Carretera Bavaro. Km. 1
"it was paradise"
Posted by: leo on Jul 10, 2014
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The Barcelo Bavaro Beach & Convention Center (only adults), located on the first line of beach, amidst wonderful Cocotal is the center of life for Excellence Playa Bavaro, the authentic Bávaro Beach. The ideal environment for people who love watersports, for quiet honeymoon couples, and a fun and safe environment for couples with children.
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"NO, DO NOT GO!!! THEY DO NOT CARE, THEY GIVE YOU PAID ROOM AWAY, THEY HAVE MOSQUITOS!!!!!"
Posted by: Belkys
on Aug 9, 2010 >
1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Jul, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
985 people found this review helpful
11 persons in my vacation, all but one adults, one age 3. my parents 72, and 71, everyone else from age 25 to age 52, all professionals, non-drinking 9 persons, only 2 drinks if any for the two persons that do drink. They do not care, who visits the hotel. They do not Care!! that is the conclusion we have ended with. They do not want to speak to you if you are not Happy or having a problem. They just have to give you a room, and check the room when you check-out to make sure you did not take anything!!!! even if it was not there when you checked in. MAKE SURE YOU REPORT IN WRITING!!!! ANYTHING MISSING AT CHECK-IN. MUST DO SO, DO NOT FORGET. The missing plastic ice holder, which was not in the room since it was cleaned the 2nd day, was the hold up for 2 1/2 hours at check - Out, We did not ever use it so, so we did not report it missing. I'll be more than happy to open my bags and have them checked in the lobby, infront of everyone, I have nothing to hide. They never gave us an answer, I waited hours for them to find the plastic ice holder, Did they find it??? I still do not know. What kind of people visit this Hotel? they have to check the rooms at your departure. WOW. they will not be visited by my friends and Family, that is for sure.
1. Arrived on 7/30/10 around 9 PM, Barcelo Bavaro Palace, they say this is not the hotel take your things and you will be transported to the next hotel Palace Deluxe, they have your rooms, ok,
2. Arrived at 2nd Hotel Palace Deluxe, they are asking me why we are there? Because I was send by the 1st. hotel here to check in, we do not have your rooms. you have to go to the 3rd hotel Palace Family (the new one) they have your rooms. What are you saying? This is crazy we have confirmed and paid reservations. Why do you not have our rooms? "I can not help you, I do not have the rooms, you will be at Family one tonight and then tomorrow you will move to the other correct hotel." NO WAY, I will not be moved any more, You have the rooms and the guy at that desk is shaking his head, because of what you are saying. what game is it you play? I have elderly travelers and a small child, what is wrong with you? do you really think we are going to send our vacation moving hotel rooms? NO NO, I will sit here until you get this matter and our rooms solved here, not moving. I will be here, and we will all sit here, until you can get this mess together. I do speak Spanish, so do not get nasty, in Spanish, I do understand.
4. Called our travel agent.
5. Called lady at 1st., hotel. she gave us an apology for the mistakes, and said you will be taken care of. ok, I said. thank you.
6. We finally had rooms (5) rooms, 2 persons per room, as reserved. they were two rooms next to each other on 1st floor of building 4, one in the 2nd floor, one in the 4th floor and in building 3, one in the 3rd floor. But why say anything, we had rooms!! Happy. The rooms are beautiful, the mosquitos NOT!!!! everyday all day, Mosquitos!!!! and more Mosquitos. WHY???
NICE CLEAN and Great.....!!! Really Great. Take inventory of all things every thing, make a list and take to them at chekin. DO SO. They think you take things, even if you do not.
Restaurants and Bars:
everyday all day, Mosquitos!!!! and more Mosquitos. Chicken Soup was GOOD, Great, Bread was good, Desserts fantastic.
8. the other, Food was not too tasty?? all the same in every restaurant. well, that's life. The workers (cooks, maids and helpers, bag boys, bell boys, VERY VERY NICE!!!!!! love them all. they work hard.
11. The restaurants at the Casino, Hotel, smells BAD, BAD water smell!!!!! you can not eat, at this restaurant because you can smell is so bad, so this restaurant is always with less visitors, wander why???...
10. Truly, the beach temperature was great!!!, Love it, but the beach was not clean, they need to clean and take care of the Mosquitos,
Never visited the pool too far from my hotel, they are building a new one infront of the room I was staying in, wanderful, for the next person to visit, not for me.
Distance is too much for elderly my parents, they walk, but this was too much for them, because of the temp. weather also affected the situation.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
9. Unless you go to ALL the area Hotels and see the calenders you have no idea if there are shows? or parties? or what ever, no itinerary or calender to help plan your days, and activities, WHY they are a Big Well known hotel??? NO organization for the programs offered, not good with the amount of persons checking in daily. They have to get organized and have an organized schedule for persons wanting to do things.
12. They need more help in the Casino, you wait for over 5 minutes for someone to help if a machine is not working. Not GOOD...
13. Stores in the Barcelo Barvaro inside shops, they need to be organized and updated, too much stuff, but nothing to really buy, you can not find anything nice at any price. they are old things and dusty, not clean, Gum is $4.50 and up??? why??? If they do not have good sales, there is a reason why. they need uptodate stores, since you really can not go outside without a taxi and allot of planning. They need a good BUYER!!!
They should organize going to the nice outside stores, a bus tour, you could sign-up for, a trip once per week or twice, morning or afternoon. they may get people to put money into the area this way.
14. I requested to speak to the person in charge on the last day at the facilities and no one ever came. why? No one ever spoke to us.
15. Wheel chairs look like I just got them from the 2nd hand store, WHY??
16. They need to be supervised by a general manager that cares, seems as if no one cared, what you had to say, good or bad. no reactions, no one is in charge of anything, or gives an answer to anything.
17. Owner and investors of this Barcelo Bavaro need to wake up, and look around, they are building more, without fixing big problems.
I would love to speak to the investors and ask them why? are they so big that they do not care if a few customers are not happy? Paradise or Mosquito infested dream.
"INEXPENSIVE RESORT, BUT VERY DISAPPOINTING!!"
Posted by: jason manning
on Jul 21, 2010 >
1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Jul, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
979 people found this review helpful
the staff super freindly/wellcoming,the security was awesome,pool is way 2small,dirty & gets very roudy/wild with all the local dominicans,the food OMG!horible 1000% we vomited for 5days stright,the liqour( SUCKS ) isnt watered down, its produced with very little alchohal so poeple dont get out of hand,it, i drank 3 full cups of stright bacello rum and i had only a litebuzz!, i ended up buying a good bottle of brugal outside the resort.i heard from a staff member that the resort,is catering more 2 familys,so thats y they dont have many nite/adult activities, they basically keep the resort dark at nite so u got to sleep,wake up early & spend allday buying tours, This resort is ran as a $ machine nothing more,unless ur buying tours,ur very bored,basically everything they include for "free" in ur package SUCKS and its of low quality,the taxi bus( included in our package) from the airport is a ripoff $40 and its a 15min ride & according to our package it was included, on the way back we hired a private taxi off the street it was only 15bucks.everything in this resort its made out 2 look expensive but its not, the niteclud waslike 110degress at 2am,it was super loud/crowded & offcorse as anywere in the resort the liqour waslike alchohal free, the beach veryy noisey & the waters r rough with a million tour boats,helicopters & all sorts of motorized activites, in this resort they just want to keep spending a tons of money each days ur there,i call it the factory resort,becuse it looks like a factory , i will certainly go back to DR, i love the country & the poeple & the dollar goes a longway, but not at this resort sorry,i couldnt wait to get back home..
our room facing the beach was beautifull,very clean,great service,huge LCD tv,beautifull bathroom, the top of the line room we stay at facing the beach was excellent i will say that..no complaints about the rooms.be ready 2 b woken up at 4am with plenty of drunken poeple screaming/runing/fighting.
Restaurants and Bars:
huge selections of resturants/foods but they all suck!,flies all over the foods, what ever is leftover from the nite b4 they chop it up & turn in2 a salad,many dirty plates too,the water is warm & if u put ice in it get ready for the vomiting and dieahria the nextday.very long fusterateing line 2 eat anything.
the pool super small,super crowded with loud agressive poeple,it looked like a collage poolparty,cups by the dozens in the pool.poeple doing bellyflops, my beer got full of water a dozen times,not a plesant exerpince esperically on fridays and sat, when they allow the local dominicans in the resort 2party..
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
theres plenty of activities if u want to spend a fortune ( they want u 2do that).unless u r buying tours, u will be very borded,theres nothing 2do but to buy into those expensive activites..
i will certianly go back to DR..like i said there great humble poeple,the country is beautfull,its very cheap to travle there,but i wont be going to any barccello resorts.
Jenny on Apr 23, 2010 >
1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
926 people found this review helpful
This is a poor excuse for an all inclusive resort!! This is not our first trip to Punta Cana but our first stay at Barcelo Bavaro Palace and will be our last. After 2 days, even with beautiful weather and a beautiful beach, I was ready to come home; accommodations were awful.
Arrival was OK; a bit of a wait because the people ahead of us 'had a problem of some sort' (this should have been our first clue).
Awful!! The pictures they show in no way represented our room. Very old - had to be original, dirty, refrigerator rusty and only re-filled when I complained, patio furniture ready to fall apart and the worst was the bed and bedding. King size bed that was so old and broken down that we both had back problems all week. They put a flat queen size sheet on a king size bed as the bottom sheet, no mattress pad, which meant you ended up on the dirty, and I do mean dirty, old mattress during the night. I got up regularly to try to cover up the mattress so I could get alittle sleep. Some days no clean towels - ended up getting clean pool towels one day so we could take a shower and this was after 5:00 pm. I always wore shoes in the room as I felt like nothing was clean. Maids not friendly or accommodating in any way. We usually left our room by 9:00 AM and did not come back until after 4:00 and our room still would not be cleaned most days and I DID hang out the sign to clean.
Restaurants and Bars:
The bars are too small to accommodate the number of people. And at night, the lobby bar was so crowded you might be lucky to get a drink. In our complex was the buffet, a SMALL Italian restaurant, one other small restaurant which is another story, and the French restaurant which you had to pay additional for (was never crowded). Food was often cold in the buffet; nice variety if you aren't American. Very little English spoken.
Lobby bar/stage area was dominated in the evenings until 10:00 pm by small chilren and a clown with LOUD music. What about some nice adult music and find some other place to entertain the kids? You couldn't even talk nor could you hear the piano player by the bar. The 'other small restuarant' - sits on the beach - we came in from beach, no shoes but shirts on and was turned away because we did not have shoes on BUT one young lady with a thong on and no cover-up was seated immediately. I personally could care less how much skin they show but think this was a bit off.
Beautiful beach area!! And usually plenty of chairs. Some broken that need replaced. Pool area too small for the number of people (it seemed that guests from two other complexes used the pool because they did not have one) and if you wanted a chair, you had to get out by 7:00 AM. Grounds were nice and the buildings looked nice from the outside until you walked into your room. No drink servers on the beach.
Not the good experiences that I have had at other all-inclusives in Punta Cana.
"Stressful and Frustrating Experience"
Lostris21 on Mar 9, 2012 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2012 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
660 people found this review helpful
I am posting this detailed negative review in the hopes that others will not have the same horrible vacation at Barcelo Bavaro Beach that me and my partner did.
Overall our entire stay during the last week was an exercise in frustration. At least 4 hours of the vacation was spent making complaints and moving rooms. We were looking for a peaceful resort and a relaxing 7 days to get away from our stressful work schedule. Sadly our stay at Barcelo was anything but relaxing. In all honesty I would have preferred to have spent the time at work. I feel like I was robbed by Barcelo of 7 days vacation and paid over $3400 for the privilege to consume awful drinks, eat mediocre food, sit anxiously at a table hoping that a waiter will see that my water glass is empty and fill it, and sunbath on an obnoxiously loud beach.
The prettiness of the beach and manicured grounds did not in any way make up for all of the negatives mentioned above. Neither did the few good aspects of the resort (La Comedie, La Fuente, Striker’s, and the disco). Other than Maryloly, a guest services manager, and some of the receptionists at Club Premium, it does not seem that anyone cares whether you have a good time on your vacation. It seems like the resort’s goal is to get the greatest numbers of tourists in and out in the fastest amount of time possible without caring about the quality of their stay. You could not pay me to go back to this place.
I usually take negative reviews with a grain of salt when I read them. I didn’t read the negative reviews for the Bavaro Palace Deluxe before going and I really regret this because, unfortunately, those other guests had similar experiences to mine. Please read the negative reviews for the Palace before booking at Barcelo Bavaro Beach so that you can be informed if you choose to go to this resort.
I would also like to mention the follow at the outset of this review: my partner and I both attempted to speak Spanish to servers and bartenders from the outset, rather than assuming they speak English; we were always polite in our requests to the staff - using "por favor" and "gracias"; and we spent close to a $100 in tips at the resort.
My partner and I booked the trip with Sunwing Vacations. The flight to Punta Cana was on time and the service was fabulous. The flight attendants were friendly, the food was good, and the flight smooth. Our vacation was off to a great start. Sadly, the flight was one of the best parts of the trip.
Upon arrival we were greeted with welcome drinks and checked in promptly. The rooms have been recently renovated and are nicely done. They come equipped with a flat screen television, mini bar, complimentary safe, and a radio with an IPOD dock. Unfortunately the part of the bathroom with the shower/bath and the toilets have not been renovated. The bathtubs have been painted and I experienced paint chips falling off while I was showering which clogged the drain. The rooms on the higher floors have balconies and the first floor rooms have a terrace and sun chairs. The ocean view rooms (as opposed to suites) and the rest of the rooms are identical.
We had requested a quiet room with a king size bed on a higher floor prior to arrival. We were given room 1099 on third floor of the 1000s complex. This room overlooked the main lobby bar area and was decidedly not quiet. Even with the doors closed you could hear the music. So we went back to the lobby to request another room.
We were first told that the hotel was full and that there was nothing they could do at the moment. After saying that I had requested a quiet room and that we were there for a special occasion and wanted a romantic stay, we were told that they would do us a favour and we could move to Room 3099 but not to tell anyone that they did us this favour. Room 3099 overlooked the service road and had views of palm trees & the other building - nothing too exciting, but since it seemed to be much quieter we moved. The next morning we were woken up by staff yelling in Spanish on the service road. And the following two mornings we were woken up by a “neighbour” walking around in high heels in a neighbouring suite in the early morning hours.
This time we asked the Sunwing representative for help, but were told that there was only one room available that day– 1001. This wasn’t much quieter.
So we caved in and upgraded to Club Premium for the remainder of our stay for $40 per person per night. We took an ocean view room in the 4000s building on the first floor which ended up being quieter than the rest. It did have mosquitoes, which the other rooms did not, so we did end up getting bitten and woken up at night by them. It also had a musty smell and the clothes hanging in the closet were damp. The air conditioner did not help to get rid of the dampness. Everything picked up the musty smell so we had to wash all the clothes upon our return.
The maids were fantastic! The room was thoroughly cleaned and everything was usually restocked (except for face towels). We saw them working from the early morning until the early evening. If we needed something like matches or face towels all we had to do was find a maid to ask for it and we would promptly get it. We both felt that these ladies were the hardest workers at the resort.
ROOM SERVICE :
As part of the perks of being Club Premium members you are supposed to get free room service. The breakfast will arrive at your room….eventually… and it may or may not be cold. Herein lies the adventure.
The first morning after our upgrade we ordered two Spa Breakfasts. After 25 minutes we received a call saying that they were running late and that it would be another ten minutes. The meal arrived an HOUR after we ordered it (at which time it was too late to head to the buffet for breakfast) and the omelettes were cold!! My partner tipped the server, Oscar, $5 with the hopes that service and the wait would be better next time. After we ate the meal, my partner called room service to pick the dishes. Oscar said that he would be there in 10 minutes, but after waiting an hour for him to arrive, my partner finally gave up. We then decided to complain to the Club Premium reception and they agreed that the service and wait time were unacceptable.
The next morning I called room service and was told that the wait time for breakfast would be 35 minutes. We decided to go to the buffet instead of waiting. The following morning I called again and was told that the wait time for breakfast would be 25 minutes. We ordered one Spa Breakfast and one Continental breakfast. 45 minutes after placing the order, it finally came. And of course we received one Spa Breakfast and one American Breakfast. At least this time the eggs were hot.
Restaurants and Bars:
The service was awful, awful, awful at the buffets. Invariably, something was always missing at the place setting when you sat down, be it a utensil, drinking glasses or napkins. You would have to ask the server pouring you water or flag down a waiter to get this additional item. They would do this begrudgingly and without smiling, even if you smiled and said Please and Thank You profusely. It was as if somehow asking them to do their job was a horrible imposition. Flagging down a server was next to impossible since they quickly disappeared from the section after you received the initial drinks. Water was given promptly (and wine at dinner) once you sat down but that is about it. If you asked for anything else such as orange juice, an alcoholic drink (at lunch), or coffee, there was a 50/50 chance that the drinks would arrive. I tried ordering a rum punch three times, at three different buffets, only to have a waitress repeat the name, say “Si” and then disappear. The drink never came.
After pouring your first glass of water, you are on your own. The servers now hold the wine bottles and water bottles hostage. Usually the servers walk by briskly and ignore your empty glass. Don’t try to get up and get the bottle of water on your own either, as you may have a server chastise you and tell you to sit down. Of course it will then take them another 5 – 10 minutes to refill both your glasses with water.
Also forget about smiles or small talk. We ate at the buffet around 17 times and had servers smile and engage in conversation 2 times. All other times we were greeted by unsmiling individuals who clearly hated their jobs.
SERVICE AT THE A LA CARTES:
I will begin with the positive. The service at La Comedie and La Fuente was wonderful. It was prompt, courteous, friendly and efficient. At La Comedie the manager even stopped by each table to great individuals personally. The service at La Brisa was also pretty spectacular.
The service at Coral Costal Caribe and the Japanese restaurant was terrible. At Coral we were seated and told to go get our appetizers at the buffet. Once we got back to our seats we could not eat the appetizers since we had no utensils. It took five minutes to flag down somebody to ask for utensils. We then received water and wine. Someone took our order. We were then ignored for 15 minutes as we attempted to flag down somebody to get a refill. Eventually my partner got up and grabbed the bottle of water himself (no one noticed). He then served the couple next to us, who were also being ignored by our servers. He then poured water for a few other couples with empty water glasses who were happy to be served. It took another 20 minutes for our meal to come (around 35 minutes in total from the time we ordered) – we quickly finished it and headed to the buffet for dessert.
We also had a negative experience at the Japanese but I'm out of space...
The pool is pretty and shallow. It is not heated, but it is not any colder than the ocean. If the sun is shining it is entirely pleasant to lounge in the pool. There are chairs around the pool but people leave their towels and “reserve” chairs, so it is usually a problem finding free ones in the afternoon. One afternoon we lay next to five “reserved” chairs and they weren’t used for about 3 hours! This was a common theme. Some individuals just took to removing beach towels from these "reserved" chairs which I think was completely appropriate. It is quieter and less windy by the pool than on the beach.
The sand is soft and white. The water is warm and pleasant. It is possible to wade out quite a bit into the water with the water reaching shoulder/chest level. There is quite a bit of seaweed, but they do have staff raking it away.
There are lots of palm trees on the beach for shade and plenty of chairs available. It was never a problem finding a chair although people do “reserve” them. The beach was rather windy the entire time we were there, so it was slightly cold if lying in the shade.
The MAJOR negative factor about the beach is that there are “party boats” which pass by every so often and then sit in the water at the far end of the beach. These boats are ridiculously NOISY and it feels like you are at the disco. Because of the wind you can hear all the music that is playing on these boats, so it is not relaxing to lie on the beach. It is impossible to block the noise out and the boats run from about 10 am until 4pm. Forget about just closing your eyes and listening to the waves of the ocean. There are also parasails and speed boats that contribute to the noise.
Speaking of noise, there are speakers (disguised as rocks) set up on all the pathways throughout Barcelo Bavaro Beach and the walkways to La Brisa and the Palace. The speakers play jazz and other ‘relaxing’ music. The sound levels get louder at 6pm – I think they may correspond with meal times. I don’t know if the speakers are an effort to drown out the “party boats” or to unify the giant complex or set a mood, but regardless of the reason they merely contribute to the noisy environment. They are only turned off at night – this is when the complex is finally peaceful.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
I knew from reading previous reviews that very few staff speak English. In Mexico and Cuba I have always attempted to use Spanish instead of English, so I didn’t think communication would be a problem since I can speak basic Spanish. Indeed, my interaction with the staff at the Club Premium Reception was mostly in Spanish since they spoke little to no English. But that was were the ‘easy’ communication ended. The rest of the interactions with the staff were exercises in frustration.
There are not many English speakers at the resort – a few Americans and even fewer English speaking Canadians. There are many French Canadians at Barcelo Bavaro Beach and the staff speaks Spanish and French. The bartenders, to their credit, also seem to understand English. Or at least they understood enough. We had one funny incident where my partner tried to order ginger ale and ended up with a gin and tonic. However, most of the servers at the restaurants and the ones that come around to get your drinks speak do not speak English. They also seemed to be unable to understand my Spanish (in reality I just think they didn’t care enough to try and understand). So asking what the ingredients were in a drink was near impossible, as was finding someone to explain what menu item consisted of. Moreover, whenever you said something or asked something the general response was ‘Si’ but then you would be left waiting for whatever it is you asked for…
The disco was one of the best things about the resort. Since it’s such a large complex there are always people in there and the dance floor is usually packed. We went every night and there were only two nights were the dance floor was kind of empty. They generally tend to recycle the same playlist every night, but it’s not a bad one. They play a mixture of Spanish songs, current hits and one or two Russian pop songs. There was lots of Pitbull, Rihanna, Shakira, LMAO, etc. We had a great time dancing.
It’s small but decent enough. Lots of slot machines (with instructions in Spanish) and some card tables. We won the second place jackpot on the slot machine, so it is possible to win.
We went to the Palace to watch the Entertainment for every night but one. Most nights at the Palace involved a singer and somewhat coordinated dancers on stage – it was pretty boring. The best show was definitely the Michael Jackson show and you could tell that the routines were polished. Other nights the entertainment consisted of “embarrass the tourists” where individuals got up on stage and did silly things such as repeat words in Spanish or do a striptease or a sexy dance. The only show that we saw at Barcelo Bavaro Beach (and ended up partaking in) was an “embarrass the tourists” one. Overall I wasn’t impressed by the calibre of the entertainment – I’ve seen much better in Mexico.
SERVICE AT THE BAR :
The bars at the Barcelo Bavaro Beach seemed to be understaffed. There were usually two bartenders at the Carey Lobby Bar and the Beach Bar. There was sometimes a third person at the Beach Bar. The bartenders took only one order or sometimes two orders at a time. It usually took at least 5 minutes of waiting just to order a drink – more at extra busy times. The bartenders were not friendly and tipping did not help to improve the expediency or friendliness of the service (except for at the disco).
QUALITY OF DRINKS :
The drinks are okay if you’re a beer, wine or champagne drinker. The cocktails are disappointingly awful. They are made with juices, however the juices they use taste very artificial. Also note that if you ask for a Pina Colada, you must specify that you would like rum with it (“con ron”) as the default is a non-alcoholic drink.
Many of the drinks that I ordered were undrinkable – as in they tasted so bad that I just couldn’t drink them. It got so bad that I would order 2 or 3 drinks hoping that one of them tasted right. Sometimes this strategy worked, sometimes it didn’t.
I tried most of the rum-based drinks on the menu looking for one that I could stick to for the rest of the vacation. The ‘colada’ ones seemed to have some kind of chalky undertaste to them. Most of the mojitos were extremely sour.
I think a major problem is that most bartenders put an insane amount of alcohol in a drink – I’m talk about almost half to 2/3 of the glass was rum. If your goal is to get drunk then great, but my goal was to enjoy the taste of the drink and so much alcohol made them taste disgusting. So I started ordering drinks that were “no muy fuerte” – not very strong.
However the main problem seemed to be the lack of consistency between bartenders. Here are a few of our many examples:
A rum punch consists of rum, grenadine and orange juice. At the disco I ordered a rum punch and the bartender put in a shot of rum and then filled the rest of the glass with grenadine & did not add any orange juice. Of course it was too sweet to even drink.
Another time I ordered a Pina Bavaro, one of the resort’s signature drinks, at the La Brisa Bar. Pina Bavaros are yellow in colour. I was given two rum punches (red and orange in colour) and when I asked the bartender whether these were Pina Bavaros he emphatically nodded and said yes. I gave up and drank the rum punches.
At the beach bar I ordered a Banana Daiquiri (which is yellow) and was handed a pink drink. Thinking that I was given a strawberry daiquiri I asked the bartender if the drink was a banana daiquiri. He proudly explained to me that he is the only bartender who adds grenadine to banana daiquiris. I didn’t have the strength to argue with him, so I took it and promptly threw the drink away since grenadine and bananas taste awful together.
"I liked the hotel.. it was a 4 star hotel room in a 3 star resort."
SuperEggz1 on Apr 11, 2010 >
3 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
949 people found this review helpful
I finally had time to sit down and write my review.. I got back 2 weeks ago and sadly my tan is fading away. Here is my break down:
I liked the hotel.. it was a 4 star hotel room in a 3 star resort. Me and my wife booked this hotel just to escape the horrible winter we had here in the north east and it did the trick. If your planning a trip with your friends or spouse just to get away this hotel is for you. If your looking for a romantic getaway this is certainly not the place!!
CHECK IN - TOTAL NIGHTMARE We arrived Via Turniter travels at 3:30pm as check in was 3pm. The line was long and our room wasnt ready yet. We went for lunch and came back and waited on a longer line. They give us our room key and a small map and say enjoy your stay. We will send something over to your room as a token for waiting this long. (nothing ever came) Finally got to our room at 5:30 and The safe was broken!! It took an hour to get someone up to fix it. It needed to be re programmed!!
ROOMS - We had the Junior deluxe suit and it was a great room. Ill tell you know dont waste your money on an ocean view or ocean front. there are 4 blocks in a U shape and the ocean view is the center of the block and the ocean front is right up front but its where everyone walks and you get no privacy. Plus the sprinklers come on and soaked people who were relaxing. Its all the same exact room your just paying more!!!
BEACH - ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!! This is where the hotel rebounds. It was beautiful and quiet.. There were plenty of chairs and there were places under neath the trees for shade and you can bring the chairs any place you wanted. I bought a small plastic cooler cause I heard from others that there is no service at the beach itself I bought a small one that fits about 6-8 beers and it worked perfectly. There is no waiter service and trust me you would die of thirst if there was. If You drink beer buy a cooler.. Or just fill it up with coke and buy a bottle of rum. The service at the bar is a disaster also. Also beware of women going topless.. Trust me its not as glamorous as you might think.
POOLS - over crowded on the other sections but the pools on our specific resort was deep and it had a diving section which was fun and more open. we had fun there but some moron spilled his drink in the pool and they never cleaned it up. Seriously the pina colada streak was in the pool for 2 days. They never cleaned it at night.
RESORT - We traveled around the resort on the trolley and saw the other hotels which were not that good. This hotel was the best part of the whole resort. Me and my wife really enjoyed our stay but wished the hotel had better service. If you are spending this kind of money it would be nice that your treated well. I used to be a waiter and I am not a demanding person but some of the staff people looked like they didnt even want to be there!!
At Night time - It dimly lit by the beach and the side walk area where you travel to the resorts. Kinda dangerous because you really cant see that far but nothing to worry about.
We checked out.. Dropped off our keys and they kept us in the lobby area waiting for security to check out the room for any damage. THis hasnt happened to me since my college days.. I was not happy. We laughed about our experience on the bus going to the airport with others because they all agreed the service was terrible and for a resort this big a small map and no English speaking employees.
This is my 2nd time in Punta Cana.. I dont think I will be returning to this country again unless I come across an amazing deal. Mexico is 10000 times better!!!
I think me and my wife are going to explore the rest of the Caribbean from here on out.
SERVICE - Non existent !!!! I mean it is horrible.. If you dont speak Spanish GOOD LUCK!!! I have been to Mexico numerous times and never once had a problem with service. We didnt bother with restaurants because the lines were always long. We stuck to the buffets and you would grab food and then have to wait for someone to bring you a drink. First you had to get them to take your drink order and then wait 10 mins for the drink. I am from NYC.. I need coffee first thing before I eat.. Good luck waiting for coffee!!! If you speak Spanish you will get top service cause it was insulting on how they took care of you. Tipping didnt help either!!!
Andrea from Halifax on Nov 1, 2009 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2009
902 people found this review helpful
Arrival: March 2009
We were to stay at the Palace, which is the 5-star hotel in the complex but were dropped off at a different hotel. We waited in a long line up before the mistake was noticed and even then, the staff didn't seem to know where we should go to check in. When we finally did get to where we had to go, check in took another couple of hours for all of the guests registering there that afternoon. Not sure what the problem was.
Check out was not better. We could not keep our room for the entire day and then our flight was delayed, but nobody bothered to inform us and we ended up waiting in the lobby for our airport transfer for many hours...without being anyone letting us know what was going on. We asked, but it was like pulling teeth.
Modern decor, but not overly clean. There was a large dead spider in our bed and a blood engorged musquito that had been squashed on the wall that was never cleaned up the entire time we were there.
Restaurants and Bars:
Horrible. We've been to Cuba and heard the food there was not comparable to places like DR or Mexico, but Cuba was an exquisite culinary experience compared to this place. There were SWARMS of flies on the food. I couldn't even get food from underneath, there were that many flies. We tried all the restaurants and it was pretty much the same. The least disgusting restaurant was the Golf resort. The a la carte restaurants were a bit better but the line ups were very long. The red wine was so watered down, it was pink.
After 36 hours, we became physically ill to our stomachs and it took us a few months to recover.
The beach was crowded and noisy. The motorized watersports and helicopters were incessant - I felt like I was in a war-zone. It was impossible to get a lounger and the beach area was packed. The pool areas were like a big frat party, but yet it wasn't Spring Break.
The most unrelaxing vacation ever.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
No, I just wanted to go home.
Never again. We spoke with many guests who were repeat customers and they all said the resort had changed - the food was terrible and that the wine was watered down. They too said they would not be coming back.
"The staff, grounds and beach save the hotel."
Debbie on Apr 5, 2010 >
Visited on: Apr, 2010
2146 people found this review helpful
At the start of my Dominican Republic trip, I decide to stay one night at the super sized Barcelo Palace Hotel.
My cab driver Carlo charges 1000 Dominican Peso’s ($ 28 US) for the ride from Punta Cana airport to the Barcelo Palace Hotel. One hour after landing I enter the Barcelo Palace lobby. It is the Friday before Easter and the hotel is filled up to the brim. It has not been easy to get a one-night reservation for a single room ( I am a women travelling on my own) since hotels in Punta Cana avoid this kind of bookings.
My room, # 6029, does not feature a frontal ocean view but thankfully I can see the Ocean from my terrace on the ground floor. Very refreshing after plowing through a nasty winter. Still I cannot deny feeling slightly depressed this first night of my DR arrival. This might have something to do with my 10-hour flight or the fact that I am not a huge fan of all inclusive vacation resorts. Having said that, I always felt quite all right staying in Melia (Paradisus) resorts elsewhere. Maybe I feel this way because from the first moment onwards, the Barcelo Palace comes across like a resort where routine reigns. I suppose that to some extend this is normal, but I feel more processed rather than welcomed.
Despite it is the Easter weekend, there is only one gentleman in front of me at time of check in and after 30 minutes I am walking with a porter to my room # 29 in building six. It is not easy at all to get the porter to leave my room and although I have plenty of experience travelling in the Caribbean, I feel slightly uncomfortable with this pushy male in my room.
My room is big, has a tile floor en smells moldy. Like always I look underneath my bed, here I discover lots of piled up dust. The bathroom also looks like it has been cleaned in 30 seconds. The mattress cover and curtains don’t look fresh, towels are old, the soap dispenser is dirty and needs replacement, the poster on the wall is way to small for the size of its frame and the base of the large standing light is rusting as are the two iron chairs and table on the terrace. Time doesn’t take it easy on most of everything.
The airco also has its routine as it kicks in every half hour with a noise that in combination with the disco nearby guarantees a sleepless night. The television channels come in fuzzy and the sound of TV is almost as awful as that of the airco. I always wonder:" Why do hotel rooms always have so little outlets available for the time you want to plug in your laptop ?" Well you get it, the room is a total disaster but to be fair I have to mention it is also sunny and the water pressure of the shower is ok. The bed is also nice and big and the safety chain on the door is a feature, which I, being a woman travelling “solo”, highly appreciate.
The minibar holds two beers, Coca Cola (light and regular!), a large bottle of water and some other types of soft drinks. There is an ice bucket available but this is of no use to me since the ice compartment ironically needs to be de-iced before it can become functional again.
The wide beach is nothing less than spectacular; white powder sand, palm trees and of course a marvelous blue sea. Lots of loungers too! The surrounding grounds are kept up perfectly by gardeners who are picking up leaves, pruning trees and harvest the coconuts just before they might fall on someone’s head. I see some little birds flying up and down with twigs, building their nests high up in the palm tree. Evidently spring also has arrived here.
The pathways towards the beach, restaurants, lobby and rooms gently wind through a landscape made up by lush vegetation and a vast number of palm trees. Nicely done!
During the check-in process, I learned about the various restaurants of Barcelo Palace. One is closed which seems awkward during the busy Easter weekend. I can imagine that once you arrive for the first time in a large resort like this one, you feel kind of overwhelmed by all the (restaurants) choices, which are at your disposal; at least that happened to me. I decided therefore to hit the lobby bar first. The white wine is inelegantly poured out of an, also super sized, plastic bottle. After sitting down at one of the small tables, a friendly waitress offers me some bite size sandwiches decorated with combinations of cheese, tomato, ham, chorizo and some kind of caviar. Nicely and not so nicely dressed families pass me by on way to the restaurants which all are located nearby the pool. After my drink, I also decide to find out which restaurant can offer me a relaxed and quiet table to eat.
The French restaurant Chez Palace is non-smoking en does not look cozy at all due to way to much white light. The menu displayed at the entrance looks attractive to me but “ambience” is more important to me. I move on to the buffet, which many families with children seem to prefer and where the noise level on a scale from 1-10 is about eleven. After crossing the small bridge over the swimming pool I find a nice, small restaurant with a large number of folks waiting outside for a table. Not exactly what I planned to do so I move on to the Dominican Restaurant around the corner, which hugs the beach and offers local specialties. I like this! The restaurant is not busy at all; this might have something to do with the fact that many visitors are unfamiliar with the dishes explained on the menu and their Caribbean ingredients. Local food is local, so I pick Yucca Soup, rice, beans in a special sauce, fried chicken pieces and fried banana. My desert consists of a popular traditional sweet made from condensed milk with a caramel topping, which is called “flan”. All in all I enjoy a great meal although I have my doubts if the red house wine has not been watered down;)
Breakfast in the buffet restaurant is just fine. Lots of choices, friendly staff, fast and good service and fresh squeezed juices made from fruits of my choice.
Because I only stay here one night and I have to confront the inevitable jetlag, I skip the evening show and go to sleep right after dinner. In the lobby I did see an activities board with lots of options and two desks with representatives where you can book off-resort excursions as well as various information desks.
Way to small! Especially when the hotel is packed!
In these modern times I think that it is a rip-off when hotels charge you for Wi-Fi. This should be a standard service! Internet costs at the Barcelo Palace run from $5 US for 15 minutes using one of the 4 PC’s in the lobby to $ 60 US for Wi-Fi, which covers the whole complex, on your laptop.
I imagined the Barcelo Palace to be much more luxurious, offering services of a much higher level. In my opinion this is a commercial tourist factory, lacking a sense of romanticism, a place where they forget to enhance the experience of staying on a truly fantastic beach. Maybe a new management with a fresh approach could bring a much-needed change and couple a brilliant location with a superb resort experience.
Posted by: David
on Feb 27, 2010 >
1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Feb, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
967 people found this review helpful
Its been a number of years since I've stayed here. This time I was the leader of 16 people that came from cold snowy Wisconsin. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the hotel and complex. The food was very good as we tryed almost every restaurant in the complex. Service we thought was very good. Friendly and accomodating. The beach and grounds were well cared for. One thing I did notice on this trip was the lack of hawkers walking up and down the beach. There were a few but not near the number there used to be. And I didn't miss them. the consensus was that we would all go back again and stay here.
Were clean and well cared for. Make friends with the cleaning staff on the first day and they take extra care of you for your whole stay. Extra beer or pop in the refrig, or extra coffee etc.
Restaurants and Bars:
No complaints on the food or the drinks. Alsways good to try something new.
Immaculate. The beach area was cleaned every morning usually by 7 am. Other hotels down the beach weren't cleaned until later in the day.
Overall a good stay. I would recommend this resort to anyone.
"I would definitely vacation at this resort again"
Sandra ~ Mississauga, Ontario, Canada on Mar 1, 2009 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2009
475 people found this review helpful
Arrived just before midnight, a short wait at the reception area, however this is nothing new, things move at a slower pace in other parts of the world, especially in Carribbean resorts.
Having read some of the reviews posted, my expectations were not high, so I was thrilled with the room - although the age of the room showed, it was clean and large with everything operational. We did not experience any problems with water, electricity or air conditioning. The only issue that we had was that the safe was left closed by the previous occupants, so we needed to request maintenance to have the safe opened in order to store our passports and cash. With our late arrival I was told that someone would come by to fix it first thing in the morning, so to ensure that they had not forgotten I called again and was very pleased when a maintenance employee showed up in less than 5 minutes.
Restaurants and Bars
Buffet restaurants were identical to other resorts in the DR (I have stayed at approximately 10 hotels in DR), however I thought that the Beach Grill was outstanding and much better than anything that I have experienced before, including 5 star resorts on other Islands and in Mexico. The Beach Grill offers a selection of fresh meats, fish and seafood on a daily basis along with a salad bar, paella, french fries and pizza slices. You choose the food item and wait while it is grilled, this takes a bit longer but the beef tenderloin steaks are incredible as is the selection of fish, of which I tried the salmon, red snapper and shrimp, just have a glass of wine or a drink while you are waiting. Italian and Mexican restaurants were fabulous (located at the Caribe and Beach resorts). I had read that there were long waits at the bars, however I did not find them long, I viewed the wait time as an opportunity to look at the spectacular views of the ocean or have a quick conversation with another vacationer.
The beach was spectacular and kept very clean, you can walk for hours in one direction and about 30 minutes in the other direction. The groundskeepers are always at work in the mornings, sweeping and washing away the sand around the pool area. The seaweed on the beach is also being constantly raked up.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We did not leave the resort as we are beach/pool bunnies, but we did hear from many that the Saona catamaran trip was very enjoyable. You can participate in the usual activites organized by the Animacion team such as Pool and Beach aerobics, dance lessons, bocce ball, darts, etc., or you can sit and observe others participating.
A great resort, employees are friendly, resort is clean and well maintained, I would definitely vacation at this resort again.
"A piece of heaven"
Posted by: Vivian
on Apr 1, 2011 >
2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
883 people found this review helpful
The Barcelo Bavaro Beach and Convention center is part of the complex which includes the Palace, Casino and Golf sections. The Palace section is all new within the last few years. The Beach section (where we stayed) is what used to be the old Palace section before the renovations. The section now called the Beach is adults only which was nice. We had access to all parts of the resort.
Wednesday, March 23 Direct flight from my home city - a first and it was wonderful. We arrived at the airport around noon, and since there were only 2 couples from the flight going to this resort, we had a van for transportation, and arrived at the resort in no time! We checked in - our room was ready! We had lunch and were on the beach by 2PM!
The rooms are starting to show their age. However everything worked and it was clean. There was lots of space in the room, and we had a small balcony. The room was well laid out. There were elevators, but mostly we used the stairs.
Restaurants and Bars:
The food was as good at this resort as at any other we have been to. We mainly ate at the buffets. We went to one a la cart and it was lovely. It appeared that some a la cart restaurants are heavily used while others are way under utilized, as are the buffets which were never crowded. We ate lunch at the beach grill most days. The bars were never crowded either, and the service was great. Sometimes in the morining, it was difficult to find a waiter to refil your coffee, but we kept sitting in different sections till we found a great waitress!
The pools at this resort are huge, and not at all crowded. In fact we never encountered crowds anywhere at anytime. We asked the travel rep if the resort was experiencing a low time, and she said it was 98% booked. There were tons of extra lounge chairs at both the beach an the pool. The beach also has lots of trees for shade, yet lots of open space for sun. The grounds are really nice and the maids do not pick the flowers, so they are everywhere to be enjoyed. Since this is practically the last resort on the beach, there are not a lot of people walking by all day as there are at other resorts up the beach. However there is a lot of motor boat activity in front of this resort, and that gets a bit noisy from time to time. If you are on the beach around 10AM and can see the dolphin pens, keep an eye on that as you will be able to see the dolphins jumping. Also, the beach at this resort is much more protected than others, and you do not get the waves here that you get at other resorts, so you can almost always go out in the kayaks and pedal boats, etc. The water sport equipment all looks new.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We do not do tours. We go to enjoy the sun and the beach. We did snorkle off the beach a few times, and if you are patient you are sure to see lots of interesting fish. I even saw a big eel in the grass!
However, we do run each morning. This resort is spread out along about 2 km of beach, and the sand is relatively flat and well packed. As well there is not much motor traffic on the roads within the resort (aside from the 'trains' that take people from one place to another within the resort). There is a 500m paved sports track around some soccer fields, AND there is a golf course. Now you are not supposed to be on the golf course if you are not golfing, but we went out around 6:30 each morning (the first Tee time is at 7AM) and ran the back nine. It was awsome!
We have been to 5 or 6 resorts in the Punta Cana area. This is my favourite - mainly because of the beach and the running opportunities. The direct flight from my home city was a big bonus for this trip.