More about Barcelo Bavaro Caribe
Mamajuana and Paintings
There was a nice little market place right outside the entrance to our resort (Barcelo Premium Punta Cana), but there are market places everywhere. This one is particularly nice and bargaining is good. The shop owners can be very annoying though. Mamajuana.....they will try to sell it to you for around $20 a bottle. Don't pay more than $10. I actually paid $8.
Paintings.....you can get a HUGE one (poster size or more) for $35 if you know how to bargain right. Smaller ones for $10-$20 Just know that whatever they offer you is CRAZY. Sometimes 10 or more times what they will actually sell it to you for
It was Okay.....
I spent one week in the Dominican Republic with my family for march break vacation. There were 9 of us. I have been to the Dominican 6 times in different parts of the island and I do have to say this. Punta Cana is my favorite. I also have to say this. This is my second time and the Barcelo Bavaro Beach and Caribe hotel and my experience was not the same as my past vacation. We were put into the 600 building, the Caribe, and I must say that the rooms could use some renovations. Other than that, I can't really complain. The weather was beatiful, the beach gorgeous, and the pools large and lots of fun. The food was not too bad, not great but like I said I have visited the D.R. many times so I knew what to expect. As you have probably read, there you can eat and play at al the hotels with the exception of the palace. For $20.00 U.S. you can eat tat the "Chez Palace" at the palace hotel and order anything off the menu. Drinks extra. That was worth the $20.00. There is a little choo-choo train that runs all day and night every 15 mntes to take you all over the resort, which is handy because sometimes i trains at night so if you want to go to a show or dinner at another hotel on the resort, you dont get wet. With the exception of the run down rooms in the 600 buildings, (The Caribe), the vacation was wonderful. I did check out the rooms at the palace, and they seem alot fresher and newer. All in all it was a good time! (good times, good times...)
Great Family Vacation
Best Family Vacation we've ever had! We stayed at the Barcelo Bavaro Beach Resort during spring break from April 3rd to April 9th. Our boys 15, 12 and 11 had plenty to do and were never bored. We purchased wind surfing lessons for them which was a great deal. The instructor spent half the day in the water teaching the kids. Once they learned how to do it, they were able to use the sail boards when ever they wanted free of charge.
The food reminded me of cruise ship food. It was satisfactory with some meals being better than others. The greatest thing about the food was I never had to worry about feeding my kids. They ate when they felt like eating and everyone found something they liked. Although the travel agent said not to tip, I think we got much better service when we left a dollar here and there.
My 12 year old son made the mistake of brushing his teeth with the tap water and did get sick. Fortunately, there is a health clinic at the resort. The two young beautiful doctors were very kind and took excellent care of him. Our bill for the visit plus medications came close to about $200. After about 1 1/2 days he was able to enjoy the remainder of the vacation.
I think the biggest eye openner and entertainment for my three American boys were the number of topless women walking along the beach.
Actually, there was a small percentage of topless women, but it will probably be their greatest memory and the one they will talk about back at school.
The beach was beautiful and the weather was perfect. It was also fun to sit by the pool and listen to live music and have drinks under the shade. I felt it was a safe atmosphere for the kids and very relaxing for the adults. I want to go back!!!
My husband, 8 year old sin and I stayed at the Caribe 4/7 - 4/14. We are loyal cruiseship vacationers but this trip we decided to try the all inclusive and are completely satisfied. We booked the charter vacation and everything went smoothly. We were greeted at the airport and transferred directly to the hotel. There was some confusion as to which resort we were staying at. All my documents said Barcelo Bavaro Beach and Caribe, and our tranfers had Barcelo Bavaro Beach. We were dropped off at the Beach and were told we had the reservations for the Caribe. ( I had no idea they were two different hotels) The two hotels are right next to each other and just a 2 minute walk from lobby to lobby, but make sure when you are booking you are reserving the right hotel. Our rep also said that they are in the process of combining the two hotels which might make things a bit more confusing. During our stay, we did go to all the other resorts The Palace, Golf, Casino , and Beach. All very beautiful and easy to get to. We also did the Aquatic tour (speed boats and snorkels) which was great. This was my sons first time snorkeling, and our guide Raul was very patient and helpful getting him used to the equipment. We also went horse backriding. I recommend wearing long pants for this excursion. The sites were beautiful and relaxing. The horses took us through the golf course, the jungle and along the beach. I expected it to be very warm and hot, but it was actually cool and relaxing. The beach is turquise blue and absolutley beautiful. On most days we did not get to the beach until 1 or 2 pm. With our son we did not want to be in the high noon sun. The down fall with this is that most of the beach chairs were already taken. We did manage to find some abandoned ones, but it took time to look for them and drag them to our site. The beach is calm, with no large waves. We felt safe having my son play in the water. If you don't want to stay in direct sun, the beach is lined with palm trees which allows for many shady spots. My husband and I also got massages right on the beach in a little hut. It costs $20 for 30 minutes and very relaxing. The beach towels were unavailable later in the afternoon. I advise getting them early. We also spent $20 on a inflatable raft and $10 on a bucket and pail. If you have one bring it. If your going to do water sports, buy an underwater camera and pack it with you. Its way to expensive. OFF bug spray is a must. Those mosquiteos come out at night and since most of the restauraunts and theaters are outdoors, you will get bitten. Bring an anti itch cream too, We spent $12 at the gift shop for some caladryl that was definetly needed. The staff are friendly and helpful they make you feel very comfortable. As far as making purchases, if at all possible stay away from bringing large denomination bills. When you use them to pay for merchandise, they give you peso's back. If you don't plan on spending it, your stuck taking it home because The hotels won't change them back to dollars. Be cautious of the LOCAL vendors on the beach, they will try to rip you off and may give you fake merchandise. My son wanted a shell necklace, and the guy was charging us $18. He refused to pay so much and the vendor wouldn't go lower than $10. When we went to the Plaza Dominicana (on the Barcelo Property) I found a similiar necklace for $7. We also took advantage of the all inclusive services. The nonmotorized water sports are readily available, Bars are ready to serve you with drinks, and food was easily accessible with variety especailly for a picky 8 year old. We all had an incredibly fun and relaxing time
We stayed at the Barcello Bavaro Caribe from March 7th to 14th, 2004.
First off, the Punta Cana airport is great, basically on big grass hut.
Our Signature vacations Rep led us to our bus and we headed of. The Barcello is one of the closest resorts to the airport, which is nice.
When we arrived, there was some confusion over whether we were staying at the Beach Hotel or Caribe. Unfortunately the Signature Vacations rep wasn't there at the hotel. We got dropped off at the Caribe so that's where we ended up. Overall, I think the Caribe (which used to be called "The Garden", is just as nice or nicer than the Beach Hotel. It has a great garden and it's a little quiter than the Beach hotel, but both the Beach and Caribe Hotels are the same distance from the beach and the views are basically the same.
We felt that the food at the Buffets and restaurants were very good, the Mexican and Steak House were excellent, the Italian was mediocre at best. The buffets were good, great breakfeasts with fruit smoothies, and omletes made to your liking. We fellt the Casino buffet was the best and they made pasta and stir fry for you there. The pasta seemed better at the Casino buffet than at the Italian Restraurant. The seafood restaurant was very good, especially the shrimp and make sure to try the lobster at the Steak House, which is only served at lunch time. THe pizza seemed better at the Steak House take out.
The drinks were good, but if you speak Spanish you may be able to better explain exactly what you want (mucho rum or pequeno rum). We took a Spanish dictionary to help us. Most of the staff don't speak much english. We liked the beer, fruit smoothies with rum and Pina Colada's with rum. You mini bar is stocked daily with Beer, Water and Pop. If you see the guy filling up the mini bars he will give you as much as you want. One thing though, the wine is terrible, almost not drinkable. If you want, you can buy bottles of wine from $5 to about $30 at the restaurants. Victor is a great bartender at the Beach Bar.
The beach is great, lots of beautiful sand and topless women. The water is warm and relatively calm. We felt there were plenty of chairs, only a few chairs at the pool had towels on them (reserved) early, otherwise it was no problem. Since the Caribe is part of 5 hotels you can walk along way, the grounds are beautiful. You can also get around using the train.
Other than the beach though, the extras are expensive if you want to para sail, etc.. but I guess that's to be expected.
There are some good bargains to be found at the market, which you can walk to in 15 minutes. Be prepared to haggle and be hassled.
The entertainment is fun, but you better like music and dance shows because that's what most of the nightly shows are. Get a list of the daily shows at your Hotel lobby. You can also practice dancing and fitness around lunch time.
We went on an Outback Safari tour for $75 US. It was well worth the money. Our guide Luis was excellent. You get to see some culture and have some fun in the process.
Overall the Caribe or Beach Hotels are truly 4 star. The Casino and Golf Hotels are a little too far from the beach so I wouldn't stay there unless you had too. If you stay at the Palace, you get more choice of restaurants but I'm not sure it's worth much more than a few hundred per person.
Overall, we had a great trip and we would go back the the Barcello Bavaro Beach & Caribe.
perfect weather nice resort!
My husband and I stayed at this resort 4/17-4/24. The weather couldn't have been better! We had a great time. The resort grounds were absolutely beautiful so tropical and lush, perfectly landscaped. We choose the all-inclusive plan so you must wear a plastic bracelet all of your vacation which was no big deal. The rooms are modest but are kept very clean! We liked our balcony with a view of the pool and ocean. The airconditioner worked very well and kept our room cool and comfortable. We always left tips for the maid and also in-side the mini-bar which was filled daily with soda beer and water. We always brushed our teeth with the bottled water just in-case. Please bring with you everything you need because things are very expensive in the hotel store! Also reapply sunscreen very often. We were badly burned the first day and had to buy some aloe cool gel in the hotel store and they charged us $20 for a six dollar item in the states. There is shampoo,conditoner and soap in a dispenser in the shower but the quality is poor. The food is different then we were used to but we were always able to find something to eat. We would recommend the mexican restaurant,the steak house and the steak house pizza takeout. The margaritas in the mexican restaurant and the quesidillas are awesome! The bartenders at the little bars by the beach were the friendliest. Also the pool bar in the casino was our favorite bartender and also they have the best buffet. We defintely were the minority being from America but everyone seemed friendly. Yes there are many topless women but after the initial shock you have seen one you have seen them all. We did not try an excursion since we found plenty to do at the resorts. If you walk past the Barcelo rsort you will be bothered about time shares. There are people on the resort giving massages and braids but they don't hassle you. We were asked two or three times but once you say no they leave you alone. all-in-all we would rate this hotl a four star and we would return again. We perferred the atmosphere of the caribe over the beach resort. The pool was huge and never crowded. There were plenty of chairs on the beach where we spent most of our time. Go to this resort with confidence you won't be sorry!
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - PUNTA CANA
We stayed at the Barcelo Bavaro Beach and Caribe resort. The beach was like paradise.
We would visit this little lady every night. Didn't know she was a Black Widow Spider until we did a bit of research when we got home from our trip.
This is some X rated material.
This was our 1st adventure out of the US. We traveled without passports and no knowledge of what to expect! We were pleasantly surprised with all the Barcelo Bavaro Beach Resort. The accommodations were exceptional and the service was fantastic. Our room had a ocean view and every morning we watched the "green army" cleaning the beach from the night before. The only problem was we were the only ones who spoke English. Not a Problem! We quickly learned "cervesa por favor" and the rest was history. It was a great first trip, memorable and both of us were bitten by the Caribbean travel bug.
We are looking for fun couples that are heading to the Barcelo Villas Bavaro Resort or close by for the week of Dec 2-9. We love to have some drinks, party, dance, lay on the beach and golf.......anybody out there interested in chatting before we head there? Drop us a line.
Re: Our Trip
You should also try debbiesdominicantravel.com. Debbie's is an excellent site devoted entirely to the DR. There you will find trip reports from various hotels, as well as a bulletin board for questions. There's also a 'meeting place' page where you can post your resort name and travelling dates and find others visiting at the same time.
We stayed at the Barcelo Bavaro Beach & Caribe and loved it. Feel free to check out my Punta Cana page & photos.
Enjoy the DR - its wonderful!