Debbie's Dominican Travel.com Old Reviews - Barcelo Bavaro Casino
Barcelo Bavaro Casino
 
USA
June 2007
I went with my family to Barcelo Bavaro Golf in June, 2007 for 5 days. We made our reservations through hotels.com from my husband's cousin's house in Higuey, Dom. Rep. several hours before our arrival. When we arrived, they had to contact someone (hotels.com or Barcelo reservations headquarterers, I don't know) to confirm our reservation. So we had to sit and wait. We had free drinks, restrooms and chairs in the shade while waiting, so not extremely uncomfortable, but nothing, really, to do. We checked in and were satisfied with our room--it was bigger than expected. I anticipated one room with two full-beds. We got two rooms with a full and a twin in each. Hot water was a treat after a week in the real-world Dominican Republic! One of the lights didn't work. I informed them the next day and they came to fix. However, it was not just a bulb and he had to get someone else to take th e fixt ure apart and replace. It took several hours, but they fixed it, which I appreciated because I wanted to read under that light.

Later that day was when my real problem began. When I walked by the receoption desk, I was told by the clerk who had checked us in that there was a little problem--we had not been charged for our 8-yr-old daughter and would have to add the fee on to our bill! Hotels.com asked who would be with us and I filled out two adults and one 8-yr-old child. I had been billed the amount that Hotels.com had calcuated based on the truthful information I had supplied to them. When I protested to that effect, the clerk said he would look into it and for me to go ahead and enjoy myself and see him later for results of his contact with whoever he was going to contact. When I returned, that clerk was finished working for the day and nobody else could help me so I had to wait until next day. I lost over 3 hours of sleep over this. When I returned the next day, just after breakfast, the designated clerk was not yet working, s o I ha d to take my 8-yr-old to the room instead of to the pool because I was anxiety-ridden and needed to know the conclusion of this "little mix-up". After reading some stories with my daughter, I returned and the clerk basically said that the billing was wrong and I would have to pay fvor my daughter. I told him that I really couldn't agree to that. I acknowledged that I had obtained a very good price and that the resort was nice for the amount we paid ($115/night for 2 parents and a child), but that if an error had been made by hotels.com, the Barcelo compnay should dcecide if the problem can be corrected and do so discreetly without my knowlege to avoid it happeing in the future or, if not, perhaps decide not to list with hotels.com. I said they should never, ever have even let me, the guest, know that there was a problem. This went on for over an hour, he calling reservations, being told to charge the money, being told by me that it's not right to charg e me after the fact... Then another staff person in a suit came by and the clerk explained the problem to him. They never addressed me directly. However, overhearing their discussion, I told the other staff member that hospitality is a service-based industry and that this was very damaging to their customer service image. While it may be that was was not charged what they normally charge, I paid what I agreed to pay at the time I made my reservation and they should not throw their problem with their reservation system back on me. I had made my reservation based on price because I had a lot of expenses related to this trip beyond the resort and had to keep in a budget. He made a non-committall response and left. It turns out he was the general manager for the Barcelo Bavaro complex and he didn't resolve it, but left it to the poor clerk caught between me and the reservations people who were telling him to charge me! The manager i nstruc ted him to call reservations again! When he did, they had to call him back. They called back when he was occupied with another customer. They sent a message through his co-worker, which I heard be delivered to him, "Why are you bothering us calling about this again? We already told you what to do." Finally, the clerk relented and said he wasn't going to charge me. I thanked him and said that I hoped it wouldn't jeopordize him, but that I really couldn't agree to pay an amount other than that upon which I had based my decision to choose this resort.

Later that evening, my husband went to the room to discover that a line to the air conditioner had burst, and our room was flooded. They promptly switched us to the room upstairs, which was the same as the one we had plus a loft with a king-sized bed and a second bathroom, tv and a sofa. I felt we deserved the upgrade! They didn't send a bell hop, so we had to move all of our stuff ourselves, slip-sliding on the wet floor of our flooded room. Oh, well.

Our daughter had a great time in the pool, paddle boats and tennis courts. She also enjoyed the buffet and pizzas. My husband and I enjoyed the relaxation. Life is tough in the Dominican Republic and the other 11 days there, we were in various towns battling traffic, inhaling motorcycle exhaust, bearing heat... Five days at the resort was a good break in the middle of it, and something we plan to do again, when we return to the DR (my husband's country-of origin). Our 18-year-old joined us for the last few days (We paid for him, as agreed!) and he had a fabulous time, meeting some Peruvian girls who went with him to the disco! Our son did not drink alcohol, but I know he could have had he chosen to. I would not recommend parents sending our sanctioning their teens or under-21 young adults going to these resots unsupervised.

The food was tastey, but we did get a touch of diarhea--not dreadful. The Cuba-night show was good, except that maraca queen offended my sensibilities--a woman in a thong with a belt with maracas attached wrapped tightly around her exposed, shaking buns. I didn't enjoy seeing that and really didn't appreciate my daughter seeing that. In June, a lot of the tourists are Miami Cubans, which makes the atmosphere predominately Spanish-speaking and the music they played was real salsa and merengue and bachata, not silly tourist versions of "Spanish" music and not what they think tourists like (such as Frank Sinatra). I was really glad that they played real Caribbean music. I had never stayed in a resort before, but when we used to live in the DR, I had gone to check one out (it was mid-winter and most tourists were from Europe) and they were playing "New York, New York" in the lobby. Thank God they didn't do that while we w ere th ere!

All of us except our 8-yr-old speak Spanish and we got a long well with the service staff. Even the clerk with whom I had the problem was never rude to me. He was just caught between a rock and a hard place. However, when my daughter when to the bar to ask for a red soda, twice she was given something else. I sent her the third time armed with the word "red" in Spanish and she finally got her red soda! Staff was friendly to us. In the buffet, they were slow to bring us water and quick to remove the unused and still needed silverware, but would bring more when requested. So what if we had to wait a few minutes--we're on vacation!
Barcelo Bavaro Casino
Vanessa 
New York
March 2007
Arrival: March 2007
Me and my sister flew American Airlines. We stayed with our Grandmother for 4 days in La Romana before heading to the resort. It was nice to get a ride from a familiar face when it is your first time traveling outside your country and not being able to speak the language. But me and my sister got lots of practice in.

Rooms:
The resort is made up of 4 or 5 hotels with different themes. Our hotel had a Casino. We immediately we greeted by the front desk staff and the check in process was a breeze. The bellman helped us with our bags. We room was exactly as pictured with a great view. The room was clean and beautiful. There was plenty of hot water.

Restaurants and Bars:
The food in the restaurants were amazing. Most of the restaurants were set on the beach. Very romantic if you were on a honeymoon. If you wanted alcohol in your pina colada you needed to state so otherwise your drink was made virgin.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The pools were not as big but clean and well maintained. The beach was clear and warm just like I like it. There were plenty of lounge chairs to sit on.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We rented a foot pedaled mini boat which was a lot of fun once you go the hang of it. We took a tour of Saona Island. I recommend this very much. The bus picked us up, the ride was about an hour and a half. Then get all got on a speed boat to the island. But before they dropped us off to the island they stopped the boat in the middle of the ocean, what is known as a natural spring pool. It was amazing, the water only was about 3 feet deep and clear and ice. I even saw a real star fish. Once on the island they prepare a BBQ lunch for you and provide you with rum and coke. The best pork chops I've ever had!! Then after 2 hours a party boat picks you up and they play music and games. Back to the speed boat and the bus then a 20 minute stop to shop at one of the local stores. It was the best part of the trip!!!

Other Comments:
All in all this was the best trip to date. The food was great, the people were friendly even though I didn't speak the language very well. Do not buy from the hotel stores, they are extremely over priced! I will be returning to DR in October 2009 and staying at the Grand Oasis Marien in Puerto Plata so stay tune for my review.
Barcelo Bavaro Casino
Kathryn 

May 2006
We aren’t picky, but the Barcelo Bavaro in Punta Cana set a new low:

1. Overall, we got total attitude that was downright rude from anyone who worked there, except for the bellmen, of whom we saw a lot because of room switches that were necessary. The bartenders completely ignored you, even if you were the only one standing there. The workers in the pizza take-away, which was the only food service open during the afternoons, would practically taunt people by ignoring them, making them wait, stopping to socialize and taking pictures with some senoritas. The whole attitude completely ruined the trip for all of us. We definitely did not feel welcome.

2. Upon arrival, we were switched to the Casino Hotel instead of the Golf Hotel, even after my travel agent wrote to them and I wrote to them asking to prevent this from happening when I read about it out on the Web. The Casino Hotel was a much farther walk from the beach, a problem for my father-in-law who has trouble walking, and the Casino Hotel is not as nice as the Golf Hotel. I was given the run-around when I tried to get us switched to the Golf Hotel the next day, an ordeal that took 6 hours and additional $$$ in bellmen’s fees (luggage for two families had to be carted by the bellman when we were dropped off at the Golf Hotel initially, then another when we checked into the Casino Hotel, again when we checked out of the Casino Hotel, and then more when we finally checked into the Golf Hotel).

3. On our first morning in a new room, I found– ahem – a vibrating “toy” (not mine) in my bed AFTER I’d slept in it. Eww. It was only then that Management at the Golf Hotel actually started doing anything except ignoring us. Nonetheless, the maid was rude when I insisted on seeing all of the bedding changed. Management tried to make it up with flowers, rum, and t-shirts, but the damage was done. I never slept well the rest of the week, particularly since some of the beds smelled like someone had peed in them.

4. The whole Casino Hotel smelled strongly of sewage, especially inside the room and at the buffet.

5. Water was leaking from the ceiling of no less than 3 out of the 5 rooms they tried to force us into staying in. Maintenance never showed even if you waited and waited. We finally just gave up and put up with it but the source of the water remained a mystery. Ick.

6. The toilets worked sometimes, sometimes they didn’t. More than once I had to lift the lid off of the back and fix the mechanism myself, and that wasn’t just one toilet.

7. The walls were so thin in the Casino Hotel that we were awakened at 5:00 in the morning by the party next door and Security did absolutely nothing about it.

8. The phone in my in-laws’ room didn’t ring so we had to use walkie-talkies to communicate between rooms. More more more inconvenience.

We were not the only ones that suffered these problems. There was a steady stream of irate people at the front desks throughout our stay. The only bright spot was the GoGo representative named Nolberto, although he didn’t work for the hotel. He was great great great. Under no circumstances should anyone take the chance that this won’t happen to them. Management needs to get its act together in terms of friendliness, service and cleanliness. Stay away.
Barcelo Bavaro Casino
Melinda 
Halifax, N.S.
April 2006
My husband, Daughter and myself just got back on April 27th from a week's stay at the Barcelo Bavaro Casino Resort and are very disappointed with the conditions of the resort. This resort is in desperate need of a makeover.

The resort has less staff than when we were there six years ago. I feel that the staff lack customer service. They are definately not there to help you with anything. We had to change our room due to the ants on the floor. The new room we got had a leak in the bathroom ceiling. We did not bother to go back and complain because it was not worth it.

The beach as always in beautiful. The weather was beautiful. My husband golfed four times and could not believe how bad the greens were. Definetly not worth 60.00.

Our flight was beautiful and I would definetly fly Zoom again. They have great customer service.

I would probably go back to Punta Cana but would never stay at this resort again.
Barcelo Bavaro Casino
Al and Bettie Ann 
Canada
April 2006
My Wife and I traveled to Punta Cana from Halifax via Go Travel and Zoom Air accompanied by my Sister in Law and her Husband (they had been to this resort twice before). We were delayed 4 hours leaving Halifax due to a broken aircraft leaving Ottawa but I would rather it break on the ground than in the air. Go Travel is OK as a travel agent and we found that the service on Zoom Air has declined, no free wine and the food was not as good as two years ago but no biggy.The one hour and a half bus ride from La Romana was hot and rough.The bus was old and had a few bad shocks I think. A/C did not work well.

Check in was smooth and we managed to quickly have our relatives room switched from two blocks away from us to right next door after the Go Travel Agent (Wes) talked to the staff.

The Room : We were located on the second floor just next to the piano bar/lobby with a view of the pool and golf course. The room was adequate with the following deficiencies: the patio door had no screen and was a bugger to lock, the locking device was a pin and a drilled hole that was hard to line up.The actual lock fell out in my hand! I chased a cockroach around the bathroom one night (and got him) so leave your bathroom light on all night to keep them out. The A/C worked but was extremely noisy on all settings except low. The toilet ran constantly unless you jiggled the handle. The room was very close to the lobby and was noisy due to people coming and going up and down stairs all night,the loud Casino A/C that was behind our room, the noise and stink of truck in the loading zone behind our room and the fact that the lobby staff insisted on cranking up Dominican music at 7 am in the morning.

The Beach : Excellent beach, well groomed and always something to see. The snorkeling is not great and the reef trip is a waste of time as there are few fish and the surge was high and rough.Forget snorkeling out past the roped off area as you are in great danger of being run down by the dozens of power boats running back and forwards.

Pools : Nice pools and well kept but we found that the Casino pool had very little shade and the pool chairs were in poor condition.

Bars : The bars were hit and miss. Sometimes they were adequately staffed and sometimes not, so you never knew if it would take a few minutes or a half hour to get a beer. The Casino Pool bar was the worst.It seemed that the staff there did not like each other and took it out on the customers. Service was hit and miss and the food service there (between 4 and 5 pm) was pathetic. Table service was very poor there even if you tipped! Spotted a large rat roaming around inside the Disc Bar one night ! We wish that they would place the bottled water in an area that you can serve yourself instead of standing in line at the bar for water.Just put the cooler it is kept in on the other side of the bar! Do they think we are going to steal the water!

Food : The food was good on the most part with the Mexican Restaurant topping my list for food quality, friendliness and service with the Italian and Steak a tie for the worst. We went to the Mexican the most. We also did not like the fact that at the beach bar/restaurant (tables in the sand) you had to make a reservation to eat, it should be first come first served!

Service : Service was ok the first week we were there but as we got into the April Holy Week service quickly declined to almost a crawl.It was as if the staff that was there went on vacation in their heads. I will never go to the Dominican during this period again!

Conclusion : The relatives that were with us said that the service has drastically drop and we found out that the staff were cut from approx. 3000 to 1800 all at once so that may have something to do with the general service and cleanliness. The resort offers a lot to do and their nightly shows are very good but we have seen shows just as entertaining at 3 star resorts.A big problem or should I say stink is the septic pond right in front of the Casino and miniature golf course. We tried to play mini golf one night but the stink drove us off. You will smell what I mean when the wind is blowing just right.We all agreed that we would not return to this resort again due to the poor service, decline in cleanliness and the high cost for value factor.
Barcelo Bavaro Casino
Charles & Cathy 

April 2006
This was our second time to Punta Cana – last year we stayed at the RIU Resort.

This resort is a large resort with five hotels. We stayed at the Casino and I have no complaints about the rooms. They were much nicer than at the RIU and they smelled a whole let nicer.

There is a language barrier however, I’m not in an English speaking country, so I don’t expect people to speak English. We were very disappointed with the attitudes of the staff – last year at the RIU we tipped around $100 US for the week, this year, we spent around $20! It was difficult finding someone pleasant enough to tip – within three days we were tipping if they smiled at us! We did find out at the end of our stay that last year the staff was cut in half! So still the same amount of work to be done, but only half the people to do it. TSK TSK Barcelo!!!! I’m sure with the amount of money we spend and the amount you pay your staff, you could afford more of them.

The buffet at the Casino wasn’t great – we ate breakfast there every morning (how can you go wrong with breakfast) however, we usually ate at the Caribe or Beach for lunch. Supper was usually at the Steakhouse as it tasted most like home. I tried the medallions (which are really more like two small steaks), and the chicken which were both good. Last year at the RIU I lost 10 pounds because the food was not edible, this year, I was never hungry.

Charles and I both love to snorkel and unfortunately we were very disappointed with the snorkeling at the Barcelo. Last year at the RIU you swam out about 50 feet and you were on top of a huge coral reef with thousands of beautiful and exotic tropical fish. We only saw two kinds of fish while snorkeling at this resort. Big let down. We paid the $25 to go out to a reef to snorkel but the RIU still offered better viewing.

Last year we did the excursion where you swam with sharks and stingrays (sorry, I can’t remember the name of the excursion) and it was great. This year we did the safari adventure (hey Roberto, Luis and Paparazzi) and it was fabulous. We learned a lot about the Dominican way of life. We went from the sugar fields all they way up to the mountains.

HINT: I purchased Brugal Rum (superior) at the huts down the beach for $5.35 US per bottle and I got a great deal. However, you can buy the same rum for $6.00 per bottle at the duty free shop at the airport. After talking to several people, I found most paid between $7 – 8 US per bottle at the huts.

My big lesson learned from traveling to Punta Cana twice now – it seems that each resort offers something really great – however, they each have their draw backs. I guess if I want it all (great food, beautiful beach, fabulous rooms, etc.) I’m going to have to pay the price….about double of what I have paid the last two years.

I will probably go back to Punta Cana however, my next trip, I think we are going to try Mexico.

Hope this helps.
Enjoy your vacation.
Barcelo Bavaro Casino
Jay & Jodi 
Canada
April 2006
Hello My Wife and I travelled to Barcelo Bavaro at the end of March, with our little infant. We are in our late 20’s.

First off, the little guy loved it out there!! I think he was just happy to be outside for the 1st time, as he was born in the fall. He had no problems with the flight, and never did get sunburnt as we kept him shaded and covered in sunscreen as much as possible. We also took his stroller, which was a huge asset to carrying him and everything else we had around this resort

The thing that stood out the most about this resort was how huge it was!!! Make sure you get a copy of the resort map and keep it with you. Might not be a bad idea to take a look at one before you go, if possible. It has 5 resorts all in one 600 acre complex. If you booked anything but the Palace, you had full access to all other resorts (besides the Palace) pools, restaurants, bars etc. Just could not eat or drink or swim at the palace (5star) you can go through and hang or whatever, but we did not see anything too special about it. If you booked the Palace you had access to all 5. The grounds were nice and clean, and are so big that I do not believe we saw all of this resort.

Rooms:
When we checked in they wanted us to go to the casino even though we thought we booked the golf, not a big deal. I will make one suggestion: Leave your luggage and the rest of your party in the lobby, send one person to check out the room before you agree to accept it. The first room they tried to give us had a lovely view of the garbage dumps and service road of the Casino and came with a lovely odour as well. The second one they showed us had a great view of the pool out the front door, and an even nicer view of the golf course from the balcony. All in all we were happy with the room. It was well cleaned and the fridge was well stocked. Not all that modern as the resort is one of the 3 original on the island. We did tip both the maid and the stock boy.

Beach:
By far the best part of this resort is the Beach and you can get this anywhere in Punta Cana. The beach is absolutely gorgeous and goes for miles (35km I think) The water is clear and clean. There are a lot of topless women, and a lot of men were wearing banana hammocks? You can go snorkelling right off the beach, along with boating, wind surfing and a lot of other great activities. Nicest beach I have ever seen!

Pools:
Nothing Fancy here, but they are nice and refreshing. The Beach and Caribe pools were the busiest and were the places to party. Golf and Casino pools were quiet and relaxing.

Bars:
There were lots of bars, they all had different hours, but you never really had a hard time getting a drink. Make sure if you get one of their frozen drinks and want alcohol in it you ask for it. We met a lot of people who thought they were drinking and were not. (kind of funny actually). Bare in mind that one drink at one bar might not necessarily be the same at the next. Not all bartenders knew what you were asking for, and some I’m sure just put things in a cup. If you have never had Presidente, the local beer in DR, it is delicious. A very nice lager or pilsner.

Food:
I am the least picky person I know when it comes to food, and I did not like the food here. Not all the food was horrible or anything, but it was definitely not good. We have never had a problem in the past. For example: chicken was always over or UNDER cooked, fish was always really over cooked and very fishy. Never had any potato dishes that I would call edible. The lobster at the Ambar Buffet seafood night, was the worst Lobster I had ever eaten. I had no idea it could taste so bad. The A La Carte restaurants were better than the 4 Buffets, and we had access to 4: Mexican, Italian, Steak house and La Uva Grill. Steakhouse was the best. I ordered the tenderloin medallions and they were not medallions nor were they tenderloin, but they were good. Do not worry about the prices on the menus at the restaurants, or the pizza shack, it is all included. Pizza shack was pretty good the pizzas are made fresh. You won’t starve at this resort, but you may not be impressed.

Service:
Same as anywhere, some people are really helpful, and some couldn’t care less. What I will say is that there was a serious language barrier here. Very hard to find someone that spoke English. We have been to other resorts, even in the DR that the staff at least knew a little English, a lot of the staff here did not even try or care. We printed off the Spanish translations from this site on our second day and it came in handy countless times. ( pretty sure I speak Spanish now). I would recommend doing the same before you leave.

People:
The guests at this resort were from everywhere. We met people from England, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Russia, America and Canada. I would say that the resort was predominantly European. Most everyone was friendly.

In general, we had a great time!! We would definitely return to Punta Cana as it is gorgeous and the beaches are amazing. We would not return to this resort, or any in the Barcelo chain for that matter.

Have a good vacation!!!
Barcelo Bavaro Casino
Michelle 

March 2006
A few years back my husband and I, along with two other friends visited/stayed at Barcelo Bavaro, Palace, Dominican Republic, Punta Cana. We had a wonderful stay and decided to visit again. This time we stayed at the Barcelo Bavaro Casino and our experience, much to our dismay was not a pleasant or enjoyable one.

In comparing the service we received a few years back with the service we received this time, I must say that we would never again frequent a Barcelo resort of any kind. With the bad publicity that Barcelo chains have been receiving in the news lately, I would expect that they would try harder to ensure their guests have a pleasant stay and would want to come back to.

The service at all bars throughout the complex was absolutely disgusting. It was like you where invisible and did not exist. At one point it actually took me twenty-five minutes to finally get a drink. The surprising thing is, at the time that I was at the bar trying to order there was not another guest present. I was ignored; my request for service was like your entire staff where deaf and blind. So much for all inclusive!! Your staff makes it impossible to enjoy a drink when you want one.

Upon speaking with several people, I have been informed that the service they received at any Barcelo Bavaro resort has been much the same. They, as well as ourselves would never go back to Barcelo nor would we recommend to any of our travel friends to frequent any Barcelo resorts.

As well, it clearly states that snacks are available at the bar and that is untrue. In the Casino resort the menu indicates that service is from 12:00 – 5:00 pm. On one occasion we tried ordering at 4:50 pm and where told that the service was closed. The next day we arrived at 1:30 pm and again tried to order from the bar menu and where told that we could only order between 4:00 and 5:00 pm. So, which is it, 12-5:00 pm, 4-5:00 pm or non-existent? I suggest your menus be updated as the information is false and opens you up to a law suit for printing false information.

May I make a final suggestion that perhaps you employ staff that speak at least a few words of English as it is the National language and most people can at least express their desires to someone who may understand what it is there are looking for.
Barcelo Bavaro Casino
Mark 
Belleville, Ontario, Canada
March 2006
My Son and I spent a week at the Barcelo Bavaro Golf & Casino resort the last week in Jan/06.Whan we arrived at the resort our rooms were not ready 2 hour rate,no big deal.When we did get our rooms(Golf apartments) they were huge 5 beds,loft,2 bathrooms,2 balconys.A family of 6 could stay there very comfotable.The staff were very nice,rooms were very clean,mini bar in room,always stocked.Our package included 4 rounds of golf,one thing we were not told,power carts are $60.00(us)and are mandatory before 2pm.We only played twice because of that.Course is average,very long.The caribe and beach resort were very nice,although @ the caribe you have to literally go into the lobby to find a washroom,along ways away if your at the beach.The beach was great.If you want to hang out at the pool get there early,for a shortage of chairs.The food was average at the buffet,but the steak house was worth the wait in line.There were line ups at the buffet at prime time which we did'nt like.The bar service varied from resort to resort.Caribe was the best,Casino resort bar service was good.The beach was slow and the golf resort was terrible,just not enough staff.The casino was nice,small but alot of fun.One thing we were dissapointed in was the lack of activity around the pools,volleyball,etc,very little.Al in al we found the resorts to big,found it difficult to meet people,you may hang out one day and may never see them again.We were glad we went but would not return to this resort.
Barcelo Bavaro Casino
Roberta 
Alberta, Canada
March 2006
Stayed at Golf Apartments at the Barcelo Bavaro. in Punta Cana. 7 days is just not long enough. You loose the whole day going down and over half the last day when you come back. They should change it to 9 day packages so that you have the full 7 days there. When we arrived at the resort, they informed us that the Golf Apartments were full and that they were “Upgrading us to the Beach Hotel” My research had informed me that the Golf was the only hotel that could accommodate our family of five (three teenagers included). I am glad that I said, no, we were confirmed here and wanted to stay here. They then said that they did indeed have our reservations. Our room was perfect for us. There was a King size bed and full bathroom in the upstairs loft, One the main floor there was a bedroom with a double and single bed and a full bathroom, and a sitting room that had another double and single bed. We had two balconies. The room overlooked the reception and pool/bar area.

It was perfect. It is not the four star we are used to in Canada, but it was clean and the fridge well stocked with water, pop and beer. The staff were friendly, fun and helpful. I would definitely recommend this hotel to stay at again. It is only a short walk to the beach, either by way of the Criebe or five minutes more by way of the Beach Hotel. Clean beaches, lots to do. Pools are well maintained. Lots of little bars all over to get water or whatever you wanted to drink. A total of four hotels that were included in our “all inclusive” that we had privileges to were at this resort. Lots to eat, although it seemed to taste all the same by the end of the trip. Please remember to bring some Pringles or your own snacks like this along, as a large tube of Pringles was $9 US and so were the chips. Sunscreen is expensive as well ($28US) so be sure to bring lots, as the sun is very intense. The day trip to Sona Island is a must and I would definitely do it again. The only bad part was the two hour bus ride to the other side of the island and the unsanitary bathroom there. (Take along wet ones) The Caribbean Festival trip was also good for a half day adventure. The Bavaro Runners was okay, but was the least of our favorite. Please make sure that you book these through your travel rep (Ours was Felipe through Sunquest, who was excellent). The guys were scuba diving through Discovery and really had a great time. Lots of dancing instructions given either in the hotels, or on the beach. Volleyball, tennis, life-sized chess, aerobics, and may more activities, including a disco. Something for everyone. Very safety conscientious. Make sure you take along Gravel, Pepto or Maalox, Tylenol, solarcaine (or some type of sunburn crčme), bandages, sunscreen, facecloths, a good hat to protect from the sun. You really don’t need many clothes, mostly swimsuits, cover-ups, shirts and pants/shorts (guys) or skirts/shorts or casual dress (for evening meal--guys must have sleeves) and comfortable sandals.

Everyone in our family really enjoyed it (except for the short bout of upset stomachs). I would recommend it to families of all ages.
Barcelo Bavaro Casino
Bob & Michelle 
USA
February 2006
Being our fourth trip to the Dominican Republic, our third to this resort, we thought we knew what to expect. The Golf is all suites (nice sized with 2 bedrooms) and have accommodated our family of four in the past. They are located off the beach (about a 5 minute walk). Our second trip to this resort, we were greeted like royalty as repeat customers. Management even sent flowers and a bottle of rum up to our room. Well, something must have changed with the management. I have been reading of over booking at this resort, but never thought it would happen to us.

On arrival we were told that our reservation was for the Beach Resort. I disagreed of course, explaining that I had specified a suite at the golf and had paid in advance. I showed them the paperwork to document that. It didn’t matter as they packed us up & sent us to the Beach. (Upgrade they said) ….. Ok, now it gets worse. They assigned us to one room (very small by normal standards), with two double beds. Our children are adults and it’s been quite some time since we even slept in the same room, much less ask them to share a bed. It’s not my idea of a vacation to share a small room with four adults for 7 nights.

Our first whole day was ruined with trying to argue our case with no results except they agreed to add a bed to the room. Great now it is wall to wall beds. You had to crawl over a bed to get to the balcony; and there was that problem of where to go with 6 suitcases.

The second day our tour guide said he would intervene and get us decent accommodations. So after wasting several more hours of precious vacation time, he said that upper management wouldn’t be there to make a decision till the following day.

After the third day of getting bounced around, the tour guide said that management refused to honor our reservation and all he could do was make a report.

If this is how they treat repeat customers, imagine how you might get treated on your first visit. All we asked for was a suite at the Golf (as we had paid for) or reasonable substitute accommodations. We don’t feel like we given that, as for the first time ever, I was glad to get home and have a little privacy. I will be filing a complaint with my travel agent and asking for a refund, but that too will be an adventure.

We save all year to be able to go to a location as nice as Punta Cana. This certainly isn’t what we had in mind. If your planning to go to Punta Cana , go, it’s beautiful……I just couldn’t recommend this resort.
Barcelo Bavaro Casino
Monica 
Canada
January 2006
OLA!

My husband and I just returned from the Barcelo Bavaro Golf Resort. We can honestly say that we were very impressed with the entire complex. I always start looking around October for the resort of our choice and when I came upon the Golf Resort, I just knew it was the one for us.

Complex: There are five individual resorsts at this complex. I've found that alot of the websites will group the Golf and Casino resort together as well as the Beach and the Caribe. The Palace is always listed by itself though.

The Casino is the farthest from the beach and is situated on the golf course. There is also a mini putt. It has its own pool and as well as the casino. The Tropicalizimo show is done at the Casino. The show starts at 10:30 every! nite. There is also a movie theatre for those who want to escape the sun! The next resort is the Golf Resort which faces the Casino resort as well as the golf course and mini putt. It also has its own pool. Attached to the Golf Resort is a small round plaza for souvenirs. The road that the Golf resort is on ends in a dead end street so you dont get as much traffic. Behind the Golf resort there are the other two. The Caribe has a great pool and a nightly show. The Beach has the biggest buffet restaurant and the specialty restaurants. You dont need a reservation to get into the specialty restaurants. The beach also has the nightly shows. The Internet is available in the lobby of the Beach resort. There are small shops in all of the resorts for souvenirs. The Palace is to the far left of the Beach. There are two small trains that take you to the reception desk of each resort. Its a fun ride and cools you down in the heat of the day. It runs every 15 minutes or so. ! There are different small shops set up on the beach where you can book water sports.

Rooms: One of the items that I wanted on my wish list was a big room. We certainly werent disappointed! Our room consists of no less than five beds! As you stepped into the room, there were two large closets. One had the safe and iron/ironing board. The other had many hangers. There was the mini bar with a coffee maker and a set of table and chairs. In this first room, there was also a single and double bed as well as the balcony facing the golf course. The stairs to the loft is off of this room. The loft had a king size bed, its own bathroom, closet, tv and ceiling fan. The other room downstairs had the vanity and the bathroom, as well as a single and double bed with its own balcony. The maid service was always prompt and courteous. The Golf resort only has 126 rooms and from my information, the other rooms consists of four beds in two sepa! rate rooms, all with two balconies. We didnt request the room with the loft so we were quite surprised.

Food: We found that there is always a wide assortment of choices in all of the buffets. You can indulge or you can simply keep it simple. They do cook alot with oil, so you may want to keep that in mind. On friday and sunday nites, there is extra seafood at the Beach buffet.

Excursions: My husband's greatest thrill is deep sea fishing. At the Barcelo complex, the pier is at the beach so there is no need to get off the resort. Its always a gamble going out as you never know what and if you will catch anything. It cost 80.00 us for half a day. He did luck out and brought in three dorados. He then gave them to the captain.

We also tried Manati Park . We didnt stay long as it wasnt a large park. There were crocodiles, birds! of all kinds, dolphins, sea lions, beautiful scenery, and of course, the souvenir vendors.

Tourists: We noticed alot more canadians at this resort than in our past travels. As well, you had your usual group of other nationalities. I would have to say that most were very pleasant. There is always the exception to the rule but you just go with the flow. Weather: We always seem to luck out and this year was no exception. We had one day where it was overcast but it sure beats the cold from Windsor. Again, you just go with the flow. Be prepared for the hot sun. It was the first year where I actually burned after the first day, even with the sunscreen and oil.

Summary: Overall, my husband and I would definetely go back in a heart beat. The service was great, the weather was divine, the tourists were friendly, the rooms! went beyond our expectations!

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at monicahampel@yahoo.ca.
Barcelo Bavaro Casino
 
Canada
January 2006
My wife and I just returned from one week stay at Barcelo Casino in Punta Cana, and wanted to share our experience. First of all the resort was beautiful, staff was always helpful.

Rooms: Always fresh towels, bar fridge was filled daily.

Pools: Very Quiet, and could be because the pool water was extremely chilly.

Beach: Just for anyone's info, the Barcelo Casino is not on the beach, however it's a 5 minute walk, so please don't be discouraged from this resort if you hear it is not on the beach, because it's a short walk away. As always Bavaro beach is beautiful, however on the Barcelo properties, the waters were alot calmer than other resorts we have stayed at in the Bavaro area, due to a breaker that kept the high waves from crashing into shore.

Food: Was ok at the Casino, however because we had access to the other three Barcelo resorts, we ventured out to try all of them, and found the food at the Barcelo Caribe, Barcelo Beach were much better. There were several other restaurants that we just didn't have the time to try.

Transportation: There is a train that runs every 15 minutes taking you to and from all the Barcelo properties, so it's very easy to get around and check out the features at all the different resorts.

Jellyfish Restaurant: My wife and I walked about 10 minutes down the beach just past the Barcelo Palace Resort, and there is an amazing restaurant called the Jellyfish. The food was amazing, and the Presidente was cold....very impressed.

Overall: We would go back to this resort tomorrow if we could. I highly recommend this resort to anyone. If you have any questions about this resort please feel free to email me at rstudley8854@rogers.com .
Barcelo Bavaro Casino
Dale and Karen 
Oklahoma
February 2005
We just got back from spending a week in Punta Cana. The first two nights we were at Barcelo Bavaro Golf & Casino. The plane ride went very smooth, going through Punta Cana airport was a breeze and getting our luggage was extremely fast and effecient. A quick trip by taxi landed us (four in our group) at the doorstep of the Bavaro Golf resort. Greeted at the reception desk with a island drink. Check in went fast, unloaded suitcases quickly, enjoyed the inroom minibar and headed for the beach. We ate, enjoyed the beverages, pool, disco, dance routine and had a very good time. The rooms were very clean, the wait staff very effecient and polite. "Our" pool at the resort felt very comfortable with people of all ages and nationalities. There are several resorts one can walk to (or take the free trolley) in the compound. We went over to the Casino resort and even won $50 on the roulette table. This resort would surely be on a return visit list.

On the third day we packed up and taxied over to the Superbreezes.
Barcelo Bavaro Casino
Renata and Chris 
Canada
February 2005
We just came back from a one week vacation in the Dominican Republic. We stayed at the Barcelo Bavaro Golf & Casino resort in Punta Cana. We flew Feb 5th with WestJet out of Hamilton, Ontario. Returning Feb 12th. The flight was slightly delayed but no big deal. Upon arrival, check in was fast. The resort put us in the Beach complex. We had a great view, and the pool was right beside the complex. There are 4 pools that you can use. You are not allowed to use the Palace pool or the restaurant. The food was excellent. If you have a chance to eat at the steakhouse do so, we ate there 2 times. The buffet restaurants have alot of variety, starting from breakfast to dinner.

The beach was absolutely gorgeous, every morning it is cleaned. The pools are also very beautiful, we used the caribe's and the beach's pool. The room was very clean, the maid cleans it every day and replenishes the fridge, towels, toilet paper, soap, etc. you do not have to pay a deposit for your safe. All rooms come with a balcony. Our room was 4202.

We did one exercusion, it was the Saouna Island. You leave early in the morning at approximately 7am and return at around 7:30 pm. I would highly recommend this exercusion. It was amazing. One way you take a speed boat to a natural part of the ocean and they drop you off and you sepnd about 15-20 minutes snorkelling or walking in the water, the water is about 3.5 feet deep, bring your own snorkles as they are not provided, we saw alot of starfish and crabs, after that we went to the island, we spent about 2-3 hours there, collecting seashells, snorkelling, we ate a buffett lunch, drank some rum and coak and off we went back on a catamaran. If you like snorkelling this truly amazing, the water is crystal clear. The exercusion was $80 U.S. per person and well worth it, we also did parasailing, also $80 U.S. for both, you are up with the parasail for about 10 minutes.

Nobody was sick at the resort, when we flew back we didnt notice that anyone was complaining from being sick. I would highly recommend this resort, and i would stay there again. the only drawback was coming home to crummy weather....my tan is disappearing already.