Barceló Bávaro Palace

5.0 star rating

Exceptional accommodation with superior facilities and services.

    What to expect (based on 22792 reviews):

    Cleanliness

    Cleanliness-4.5

    Location

    Location-4.5

    Rooms

    Rooms-4.5

    Service

    Service-4

    Value

    Value-4

    5 most recent TripAdvisor reviews:

    Now you have to beg to eat at this hotel

    Reviewed by 897maikelf(Miami, Florida) on Aug 07, 2020

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			1
			 out of 5

    I reserved in this hotel for a week. From restaurants open with no reservations and no buffet option at night, today they leave a paper at the room saying you have to make a line in order to get a ticket to eat. Plus if you don’t get a ticket you don’t eat. Great customer service. Do not reserve at this piece of crap resort.

    Pandemic visit - plusses and minusses

    Reviewed by DSK1967(NJ) on Aug 07, 2020

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			4
			 out of 5

    Booked Grand Memories back in Feb, thought no issue with the pandemic by July (ha right). GM was closed, but Bavaro was open for a great price. Went with my 8 and 6 yo girls. Airports and flights were pretty empty - security and customs both at EWR and Punta Cana were so easy, we flew through. DAT transport pickup private shuttle super easy and professional. Temperature checks throughout. Had room 5305 Premium, easy checking, loved the bracelets for the key so easy. Resort was about 7% occupied, only activities were the pool, beach, non motorized water sports, spa and bowling/arcade. No casino, group activities, entertainment staff, water park, kids club. Only restaurants open were Mex, Jap, Spanish, and French. Premium is great for room service/expedited check in / hydrotherapy included, other features like restaurant reservations, water park admission and wifi were either not needed, not available or made open to everyone. The staff was hard working; special shout out to Grecia who did my girls hair for the French restaurant, I'm hopeless at doing hair and the spa had reduced hours. I got the girls a manicure, save your money, it was not that good. Breakfast and lunch buffets were more miss than hit. Breakfast I'd stick with omelettes, smoked salmon, crepes and juices/fruit; other stuff was kind of meh. Same with lunch - grilled burgers, pizza and pasta station the way to go, that seemed to be the freshest. They had scallops at lunch one day I was so excited, but they were like eating rubber bands. Dinners were really really good - Hibachi and French were the winners. We went to the Mexican restaurant it was very nice as well. Did not try Spanish but people we spoke to liked it. Recommend one night you do one restaurant for apps, one for dinner, and one for dessert. If you go during the pandemic, you have to temper your expectations. Restaurants are closed; selection is not as wide. Your main activities will be pool, beach, eating and drinking. You'll meet people if you want to, but its way less crowded than normal. It's kind of surreal. Good news is you can get great seats at the beach and the pool, no waiting for dinner / drinks, you can go bowling (surprisingly good lanes but only 4, when the resort is full good luck getting a lane). And it's quiet. A very chill experience. If you like the activities and meeting tons of people, I'd say wait to go until the pandemic settles down. My girls had a great time they loved it. I really enjoyed it as well, and am looking to go back when things are more normal. The grounds are well kept, the staff works hard, it was a really nice escape. Any questions feel free to message me!

    Individual ratings:

    Service

    Service-5

    Value

    Value-5

    Bait and Switch

    Reviewed by Kobie W() on Aug 02, 2020

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			2
			 out of 5

    I am 46 years of age.. I have been lucky to have traveled a few places as an aircraft mechanic. I have never really written a review about any hotel or resort because I never really complain about anything. By far this has been the worse experience for me. Here goes. I was told before booking the resort the resort was open and all is fine. On priceline they showed a shuttle symbol. I understood that to mean a shuttle service to and from the airport. Before we booked I was told all we had to do was to get on the schedule for the shuttle.. Not true. After we booked no one answered the phone to schedule the shuttle. When we flew to the airport and called they explained the truth. There is no airport shuttle. Its a flat out lie. So please add $80 to your cost. When I finally got to the resort we were greated by staff members very warm and professionally. My bags were removed from the taxi and was prepared to take to the room. The check in process was horrible. It is not the traditional walk to a front desk atmosphere... You are sent to a side room which reminded me of trying to be sold a timeshare or excursions. The process to check in took 75 minutes from start to end. It was like a seminar. I kept asking myself what is he typing? I prepaid and I just want the key to lay down for a while . After being excourted to the room with the bags we finally get to the room 532x. The room was very impressive.. In fact it looked better than the pictures. It was spacious and just cleaned. It had a JACUZZI outside with privacy shade. Fancy all around. I first attempted to go to JACUZZI tub while I waited for my lady to get dressed for dinner. The water never stopped in the tub so I called to tell them the stop in the tub is missing an o ring and the water goes down after a while. It took them 3 days to fix that one 3 minute problem. I kept calling 2 times a day until it felt like I was bothering them. Ok let's talk about the food. I am not a fancy guy. I am a mechanic by trade. I just want something simple hot to eat with quality. I was told and it showed on the reservation that the property has I think 8 restaurants or 10. The entire 6 days the same 3 restaurants were open. Everyone in the breakfast bar was dressed fancy and nice. I figured the food would reflect. It was horrible. First of all they are in control of everything. When you order a soda you have to tell a waiter. He or she brings you a cost saving glass with no straw. That was disgusting to me. When you get pancakes the worker is in complete control of the syrup. He sprinkles syrup through a tiny hole. So when you sit down its already dry. You don't want to keep bothering them so you deal with it. During the day we went to a so called sports bar. We ordered burgers. The meat was poor quality. They controlled the ketchup. There is no ketchup bottle at the table. There is no salt and pepper at the table. At night your choices was very limited. Mexican restaurant... Japan restaurant or go hungry. The food at the Japan restaurant was good. Again soda is controlled with a cost saving glass. I didn't care for the fake presentation as they cooked in front of you. Also no one on the property is from Japan. Let's talk about the drinks. Everyday they pour water in your glass with no ice. So when you drink it its very warm and disgusting to me. No ice... No ice... Soda is very controlled. Alcohol drinks are controlled heavily. No gift stores or Casinos or anything is open during the day. One day I needed cash. No ATM on the property. So you have to go into town and spend another $70 in just taxi so you can get some cash. So add that to your all inclusive dream vacation. The regular boots on the ground workers were great and respectful. They just followed the system. Like anything else. The more suite and tie a person were the more piss poor attitude I experienced. Like you were bothering them for simple stuff. Anyway that's my take. You can email if you want. I can answer anything based on my experience. kobie.wilkinson@gmail.com.

    Pandemic respite for our family

    Reviewed by SarinaE(Bothell) on Jul 30, 2020

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			5
			 out of 5

    We bought our vacation package through Costco Travel and enjoyed a stunningly awesome time for about $75/person/day. I know that this resort typically charges much much more, so we felt entirely blessed to vacation so luxuriously for 10 days. Thanks to Costco, we were picked up as promised and transported privately to the resort. As others have said, our temperatures were checked at the airport and resort upon arrival several times by the gate guard as well as check in staff. I understand that the new DR requirements as of July 30 necessitate a negative COVID PCR test 72 hours prior to arrival. I do not anticipate that it would cause an issue at this resort, you would likely have to remain at the resort until a negative result returns, but would probably have full use of the facilities as the only thing they seem to restrict is the ability to leave the property. Upon arrival, we were led to the VIP check in area and issued our bracelet keys. This was fabulous, no keys to remember, just go enjoy your vacation as long as you can remember where your room is (but they do put a number on the back in case you forget!). The bellman took our luggage to our rooms. It appears that only building 5 is open for guests at this time, which offers lovely suites including an outdoor sitting area and jetted tub with a screen which can be lowered for privacy. My only minor complaint was that we wanted adjoining rooms with our kids and two double beds in the kids' room. We were given rooms 4 doors apart and both identical with a king bed and two couches which worked for two extra beds (the maid had already put sheets on them when we arrived). From the moment we arrived, we felt appreciated, content, and relaxed. We wore our masks frequently out of consideration for others, but did encounter some intoxicated guests early our first day who said that only staff is required to wear masks. I felt so badly for the staff to work in the hot sun and humidity wearing masks all day! They were outstanding and kind, taking such great care of us the entire stay. Yes, most of the resort is closed. This includes the casino, shops, half the restaurants, and most of the bars. The water sports had just opened the day we arrived and we enjoyed 6 days of scuba diving, kayaks, stand up paddleboards, and windsurfing (usually a $50 cost per lesson but they did them for free since it was quiet). The Cielo adult pool offered a wonderful respite from noise (save the one day that some idiotic guests brought their speaker and played the same song on repeat for 5 hours), the bartenders were fabulous. The drinks are strong, so be warned, they are not stingy with the liquor as at some all-inclusives. The buffet offered many selections and stations for eggs as you like them in the mornings, with local offerings, European options, and American favorites too. The fresh fruit was usually great and the staff was willing to make a smoothie as you wished, there was also a decent selection of espresso options at all dining locations. Breakfast is open 7 to 11 am. Lunch is buffet only as well from 1 to 4 pm. The selection was decent with American favorites tempting to the picky kids, some local dishes, and plenty of tasty salad options too. Even a personalized pasta station. Dinners were the best. I believe that normally one only receives 2 reservations per week at the restaurant dining but with the pandemic they opened the restaurants for dining every night and the buffet was closed. This made for some really amazing dining experiences. Our family favorite was the French restaurant for it's great beef dishes and the Japanese which offered both shabu shabu (hot pot cooking at your table) as well as teppanyaki (watch the chef cook your dinner). The kids loved the tempura banana dessert. A word of warning, the shrimp dishes at the resort are not very good. The shrimp quality was very disappointing, so steer clear of those. The Spanish restaurant offered some hit or miss service and the food was so-so to good. The paella was disappointing because the shrimp were poor quality, but the cheesecake dessert more than made up for that! The Mexican dinner was nice, but our least favorite of the 4 restaurants. With 6 people, we had a variety of palates and dishes ordered at each restaurant. Overall, for my daughter's birthday she opted for the French restaurant and asked for the Spanish restaurant cheesecake for dessert. The staff accommodated her request and she was thrilled. The Mariana Watersports office took great care of us scuba diving, we had a variety of ages and skill levels but they tried very hard to please us and arrange everything. Albania was an expert at making things work, even in the pandemic and ensured we enjoyed a fabulous time. Isac, the Instructor and DM, as well as Jose, the captain, took great care of us. The youngest diver was a one dive and done person, so they would send a boat to retrieve her after the first dive and return her to the resort so she wouldn't have to sit and wait. She truly appreciated that courtesy. We dove off the little panga boat the first day and then the big boat was available so we used that one the rest of the days. My only slight criticism is that they do not provide any cold water for divers aboard and the resort will not provide water bottles easily for you to take with you. Dehydration and diving is a dangerous combination. Albania arranged for a "party boat" for us one day at a cost of $65/person for 2.5 hours. I would say that this was our least favorite experience. The boat picked us up, it was our family of 6 and another couple, which was nice for limiting virus exposure, but made for a quiet excursion. At first the music was offensive, but the staff was amenable to allowing us control of the selection and then it was more enjoyable. Rap with offensive words was not our preference. We were promised sandwiches, unlimited drinks, and snacks. They refused to provide us anything until after we had gone to the "snorkeling area". Warning, the snorkeling area is the marina just east of the resort. There are some limited corals and fish, but the fish are accustomed to being fed and were aggressive. I was disappointed to see the snorkeling guide feeding them and adding to the frenzy. We swam a bit and then were allowed to use the slide on the boat, which was the highlight. Upon pulling anchor, we were finally offered beverages and some fruit, almost half way into our cruise. We then cruised west to the sandy area west of the resort and were invited to swim in the "lagoon". It was just a shallow sandy swimming area with few fish. Here the staff joined us in the waist deep water and liberally poured drinks, provided us with some chips and salsa, and allowed us to use the slide again. We were loaded up and returned to the resort promptly at 2.5 hours. Albania arranged for us to enjoy an excursion to Isla Catalina for diving/snorkeling. This was a family excursion. The bus ride was 45 minutes each way, when we arrived we were shuttled around like cattle with the snorkelers separated from the divers. Although we shared the same boat to the island, it was encouraged for the snorkelers to remain together. The diving was the best of the week, and the range of marine life, corals, and beauty was breathtaking. Everything I expect from Caribbean diving, a lovely wall and the "Aquarium" dive site was really great. The snorkelers were dropped at the island beach to wait for us divers, and then when we returned everyone was offered a lunch of pork cutlets, roasted chicken, rice, veggies, and bread. Drinks were offered but carefully accounted for and minimal. Most of the island shops are closed, of course, but this may be the best option to find souvenirs at high prices. We also walked to the market east of the resort (causing quite a stir with the security guards) but there were only 3 shops open there and the prices were very high with goods of low quality. After lunch we had about an hour to enjoy the beach or relax before the return 25 minute boat ride and then 45 minute bus ride back to the resort. Bonus: a restroom at the gathering shop and on the island. Otherwise, at the resort, maid service was great. Several times we forgot and left valuables out, without issues. The pool towels were taken from our room several times and we had a hard time to get fresh ones from the pool towel attendant at the main pool. However, the adult pool has a stack and you can just grab them there without the 3rd degree. There was a note that if you did not have the correct number of pool towels there would be a $20 charge, so we made sure to have them in the room before departure. The mini fridge was stocked daily without charge and a large bottle of water was provided per room daily. A coffee maker is in the room, but we never used it since everything we would want was at the buffet or bars. The staff was the best, some hit or miss service in 10 days as one would imagine. The buffet service was more hit or miss and we often had to go retrieve our own coffee. Water was cold and filtered, but sometimes offered and other times not. The bar staff was the best, and tried to do whatever you wanted. There are top shelf liquors which were available upon request, otherwise you were served the regular stuff. Again, they were liberal with the alcohol, so use prudence. It was lovely to walk in the cool waters of the pool and sip a drink. Straws, when available, were paper and biodegradeable. The cups were reused and sanitized, which we appreciated from an environmental perspective. I hope that we can afford to return to this resort, but I am afraid to go back when it is busier. We were told the resort was at 10% capacity. We had our choice of pool chairs, it was easy to secure a cabana bed in the adult pool, and the service was top notch. There is no poolside bar service, but it is easy enough to get out and stand in line when you want something more. I sincerely hope that this review is helpful to you in making a decision to travel during the pandemic or not, our experience was that this was a respite from the restrictions at home. The staff is regularly tested once a week (twice a week for bar staff) for COVID, daily temperature checks are made of staff, and we felt safe in removing our masks much of the time. The only additional suggestion I can offer is to bring some single dollar bills for tips with you as the lobby cash machines are always broken and only dispense 500 and 1000 Peso bills, which may not be appropriate for your needs. Avoid the overpriced shops in the lobby if you can. The bottle of Brugal Leyenda rum offered in that shop for $35 US was about $17 at the local supermarket. If you need cash or other things, I suggest a $10 US (500 peso) taxi ride each way to the supermarket center. You could also walk a mile to the road and take a local guagua, but they seem to be hit or miss for service with the pandemic.

    Individual ratings:

    Rooms

    Rooms-5

    Service

    Service-5

    Bait and Switch

    Reviewed by SUSANTAMPA(Tampa, Florida) on Jul 26, 2020

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			1
			 out of 5

    Reserved an ocean front premium level room at this ADULTS ONLY hotel. When we arrived, we were told that the hotel is closed and that we are now at the Barcelo Bavaro Palace next door, which is not ADULTS ONLY. We did not get an ocean front room, we were told none were available even though you can see vacant rooms from the beach. The casino was closed, as well as most of the restaurants. Needless to say, we checked out the next day. There were no apologies from the hotel and no one made any attempt to make things right. We went to SECRETS and had a wonderful experience and even extended our stay an extra day.