We have to start by saying that the Dominican Republic has never really been on our list of places to visit, but we had the opportunity to travel to Punta Cana in early March as part of an incentive trip with a group of people.
WOW! That’s the best way to sum up our experience. While the people we traveled with made the trip very enjoyable, it just wouldn’t have been the same kind of trip without the amazing setting of the Iberostar Grand Bavaro Hotel.
We were glad we were part of the group, as arrival at the Punta Cana airport was a bit chaotic, but from the minute we stepped off the bus at the Grand, a fantastic adventure began. After checking in at our group’s headquarters, we were greeted by butler Mendy and escorted to our room. We were sad that we didn’t really see Mendy after that (but he did leave a note in our room one day when he was assigned to a different floor and couldn’t be there to help us)….but he gave a great “tour” of our room, explaining all the amenities available and wrote down the phone number to reach him or the other butlers who would be working in our area. We probably didn’t take enough advantage of their services!
Our room was wonderful – clean, big bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub, well-stocked refrigerator (all included and refilled daily), and it was also a “swim-up suite.” There was a private little pool that ran the span of just a few rooms, not accessible to the public pool. The only downside was that the water was colder there. But, it was still nice to have that private little space to sit out on a chaise lounge and put our toes in the water. The room had a nice-size flat-screen TV, but we didn’t turn it on all week – there was too much else to do! There was wifi access in the room – great to be able to check in at home since you want to be sure you turn off your phone’s data/roaming features when traveling so you don’t end up with a big bill!
The resort is quite large, but we didn’t mind at all the walks to the pool, beach or to meals because everything was so beautiful and clean – inside and out.
Our group functions allowed us to try the Italian and “Surf and Turf” restaurants, but during the day we took advantage of the outside seating at the buffet for breakfast and lunch. Many choices – including grilled steaks, shrimp and lobster daily at lunch. The fresh fruit was a real treat!
The pool area and the beach area of the resort are clean…plenty of lounge chairs on the beach, with servers there to help you find a seat and to bring bottled water, sodas or drinks as you relax on the sun. Guests do rise EARLY to save the tent-covered beds at the pool, so if that’s important to you, then plan to get up early. There are plenty of towels available at the pool and even a basket of shared sunscreen bottles you can use if you forget yours.
Even if it means taking a little cat-nap in the sun during the day, try to make it to the shows at night in the theater (they start at 10pm). There’s great variety with Boogie Night (70’s music), tropical music, and even a tribute to Michael Jackson (we were sorry we weren’t there that night). The Saturday night show is outdoors – appropriately called “Chill Out” night where you can just sit back and relax. And, if you’re still ready for evening fun, you can hit the “disco” in the lower level of the boat.
A special shout-out to Albemis, who worked nearly every one of our group’s social events. She was fantastic – you could tell she had great attention to detail, checking in on food, drinks and other staff. Thanks, Albemis! We feel bad we didn’t get the name of the other young lady who was a server at the receptions and was also down at the disco at times, because she was great as well. We also had lots of fun with bartenders Gerald and Bruno at the boat!
One note if you shop at the “market” along the beach….be ready to negotiate, as they will start their prices VERY high. Also, bring cash for purchases and to tip your butler and other staff – they really appreciate it.
The only thing missing from this trip is that we need the pool bartender’s recipe for his frozen Dirty Monkey drink – that was everyone’s favorite!
Thanks for an absolutely wonderful trip – we hope we can return again someday!
We had a swim-up suite, which was very unique. The water was colder than the main pool, so we did no...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
26 April 2012
Dear Guest gandm21,
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I would like to thank you for choosing Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro as the destination for your incentive trip and for taking the time to post a review about your stay.
In the name of Hotel Manager, Mr. Ricardo Dominguez and his team, I would like to express how satisfied we are to read that you had a wonderful time in our beautiful hotel premises despite the fact that you did not plan to come to our hotel. In Iberostar one of our guiding principles is to provide the best service to our beloved guests. We are honored to read that we accomplished our goal with you and your group. Your nice words motivate us to keep doing our good work.
We hope to welcome you back again, please contact us before your arrival.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC