concrete walkways throughout the resort. There are lots of beautiful tall palm trees.

There are two large pools, and a couple of smaller round pools. I think one was actually a Jacuzzi, but there were quite a few kids there and they were both being used as kids' pools. There are lots of comfortable lounge chairs around the pool. There are some tall palm trees, but they donít give off much shade, it would be nice if they added some umbrellas or thatched palapas around the pool area. The majority of the people seemed to favour going to the beach. There are dozens of thatched palapas at the beach and we had no problem finding one any time of the day. The beach is very nice, but not as wide as further south, and the sand is a little less white and a little less soft. But still very beautiful and dotted with lots of palm trees. Walking into the water it is a sandy bottom for the most part, but there are occasional rocks so you have to watch where youíre stepping. There were always waves, they were higher towards the end of the week. Great for boogie boarding, but they were sometimes strong enough to knock you down. There was no seaweed at all on the beach most of the week, but after it rained all day Thursday, there was a tiny bit that washed up. There is a roped off swimming area, the beach isnít as busy as further south, not as many motorboats going by. Both the ocean and pool water were fairly warm.

Rooms:
This resort has 504 rooms, in six colourful 3-storey buildings (no elevators). Some rooms have a partial ocean view, but only a few rooms at the ends of the buildings have a full oceanfront view. We were in room 6325 and had a partial ocean view.

All the rooms are the same. Rooms are a good size and nicely decorated, and have two double or 1 king-size bed. There is a mini fridge stocked with water and soft drinks (Sprite and Coke), telephone, full bathroom with hairdryer, and a basket containing shampoo, conditioner, lotion, a shower cap, and a sewing kit. There are no coffeemakers yet as listed in the tour books. They will be added in the future. I always take my own kettle and tea and coffee, anyway, and pick up some milk in the hotel store. Water in the mini-fridge is in a large bottle - 1500 ml (50.7 oz), so you might want to take smaller bottles of water to refill. Sometimes some of the bars have small bottles of water available. They do have water coolers at the bars so you can refill the bottles. The mini-fridge is restocked daily, they will leave extra water if you ask them. Some rooms have an ironing board in them, and an iron is available on request from housekeeping. I have a travel iron I always take with me, that way I donít have to worry about tracking down an iron if I need one. With the humidity down there, things donít get that wrinkled. Electricity in the DR is the same as North America, and our plugs fit the outlets just fine. There is satellite TV in the rooms, but not many English stations, no HBO or American Network channels. Maximum occupancy in the rooms is 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children. Rooms with connecting doors to the next room are available (20). The hotel does have future plans to convert some of their rooms into suites, containing a jacuzzi, but this wonít be completed until next summer sometime.

While we didnít hear any noise from adjoining rooms, the hallways are somewhat noisy. Doors closing, footsteps, etc. seem to echo in the wide hallways.

They have 4 handicap-equipped rooms available, and there are also ramps and an elevator in the main building to the various levels.

Bars and Drinks:
There are 4 bars Ė Las Arenas Bar at the pool, open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., La Cana Beach Bar, open from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., the Terrace Bar open from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m., and the Sportsbar, which is open 24 hours. Only national brand liquor and beer is included in the all-inclusive packages, except for liqueurs served in the a la carte restaurants. Premium liquor and beer (Millerís, Heineken) is available at extra cost of $2 to $5 US per drink.

At the Sports Bar, located on the lower level of the main building and fully enclosed and air-conditioned, you can get popcorn or nachos and cheese during the day, and from midnight on there are sandwiches available. There are a couple of pool tables, 2 foosball tables, a big screen TV, and tables and chairs. Adjacent to this bar is the Vacation Club area, where the timeshare guys hang out, I didnít find them to be much of a bother, even had an interesting conversation with one of them.

Restaurants:
The main buffet restaurant (La Laguna) is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with every night being a theme night Ė Italian, Asian, BBQ, German, Dominican, etc. They have a sign outside the restaurant telling you what the theme night is for that night and also for the next night. Very helpful in planning what restaurant you want to go to. The buffet restaurant is very large, enclosed, and air-conditioned. There is a good selection of food, always a pasta bar, and service was usually pretty good. At breakfast they will cook you omelettes, they also have a crepe and waffle station, cereals, fruit, etc. Pat usually has the scrambled eggs from the buffet, but they were only hot a couple of days, the rest of the time they were cold. I took a thermal mug to breakfast with me every day and got my second cup of coffee on the way out.

Tea, coffee and cookies are served outside the buffet restaurant around 4 p.m. every day.

Re the Dress Code: Long pants are required for the Italian and Chinese restaurants. Men can wear Bermuda shorts or dress shorts to the buffet and La Cana Grill, but no tank tops or beach sandals.

There are 3 a la carte restaurants Ė Michelangelo (Italian), Chinese Restaurant Asia (Asian), and La Cana Grill (steak, chops, seafood). Also, every Tuesday they have a lobster dinner at La Cana Grill Restaurant, including champagne, which is not included in the all-inclusive. It costs $30 US per person. We donít eat seafood, so didnít sign up for this. You can make reservations for this at the front desk.

You no longer make reservations for the a la carte restaurants, you just show up when you want to eat. (unless youíre a group of 15 to 20, then theyíll make a reservation for you). They take a group of people (25 to 30) in every half hour. That is why you may show up for the first sitting and be told you have to wait, yet see empty tables. They stagger the number of people so they can handle the orders and serving, etc. If you cannot get in at the time you go, they will tell you what time to come back, and write down your room number.

The first night there we ate at the Italian restaurant, which opens at 6:30 p.m. This restaurant is located right next to the Buffet restaurant and is enclosed and air-conditioned, and very nicely decorated. They have a help yourself antipasto bar, which was quite good. While Pat really enjoyed his meal, I didnít particularly like mine, and I thought the house white wine in that restaurant was terrible. The house wine in the other restaurants and at the bars was okay. They do have a wine list available at extra cost. They bring around a dessert cart (great desserts) and also offer you coffee and a choice of liqueurs.

The next a la carte we tried was La Cana Grill, which is located at the beach. It is a huge, thatched roof, open-air restaurant, definitely my favourite restaurant Ė we ate there twice. They are open for lunch from 12 to 3 p.m., and dinner from 7 to 10 p.m. You might not want to wait until 8 p.m. to go to the restaurant, as it is very popular and you may not get in until after 9 p.m.

At lunchtime they have pizza, chicken, hamburgers, hotdogs, porkchops, steak, salads, French fries, sandwich stuff, etc. Lots of choice and lots of room to sit. You can go in with your bathing suit and a coverup. They also serve snacks here from 3 to 5 p.m.

At dinnertime they have a choice of salad and soup, main courses - rack of lamb, grilled pork loin, sirloin steak, various seafood/shrimp dishes, Tex Fajitas, mixed grill beef and seafood for 2. We had the sirloin steak each time, it was very good. Service was excellent. Again, they bring around a dessert cart (try the lemon cheesecake, itís wonderful), and offer you coffee and liqueurs. They also have a wine list at extra cost which includes wines from France, Spain, Italy, Chile, the U.S. and Argentina, with prices ranging from 300 pesos to 5000 pesos for a bottle of Dom Perignon.

The Asian Restaurant, located next to the Italian restaurant, is also enclosed and air-conditioned, and nicely decorated. It was disappointing, maybe it was just what we ordered. Service was very fast, too fast, they were serving the main course before weíd finished our soup.

Shows and Disco
There is a show in the theatre every night starting at 9:45 p.m. We watched a couple of them, there was a Magic Show, a Hawaii Show, audience participation shows. They had good costumes and effects.
The disco is located in the main building, open from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Long distance calls
You can make long distance calls from your room. Just dial 0 and have the operator open the line, then dial 9 to access Canada Direct or U.S. phone companies. The hotel charges a connection fee of about $2 US. They also have phones in the front lobby, where you can use the phone and pay on the spot at the front desk. Collect calls or using your calling card is the best way to call home, Dominican long distance rates are expensive. I also noticed a card in our room with a 1-800 number for making long distance calls (requires credit card). I do not recommend using this, I think it turns out to be very expensive. The hotel also has a hotline number (7777) you can call if you need something (mini-bar refills, luggage picked up, etc.)

Activities
The animacion staff, ďKikoís TeamĒ, work hard to entertain and involve guests in games and sports, as well as putting on the evening shows. Most activities take place by the pool, near the beach. They have a big board by the pool showing the list of activities and times, and they also post what the evening show is going to be for that night and for the next night.

At the activities desk (beside the pool bar) you can borrow board games, sports equipment, etc. and this is also where you get your towels, and sign up for horseback riding (I think different tour operators have different inclusions for this, in the Air Canada Vacations book it says a one hour horseback ride is included). We didnít go on the horseback ride. There are different horseback riding tours available at extra cost. There are 2 lit tennis courts at the front of the property (charge for night tennis).

A hotel photographer goes around taking candid photos of the guests, one day he had parrots and one day he had a snake, for people to pose with. I gave him a wide berth the day he had the snake.

Slot Machines
There is no casino here, but they have a small room off the sports bar with about 30 slot machines. We tried our luck one night, but ended up losing about $30.00. The machines did give some play time though, we were there for a while. If you want table games, go next door to Superclubs Breezesí casino.

Weather
The weather this week was not as good as our previous week. It rained several days in the evening, and there was one day where it rained most of the day, and another day where it was totally overcast all day. Still very warm, though. The rain did bring out a few mosquitos, not many though.

Kids Club
There is a Kids Club between buildings 4 and 5 for kids aged 4 to 12. Itís fairly large and they have TVís, video games, a playground area, crafts, etc. The girl looking after the kids at the time I dropped in spoke a little bit of English, but was not fluent.

Internet Access
There are 2 computers just inside the sports bar, available 24 hours a day. You can buy an internet card with an access code at the front desk. The cost is $5US for half an hourís time and $9 US for an hour.

Hotel Stores/Shopping
There is a large store in the lobby area, that sells a little bit of everything. There is also a cigar shop, and a Harrisonís Jewellery Store will be opening in mid-November.

Dominican vendors come in a couple of times a week. There are also vendors on the beach, but itís about a 10 to 15 minute walk down the beach to the right. They sell jewellery, paintings, wood carvings, rum, and other souvenirs. Be sure to barter for the best price. I bought a bottle of their best rum, Brugal Anejo Viejo, for $7 US, I could have gotten a better price if I bought more than one bottle, but it was still a couple of dollars less then it was selling for in the gift shop. I also bought some wind chimes, their initial price was $23 US, I ended up paying $10 US, they were a lot more expensive in the gift shop.

Upstairs from the lobby is the piano bar open from 6 p.m. to midnight. I am also told that they will be adding a coffee shop on the lobby level, where the tour desk is now, and moving the tour desk upstairs.

You can go to the tour desk in the lobby to book trips or ask questions of your tour representative. The tour reps have certain hours that they are at the hotel, check the binder for your tour company.

There are many tours you can take: Jeep safari trips, Saona Island or Catalina Island tours, bus trip to Santo Domingo, Marinarium, Kontiki boat trip, Aquatic Tour, Crazy Wheels, Tropicalissimo Show, Manati Park, helicopter rides, etc. For approximate prices see my review of Ocean Bavaro. Some prices may be a little different because the hotel is further away.

The only tour we did was the helicopter ride, through Helidosa Helicopters. It is rather expensive at $80 U.S. per person for 15 minutes, but was interesting as Iíd never been in a helicopter before. There are 10, 15, 20, and half hour trips available. We actually ended up with 20 minutes as the other couples had purchased the 20 minute trip and thatís what they were flying then, even though we only paid for 15 minutes. They pick you up from your hotel in their mini-bus and take you to their base. We did have to wait for about half an hour once we got there before it was our turn. They fly up the coastline, and point out all the hotels. I found it quite interesting and even got a great aerial photo of Grand Paradise.

The watersports centre is operated by Mariana Diving. Here you can take out snorkel equipment, boogie boards, windsurfers, etc. and sign up for scuba diving and other trips. There are free lessons in the pool daily.

Parasailing is available for $75 US for 2.

Money exchange
The front desk was paying 33 pesos to the U.S. dollar and 20 pesos to the Canadian dollar, a better rate than some hotels were paying. Itís best to take U.S. dollars, though, as you can use them for everything. You can use credit cards or travellers cheques to pay for tours. There is also an ATM machine at the resort and one next door at Breezes as well.

Spa
Metamorphosis Spa is located on the lower level of the main building. They have a fully-equipped gym which is available for use by the all-inclusive guests. There is also a hair salon and full spa services. Pat and I had a massage there, it was great. There is also a massage hut by the beach. Another day I had a European Seaweed body wrap treatment, which was wonderful, and includes time in the sauna, a Jacuzzi tub, and ends with a massage, and the day before we left I went for a manicure and pedicure. They have various specials on, starting from $45 U.S.

Medical Service
Medical services are available 24 hours a day. There is a doctorís office located at the resort, behind Metamorphosis Spa.

Gifts and Tipping
Tipping is not required, but is appreciated. Note that if you bring gifts to give to the staff, you should give them a note they can show to security, indicating what you have given them, and your name and room number.

Summary
Grand Paradise Bavaro is a nice hotel. Their facilities are excellent for the number of rooms they have, ie. Their restaurants are large, no shortage of chairs at the beach or pool. I think their beach restaurant, La Cana Grill, is beautiful. I also like the way they post information, like what the buffet is going to be that night and the next, and the same for the evening shows and daily activities. We enjoyed our stay at Grand Paradise.

Special thanks to Rubennz Guzman, Domenica at Metamorphosis Spa, and to Sophie at Air Canada Vacations.

Photos: http://community.webshots.com/album/98327954hMJVdh

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"Two thumbs down."

Grand Paradise Bavaro Resorts
User Rating:  Grand Paradise Bavaro Resorts Review: 2.5 of 5

Posted by:  S.J. from PEI  on Jan 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2009
229 people found this review helpful

Arrival: Dec 21-28
check-in was fine w/ no major issues...the front desk attendant told us he would "take care of us" and upgrade our room, for no apparent reason.
i'm sure he tells everyone this.

Rooms:
our room was adequate...third floor in the 9000 section but not overlooking the resort. it was clean, roomy and there was no sign of bugs...great start! this was our room until the fourth night...i sprained my ankle and requested a room on the ground floor b/c i could not go up the stairs. the quality of the rooms desperately went down hill from there. first room they gave us on first floor was disgustingly FILTHY and i immediately asked for another room. the next room "looked" cleaner but had a very strong musty, stenchy odor...had lots of bugs (which i understand is common on a ground floor room), but there was actually mold/mildew on the bed spread, curtains & drapes and must have had water damage b/c the bottom of the wooden closet door was actually "curling" up and some rather large bugs were living in there. the room was disgusting and i wished we had asked to be moved again but at this point, i felt like we would have been pushing our luck. (we are first time travelers)

Restaurants and Bars:
food was horrible (w/ the exception of the bread)...we were severly disappointed (and surprised) at the poor quality of what they called "fresh fruit"...no fresh juice, either. pasta and bread were fine but we soon tired of only being able to eat these foods. we tried different things but for example, the rice looked and tasted like it had been made the previous day (or week) and was simply reheated for every meal after. i have some dietary needs and i did not stray too far from the foods we thought to be "safe" for me. my partner has a stronger stomach but did not have much luck finding anything either.
there seemed to be some confusion around the amount of a la carte's we were entitled to...this was very disappointing. we ate at the italian restaurant once...service was very slow and we did not get what we ordered but were too hungry to send it back to the kitchen. again, it was pasta...edible but at that point in the week, we were certainly growing tired of pasta! the staff at the restaurants was excellent. everytime we went to the buffets, it was busy but they were always smiling and seemed to love to serve people from canada!

Beach/Pools/Grounds::
we surprised ourselves by spending most of our days by the pool. we thought they were great and a bit less crowded (and warmer) than the beach. it seemed to be a bit more windy than usual the week we were there so we only walked on the beach a few times but did our suntanning by the pools.
the grounds were nice and we were amazed at the care-taking of them. we always saw workers either cutting grass, raking, picking up garbage or some such thing. it was clean and very well maintained.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
did not do any activites; we were supposed to go on a catamaran tour on friday but b/c i sprained my ankle, we were unable to go and completely and utterly disappointed! luckily, we did get a refund, which we were surprised at but grateful for.
we did not partake in any activities on the resort...we went to relax and unwind. we were surprised and disappointed at the lack of "quiet spots" to go. most of the time there was loud music playing by the pools. i understand wanting to have vacationers up doing exercices or activities to keep patrons entertained but i think there should be at least one pool that is w/out this loud music. i talked to other people who felt the same way. some people just want a bit of peace and quiet.

Other Comments:
this was our first trip to the carribean and we were really disappointed, mostly w/ the food. i realize that noone can control the weather and although we did have a lot of rain, we were quite prepared to make the best of whatever weather we got. we are not drinkers (at all) and our expectations for the food weren't very high but the food was so bad...poor quality, worse than anything we could have imagined.
i would not go back to this resort and i'll be lucky if i can ever convince my partner to go to an all-inclusive again. we definitely did not even come close to getting our money's worth!
two thumbs down.

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"Very pleased with the value we received for the money."

Grand Paradise Bavaro Resorts
User Rating:  Grand Paradise Bavaro Resorts Review: 4.5 of 5

Posted by:  Beverly and Hanson from Vermilion, Ohio  on Jan 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Jan, 2009
237 people found this review helpful

Arrival: Jan. 9-Jan.16 2009
We arrived in the resort at 11:30 am so we were unable to get into our room until after 3pm. We had brought swim suits in our carry on,so it was not a problem to change and have a nice lunch. We were met at the reception desk with a cold drink, nice touch. The lobby was open, airy with fresh flowers.

Rooms:
We had requested a king size bed and of course we got a room with double beds. We had specifically requested the king bed but Apple had not put this request to the resort. We went back to the front desk to request a change of room but we were told absolutely nothing else was availabe, we even requested to pay for an upgrade. The next morning we spoke with Ruth in customer service and we were given a new room immediately. The room was very clean and spacious. It was in building 3 looking across at another building. It was quiet and we were pleased with the accomodations. The maid always cleaned the room early and left fresh flowers. There was always plenty of water and pop in the mini frig. They work very hard and a two or three dollar tip per night is appreciated. We stayed in the old section we were close to the beach pools and the restaurants. I did not think I liked the new section as well, you had to take a tram to the beach and to most of the restaurants.

Restaurants and Bars:
The buffets were always busy but the service was good. The staff always were smiling and tried to give the best service they could. The food was a little different for an American's palet. There are many Europeans in the resort so the food is not always familiar. Live a little and experiment, after all that's what vacations are all about. I frequently saw the managers checking food temperature and the appearance of food on the buffet. I had read many of the reviews that discussed the poor quality of the food, I thought the food was on a par with most all inclusives we have stayed at. The bartenders were a hard working crew, unlike many of the resorts we have stayed at in the past every guest seemed to be treated well. The drinks were like most in other resorts, not made with top shelf liquor but they tasted good, I especially liked the tequila sunrise. We ate at the steak house , I had the filet and my husband had the chicken fajita, the food was very good and you were eating right on the beach. We also ate in the French restaurant, we did not care for this, enjoyed the Italian restaurant more.

Beach/Pools/Grounds::
The beach was wonderful. It was probably one of the nicest we have been to. It was pretty crowded, you needed to get there early if you wanted a place with shade. The surf was a true caribbean blue with clear water and sandy beach. There did not seem to be any rocks in the swim area. There were four pools, the pools by the beach were usually busy with most chairs taken by mid morning, there were two pools over in the new section one with a swim up bar. We could find chairs over there later in the day.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
My husband and I did not choose to go on any tours. They are usually an all day affair, leaving at 6am and returning late in the day. People who went on the tours did seem to enjoy them. There were plenty of activities around the pool area, we did't participate, it was just to tempting to just sit on the beach and enjoy the sunshine.

Other Comments:
This was our first trip to the Grand Paradise, I had read previous reviews and we were a little concerned about the quality of the resort. We booked a last minute Apple supersaver. I can honestly say we were very pleased with the value we received for the money. This was our fourth trip to the Dominican we have stayed at Ocean Blue, Catalonia, Sunscsape the Beach (now called Dreams) we have also stayed in all inclusive resorts in Mexico and in other Caribbean islands. We felt that the staff was very attentive to our needs, the food was good, some food we liked, some we could do without. This resort is definitley deserving of a four star, we are planning to spend two or three weeks at this resort next January. If you can, try to time your vacation so that you can enjoy the beautiful full moon, there is nothing as beautiful as a moonlight stroll.

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"In my judgement this was poor resort."

Grand Paradise Bavaro Resorts
User Rating:  Grand Paradise Bavaro Resorts Review: 2.0 of 5

Posted by:  Sarjiwan from Edmonton  on Jan 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2009
232 people found this review helpful

Arrival: Jan 22-29th
arrived late about 9.00 PM dropped at the new lobby by sunquest tour operator. subsequently driven to the older lobby.Check in was unfriendly and no information was given ( eventhough there was no other customers and staff of two).it was with considerable difficulty a second key to room was given.No orientation

Rooms:
Even we had requested two beds were given instead of one king size for me and my wife.Room was spacious sparsely decorated.No TV remote control available in the room.It was available next day after long trip in erson to the lobby.On phone we were told it will be delivered in the room but nothing showed up.Room door lock did not lock,after complaining the maid showed us how to fiddle we the locking mechanism so it could lock for the rest of our stay

Restaurants and Bars:
were below average.The michaelangelo italian restaurant where we had reserved for the 2 evenings later food was very bad.The salmon order by wife was no good she barely tasted, lamb i had ordered was tough and flavour.atmosphere was about average. White wine was rasted very bad.we left the restaurant without eating.Second restaurant we visited was Sea scape on the beach was average.Asia restaurant we paid extra had poor seating had below average food.La laguna was walk in restaurant is only choice we had where we could eat for the rest of the week was barely average

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beach was very crowded but excellent with many activities available.Pools were no different than any other pools. there was evidance of poor plumbing and electrical maintenace

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Acivities at the resort were reasonable as described in brochure.Web site has not been updated.Internet connection finaly became available after 5 days but was spotty and slow.I had bought a card for half hour.Repeated complain to staff and manger was to no avail.Buissnes center in the new area were also not working and was not open when we aried there on last day as outlined

Other Comments:
in my judgement this was poor resort. we were there to get away from canadian winter.Weather was the best.The tour operator bus picked us up at 1430 PM and reached the airport at1630 after making about 5 stops on the way

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"I would definitely go here again and would recommend it to people"

Grand Paradise Bavaro Resorts
User Rating:  Grand Paradise Bavaro Resorts Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Wanda & Leroy from Nova Scotia, Canada  on Jan 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2009
251 people found this review helpful

Arrival: March 29-April 4, 2008
As this was our first trip anywhere, we were anxious and excited. Our flight with Transat was delayed 3 hours due to the snow and ice. Arrival at the Punta Cana airport was at about 1pm. We left from home in 0 celcius and arrived at 31 celcius. The trip to the resort took about 45 minutes in an airconditioned mini bus/van. Arrival at the main desk at resort was kind of slow however. Our room was not yet ready so we had to wait. We took a little stroll around the area to "check things out". We got into our room at about 3:30pm.

Rooms:
We stayed in the Sunquest Select section in building #9 with a view of the tennis courts and gardens. Could have been a better view but hey, I live in the country and I had palm trees outside my room - I was happy! The room was clean, no bugs to be seen. ( I think out of the whole week we only saw one bug near our room. Something like a cockraoch.) We had two double beds instead of the King we requested but it was no big deal. Nice flat screen tv in the room but some channels had poor reception - we weren't there to watch tv anyway. We seemed to have been missing either a cieling fan or overhead light as there was an unfinished fixture. The A/C worked fine but you need the room key to keep the electricity on in the room. We got a lock for the safe which was about $20. USE IT it's worth it! If you tipped the maid, she put fresh flowers and tidied up the room. Amazing what difference a dollar or two can make. For God's sake don't drink the small bottled water in the fridge, it will cost you about $8. We didn't have any gallon water in the fridge on the first day as was stated on the reservation. Other than that the room was great and we left a thank you note for our maid Uarize with some leftover stuff we had.

Restaurants and Bars:
We mostly ate at the buffett restaurants which were great. We did have bacon every morning but believe me, it wan't Maple Leaf! The meat wasn't the best but we did eat a lot of pasta. I ate a ton of watermelon. Someone commented on the poor quality of the fruit, but I LOVED it! A couple of days into our stay we found La Cana Beach Grill. WOW!!! It was the BEST! Great chicken, fresh fruit and we found fries! PS: Don't eat the burgers - not good. We ate at the Chinese restaurant for our A La Carte which was good and also La Cana (but I didn't enjoy the steak). The best food of all was at the restaurant during our Monster Truck Tour - best steak that tasted like cow!

Beach/Pools/Grounds::
The pools were fabulous! Very clean and not overly crowded. Mind you, you had to get there early to have a chair with shade. The beach was about a 10 minute walk from our room or a quick ride on the shuttle. It was quite windy the whole week so we didn't get to enjoy the beach other than a couple of walks. There is a shipwreck down the beach if you want to walk down. The grounds were very nice and well kept. There is always someone cleaning up.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We did a couple of tours off the resort. We went to an Animal Park which at the moment can't remember the name of. It was fun and about $80 for both of us. We saw lots of animals including a sea lion show and a parrot show and had pics taken with the animals. We also did the Monster Truck Safari tour which was AWESOME! For about $190 for both of us, it was an amazing wake up call to make us realize how much we have to be thankful for. Our tour guide Milton was super. He spoke perfect english and we learned a lot. It was a whole day excursion which included a all you drink beer and rum and coke (Joel, you ROCK!), lunch buffet, shopping, and a visit with local farmers, an elementary school, and sugar cane fields. We even got to see the witch doctor. Lots of Haitian refugees there which was kind of heartbreaking to see. They ask you for everything - jewelry, hats, glasses, etc. We didn't do much on the resort itself. We took in one nightly show whick was ok - kind of like high school kareoke. On the Friday night before we left there were locals singing, dancing and playing music at the buffet. The bartender was pouring 151 proof rum on bar top and lighting it on fire. Totally Cool!

Other Comments:
Overall, we had a great week there. We went there knowing we were going to a poor country and didn't expect VIP class service. The food was great, my husband loved the coffee, and the whiskey. The bartender (Abraham) at the swimi up bar was hilarious. PUNTA CANADA!!! Lots of scary drivers in the DR though. We saw some poor guys run off the road and hit into the barbed wire fences. Scary! There is a market right outside the Resort and there are tables set up almost every night right on the restort grounds. Haggle for prices, but remember that this is how these people make a living so be fair. We bought mostly towels and clothing as souveniers and also a beautiful painting. Be warned, stay away from the people in the white t shirts that say "vacation" on them, they'll waste your time trying to sell you vacation time.

All in all, I would definitely go here again and would recommend it to people.

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"A great value."

Grand Paradise Bavaro Resorts
User Rating:  Grand Paradise Bavaro Resorts Review: 4.5 of 5

Posted by:  Wayne from Ohio  on Jan 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Jan, 2009
229 people found this review helpful

Arrival: Jan. 2009
The check-in went very well and our bags were in our room in less than 10 minutes. All of the reception staff were effecient and courteous.

Rooms:
Our room was very clean and on par with a typical motel along US interstates. The mini frige was stocked with water and soft drinks each day. Do not expect luxury but it is a functional, comfortable room. The maids did an adequate job and any issues (extra towels, etc.) were quickly addressed.

Restaurants and Bars:
The bars were all outstanding; quick service, well mixed drinks, etc. The buffet was always good but the reservation restaurants were just okay. The best was the Michalengo. Take your own mug for beer.......the little glasses are just a start.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
All were excellent. One of the best beaches in the area with plentiful seating and shady areas. You can walk the beach for a long distance. The pools were great and the grounds were well kept.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Nightly shows were okay and the dancers worked hard throughout the show. Beach and poolside activities were frequent and varied. The introductory Spanish lessons were appreciated. The disco was good most nights even for us older folks. Don't do the Santo Domingo trip.........too long a ride and you waste an entire day. The shark/sting ray snorkel trip is a must do.

Other Comments:
This location is a great value. Watch for discounts through various agencies. The flight is effecient and fairly comfortable but don't buy the boxed meal. The management staff invited us to a reception to inquire about our visit; they want you pleased enough to return. Guests are from everywhere in Europe and the many Canadian guests refered to the location as Punta Canada; is anyone left in Toronto? Security is fine; just don't be stupid leaving valuables around and going off the grounds at all hours. Rent the safe....$20 for a week. We are planning on returning next year if the price is the same.

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"This resort is a solid 4 star but could be improved with very little effort"

Grand Paradise Bavaro Resorts
User Rating:  Grand Paradise Bavaro Resorts Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Greg and Heather from P.E.I. Canada  on Feb 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009
226 people found this review helpful

Arrival:
Arrived Punta Cana via Halifax on Canjet 737-800 January 25 - February 8/2009.Left Halifax 6:20 am and arrived in Punta Cana 10:25 am.No time difference - flight 4:05 hours.Flight was very smooth.Lots of leg room on these planes.Served cold breakfast consisting of muffin,cheese,crackers,yogurt,fruit cup,granola bar,juice & coffee.They could not get the video entertainment to work, but we still had music to listen to.
The biggest difference for us compared to the last 2 years flying with Canjet is they have bigger planes that can fly over the ocean which means no more stops in Bahamas to refuel. Deplaned on runway and walked into terminal.Quick photo with local girls.... through customs and picked up luggage within 15 min.Now the fun part.Sunquest rep trying to hide???? Finally found him and he pointed to the parking lot and told us bus #2.We walked to the very back of the parking lot and found our bus.Watched our luggage get loaded on the bus then we boarded.After a 30 min. wait I went into the terminal to get a Presidente.Waited on the bus another 15 - 20 min. untill the tour rep realized everyone was on the bus!!!Off we go! We stopped at Bahia Principe and Riu to let passengers off then to Grand Paradise Bavaro ( about 45 - 50 min. drive).We were dropped off at the Club section entrance at about 12:20 pm.This is not a very impressive lobby,quite bland in fact.
Check in was fast but the rooms wouldn't be ready till 3:00 pm.I had emailed Whanda Nunez (reservations manager) a few weeks before going and told her we would be celebrating our anniversary while there.
Picked up lock for safety deposit box ($40.00 US for 2 weeks)and remote for TV.I noticed on our check in sheet we were "VIP's) and received silver bracelets compared to the others getting green bracelets.The silver bracelets didn't seem to make a difference except with management employees as they really bent over backwards for us.As for the rest of the workers we were treated just like everyone else,which was very good I might add.All staff were very accomodating and friendly.

(Sunquest Select section):

Rooms:
We arrived at our room just before 3:pm and the floor was still wet so it really was just cleaned.Ther was a large fruit tray and a bottle of wine for us.We received the same again on our anniversary (Jan.31 - Thank you Whanda)

What a room!!It was huge.King size bed,42" x 72" jacuzzi with roman columns on each side and marble steps up to it.Walk in marble shower was huge 60" x 60" with glass door.Separate room for toilet.Marble vanity with vessel sink.Shampoo,conditioner,kleenex and face clothes as well as 3 towels. We had a 32" flat screen TV.Room size was about 22'x 22'.Room had 2 night tables,dresser with mirror, 2 chairs,small couch and glass table.Double closet with lots of hangers,iron and board.We were on the first floor and had a small balcony (patio table & 2 chairs) facing the tennis courts.There was a mini fridge.2 cokes,2 Sprite and a gallon (sealed)of water were free and replenished every day.There was beer,snacks and liquor that you had to pay for.We had no issues at check out with them trying to charge us with items we didn't use.We made 5 calls from our room to home using our Aliant calling card and were charged $2:00 US per call so our total at check out was $10:00 US. Our maid kept our room spotless and topped up the emeneties every day.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
As all of you know the beach here is second to none.The sand is white and not hot to walk on.There are no shells or rocks.
There are 3 pools here and I was not in any of them.We are beach people and that is where we stayed.
We didn't have any problem getting beach chairs,so the towel game didn't affect us.We stay out in the sun and don't even look for palapa's so I don't know if they were difficult to get. We stayed in building #9 and it took about 6 - 7 min.to walk to the beach.They have shuttles going constantly all day from the back of the resort ( Club or French section) to the beach area.In the 2 weeks we were there we never rode on the shuttle as it was a very pleasant and relaxing walk to th beach.

This resort is made up in 3 sections.The main area is on the beach and is the oldest and the customers are American,British,German,Italian etc.The next section (where we stayed ) is the Select section and is made up mostly with Canadians.Then the furthest from the beach is the Club section made up almost exclusively of French people(France).
The Club area has a pooland swim up bar.The Select area had a pool with swim up bar and whirlpools.The main area had a larger pool but no swim up bar.

The bartenders at the beach bar are fantastic, but,they spend a lot of their day walking the beach picking up the glasses as the run out very often.
Tip - Take a insulated cup with you and you will never wait for a drink.
Tip for management - BUY SOME MORE GLASSES!!!!

The grounds are very well kept.There are 4 clay tennis courts(raquets and balls are free to use).The courts are lit and I presume would be an extra cost to use at night.
There is a 9 hole mini putt.There is also a eco - spa on this resort.
In the main lobby there is a cigar shop and a couple of shops.Be sure to take lots of sunscreen etc. with you as it is about $27.00 US to buy there.
There is a Casino next to the ship bar in the Select section as well as some shops selling cigars,beachwear and souveniers.The Casino has Blackjack and various one armed bandits that take penny and nickel bets.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We went to Steve's Corner Bar in Plaza Bavaro (20 min. drive)which cost us $18.00 US each way.

We got to meet up with THE LEGEND "HLYWUD".I was wondering if he was fact or fiction. "Wud" is an extremely knowledgeable man.I spent well over an hour talking with him .He is planning a trip to Atlantic Canada next summer and is going to Nova Scotia to meet up with "Fireguy" and said he would come over to P.E.I. to meet up with us.He told me he hasn't played golf in a number of years but he was a "6" handicap.He doesn't know it yet but we will be playing the Premiere courses here on P.E.I. and I'm going to test his handicap.I might even get him out on a boat when he is here.
While at Steve's Bar we met "Greggy" and 2 other couples from Colburg Ont. as well as Mike Fisher.Mike has 7 fishing boats as well as numerous other busineses in the DR.PC Mike was there as well but I didn't get a chance to talk to him.We didn't go on any trips while in PC.We did walk many miles on the beach each day.

Other Comments:
his resort is a solid 4 star but could be improved with very little effort. Some of my suggestions would be:
Put free beer in the mini fridge.
Improve work stations in buffets(especially the beach grille)so service would speed up. Better quality wines (red) in buffets.
Buy more glasses for the beach bar and water glasses for the buffets.

The Sunquest Rep "*****" was of very little value.He gave us very little information on the resort.His main objective was to sell tours. He told us we could book the ala carte's at the pool bar. You can only book the ala cartes at Guest Services in the main lobby. As you go in the main lobby go to the far left (stairs to go to the beach are there) and you will find the lady to book the restaurants there.

We would return if we got a good deal like we did this year.If your expectations are not higher than a 4 star then you will really enjoy this resort as we did.

Room was fantastic...food was great...liquor is bottom shelf - could use some better quality liquors.Staff were terrific.

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"This resort was by far the worst"

Grand Paradise Bavaro Resorts
User Rating:  Grand Paradise Bavaro Resorts Review: 1.0 of 5

Posted by:  Richard from Canada  on Feb 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009
258 people found this review helpful

Arrival: Jan. 18th to Feb. 2nd
Arrived late approximately 0215 hrs. at the hotel.
The night clerk mumbled follow that road to your room.
We started down the road and the power went out.
We continued down this road and stopped.The reason why we stopped is that we had walked right to the edge of the septic lagoon!
We managed to make our way to our room at approxmately 0245 hrs.
The resort has food 24 hrs. if you call a 1/4 bun with processed meat food.

Rooms
The room has a micky mouse door and light system which we had to get it recoded every 4 days.
In the room there is fridge packed with items that you are required to pay for.
That being the case essentially you have no fridge.
On that note an employee comes everyday in the morning to stock it.
On the third day I finally told him not to come back as we were both annoyed by constantly being awaken.
The room has a security box.However it cost $20.00 a week.
I spoke to guest services in regards to the above.The man said that most people dont mind paying for the box. They will come anyway.
I left thinking this guy is a service rep.in a 4 star hotel!?.
On that note I have been to the Punta Cana area 4 times and without a doubt this is no four star resort.
The above mentioned service is liken onto a boarding house.

The room had a large amount of mould on the ceiling.

The management was advised. We waited half a day to get into another room.
The room was fairly clean however the shower drain was not functioning properly and by the fourth day it was not draining at all.
Tne management was advised of this.
No repair was made.
I spoke by phone and in person no less then 6 times.
On or about the 8th day we had a flood in our bath room comeing from the upstairs room.
My wife had taken ill (stomach cramps) and was in severe pain. (she has crones disease)
I was sick a day later but not as bad.
I spoke to a number of people who reported being sick as well.
The room was never repaired.

Restaurants and Bars
The food is good.
The service is fair.
(short staffed)

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach is beautiful.
The ground are well kept.
N O T E - FOR THE FIRST 11 DAYS THERE WAS A SEPTIC STENCH NEAR THE BEACH !!! ( not on the beach)

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Horse back rideing - good
The other activities were cancelled due to my wife's illness.
Note - Poor Management - even the staff is on vacation here.
ie (have to wake them up to get a towel)

Other Comments
Well checking out my wife was informed we had a bill of $498.00 in American by the hotel clerk.
The clerk stated you must pay this or you will miss your bus.
I inquired what the bill was for. He said it was a bar bill and walked away.
I requested the manager he said he was busy and I must pay or miss the bus. I said I'll miss the bus I want to see the manager. He then said the bill was in pesos and it was $ 13.00 AMERICAN! I FIRMLY BELIVE THAT EVENING CLERK WAS TRYING TO get us to pay in American currency.

WE have been to no less then 6 islands and to the DOM. REP. 4 times.
This resort was by far the worst.It is in a league by its self.

1 BAD WATER
2 Septic Stench on the path to the beach
3 Dishonest staff member (evening)
4 Front lobby staff (useless)
5 Boarding house mentality in regards to security box and fridge
6 Rooms in a state of disrepair
7 Entertainment - poor
This resort I believe at one time was a 4 star.
However you would have to be on drugs to call it a 4 star resort now!

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"Our Stay at Grand Paradise Bavaro"

Grand Paradise Bavaro Resorts
User Rating:  Grand Paradise Bavaro Resorts Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Coleen from Manitoba, Canada  on Mar 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2009
248 people found this review helpful

Arrival: March 4 - March 13
March 4th around 4:30pm in the airport and then the 1/2 hr or so drive to the hotel and we were checked in in a timely manner and were able to be down in time for the opening of the buffet supper at 6:30 unpacked etc.

Rooms
We had a garden view room 2nd floor with a king size bed, dresser/desk with chair,2 rutan chairs and a table and on the patio 2 plastic chairs with a table the rooms were clean and we had no complaints at all. In the fridge was the 2cokes and 2sprites and 4 litre water jug refilled as soon as it gets 3/4 used or as required by the maids. We did a $5.00us tip daily for them and we did get a safety deposit for $20.00 but we knew ahead there was a charge for the lock.we had an adjoining room and the lock on it was primative but we had no problems with the people in the next room at all either.On the primary door you push up on the handle to have a dead bolt lock. Patio door lock didn't work but we were on 2nd floor we didn't worry about it.

Restaurants and Bars
We found the food to be just fine lots of choices. I suppose if you are a little fussy you may complain. We had never done a resort only cruise so we thought we could go to the a la carts every night but no but we just went with the flow.We booked right away so had no problem with times but they do book up fast. We went to the Mangler which was on the other side of the resort took train only two minute ride we found the directions very vague and not clear and I usually don't have a problem with directions. But we aren't afraid to ask and we found it. Food was very good didn't look like much but we were full when we left there. We also went to the La Cana Steakhouse twice and it was very good. We aren't sure if it was cause we didn't drink or we weren't big tippers or what but service for drinks in any of the restaurants is slow especially coffee if asked for at beginning of a meal and we only tipped at the a la cartes not the buffett.The food there was very good and no complaints at all. The lunch grill was excellent especially the burgers.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
We were on the side with the beach. Suggest you take a travel mug for your drinks and take all your sunscreen as it was $28.00 at the resort to buy and a book or word searche or cross word to have something to occupy you for the day. If you want a good lounger or a hut you have to be down very early and all you do is put your towel or a bag on them to save them. Don't leave valuables but we never had any trouble with people taking the loungers.We also would get a lounger no matter what time but you may have to look hard and sometimes take one that doesn't have the sit up positions on it so your laying down all the time. By 3:30-4:30 it starts to clear off at the beach. I quess if I had a complaint that would be mine if you aren't there you don't have a chair or a hut unless your just gone for a 1/2 hr or hour to have your lunch. But there were days where the huts had chairs set up like a fort and no one was at them all day.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
There are activities offered and they have them posted for times etc we didn't realize till we went to the other side for our a la carte that some were over there like the bikes and archery that we didn't see at our side of the resort. And that wasn't explained real well to us.

Other Comment:
We would say there is nothing really extremely wrong with this hotel the complaints we had as you can see are minor and we went with a open mind and that we are on holidays so we weren't watching our clocks etc just enjoying the sun and views. Highly recommend the Monster Truck tour. Full day all inclusive pop and booze and very informative from Joselito the tour guide.

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"We were satisfied with our holiday."

Grand Paradise Bavaro Resorts
User Rating:  Grand Paradise Bavaro Resorts Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Donna from Almonte  on Mar 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2009
256 people found this review helpful

Arrival: March 6 - 13
Upon arrival at the Resort, we were expecting a long process to check in after reading reviews. We were checked in and into our room in about 10 minutes, and we had even asked to change rooms. The process was quick, and painless. Only bothers us that we have to pay $20.00 to use the safe, and you do not get the money back at the end of your stay.

Rooms
Our room was big, and was very clean, everyone has their own private deck. We were in building 1, and the only complaint I would have is that our room backed onto the back of the resort where the service road goes, and there is traffic on that most of the night, and real early in the morning. (The road is about 3 feet from our first floor balcony.

Restaurants and Bars
There seemed to be a limit of bars, and ther isn't a bar in the check in lobby that opens before 3:00 p.m. each day. The only bar that is open all the time is the sports bar Open 24 hours, and they have popcorn. We were surprised that we were limited to two a la carte restaraunts during our stay. (Our travel rep gave us another ticket at our meeting), but it was hard to make reservations. We went on Saturday to make reservations for the Steak House and it wasn't available until Tuesday. Because the Steak House and SeaFood Restaraunts are down by the water, it was quite windy. They had half of each restaraunt closed off each night, but someone told us it is because they didn't have enough wait staff. If you go to book your meals, and they say there is no room, I would wait a few hours and go back again. We had some people luck in like that. ALSO in the evening during supper lots of people just went to the restaraunts and asked the wait staff to seat them without reservations. A $2.00 tip goes a long way in Dominican.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
We thought the pools were great, and very well kept. The staff was out every morning about 6:30, cleaning out the pools, and wiping down the sides. The grounds were well kept also.

Other Comments
All in all we were satisfied with our holiday. We were terrified after reading the reviews. I guess if you are expecting really bad you can be plesantly surprised. We had needed a few things (toilet fixed, and iron for our room, and I must say it was done inside of an hour. My suggestion would be book you a la carte restaraunts as soon as you can, and bring lots of sunscreen as mentioned before in someone else's review it is $22.00 per bottle in the store at the resort. The BBQ at the beach front for lunch is great. Have a great trip

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