If your daily schedule looks anything like mine, you probably don’t take enough time to sit back and relax. Even when traveling, I find myself overwhelmed with planning transportation, food, hotels, and tours. After experiencing my first all-inclusive resort, I’m ready to start vacationing this way more often! Initially, I thought that all-inclusives weren’t for me. However, I now realize that these resorts offer the best option for those looking to destress. For the perfect introduction to Caribbean all-inclusive resorts, I decided to visit the Barcelo Bávaro Grand in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. In this post, I’ll be reviewing this property as well as explaining the advantages of staying with Barceló.
Barceló Bávaro Grand Resort
Barceló Bávaro Grand Resort comprises one of the most significant all-inclusive properties in the Caribbean. To put this into perspective, it covers over two miles of beach and is divided into two hotels: Barceló Bávaro Palace and Barceló Bávaro Beach– Adults Only. I stayed at Barceló Bávaro Palace in one of the premium level junior suites (more on this later). The resort also includes a shopping area, spa, entertainment theater, casino, discotheque, four pools, and an array of dining options. To reach the resort, you’ll fly into the Punta Cana airport (PUJ). Upon arriving, it only takes about a 15-minute drive to the property. You can book your stay with transportation included. If you choose not to do this, you can easily catch a taxi at the airport or hire a cab through Barceló Vacaciones at the resort.
Dining & sunbathing options
Barceló Bávaro Palace boasts eleven restaurants, while Bávaro Beach offers four restaurants and two bars. Adults staying at Bávaro Palace can take advantage of Bávaro Beach restaurants and other amenities and vice versa. Nonetheless, be aware that many of these establishments require reservations and formal attire. I recommend making all reservations when you check-in, as availability varies. For example, the most popular options are often booked up days in advance. During my stay, my favorite dining spots became El Coral Restaurant and Kyoto Japanese restaurant & sushi bar. Before booking your rooms, make sure to look into the premium level. Premium level guests have access to certain exclusive restaurants and unlimited dinners. Furthermore, they can make dining reservations before arriving at the hotel by emailing [email protected]. I’ll be going into the full details of the premium perks later in this post.
Your sunbathing choices at Barceló Bávaro range from a variety of pools to the beach. No matter who you’re traveling with, this resort has an ideal spot for everyone. For me, that was at the Adults Only pool in the Palace section with a book in one hand and a piña colada in the other. Did I forget to mention that cocktails are included? During high season, the pool and beach chairs can fill up quickly. So, you may want to consider claiming a chair in the morning if you’d like to sit in a popular spot. If visiting with children, I recommend the kids’ pool by the Bohio Dominicano buffet. If traveling with a group of adult friends, I’d go to the primary adults-only pool near Bávaro Beach. This area even includes a swim-up bar!
So, what exactly is included during my stay?
Before I show you my room, let’s detail the items and activities that are included in your stay. I want to make sure that I don’t forget to mention any of the all-inclusive items. So, here is the list directly from the Barceló Bávaro Palace website:
- Complete Meals Including Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Daily
- Dining Options Include Buffet or A la Carte
- Unlimited Domestic Drinks, Wine by the Glass Served with Lunch and Dinner
- Daily Snacks
- Free Entrance to Discos (drinks included)
- Non-Motorized Water Sports Including Kayaks, Windsurfing (standard boards only), Sailing with Sunfish or Aqua Fin Boats, Snorkeling and Pedal Boats
- Day and Night Tennis
- Kids Club for Children Ages 5-12
- Free Entrance to Gran Bavaro Theater
- Transportation Within Complex by Shuttle Train
- Daily Activities and Nightly Entertainment
- All Current Hotel Taxes, Gratuities and Service Charges are also Included
Personally, my favorite activity had to be the afternoon dance and Zumba classes. There, we learned how to dance merengue on the beach with a Dominican teacher. When you arrive, you’ll see the full schedule of Barceló activities posted around the property to ensure that you don’t miss anything! In the evening, I’d urge you to drop by the complimentary shows at the Gran Bávaro Theater after dinner. This would make for a great experience in your family or with your partner.
The premium level at Barceló Bávaro Grand Resort
As mentioned previously, I stayed in a premium level junior suite a the Barceló Bávaro Grand. So, why is this better than a regular room? Even beginning at check-in, upgrading to the premium levels makes a huge difference. You’re offered a much quicker check-in in the exclusive premium level lounge. There, you can sip a cocktail of your choice and snack on delicious finger sandwiches while you wait for your room to be ready. In general, paying for a premium level room means that you’ll have access to more personalized services.
According to the Barceló Bávaro Palace website, this means you’ll obtain:
- VIP room service 24 hours a day.
- Bottle of rum upon arrival
- Pillow menu
- Aromatherapy menu
- Exclusive toiletries and minibar
- Courtesy service
- Towels for the pool in the room
- Free Wi-Fi in the suites
- Express laundry service at no charge
- Exclusive Director’s cocktail (once a week)
- Free entrance to Pirates’ Island water park
- Souvenir shop and gift for children under 12 years old
- Access to all facilities and services of Barceló Bávaro Beach (ages 18+ only)
- Free and unlimited consumption at the à la carte restaurants
- Priority in restaurant reservations, golf, spa, massages at the beach, private dinners, meeting rooms, and excursions
- Access to the U-Spa hydromassage area
- 10% off services at the U-Spa
- Possibility of making restaurant reservations before arrival or by calling the hotel directly
- Unlimited restaurant reservations during your entire stay (subject to availability)
I used my premium level perks multiple times, including dining at La Comedie French Restaurant and other exclusive restaurants, going to the complimentary hydrotherapy room at the spa, and of course, using the free wifi in the room. In my opinion, the upgrade to premium was worth it.
Premium level junior suite
The premium level junior suite was extremely spacious, with a king-sized bed and views of the gardens/pools. In a place as humid as Punta Cana, you’ll be happy to hear that the air conditioning was fully-functioning and kept us cool all day. Moreover, my favorite part of the room had to be the rain effect shower. I also enjoyed having the complimentary snack bar in the room! Don’t forget, if you stay on the premium level, you have free room service. If you don’t feel like getting out of bed in the morning for breakfast, no worries, call down with your order.
In a resort as big as Barceló Bávaro Grand, it was also really lovely to be so close to both the pool and beach. I noticed that other buildings would’ve involved a long haul back if you got to the beach and then realized you had forgotten something. After being out in the sun all day, come back to your room and hop in the jacuzzi. Many rooms have your own personal jacuzzi on the balcony!
I hope you enjoyed my review of the Barceló Bávaro Grand Resort in Punta Cana. If you have any specific questions regarding the resort or my stay, please drop them in the comments. I will get back to you as soon as possible.