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Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro
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Reviews (10,802)
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Reviewed 8 July 2014

Overall we really enjoyed this hotel and what they had to offer. We were a group of seven couples and the hotel succeeded in their efforts to accommodate us. They arranged ocean view rooms near each other. Each day they had a large table set for us to have lunch together and each night they had tables set up for us in their specialty restaurants. One night they even had a table set up for us outside so that those who wanted to order from the Gourmet Restaurant could do so, while others chose to eat from the buffet. The food is very good for an all inclusive resort and if you didn't like something or wanted it a little different, they would accommodate you. If you think your dinners will all be like eating in a five star Manhattan restaurant, you will be disappointed, and you shouldn't go to an all inclusive resort in the first place.

The resort is very pretty. The rooms are spacious and well appointed. The beach and pool areas couldn't be better. What we really liked was the fact that there were always places to sit (sun or shade) at the beach or pool. No need to get up in the middle of the night to reserve your favorite spot. The hotel was 82% occupancy and it felt like it was 25% full.

The whole staff was extremely warm, gracious, friendly and fun to be around. We did tip generously, but I really think that they were genuinely nice even without this. The only exception was the guy selling cigars. He was so pushy that when we told him that we didn't want them, he had the nerve to ask us to buy cigars anyway to help support his family and he wasn't kidding and wouldn't let up. We probably should have complained. Perhaps the manager will read this review.

Two small complaints - I hate to sound like "the ugly American" who thinks everyone should speak excellent English and for the most part this wasn't a problem. But, the night we ate in the Japanese Restaurant there wasn't one person in the whole place who could adequately explain how to order from the menu. Many of us ended up with the wrong food. Second, the towels rolled into shapes of animals on the bed is a cute touch, but it really is ridiculous to spread tiny flower petals all over the bed. If you wanted to lie on the bed in the afternoon to relax, it took 10-15 minutes to clean off the bed.

Buyer Beware - Although there are water sports mentioned on the web site, they are not included in the package and you need to book these yourself when you arrive.

I am writing these small complaints so that other potential guests know what they are in store for. All 14 of us really liked the place and would certainly consider going to another Iberostar hotel at the Grand (five star) level.

Bruce L.

Room Tip: Get a water view.
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
8  Thank Bruce L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2014 via mobile

I am not one to typically comment on something like this but I just returned home from the Iberostar Grand Bavaro with my wife on our honeymoon and it was simply amazing. I can't think of any way it could have been any better and we will certainly be back soon.

  • Stayed: July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Robert W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2014

This place was awesome and we loved it. We celebrated our 20th anniversary and normally are very active on our vacations. We never left the resort the entire time except to go on beach walks. This was different for us but is what made it great.

Plenty of great beach seats to which we did get up early to secure a good spot but really there are great spots all day long. Lunch and Breakfast buffets were great. We would move to the pool in the afternoon until 6 then got ready for dinner. We enjoyed all the specialty dining but our favorite was Japanese. We made our reservations when we arrived and you do have to follow there reservation system. But we were always seated promptly and served quickly. Maybe if they allow them to be constantly full our experience would have slower and not as amazing. We never did a show because we were having so much fun just hanging around the property.

Some highlights: spa, carpet walk, volleyball, sitting at beach, ping pong, World Cup watching, bingo, coconut throw, darts, sitting on pool seat at infinity area, meeting nice guests from all over, and the amazing staff to name a few.

I do wish they would print the activities daily so you could plan your day but the Grand is different and more quiet than Bavaro. To us though that made it special. You can easily walk down the beach for more action.

Highly recommend

Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
4  Thank Dawg89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2014

Not a 5 Star that's for sure! The food is terrible, everything was broken in the room, don't ask anything to the room service you won't get anything, nobody speak English! We had exactly 45 min to eat because the table was reserved right after us.....There's nothing to do at all!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
6  Thank Chanelle M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2014

First time travelling to Punta Cana from 11- 25th June 2014, flew with Thomson on the Dreamliner was an excellent flight. We have been to the Iberostar Brand 5 times and twice to the Grand in Jamaica.

Arrival
As soon as you get off your transportation you are amazed by the beautiful hotel we have stayed at the IBGRH and it fades in comparison. Check in was prompt only waiting about 5 mins as Freslin (sp) inquired about an internal view room which we received.

We were in room 7386 which was above the a la carte restaurants and overlooking the ship, best location for easy access to everything. The room was a good size, a little disappointed as it was smaller than the IBGRH room, plus we also prefer the layout there. None the less the room was still excellent for a 2 week stay.

The butler Mendy gave us an intro to the resort and its amenities. I recommend booking the al a carte restaurants before arrival to avoid disappointment we did this 7days before our arrival and when Mendy did our introduction he had our reservation slips to hand. When booking via email they will not confirm your reservation as it’s subject to the restaurant being open but we got all our reservations.

We had an initial problem with our TV it wouldn’t actually switch on and also our wi fi was a bit spotty however when we contacted Mendy and it was promptly fixed. We found the butler service to be excellent however we are not demanding people so didn’t use it as often as others. The service was so good that once the butler saw my husband walking to the ice machine he said why didn’t we call him to fetch it as we are on holiday, we just laughed as it was only across the corridor from our room.

Breakfast

Most mornings we had our breakfast in the Buffet restaurant which was excellent with a lot of options, I always had an omelette which was always good and they are willing to customise it however you which. Make sure your get the salsa on your egg, being British I have never had this but was blown away by how nice it was. The Buffet can get repetitive especially on a 14day stay but they do provide a wide range of options. You can order offer an al a carte menu but we prefer the buffet.

We ordered room service for breakfast one morning but although it arrived prompt and hot we prefer the choices available from the breakfast buffet.

Lunch

We always had lunch at the Beach restaurant which was always good. I would say about 20% of the choices change each day and they have a wide variety. Each day they had a chef doing a bbq or grilling something steak, lobster etc, just place your order as you go in and he’ll sort you out. The servers are very efficient, topping up water and juices. Once they get to know your choices you find that as soon as you’re finished your drink they have another one coming over from the bar without you even asking.

I love pineapple juice and had this every lunch, one afternoon one server (can’t remember her name) came over with freshly blended pineapple juice rather than my usual sugary one and she said it was nicer and she was right. Every lunch since then I would automatically get my freshly blend juice without even asking.

Evening Meal

We visited both the buffet and the al a carte restaurants and found the meals very good. There is a lot of seafood, I personally did not enjoy the cold seafood preferred the hot ones thought it didn’t taste as fresh however a lot of people seem to stack their plates with it so they must enjoy it.

Surf and Turf- we visited 3 times because we thought the food was so good we did find on the 3rd visit that the service was slow and the meal wasn’t as nice as previous visits but that didn’t put us off.

Italian- we visited twice, the service was very slow on the 2nd visit however but thinks this may be done to the restaurant being full compared to previous times.

Gourmet- visited once both food and service was good but didn’t feel like returning again.

Beach (Casa de Playa)- we found out about this restaurant on tripadvisor it isn’t listed in any of the hotel information. Just book this with your butler; it isn’t open as often as the other restaurants however so you might not get in if you’re on a short stay. We didn’t enjoy the food or the service as much as the other restaurants. The service was lacking compared to the standards of the buffet and the other al a carte restaurants, drinks went unfilled and taking a long time between courses bear in mind we don’t mind a meal lasting a couple of hours plus the place only had about 6 tables occupied. Found that our waiter didn’t understand when my husband asked for his steak to be cooked rare he kept saying medium rare. The atmosphere at the restaurant was ok but not as nice as the other al la carte restaurants. If we returned to the Grand we might give this restaurant a miss.

The theme nights for the buffet are:

Monday- Mexican
Tuesday- Oriental
Wednesday- Tropical
Thursday- Gala
Friday- American
Saturday- Dominican
Sunday- Italian
Entertainment

Found all the star friends to be very good, they are friendly and when they get to know your name would come over and invite you to take part in the games. We took part in the aqua aerobics, archery, air rifle and lots more even manage to win some medals.

We didn’t go to many nightly shows firstly because we were too tired from all the sun and drinks but also thought they were a bit late at 10pm, we did see the Rock show and the Michael Jackson show which were really good. There is a board near both concierges that tells you what’s on plus the star friends are outside all the restaurants nightly so will invite you to the shows.

Service

The maids were good at keeping our room clean and also provided enough towel air and rose petals. We always looked forward to the turn down service to see how she had decorated the bed.

The beach boys are excellent, we found some mornings when we were walking to our chair at the beach they would see us coming and bring over water without being asked. When they know what you like the drink they would make sure you never had an empty glass. Although we tipped we didn’t find that this made any difference to the level of service that you received as everyone received an excellent service.

Things to note:

1. At 11.30 each day the star friends offer a free 10min massage just ask one of them to put your name on the list or just go over to their hut.
2. A lot of people ask about how to tip on the forums and we choose to use this method based on trip advisors advice $2 for breakfast, $2 lunch, $5 al a carte, $1 maid, $1 every other night for turn down maid, $1 mini bar guy if he stocked it per our request, $5 when we use the Butler, $1 for every other drinks at the pool/ beach.
3. The beach huts selling trinkets can be pushy trying to get you into their shops just remember they are just trying to make a living so just a polite no thanks or when you go in make sure you haggle for whatever you want. We bought some fridge magnets one initially wanted $20 for 2, we got 4 for $10, we also tried to buy ladies cover up he started at $50 we got him down to $9.
4. It’s very humid and the corridors do not have air con which is a negative against the hotel.
5. The rooms do not have enough storage in the wardrobe for all the clothes we brought so we used the bedside table and found our clothes smelled musty we even brought some drier sheets but this didn’t seem to help. Might be worth leaving the drawers open when you leave the room to air the clothes out.
6. There is an onsite doctor at the bavaro if you have an emergency, we found the prices to be high but that might be due to us in the UK not paying for medical treatment. But overall the service was good.
7. If we didn’t like the desserts on offer on the al a carte restaurant’s menu we would pop over to the buffet and have our deserts there.
9. Men do have to wear long trousers to the al a carte restaurants, even knee length dress shorts are not allowed. A few men were turned away and had to change.
10. People go down very early to reserve the pool chairs so if you go down after 8am don’t expect to find any in the shade. At the beach the front row goes very early but we found we could always find a chair.

Overall we found the hotel to be amazing and the staff and service to be the best we have experienced, we didn’t find there to be an issue with the language as all staff spoke good English.

We are currently planning on returning to this hotel in 2015 but we are also thinking of the other Iberostar Grand in Mexico.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
16  Thank LesieDB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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