A heavenly paradise is the perfect way to describe the Bavaro Princess All Suites Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. I spent 7 glorious nights at this beautiful 5 star all-inclusive resort last week. Palm trees, Pina Coladas, tranquility, white sand, beautiful sunsets, family, laughter and pockets full of memories were some of my favorite things about this trip.
The resort grounds are truly spectacular and impeccably maintained. The suites are spread out across the resort and are 4 to a building. Each suite has a patio with two sun chairs, a patio table and amazing views of palm trees and sunshine. - perfect for a morning moment of relaxation.
What to do & amenities
You can be as active or as relaxed as you like at the resort. There is an abundance of things to do at the resort or many places to chill and relax in this paradise. I’m usually running around trying to pack in the most I can into my time, but for this holiday I relaxed as much as I could which was a delightful change.
The resort has two pools including one with a swim up bar that serves the best cocktails (try Coco Loco!) The views from the pool are incredible and so relaxing. There is music at the larger pool throughout the day with some events by the pool such as a foam party, aqua aerobics etc. There were always free chairs available during our stay so no need to rush down to the pool in the morning to save your spot.
The resort is right on the beach and there are rows upon rows of comfy sun loungers and sun umbrellas to keep you protected. The beach is spectacular along with the warm, refreshing ocean water. It is postcard perfect with a bar right on the beach to serve you cocktails as you please!
The resort provides a shuttle (golf cart style) which whisks you around the resort and runs about every 5 minutes. The resort is walkable but I found myself getting lazier at the end and hoping on to get from the beach to my suite or to the restaurant.
The resort has a day filled with activities for those who want to stay active on their holiday. The morning starts off with a bike tour or yoga & stretching at 9am. I managed to make one morning yoga class - the views were so peaceful as it is held right by the ocean. Dance classes such as Salsa, Zumba and Bachata feature throughout the day. There are also lots of water sports including volleyball and aqua aerobics. Special classes such as Spanish lessons and sushi making take place throughout the day also. As I mentioned, I relaxed on this holiday a little more than usual so only tried out the Bachata and yoga classes.
The spa which I highlight below is also a must for spa lovers! The resort also offers a garden and ecological walk which is full of pretty little bridges, trees, flowers and wild life such a pheasants and other exotic birds.
As part of the amenities offered, the hotel also offers complimentary kayaks, flipper masks and snorkels, catamarans, an intro to diving and a windsurfing board. A casino and nightclub are also at the entrance to the hotel (I preferred staying in the resort).
Entertainment is offered each night at the hotel. My favorite was the Lion King show which was excellent!
Food & Drinks
There are many restaurants and bars to choose from so you won’t be hungry or thirsty. There are 9 bars dotted throughout the resort that serve wine, cocktails, beer and champagne and are complimentary. Bottles of wine can be purchased with dinner if you prefer a different wine than the house wines but there are plenty of great cocktails and champagne on offer!
There are 8 restaurants ranging from Italian to a steakhouse to a buffet to seafood. There is something for all palettes to be found between the choices. My favorite was Bella Pasta, an Italian delight! 3 out of the 8 restaurants were closed during my stay due to renovations but I still felt there was enough choice during my stay.
Fresh crepes for breakfast and platefuls of watermelon, passion fruit and pineapple were my favorites for breakfast.
I visited the amazing, luxurious spa for a massage, manicure and pedicure and enjoyed my pampering session immensely. From the photos, you can see that another world of relaxation opens as you enter the spa. Gentle piano notes fill the air as you are escorted to one of the many relaxing treatment rooms.
The spa offers lots of great packages which bundle treatments together to save. There are also couples treatments as this is a honeymoon resort for lots of couples.
If you don’t want a treatment, you can also pay a small fee to access the sauna, Jacuzzi and steam room at the spa which are also beautiful. The spa also has a large gym (which I made it to only once) that is open daily.
My room was the perfect suite for a weeks holiday and included a Jacuzzi in my bedroom! There was a separate sitting/lounge area with a dining area also. Off the bedroom was a large wardrobe and his & hers sinks. Off this room was the toilet and a large walk in shower. The room had a mini bar, safe and a TV with 100s of channels (which I never turned on). The hotel surprised me daily with treats of rose petals, towel creations, champagne, chocolates which was such an amazing touch.
For an additional fee, you can upgrade to the platinum package to have 24 hour room service included, nightly turndown service, alcohol in the room and a couple more benefits. I didn’t think this was necessary for my stay and was perfect without the platinum package.
Excursions and activities
There are so many excursions and adventures you can enjoy in Punta Cana. There is an Expedia advisor on site and also a concierge who can help you with information on the types of excursions available. There are also great deals online which you can use Tripadvisor to help you see reviews and photos of certain excursions and activities. I did para sailing which was absolutely amazing, the views are spectacular. We paid $75 for 3 of us to parasail and got a fun speedboat trip as part of the package.
I had a busy week with work the week before and had NYFW the week after so didn’t want to exhaust myself with lots of excursions but some of the ones that I looked into were:
Saona day trip – a day trip to a magical island via a beautiful catamaran. Snorkel in the turquoise waters and enjoy a buffet lunch and open bar on the island
Swimming with Dolphins – you can swim with Dolphins in the ocean so the Dolphins are not captured in a pool.
Reef Explorer – you are whisked off to a reef in the middle of the ocean allowing you 4 hours to enjoy an array of activities including paddle boarding, snorkeling, kayaking, a massage, sunbathing or much more.
Marinarium – step aboard a glass bottom board and experience the beautiful coral reefs. Drinks and snorkel gear are also provided.
Horse riding in the Caribbean – I really wanted to do this but will do next time – lots of different companies offer swimming with horses in the sea, riding along the beach or the forest.
Santo Domingo City Tour – Experience true Dominican culture while exploring Santo Domingo.
Getting to Punta Cana
I was in NYC the week before so took a direct flight from JFK. The flight was four hours and there are multiple daily flights. My family flew from Ireland via Toronto which allowed them a quick stop over before taking off on the second leg of their journey. The hotel is about half an hour from Punta Cana airport (PUJ) and I highly recommend booking a shuttle/transfer in advance. It will be cheaper and you can ensure you are safe with a trusted driver. Try Dominican Airport Transfers for both shared and private transfers. I booked only two days before and a private shuttle was $62 v a shared shuttle of $24 (both return). If you book in advance you will most likely be able to get better rates.
Other top tips for any visit to Dominican Republic:
Make sure you book your transfer to and from the airport before you arrive to save hassle when you get there
The hotels largely accept USD along with the excursion companies
I was one of those people who stayed at the resort the majority of the time as it was so beautiful but also because it is safer than the local towns
Don’t drink the tap water and be careful if you are eating outside of your hotel
Bring bug spray and lots of suncream and don’t forget to use them – the sun is strong in Punta Cana as I found out on day 2 (Rosy Rachel)
Vaccines for going to Dominican Republic are recommended but not required so ensure you get these a couple of weeks before you go if you will be around animals, in the wild or in the area for an extended amount of time etc.
Overall a wonderful blissful week that I enjoyed so much!
Thank you to Bavaria Princess Hotel for sponsoring this blog post and for the best surprises and treatments throughout my stay.
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