For spring break my mom treated me with a trip to the beach of my choosing with my mom, her best friend, and her daughter. After a lot of research and reviews from friends, we decided on the Dominican Republic. Instead of staying in Punta Cana, we decided to go off the beaten path a little bit and spend our time at the Barcelo Bavaro Palace all-inclusive resort in Bavaria Beach. Bavaro is about 20 minutes outside of Punta Cana so it was the perfect distance. The weather was also incredible! It doesn’t get above 85 degrees all year long and to top it off there is always a nice breeze. Now that’s my kind of beach weather!
Resort & Amenities
This was our first experience at an all-inclusive resort
and we learned a lot. Overall we had a fabulous stay and enjoyed every second by the pool, but we learned that all-inclusive just isn’t for us.
Here are a few pros and cons of our experience:
- Food quality
- Restaurants are reservation only
- Cannot book dining reservations until you arrive on property
- Drink Quality
- Restaurants are only open during dinner – breakfast and lunch only served at buffets
- All inclusive: restaurants and drinks
- Wide variety of cuisine: Japanese, Italian, French, Spanish, Mexican, American, Steakhouse, Seafood
- 24hr buffet
- AMAZING pools in addition to the beach
- Children’s pool: has bar so the parents can enjoy themselves too
- Adults only pool
- Activities during the day: zumba, water aerobics
- Spectacular gym and spa
We spent all but one day at the pool because one of us has an allergic to salt water, but because it was so nice, I didn’t really miss the beach too much! When we wanted to see the beach we took a stroll and got our steps in to balance out all of the buffet eating we were doing. There were multiple pools which created plenty of space for so many resort guests considering it was spring break. Each pool had its own bar, even the kiddie pool, because lets be real the adults need to enjoy themselves too. The larger pools had chairs in the water which were perfect for lounging and reading a book while staying cool on those sunnier days.The onsite spa was beautiful and included a ton of fabulous amenities, but we just could not find enough time to stop in and enjoy any of the services.The resort also included many stores, we liked to call it the stationary cruise because it had all of the empties as a cruise, but we stayed in one place.
Each day there were photographers that came around with a monkey and a parrot that you could pay to have your photo taken with. Definitely expensive so wouldn’t totally recommend, but tbh the pics were too cute not to buy.
The view from the 3rd Floor. Two of the Hotel restaurants have this view and eating outside was fabulous.
Drinks at the karey bar
Dessert @ La Fuente: Spanish restaurante onsite
The most amazing bread, butter and warm olives @ La Fuente
Although our dining was included in our resort fee, we are the kind of people that like to go into town and explore the local restaurants. This is one of the reasons all-inclusive wasn’t a good fit for us because it did not save us much money. The restaurants we tried were not only delicious but the ambiance and view were the cherry on top. Both times we spend about 4 hours just chatting and enjoying the atmosphere because it was so blissful.
The restaurants onsite were alright. The only one that really impressed us was the Spanish tapas restaurant. The food was incredible and since it was tapas we all got to have a taste of everything. I think this meal was the best quality probably because it’s native to their country. The buffet was surprising. we ate breakfast and lunch there each day and never got tired of it because each day there was a different theme with tons of choices.
- Steak & Seafood
- Views & Ambiance
- Fine dining
Pop tip: Get the House cocktail & have a mini photoshoot, the scenery makes for great pictures
- Quick & easy
Pop Tip: Try anything with the freshly made passion fruit juice
- Views & Ambiance
- Wonderful staff that speaks good english
Pop Tip: They have a great wine selection & frozen drinks
On the trip we went on two very different excursions. The first was a very relaxing spa day where we boarded a yacht where we started our with a morning stretch followed by 3 different types of massages (aromatic, exfoliating, and deep tissue). I would highly recommend the Doctor Fish Spa half day experience to all my ladies lookin to give them selves a little love while visiting the Dominican.
Our second excursion was quite the adventure. We had a blast! It was a full day trip and honestly we were a little skeptical once we hopped on the shuttle we realized we weren’t sure what we had gotten ourselves into… we may or may not have gotten excited and booked the excursion when we had been a little into the wine.
The drive was a little long but we really got to see the city and what living is like there. we were so surprised when wearrived to La Hacienda. We did 4 different activities: zipline, a safari, dune buggy, and horseback riding. Our tour guide, Kelvin, really made the day even better. He kept our group laughing and did his best to make our experience memorable.
The downside was that you weren’t able to take your phone or camera on some of the events so for me that was a bummer BUT they had a photographer that went everywhere with you to capture each moment, although you have to pay for the disc, it’s well worth it. Our tradition for our annual mother daughter trip is to explore a new, most of the time tropical, place. We really laid back, relaxed, and enjoyed our time together in Bavaro. Came back to our 4th nor’easter in NYC, but at least I am enjoying my snow day with a nice tan!
Our friends went in with low expectations of this ultra-low-cost carrier as their only option to get to Punta Cana during the peak in Spring Break prices. In the end they came out with high satisfaction!
- On time
- Very inexpensive fair
- Extremely friendly and efficient staff
- Only flies out of major cities
- Seats do not recline
- Limited direct flights
ALWAYS look at the pictures the photographer has taken and consider buying the dvd. It may seem a little pricey sometimes, but you’re normally getting a ton of pictures and when traveling in a group you can all split the cost. We were so happy we purchased the dvd from the second excursion we went on so that we could save our adventurous memories forever!