My friend and I stayed at the Barceló Bavaro Caribe Beach Resort, which is part of a five-hotel complex. The Caribe and Beach resorts are on the oceanfront. The golf and casino resorts are in the back. You get to use the facilities at all four resorts no matter which one you stay at. There is also a Palace resort in the complex and you can only use the facilities if you stay there, but from what everyone told me it’s not worth the extra money.
From what I can tell, all the hotels are similar. The two in the back seem quieter. The Beach resort was the most happening, but none of them are far from one another. There is a train that goes around the resort, but we walked every night and never had a problem. I think it was about a 15-minute walk from the Caribe to the Disco.
The hotel is on Playa Bavaro Beach, a gorgeous white sand beach. They give you kayaks and snorkel equipment for free, only motorized water sports are charged for. You can book excursions from the tour guides in the lobbies and at the stands outside. If they say they don’t have a time available, tell them you’ll go to another stand where they do and I’m sure they will change their minds to accommodate you.
There are three restaurants, a Spanish, a steakhouse, and an Italian. There is also a lunch place right on the beach in front of the Caribe Resort called La Uva. This was my favorite because you can stick your feet in the sand and watch the azure water while you eat. I had paella there one day and coconut flan. It was pretty good. The waitress at this restaurant doesn’t speak much English though so be prepared.
All of the food was great. They have many buffets too and either a breakfast buffet or continental breakfast by the bars at the pools. The orange juice was fresh-squeezed one morning. The disco was always packed and open until 5am. They didn’t charge for drinks and they kept serving. It does smell really bad inside, but if you’ve had a few drinks you can easily get past that. They played regular chart topping hip-hop when I was there.
The casino serves drinks also and is open 24 hours. Chips are only $1, so it is a cheap way to pass some time waiting for the disco to get crowded, which doesn't happen until about 1am.
Tipping the housekeepers to get more free beer for the mini bar didn’t work for us. You get three typically and when we caught the workers and asked for more we could only get six out of them. We did find some people who had two cases of beer and they said you have to find the floor manager with the cases and tip them.
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