Coral Level at Iberostar Selection Bavaro reviews

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating

4.5 Excellent

  • Cleanliness 4.5
  • Location 5.0
  • Rooms 4.5
  • Service 4.5
  • Value 4.5

382 TripAdvisor reviews

TripAdvisor users rated this property 5 out of 5

Vacation

johnmG9752TP on Jun 29, 2022

Our trip was fantastic. We had been to an Iberostar in Mexico many years ago and were fond of our experiences so thought we’d try again but this time opt for the Coral level. It is a small boutique resort within the selection brand. Not knowing if it was worth it, after 11 days I can say it was worth it. The exclusive El Faro restaurant is great food and service. The exclusive infinity pool overlooking the beach is sublime. The entertainment team is great, finding creative ways to get people engaged and focusing on fun. We tried almost all the activities from Aqua fitness, darts, ring toss, Caribbean dancing and archery. We did more activities while on vacation than we do at home just because the ambiance and energy was fun and inviting. Archery was soo fun I’m going to buy a set to practice at home. If you are planning on vacationing in Dominican, I highly recommend Coral Level at Iberostar Selection Bavaro.

TripAdvisor users rated this property 5 out of 5

First time to an Iberostar property; great experience.

lisalyons7 (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) on Jun 27, 2022

Great trip and great experience at this property which is only about a 25 minute ride from the airport. The resort was very clean. The rooms and beds were comfortable. Our concierge, George, was invaluable helping us with our questions, dinner reservations and the language barrier. We also had great experiences with Wifi and the hostess at Coral Level buffet, Ana. We made use of the pools, beach, ocean and tennis courts. We liked that there were water filling stations spread throughout the resort so the property didn't have to use plastic bottles. I would recommend this resort and would travel here again, especially at the Coral Level.

TripAdvisor users rated this property 3 out of 5

June at Coral Level

Tom R on Jun 19, 2022

We spent 5 days at the Coral level as a party of 6 in a family suite. Overall the property is beautiful and the staff is friendly. The dining is hit or miss. Getting reservations really seemed dependent on if you did the star rewards timeshare sale. The steakhouse and El Faro was not available on any night we were there. The Italian was good, the Mexican was so/so, the Japanese was entertaining, but the food was just ok. The buffet at Bavaro was good, and the breakfast and lunch at the Faro buffet was ok. 5 of the 6 of us had stomach problems at some point during the week, not from alcohol, as 4 are kids. The room was nice, but lacked what was in the description-playstation in kids room, welcome gift, etc. We felt it lacked all of the little touches that we have received at other resorts. We told several people it was our anniversary as we were there, and there was nothing special for us. The pools are nice, but the chair game is real here. We tried to go to the Bavaro pool at 11 one morning and there was not one chair anywhere that wasn't "claimed". There was usually a chair or 2 at the infinity pool and around the other coral pool, and room at the beach. Drink service at the Coral beach and pools was hit or miss, and seemed non existent at Bavaro. Someone would come around every 2 hours or so to get your order. At the beach bar bar, Trabonita was great, and the entertainment team was good.

TripAdvisor users rated this property 3 out of 5

June 2022

snickers19652009 (Texas, USA) on Jun 17, 2022

Let's start with the transfer from the airport to the resort. When selecting the Coral Level, the transfer cost is included but no details are given on the website to make it easy to book this service. I spent about an hour on the phone with someone at a call center attempting to make the booking. I received a booking number, but the call center person could not give me a local contact in case something went wrong. ((Keep that booking number, by the way!!)) The call center person was also not able to arrange the departure transfer, saying that had to be done at the resort. You will need that original booking number to arrange your transfer from resort to airport. The transfer company is World 2 Meet, W2M for short. When booking a family suite, nowhere on the website does it say that the beachfront villas are not set up as such. When we arrived, we requested a beachfront villa but were told that the kids would be in a completely separate room, which obviously is not acceptable. The website needs to be changed to reflect this. The room key is embedded within the resort bracelet, but the kids don't get a room-key bracelet. So every time my teenagers needed to get back into their room, one of the adults had to escort them back. Not ideal. As Coral level folks, we were able to access the buffet at El Faro for breakfast and lunch, which was convenient. The fresh tropical fruit was always good, of course, but the rest of the offerings were just ok. Breakfast was probably the best of the meals. I would say the buffet food quality has decreased since our last visit about 9 years ago. It is plentiful, just not great. We were able to get dinner reservations at Kabuki (Japanese), El Faro (a la carte) and Brave (steakhouse). Kabuki was fun, as there's a chef show involved, but the food was overly salted. Our evening at El Faro was better and then Brave was probably the best. Still not anything spectacular, but it was better than the buffet offerings. Please, someone order a martini at Brave and post what you get. Strangest martini I've ever had. It was supposed to be 'dry', but I think it was just excessively 'dirty.' We had a good laugh over that one. The Coral level does have its own beach area with chaise lounges, moveable umbrellas and two different types of beds. Just as on every other beach, some folks claim an area by throwing towels on it early in the morning and then not using the area the rest of the day. Extremely frustrating. A worker told me that's not allowed but they couldn't do anything about it. Waiter service on the beach varied greatly. On Monday, for example, we didn't see a single waiter on the beach. Fortunately, El Faro bar is very close. Pro tip, ask for the top shelf liquor in your drink, otherwise you get the standard. The two pools in the Coral area are nice, one near the beach and one a bit further back. The one nestled among the villas was always quiet, probably because there was no bar service back there. I did see them setting up the bar on Thursday, the day we left. The category in which Iberostar continues to excel is it's employees, Star Friends, as they're called. We've been to Iberostar resorts around the Caribbean and the employees are unfailingly excellent! Everyone always seems to want to go the extra bit to make guests happy. The bartenders, the waiters/waitresses, the housekeepers, bell boys, the entertainers...everyone. We did try a different resort brand a few years ago and their folks were nothing like Star Friends. Please make sure you tip these folks, even though it's an all-inclusive resort. Even $1 goes a long way. All in all, would I go back to this Iberostar and would I pay for Coral level again? I am truly torn on this decision. I'm leaning towards continuing to book Iberostar just because of the employees. The extra money for the Coral experience has about a 50% chance of me booking it again. If you can arrive on a Sunday and depart on a Friday, you'll probably have the best experience. I think it gets crowded Thursday through Sunday.

TripAdvisor users rated this property 3 out of 5

Not What it Once Was

Bec_B_8984 (Chicago, Illinois) on Jun 13, 2022

My family and I just returned from a 10 day trip at the new Coral Level section of the Iberostar resort. As seasoned travelers and repeat customers of Iberostar Bavaro and other resorts in the area, we had high expectations this time around. Sad to say, we were highly disappointed. To help you make your decision easier, especially if you are on the fence between resorts like we were, I will address a few important things: ROOM: The room is extremely clean, furniture in good condition, and the room is bright. However, for the money paid, this is not a luxury room in terms of quality of furnishings and decorations. Also, the quality of the sheets and rest of the bedding was also not up to par. For example, our fitted bed was NOT changed the entire time we were there - 10 days! Sometimes, only the flat sheet was changed. EL FARO BREAKFAST: This was by far the best offering in terms of selection and quality. There were two egg stations, a bread/pastry section, a cheese section, fruit section, yogurt and milk sections, etc. El FARO LUNCH: This was hit or miss during our stay. Some lunch services had better quality food and more options while other days we struggled to find something edible and settled for soup or french fries. It seemed that some lunches were themed, for example one day was seafood. When it came to the meat selections, most times everything was either raw or overcooked. Nothing something we wanted to take chances on. DINNER OPTIONS: Be ready for adventures. El Faro is not open for a buffet-style dinner, so you either have to make a reservation here, try your luck at making reservations at the other restaurants on the Bavaro complex, or settle for the chaos of the Bavaro buffets. As repeat customers, we have tried most of the restaurants on prior visits, so we had expectations. However, every single restaurant we tried was a disaster in terms of food. The food was almost inedible at every single one - we had to return a steak 3 times to get the temperature correct, the chicken was so dry you couldn't cut into it, and the appetizers and desserts were left over from the lunch service. If you can't get a reservation and have to go to the Bavaro buffets, you will struggle to get a table, try to find food picked over by hundreds of guests, and hope that the overwhelmed servers have a chance to help you. As Coral Level guests who pay more for this perk, this was by far the most disappointing part of our trip. SERVICE: The Dominicans are such warm and hard-working people. From the servers, the bartenders, and housecleaning crew, it is clear everyone is trying their best. Though some struggled with English, they do their best to make your stay here memorable. SANITATION: Though masks are no longer required and fellow travelers are relaxed and don't always social distance, the lack of hand sanitizers at the buffet and at the doors of the restaurants was alarming. We have stayed at other resorts close by, and even way before COVID, the hostess would stand at the door and not allow anyone in until they used hand sanitizer. This MUST be implemented here for safety. If you are concerned about sanitizing, be wary of selecting this resort. PROS: The water was amazing and the location of our oceanfront villa was the best part of our trip. The Coral Level section of the beach was also top notch. It was the least crowded beach section of the Ibserostar resorts and a huge perk. CONS: The food and lack of an El Faro dinner buffet option is where the vacation lost value for us. Overall, we did have a great time at the Coral Level, but we will not be returning. Best of luck as you make your selection and happy traveling!

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