IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa
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Travel Blogs from Punta Cana
I am Bianca Roldan and I would like to share with you my new experience in the DR.
You will never finish to discover it.....the beach, the sun, the coconuts...all is fantastic....and people much more! ahhh...they are amazing.
I stayed just for one week but it is enough time for be part of the Dominican spirit.
I went to …
Just like my last trip you will be able to follow along with updates, pictures etc.! So hope to see you here as my Dominican Republic Adventure begins on May 1st!!!
Well here we are at our resort in the Carribean..... I can think of worse places to be!
We arrived on time and WOW the airport here is "interesting" for sure.... a big building with thatched roofs and that doesn't close up (I'd hate to arrive on a rainy day!) BUT it suited the relaxed feel to the entire place. Customs was …
Well what an awesome day, this stuff is what honeymoon's are all about!
A sleep in, some brekky at one of the 7 on site restaurants then off to the pool for some 11am Caribbean rum and cocktails! A spa rep wondered over our way so we booked some treatments so that worked out well as we were planning on going over there after …
Another sleep in this morning followed by a morning at the beautiful beach - the sand is so white, the water is so clear that you can see the bottom of the ocean as far as you can see.... and the fish OMG, they just swim around you,so close that you can touch them!
Then off for our couples treatment and massage at the day …
How has this resort rated in the past?
- Free High-Speed Internet
- Swimming pool
- Fitness/Health center
- Wheelchair accessibility
Historical Traveler Reviews IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa Punta Cana
Great Vacation Spot on Smaller Budget
When we first arrived at the resort, we had to wait for our room, it was 1:00PM they told us to be back at 3:00PM. We dicided to eat lunch,to waste a bit of time. The food was very good (Except for the beef). Everyone in the restaruant was smiling and very accomindating, They were wonderful, they made sure when you were done, used plates were removed immediately. They were wonderful!!!After lunch we decided to have a couple drinks. Then our room was ready. We first thought they were taking us out of resort because the villas are on complete other side of parking lot, but when we got to our room and it was so private and very clean, we were happy not to be down on other side. We had the best of everything : the best pool, the best resturant and the best bar. the bartenders were so nice, thery tried so hard to have conversations with us. Some did very well, others did not. It was never what you would call crowded, you could always find a chair, wheather it was at the pool or the beach, and speaking of beach, it is the most beautiful beach I have ever seen. It takes your breath away then you see it for the first time. This was definately the best vacation I was ever on, and would highly recommend it to others. On the way home we overheard a lot of people complaining about their resorts which were 4 or 5 stars. I'm so glad we stayed where we did and did not pay more for something that would not have made us happy. We just got home yesterday so I wanted to make a few remarks while still fresh in my mind. We were there for a week. Mar.19 thru Mar.26. Would go back in a heart beat!!!
We had a fantastic time
My girlfriend and I stayed at the Barcelo Bavaro Villas from Mar/12 to Mar/19, 2004and we had the time of our lives.The staff was exellent(except for the reception desk, most couldn't speak english very well so that was frustrating)the waiters,waitresess and bartenders were always singing and dancing and eager to please you.Especially Daniel the head bartender at the hut shaped pool bar (very pleasant and funny,and also makes the best drinks). The rooms were OK and were serviced everyday,the food was verygood,obviously there were a few things we didn,t care for gut for the most part it was good.The resort itself was beautiful,the grounds were well kept and the 3 swimming pools were very clean.The Beach is absolutly breathtaking and only about a ten minute walk or 3 minutes on the beach bus that travels back and forth all day until 2am.A typical night for us was: having dinner,then to the pool bar for a few drinks,watch the nightly show they put on,then go dancing at the disco until 2am and last but not least go for a nice walk on the beach. We also went on the Monster Truck Tour and it was exellent, our tour guide was Milton Smith and he was also excellent(informative and very funny,always playing practical jokes)we visited a typical dominican house,a farm where they train roosters, a farm where they grow friut(very good),a small market where you can shop, a school(Bring candy for the children),Then we stopped to have lunch and swam in the river where they made the movies Rambo 2, Appocalypse Now,and Jurrasic Park 2. Then we drove through a typical Hatian village to the fields where they grow sugar cane,and then visited a voodoo witchdoctor.Drinks and food are all included.We would recomend this trip to anyone it's a real eyeopener.So all in all we had a fantastic time and for the money we would recomend this resort to anyone.
Nothing bad to say ...
I found this hotel on a discounted web agency and we got what we expected. Not a palace but all (for us) what we wanted to find : Sun, nice beach, nice pool ( for our son ), and nice landscape !Have fun.
A beautiful resort
A great value for the money! We stayed the week of 1/2/04-1/9/04. The weather was beautiful overall, a few windy days that made the water rough, but still great for sunning. The room was what we expected - we weren't paying for a premium resort. It was minimal, but clean, and the maid came daily and changed sheets and towels and did a fine job overall. The resort itself is beautiful and very meticulously maintained, we were very pleasantly surprised at how nice it was. The Dominic attitude overall is laid back, but we had no trouble with the front desk staff addressing a few minor problems. The food was great, and the dining room staff extremely prompt, attentive and friendly, we were very impressed. The pool at the villas was the nicest one, it was worth being a bit farther from the beach. The food at all the restaurants was very good overall, as long as you don't arrive too close to the closing time, they don't replenish toward closing time. We enjoyed our stay there very much.
A truly wonderful beach resort.
The company I work for, The Chimney Pot Shoppe, decided to take us all to the Barcel Villas Bavaro as our bonus for 2003, and chose this one because it was a good deal. I felt that the staff, the accommodations, the landscape, cleanliness, all were five star. It was beautiful,and at Christmas, when they were full capacity. This place is set up to handle a lot of people but let you feel like it is a small setting, there are plenty of private places to suit any personality. The food as well was five star, we ate like kings, all the fresh fruit I could want! It is buffet style, extremely well tended, the quality of the food was outstanding, and the staff looked after us tremendously with a friendly positive attitude. The guys liked the free bar, which was equally nice because you can choose from four, there is always one nearby. The beach is the most beautiful, and I've been to pretty much all the beaches in North/South America and many islands. The sand is white, like powder, easy to walk on. There are lots of pockets of shade on the beach to protect you from this sun, which would be dangerous without sunscreen.
I would say this was the best beach trip I've had. We were picked up at the airport and delivered, they have tidied up the area to and from the airport, so that the view along the route was pretty good. If you have ever traveled a third world country, sometimes the view is not one you want memories of. I came back well rested with just a bit of a tan, toned, and had gained no weight! How great is this?! One more thing - the Dominican People are a beautiful, proud people. Whatever job it is that they are doing, they take pride in doing it well. Yes, they are doing servants' jobs, but they are people with a proud heritage, and once you spend a week here, you'll know why!
Worst convention hotel ever
With full objectivity I can say this is worst value for money hotel I have ever stayed at. Unfriendly and unhelpful staff. Air conditioning did not work. Rooms old and in need of renovation. Restaurants oversrowded and understaffed. The staff simply seem unhappy- which reflects on how they are treated/trained by the management. We were there for a major tourism convention, and the hotel sr management was no where to be found. Food at the catered meals was cold, and incorrectly labeled. Shuttle schedule totally inadequate. Mosquitos in room that could not be gotten rid of. If all you want is an all you can drink holiday, and care nothing about service, then go here. I also stayed at the Melia Caribe Resort in Punta Cana which I found to be very good.
Best beach in the world!!
My husband and I have just returned from spending 2 weeks at the Villas (1/9/03-15/09/03 -we were a little worried on the return after narrowly missing hurricane isabel!). It was a late honeymoon for us after getting married in March. We had been All Inc before (in Tunisia) and were not really that impressed but were prepared to take the risk in the carribean as the travel agent said that the* rating there is higher than europe. We had requested a quiet villa and so were relieved to find we were way behind the 'entertainment' area. (not our scene but then thats not why we went). rooms are very similar to a quality Inn type - 2 queensize beds large wardrobe etc fridge (very handy) a safe (ditto) and satelitte TV. terrace with table and chairs. the grounds the resort is set in is beautiful and the gardens are kept well and is clean. Maid service daily. clean towels daily. only complaint there really is that the sheets weren't changed for the whole two weeks and the beds were a little itchy. The air con was completely necessary - and also the ceiling fan (yes there was both!). The walk to the beach (and we were right near the back of the resort!) does not take long at all and we needed the walk to work off all the delicious food we were eating!! we took the bus once (first day) and decided it wasnt worth it. besides - once you get to the beach towel collection point you were half way there!
3 Pools - Pool at the villas was the largest (and the best). first few days we did stay around the pool but found that there was a funny smell under the bar area (it crosses over the pool) kinda like sour milk which must be because of the cocktails served there. Beach - what can i say. glorious weather (apart from last day) fabulous beach, not crowded and looked much better than the beach further up at the 5* (we took a stroll up there...) so glad we didnt pay the extra. plenty of sunbeds and areas to spread out to be on your own - although you do tend to stay under the palm trees. sea crystal clear, often we fed the fish who are obviously used to it! No jellyfish sighted. when the sea is rough (if there is a storm in the atlantic side) it does churn up some seaweed - which the handymen rake up! Basically the cleaning/handymen work extremely hard in the hottest/humid weather i have ever experienced. the service in the restaurants and bars are slow and the staff seemed to prefer the Germans - what i mean by that is they would ask a few of you at the same time which drinks you wanted and the english were always the last to get theirs.(and yes we were attempting to speak spannish!) food - had some of the best food and some of the worst food - don't try dominican pie unless you're a smoker!! The beef and pork were second to none. The cakes (and ice cream in the restaurant by the beach) were gorgeous. very good salad bars and fruit and veg carvings on display every evening(you will know what i mean when you see them!). So much to chose from - ate far too much and put weight on so it must have been good. Try the fish bbq'd on the beach dont know what it was (possibly monk fish) but it was delicious. Also the restaurants (not so much the snack bars) are extremely clean and the bread must be baked daily as it was fresher the earlier you got up.
Had a bit of a dodgy tum for a couple of days but think it was down to drinking ice cold cocktails in the sun! Mossies are a problem - strangely enough only in the first week. i had over a hundred bites but then i never took any kind of repellent. If i went again i would take some!! We experienced a few 'guests' of the animal kind in our room but nothing too scarey (not spiders or snakes!) we were amongst the trees and bushes so it was only to be expected. I expect this isnt too bad the nearer you are to the pool and if you are staying in the village i would request a second floor room if this bothers you. Dont bother mentioning any probs to the reception area - go straight to customer services. Not that we needed to just what our rep told us. reception staff cant speak very much english at all. We went on the Kontiki boat trip - ok but bit of a rip off - better off paying for someone local to take you out from the beach. you go to the same area(about 200 yards from shore!) & would have the boat to yourself (more or less). we paid about £40 each for the trip on kontiki and although it was good & we got free drinks and snorkeling gear (and on board entertainment)- it wasnt worth that! Saona island trip is a little more expensive but is well worth the 2 hour bus trip and hour boat trip - trust me! The Barcelo resort did change our minds and we would consider an All In again. Very good value for money. you do get room wise what you pay for but the food and beach were worth more. Not sure we would pay more in future for a similar standard in a 4 or 5 * Airport transfer time is 2 hours (dont believe the brochure!) and a word of warning - do not pack to much luggage as you get charged $10 for every kilo that you are over coming back....and their calculations are not always correct so question it!
We had a blast!!!
My boyfriend, a friend, and I just got back from our trip to Punta Cana from 9/8 to 9/15. We had the best weather and the beach was perfect. I never smelled any gasoline as mentioned in the other comment. Our first room was really cute, like a little bungalow, but it was too far from the ocean. We asked at the front counter and were moved to another room closer to the main pool area. Both rooms were clean and bug free. Some of the buffets were okay, but we found the buffet closer to the beach definitely had the best food. I really have no big complaints about our trip. All of the staff were very friendly to us. A smile and patience will get you attention faster than will complaining and being angry.
This is my second time in the Dominican Republic, and both times have been so great. If you just relax and don't let small things bother you... you will have a great time as well. Last year we stayed at the Riu Naiboa and we found that hotel to be much better than this one.
Although, this one was great for the very cheap deal that we got. I also HIGHLY recommend the Safari Outback tour. It was so much fun and educational. Nothing cheesy about it, just great and the tour guides were the BEST!!! They were so funny! And, if you bring school supplies like pens or pencils... the guides will give them to the needy schools, which is nice.
Awful rooms, nice resort
i TRAVELED TO THIS RESORT 8/23/03 - 8/30/03. We were very unhappy with the accomodations. We needed to be moved a total nuber of four times. Between roaches and ants, water leaks from rain and being flooded with 2 inches of water inside the whole room, we were were annoyed and disappointed. The bed sheets were also yellowish and the towels looked dingy. Management finally moved us to the Ocean Village. Definately much nicer. The food and restaurantsnts were nice and food was good. The beach was nice except for the stench of gasoline that was emitted from the many boats that traveled back and forth (for excursions, banana boats, gliding, etc.). We would not return to this resort. The staff was also not as friendly as the staff in the sister resort Bavaro Beach.
Fantastic trip to Bavaro
Greenhalgh's family trip - Bavaro, 3rd Aug 03- 17th Aug 03My family and I arrived home yesterday from a fantastic trip to the Dominican Republic, and I thought someone out there that may have been put off from previous negative reviews may be interested in a positive review.I've noticed that the reviews on this site are generally from American and Canadian people, and thought an English point of view may be a change (and English spelling ha ha!)My husband and I went with my 2 step daughters, and we all agreed that we would have loved to stay an extra 2 weeks!We stayed at the Barcelo Villas Bavaro Beach- not to be confused with the 5* resort next door that has 5 hotels in one, and we could also use the facilities at the 2 other properties adjacent- Barcelo Village and Barcelo Ocean.* Description of Accomodation The Villas are the furthest away from the sea, and to get to the beach you walk through the Village Resort, then the Ocean Resort. Other reviewers have complained about the distance, but we timed it and it takes 10 mins tops in high heels! Hardly a marathon but there is an open sided bus if you are feeling hot and lazy. You really can't tell where one resort starts and another one finishes and the view of the well tended gardens and the palm trees etc is fantastic.The accomodation at the Villas is bungalow style and each is painted a different colour (English spelling!) There is a covered walkway (in case it rains) all the way down to the fabulous free form pool area where there is a restaurant and a gift shop.We had 2 rooms, as 2 teenage girls need a lot of wardrobe space, each featured a terrace with table and chairs, 2 double beds, Sat TV, hairdryer, A/C, plenty of drawer and wardrobe space, safe, fridge, washbasin, and separate bathroom with shower on the wall over the bath with hot water. Both rooms were clean and the daily maid service provided new towels.* Hotel facilities Each of the 3 hotels had their own pool, buffet restaurant and shops. The pool at the Villas was the largest and best of the 3, with a circular thatched roof bar in the centre (you can get a panoramic view of it if you go to the website at ...) and great cocktails!- Pina Colades were my favourite...... Not very many loungers so get there early or around 3pm when some people have left-but it means it doesn't feel crowded which is nice!The evening entertainment was held near this area and featured a children's disco first, then the usual stage show later- dancers etc. Not exactly Las Vegas, but who cares.*Food We went to all the 3 restaurants and they were all quite similar choice and standard, so we tended to stick to the one at the Villas.Breakfast was the usual eggs, bacon, pancakes, doughnuts.porridge etc etc with a few more unusual things as well. There was also a grill section where you could have fried eggs or an omelette cooked fresh for you.Lunch tended to be fish, potatoes pork, lamb or beef most meals with some extras thrown in. There was always a selection of salads and soup, bread etc. Once a week they had langostines which were lovely. I would advise anyone to go to the beach restaurant at lunch- see belowDinner was quite similar to lunch, with the grill area serving a different dish prepared as you waited.The food was good, not a huge selection, but we all always found something we liked, and weren't in any danger of starving to death, and the waiters/waitresses were all lovely.There is another restaurant on the beach which is a la carte. It's also included, but you need to go at 12 noon to book for the following evening. It's nice to be waited on accasionally, and although there is a limited choice it was lovely and you can't beat the view of the beach. (you can also have a few extras eg lobster which you need to pay for) Later this turns into the disco and serves late night food from 11pm until 2am (we never tried it as we were too tired from doing nothing all day :)You could get lunch there from 1pm and the food offered the best choice of the four, including pizza and hot dogs and burgers as well as a general buffet.*Weather I had been looking at the weather forcasts for a few weeks before we travelled and was alarmed that every day we were going to be there it forcast storms and rain. However, we had fantasic weather and some days were hoping it would rain! It rained for literally 10 minutes one morning, and a two evenings for about thirty minutes, and the rest of the time it was blue sky with hardly a cloud.*Beach What can I say- fantastic. Powder white sand, clear blue sea-paradise. We went at all times of the day and always found a lounger.*Excursions As my husband and I had been there before a few years ago, we wanted to go on a trip that the girls would like, and the trip to the Marinarium sounded great. It was $73 each, and a half day trip. We were picked up at 12.30pm and driven 10 mins to a nearby beach. We were given a half hour talk on their preservation of the coral and sealife in the Dominican, then boarded a boat. Food and drinks were included, and we were taken to an area were we were going to swim with the sharks and rays! They are nurse sharks, and very docile and we were promised they weren't any threat-what a relief! They provided snorkel equipment and life vests and had advanced and beginners seperate. We swam to a area surrounded by a mesh fence and when we swam into it there were 6 nurse sharks ( about 6 ft each) and a similar amount of rays. We had been told not to touch them-like I would, and they swam all round and below us. It was absolutely fanatastic and you must take an underwater camera with you-we have some geat pictures to show all our friends! After we had all go back on board-about 30/45 mins later, we went along the coast, music playing and wind gently blowing. They provided bread, cheese, ham etc so we could make sandwiches-they were great and right on time as we were starving. They dropped anchor in water that was no more than chest high and we could all go for a swim were they served drinks to us in the sea! On our journey back to the beach thy got people up dancing-merengue what else- you aren't forced if you don't want to :)We arrived back in our hotel about 6pm and would recommend anyone to go on the trip-well worth the money!We were going to take the girls to Manati Park so they could swim with the dolphins, but our Airtours tour rep said that they no longer offered trips there as they had bad reports on how the animals there were treated and kept. There is a free bus that goes from most hotels if you want to try it, but you have been warned.*Best bits Hotel pool/bar Shark trip Weather Beach Staff*Things I could have done without! Mosquitos-take loads of repellant! If it's any consollation, they tend to leave you alone mostly on the second week, well you are in the Caribbean..... Distance from UK-9hrs. I asked if they'd bring it nearer but they said'no'- wishful thinking :) but worth the trip! Both girls needed a trip to the doc-one had a throat infection (she's prone to them) and the other an ear infection. None spoiled our trip, and there is a 24hr English speaking doctor on the resort. His office was open 8am-8pm and outside those hours could be called and he came right away as his room is at the Villas!*Overall Great value for all ages. The only complaint I heard was from a 15 year old boy who said the entertainment was boring, so perhaps teens looking for loud discos with English or American music might not like it, but our girls loved it all, and would go back tomorrow.Sorry for rambling on a bit, I think I've covered everything, but if anyone wants to ask me anything about the hotel or trip, or wants any pictures, email me and I will try to oblige.Karen