Arrival: Dec 1-8, 2008
We arrived 2 hrs late due to high winds and de icing in Quebec City - We flew Sunwing, We checked in with no problems, everyone was very nice.
We had the VIP package our room was great we had a king size bed like we asked for and a patio, room was clean
Restaurants and Bars:
Food in Buffets were very good, great selection, the first day we were there we tipped the bartender and the server from taht time on we where treated like royality, we always had a table and cultery, we had the italian and the grill for ala carts, we went back to the grill because the steaks were very tender and tasty.
Beach area was very nice swimming was great we had no weeds just white warm sand,Pools where very clean and refreshing, grounds were well
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
if you wanted to get involved in activities there were many the staff at our resort work very hard to keep there quests intertained,
This was our 1st vacation, basically the honeymoon we never had, we enjoyed every aspect of our trip from the food to the entertainement, walks on the beach, excurcions, to the country side learning how people really lived, and there culture, we met some interesting people and made some friendships, i read some reviews before my trip and i was alarmed, but you must realize where you are and enjoy the sun and the music, i can't wait until next year.
Grand Paradise Bavaro
Arrival and Flight
Booked through Sunquest and flew with Skyservice seating was very cramped and being 6 foot 3" I will never
book another vacation package that uses Skyservice
We were in building 8 room 2106 and found the room very comfortable and clean,large flat screen TV mounted
on the wall .The doors to the rooms slam when closed and the slamming goes on all night very noisy and
Only ate at the buffet - food was excellent but could not find bacon anywhere
Not sure if the slow economy has hit Puna Cana but the resort was only 1/3 full so no line ups at the bars and found most
of the servers friendly.Speaking of friendly you have to visit the pool bar near building 8 and ask Roberto for a Diablo
Beach and Pools This is my 3rd visit to Punta Cana and I still say it is the best beach in the world.Never had a problem getting
a chair on Grounds the beach or pool.The pool,air and ocean were always between 30-32 C If you are in building 7 or 8 it is about a 10 min
walk to the beach but they have a tram that runs to beach if you can't do the walk.The grounds for the most part are well
maintained but not many flowers .They have staff picking up litter throughout the day
Activities and Entertainment
Did not participate but there was activities available
Departure and Check Out No problems , received a call from the bell boy in the morning to arrange a pick up time for me and the luggage
Pick up time to the airport was 5 and check out time was 1 but had access to a hospitality room were you could
If you book with Sunquest there block of rooms are 7 & 8 and near a bar called the Boat Bar that has live music nightly from 8-midnight .I think the resort is worthy of it's 4 star status
Grand Paradise Bavaro
We flew from Detroit via USA3000 with Apple Vacations. Flight was normal and uneventful. After a long bus ride and several stops, we arrived at the hotel. There were approximately 8 couples to check in. We were last in line. Check in took 10 minutes and the staff was excellent. While we were in line the manager booked us an a la carte restaurant for that night.
We booked a last minute "super saver" room from Apple. When we got to our room we could not believe it. The main part of the romm was 27 x 13 Ft with a king size bed. The bathroom was a seperate area consisting of a sink area with a huge closet and a walk -in shower. In another room there was a toilet and a corner jakuzi tub. We had one problem , the TV had no sound. We reported this to Guest services the next morning before breakfast and by the time we finished eating it was replaced with a 32" flat panel TV.
As far as food, the buffet in the main section where we were was closed for repairs so we had to go the buffet in the Club section No big deal. Food at the buffet was average . We always found something to eat, pasta bar was very good. We tried the Italian and the Steakhouse a la cartes. Food was excellent .Beach snack bar was sparse but if you got there when food was freshly cooked it was OK.
The beach and pool were spectacular, always somewhere to sit . I understand drinks at the pool bar were poor but we are not big drinkers so it didn't affect us.
The service everywhere in the hotel was excellent. Most of the time we sat down to eat at the buffet we were served drinks immediately. Once we had 3 waiters trying to serve at once.
Don't let little things ruin your holiday and realize where in the world you are. This is not a rich country and this is not The Hilton
Grand Paradise Bavaro
It was our forth trip to Punta Cana and always stayed at the Bavaro Princess before. But as our daughter is getting married this year we decide to save some money. We will never do it again the resort was so noisy I don't think we ever had a full night's sleep. Some of the restaurant staff was rude, and when we complained nothing was done. One of the bartenders almost lit us on fire with a flaming drink and we had to walk our bags to the front by ourselves. The beach was nice the rooms were clean, no beer in the mini fridge, I would definitely spend the extra money next year to go back to the Princess.
Grand Paradise Bavaro
Janice (Age - 21) Canada, Toronto
We stayed in the newer section on the 3rd floor in building 7.
We travelled Sunquest/ Skyservice.
Our flight was delayed one hour but it wasn’t that bad. The flight overall was just ok.
Getting there wasn’t too bad, there was a lot of people so it took kinda long just to get to the hotel. Once we got there the line was long but we checked in and the one of the guys helped us with our bags. We gave him a small tip and was happy to get to our room.
Our room was PERFECT! We got a king size bed, just like we asked for and the room looked great. The A/C worked the whole time and the room was always clean. We never had a problem with our hot water, it always worked.
We signed up for 3 restaurants but we never actually made it to all of them. We just ended up going to the manglar ( the food was just ok) the buffet was way better. But it was nice to try something new.
The bars were ok, they made the drinks a little too strong, but after awhile I just asked for Virgin drinks ( they taste better). They were very nice and entertaining.
Beach and Pools
We mostly stayed at the beach because why waste your time at a pool. We did go to the pool twice and it was nice, but nothing compared to the beautiful white water at the beach. The water was a bit rough at times, but it was amazing.
The grounds were very clean the whole time we were there, so no problems with this.
Activities and Entertainment
We didn’t do any activities, but we did watch some plays and we went to the disco.
The dancing and singing were very fun and up beat, I actually wanted to get up on the stage and dance with them.
We did 2 tours à Tropical Storm and Speed boats. Both were great.
tropical storm was a boat ride which took us around the island and showed up around the place. We got to snorkeling around and explore the ocean. We also got to go on a huge water slide and try a Dominican drink called “ mamajuana”. It was strong, but the cool part about it was we got to keep a bottle and it had our picture on it ( 8bucks).
Speed boats were very fun and crazy. My boyfriend went really fast the whole time so I was hanging on for dear life.
once again we got to go snorkeling and had drinks the whole time.
Departure and Check Out
We didn’t no what time check out was so we were a bit late, but no problems. We also missed the bus for being 5 mins late. The bus said it was leaving at 5, but it left at 4.55.
thank god we got there at 4:54. LOL
Overall this trip was PERFECT. Don’t listen to all the bad reviews because it was unnecessarily scare you for no reason. I read them and was very nervous for buying this trip, but when I got there I realized those people made their trip bad. You have to go with an open mind and know that your on vacation and everything isn’t going to go as you planned, you have to roll with the punches.
Extra--> This resort didn't have a lot of young people, i just it was just out luck, but next time i would look into that. I knew this resort had kids, but there was way too many and next time i would choose to go somewhere were all the guest were 21 and over.
Grand Paradise Bavaro
Just to let you know that we were very disappointed along with many other guests at this resort.
It's no way a 4 Star, but more like a 2 Star resort.
We vacation South once or twice a year and this was a very slow period for Dominican. We should have had the best experience in light of this.
We booked a room with a King size bed. On the first day we arrived the door lock literally fell off!
When we called the reception they told us that someone would be there to fix the lock in 10 min's. (This is 10 min's Dominican time which equals 2 normal hours)..By the way no one showed up, we called again the front desk.
We were then given another room with 2 single beds. In this room the telephone did not work and nor did the fridge. Again we requested a move to a room with a King size bed for what we had requested and paid for, and still our request was not accommodated. In the end we just settled for what they gave us...a room with 2 single beds not to mention the defective shower head. (At this time we were just fed up!)
For all the meals that we attended at the buffet, not once did we have all the cutlery at our seating. If you asked for coffee, you got just that. No sugar, no milk, and no spoon to stir with. Most of the time in the buffet you can see folks moving about picking cutlery from other free tables.
One of the big bosses was hosting a party for his own guests, and the Resort staff just paid more attention to him than anyone else!!!
What a fuss all the guests thought. They seemed to want to impress him more than their paying guests.
We tried to get internet access, and told to come back at 11 am the next day because they ran out of cards. This promise was not kept.
All in all, this resort is giving you, "Sunwing" & "SellOffvacations" a bad name for supporting and recommending it.
(I did also send a complaint email to Sunwing & SellOffvacations. SunWing sent back a standardized email, and no response from SellOffVacations)
At one a la carte restaurants, a couple walked out after receiving their meal -- Obviously they felt they did not get what they asked for!
Also noticed that nowhere on the resort do you see the name, "Grand Paradise Bavaro"...our wrist bands read, "Amsha Marina". Seems like once the Resorts get a bad name, the Resort name changes.
We normally do a lot of research by reading reviews on the internet, but this time due to our busy schedule did not do this. I feel it only fair to post my feedback since I gain so much by reading others on the internet.
Hope this helps others.
Grand Paradise Bavaro
Arrival and Flight
Flight was good. Arrival to the hotel took 2 hours because the bus driver kept getting stuck.
They advertised brand new rooms –some were not completely finished – our first room had drywall dust all over and the AC did not work.
Our second room was fine –new, stocked, clean etc. However, there was no security lock on the inside – so you could not lock it and staff would just walk in. Major privacy issues here.
Key cards never worked and you had to find someone and wait outside the room for a long time before you could get into your room
Hot water was an issue, leaking pipes was an issue.
We could not get a reservation until four days later – too booked. We ate at the buffet and it was good. However, service was poor.
The bars did not know how to mix drinks.
Beach and Pools
The beach and pools were fabulous.
The grounds were okay but not spectacular
Activities and Entertainment
Activities and entertainment were in French - not good if you only speak English
Departure and Check Out
Checking into the hotel – we were told to find our own rooms – they would bring the bags later. Service was non-existent. Finding someone to speak English was a problem.
Overall it was a horrible trip.We would not recommend or go back to the Dominican Republic.
Grand Paradise Bavaro
Arrival and Flight: flight was good, flew sky service not as crowded as I thought it would be. Check-in sucked, not at all friendly, there were 3 of us, but they would only give us two keys and didn’t give us a map, we were in the sunquest section and didn’t get a map so when we arrived at 10 pm we had know idea where we were.
Rooms: room was great, got ground floor as requested, we had also asked for a roll away bed, when we got to the room there was a crib (lol)
Restaurants: loved the buffet the food was fabulous (lots of variety and a good selection of cheese) the staff was very good at times had to ask 2-3 times for things (like cutlery), but any where tropical it’s usually at a different pace than north America so it wasn’t unexpected.
Only got to try 1 restaurant - Italian - as that’s all that was available (we were all women, talked to others and we the 2 girls went to book were told nothing was available, when the 2 guys went got the places they wanted) the food was ok I got the pasta and it was good, other 2 people got chicken and pork and it was gross, I was happy with the buffet though lots of choice and the food was excellent.
Bars: not bad a little weak, but just ask for double the alcohol, they don’t have premium liquor, but your told that when you book, they also have a pay bar (in the shape of a boat) the prices are pretty good.
Beach and Pools: the beach is absolutely beautiful, spent most to the time by the pool as I didn’t want to get up at 6 to get a umbrella, always had one by the pool (door went out to the pool so just ran out in the morning) I’ve read on here that people reserve spots for the whole week, but that isn’t true at night everything is cleaned.
Grounds: beautiful, always clean and lot’s of flowers and palm trees
Activities and Entertainment: had activities every afternoon something diffrent. Went to the entertainment 1 night it was probably a bad night to go.
Tours: didn’t do any, did however take a taxi to a market to buy rum (super cheap and taxi is only $15 us each way), there is also a flea market outside, just go through the main entrance and turn left.
Departure and Check Out: complete opposite of check in, very friendly.
Conclusion: I’d definitely go back and recommend this place to people.
The only thing I wouldn’t do is book again with sunquest I was not at all impressed with them when we went to the info session all he motioned were the excursions didn’t tell us anything about the place (where to go, times, etc) and he was very rude. If you do book with sunquest skip the info session it is a big waste of time.
Grand Paradise Bavaro
Forum Member "Tigs"
We just returned from an absolutely fantastic vacation at the Grand Paradise Bavaro - Club Section.
We travelled April 24 - May 1st, staying in the Sunquest Select section of rooms, Building 8; 3rd floor.
We knew prior to travelling that we were not in the main section of the resort, but it did not bother us in the least. We have stayed at much larger resorts that required much more walking, so we didn't mind. On the days we didn't feel like making the 5-8 minute walk to the main section and beach - we waited for the trolley (never more that 10 minutes, if you just missed it) or at any given time, there was always an employee in a golf cart that would be more than happy to pick you up!!
So lets try to sum it all up here...
FLIGHT: Flew Skyservice out of Toronto - same typical service we are used to...cramped seats and lousy food, but who cares, this bird is taking you to paradise!!
PUNTA CANA AIRPORT: Check in was the quickest!!! At the most 30 seconds at Immigration, and a 5 minute wait for our bags - loved it!!
THE RESORT: The resort is comprised of 2 section The Grand Paradise Bavaro and The Club at Grand Paradise Bavaro. The main section is beach front and boasts most of the day and evening activities as well as most of the restaurants. The Club, is a short 5 minute walk from the main section and has 2 pools; both with swim up bars and jacuzzis; along with one buffet and an a la carte restaurant...it is almost a resort in itself, just not beach front. We found the ground of both sections to be very well taken care of and extremely clean.
ROOMS: Great!!! We were in building 8 in the Club section, on the third floor overlooking the pool - although we were not fortunate enough to get a room with a jacuzzi, ours was wonderful just the same. The Sunquest Select section of rooms, apparently just opened in December we were told, so everything is brand new. The room we had was with 2 queen sized beds; a small sitting area; walk in closet; bathroom with seperate tub/shower and toilet; balcony overlooking the pool; bar fridge (some items you do pay for) and about a 32" LCD flat panel TV.
We did not have any issues with anything being broken; leaking; not working at all - the room was in perfect condition.
RESTAURANTS: Oh my goodness, you had such a great selection of places to eat throughout the resort! We had no issues with the food whatsoever, found everything to be plentiful and tasty.
- Breakfast: Buffet at the main section or Club. Great selection of food - made to order omletes; waffles; crepes; pancakes - better selection at the main resort, but both of equal quality
- Lunch: Buffet at the main section or Club; Buffet at the beach as well, as a daily BBQ there; apparently there was also lunch available in the restaurant in the club section (the Magalar)
We found all to be very good, with a different selection each day
- Dinner: Buffet at the main section or Club; plus 6 a la carte restaurants to chose from. The buffet had a different theme each night, so the food changed with it - we found it to be very good.
We were allowed 3 a la cartes - we chose only 2, due to limited availability. First we dined at the Dominican restaurant which we found to be quite good, a nice selection of fish and meat. Our second was the International a la carte in the Club section - this one was excellent!! Again a great menu selection, lots of choices!!
BARS: There are several bars located throughout the resort. I'll start with the main section. There are 2 beach bars; one open unti 11 pm the other until 2am; there is a 24 hr. Sports Bar as well as a Disco. In the Club section there are 2 swim up bars at each pool along with a bar at the Magalar restaurant that had a bistro type feel to it, with tables and chairs set up in a courtyard like setting.
NIGHTLIFE: Most watched the evening shows in the main section and then seemed to congregate to the bars at the beach waiting for the disco to open. Disco was great and always busy as was the beach bar that stayed open late. There is a very tiny casino adjacent to the Sports Bar. The Sports Bar is another area that was typiccally busy at night.
POOL: There are 3 pools within the entire complex. One in the main section; 2 in the Club. The time we did spend by the pool, we stayed up in the Club section. All pools were very nice, and seemed to be well taken care of and clean. We found that most loungers were taken by about 9am - most reserved by people who never did show up!!!
BEACH: I will be echoing most reviews, the beach here was fantastic!! The water was wavy, but not too rough, just enough to have some fun. We did find, that you had to get up at the crack of dawn to reserve a palapa on the beach - this kind of became a routine for us, and maybe I am crazy but we didn't mind. We had a routine of getting to the beach by 6am; watching the sunrise (nothing beats a caribbean sunrise) and then making our way to the buffet for breakfast and then a long walk on the beach before it got too hot.
EXCURSIONS: We did not book an off-resort excursions as they seemed to be all very similar to ones we have doen throughout or travels; but we did hear great things about the Monster Truck and Dune Buggie tours. We did however go Parasailing, which we organized at the resort and it was a blast! Cost was $80US for both of us. You are up in the sky about 10-15 minutes and the view is fantastic!!! The captain takes pictures of you that are availabe the next day on CD for $14US - you get about 18-20 pictures; most of you and then some shots fromt eh air of the surrounding resorts etc. Togetehr combined, they are a great memory for us!!!
BRieF SUMMARY: After reading many mixed reviews we went with an open mind and I can honestly say, I am not sure where some of you stayed!!!?? This was our second trip to Punta Cana, we were there in 2004 for a breif 4 day stay at Secrets Excellence, which we thoroughly enjoyed. Aside from that we have been to several resorts in Cuba ranging from 4-5 stars and we found this resort to be comperable and in some ways even better. We would return in a heartbeat and would not hesitate to recommend this resort to any of our friends or family. We completely loved this resort and do not have a single complaint..with the exception that it would have been nice to have had a coffee maker and iron inthe room - but we did survive without!!!!
Grand Paradise Bavaro
For my third stay at Dominican Republic I chose Grand Paradise Bavaro.
This is a cheap Hotel. This resort does not deserve its 4th star, even with dominican standards. You can find for the same price another hotel in punta cana giving you more value.
Reception and check-in : very unfriendly welcome. no smile. you get your room key and that's it.
Rooms : old, basic and broken. There was a leak in the bathroom. One day without hot water. The terrasse door did not lock. The curtains are not large enough. Although you don't hear the noise from the neighbour rooms, hallways are very noisy, i was awaken nearly every night. You won't have a quiet stay.
Restaurants: the food always repeats itself, day after day. not so much choice. there are two buffet restaurants, one in the old part of the resort and a more recent one. I advise you to go to the more recent one as the old buffet restaurant is very basic and and old building. service is poor.
Bars: the bar above the reception is very quiet but nice. do not expect a smile, a "hello" or a "good bye" from the bartender.
Beach and Pools : the beach is nice and clean as it is everywhere in punta cana. the beach and pools are overcrowded. people put their towels on the chairs at the beach and swimming pools even if they don't use the chairs. you will not find a spot in the shade unless you get up earlier than you do on a work day. its nearly impossible in the afternoon to even get a chair at the swimming pool.
Activities and Entertainment: i nearly did not attend the night entertainments but it looked ok, not great, but satisfactory. Anyway, you go to punta cana fot the beach, not for the night shows.
Internet acces : they sell access card at the reception for 8 usd for 1 hour connection time. internet access is incredibly slow. there are only
3 computers for the whole hotel. you will have to wait your turn at the sports bar which is by the way one of the worst parts of the hotel, old, dirty and stinky.
Conclusion: avoid this hotel.
Grand Paradise Bavaro
Doug and Kim Summerside, PEI
My husband and I just returned from a two week honeymoon at this resort (April 6th – 20th). We had originally planned to get married here, but my emails to the resort requesting contact with a wedding coordinator were unanswered. We flew with West Jet from Halifax and had great flights to and from the DR. I was quite surprised that there is no longer a free in-flight movie offered and unfortunately the satellite TV did not work in my seat on the way to the DR and the complete system was down on the flight home. It is possible to purchase a movie for $5.99.
When we arrived at the resort, we found the same line for check- ins and for check- outs. All the tanned vacationers were at the front of the line, and all the new vacationers at the end of the line. We had to return at a later time to receive our room, but we expected this. We were given a room in building 6, Club section. We had just gotten married on the 4th of April and our travel agent notified the resort, but we were given, according to hearsay, a poor selection of a room. It was just a basic room, clean with arrival. We had gone three days without seeing a maid and I had to call the front desk and request a room clean. We had friends and my three teenagers arrive the following week and their rooms were beautiful.
The food selection was great, and we enjoyed the a la cartes. Unfortunately my husband forgot a closed toe shoe, so the first week we were unable to attend an a la carte. We phoned home to have the kids bring a pair of shoes for Doug. The following week, we noticed many men in these restaurants with sandels, but we didn’t think to hand over money to be escorted to a table.
The service in the a la cartes are great, but the buffets were terrible. Many people had to set their own tables, such as finding silver ware, glasses, coffee cups, and trying to get a cup of coffee or a drink of any sort was near impossible.
Henri at the Mangular is terrific. We had lunch here everyday for the great service and chicken wings/ nuggets.
The entertainment was the absolute worse I have ever witnessed. After awhile, we stopped going. I have been to other resorts where the entertainment was amazing.
The beach is beautiful, but really hard to find chairs/shade. We soon learned that soon people leave their towels on the chairs under the shade for a week. They also have another chair in the sun, while some people have no chairs. And some people put their towels on the chairs before going to bed and arrive at the beach the next day before noon. At this resort, the chairs are not stacked at night.
The staff work hard at keeping the beach clean. There is always men, heavily dressed, carrying a garbage bag picking up cigarette butts and garbage. PEOPLE PICK UP YOUR CIGARETTE BUTTS AND GARBAGE.
I found the ****** vacationers at this resort extremely rude. They butted into lines, walked in front of you, and very, very seldom was a thank you heard.
Would we return? If the price was right and we stayed at the actual Grand Paradise and not the Club section.
Grand Paradise Bavaro
Charlene St. John's, Newfoundland
This resort has some much potential, but it is very rundown.
Checkin: We had to bring are own luggage from the bus to the reception area. Rooms were mixed up, and had to change rooms the 2nd night.
Food: Food wasn't to bad. Pop machines did not work anywhere, and it was impossible to get ice unless you went to the bar. Very poor service at the buffet.
Grounds: Very dirty, grass torn up, chairs broken, pingpong tables broken and anything for rent didn't work or was unsafe to use.
Rooms: Rooms were ok, maid kept them clean. No coffee makers, ice bucket but no where to get ice (except if you walk to the bar and get it yourself), no cd players and you have a big jug of water in your fridge, no bottled water anywhere.
Bar: Bartenders very unfriendly, offered different types of drinks, but kept running out of liquior to make them wih.
Pool: Pool was ok, but very hard to get chairs, everyone left there towels on them all week long.
Beach: Nice beach, but same problem with the chairs.
Entertainment: Some shows were ok, but when they were bad, they we really bad. Very little music, activities or entertainment poolside. When they did play music they would play things you listened to on the radio at home. I like to listen to something with a little culture.
Overall I would not reccomend this resort. I have been to several and there is no comparision.
Grand Paradise Bavaro
Kathy Saskatchewan, Canada
Arrival and Flight:
The flight was long and torturous because of economy class. Next time we will definitely shell out the extra for first class or at least seat selection so we can sit in the emergency exit isle. Leg room is a must!
We were in the club section building 5. Our room was beautiful. Marble bathroom with Jacuzzi tub and shower. King size bed, to chairs, couch and a tv case with the mini fridge. The mini fridge was stocked with a 4L jug of water, which we did not even use all of it in 7 days. Also came with pop which we also never used. Towels were replaced daily. We tipped the maid $5 one day and our bed was made up with some sort of swan design with our bedding. Also flowers were put around the sink in the bathroom. The balcony overlooked the pool. Very nice. Two room keys were given and we ended up getting another one cut so we could have two with us and one to keep the A/C on. There was only one day that we did not have hot water. It was cold to luke warm, however we didn’t mind because it was blazing hot outside so a cooler shower was refreshing!
We were allowed 3 al la carte dinners in the week but only ended up using one. We ate at the Seafood one. It was good, we did notice ppl eating things that didn’t look like they were on the menu so not sure how they ordered them. The servers could not speak English so that made ordering a little tough but overall was a good experience. The buffets were amazing! Different food every night and a large assortment. My husbands favorite was the pasta bar, where you could just pick your toppings, sauce and type of pasta and the chef would grill it all up right there. Also lots of seafood every night. The staff were very friendly and really appeared to be enjoying their job.
In the club section, the Mangalar bar was very nice and quieter. Good to visit at. There are tables outside and inside in case it rains. There was lots of French activities going on there. One night was a dance party and Limbo competition. The other bars seemed just as good as the other. Nothing really different. All the staff was very friendly and would definitely not cheap out on the booze if you tipped them. I would recommend bringing travel mugs to keep your drink cool. (and you can fit more!!) The disco was attached to the 24 sports bar that had pool tables, foose ball etc. The disco was fun but SO HOT. The activities crew would go there and dance and get everybody else dancing. Very entertaining. We enjoyed sitting outside the disco on the grass or by the pool and visiting with everyone. Met lots of different and interesting people!
Beach and Pools
The Beach was amazing! Crowded but if you walked far enough down you could always find lounge chairs. The huts went fast though. The pool by the beach was our favorite. Very busy. People liked to put there towels on chairs to make them look like they are taken, but if you keep your eye on one and its empty for 30 min or more we would sit down there. We never did have anyone come to claim there chairs back!
Well maintained. Always workers working and keeping them clean.
Activities and Entertainment:
We heard there was entertainment but never did catch any of it! Too busy visiting!
We went on one tour. Horseback riding through Macao Ranch. $50/person for 2 hours. Very nice. We got to ride down the beach for a part of it. My only complaint was that the horses were very thin and looked very tired. I almost felt bad for getting on.
Departure and Check Out :
Smooth and no problems. The whole experiences went quickly and hassle free.
An excellent resort that I would recommend to anyone. We had heard not so good reviews but went with an open mind. The staff was friendly, the weather was Hot and the food was great. We met lots of fun people and had a very relaxing time. Can’t wait to go back!
Grand Paradise Bavaro
Diana Hubbardston, Massachusetts
Arrival and Flight A tip for all travelers who hate flying: if you call your doctor and tell him your kind of freaking out about flying he'll prescribe you something and give you some breathing exercises to help you. We flew US air out of Boston with a layover in Charlotte. No issues. A short delay in Charlotte while we were in the plane waiting for take-off.
When we first got to the resort we were at the main hotel lobby. I had booked with travelocity, so I didn't realize we should have been at "The Club." The main desk had someone take us, by bus, to the Club section. We checked in and were in our room within 15 minutes. However, they forgot to give us our towel cards....which was an easy fix at the desk.
Rooms We were supposed to have a junior suite, but I realized after a few days that we just had a standard club room. It wasn't a big deal since we were in the rooms for about 6 hours a night and it was simply to sleep. Other people may have been annoyed by this, though. We had a double bed, a couch and two chairs, a coffee table, two bedside tables, a TV with a cabinet under it which housed our refrigerator. We had all the soda and water we wanted in the fridge and were never charged for extras. We each had a room key so one was with us at all times and one was in the electricity at all times. We gave the maid $3 a day and a Boston Red Sox hat for her son so she'd keep the A/C on with the key card. She did. I never saw a bug in the room once. We had new towels every other day. We only got one bottle of shampoo the whole time we were there AND they didn't sell it at either gift shop. BRING SHAMPOO and SOAP! We ran out of soap the last day as well. My last shower there was really just a rinse off. We had hot water the whole time. Please notice the signs about flushing things down the toilet. That means toilet paper too! If you flush toilet paper and clog it, you have no one to blame but yourself. You are not supposed to flush toilet paper down their toilets. Their plumbing is not the best.
Restaurants We ate mostly at the buffets. We had dinner at the Asian one night, which I don't recommend. It was so dimly lit that I couldn't see my food. When I finally did see my food I found a tentacle in it. I stopped eating at that point. I took a picture of it, which you can see on my flickr page in the random folder.
The International was good...sorry, I don't know the actual names of these restaurants. I have fish stuffed with shrimp and my husband had quail, pork and beef and raved about it all night.
You get three a la carte meals, so choose wisely. We never ate at the BBQ or the Seafood since we liked the buffets so much.
Bars The swim up bar at the pool with the two hot tubs was my favorite bar. We made friends with the bartender, Lewis...VERY nice guy. He played with the cups and ice and threw things around...he was entertaining. The bar next to the international restaurant was nice with cushions on the chairs, etc., but there was always french entertainment outside so we never stayed very long. The two bars by the beach were nice at night and had entertainment by them during the day. If you want faster service and air conditioning, the sports bar was the best for that. Not many people were ever in there.
Beach and Pools The beach was pretty crowded all the time. I don't usually like to swim in the ocean, but I enjoyed it here...I've never been out of the USA, though. The pools all seemed nice. I had a favorite, though. The pool with the swim up bar and the two "hot" tubs was my favorite. It was always a bit quieter there. No small children in the pool since there was a children's pool right ext to it. It was a good place to nap. The pool furthest from the beach was quiet until about noon when they start with dance music and activities.
Grounds The grounds crew were constantly cleaning up and planting and chopping down bad growth. They really do a lot to maintain the grounds and it shows.
The resort is HUGE. There is a train to take you around, but it was very crowded at times so we decided to walk a lot. I have a son who is disabled and we kept saying how bad it would be if he were there. It was really a lot of walking and uneven terrain. The train showed up every ten minutes at verious stops around the resort. We gave the daytime driver a red sox hat, which he wore the rest of the week...if you see him wearing it, tell him his Boston friends say hi. His name is Ceasario and he's really very nice. He would stop no matter where we were on the road...I think the hat had a lot to with that, though.
Activities and Entertainment There were two theatres, one for the french Canadians and one for everyone else. The one for the french was at the club and seemed to have the same play there night after night. The other one is next to the main hotel lobby and had magic, a dance competition, native dancers, something different every night.
During the day there were aerobics and water polo at the club, step aerobics , Spanish lessons, dance lessons at the beach. There may have been more, but I didn't do many of them.
There was always something to do. The schedule for the main hotel activities was always posted at the beach bar near the main pool.
If you walk out the main gate and to the left there is a small market place. The shop keepers will drag you into their shop, but make sure you stand your ground or you'll end up spending hundreds! Check out the two gift shops on the resort first...if you see something you like, check the price. You should pay about $3-$5 less than that! at least. I got 2 large bags of coffee for $7 and they threw in two beaded necklaces for free. That was half off the prices in the gift shop. BUT I had some guy tell me that a $12 hat was $18 and when I talked him down to $10, which was still more than the hat was worth, he called me rich selfish American girl...which made me feel bad, but I only really got $2 off the hat! PLUS he still sold it to me so he couldn't have been too upset.
Tours We booked through Coco tours, but they all sell the same excursions. You don't have to book through any one tour company, but they are all the same price so it doesn't matter.
Our first trip was four wheels. The bus picked us up about 5 minutes late, which was fine with us. It's a half day trip. They bus you out to a ranch where you get a helmet and a $4 bandanna (which I recommend for the dust) and you pick a 4-wheeler. I rode on the back of my husbands, but some people complained that they were uncomfortable. You drive through a banana plantation and stop to taste some goods. We tasted cocoa beans and coconut. Some people purchased coffee there. Then we stopped at a natural cave where there was a fresh water pool that we got to swim in. It was refreshing and beautiful. Then we went to Macao beach for another swim. It was $120 for the two of us.
The second trip we took was Caribbean Festival. It was $156 for the two of us and worth more! We went on a party boat to an enclosed snorkeling area with nurse sharks and sting rays. Then we got back on the boat and went a little further out to a coral reef where we fed fish by hand and snorkeled for another 30-40 minutes. (I recommend an underwater camera FROM HOME for this one) Then we traveled back to shore while being entertained by some great dancers....it really was so much fun!
Departure and Check Out Check out was a breeze. They told us we were supposed to bring our pool towels to check out, but since they never told us that we had left them by the pool...no big deal, I guess. We had no problems checking out.
I hated the whole customs at the airport thing, but I appreciate that it has to be done for every one's safety.
For US citizens... If you purchase mama Juana, you need to mix it with rum before getting it on the plane. We knew this, so we just purchased it already mixed. You are allowed two 750 ML bottles of rum per person IN YOUR CHECKED LUGGAGE. We didn't know this until it was almost time to go home, so I thought I'd share the knowledge. You can take one carton of cigarettes per person...although no one ever asked us if we had any. You can take home all the coffee and vanilla you want. We were told this by airport officials...Anything else you'll have to look up.
When you are in the Dominican airport to go to the US you have a form that needs to be filled out and handed in before you can go through the gate. Then there's a form they collect when you get into the US once you've rechecked your bags if you have a connecting flight. I took US Air and they really walk you though all of this.
We had a great time. I had never been out of the country. I had also never been on a plane in my adult life. This was my husband and my first time going away like this together and it was a great time. We were there 5 nights and it was plenty of time to go on a few excursions and still have a great time at the beach, the pools, and the nightlife. If you just sit back and relax and don't let things get to you, you'll have a great time!
Please tip, even a dollar here and there goes a long way. Red sox hats are $5 at wal mart...I suggest getting a few for people who are extra good to you...or so they will be!
Grand Paradise Bavaro
We just came back for the Gr. Paradise Bavaro, to be honest I wouldn't go back, only because the service is very poor, for instance we were placed in building 2 the older section, don't ever accept room 2381 I believe. It was funny, when we walk in the room both my husband and I jaw dropped. The lamp was on the floor the single bed was in the middle of the room no headboard, the phone plug kept falling out and whenever we try to put it back in the lamp would come off, not to mention it had no sheets on the bed, no towel in the washroom and only one pillow.
The next day we were transfer to building 9, much nicer rooms, but if you are on the first floor like we were the balcony door DO NOT LOCK at all, calling reception won't help we tried many times they keep saying in an hour, 7 days pass and it haven't been fixed. Also, lots of bugs in the room
The beach, if you can't get up at 3am, sorry no shade for you, it is so crowded it not funny. The resort is extending and the beach area is way too small to accommodate everyone.
One more thing if you don't like walking, not a place to be, like I mention before the resort is huge, and yes the have a trolley that comes by every 5 minute or so.
Over all we did had a good time, at lease we make the best of it. But we won't go back.
Grand Paradise Bavaro
First of all I will say the resort itself is wonderful. The ground are immaculate, beautiful pools, clean beach, and there is noting to complain about the food. (although the 2 a la carte's we did were nothing to write home about - Dominican and Sea Food)
Our vacation would have been perfect except for a few problems.
We were in building # 8 (Select section). First 2 days the hot water was barely a warm trickle-not enough pressure to keep the shower on , 3rd day a cold trickle, then 3 days of good showers and the last day a cold trickle again. No air conditioning for over 24 hrs.. No towels one day, but they were delivered within 15min of calling reception. The bed sheets were too short for the beds resulting in a dirty mattress pad at your feet.
When we arrived the bar fridge was stocked with water, pop, juices, chips, candy etc. Knowing that only 4 bottles of pop and the gallon of water are all-inclusive, I emptied out the fridge (into a drawer) and stocked it with our own stuff. The next day, my stuff was emptied and the fridge got re-stalked. We went to the reception and explained that we now had double bar fridge contents. We were told to put everything on the dresser and it would be taken care of and that there would be no charge since we did not use it. The next day one set of contents was removed. BUT... when we went to check out at the end of our stay.... we were dinged with a $71 US bar bill. I guess someone forgot to document the fact they removed the second re-stocking. (PS they charge $3.00 for a bottle of water) They were very rude and ignorant about it at the reception. We were not the only ones fighting bogus bar bills. (I guess this is how they make extra money..... or they have a theft problem with staff, since anyone could have entered our room and taken the second set.... we definitely did not use it) This incident did leave a sour taste in my mouth. Also note, the bar fridge does not function without the room key inserted. (all power in the room shuts off when you leave....if you have meds that need the fridge, make sure you ask for an extra room key so the fridge will run all day, and then tape it in the slot so the maid does not remove it like she did the first day to us)
The other problem this resort has is it has expanded (with the club and select sections) beyond its beach capacity. We found the beach too crowed with not enough umbrellas or chairs. Shade was hard to find without encroaching on someone else's personal space. Forget getting up at 6am.... all the umbrellas are taken by 3am on the beach. You might get one by the pool at that time, but by 6:30, they are also taken. (PS. Take off your wrist band and go to the resort next door.... they have plenty of space)
All that being said, we had a great time, and as long as you don't run into any problems like we did, you will have a fabulous holiday.
PS. I have been to the Dominican 5 times and to Cuba 5 times and this is the first time I have had any real problems. I guess it was just my turn. I am still hoping to resolve the bar issue and get a refund.
If anyone wants more info. contact me at email@example.com
Grand Paradise Bavaro
Tammy Moncton, NB
Arrival and Flight Sunwing. Flight almost didn't take off due to freezing rain, so when it did, we appreciated the flight that much more. We were given Champagne! The flight crew seemed to be a little unorganized, but did manage to get everthing straightened out. They were very friendly. We watched The Bee on the way down, and Enchanted on the way back. (keep your headphones for the trip home or you will be charged extra) The meal home on the plane was Shepard's Pie, or Pasta. I had the first and it was delicious.
Rooms Check in was long. We were dropped off at the main section but were staying at the Club. We waited over an hour to be brought to the right location. Once we were there we waited another 2 hours for our room.
We were not satisfied with our first room. There were four of us in the room with no privacy to the bathroom! (door trouble) We asked to be moved to a room with a bathroom door that closed. We did get moved on the second day. We stayed in Building 7. Our only complaint was that this was the only building that had no phones. One of the nights, there was a couple from Kentville, NS trapped in there room. We heard there call for help from the trolly and went to seek help. We were not sure if the maintenance person was going to be able to get them out, so we asked two big strong guys to hang around in case we needed them to break down the door. The maintenace person went in to the adjoining room, scaled the wall outside to get to the couple that was trapped. They were on the third floor! Their deadbolt had broken while engaged in the lock. Finally after about 45 minutes they were free. It took much longer for them to get there lock fixed. This happened at about 10 pm. The lock was fixed the next by 11am.
There were a couple of days we had no hot water, no big deal. AC didn't work to full capacity but we were fine with that.
We had two Maids bothed named Maria....She went out of her way to make sure we were happy. She left us towel animals twice and everyday we had flowers all over the room. She always did something nice with any clothes that were left on the bed. She didn't speak a word of English, but she was fantastic. We left her gifts everyday along with a tip. She came to us the last night of our stay to thanks us.
Restaurants We enjoyed the food. Lots to choose from. Staff was always extremely happy, and would get you whatever you wanted.
Bars Every single bar maid we encountered was friendly. Some didn't speak any English but they knew bar list and you could get what you wanted. We had a great time. The staff at the pool bar at the club in particular were really funny.
Beach and Pools Unbelievable! Beautiful, even with the damage that was done on March 19/08. The waves were smashing the beach. It was better than I imagined. It was clean. There were palm trees everywhere. The staff worked very hard every morning to keep this beach clean.
Grounds Always someone doing some sort of clean up. We didn't see any litter at all. They were always planting and grooming. The grounds were nice and clean. Some construction going on.
Activities and Entertainment Now if your going for activities and entertainment.........go with an open mind. Don't be picky, just enjoy the show. The only issue we had was that we didn't know when the activites were going on. They posted some info at the beach bar, but didn't update it on time. A daily activity menu in the rooms would have helped us to better plan out our days. We still found plenty to do.
Tours Tropical Storm I would recommend that if you are only doing one excursion, do this one. The staff on this Catamaran were out of this world. They were entertaining and hilarious. This was an all day tour. Lunch was a cold lunch, and was really good. Oh lets not forgot all inclusive rum and beer. Soda, water, and punch were available for non drinkers. This tour also had snorkeling, and a visit to the worlds largest inflatable slide. Floating bar was placed in the water next to the catamaran for the swmmers in the group.
Departure and Check Out Check was easy, only becuase we knew we had to bring our remote control for the tv, the key for the safe, and the card for the beach towels. Our bus for the airport was on time.
The airport surpised us. I am not sure that there scanners were even working. Some people in our group had liquids in there bags, and one had 2 lighters. Nothing was detected, and
nobody was searched.
Overall, we enjoyed our stay and would recommend this resort.
Grand Paradise Bavaro
We just returned from a trip to the Grand Paradise Bavaro from March 14-21, 2008. We went on a last minute deal, booked on Tuesday PM and left that Friday AM. The resort is located in Punta Cana. We booked with TNT Vacations which was not a problem. We have been to Punta Cana three time prior, always staying at Iberostar. This was a deal that was to good to pass up ($699) and went without expecting a lot.
Airport: We live in NH and took a charter flight from Boston to the Dominican. TNT was excellent, we flew Miami Air which was very nice and on time! Once at the airport you must go through immigrations, claim your bags and find your TNT representative. There are airport staff that will take your bags to the appropriate bus for your transfer to your resort. This is done fairly quickly and they do expect a tip. A few dollars for two bags is the norm.
Check-in: Check in wasn't bad. The staff was great and spoke English very well. We arrived around 2 and our room was not ready. Was told to go to the bar or pool area and come back later for our room keys. I went back a few hours later and everything was all set. Check out was the same, no issues. Ask at the desk for a lock for your safe deposit box that is in your closet. There is a $20 charge for this, but I wouldn't want to keep my passport, money and other valuables unlocked. Also, if you want to use the TV you need to ask for it at the front desk.
Rooms: We were not sure what our room would be as we had booked last minute. I had requested a king size bed on the top (3) floor. We did have a king bed on the 2nd floor which was fine as we were located in building 6, which is about as close to the beach and pool as you can get. Rooms are large and nice. TV is very small with limited English channels. Pillows, towels and wash cloths are limited. You need to ask daily for wash cloths and the correct amount of towels. Our maid always came through with what we asked for. The maids speak very little English, make sure to bring a cheat sheet so you can leave a note. There was a hair dryer, iron and ironing board in our room as well. There are very few drawers, again not a problem, lived out of the closet and our suit cases. How much room do bathing suits take up? There is a small fridge in the room which had a gallon of water, 2 cokes and 2 sprites. NEVER got diet coke in our room. Do NOT drink the water from the tap. They will provide you with more water as needed. We did run out of hot water on the last day, not just that the water wasn't hot, there was no water coming out of the tap at all when on warm. If you want to be close to the beach area I think building 6 is the best. Even numbers are on the pool side, odd on the back side over looking another building. Ideal room would be room number 6333. It's on the 3rd floor overlooking the ocean. Also there are no elevators and no screen on the patio sliders.
Restaurants/Food: The food was good. To bad that their main dining halls are enclosed. What a disappointment. Open air dining is the norm for the buffets. You need to make certain you have "restaurant coupons" in your welcoming packet when you check in. You are given three and must have them to make reservations for the specialty restaurants. We ate at the La Cana, a "steak house" which was very good. We also ate at the International Restaurant, Maglar which was also very good.
The buffet is as expected, fruit, breads, cereals, yogurts, omelets, pancakes, cold meats, cheese, pastries. Basically something for everyone. Deserts were very plain here. There was very limited Diet Coke, aka Coca-Cola Light. None in the fountain, just in plastic bottles similar to 2 liters.
Bars: Limited availability for name brand. Island beer is Presidente, which from what I hear wasn't too bad.
Beach and Pools: What can I say about the beach.... There were plenty of lounge chairs on the beach. Cabanas are very limited, but plenty of trees that provided filtered sun/shade. You do need to get up early to reserve the ideal spot. Up until 4/18 the beach was gorgeous as everytime we have been there. There was a storm somewhere off the east coast which made it overcast and windy on Tuesday. Still very warm, in the 80's. The waves came up A LOT on Wednesday, taking out a lot of the beach. I was shocked on Thursday when I went out to reserve lounge chairs that about 100' of beach was GONE, along with two of the three rows of cabanas. Actually gone, washed out and there were workers hurrying to salvage what they could. There is another review states a number of huts knocked over, they weren't just knocked over, they and the beach are gone. Get your beach towels early, they run out of clean towels quickly.
Grounds: The grounds are ok, nothing to write home about. They are very lax about picking up plastic cups, straw wrappers as well as plastic plates that have been brought out to the beach by guests.
Activities and Entertainment: We didn't do any extra activities and all of the entertainment is lame. Mostly in Spanish and doesn't start until 9:30. The internet cafe is not a cafe. There are two computers located in the entrance to the sports bar that you wait in line for. Get you internet card at the front desk.
Tours: We did not do any tours this trip. Just make certain you book through your hotel.
Conclusion: This resort is rated as a four star. While it is very adequate, tops it is a three, and that was before the beach got wiped out! The Majestic and Barceló are on each side and they to loss the majority of their beach. It is a shame, as the beach was the best by far the selling point of Punta Cana. In talking with others on our trip home, it seems that these three properties got hit the worst.
In closing, bring an insulated cup for your drinks (water, soda or booze). Don't drink the water. Ask for a remote at check-in. Pay for the safe deposit lock. Bring 50 one dollar bills, tips go a long way in getting better/faster service, and as stated they sure do love the Red Sox, so if you have anything you can get cheap here and bring there, they'll love you for sure! Overall we had a fun time, lost no time in the sun, got to watch natures fury and didn't break the bank. Still only a three star resort at best.
***If I were going for the beach, I would not recommend this property at this time due to the fact that it is gone. I don't know if anyone would come right out and tell you this, but believe me, it's not there anymore.
Grand Paradise Bavaro
I visited the Grand Paradise Bavaro from March 14-21, 2008. I went with a friend on a last minute trip and read many reviews while trying to make a quick decision. The negative reviews worried us, but found that they must have been from people you just can’t make happy, as we thought it was fine.
We booked out of TNT Vacations in the US. I am a fairly new travel agent and wanted to learn more about different travel experiences so I can help my clients better. I had never done an AI so I was anxious to try. Because we booked three days prior to departure we got a pretty good rate. The first person I spoke with at TNT that booked me was not helpful. I asked for a first floor near the ocean as I am handicapped, he said “I’ll ask but don’t count on it”. He made me feel like I was bothering him so I stopped asking questions. After it was booked I called back as I realized I never asked for two beds. The woman I then spoke with was very helpful. Asking me questions that the other should have … like non-smoking room? The service I have found with the TNT in working with my clients and now for myself was impeccable. The on site rep, Fernando, was very helpful. When I had trouble boarding the bus at arrival, due to my muscle disorder, I asked for a step for departure. He called right away and although he did not get a hold of anyone he was very accommodating and made sure the bus would pull up to the curb for me. I think he actually asked for a different bus that had a lower step. So I thought that was customer service at its best.
Airport: You are let off outside, I thought that was cool. Being from Boston you get on and off a plane from inside the airport. The airport was pretty empty. The airport staff asked over and over to help with our backs. I think I said “no gracias” twenty times. We walked out, my bag being very easy to transport with 360 degree wheels. We were met with about thirty more folks that wanted to take our bags. I kept saying “no gracias”. One asked me where I was staying I said grand Bavaro” and then he took my bag from me!!!! I figured for the two bucks I was going to give him, I wasn’t going to argue, but geez! Hold onto your bags if you want to carry them!!! When we left at the end of our trip, our TNT rep said to stay on the bus until they were out of the back, so we did. Of course now seeing that all our bags were being held by the staff. I took mine out of his hand and said “no gracias”. He looked bewildered! I walked away. The ticketing was only thirty feet away. Customs was very quick both going in and out of DR, in Boston the lines were long but moved fast. When leaving DR the airport had a Wendy’s, pizza, Café’s and stores. There are more on the bottom floor where you depart from as well. I was mad as I bought a water for $2 for the flight and they would not let me take it on!
Check-in: Check was super quick. We were there by 2 ish so our room was not ready but we got a drink in the sports bar and then it was. The staff was great and they spoke English very well. Check out was equally as quick.
The room: We were supposed to be in the club section. I know this because I complained to TNT that I was handicapped etc and they said the rooms are new, flat screen TV’s etc, and there was a trolley to the beach. So I figured whatever... I was booking last minute! I am wondering if maybe we got the main hotel because of my disability and they did actually listen. The room was older but it was fine! It was big, clean and had a patio. Food, front desk, pools and beaches were all just steps away in either direction. I read on one review that they charge you for the items in mini fridge. This never happened. IT was stocked with coke and sprite and a jug of water. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND bringing a water bottle that you can refill. The water is plenty-full all over but no way to take it with you. A/C was great in room but we didn’t need it much, there was a great breeze with the patio door open. There were a few days we didn’t have water. But it didn’t ruin our trip. What can you do? It came back in time for a shower. One day we had cold showers. The TV in the room had several New York channels, but who goes to a resort and watches TV? The Sports bar played Soccer 24/7 but I am a soccer mom… so that was fine! I didn’t need to know what they were saying to understand.
Food: The food was good. You can dine in the buffet any night and you can make two reservations at a time for the specialty restraints. We only did two. The International restraint, Maglar, wasn’t that good. I had trouble cutting my rib eye steak so I gave up. The wait staff was great. The manager though made our dining experience awful. He didn’t like the way some of the tables were set up and was yelling at staff. He was just a big jerk and if were a dinner I was paying for in the states, I would have walked out. We also ate the Cana. It was a steak house. I am still dreaming of that meal! I ordered Filet mignon and it was soooo good.
The buffets are good and they try to mix it up each day. The bread is always fresh and is the best part of the meal. Desserts were bland and blah. I was DYING to get to the airport and buy some peanut M&M’s. There is also a store in the lobby that sells them. I held off as there was no need for an in between meal snack.
Staff: Everyone is so nice! Always a hola and a smile whenever you walk by. Reception, guest services, most waiters all spoke English. Our maid, Maria was great. We asked for diet coke in our room and she made sure w had it each day.
Visitors: UGH! There was a great mix of folks from all over the world. I would say most prominent were Canadians. The English speaking folks I spoke with were very nice. But .. oh… the ****** speaking were the rudest most ignorant people I ever met. The cut you in the food line, and the thing that made us most mad, is when we went to the Club side, we were waiting for the trolley and they would come up at the last minute and cut right in front of you! This happened one too many times. The person I was with is not violent, but I thought he would kill someone after the third time it happened.
Grounds: Grounds were nice. Never saw trash laying around and considering all the smokers, I didn’t see any butts on the ground either. There was always staff sweeping and cleaning.
Entertainment: The nightly shows were bad (really bad) but we stayed and watched anyway. They seem to get a kick out of men dressing up as women. It was almost more funny that they thought it was funny. There was singing, dancing and game shows. The entertainment staff were nice and would all go to the disco afterwards. The disco was loud, but I like to people watch so it was fun to watch everyone.
Beach/pools: These were great. We did the pool a few days and the beach a few days. Either way, you need to get out by 6:30 am to get a lounge chair. We would take turns waking up running down with our towels to get a chair with shade and then going back to sleep. Weather was consistently perfect. The forecast before we left said showers daily. We never saw a shower… just wind. Although lots of clouds and by Tuesday the winds were high. Still warm and better than being at home. I napped so much! It was so good to nap on the beach in the shade! On Wednesday while we were sitting in our little hut and the waves came half way up the beach, washing away some of the beach, and people's belongings. Book, magazines, sandals... all over the place. Over a short period of time they came higher. After dinner the waves had washed away the whole beach. Literally. It was all rock left and the sand was washed away. The staff pulled all the lounge chairs up to the lawn. A number of huts knocked over. I feel bad for those who came after us who were never able to see the beach.
Important to note is that many folks bath topless.
Excursions: We didn’t do any. We were happy sitting in the shade reading a book or sitting in the sun sometimes. People watching is our favorite sport. I realized as we were leaving that there is a little shopping area right outside the resort. If I had known, I would have liked to have gone there.
There were vendors a few nights outside the main building and buffet. You can’t get around them. They are very pushy and all said “Hello my friend!”. If someone says that to you… RUN! They don’t take no for an answer. There were also come time share reps that stood outside the buffet. They wear white polo shirts. They were so annoying but for the most part if you say no, they leave you alone. But There are many and there so often, that you have to keep saying no.
A great vacation and a highly recommended resort! Ignore the bad reviews, it is incredible and definitely a paradise! I would probably not return only because I would want to have a new experience but if that were not the case I would return again.
Bring water bottle. One that you can refill.
Never use running water, even for brushing teeth. Use water in jug.
If you plan on watching TV, ask for a remote at reception.
Learn the words “No gracias” as you will need to use often!
Bring lots of one dollar bills. The staff really appreciates a small tip. You don’t have to, but it’s nice.
If you want to make the staff really happy, bring Red Sox stuff! They LOVE it. Someone said they would give to the staff that didn’t have much, like the pool cleaner, the maids, maintenance staff etc. The time share guy begged for my friend’s hat for his son.
Grand Paradise Bavaro
Tom and Marilyn
Just got back from GPB Sunquest Select,we had a wonder ful vacation, weather was great some rain mainly at night so that was ok.We did find that the Sunquest section of the resort was too far from the beach,the tram service wasnot relaible allthe time it runs on DR time.
The rooms were large,a/c worked well, hot water was hit and miss depending on the time ,if you showered at 6pm no hot water. Patio doors did not lock ,as we were on ground floor this was a problem, maintence staff could not fix it after the third day we gave up and did not call again. Towels were not delivered to rooms until 4pm.
Like all AI. food was buffet style,it was good with a different theme every day
A la Carte resturants were excellent, limited to 2 per room per week choise of seafood, Asain, Italain, steak.
We found the beach to be crowded If you got there late 10am it was impossible to get a spot in the shade.
This review seems to be negative but I am trying to point out the small things that can upset some people when they travel to the DR.as aperson who has been to DR. many times these things dont bother me anymore.
We would return to this resort again some time in the future for more info or pictures e-mail me. firstname.lastname@example.org
Grand Paradise Bavaro
Our group of 14 (8 adults, 6 children ages 2-8) travelled to the GPB Jan 20-27. We flew from Toronto with Sunquest and stayed in the Sunquest Select section, which is between the "Club" section and the Main Hotel. A Greyhound bus takes you from the airport to the hotel, about 30 min. There are 2 reception/check in desks, one at the main hotel and one at the club/sunquest select section. The bus dropped us off at the main check in, after which we boarded a trolley/train with ALL our luggage to check in at the Sunquest section, not convenient. The Sunquest check in is very close to the main road, the main check in is further down the driveway. Make sure you get dropped off at the right place to save time.
Check in is not until at least 3:30pm, no matter when you arrive in the morning. We arrived at 12:30pm and had to wait for 4 rooms that were available between 4pm - 6pm. A waste of our first day since our luggage was just sitting in the lobby and we had no room, not to mention my 2 year old needed a nap and had nowhere to sleep.
We stayed in building 9 in Sunquest Select, the only building open at that time. Buildings 7 and 8 were still under construction. The rooms were fine, clean, acceptable in appearance. Although the workmanship of construction was less than adequate. Patio doors didn't lock, plumbing was poor (every time we showered, water leaked from the pipes behind the walls, and the entire bathroom filled up with 2 inches of water), water leaked from rooms above through the ceiling, building dust was all over the walls in closets (which put a yellow powder coating on my clothes), no clocks, no iron, no hairdryer, etc. There was no sense of urgency to fix things that were broken, and to supply you with items that were missing from your room. Note: to operate the TV you must ask for a remote at reception.
The security around the Sunquest Select section was questionable. Since it was heavily under construction, there were workers in and out of occupied rooms all the time, installing new door locks, inspecting work, painting rooms (yes! painting rooms while they were occupied!) etc. I heard about several items being stolen out of rooms and safe deposit boxes. And in some cases, the items stolen out of safe deposit boxes were mysteriously returned after complaining about them......??? Of course none of the $ was returned. To be safe, you should keep all your valuables on you at all times! Don't trust anyone. When the maid is cleaning your bathroom, and your door is wide open, she may not even see someone come into the room, take something and walk out. Just be cautious and aware, and you will be fine. Theft is everywhere. Also to lock your room from the inside, you position the door handle up, at 12:00, without instructions, I had no idea.
The food was fine at the buffet restaurants at the main section and Select section, they mainly served the same dishes, although the buffet at the main section was a little larger. Yes, it is somewhat difficult to get served coffee/tea at breakfast, but you can also serve yourself at the coffee/tea station. We also tried the a la carte restaurants and found them excellent, like fine dining. It may be written that a dress code is required, but there were people with shorts and t-shirts on in those restaurants. You do need to book these restaurants early, and if you are persistent, you will get the time and date you want.
The pools at the Select section were great! A 3.5 foot hot tub (really just warm), a 3.5 foot cold tub, a main pool with swim up bar, and a kids pool (2 feet). In the main pool, there are sections of pool only 6 inches deep, to lounge and sun tan on the loungers in the water. This was ideal for my 2 year old, she loved it! Since only 1 of the 3 accommodation buildings were complete, there was never an issue with not enough chairs, towels, service at the bar, etc. Once all 3 buildings are complete, it will be much busier. There wasn't much shade at these pools, no umbrellas....yet?
The tolley/train ride to the main resort is about 1.5 min and to the beach is about 2.5 min and the train comes every 5-10 min or so. I often walked instead as it was the only exercise I got all week. The beach was very nice, but busy. Of course people reserved chairs with towels and t-shirts and never arrived. We started using those chairs as we were told that people would reserve chairs at both the pool AND the beach all day, not fair. The waves were big and strong. Not suitable at all for children, so they played mostly in the sand, and just got their feet wet.
The kids LOVED the kids club. The only kids club was located in the Sunquest Select section, lucky for us. They had a playground and indoor activities as well. We did not leave our kids alone in there, but other parents did.
Important note!!! MANY people missed the bus ride back to the airport and had to pay for a taxi themselves (not just from this resort). You will be notified that your departure time is for example: between 8:15 am and 8:45 am (yes, you get a 1/2 hour range). Four of the 14 of us arrived at 8:15, and boarded the bus. At 8:25, the bus started to leave the hotel. I ran to the front of the bus and told them that we were missing at least 10 people! They responded, "How do you know?".....You would think that they had a list of people that were supposed to be on the bus and checked it before leaving, but no. In fact, we were missing 12 people, and I made the bus stay there until we were all on it. Everyone eventually arrived and we left by 8:40am, before the scheduled departure time.
Overall, it was a good vacation, we didn't let the poor workmanship ruin our holiday, but were lucky to not have anything stolen. I don't consider it a 4*, I would rate it a 3*. I love the DR, will go back, but not to this resort.
Grand Paradise Bavaro
We were a group of 8 who went to the Grand Paradise to celebrate my 50th birthday. We arrived at 1 pm and had to wait until 3:30 pm to get checked in. We had booked our trip with Sunquest, so had requested to be in building 6 which was the closest to the beach, by the looks of the map that I had previously printed off. I had also requested that my parents be in a room close to ours as well as my son and his guest. My first mistake was assuming that I would be getting my request. I had NO IDEA, that this resort is actually a COMPLEX, and that the map I had seen was of the main section of the resort, never knowing that there are other sections of this resort that are not even on any map, not even the map that they give you upon check-in. The reason I wanted to be close to the beach is so that my parents wouldn't have far to walk, as they both have mobility issues. Upon getting our keys for the room, we realized that we were right in the middle of the resort, no where near the beach, and it was a full 7 minute hike at a brisk walk to get there. Needless to say they had to ride the trolley(tram) to the beach everyday and had to make sure they didn't forget anything as it was a long way back to the room.
The rooms in building 9, where we were, (and close together), were very clean. The floors were always spotless. The supply of towels and bedspreads were always a surprise though, never knew if you were getting any or not. The first 3 days we spent most of our spare time walking back to the main lobby to get our keys to work. We spent a lot of time getting locked out, so that became boring really quickly. We all got new big screen TV's the week we were there, some of us had remotes that worked, some didn't. My son had a TV that had a cable run into a bare hole in the wall, that you could see into the next room. Needless to say they didn't watch any TV that week. They also had a MAJOR leak in the ceiling above the toilet, but when told about the problem it was promptly looked after. We had a small leak in our bathroom too, but just put a towel on the floor as we only had a bathmat 1 day while we were there.
We tried to make reservations for the Michelangelo restaurant for my birthday, but because we had a group of 8, they couldn't accomadate us. What I read prior to our trip was true, BOOK your reservations as soon as you get there, or you won't get in. By the looks of the restaurants they are very small so that would be why they couldn't accomodate our group. The day of my birthday my husband went and bought a cake to be served to us after our meal at the buffet resaurtant that night. The cake never came, and even when he enquired about it, they had no idea where it was. The 50th birthday that I went to the Dominican to celebrate, didn't happen. At least the cake part didn't. The next day he went to get his money back, and that was quite the hassle as well. I really think that it was the language barrier that made things so difficult for us. We are English speaking,and the french and spanish speaking vacationers didn't seem to have any trouble getting their point accross. I do have to say that the food in the buffet restaurant was great. Lots of variety, and very good cheese selection at every meal. Anyone who likes cheese would love this place.
The beach is truly one of the best in the world. I have been to many places in the Caribbean and this is one of the BEST!! I do regret that it was Very windy all week and only got in the ocean once. We had red flag days most of the week. It did rain most every day, but only is short showers.
The bartenders were great also. By mid-week they knew what you wanted to drink and served it with a smile every time. They are quite the characters, and were very amusing to watch.
I am not a complainer usually, and there were many enjoyable things about this resort. I am MOST disappointed in the fact that I had no idea it was 2 or 3 resorts in one. If I had known that it was so going to be so far to the beach, I would have booked us into a different resort, especially when my parents are not able to get around that well any more. For anyone else who is considering this resort, please be aware that it could mean a lot of walking unless you are booked into the main section of the resort. The newer "Club" section and Sunquest Select section are not on the beach, they are at the front of the main resort, furthest from the beach. The picture in Sunquest's brochure just shows the main Grand Paradise Bavaro resort. The language barrier was also a big problem for us, but if you speak french, its not an issue.
Other than that, the food, the beach, and the cleanliness was first class.
Grand Paradise Bavaro
Mark Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
A group of 18 of us in total visited Grand Paradise Bavaro from January 24-31, 2008 as my wedding party. 16 left from Toronto and 2 from Edmonton. I am happy to speak for them all when we say we had a blast! This is an excellent, high-class resort that deserves every one of its four stars and we recommend it to anyone looking for a relaxing, worry-free getaway.
Now, in more detail, what we found:
Airport: Wow, what an airport! No crowds, no rush, no getting lost…everything was so small! Guess I'm just used to Pearson, but it was wonderful. The computer screens told us the wrong location for our luggage pick-up, but no biggie – all carousels were within view of each other and the place was empty. The baggage boys can be very annoying, as they try to take your luggage from you and want to be paid for carrying your luggage 20 metres. When we took the shuttle bus back to the airport I was peeved to see that one of them had my luggage in their arms already even before I was off the bus. I said no and yanked them from him. He jabbered something at me in Spanish. Whatever. They have a job to do, I guess, but I don't have that much money to waste.
Check-in: We were supposed to have a private check-in for our party as a part of our wedding package. That didn't happen, but we're not concerned as everyone was checked in within 20 minutes anyway. Very nice receptionists, and they spoke English very well.
The room: They treat you like gods when you're getting married there! They upgraded us to an ocean view room for free and there was a plate of fruit and a bottle of champagne waiting for us. Absolutely stunning room. Lots of space and lots of views from the balcony. It was room 3228, for the record. The minifridge was always stocked with Coke and Sprite (they ran out of Diet Coke) and 4L jugs of water. I recommend bringing along a small water bottle (empty) to use while at the resort because they give you the huge jugs in your room. We never ran short of water.
Our party was promised rooms in the new Sunquest Select section, and none of us were placed there for some reason. However, it turned out to be lucky for us as the Select section is away from the main part of the resort, by the Club. There is a trolley that takes you from the resort to the Club/Select section but it wasn't always dependable. We got older rooms but we were happy to be close to the action. :o) No complaints.
One room of the 9 in our party did have a problem with a mold smell, and the occupants happened to be allergic to mold. A quick visit to reception fixed that problem, and they got their room switched. The toilets also clogged easily and sometimes more than one flush was necessary. The odd bug was around, but no problem, hey it's a Third World country in a tropical climate! Anyway, the AC was very powerful in the rooms; in fact, our room often got too cold, even though we turned the AC off between 9 AM and 5 PM. Power never went out the whole week we were there.
TV: Who goes down here to watch TV? We didn't turn ours on once, but other members in our party did. For some, it was snowy, others, it was clear. There was a big-screen TV in the sports bar but it was mostly Spanish-speaking channels, and the only sports on were soccer and baseball. We couldn't even watch the NHL all-star game! Just wasn't in their TV listings. I was surprised but we were fine, as we love baseball. You have to request a remote at check-in to get one, not really needed though.
Food: I have celiac disease so my eats were very restricted…mostly eggs, rice, fruit and fish. All the others loved the food, no problems at all. I had some little Spanish-language travel cards to give to the chef as they didn't usually understand French or English. Everyone was great.
Bars/Restaurants: For my wife's and my a la cartes we went to the Dominican (Taino), Seafood and Asian restaurants. The booking was kind of a pain – 10:30 each morning on the second floor of the lobby right outside the piano bar but no one seemed to know exactly where to line up. The reservation woman just showed up 10 minutes late and sat wherever she wanted, and the lineup started there even if some of us had been there for 30 minutes. Anyway, we got it done. The Asian restaurant made my wife and I a bit ill, as I think some of the items might not have been fully cooked. We loved the Dominican and seafood restaurants! Also heard good news about the Grill and the Italian from other members of our party. The Asian restaurant had no sushi, to my disappointment.
Staff: Everyone is so nice! Always a hola and a smile whenever you walk by. Reception, guest services, most waiters all spoke English. Unfortunately, most couldn't understand French, but our party was English-speaking so all was fine for us. One thing I noticed is that nearly all of the staff (except the maids) are men, whereas in Cuba it was more of a mix between men and women. A bit odd but I suppose it must be a more patriarchal culture down there. Contrary to reviews, the gift shops ladies aren't rude. They just don't speak English well, no big deal. Tipping at the bars and restaurants isn't really necessary, not like Cuba where you had to tip to get good service.
Visitors: What I read in the reviews was true. This is a Euro-centric resort and most of the clientele spoke French. Most visitors seemed happy with their vacation, although a couple times I witnessed people yelling at staff for silly things like only one towel in the room, them getting their a la carte 15 mins late or something pedantic like that. The obnoxious yelling people were inevitably English-speaking Americans. Because I only saw two or three Americans on the whole resort, there wasn't much of this obnoxiousness. I deliberately picked this resort because it is not often frequented by Americans, and for that I am thankful. Lots of Canadians and visitors from Spain, France and Germany. There were a lot of smokers, but we've been spoiled in Canada by our excellent smoking bans, lol. You're on vacation, whatever, relax! It was an older crowd at this resort; I saw very few people our age (mid-20s). Made for a quieter evening and night, which I liked.
Grounds: Incredible. It being dry season, there were some brown patches in the grass, but still much better than my yard in August, lol. There was ALWAYS people tending the grounds, pulling weeds, keeping everything beautiful. They really take care of the place, and it shows. A+ for groundskeeping.
Entertainment: I only visited the entertainment at the amphitheatre for about 5 minutes (not really my thing) but many in our party went and they all said it was excellent. I can't comment on the disco because none of us went.
Beach/pools: Definitely the most beautiful beach I have ever seen, even beats Holguin in Cuba. Was more crowded here though, and you often couldn't find three or more seats together if the weather was nice. Of course, all the chairs in the shade were reserved with towels before sunrise. Because of the crowds, I spent more time at the pool. Played some volleyball and water polo in the main pool, which was fun. The only swim-up bar is in the Club section, which we didn't visit, but there's a bar is right beside the main pool so not too bad. We hung around the sports bar a lot, shot a lot of pool. They also have popcorn at that bar but it's often burned.
It was a pretty liberal crowd. Women would go topless, even around the kid's pool, lol. Ah well, nothing they won't see eventually. Same went for the beach. One in our party went for a long walk and said there was a clothing-optional beach north of the resort, but it's a long ways and you cross public areas, so not 100% safe. I stuck around our beach and surrendered to the tan lines rather than go for the walk, but there is that option if you want to do the nude sunbathing thing, which helps make it a real vacation. :o) The sun was definitely good for it.
The resort was quite windy, making for unsafe conditions if you wanted to venture far out into the ocean. The undertow is strong, but they do have lines out in the ocean beyond which you're not to cross. The waves were great for boogie boarding and generally just riding them, but PLEASE don't go out too far swimming or you might not make it back! Even my brother, who is a great swimmer, had trouble fighting the undertow
Weather: They said it was the dry season but we did have rain on three of the seven days. Never for very long, though…30 minutes tops but it when rains it rains hard! If you start feeling rain, head indoors because by the time you get there it will problem be pouring! Some days were very windy, but it always died down by the evenings.
Shopping: There is a market close to the resort and boy, are those vendors enthusiastic! They'll do anything under the sun to get you into their store. I tell the one guy I want rum and he ushers me into his store, and he doesn't even have rum there! Lol…and I was rather stubborn in bargaining, but got a 40 oz Brugal rum (the best!) for $15 US. One vendor was willing to take Canadian dollars as well. There is another market about 45 minutes' walk down the beach, and the prices are apparently good there, but you cross public areas to get there too.
Excursions: We did the tour operator's little seminar on Friday, but unlike the one we had in Cuba in 2005, which was helpful, this guy Felix did nothing but try to sell us excursions. He said you "wouldn't really experience the Dominican Republic" without doing an excursion. Yeah right. I had a fun time at the resort and didn't need their high-cost, low-benefit excursion gigs. Some others in our party did go, though. Various relatives of ours did the Safari one and the Monster Truck one and they loved it. They don't treat the dolphins humanely so don't go on the dolphin excursion!
When we first arrived at the resort, it was around 11:45 PM, so the next morning we went and met Glenny, our wedding coordinator. A sweeter (and cuter) woman never walked the Earth – she was soo helpful! If people had a problem with their room or a question about anything we always went to her and she always expedited the process. She was fantastic!
She let us choose our location, and we decided on a cement pad by the seafood restaurant. Sounds grim, I know, but there were palm trees, plant arches and flowers all around, and there was an ocean view in the background, it was great. Thank God we didn't choose the beach because the wind would've blown us away.
We did the wedding on Tuesday, the 29th, and to our surprise, the judge showed up on time – 4:30 PM. The wind was so strong we had trouble hearing him do the ceremony, but we got the gist of it, lol. No rain, thankfully. The judge's legal fees were $550 and the wedding package was $750, all USD.
One irritating part about the wedding was the photographer. We had some of our party taking pictures and he would always push them out of the way, as if he ruled the Earth, and he took over 200 pictures even though I intended on buying no more than 20 or 25. His assistant claimed he was the best photographer in the Dominican Republic, but I think my sister-in-law could've done a lot of better photos.
Anyway, I haggled like crazy over the price, and we wound up getting a huge discount. I knew they had to sell the photos to make any money at all, and knew they would compromise. The assistant really made me mad when he insisted that we had already agreed to purchase 35 photos for $350 – yeah right! I stormed off, came back in a few hours and found him to be more reasonable. We wound up buying 85 pictures for $450, about $5.30 a picture. Got 12 more free with the wedding package, so 97 altogether. We got all of the photos burned to a CD; didn't get any prints as their quality isn't as good as Canada's. Don't ever pay full price for the photos. I paid $5.30 a picture (on CD) and you should not pay more than that!
At our choice, we held the reception for the 18 of us at the seafood restaurant. Glenny was soo nice because we had said all along that we wanted the Asian restaurant, but when we realized the seafood one was right by the beach and right by where our wedding ceremony was to take place, we changed our minds. No problem at all! They even set up a special set of tables for us outside the restaurant and we got free champagne!
As part of the package, we were to get a plate of fruit and bottle of champagne in our room the night of the wedding. We didn't wind up getting that until the next day's afternoon, and only because I repeatedly requested it. We were also to get breakfast in bed the morning after, but they didn't show up until nearly 10:30 – we got bored and went for breakfast at the buffet at 9. As a result, most of the fruit went bad.
None of this bothered us really; nothing of any consequence went wrong. It was a wondrous wedding, we have no regrets about doing it down there and everyone in our party was thanking us for doing the wedding in the DR. Everyone gets a vacation out of it, why not eh? Also I'm pretty sure it was cheaper for us than doing it in Canada. Factoring in all of our costs – flight, hotel, wedding package, legal fees, translation etc. – it cost us two about $4500 US, and we got the free reception out of it. At their request, I brought rice flour down for them to make me a cake I could eat, because with my celiac disease I cannot have wheat flour. Funny thing is I took an unmarked, clear, plastic bag of white powder right through security in Toronto, in my carry-on, and they didn't say a thing. They didn't have rice flour down there, so I figured I'd try to take it and the worst they would do is confiscate it. No issue at all! They made a great wedding cake, an excellent reception dinner and a dream wedding to remember forever.
Bad things? Yes, unfortunately there were some negative aspects to our visit. As I said, the wedding photographer was arrogant and I don't miss him. However, the worst part of the trip by far was the VENDORS! Several nights a week they let vendors come in and sell stuff right by the main buffet, so you're forced to go by them to get dinner. They harass you, grab your arm and drag you in…they were rude and very irritating. I didn't have dinner one night just to avoid those pests. Also, there were lots of time share reps, who wear white shirts and also hang out around the buffet, and bother you to go to the third floor of the lobby and hear their blather about buying a time share in the resort. The resort needs to get rid of these people because they seriously diminish one's day.
There were a lot of other resorts in the immediate vicinity of Grand Paradise Bavaro. At Sol Rio de Luna y Mares in Cuba it was a lot more isolated, which was better. The vendors weren't pushy either.
At GP Bavaro, by the pool and beach there was always loud music playing. It got frustrating if you wanted to relax and take a nap in the sun, because there was nowhere else to go besides your room.
Another aspect I felt was a negative was all the kids at the resort. They were relatively well-behaved, and I suppose it's my fault for choosing a resort where kids under 6 go free, but it's not something I'd do again. Hard to relax when you hear an infant screaming or kids fighting. I think I'm just bitter because the kid's pool was right outside our room, but we did get the ocean view so it's all good. It could've been worse, had we chosen to go on Spring Break! We paid $1290 CDN per person from Toronto, the end of January, and feel we got a good deal. We booked about 4-6 months in advance.
I wouldn't likely go back to this resort but that's just because I'd want to experience new places. The only other time I've been to the Caribbean was Cuba in 2005 and I'd say I prefer Cuba because although the people in the DR are for the most part very kind, the Cubans were even more hospitable. In Cuba, the vendor prices are also better, and the country is a lot safer. We went off on our own during an excursion in Holguin, Cuba, but you'd never leave the excursion group in the Dominican – you're liable to get robbed or kidnapped. The way Cuba is bullied by the US I'd rather lend them a hand anyway, lol.
A great vacation and a highly recommended resort! Ignore the bad reviews, it is incredible and definitely a paradise!
Grand Paradise Bavaro
Lynda and Dan Hawkesbury, Ontario, Canada
we got back 2 weeks ago from punta cana we stayed at gran paradise the best we would go back tonight if we could beaches are beautiful food was great seafood restaurant great best shrimps i ever had in my life when you go ask for Roberto very nice guy entertainement very good very nice shows at night Sergio from animation is very nice,asiatic restaurant was also very good rooms are very clean no wonder they call it paradise its worth every cent you pay best trip weve been to could not forget the beach beautifullllllllllll
Grand Paradise Bavaro
A beautifully kept resort that we were very pleased with. Trading there as RCI members we received the kindest of treatment in all areas of the resort. The room was clean and comfortable with functioning toilet!! I was so apprehensive after reading some of the info on this sight. No bugs or mosquitos either. The Club area is still under construction but has a very clean swimming pool and entertainment and bar staff. The restaurant here at the club was the best of all the individual eateries. The Steak House at the beachside was the worst. The beach is gorgeous with plenty of chairs and lots of company. This is a mega resort, not your secluded type of vacation. So if you enjoy being with lots of people, this will be a very nice place to go.
Grand Paradise Bavaro
We arrived at the Club of Grand Paradise Bavaro on Jan 20 with a 30 min delay from Ottawa. The entrance to the resort is very plain, boring and not very welcoming. We were a full bus load checking in but I found that it went pretty good.
Rooms are very plain yet very clean. We did have trouble with the water but after visiting the D.R. 4 times, this is quite normal.
We did go to the Asian, International and the Grill restaurant and all 3 were excellent. I`m a very fussy eater and all the restaurants & buffet we went to were great.
I must say that I little tip and appreciation for the service they provide will get you a long way. Even a smile and a Hola will make them smile.
You can take a 8-10 min walk to the beach or take the little train which we never had to wait more then 2-3 min The beach was the best beach ever. Clear aqua water & white sand with no weeds, rocks and no debry.
The only tour we took was the trip to Samona Island. We left the resort at 7:40 with a very interesting 90 min bus ride. We then transfered to a catamaran for approximately 80 min(great experience). On the island we were treated to a very good Dominican lunch & drinks. We took a speed boat back. We stopped in the ocean in 4feet deep water in order to see and take pictures with some star fish. We finally made it back to the resort at 7:10 making it a very long & tiring day. It was a great day but I was dissapointed that you can`t swim on the island without shoes because of the many seashells on the shore.
I really enjoyed my vacation but I would not go back.
On thing we were not told when we booked was that the The Club is mainly a section (med club) for people from France. They have their own activity group with activities geared just for them. They also have their own theatre with nightly French shows.
They won`t stop you from participating to their activities but you feel out of place. Being French canadian I did understant what they where saying (for most part) but I still felt out of place. I would definitely go back to Punta Cana but not to The Club at Grand Paradise Bavaro. I believe the Grand Paradise Bavaro would have been a wiser decision, maybe next time.
Grand Paradise Bavaro
We just came back today February 1, 2008 and it was the best trip we have ever been on. The food was great the staff was amazing. The pools are a little deep so we brought a life jacket for our 3 year old. The staff love children. The entertainment was great. I would go back there in a heart beat!!
Grand Paradise Bavaro
On my recent trip to Punta Cana, I had the opportunity to visit Metamorphosis Spa at Ocean Bavaro and Grand Paradise hotels in Punta Cana. Metamorphosis Spa operate spas in a number of other hotels in Punta Cana, including Melia Caribe Tropical, Natura Park, Occidental Flamenco Bavaro, Sunscape Punta Cana Grand, Superclubs Breezes, and Caribe Club Princess. They also have spas in all of the Viva Resorts and Coral by Hilton hotels in the DR. Their newest spa is at Sunscape Casa del Mar in Bayahibe. I had a chance to visit there, and it is gorgeous. They have an outdoor section called the Manantial, built into the forest and surrounded by nature. You can just stroll through it and enjoy the sights and sounds, or can have treatments in one of several outdoor treatment cabins.
Each location has a full range of spa services. Staff are trained by massage therapists, physiotherapists and estheticians. Prices are similar to what you would pay in Canada or the U.S. During my recent two week stay in Punta Cana I was able to enjoy some of the services they offer. At Ocean Bavaro the spa is located on the second floor of a building right at the beach, with a gorgeous view. I had a milk bath, honey and almond body wrap, followed by a combination massage, which was lovely. Another day I had a body scrub, vichy shower, mud wrap and facial. At Grand Paradise Bavaro I had a European Seaweed body wrap treatment, which was absolutely wonderful, and includes time in the sauna, a Jacuzzi tub, and ends with a massage, as well as a manicure and pedicure. A half hour massage is available from $30. U.S. ($45. U.S. for an hour). They also have packages and specials available at the various hotels. Definitely worth a visit.
Grand Paradise Bavaro
A great find for us this year as we didnt' take kids before was the Kids Club. They take kids from ages 4-12. You could drop them off at 9:30 and pick up at 12 for lunch. Then they opened again from 3 pm til 5:30. Also had nightime activites at 8:30 like bonfires and "mini fashion show". It was great for a little break from the 5 year old and gave her time to play with other kids. They did activites like face painting, sand castles on the beach, coloring, games and swimming. Ours seemed to have a great time. The staff spoke faily little English but didn't cause any problems. They seemed to really enjoy the kids and we were very impressed. The couple travelling with us arranged for a babysitter in their room for their 10 month old one night for 15/hour US and had a great experience as well.