More about IFA Villas Bavaro All-Inclusive
Barcelo Villas Bavaro was Great!
A girlfriend and I went to the villas for eight days and we had a blast. At first they put us in this room sooo far away so we complained and got a much better one. Other than that and the bad service at the pool bar I have no other complaints. We laid out everyday and never had a problem getting chairs, drinks were great (you have to tell them to include rum) and the people were very friendly. We ate like pigs and didnt get sick not once. They have fresh pizza everyday at 4 o'clock and it is so good. Then on Thursdays they have a market day in the pool area where you can buy a whole bunch of stuff, just make sure you bargain with them or they will rip you off! Ok well we were sad to leave but I'll definately be going back again as soon as I can afford it!
My husband and I just returned from 7 nights at the Barcelo Villas Bavaro, Dominican Republic. I would not use Charm City Travel again. We flew into La Romana airport which is an hour and a half ride from the resort. This was nice because you got to see a few towns and some of the country. We flew on USA 3000 airlines. Great airline. Nice planes and we got food.
The resort is beautiful with flowers and Palm Trees everywhere. It is also very large. The rooms were plain but clean. The air conditioning worked very well and there was plenty of very hot water. The pool by the Villas is the largest and prettiest. There is a stage near the pool where there is nightly entertainment. Around 7:30 or 8:00 pm there are clowns to entertain the children and the adult show starts around 10:00 pm. The Villas are about a 10 to 15 minute walk to the beach which was great, giving us a chance to walk off all the food we ate. You walk past three pools and bars on the way. The food was better than I expected. A large variety at every meal and Pizza and hot dogs at the pool by the lobby at 3:30. There was ice cream and many desserts. The people were very friendly although they didn't speak very much English, but we managed to communicate with some Spanish words I had printed from the internet. The tour guides at the hotel and on excursions spoke English very well.
We took the Jungle Safari tour which was about $70.00 a person. We visited a Dominican mid-income home, a cattle ranch where we had lunch, a place where they grow coffee and cocoa beans, a school and a public beach where we went boogie boarding. Our guide, Alex, made Cuba Libras (rum and coke) and Champagna (sprite and rum) on the whole trip. There was also Cervaza (beer) and soda and water. All included in the price as was lunch. It was a lot fun and interesting to see the countryside and get a feel for the country. We also took a speedboat snorkeling tour, $50.00. This was a lot of fun.
Unless you like to be on the beach or at the pool, or play volleyball there isn't much to do at the resort. There are a lot of other things to do (tours) but they will cost extra. There is also a Casino which we didn't get to go to. Of course you can always sit by the bars.
Bring a lot of $1.00 bills. You will need these for tipping. These people are very poor and the tips really help them We didn't change our money into pesos and had no trouble. Most places gave us US dollars in change. At the time we were there (June 5th - 12th) it was 48 pesos to the US dollar but it changes daily.
It was hot but there was usually a breeze. The beach is gorgeous. There is not much shade on the beach and no umbrellas. The Palm trees are very tall and provide enough shade for two lounge chairs, which you have to keep moving with the sun. You need Sun Screen 40 or 50. We had to buy it there and it is very expensive. One of the stores wanted $26.00 for it. Bring it along. There is a small store near the pool closest to the beach where they will bargain so I got a small bottle of sunscreen for $15.00. Also bring washcloths. There aren't any.
There was a little rain, but not much. It rained mostly at night. Really no problem with bugs; a few ants on the porch.
We met a lot of nice people. There are people from many countries; England, Russia, Germany, France, Spanish speaking countries and the US.
It was well worth the money.
Take your own food!!!
Just got back last night from Barcelo Villas after a 3 night mini-trip. All I can say is this place was a major disappointment. I knew going into it that it would not be "THE RITZ", but I never expected what I found. The grounds and rooms were adequate, but we were in the #1200 villas which are as far as you can be from the beach (3/4 mile), pools, etc. They have guards with long sticks and guns draped over their chests who lurk around at night and make obscene gestures at you (there were 4 females on our trip) while standing 4 feet from your patio. I called the front desk to ask them to remove this guard from standing there because we were frightened and I was told they are there to "provide a service". What a bonus for us!
One of my friends twisted her ankle and we called the desk about 10 times in 2 hours to get her some ice. It seemed that there are only few people who can speak English at this resort and no ice ever arrived. I had to walk "all the way" to the reception, speak in my poor Spanish, just to procure ice after finally asking for the manager.
As for the food, we were all repulsed -- choices were goat stew, lamb ragout, rabbit. After seeing those items, I was not going to trust something marked beef on the buffet. I lived on pizza at 3:30 everyday which was served at the main pool as my one and only food for 4 days!!! All of the alcohol was "Normandy" brand and the top shelf drinks were more than you would pay for them in NYC. The Presidente beer that was served on tap
was not all that bad, but it wasn't all that good either. They actually sold it in the stores on the hotel premises for 50 pesos a 6 pack. Funny, but 44 pesos is equivalent to $1US, so that pretty much explains the beer. I haven't drank such cheap beer since my college days!
My two biggest grips are the hospitality you do NOT receive and the lack of bottled water. We did get a hint from another guest that a bartender guy named Sandy at the Margarita Bar was excellent and attentive once you tipped him. I gave him $10 one night and my friend gave him $5 the next so he was one of the few people who was actually attentive to us, most usually ignored us. As for water it is hit or miss, somethimes the bars have bottled water and sometimes not. Plus in the resturants you are always served tap water. Needless to say, 2 of us on the trip both had to visit our doctors today for a mega dose of z-pak to get rid of the bacteria that found its way into our bodies if you get my point.
I have traveled extensively in the Carribean, Meditterean and Mexico and would not return to this resort if they paid me to visit it! We did manage to create our own fun and met some great people to hang out with and go to the disco later at night which is really fun, but hot since it is outside. At the disco they also never had bottled water.
A word of caution for American families considering going here -- do keep in mind that most of the clientele is European so there will be a majority of the women on the beach going topless while wearing thongs. I am used to this and realize it is their culture, but I did speak to some people who were appalled with it.
Take the snorkeling trip from the beach for $13 though. The fish on the reef are plentiful, but there are not as many different types as you would see in the Caymans or Mexico, but make sure they take you out to the caged sharks. That was cool swimming with them, and the variety of fish there is much greater.
Next time I can book a trip so cheaply, I will pass and pay more for a higher rated hotel as people on our plane were raving about their 5 and 6 star hotels!!!!
Vacation from hell...
My girlfriend and I traveled to This resort on May 10-17 2004, boy we thought we got a really good deal off the internet. <--- We were mistaken! When we arrived our room was not ready when they initially told us it would be, not really a big problem, but it gets worse. After we got settled in we inspected the room to find rust in the shower, dirt on the floor, and a maid that could not understand a word of english. We decided to go for a few drinks at the pool bar<--JOKE, they ignored you as if, they didn't see us, I had to get out of the pool to wait another 10 minutes to get a drink. Everytime I was waited on, they paused for a minute expecting a tip. I'm not cheep and this is "All-Inclusive", but fair is fair and I tiped thinking it would increase there attention in my direction, and the drinks would be much easier to get,NOPE. They just took the tip and went about their business taking their good old time with other requests. I spoke to one of the travel agents down there and he said that they work 11 staight days with 11 hour shifts, then they get off for three days, soo that's why they are soo grumpy. I realized by the end of the trip that this is not a vacation for Americans, they tend to favor, Germans, French, Dustchland and pretty much any other European Native. On top[ of that if you are an average American who does not speak any spanish, this resort is not for you. On the beach, they never had any snorkel equiptment. They response would be " 5 minitos", an hour later they are still saying "5 minitos"! In conclusion; The Island is beautiful, the people suck, and the food sucks!!! My advice would be to bring alot of snacks, don't go to this resort, pay a few more hundred dollars and brush up on you Spanish! Good luck and I hope this helped you in your decision.
Villas, Not Very Good:(
My husband and I went to the Barcelo Villas for 7 nights from May 21st-28th with our two daughters (4 and 1) and my sister and her friend (both 19). I have been telling everyone the same thing "its the most beautiful place I have visited, but probably my worse vacation." I have a long story, but I will try to make it short.
Originally, I booked this trip back in Feb 2004 off an "early bird special" for $679 pp (not including taxes) so I thought it was great for 7 nights, but come May when my sister booked it the price dropped to $379 pp. I felt so ripped off I contacted the travel agency (Apple Vacations) but no refund offered due to not having bought travel insurance (don't know what that has to do with higher price?). Anyway, that was a sign of the bad trip ahead.
At the airport (BWI) we had a seven-hour delay on USA 3000. I am surprised to not have seen any reviews from some of the passengers but we are still trying to recuperate from the trip. Reason for the delay, no plane. It was a wasted day with no explanation from Apple Vacations and a lot of frustration from the passengers, at least we got
breakfast vouchers. Instead of arriving at breakfast we got to Punta Cana at dinner. We also had a four-hour delay on our return trip (talk about throwing salt to injury), again no plane. They gave our plane away and hoped we would get another. It was so hard at the airport with two small children. I wrote a letter to Apple Vacations consumer affairs and just got back $100 Apple Vacation gift certificates each to use on our next trip.
Punta Cana is a beautiful place. It is a very poor country, but the beach is absolutely breath-taking with 40 foot palm trees all the way down to the water. The first two days we were there the beach was extremely windy (sand going in our eyes) and the water was too cold. I thought this sucks, I came all the way here and I can't swim. Turns out the worse devastation to strike DR occurred on Monday when flooding killed thousands of people along a river bordering DR and Haiti. It was all over the news and flags flew at half-staff. After that the beach was no longer windy and the water became warm. The only thing I didn't like about Punta Cana, is that you can't leave the resort. It’s not safe. You are basically trapped if you do not do excursions. We went to Manati Park (fun shows and great animals) highly recommended. PC, is not like
Cancun where you can walk around town or take a bus and go out on your own. There is no city to visit unless you want to go to Romana or Santa Domingo (too far). You are stuck in the resort. Now, if the resort was great that would not be a problem, but this was in the states what you would call a 2 star at best. Let me start with the rooms. As you have read on previous reviews the hotel layout is narrow going away from the ocean. The Ocean Village is the closest to the ocean, than the Village and than all the way in the back (I mean all the way) is the Villas. The ones all the way in the back are 30 minutes to the beach (I timed it) but they are for the staff and not for guests. The staff works 11 days straight and goes home for 3 days. So, its about 15-20 minutes at the beginning of the Villas. If you don't mind Geckos and a long walk stay at the Villas, but we had small children so the Village worked well.
We were ready with our tip to get a better room at the Villas and to my surprise we got a room in the Village. The front desk would not accept a tip. I gave him American candy, he seemed surprised. The room seemed great, it was right in front of the Village pool (very shallow and great for small children) and directly in front of the snack bar. We always got pizza first. Our room turned out to be infested with everything possible. We started with mosquitoes, moths, biting ants and than cockroaches ranging from babies to extremely large. I threw away my husbands flip-flops b/c he killed so many and now he is mad at me b/c he liked them so much. It was really bad guys. I walked around with shoes all the time. I left our area to get away from the cicadas (17-year
locust hitting Mid-Atlantic States) and came back not afraid. I literally killed 20 bugs a day and my husband, God knows how many. The worse was when the ants crawled up to our beds (we moved the beds away from the wall) or when the extremely large cockroaches got away and we could not catch them. I had nightmares that they would crawl up on me. I told my husband about some of the reviewers stating they had bugs but, I didn't think it would be a problem and he was mad that we stayed there. My sister and her friend on the other hand did not have any bugs in there room, but a monkey outside their balcony that woke
them up at 8am every morning. The big problem was that we could not be out all day in the sun with small children and we could not stay in the
room b/c of all the bugs. By the time we finished killing everything, the next day the maid would leave the doors open while cleaning and more would get in. Believe me we never opened the balcony door and or let things in, but there were definitely some holes around the room that were letting them in. One lady told us she had a spider living in her mattress that bit her so bad she had to go to the doctor on site for injections for her swelling. They charged her $100 for each visit. Hope you get a room with no bugs. At least this experience has made me tough.
I was looking forward to the eating out everyday b/c I was tired of cooking at home and needed a break. I would have been happy with anything, but I actually was happy to be home again. I can't believe I said that, but the food was pretty bad. I never went hungry but I didn't like the selections. I ate mostly bread (tons of it on the buffet) and fruits. Please take Imodium with you; all of us (except the kids-thank goodness) got traveler's sickness. If it weren’t for Imodium we would be stuck in our room the whole time. My husband didn't say much about the food; he just didn't eat too much. The teenagers hated it and my small children ate it but pushed most things aside. My husband is from South American and I from the Middle East so we are familiar with non-American food. We love food from all over the world; it was not that, it just wasn't good. Also, the one restaurant was closed down the week we
were there for renovations so we only had three to pick from. The restaurants do not have doors and windows so the bugs get in, especially the one near the Villas. The food is directly in front of
the open space. I got to a point where I pushed the bug (still alive) off my plate and continued eating. The drinks are pretty watered down so be prepared (coke taste like coke+water and pina colada tastes as bad as the ones I make at home). I still drank them. The entertainment was great, really funny contests, but some nights it was the same and we left early. We went to the disco a couple of nights and it was okay. The staff is friendly, some too flirtatious with my sister and her friend. They
got annoying after a while. Beware of the markets on the beach, you do not get much of a bargain, just hassle. I went once and never returned, I don't like pushy people and shopped at the gift stores. My sister and her friend got a lot of stuff and some stuff for the same price I did. They give you tons of free necklaces though. Be careful buying cigars too, we got stopped at BWI. We bought DR cigars but the one cop said they were grown from the cochiba seed which is from Cuba so we have to throw them away. Than the head cop said it was okay b/c it was made in the DR. They made some lady throw away $600 of cochiba cigars.
Tips: If you can, don't bring babies or children under 2 years old, hahaha...Ours ate sand all day, didn't like eating at restaurants and didn't let us have a good time. The hotel is old and if it wasn't for the great landscaping it would not be very nice. I noticed it was the least expense hotel in the Punta Cana, so don't be surprised. Upgrade to a better hotel if you can, seriously. I agreed with most of the advice on the other reviews except tip with money not gifts. I left a different gift everyday for our maids and to other workers and they all looked at me funny. The gifts were worth more than a few dollars, but money works best for them. I would go to Punta Cana again but never, never
stay at this hotel again. On the way home, all the other passengers raved about their hotels and all of us at the Barcelo stayed quiet. I don't believe you get what you paid for b/c I paid double what other people did for the same hotel, but read reviews and check the internet before making a reservation here. We were ready to go home by the second day, but we stuck it out and we definitely had good times as well as bad times. Make the best of your trip and have fun as we tried to do!!!:)
Pretty good for the price!
We went for 3 nights June 27-30. Went for my mother's 75 b-day. had a blast 4 women in Punta Cana. Was glad to read reviews we new what to except. the hotel was clean no bugs food was ok but most of these all Inclusive are buffetts are ok. The grill at the beach was good and pizza at 3:00 was a fun snack. The drinks were good. but drank more beer than I ever have. The beaches are the best white sand and palm trees cover all. the weather and water was warm. rained once at night.
We went to lay in the sun, eat and drink we did all and had a blast. It was not a 5 or 6 star but I guess for the price i did not except it to be. We felt it was worth the money we paid. I would go back, but I like to go to different places and try different hotels.. Have stayed at a Barcelo in Mexico was nice.
We went to barcelo villas on March 26.2004.My boyfirend and I had a wonderful time. We stayed for one week. First of all, I want to immediately respond to a review from a person from Lebanon,Pa. These people
couldn.t be farther from the truth.We have traveled all over the carribean and this place wasn.t anywhere near
the way these people described it.For instance,the Dominican people are the friendlliest we have ever met.
Second of all (we actually started laughing when we read this remark) "There are armed guards with guns
and sticks that made obscene gestures at us".The only
security people were on the outskirts of the complex whose duty was only to keep non guests off the premises.These security people did nothing but smile and say ohla.We were there for one week and never had any problem getting bottled water not even once.As a matter of fact,sometimes we would go to the bar and get five waters at a time.We saw not even one bug in our room all week.To be fair,there
are a couple of things that these people had correct.The food is ok,but nothing spectular.Also there are Europeans on the beach that are topless.You know what,put on your shades,and get over it its not that big of a deal.The beach is absolutely beautiful with alot of palm trees and gorgeous white sand.This is not the fanciest resort in the world by far,but if you want a relaxing vacation
for an extremely good price this is the place. It just aggravates me when I read some of these reviews that couldn,t be farther from the truth.My advice to some people would be if your miserable and unhappy upon your departure,stay home,the resort
and its guests would greatly appreciate it!.
Sincerely a happy couple from Rhode Island
Nancy and Jay
Last year we stayed for 3 days at rui naiboa.
We decided we were willing to try a different resort for our vacation this year.
It was 7 days July 3-10 we paid total of 1502.00
for 2 people we opted for no travel ins.
I must say the evening we arrived i feared the worst i had a very negitave feeling about it mostly because we enjoy nabioa so much last year and it already was not as polished as rui naiboa was but i didnt say a word.
Bye the way i did request building 3400 or 4300 when we scheduled the trip and i called 2 days before we left and talked to ismeal at the front desk and he said he would make sure we had a great room.
when we arrived i asked for him and he gave us 3419 and i gave him 10.00.
our room was great location realated to beach, food, pool.
to sum it all up.
the beach was great :it did have sea grass and last year naiboa had clean water and clean beach so i was alittle disappointed but i got used to it.
the food in my opinion was better than naiboa.im sure people can complain about it but i thought it was fine.
the al cart was nice for a taste of america we ate there 2 of 7 evenings REMEMBER MAKE RESERVATIONS AT 12:00 FOR THAT NEXT EVENING.
THE THINGS ON THE MENU MARKED WITH AN * YOU HAD TO PAY FOR everything else is no charge.
the animation crew was really nice i enjoyed their energy they were great.
all things considered i had a great vacation at this property i was pleasently surprised.
Naiboa was more service oriented and there were more aminities there even the surroundings were nicer but i have to say for the money i have nothing bad to say about this place and if the price was right i would go back again in a heartbeat it was great.our weather was perfect
no bugs in my room no stomach trouble no funny smells.
advice: rooms in 3400 to 4400 section closer to beach
take a big mug for water or drinks
lots of sunscreen and some bug spray
dont over pack
maybe your own pillow they were lumpy
we took a float but it was too much work to keep it away from shore.
take your own good snorkel we did take our own but we bought them at walmart and they were crap
when we tried to put them on our heads they fell apart and when we tried to use some the property has they were always out.
well i guess thats it have fun
to be honest I was a little concerned reading some of the reviews leading up to my trip. my trip was from from 7/11/04- 7/17/04. I must say everything was great. At the check-in we had a bit of an extra wait (20 min.), which is something they could improve on. The room was between the large pool and the beach, which made it a quick walk to either one. The food was good, specially at the beach in the afternoon (talk about pigging out!), and also at the beach at night. The Gourmet restaurant was terrific (ac, the whole nine), and we were only charged for the wine and Lobster. The room was clean, no bugs or animals. The late afternoon pizza and hot dogs were fun and the beach was great. I was really concerned about drinking the water and getting food poisoning, but none of us got sick-or close to it. I think some people are just never happy with anything in life.
Great value, great time
My husband and I stayed here 6/5/04 -6/12/04. we had a wonderful time. I was a little apprehensive because we got a great deal. Our room was far from the action, but we liked being away from the hussle and bussle. The beach and pools are clean. The food was average, but I did not come home feeling like I gained 10 lbs, either. That was nice. Drinks were fine. My husband is not a beach person, at all, but at his suggestion, we will be returning in October. I thought we might try another property, but we were pleased here. Would I enjoy another resort twice as much ? Because we would pay about 2x to stay at RUI or Iberostar. We were happy here, and it is a great value for your money.
Has anyone been or know about IFA VILLAS BAVARO BEACH RESORT in Bavaro beach? or BARCELO PUNTA GOLETA in Cabarete, Puerto Plata? Please let me know as soon as possible if you can.
Re: has anyone?????
Please anyone do u know about these hotels?