Barcelo Bavaro Palace
20 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Very 4 Star
"We typically stay at 5 star hotels and this is not that. We stayed In the nicer section in a suite and were blessed with club premium bracelets which get you into the spa free (45.00 a day typically) which is very 5 star with the exception of the 4 star guests who are talking so loudly in a spa that I need ear plugs. The spa personnel seem not to care that they are making a ruckus. The spa itself is one of the nicest that I have been at-and had been super relaxing up until they let this group in. The rooms are almost really nice. The bed very comfortable and they offer a pillow menu which I didn't use since the pillows we had were fine. Sometimes I find myself inadvertently smoking since the room next store some how vents into our room. The place is actually clean. We had gone to Atlantis last year and the park area was not kept up regarding removal of trash. They are pretty vigilant at cleaning up here. The pools are very nice -beach is pretty. The food is cafeteria style and loud unless you want to dress up and make reservations. I prefer to be served coffee while on vacation and not to have to walk to a machine to get my cup filled. The all inclusive gets you a really poor drink in a small plastic cup every few hours while at the pool -unless you get up to go to the bar then you get a pretty poor drink at the bar. The cruise ships must come in because it goes from ok to too busy. The staff lacks on a whole because they speak little to no English and most of the time do not care to be all that helpful. When asked if there was a seat outside the wait staff said they were all taken but many were free she just couldn't be bothered to clear them. They accept tips which is a problem since some people are giving them and I'm not since I prefer when I'm at the beach not to tow around my purse. It is pretty here. My folks booked this trip and the big difference between the stars are the people and the expectations. I'm still at the spa and these people are still screaming loud in the relaxation room and no one is stopping them. "
- Travel date: Tue 26th of April 2016
"We just returned from our trip late last night. The resort is beautiful, the beach spectacular. Tons of shady palm trees, soft, cool white sand and clear water. The weather was perfect.
The rooms at the family deluxe are just as described on the Barcelo web site and were very nice. Our room overlooked the water park and while there was construction behind us, we heard nothing through out our entire stays.
Our kids are too old for the water park (10 and 13) so we weren't there except to change for dinner and sleep. Everything goes on at the Palace and Palace deluxe where there's also a beautiful pool. It's a 10-15 minute walk to the Palace and the trolley runs every 5 minutes, but also takes about 10-15 minutes(because of stops/speed).
It was very busy during our stay, but the resort is so big that you never felt like you were crowded in. Always loungers available at the beach (although by late morning you need to search a little).
The staff is plentiful, efficient and very friendly, but speak minimal English.
We found the food to be mediocre, but everyone's different. We ate most of our meals at the Caribe buffet. I would not recommend The Las Canas Buffet (which is the buffet for the Family Deluxe). The restaurant was full of flies at every meal. Nothing was covered up (whereas at the Caribe buffet, netting was at least kept over the breads). The food was just so unappetizing there. The Caribe buffet is right near the pool and beach and didn't seem to have the fly problem (or not as much, anyway). The Italian Restaurant was very good and the Steak House was Ok. To avoid a wait at these two restaurants, get there close to opening time. La Brisa buffet also had tons of flies (at least at lunch) so we stayed away from there as well.
We enjoyed our time at the beach and took advantage of the kayaks and my daughter taught herself to windsurf! The only disappointing thing was there was no snorkeling to speak of at the resort. There was an excursion you can go on where they will take you to a place where there is a coral reef, but it was quite pricey for four of us, so we just did without.
This is a European run resort and smoking is allowed everywhere, which was a bit bothersome. If you have young children, also be aware that there is some topless sunbathing at the beach.
Feel free to contact me with any specific questions. Will post pictures in a few days."
- Travel date: Sat 20th of February 2010
Had a blast and will be returning in 2 months!
"This place was great. Perfect for young children. Rooms were beautiful, waterpark was excellent. The food was pretty good too. It's nice because you have the freedom of exploring the other resorts in the same complex so you have a boatload of options when it comes to food and fun. Everyone was friendly. Not too many spoke English but we always found a way to make it work. We had so much fun we are going back with the rest of our family in two months. They are staying at some of the other resorts so we can all have our privacy but still connect when desired. We have a 3 and 2 year old who take daily naps. I'm kind of a light sleeper so I brought a white noise machine which I was very thankful for because there is some construction going on behind the hotel. We stayed ground level right by the park and the noise didn't bother my kids at all. The Tvs have DVD players so bring their movies for English channels are limited even though we did catch a few episodes of Dora and the Backyardigans en Espanol:) Before this turns into a novel I will end. It's an awesome place! Bring bug spray though because the maids clean with the doors open so whenever you return you'll have to kill a few mosquitos, not a big deal. Oh and bring Pepto/Immodium/ whatever works for you because you will get diarrhea! LOL...... Love, Love, Loved it!"
- Travel date: Fri 19th of February 2010
"We just came back from Barcelo Family Deluxe and it was awesome!!!! Don't believe all those negative comments. We travel quite a bit and I am a very picky person. I have to say this was the BEST trip we have been on.
Hotel Room: Amazing and very private. If you are travelling with kids and still want privacy with your spouse, this is the resort to pick. One room has king bed, flat screen tv, own private patio and the best part: a sliding door to your room that locks!!
The kids room has 2 double beds, with flat screen tv and their own balcony and also a sliding door that locks.
Food: 7/10. Avoid all salads and lettuce. My son was vomiting all night after eating the salads-he was the only one who got sick and the only one who ate salads.
Make sure your meat is cooked! They have a grill that you can walk up to and choose the meat you want and they will cook it for you. The cooks are in a hurry to get your order done so often, the meat is red inside; not a problem if it's beef, but a big problem if its chicken or pork.
They had a large variety of food: chicken,lamb, fish, beef, pork, shrimp, lobster, mussels etc. but just repeated all those same foods daily.
Food was often room temp. not hot.
The Caribe is under construction (it is right beside the Family dlx) but you can only hear it if you sit out on your balcony. It was cool to sit and watch them work. You don't hear it when you are in your room.
The beach is close by (200m) as they say, but because of the construction, it is all fenced off so you cant get to the beach- you must walk or take trolley to Palace (not a big deal)
There is no adult pool at the family dlx, only a large water park pool for children, again you can use any of the pools at the other hotels.
To walk from dlx to Palace: 15mins. or you can take trolley but the trolleys are slow and if you walk you can usually beat them to the Palace.
Toilets at the Palace always overflow-so you have to flush and run out of the bathroom-no problems at the family deluxe b/c everything is new and beautiful there. It is so beautiful and posh at the family deluxe I thought why would anyone stay at the Palace for more money.
Beach is absolutely gorgeous and long (great for walking/running on)!
The gym is very old and limited-if all you want are dumbells and a bike you're ok.
Entertainment is ok-different titles but all the shows are the same. Tropicallisimo was ok but don't waste your time-they speak in Spanish the whole time and the choreography is just ok at best. We went to 2 shows and they were almost exactly the same.
The only people that speak English are: people at guest services and checkin/out. If you speak Spanish you get priority service everywhere (Bar, grill, restaurants) They usually serve those people first even if you were ahead of them. So try to speak some words in Spanish so they see you are trying and you will get better service.
Pools/rooms were kept very clean!
We did a extremebuggy excursion with Charlie-it was awesome!!! Don't book through the hotel, go on tripadvisor and find the excursion there and book ahead!
We did a snorkeling excursion from the guy on beach (Malibu boat) it was awesome-his staff really made sure you had a great time!
Bring repellent-there are lots of mosquitos-you don't see them or feel them biting but you wake up with many bites! Keep your patio door closed so they don't get into your room.
Sports Comlex: Oh my God!!! Full size, beautiful soccer field, smaller soccer field, basketball court, tennis court, running track and huge full size baseball field!! No excuse for your kids to be bored!
Internet: Total rip off!! They have computers at Casino and at Palace. It is $4 U.S for 15 mins. Bring your own computer and you will only pay $40. for 25 hours but you must use it at that location.
You get 31 pesos for a canadian dollar and 34 pesos for an american dollar but if you go off the resort and buy it at the ATM machine, they will give you 36 pesos for american dollar.
There are shops right near Palace hotel where you can barter-go there for souvenirs-the hotels are a total rip off (usually charge 10x higher rate)
Final words: I do not have anything negative to say about the family dlx-if you are booked at Palace switch to family dlx. There weren't any kids that were the same age as my kids (14-17) they were either younger (lots of those) or older.
If you don't like to walk, you will not like the location of the family dlx because its a 15min. walk to the beach at the Palace and the trolley is slow!
The casino hotel(not on the beach) pool is only 5mins. away.
The Brisas Restaurant is sooooo beautiful and its located on the beach so you can eat your meals on the beach (amazing!!!) but all the buffets were the exact same. Service was a little slower at the Brisas.
The weather was perfect: no rain just hot, sunny weather!!! Hope this helps and if you are going to the family dlx, I envy you!!!"
- Travel date: Wed 17th of February 2010
Amazing for Families
"Newly renovated and spotless hotel, part of a large mega resort on Bavaro beach. Only 20 minutes from the airport. Hotel staff was wonderful. Rooms are large and have 2 generous separate bedrooms (one with a King bed, one with 2 full beds). Master bedroom has outside terrace with jacuzzi. Bathroom has rain shower and all the amenities, including hairdryer, vanity kits, bathrobes. Baby crib was provided. Mini bar includes water, milk, juice, cookies, beer and is stocked free of charge daily. Microwave and safe included. Televisions in both rooms with English and Latin channels, including kids channels. Rooms are built around the large pool that is designed for kids. It is shallow and includes some 16 water slides. The bar is open until midnight and we found all drinks included.
Two minutes walk is the buffet restaurant which we found provided an excellent selection of foods, freshly prepared and of great quality. There is a kids food bar with things like hot dogs and french fries. Main buffet includes a pasta station and a grill where you can select which meat and fish to have. There is unlimited soft serve ice cream and a large selection of pastries and fresh fruits. High chairs are provided.
The nearby main square has touristy shops, atm, mail box, pharmacy and the doctors office.
A mini train drives around the resort so that you can use any of the facilities at any of the other 4 hotels and this means you have a large choice of restaurants (both with service and buffet) and pools. There is a steak house on the beach and an Italian restaurant also. There is a golf course and tennis courts, mini golf. The entire hotel has WiFi.
The beach is very beautiful, white sand, hundreds of palm trees provide shade. Free beach beds provided and towels can be obtained throughout the resort. There is much activity on the water, everything from windsurfing to scuba diving. We found the prices of water sports better with the Barcelo hotel than from outside providers. The beach sand does not get hot and the water is shallow for a long strip so it is ideal for kids.
If you are coming with kids, request a room on the ground level so you do not have to walk stairs with your stroller and you can keep an eye on your kids in the pool right from your own private terrace. A taxi from the airport will cost little more than half that of getting the organized hotel transportation. We loved the hotel, it is worth returning."
- Travel date: Wed 10th of February 2010
Great Hotel, Great Beach, Good Food.
"OK, not going to repeat what the great reviews before have stated. The rooms are 9.5 out of 10. If they were on the beach a 10. The construction won't be forever so I'm not taking that into consideration. The new Carib will be complete in Dec 2010 and will be a new complex unto itself with 5 restaurants, pool, entertainment etc...
The ipod dock works but does not charge, nor do any of the USB ports. Bring your charger. Safe is included in the room. TV goes to 63 with a fair amount of english. You may have to auto program to get them all. Power goes off alot at 11:00am. Temporary glitch during construction. Water park shuts down due to this. With no light in the toilet, you may want a flashlight. Safe still works, battery powered.
Our local buffet, Las Canas, and the Carib were the best for food selection. La Brisa, on the beach, was the best for views and atmosphere. The food was good, Bahia better. Bahia seems to cater from to North Americans. Barcelo, a spanish company, seems to cater to Europeans. English was a hurdle but not a significant issue. Learn a little before you go, remember por favor; please goes a long way to not appear snobby. Most of the guests are from Europe. English was rare, maybe 10-15%. Lots of Italians, Spanish, French, etc...
The complex is 5 sections. The Carib and Beach are under construction. The Palace is now the oldest and is located northern most on the beach. The Palace Deluxe Family Suite is in the middle with La Brisa joining it to the Palace. The Family Deluxe is behind the construction zone separating us from the beach. There will be two walkways to the beach eventually. But for now you do what all the other reviews have mentioned.
Take some blow up's for the kids. We took two tubes and it was a lifesaver (get it?) These kept us and the kids happy for hours, both cool and wet. Our kids 5 and 7. Perfect age for the water park. Ten or older may find it too tame. From a North American stand point, it's small, but it's intended for young children. Teens and adults are not allowed on the slides. The lifeguard will let you know with the whistle. Also, with the noise of the water park, I couldn't hear any construction going on. You only notice it when the power failures occur. You also lose your fruity ice drinks, not that you'll all be drinking at 11:00 am :) Towels are plentiful; never ran out.
Bring the entire medicine cabinet. They don't have zinc to buy, so bring it for the diaper rash. I will in the future take the diarrhea medicine. I didn't have any issue until the last day, but the plane ride wasn't all that fun! The medical system is good. The doctor at the resort was excellent, great english and very dedicated/caring.
Buy the rum from the merchant plaza across from the hotel, a quarter the price compared to the airport. I wouldn't buy booze from the merchant market. When dealing with merchants in the offsite market, carry money in different pockets. If they ask $20, pull out the $10 really slow, show him your empty pocket and say this is all I have; they'll hum and haw but you'll get it for $10.
Feel free to ask questions.
- Travel date: Tue 9th of February 2010
"First time to Dominican. Have been to both sides of Mexico before and we loved the beaches in Punta Cana better. This resort was amazing. The rooms were huge and beds were the most comfortable that I have slept in on vacation. We have stayed at a Riu resort before and Bahia Principe before and the beds there were really hard. This was not the case here.
They are doing construction on a couple of resorts on the property but you can not hear the noise in the room at all. The beach is about a 5 minute trolly ride but no big deal. You go to the beach in the morning and then eat and use the pool or whatever you like at the Palace Resort.
There is a big buffet right there as well as the bar and swim up bar.
We usually headed back up to the resort around 3:00 so the kids could get a few hours in at the water park. It is absolutely amazing there. The kids had such a great time there with so many different slides. The rooms are really close to the pool and so is the bar. It is very convenient.
The food was actually good. Nobody got sick! The steak house was the best restaurant. You could get chicken or pizza there as well as steak and pork tenderloin. You also get a big baked potato and some rice and corn on the cob with your meal. We actually ate there 3 times during our week stay. We also ate at the Italian restaurant and it was good as well. The buffet at the Palace was good and we also ate at the buffet at the Casino hotel too.
The balcony in the room had a jacuzzi tub which was nice but you could hear the noise from the construction. Not a big deal though.
All in all it was a nice resort and we would definitely go back. Make sure you bring bug spray though cause it was about $18.00 for some if you forget it. Crazy expensive!
Best part though was the beach and clear water. Lots of spots to swim and you can walk for miles on the beach. It was incredible."
- Travel date: Sat 6th of February 2010
be prepared b4 u go
"Our trip was Jan.24-31st at the FAMILY DELUXE section
Luckily we are seasoned travellers, and read info about this resort before leaving! Hopefully this helps!
DEPARTURE info - all at the Palace (this was for all of the tour companies) so you will have to make your way over there the day you leave.
HOTEL ROOMS - were exactly what we expected - very nice. Two bedrooms separated by the washroom/entrance area, sliding doors for each bedroom to walk out, Jacuzzi and drying rack on the porch. The bathroom had a double sink, a huge shower and a separate toilet area. Problem for people with little kids though - no bath tub, and the toilets have quite a big opening for little bums! There was a huge mosquito problem. Advised to get anti-malaria drugs before your family goes (Health Canada also recommends). There is stagnant water along the golf course edge(right beside the hotel and kids pool) that is a breeding ground for the pests. That being said, my son and I were bit whereas my daughter and husband weren't. The bugs were in the room, too. Get them to SPRAY YOUR ROOM every day. We didn't realize we could request this until a few days in. It actually helped.
If you need a CRIB make sure you email before you leave to make sure it is in your room. At first we were on the 2nd floor but the crib wouldn't fit in the room (what a story that is!) plus we had a stroller so we got a room on the 1st floor instead. The front desk people were excellent. Anything we asked for was taken care of very quickly. We requested a late check out since our departure from the hotel was 6pm (which was delayed, last minute to 7:10pm) and they accommodated us. It is supposed to be $15/hr after noon but we didn't get charged b/c of the crib fiasco.
CONSTRUCTION was going on 24/7 right beside the hotel - basically all the rooms face it so there is nowhere to hide! It didn't bother us for sleeping or anything but it was very noisy to sit outside your room on the loungers they had (well, you'd get eaten alive by the bugs anyway!) Needless to say, we didn't go in the hot tub outside either b/c of the bugs - what a shame! It may be better on higher floors. Construction is expected to be done by May 2010. They do quiet down a bit after 10pm.
To get to the BEACH the walkway was blocked off by construction so we always had to pack up and get on the train (which comes around quite frequently) but is a slight pain with a stroller. You could walk there but it is hot and you go by the construction the whole time so it's not like it is a nice stroll (about 10-15min or so to get to the beach pathway). So we only did one beach day. For older kids it's not a problem but we have a 3year old and a 10month old. The beach is quite busy and the water isn't rough but isn't super calm either.
The kids POOL was fantastic. There are waterslides for the older kids and the younger ones. It is only about 1ft deep all around so perfect for the little ones - even the baby could sit at the edge and crawl around. We went to the Casino pool quite a bit b/c it was easy to walk to from our hotel and we could swim there as well as there is a shallow section for the kids. It wasn't very busy either and there is a buffet restaurant right there (although not as good as some of the others).
The Steak house is a must to EAT at as well as the Italian (we didn't go to the Italian but heard from many that it is good). The food is probably a 3* rating - Bahia Principe is very hard to compete with! And my 3 year old got sick - we're still not sure how - if it was the food or possibly swallowing pool water, or the mosquito bites - or all of the above. We took had to take him to the clinic at the hotel - which wasn't very useful.Bring Immodium or something like that, insect repellent and after-bite, Tylenol/Advil. We used all of them.
As far as ACTVIITIES go - everything is based out of the Palace area - the ideal place to stay to be close to the activities is at the Palace or the Palace Deluxe (this is a little further out). It is a long walk (too long for little kids but fine for older) or about a 10min train ride to get there from the Family Deluxe.
The weather was absolutely perfect. The beach is long and has beautiful sand. There is a market to barter with the locals at the edge of the resort. Way cheaper to buy there but you have to ask their price and expect to pay only 1/2 or less. Recommended not to buy the rum or vanilla there though as it may be baking in the sun.
All in all, we had a very good time. But I don't think we'd go back there.
Hope this is useful to your family!"
- Travel date: Thu 4th of February 2010
Excellent Family Vacation
"We stayed at the Family Deluxe January 23-30. It was an excellent resort. The rooms are perfect with two bedrooms and two balconies. There is a jacuzzi on one of the balconies. The resort is not right on the beach but there is a train that takes you around. The staff is very friendly and the resort is very clean. We highly recommend this resort and would definitely go again.
Feel free to contact us we have tons more pictures and can answer any questions!!
Have a blast!!"
- Travel date: Thu 4th of February 2010
Great Family Vacation
"It was a fabulous holiday! Great for young children! Staff was excellent and very accomodating.
Barcelo has 4 hotels within the complex and you can use any of the facilities at any of the hotels. There is a "train" that picks you up and takes you from hotel to hotel. This resort is NOT on the beach but it doesn't matter, the train comes so often and you're there in 5 minutes. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. I'd definitely go back and would definitely recommend this hotel."
- Travel date: Tue 26th of January 2010
Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe
"We stayed at Deluxe for two weeks at Christmas time.Generally everything was ok.The territory is huge and beautiful, the deluxe area is comparatively quiet ,the beach is long and you can walk and walk .We didn't have any complains about food,nor we never had problems with stomachs.We made friends with some guys from St Petersburg,and a girl from Moscow and spent evening at the reception bar drinking mamajuana and at Casino watching Tropicalissimo. The stuff at reception is non-friendly,but at the end we didn't care about them.We tipped the lady who cleaned the room every day and she was super happy and helped us anytime,even borrowed her umbrella when on Christmas day half of the hotel was under the rain water.Locals said it always rains there for Christmas and beginning of January,but the last time it rained like that was 5 years ago.
We visited Samona island,and it was extreme and fun,and very teaching .As we crossed the island on a small plane,then took the speed boat to National Park on the ocean ( on our way we met a big family of wild dolphins),the National Park is amazing,the view of the sky is unbelivable.Then we drove the bus to the rancho where we took horses and rode horses up the mountain to the waterfalls .It's really very exotic for a person from a Europeanean big city... I mean it. Locals are friendly generally.But we've been told that it's dangerous to get to know the country by ourselves on a rent car as they have drug mafia and etc. Besides I'm blonde and they seem to show more attention to this hair color. We also did a trip to Santa Domingo,which was not worth the time and health ( it took 3 hours on car one way and 3 hours back). Tropicalissimo- the show which they offer to watch every evening at Casino,is cool if you like salsa and Latin pop music.It's amusing. We watched all shows,the girls sing good and look good.As for males,I expected them all to be Enrique Iglesias look-alikes and was disappointed ...In any case the trip was fun,and we would come back there for sure,maybe even think of relocating to Dominicana one day .It's just a small country of people who are endlessly happy even though they live in very poor conditions,sometimes without electricity and water...but happiness is something more than what material satisfaction gives ,that's what Dominicana shows."
- Travel date: Tue 12th of January 2010
go anywhere but not to bavaro barcelo
"all we got promised was wrong. we came because we saw a nice pics of a familily rooms, and got totally disapointed. the rooms are very nice, but all the rest of the hotel is from poor to worst. half of the hotel is in construction so contant noise, distances of the hotel to beach are more than 800 meteres unless we were promised 150 mts, food quality is a disaster, no fruits no quality no nothing. entertraiment does not exosts.
we are now here for 14 days , and this is our second day, maybe the director of the hotel read this review and can help us for a better stay, we asked them but no solution yet
alejandro lubeslki argentina"
- Travel date: Fri 8th of January 2010