Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A sprawling, well-rounded resort that appeals to families
This resort is sprawling, which is apparent immediately when pulling into the long palm-lined driveway and stepping into the grandiose lobby for a welcome Pina Colada. Before the large busloads arrive for check-in, this main area of the resort stays peaceful; most guests are at the pool or beach enjoying the waves, except for those trying to connect to the painfully slow Wi-Fi (look around at the perplexed faces of those who cannot get a signal). Poolside, where drinks are flowing and the animation team is at work, the scene is more party-friendly.
The spacious sandy beach tends to be a relaxing place where people sit back read a book and nap. For those who want a quiet pool (no animation) for reading, there is a smaller one located next to the lobby, with a separate bar for drinks.
The lobby has a range of comfortable lounge areas, and it becomes a fun scene at night, pre-dinner, when a pianist plays classics as well as newer songs upon request to a dressed-up crowd; drinkers can take advantage of prompt cocktail service. Beyond the lobby there is a wide terrace and fountain with more outdoor seating options where people can sit, have a drink, and maybe smoke a cigar. After dinner is over, diners tend re-congregate here for nightly entertainment, but this can be noisy late at night, especially for those with rooms in this vicinity. Late-night partiers can head over to the large casino and disco, which sits along the road just outside the property. Overall, the vibe is family-friendly and comfortable, and there's a mix of ages and nationalities to keep things interesting.
Spacious grounds and a long beach area -- a walker's paradise!
The area of Bavaro is about a 30-minute drive from Punta Cana airport. Visitors here typically stay within the resort premises, as there isn't much else in the immediate area. The resort, like all neighboring resorts along the coast here, faces east for spectacular sunrises. There are many identical buildings around the property -- 808 units in separate buildings of eight condos each -- and the property can often feel like a maze. It's not uncommon get lost. Tram service occurs every 10 to 15 minutes or so, but sometimes it can take longer, making for long lines and a race to grab a seat. It's best to bring those walking shoes.
Spacious suites with patios and whirlpool tubs
Suites come in two main categories -- Bungalow and Honeymoon -- and are nicely appointed with modern amenities. Unit layouts are for the most part pretty consistent, which isn't a surprise considering all the buildings are identical. The front patio (sadly, no screen doors here) opens up to a living room with a dining table and desk for working, though don’t expect to get online here. Large flat-screen TVs, crisp linens and massive pillows on the king or double queen beds make for a comfortable night's sleep. Families can arrange to have two twin beds added to the rooms for children.
Each unit comes with two bathrobes and sets of slippers, and the bathrooms have rain shower heads, double sinks and large closets. Honeymoon Suites are slightly different -- the whirlpool tub is in the bathroom rather than the bedroom, and the overall decor feels a bit more contemporary -- though by poor design, the door to the toilet can be difficult to enter. Some neighboring room noise can be heard, but the hum of the central air conditioner will alleviate this a bit.
A standout beach, fun bar scene and decent restaurants
Those guests staying for longer periods of time will appreciate the varied cuisine; a la carte restaurant options include steak, seafood, Italian and Japanese (reservations require a trip to guests services). For breakfast and lunch, there are two buffet options: one next to the lobby, and one next to the beach and pool. The latter is a worth the trip for breakfast in order to enjoy coffee with views of the sunrise. Dinner at the main buffet has an impressive spread with champagne, a crepe and carving station, and table-side dessert service.
Bars are a spread out around the property as well so no one shall go thirsty and there is rarely (if ever!) a wait to get a drink -- a major plus for Bavaro Princess. Specifically, the main pool has a swim-up bar and hopping scene during the day. There's also a snack bar nearby that serves fried food, beer and frozen cocktails. Late-night revelers can continue the party at the casino and disco, which sits thankfully outside the entrance and far away from the suites.
Beach chairs and palapas are scattered across the beach and they rarely fill up, so guests do not have to get up early to save a spot. The pool, however, is a different story, and those lounge seats tend to get snatched up early.
Metamorphosis Spa has several treatment rooms both indoor and outdoor, a fitness center and salon.
This large maze-like property is arguably the best of the four Princess properties in Punta Cana. Set on a great stretch of slightly less crowded beach in the area of Bavaro, there are 808 condo-style units (eight units per structure) spread out over seemingly never-ending grounds. Space is key here, but this also means a long walk to the beach/pool area for many guests. The walk can be broken up with a little exploration in the ecological park, which contains rabbits, peacocks, chickens and parrots; otherwise, guests will have to patiently wait for the tram, which comes around every 15 minutes or so. Decent restaurant options and daily specials allow for dining variety, and the lively (but not too lively) bar scene is a highlight, especially in the lobby for pre-dinner drinks and piano music. Though the resort brings in a mix of international couples and families, unromantic lighting in units may put off honeymooners.