Bavaro Princess Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
As lovers of tropical beaches, we were thrilled to be invited by Royal Holiday to experience one of its premium resorts in the Dominican Republic. The Bavaro Princess Resort rests on the beautiful white sandy beaches of Punta Cana, located on the east coast of Caribbean island of Hispaniola.
As the plane approached Punta Cana we noticed the landscape was quite lush and sparse, with lots of low lying trees. We arrived to warm 30-degree weather, a welcome change from the Canadian winter cold.
It’s a great feeling arriving at an open-air airport. Walking across the tarmac and clearing immigration under a thatched roof can only mean one thing – we’ve arrived some where tropical!
Our small group was picked in style at the airport, as the photo below illustrates, and transported the Bavaro Princess All Suites Resort, Spa & Casino on the world famous Bavaro beach.
Our first impression of the resort was that is was very big and very lush, with immaculately groomed tropical gardens and hundreds of giant palm trees.
A golf cart escorted us through the beautiful grounds to the platinum section of the resort, where cold bottles of delicious Presidente Beer awaited our consumption.
The Bavaro Princess Platinum Experience offers its guests that extra slice of luxury, including premium liquors in your deluxe suite, private sun bathing section on the beach, complimentary 20-minute massage on the beach or poolside, a separate area for fast check-in and check-out and use of the exclusive platinum lounge.
When staying at the Bavaro Princess, Royal Holiday offers its guests the Platinum experience. We were delighted that our trip included the same special treatment!
After a warm greeting we were escorted to our luxury suite. The resort is made up of over 90 guest room blocks, shown in the photo above. Each block has eight guest suites, four on the upper level and four on the lower level. Though it is an enormous resort, we really liked that it was made up of several individual low-rise units rather than one or two massive multi-level buildings.
When we entered the suite we were very impressed. Our eyes were immediately drawn to the king sized bed on a raised platform in the centre of the room. As we scanned the room we were excited to see a large jacuzzi tub to the left of the luxurious bed.
The photos below do a much better job describing the suite’s comforting atmosphere.
Our suite had a king sized bed and plenty of open space with a dining area, separate sitting area with a couch and chair, and large outdoor patio perfect for evening relaxation. The bathroom had double sinks, a huge walk-in shower and, of course, the fantastic jacuzzi tub.
The rooms are equipped with everything one needs, including a hair dryer, mini-fridge stocked with water, soda and beer (love the all-inclusive!), private secure safe and air conditioning. All of the rooms had a similar layout but the suites on the upper level had higher ceilings.
The service at the resort was excellent. The staff was always friendly, attentive and responsive. We got the sense that the restaurant and bar staff really enjoyed their jobs mingling with tourists. Everyone seemed to go out of their way to make us feel welcome and comfortable.
One moment in particular stands out. It was busy and we were having lunch at the beach buffet of the El Gaucho Restaurant. Nicole ordered a beer from the bar, obviously unaware that the bartender was changing the keg. The bartender said it would be a minute, which was no problem at all. But instead of making Nicole wait, he ran outside to the beach bar to grab her drinks.
Funny how the small things seem to leave the biggest impressions.
Below: The postcard picture of Bavaro Beach with its giant palm trees and white sand. Doesn’t it scream cocktails, sun glasses and coconut sunblock?
In a word, Punta Cana’s infamous Bavaro Beach is awesome. The fine white sand is silky soft with no shells or rocks, it’s paradise for your feet! Although the beach is very popular with resort tourism, there’s plenty beach for everyone.
As platinum guests, we had an exclusive beach section with unbelievably comfy lounges. With unlimited bar service at your finger tips, it’s easy to loose an afternoon basking in the hot Caribbean sunshine while watching the therapeutic aqua blue water crash gently on the beach.
The resort had two pool areas; the quiet adult pool (above) and the large main pool (below). There is plenty of space to find a lounger and sun bathe – no need to ‘reserve’ a spot at 6am!
We’re big fans of the swim up pool bar located in the main pool; although unlimited beer + refreshing pool + hot sunshine can easily lead to a sunburnt hangover. Consider yourself forewarned and use with caution!
We were only at the resort for a short period of time and didn’t get the chance to experience all of its activities. One of our most memorable moments was the complimentary 20 minute massage on the beach.
There’s something special about an outdoor massage on a Caribbean beach with the sound of crashing waves in the backdrop. We also enjoyed a couples aromatherapy massage at the resort spa, which included use of a private hot tub, steam room and sauna.
Below: Beach volleyball court surrounded by lush tropical gardens and giant palm trees.
Other resort activities available to guests are non-motorized water sports, archery, table tennis, tennis courts, poolside games and exercise programs, children’s club, teens club, and of course the Princess Tower Casino. We made a late night visit to the casino one night and quickly learned that drinking and gambling don’t mix!
Of course there are many other activities outside of the resort grounds, including snorkeling, scuba diving, jetski, paragliding, sailing, deep sea fishing, booze cruise, swimming with sharks… and the list goes on.
You can watch a short video about the snorkeling trip we did one morning by clicking on the link – Snorkeling Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Above: The main lobby at the resort, festively decorated for the Holiday Season.
The restaurants at the Bavaro Princess Resort were quite nice, with multiple buffet and a la carte options. Each night there is a different theme, providing guests with a wide variety of food selections including Dominican and Caribbean cuisine.
As you can see from the photo above, many tables are situated beside a tropical pond. One evening, while dining at the Chopin Restaurant, a boat floated beside the restaurant with a pianist playing classical favourites to the delight of the surprised guests (see photo below). It was a nice touch!
The most memorable dinner was at Licey Restaurant. Our group indulged in a gourmet three course meal, with a variety of menu options including lobster, prawns, grilled fish and steak. Although we do enjoy buffet style eating, it was nice to have a fine dining experience at an all-inclusive resort.
It’s important to mention that dining at Licey is NOT included in the all-inclusive package. We enjoyed our meal and would recommend it to other guests if paying the additional cost is not a big deal.
Above: Delicious Prawn and Lobster Cocktail at Licey Restaurant.
Below: Filet Mignon with a rich peppercorn sauce at Licey Restaurant.
As a platinum guest, we had access to premium liquors. On our first evening, we returned to our suite and found three large bottles of complimentary Dominican rum, whiskey and vodka. Clearly that’s more alcohol then we would need during our stay, but it was another nice touch.
Although the resort is quite large, there are continuous trams that run every 5 minutes. We chose to walk most of the time and it didn’t take long to understand its layout. The resort is so big that we would stumble upon new areas every day, including an ecological walking trail, bird sanctuary with a talking parrots that said “Ola” and over 92 acres of lush gardens and natural rain forest.
It was nice having the majority of amenities, restaurants and activities either at the beach or at the main lobby. It reduced the noise considerably. In fact, we often felt like we were alone while on our balconies or walking through the residential grounds, which was strange because the restaurants and live shows were packed with hundreds of people during dinner and lunch periods.
We really enjoyed our visit to the Dominican Republic with Royal Holiday. If an all-inclusive resort vacation on a tropical Caribbean island is your thing, the Bavaro Princess All Suites Resort, Spa & Casino is a great option that has something for everyone.
Have you been to a resort in the Caribbean? What did you think?
Share your experience below in the comments section, we’d love to hear about it!
Editor’s disclosure: our stay at Bavaro Princess was compliments of Royal Holiday, however all thoughts and opinions are entirely our own.
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