Too big. Nothing special to make me go back there. My biggest problem was not having a phone in the room. The staff was nice and polite, they speak English. The environment is beautiful. The night show very beautiful.
We had a shorter stay in this fantastic hotel, next time we will plan more time here. It was a very nice experience, all the staff was very friendly and really transfered the dominican way of life. The rooms were clean and had enough space for our family.
We spent 12 days at the Grand Palladium Bavaro in a Romance Suite (Villa 25, Room 1254, ground floor) in late January and here is our take on this resort. Check In – We got there at 3PM and had no issues checking in. They had 4 receptionists and we walked up to one right away, but I have to admit our transportation was in a small bus with only 2 other couples staying at our complex. Check-in might have been much less efficient if we had come in with a large group on a ‘huge’ bus like we saw at the airport. We were not pressured to check out their timeshare program – only one person asked. We said we were not interested and that was it. We would rate check-in at 10 out of 10. Room - Ours was in the "oldest" complex of the four (found out later this complex was called the Fiesta Bavaro in the past) but it was in good working condition, close to the beach and pool, and with a nice garden view. We had a basic single-person-sized basic shower and a two-person jacuzzi in a large bathroom, plus another shower and a hammock in an attached room that was "open" to the outside (thatched roof with hole in center of the roof for light, tightly arranged, angled wooden slats on two walls to allow some light/air entry yet maintained privacy, brick wall on the third side). This outer room had no entrance except from the bathroom. We had acceptable water pressure, hot water, a very comfortable king bed with 3 large pillows, a TV, safe, mini-fridge and small balcony. There was also a large open area next to the bed with a smaller, vinyl-ish couch, table and chair that we never used, but the couch could possibly serve as a sleeping area for children. We found the room very satisfactory with some minor issues – the bottom drawer in the main closet could not be opened as it hit the sliding door frame (bad design), the indoor shower ledge sloped outward so water always soaked the floor (and towels we placed there to catch it), the TV was set to “DEMO” mode so watching something was distracting as it toggled through various features (fixed it myself the second day with a quick internet search) and the mini-fridge was just sporadically restocked the first few days. Our room faced East so we had abundant light during the morning and afternoon hours and enjoyed sitting on the patio in comfortable chairs (we did not have any issue with bugs during the day or night). Maid service was excellent. We would rate the room 9 out of 10. Food – We found the main buffet restaurants to be either good or very good. The best was Las Torres – it appeared to be the newest one but it was the furthest away from our room. The variety was amazing—lots of fresh fruits and salads, fruit juices, breads, meats, eggs, and pastries/desserts. The desserts were gorgeous but not always very flavorful. Crepes made on the spot were great. Our least favorite was the Xtra Time Sports Bar - the only place open 24 hours (food that was not very warm, limited selection, not the best service). We often ate at the Arrecife for lunch (which was very close to our room and the beach) and the La Catedral for breakfast (which had a screened-in outside eating area that we used all the time). The Arrecife had a separate BBQ area which we really enjoyed (and had a separate rear entrance from the beach so we were able to bypass a sometimes-long line in front for seating). As for the à la carte establishments, the El Dorado and La Paisana were great (if you love steak), while the others were all good with caveats: some had wait staff that did not understand English very well, and we had confusion at multiple places about what we needed to order versus what was available at the “salad bar”. The Indian food at Boghali had little spice, and we had hardly any time for starters before the main meal arrived. Bamboo had a limited menu (great sushi) but again communication was difficult. La Lola was supposed to serve tapas, but the portions (except for tiny soups) were larger than we were told and we wasted food during our first visit. The worst was Sumptuori - the seating process was chaotic, and we had language and ordering issues. Food was plentiful (everyone could get steak and chicken and shrimp because the cook made it all at once), but it was not up to the standards of the Japanese steakhouses we have been to. We ate at all the à la carte restaurants available to us at least once, and never had any issue getting reservations, but we did go directly to Guest Services for reservations when we could not make them on the app (3/4 of the time). We would rate the MAIN buffet places 7.5 out of 10 and the à la carte places 9 of 10 (removing Sumptuori from the calculation). We never felt the food was improperly prepared at any restaurant and never felt ill. Grounds – As with many all-inclusive places they had very beautiful grounds with walking paths and signs to all major attractions. This however didn’t prevent us from getting lost or going the least-effective way. We did use the ‘train’ (they had 3) multiple times but for the most part walked. The fit-bit showed 20K steps a day on average, but we are very active people (used the gym, tennis courts, volleyball court, pool, went to multiple activities, etc). What was disappointing was the walkway lights – a LARGE number were either damaged or in some cases, missing, and you could see the power wires right next to where you walk, which was disturbing. This gave us the perception of maintenance at a 1 star motel, not a resort of this caliber. Some of the walkways were also in need of minor repair. These items took a big hit in the scoring – 6 out of 10. In most cases however, the safety of the actual walkways was not compromised, and the main ones did have a thatch roof covering that would provide some protection from rain. Pools – we pretty much stayed at one pool - a smaller one close to the ocean at the center complex close to the snack bar La Uva. We had no issue getting a chair in the morning up to 10AM, even ones with “shade”. Between 10AM and 2PM, you did have to hunt for one, but there was always some available somewhere. They had a LOT of chairs. The big disappointment - bars didn’t open until 10AM (wanted water – nothing was available). This should be corrected with the ability to get something to drink before 10AM (auto-dispenser for water, ice and pop) for people who like to get up to see the sunrise, walk the beach or play a sport. The pools were in good to very good condition, although the main pool at the Bavaro showed its age with some tiles missing on the floor and walls. All had swim up bars, but we never used that option – only went to the ‘walk up’ side. The wait was brief, and there was also a ‘server’ who walked around the pool continuously and asked if we wanted something, which was nice if you didn’t mind waiting 5-10 minutes for his return. Sometimes they played music way too loud and we would move or leave. Pools were never overcrowded. The pool by the Behique was very large with a walk-in ramp; it was the site of many activities. There is a sudden incline at one point at which you are bound to get wet (sometimes a surprise). Just watch your step on any marble floor close to the pool—they were very slippery when wet. Pool score: 8.5 out of 10 Beach – Every morning we saw a tractor removing seaweed and ‘raking’ the sand. And since this place is actually 4 complexes, you could walk the beach a long way and still be on ‘your’ property. There were no rocks or steep / unforeseen drop offs anywhere I swam in the ocean by our complex. We had no issues finding a chair, again if before 10AM. Between 10AM and 3PM, we sometimes had to hunt, but usually found something. As with the pool area, they had lots of chairs available. The ocean did have a swimming area that was roped off with lifeguards. We did see an area where water erosion damaged a portion of the La Uva outdoor seating area and were surprised that all they did was rope it off – it looked as if it could collapse at any moment and wondered why they didn’t fix it. We were very seldom bothered by ‘vendors’. Given what they could control, 9 out of 10 is the score here. Shows – They had a show every night. The best one was on a Thursday – it was beach party (on the beach) with bar, live DJ, some short performances (that should have been up on stage instead of ground level) and a lot of fun. The others were in the theatre and were fair (lots of dancing/acrobatics, with of different genres background music) with repeats every week. They not “Broadway quality” performances but good for local performers, and the magic show was quite enjoyable. I’d say 7.5 out of 10 (with the beach party a definite must-see). There was other night life —they did have karaoke (so much fun!) and some music by the theatre before or after the shows—but live lobby performers were so-so (and the music was again very loud.) Activities – We enjoyed doing a morning stretch every morning at 10AM—quality depended on the teacher, but a great way to start the day. I played beach volleyball twice, sometimes three times a day (on a tight court by the ocean, so always with a strong wind which made it challenging), while the wife did pool activities (water aerobics with bikes or foam weights), dance classes, “drum fitness” and step (the latter two a little disappointing). They also had various games on the beach such as water balloon toss, a bubble machine ‘party’, dart contest, waiter-drink-delivery contest, soccer-kicking evernt and stationary biking. There were live DJs at various times at different pools. The only thing missing was a ‘more encouraging’ staff – other places we have been to had staff that actively recruited folks to participate in activities (going around the pool or going to get folks up and taking part in whatever was going on). It was much more laid-back here (although recruitment was more animated for pool activities). They also had 6 tennis courts, a miniature golf course, a large lit soccer field, multiple basketball courts, badminton courts (sand), handball courts, an archery range and another sand volleyball court at the outdoor sports complex. We used the tennis courts multiple times – only 2 were in good shape (most had cracks, dips and even small holes in the playing surface). Three were brightly lit at night (no charge) until 8PM but the biggest issue was sun angle for morning play – we ended up getting there at 7:15 AM (sunrise) and playing to only 8AM (when the sun rose above the tree line and blinded the person on the west side of the court). The tennis courts were fine after about 10AM but we wanted to do other things at that time. Based on all the above, 7.5 out of 10 is the score here. Check out – We had a 12:20 pickup for the airport and asked for a slightly later check out. There was no problem. We called at 11:45AM to have our bags moved to the lobby – they were there in less than 10 minutes to get them. We walked up to an empty desk at 12:10PM with 3 receptionists, one of which processed us out in less than 5 minutes. No issues with the bill and they were very cordial. 10 out of 10 for sure. So, what’s the bottom line? Despite a number of bad reviews we read, we found the Grand Palladium Bavaro, at least for us, with our specific room and booking in late January to be a very nice place to stay. Ironically, we actually stayed here before ~20 years ago when it was called the Fiesta Bavaro – we didn’t know it when we booked this place (through Apple Vacations). And we received no special compensation for staying here – we chose it based on the majority of good reviews and pictures. We would/will definitely consider coming back to this resort - it was the 6th time we have vacationed in Punta Cana and have enjoyed the weather, people and resorts we stayed at, including this one. While it may not be the top-rated, we felt we had a great vacation for the price we paid.…
3 days into our trip and 2 days of no hot water after paying to upgrade our room to the romance suite. Also, the TV was smashed. Staff has been notified multiple times, yet nothing has been repaired. Very unimpressed..
We knew going in it was a large resort. The grounds are beautiful and clean, it’s very pretty. The staff are all lovely. The food in the buffet is not great, but you can always find something. The Argentinian, Steak and Japanese restaurants were good, and a welcome change. The rooms are outdated, but whatever, we only slept in there. The bathroom design is gross. I like privacy, and there is none. It’s one big room with a toilet in a stall with a frosted glass door, same with the shower. It’s just weird. We loved the beach, but you need to go early to get a palpala. I think the thing that really chapped my bottom were the rude and pushy people in the resort. A woman literally took the ketchup bottle out of my sons hands, people pushing to get in front of you at the buffet, a lot of people who clearly think they’re above everyone else. I found near the end of our trip that the Canadian in me had enough and my elbows went up. I would have given it a five had the food been better. All in all, it was good family time.…
Large site with many pools and restaurants. Allows to vary activities. Have to learn how to move around on the site. Many paths to discover. Train and carts available if you can't walk. Service was generally slow, have to be patient.
This resort is amazing. We are here now looking at the lovely view of the pool( out of about 7) it’s so hot and lovely here, the staff are so kind and keep on making us lovely drinks, they are really friendly, shout out to raul, Franklin, Carlos they NEED a promotion as they are so friendly, probably will meet more staff along the way but so far these people deserve a promotion. The pools are lovely and all have swim up bars and hammocks, the beach is stunning and the restaurants are worth the travel and money. You need to go there.
it feels like home and the people are very nice! the place is very good, the food always great and the chic cabaret is awsome. the service at the travel club isn't good as before, but everywhere else is perfect.
It’s fine if you’re looking for a basic place to take the kids that isn’t too expensive. And I’m aware That most all inclusive resorts have below average food and watered down drinks, but this just felt lower value than most. The Bamboo restaurant food was so bad we decided to go off resort for dinner the next night. The Catedral buffet for breakfast and dinner was ok, just wished they’d put allergens on the food cards so you can see what’s in there. They ask you for your food allergies every time you walk into one of the restaurants but do absolutely nothing with the information. Our room had standing water pooling in a crack in front of the door, and the bathroom door to the toilet wouldn’t close because the glass didn’t fit into the configuration of the stall. The shower door also didn’t close so water got on the floor everywhere as a result. There was no do not disturb card to put on the door so the maids just kept knocking and trying to enter all morning and were only stopped from completely barging in multiple times because I’d put the lock chain on there. That said, The property was nice, the staff was generally friendly, and it’s probably not a bad place to take the kids for the pool and beach to babysit them. I think it was just a little more basic than I was expecting. …
If you want a dated room and horrible customer service, this is the spot for you. The staff are unpleasant at best and don't give a flying doo doo about you or the experience of your stay. As a note, if you book a room with a king bed or a suite with a pool or any of their special rooms, there is no guarantee you will get that room so really, you are just paying for a spot to stay at the resort, might as well bring a sleeping bag with you and sleep in the lobby. Food is OK. Make sure you bring a ton of cash with you because literally the only way to get baseline customer service is to tip everybody. Oh, if you speak Spanish, they also care about you more but if not, they literally don't give a crap. I will be sticking with Sandals resorts moving forward.