We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Punta Cana AO AI insight please

3 posts
Save Topic
Punta Cana AO AI insight please

I'm trying to plan a 50th birthday/25th anniversary trip for 2/22-27/2014. Nashville isn't the easiest place to fly out of, so we've crossed Turks & Caicos, Antiqua and St. Lucia off the list; Punta Cana and Jamaica are the "most convenient" to get to. We're looking for adults only (or a resort where kids aren't rampant) that's all inclusive. I've spent a lot of time looking & every time I think I've figured it out, I read something that changes my mind.

Budget: up to $4000. Golf is good but not necessary. Calm, beautiful beach is a must. While we will drink, we won't have a cow if they have Absolute vodka and not Grey Goose. I like a swim up bar. My husband would prefer not to have to wear closed toed shoes & long pants for dinner. I'm uncomfortable with the idea of a personal butler, but would consider it. We've been to 2 AI's before (Hilton Rose Hall in Jamaica and Barcelo Riviera Maya) so we know what to expect from the general AI food vibe. We're probably not going to be up past 11pm, but don't want it to shut down at 8pm either. We'll snorkel, but not scuba. If there's paddleboarding or yoga, I'll join in, but that's probably the most active I'll be besides walking. And I'll probably use the spa once or twice.

In Punta Cana: I had it narrowed down to Majestic Elegance, Grand Palladium Bavaro Suites, Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro, and Barcelo Bavaro Beach Royal (leaning towards Iberostar Grand or Barcelo Bavaro) but then started reading about the issues with vendors on the beaches, as well as language issues/rudeness of staff across the resorts. Most of the staff in Riviera Maya spoke Spanish, but it wasn't an issue (we have some rudimentary Spanish skills) and the staff was all very friendly. I absolutely understand we'll be guests in a foreign country, so I don't expect English, but I would expect courteousness.

I liked Jamaica the two times we were there, but we wanted to try somewhere new, and we thought Punta Cana might give us more for our money. But Jamaica seems like it might be less stressful.

By last night, I was ready to throw the towel in and look at places in Sedona :) Any insights would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Mentioned in this post
Nashville
Nashville
Davidson County, TN
St. Lucia
St. Lucia
Caribbean
Punta Cana
Punta Cana
Dominican Republic
Jamaica
Jamaica
Caribbean
Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa
Hilton Rose Hall Resort...
3,747 Reviews
Jamaica
Barcelo Bavaro Palace
Barcelo Bavaro Palace
16,574 Reviews
Dominican Republic
Riviera Maya
Riviera Maya
Quintana Roo, Mexico
Majestic Elegance Punta Cana
Majestic Elegance Punta...
16,809 Reviews
Dominican Republic
Grand Palladium Bavaro Suites Resort & Spa
Grand Palladium Bavaro...
10,443 Reviews
Dominican Republic
Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro
Iberostar Grand Hotel...
10,806 Reviews
Dominican Republic
Barcelo Bavaro Beach - Adults Only
Barcelo Bavaro Beach...
8,839 Reviews
Dominican Republic
North Truro...
Level Contributor
8,660 posts
33 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Punta Cana AO AI insight please

Barcelo is on one end of the spectrum and Iberostar Grand is on the other.

Have done Barcelo Palace in PC and I can tell you they are not in the same league. Headed to the IGB for my 6th visit.

Good luck with your decision. At the Grand, you can wear open sandals and shorts for dinner at the buffet any night. They DO serve Grey Goose, Don Julio, Remy Martin, Bombay Sapphire, and a lovely list of included wines.

Mentioned in this post
Barcelo Bavaro Palace
Barcelo Bavaro Palace
16,574 Reviews
Dominican Republic
Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro
Iberostar Grand Hotel...
10,806 Reviews
Dominican Republic
Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
14,700 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Punta Cana AO AI insight please

Also at the Iberostar Grand, golf is included.

You mentioned vendors, beach vendors are not allowed to approach you on the beach here while you're lounging.

Mentioned in this post
Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro
Iberostar Grand Hotel...
10,806 Reviews
Dominican Republic
Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Punta Cana
Level Contributor
10,270 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Punta Cana AO AI insight please

I agree with Oceangirl: Barcelo Bavaro (and the others you listed) are not in the same league as Iberostar Grand Bavaro, and it's reflected in the price. Majestic Elegance has a Club section, which is adult only, but it's less standalone than most, sharing many of the facilities with the rest of the resort. Grand Palladium is very much a family resort, unless you stay at Royal Suites Turquesa, which also shares many of the facilities with the sister resorts.

Beach vendors are more prevalent all along the beaches in the Bavaro area (Bavaro Beach, El Cortecito, Arena Gorda). I think the largest beach vendor complex in the entire region is beside Barcelo Bavaro. To minimize or eliminate beach vendors, you need to go north to Uvero Alto, or south to Punta Cana, and Cap Cana. The waters are calm down there to the south, and rough in Uvero Alto, except at Zoetry.

Zoetry is a very nice, small, boutique resort. Not a lot of entertainment, but you can go to Dreams Punta Cana, or Breathless, a short cab ride away if you want to enjoy some more lively entertainment. Zoetry is not adult only, but you won't find a lot of kids there. Sanctuary Cap Cana is another small resort (bigger than Zoetry). It's a beautiful resort. It's not adult only but like Zoetry, you won't find many kids there.

Mark

Mentioned in this post
Barcelo Bavaro Palace
Barcelo Bavaro Palace
16,574 Reviews
Dominican Republic
Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro
Iberostar Grand Hotel...
10,806 Reviews
Dominican Republic
Majestic Elegance Punta Cana
Majestic Elegance Punta...
16,809 Reviews
Dominican Republic
Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa
Grand Palladium Punta...
8,264 Reviews
Dominican Republic
Bavaro
Bavaro
Dominican Republic
Bavaro Beach
Bavaro Beach
17,323 Reviews
Dominican Republic
Arena Gorda Beach
Arena Gorda Beach
171 Reviews
Dominican Republic
Uvero Alto
Uvero Alto
Dominican Republic
Punta Cana
Punta Cana
Dominican Republic
Sanctuary Cap Cana by Playa Hotels & Resorts
Sanctuary Cap Cana by...
5,159 Reviews
Dominican Republic
Zoetry Agua Punta Cana
Zoetry Agua Punta Cana
4,630 Reviews
Dominican Republic
Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa
Breathless Punta Cana...
10,890 Reviews
Dominican Republic
Cornwall, Canada
Level Contributor
4,007 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Punta Cana AO AI insight please

I too would suggest Zoetry - sounds like it might fit what you are looking for, unless you prefer the busier, larger resorts - with the new rooms being added, they will still only offer a little over 90 rooms. No butlers, but incredible staff and very personalized service. We stayed there last year for honeymoon and returning in July. Gorgeous tropical oasis, in our opinion - very swimmable, calm beach with no foot traffic to speak of as the neigbouring resorts are about a kilometer away on either side - no boat traffic at all either. It's about an hour from the airport until new highway is finished, but we loved that it was so remote - of course taxis and excursions are all still readily available should you wish to venture out.

Entertainment was lobby bar in the evenings, and was really what you make of it - I hear this may change slightly with addition of new areas to be completed at the end of this month. No buffets, all a la carte restaurants, and the food in our opinion, was excellent - no reservations required. Great place and we are very excited to be returning!

Good luck with your search - enjoy your trip :D

Mentioned in this post
Zoetry Agua Punta Cana
Zoetry Agua Punta Cana
4,630 Reviews
Dominican Republic
5. Re: Punta Cana AO AI insight please

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 12 November 2014, 05:19