Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Tranquil, romantic vibe -- with a bit of a party scene at the pool bar
The Bavaro Beach resort is the adults-only option in the Barcelo complex and attracts plenty of honeymooners and couples. The open, airy property is centered around the pool, which features views of the ocean.
The resort is part of the Spanish Barcelo chain, and attracts numerous European travelers as well as Americans. Pool and beachside activities such as volleyball and dancing take place daily, but unlike at some resorts that line the beach, the music isn't too loud here and the hotel staff doesn't pressure guests to join. Those who do participate did seem to having a good time, however, and the pool bar scene is lively.
Though the beach collects some seaweed during the day, multiple staff members rake it up to keep the sand pristine. The beach here is a real highlight and is considered one of the nicest in the area.
The Barcelo Bavaro Beach has fewer than 400 rooms, compared to the Palace Deluxe's 1,600. Bavaro Beach features its own pool, restaurants, and stretch of beach, but features such as the fitness center and spa are located at the Palace, about a five-minute shuttle ride away. Guests have access to all of the Palace's amenities, including the restaurants, but the reverse is not true, which makes the atmosphere at Bavaro Beach quieter and more exclusive.
Located in Bavaro, the northern area of Punta Cana
The Barcelo complex is in Bavaro, the area north of Punta Cana airport. It is about a 30-minute ride from the airport. The beaches along this northern stretch of the coast generally see much stronger waves and have steeper drop off than those to the south in Punta Cana. Bavaro is also home to a limited smattering of restaurants and nightclubs, mostly in and around the town of Friusa, that offer locals and tourists a change of pace from the dominant presence of resorts.
Clean, soft white sand, somewhat choppy waters, and crowds of vacationers bodysurfing, playing volleyball, and tanning
This beach is one of the most beautiful in Bavaro and Punta Cana. The water and sand are clean and inviting, and though seaweed debris can accumulate during the day, an army of rakers clears the sand early in the morning to maintain the pristine setting. Guests shouldn't expect to swim far from shore or find large secluded swaths of sand, as the waves can get rough and the beach is certainly crowded.
Most non-motorized sports, such as kayaking, windsurfing, and snorkeling, are covered in the all-inclusive package.
Rooms feature simple beachy decor and modern technology
The beachy rooms are attractive if simple; most have a white and blue color scheme, white bedding, light blue accent walls, and wicker furniture. All are spacious and feature iPod docks, large flat-screen TVs, and Wi-Fi access (which requires an additional fee except in Club Premium rooms). Open floor plans keep the rooms feeling airy, and all rooms have balconies or patios. Superior Rooms, however, have cramped bathrooms with shower/tub combos (but large vanity areas).
The pool is the center of activity.
Though guests have access to the four pools at the Palace Deluxe, the Bavaro Beach Resort has its own large pool where the majority of the resort's activities take place. It has ocean views and is surrounded by lounge chairs, spa cabanas, palm trees, and a lively poolside bar. There are several Jacuzzis located within the pool.
Well-equipped fitness center is located at the Palace Deluxe
The big fitness center is located just off of the spa at the Palace Deluxe and features not only a Pilates studio -- stocked with mats and balls -- but a spinning studio. The main area includes plenty of cardio machines as well as weight-lifting machines and free weights, and guests should never have to wait for the use of a machine. The only downside is that machines do not have personal TVs, but there are three large flat-screen TVs.
A small boutique sells exercise clothes, tennis shoes, and even sports bathing suits for guests who forget their gear.
Small, tranquil spa feels upscale yet laid-back
The spa, located at the Palace Deluxe, has an intimate feel with several indoor and outdoor treatment rooms, a pretty infinity pool, and a salon. After treatments, guests can relax in the lounge area where gentle music plays and staff brings fruit, water, and tea.
For guests who want spa treatments without having to take a shuttle, poolside cabanas are set up at Bavaro Beach for massages.
Four on-site restaurants, plus access to the 11 restaurants at the Palace Deluxe
Two on-site buffet restaurants serve up breakfast and lunch, while two attractively decorated a la carte restaurants serve dinner. Guests also have the option of dining at the Palace Deluxe's restaurants. While most are included, the Mexican, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, and French restaurants at the Palace Deluxe require Bavaro Beach resort guests to pay an additional fee.
Two on-site bars keep revelers happy
During the day, most guests hang around the pool and order up drinks from the poolside bar. The lobby bar, just off of the theater, also offers all-inclusive cocktails, wine, and beer.
Almost everything is included, and Club Premium guests receive additional perks
As at most all-inclusive properties in Punta Cana, almost all services at the hotel are covered, including all meals, alcohol, and non-motorized water sports. Amenities that require an additional fee include a round at the golf course and treatments at the spa.
Club Premium guests receive additional freebies such as Wi-Fi and separate check-in.
Guests get access to the fitness center, pools, casino, and spa at the Palace Deluxe. Guests will have to pay an additional fee to fine at the Palace Deluxe's Mexican, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, and French restaurants.
Towel service and dance classes
A theater features nightly shows
The resort features a small theater with nightly shows, and guests can also visit the Palace Deluxe's theater, casino, and disco.
The Pete Dye course is a major draw for golfers
The 18-hole Pete Dye course, located at the Palace Deluxe, is a major draw for golfers and features well-kept greens and challenging holes. Though most would argue that it can't compare to the Jack Nicklaus course at Eden Roc in Cap Cana or Dye's Teeth of the Dog at Casa de Campo in La Romana, its one of the best courses in Punta Cana.
Tons of on-site activities
Guests are rarely at a want for things to do, although most activities require a shuttle ride to the nearby Palace Deluxe.
All-inclusive activities include:
Activities that require an additional fee include:
The casino, located at the Palace Deluxe, is open 24/7
At the Palace Deluxe, guests can try their luck at the slots or blackjack any time of the day or night. Even the casino at the Hard Rock isn't open 24 hours (although its facilities are much larger and up-to-date).
The resort shares a massive convention center with its sister hotel.
The Barcelo Bavaro complex features one of the largest convention centers in Punta Cana, complete with a helipad. It includes a large conference center as well as 12 meeting rooms, and is located next door to the Beach resort.
A popular spot for honeymoons
As an adults-only property with a relatively tranquil vibe (given its Punta Cana location), the Beach Resort is popular among honeymooners. In fact, some couples get married at the Palace Deluxe and then move over to Bavaro Beach for the honeymoon. The on-site restaurants are romantic and kid-free, but amenities such as the spa are located at the Palace Deluxe, about a five-minute shuttle ride away.
The adults-only Bavaro Beach is the smaller resort in the Barcelo Bavaro complex, and offers the tranquil vibe of a smaller property, but the extensive features of a megaresort, including a spa, fitness center, golf course, and numerous pools. However, most of these amenities are about a five-minute shuttle ride away at the Palace Deluxe resort. This romantic, upscale spot in Punta Cana is located on one of the best beaches in the area, and features four on-site restaurants, two bars, and rooms with modern technology and beachy decor.