Iberostar Selection Bávaro

4.5 star rating

This hotel is rated between 4 and 5 stars. 4 star - Quality accommodation with a variety of facilities and services. 5 star - Exceptional accommodation with superior facilities and services.

    What to expect (based on 11730 reviews):

    Cleanliness

    Cleanliness-4.5

    Location

    Location-4.5

    Rooms

    Rooms-4.5

    Service

    Service-4.5

    Value

    Value-4.5

    5 most recent TripAdvisor reviews:

    Covid Visit

    Reviewed by soontobeforty(Vermilion, Ohio) on Aug 11, 2020

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			4
			 out of 5

    We just got home from a long weekend at the Iberostar. We booked last minute the week the resort opened after being shuttered for 4 1/2 months due to the pandemic. All reservations were moved to the Coral level in the Selection resort. This was supposed to be an upgrade. The resort was beautiful and clean. The beaches stunning. There were quite a few hiccups with the reopening. Check in took awhile even though there were only about 40-100 people staying at all the Iberostars combined. Our room was very nice but completely barren of most necessities. The mini bar was empty, no coffee pot or coffee/tea, no water bottles, beach towels etc. we spent most of the first night trying to get these things with minimal success. We got a coffee pot but with coffee pods. When tried to explain they wouldn’t work, couldn’t find anyone who spoke English. Was told there was only 1 place to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner - El Foro. Sometimes this was correct and sometimes it changed. (Not told to us when we booked). Was told to use to app for schedules, room service and to find out what was open but the app had not been updated since before Covid and told me nothing. Nobody could tell us anything!!! Even when calling the front desk they couldn’t tell me how to order room service. When we arrived around 3:30, we were hungry. We called and were told that El Foro didn’t open till 6:00. We asked where we could get a snack, but they didn’t know. Then when we walked over to the bar at the beach, they were making burgers and we got one. This was pretty much how it went all week. Didn’t get the right coffee until the last night. The buffet was fine, not great but we could usually find something we liked. One out of the four nights we were there, they opened the Mediterranean restaurant and steakhouse. Only problem was they didn’t tell us they were just serving the Mediterranean menu at El Foro, very confusing and ultimately annoying. That meal was very good. Told us the gym was open but it wasn’t, only the outside gym. Coral and selection pools were open but that’s it. Maybe 3 bars. Sometimes beach service/sometimes not. Some entertainment in evenings. Staff was very friendly. Everyone was wearing a mask and frequently sanitizing. We did have fun and were able to relax all day on the beach. I would love to go back again when all this is over and be able to enjoy all the resort has to offer.

    first timer.... overall a happy customer

    Reviewed by beckio79() on Mar 12, 2020

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			4
			 out of 5

    This was our first trip out of the country so we were a little nervous about the whole process. We did extensive research and found a lot of tips and tricks but really nothing to prepare us for what we actually experienced. We had a direct flight from Boston to Punta Cana and getting through Boston was as pretty much standard. When we were about 30 minutes from landing we were given customs and immigration forms to fill out but no pens. Luckily I had a pen so we were able to fill those out before we arrived. The airport in Punta Cana is different than what we have experienced before in regards to being very open and airy. We went through immigration then got our baggage and then went through customs. We had arranged for a private transfers to and from the resort so we went to the appropriate desk and they brought us to the vehicle. The people we dealt with during this process spoke decent english but switched back and forth between english and spanish regularly so it was hard to follow at times. We stayed at the Iberostar Bavaro which was about 20 minutes from the airport. It was a beautiful resort and very clean. It has a golf course as part of it but we did not look into what that entailed. We booked through a travel agent and the package was through Apple Vacations. This resort had the highest rating they offered. We had booked excursions and our transfer through Amstar. Our driver for the transfer told us to “see him in the Theatre” the next morning. We were not sure what that meant and assume it was part of the “sell you something” routine that I had seen referenced online and most people recommended avoiding it. When we arrived at the resort we walked in and were met by a woman with a clipboard, she directed us to the front desk to check in with instructions to see her afterwards. The staff at the desk gave us our bracelets, cards brief information about the room, water, ice etc. Some of the people were hard to understand due to their accents and switching languages. We went back to the lady with the clipboard and she brought us to our concierge. There were many desks stationed around the lobby and had concierges sitting at them. You get assigned a concierge for the duration of your stay. We ran into some timing issues and our room was not ready when we arrived so we were directed to go to lunch by our concierge and when we came back his shift had ended. Normally the process is to go to the concierge and they do your restaurant reservations, excursions (pretty sure they get a kickback if you book through them) and try and get you scheduled for a “welcome breakfast” which from the sounds of it is a sales pitch to “buy into” the Iberostar brand. We had to tell our concierge multiple times over a few days that we were not interested in the Welcome breakfast and had to get kind of nasty to get them to back off. I think what finally did it was when I told him I did not like being harassed on my vacation and if this was how Iberostar staff went about guest relations then I would not be coming back to and Iberstar. Again pretty sure they get kickbacks if people buy into what they are selling which is what makes them so pushy. We were pointed to the lunch buffet without any instructions and we went straight into the food room, bypassing the dining area. Once we got our food we went back to the dining area and sat ourselves. We saw a soda fountain station so we got our own drinks. A staff person came over and filled water cups and asked us if you wanted drinks, we told them we go our own which they seemed irritated by but they did not say anything. Each day the service at the lunch buffet was very lax and slow. But at breakfast and dinner the staff was very attentive in getting you when you walked in, sitting you and taking your drink order. The grounds and beach area were clean and beautiful. There were people that walked the beach each day and tried to sell you stuff but they were not too pushy. A firm no thank you would usually deter them. In reading our paperwork for our excursions through Amstar we realized we needed to speak to the Amstar rep at our hotel, which are stationed at the theatre area off the lobby. They were very informative and gave us a bunch of safety tips and helpful information which made us way more comfortable leaving the resort. We flew in on Saturday and out on Saturday. We did excursions on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Monday was driving dune buggies and visiting a natural freshwater cave that we could swim in, Wednesday was visiting a monkey preserve on a mountain, Thursday was a shopping trip to a collection of shops in a gated complex (this was a free trip as we booked our other excursions through Amstar) Friday we went snorkeling off a party boat which was by far the best of all the excursions. We did scuba diving, swam with nurse sharks and manta rays and then docked the spent time partying on the boat and in a shallow area tossing around a football. Lots of dancing and music on the boat. During each excursion except the snorkeling one there was a demonstration and taste testing with cigars, coffee, cocoa and Mama Juana which is a liquor made in the DR. There were also options to purchase souvenirs at every excursion. On our off excursion days we hung out at the beach. A ways down the beach there were huts where you could shop and buy things. The people were very excited to try and sell us stuff and most of them were really nice but some were aggressive and pushy and did not want to take no for an answer. We decided not to visit that place again. We had rain for the first 3 days but it was really warm rain and usually a shower or too then it would clear off for a bit. Very warm but not too warm every day. The day of the carnaval they resort decorated between breakfast and lunch, festivities happened around dinner time, we only caught some of them as we had reservations for dinner. There is music and dancing everywhere down there. The staff would sing when working or dance with guests. Checkout was again a mystery process. We called guest services, they sent a bellhop to bring out our luggage. Our driver was already waiting for us. We had to go to the front desk to get a check out ticket before we could leave with our driver. The airport out was standard process and when we arrived in Boston went through security/immigration then used a kiosk to go through customs. Fairly easy process. We tipped a lot. Every driver, every time we ate, we did not visit the bars more than a few times so we did not tip there as much. We had 5 people and usually left 1$ per person for breakfast and dinner at the buffet, since lunch was not great service we usually left $2. Dinner at the restaurants we usually left $10 unless the service was over the top then we left more. These seemed to be good amounts as we literally had people fighting over us (wanting to serve us) at the dining areas. If you want souvenirs from a shop the prices are set but the tables and locals you can and should dicker with from what we have read.

    Individual ratings:

    Location

    Location-5

    Service

    Service-3

    Value

    Value-3

    Awesome Vacation

    Reviewed by Shirlsquirrel(Haliburton, Canada) on Mar 11, 2020

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			5
			 out of 5

    One of the best resorts I have been to. Fantastic beach. Superb food with good variety. Many different places to eat . Very clean and beautiful grounds. Friendly and helpful staff. I would definately return.

    Individual ratings:

    Cleanliness

    Cleanliness-5

    Location

    Location-5

    Service

    Service-5

    Overall - A Very Happy Customer!

    Reviewed by Y8548PUsamanthar() on Mar 11, 2020

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			4
			 out of 5

    Where do I start? This was my husband’s first trip anywhere outside of Canada & the U.S, and my second. We chose the Iberostar based on their stellar ratings, and in the hopes of having some vegan food. THE ROOM We got the Junior supersaver (?). The room was quite nice - with a balcony ground floor garden view, which was very peaceful. The room did have a slight musty smell all the time, and the bathroom wasn’t entirely cleaned or re-stocked upon arrival. However, it was cleaned well when requested. The shower was totally open so the water would go right into the bathroom. We put a towel down which helped. Water also leaked from the ceiling light sometimes. But housekeeping was friendly and pretty thorough, bar fridge and coffees, towels stocked. The coffee was subpar in the room but excellent at the buffet. THE BEACH The beach was beautiful and the main attraction for us. You can walk the beach for miles - the resorts all around ours didn't have nearly as beautiful a beach front. Many huts and lounge chairs to choose from - you could find a spot no problem, even midday - but if you wanted to snag the best spots you do have to get up by 630am or so. Some people would leave their towels out overnight which was a bit irritating. I was super upset to see captive monkies and macaws being exploited for a quick buck by private photography companies. It was the greatest upset of my trip. PLEASE do not support this. They were peddled up and down the beach all day in the heat, owned by the photography companies. The beach is also not quiet most days by any means but can be early in the day and later in the afternoon. There are helicopters going back and forth almost constantly some days, taking people for tours. Lots to do on the beach for water activities like parasailing. The activities at the pool happen daily and can be noisy, but it didn't impact our enjoyment at all. Servers regularly come around for bar drinks. ENTERTAINMENT We were fortunate enough to attend during RD Independence Day celebrations which were lively and fun. They had little shows each night for the kids to participate in, and the staff encouraged the guests to dance prior to the entertainment. It did start late, around 930pm, which was too late for my husband and I to enjoy most nights. But the dancing and singing were lively. However there were some salesmen at the resort itself who were pushy and sold us items marked way up that we could buy at the market for much less. Live and learn. Just be firm with them. SAFETY We felt very safe the entire time. Security everywhere, but obviously you’ll want to be cautious at dark, especially on the beach where anyone can come from off site. Don’t give your credit card to anyone, and everything can be haggled for. I probably wouldn’t have felt as safe if I had been alone. You get harassed on the beach pretty much all day but if your firm and say no and / or ignore them they’ll move on. Some will try to give you free things to lure you in as well. One note - upon coming out of our room one afternoon after showering up before dinner we found our “ahora no” or “do not disturb sign” torn in half and thrown on the steps by our room. It looked like someone had deliberately taken it off the door handle while we were inside and ripped it in half and left it on the steps. We thought it was odd, but used an elastic to put it back together and put it on our door again since we didn’t want anyone to clean our room that day. After going out to dinner we came back to our room at dark and found it was again taken off our door handle (this thing slid on there snug and did not blow around) and this time a man, a staff member, came out of the darkness of the utility room across from our door (we are right on the end and there are no rooms beyond ours) as we approached. He came by us and as we went to enter our room he pulled out a screwdriver. My husband tapped the light which then turned on. The man said “that’s what I’m here to fix”. It startled us both at first, but we realized the two incidents were likely unrelated. But we are at a loss to understand why our door sign was removed twice and vandalized. It certainly didn’t put us at ease. When we tried to explain to the front desk they didn’t seem to understand and ordered us a new door sign. This one did blow off regularly because it didn't fit snug to the door handle. We had no further problems, so I'll chock it up to the wind. STAFF The staff were very friendly. Everyone was smiley and welcoming from the security (which was plentiful) and the general staff. Francisco, one of the welcoming guys, did push the time shares and tried very hard to guilt us into attending. He kept telling us that if we didn't show up, he doesn't make any money and he's doing a bad job. He said it would only take a few minutes of our time. We felt bad, but our Sunwing rep told us that it would actually take up 3-4 hours of our vacation, so we're glad we didn't go. Ernesto at the front desk is a hoot. Our Sunwing staff were on site and warned us of what to look out for and helped us out when needed. Mario at the buffet was attentive and kind. As was Fransua and Angel, and really all the ladies and gentlemen we dealt with. But Mario was our choice the entire trip. SITE & AMENITIES The site was beautifully kept, and there were always staff working hard to keep it clean. Wonderful foliage and plenty of local fauna including some flamingos, many bird and duck species, and tortoises. NOTE: please don’t feed the birds & animals by the buffet - all day long we watched people throw hunks of bread to them, in total ignorance of the fact that bread is terrible for them. Please, the staff feed them and although it’s cute to watch them feed, if you loved them you would feed them minimally, and only foods that are good for them like halved grapes, oats, etc. Also there were two sweet little resident cats that we enjoyed seeing and petting. They looked quite healthy. There is plenty to do on site from fitness classes to the disco. BUT! Make sure you have adequate small bills because breaking a 20 is impossible even at the market. They’ll give you change if you buy something but wouldn’t break a 10 into smaller bills. The front desk did break two 20s into 5s and 10s but they were barely able to do that. Each time we asked we were told no, that they didn't have any small bills. We even walked all the way to the casino and they wouldn’t give us more than $5 in ones. Lesson learned- bring ONLY ONES lol. SHOPPING The market on site was nice with plenty of neat little trinkets and well priced. We did venture to the other shopping area closer to the Iberostar PuntaCana & Dominicana but there wasn’t much there. FOOD Let me prelude by saying my husband and I are both vegan. We covered many steps in picking this resort - we read many reviews that the Iberostars are well known for accommodating. We emailed Iberostar and our resort directly, spoke with our travel agent in advance. All assured us that we would be well looked after. We enjoyed the on site cafe many times where specialty coffees were made for us. There were two buffet options, one by the beach which was very convenient, and one by our room. Fresh filtered water less than 50 ft from our room. The buffet - was excellent. We were hesitant about the selection but there was something different for us almost every day. And each meal offered a new selection as well. Breakfast was my personal favourite - ample fruit, rice cakes, bagels, potatoes, fried bananas, cereal (with dairy free milk), etc. My husband was upset that there were no oats without milk, but we made out well enough still. Plenty of rice and bean, veggie options, guacamole, salsa, chips, hot & cold salads (I would stay away from the salad bar though), okra, yams, habichuelas, chickpea salad, potato salad. Literally walked away with a heaping plate of delicious vegan food every single time. AND they even had vegan desserts - some mousse and flan, as well as vegan cakes!! So tasty and labelled vegan. However stay away from the cold veg as they’re pretty bland. All the sauces were delicious. And everything was pretty well labelled with allergen alerts so it was easy to identify what we could and could not eat. We looked at the menus in advance of making dinner reservations just to ensure we weren’t totally out of line. Some, like the Steakhouse and Star Rock were out of the question for obvious reasons. We picked the Jambalaya, Il Forno (Italian), Kabuki (Japanese) and the Oriental diners. Our first reservation was at the Jambalaya (Cajun) restaurant. I have and do make delicious Jambalaya at home and thought rice & beans & veggies would be an easy dish to whip up - especially since its components were at the buffet. Upon arriving, all dressed to the nines and excited about our little “night out”, we informed our server that we were vegan. “Yo soy vegano”. “Oh,” his face dropped. He understood, and wrote down “plato vegetales”. I suggested a simple rice and beans which was already on the menu, without the meat. The server instructed us to the buffet where there was white rice and a tasty sautéed veggie dish. We had some as an app. After 15 minutes or so a lady brought us out two small plates of vegetables, and two huge chunks of bleeding meat. I was horrified and told them it was not our food. She insisted and tried to serve it to me again. I declined again. Another server approached. In Spanish, I reminded him “sin carne, sin leche, sin juevos”. He smiled, nodded, and returned to the chef. A few minutes later they brought us back about 4 pieces of cooked broccoli each, some sautéed mushrooms, carrots and tomato. About a fistful of food total. We were disappointed to say the least. We ate and left immediately. We were a bit shaken as it felt like we were inconveniencing them simply by asking for something to be made. Fortunately we went right next door to the buffet and had a wonderful platter of beans, rice, chickpeas, grilled vegetables, sautéed veggies, etc. And wonderful service from Mario, as usual. We skipped the Kabuki after deciding it probably wasn’t worth the hassle but my husband really wanted to try Il Forno. Before sitting down we decided to ask again in advance. Sin carne? No problem. There were a few menu items labelled vegetarian so we ordered, and I requested, en Español, no meat or cheese. We took a gamble on the spicy penne and a spaghetti pomodoro. The spicy penne came with meat despite us asking for it without. Maybe our bad since it was probably made in advance WITH the meat. But my pasta came with cheese on top. We were a bit frustrated at this point but chocked it up to a language barrier (although I was clear in Spanish) and an inability on their part to make adjustments to the menu items, and again decided it just was better for us to go to the buffet. The restaurants seem to cater more to a fine dining scene, so the servings were accurate but quite small. The food was delicious nonetheless. We picked out the meat and cheese, but we still felt terrible it was wasted. For a better selection the buffet cannot be beat. At the end of the day, we were very happy with everything. A few minor hiccups, but nothing that made our time there any less enjoyable. A few lessons learned, but we appreciate everything the staff had done for us to make our time enjoyable. A fairly high-end resort (not as high-end as the Bavaro Grande adults-only resort next door), well worth the costs.

    Individual ratings:

    Service

    Service-4

    Iberostar Selection at Bavaro beach

    Reviewed by greatblueheron(New York) on Mar 11, 2020

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			5
			 out of 5

    This was our second visit. It is one of the most beautiful hotels we have ever stayed at. Beautiful during the day and at night the lighting makes it feel like a fairy tale land. We loved our Junior suite. Lots of space. The employees were all very helpful and friendly. The food was good at the buffet near the pool, central buffet near the reception area and at the restaurants. But, beware of hard-sell, time-wasting people on-site.

    Individual ratings:

    Cleanliness

    Cleanliness-5

    Rooms

    Rooms-5

    Service

    Service-5