We are back from our annual summer vacation and I wanted to share my personal opinion of our stay at Royalton Bavaro Resort & Spa.
This was our third stay at a Royalton chain of resorts and based on our first two experiences we expected nothing less than perfection from this resort as well.
I will mention that we typically book our vacations through Apple Vacations or Funjet and this year was no exception. We have a history a positive experiences booking through these sites and would highly recommend either of them them. The only reason we would chose one over the other would be room options or better deals. But either way you go, you will get great service.
Our first impression of Royalton Bavaro was wow! Nothing short of amazing. Throughout our trip we had a few hick ups but overall it was great.
Check in. It was a breeze. We landed at 11:30am and were at the resort by 12:30pm. We were greeted with fresh juice in the designated Diamond Club check in area.
While we booked Diamond Club to be closer to the beach, our package included a partial ocean view room. But this was not an issue for us. It was part of the package that we chose.
However, we mentioned at check in that we would like to upgrade our room to possibly ocean front or ocean view and he said he would see what he could do. He assigned us our reserved room within 10 minutes, called our butler [included in the Diamond Club service] and we were on our way. The butler, Wedny, gave us a quick tour of the grounds and walked us to our room.
Wedny also showed us a private DC area in our building. If we needed coffee, snacks, a nice hang out area or any assistance, we could just walk downstairs and it was all available to us. This is also where our wrist bands/ room keys were programmed. On top of all of the staff available to us, we also had a feature on the room TV to request anything we needed or to check out the resort events schedule. Pretty sweet!
We were on the beach before 2pm and could not have asked for a better first day!
Seaweed. This was an issue but temporarily. The staff worked endlessly to take care of it. Rain is native to tropical areas and with that comes seaweed. So I personally expected this and it did not bother me too much. Especially since by mid morning they cleaned up most of it. But if you really like mornings on the beach like we do, and don’t mind pushing through some seaweed, you can still get in the ocean and enjoy it to the fullest.
Butler: We did not need him too much during our stay. He was available via text message on Whats up App and checked in on us regularly. We contacted him a few times on our 2nd day just to make sure we had dinner reservations and to see if he was able to upgrade our room. Which he did – he came through for us! He had our dinner reservations and a family suite with an ocean view ready and waiting for us!
After a full day at the pool and on the beach, Wedny let us get ready for dinner, pack up our stuff and helped us move to our new room which was just a floor below. Super easy and painless process.
Check out this room and view!
Dinner: Wedny made reservations for us at all of the restaurants and thank goodness he did. Because if you did not have reservations or if you were late, you would miss out. I thought that all of the restaurants including Rio, Hunter, Zen, Grazie, Zen Hibachi and Oceanside were wonderful. My husband would not agree, he did not particularly like Zen or Grazie. If you can’t make it to all, definitely try Rio, Hunter and Hibachi.
Breakfast: Because Oceanside was Diamond Club exclusive and it was convenient, we ate breakfast there every morning. Super close to DC buildings and great view of the beach. Staff was super friendly but we did experience some language barriers especially with the cooks.
Overall typical all inclusive buffet restaurant.
Lunch: We stuck to the food truck, Nibbles and the BBQ by the lazy river. Nibbles is nothing extra but convenient and quick if you don’t feel like walking to the BBQ or an extra 10 minutes to the buffet. The BBQ was my favorite! I love grilled foods so this was my best lunch place.
Also if you really wanted anything, the waiters at DC were more then willing to get it for you [tip accordingly]. The bar/ lunch place by the DC pool also had a nice menu but we didn’t get a chance to try it.
Buffet: We visited the buffet the first night for dinner and then would stop by every night just for dessert. The kids loved picking their own treats and we loved to grab a plate of fruit. Overall lots of options and freshly prepared food.
The Cafe: I love my coffee so this was super important to me. While they had a lot of options for pastries and sweets, the coffee was just okay and far!
Convenience store: This was the worst experience of my life. The ladies that work here are the rudest people ever. The would not even talk to you and if you asked questions they would talk among themselves but never actually answer you. They were absolutely unprofessional to everyone. Just beware.
Shows: I think this was the first time in our all inclusive history that we saw a show every night. The kids wanted to stay up and so we did. They ended up loving all of them and had a blast each night. Shows were fun, entertaining and not over the top.
Pools: There are 3 main pools, 1 of which is Diamond Club. Our kids loved the kids pool with slides and splash areas. But it does get hot fairly fast because it is shallow. I would suggest hitting this up in the morning and then exploring the bigger pools during the rest of the day.
There is a lazy river with a bar. This is a fun experience if you did not have an obnoxious group of drunks hanging out there all day long and drinking, eating, peeing and making it super uncomfortable for everyone else. Especially kids. So get there early as well and try to enjoy it.
Diamond Club pool is nice and cool for the most part. It has a bar and amazing lounge chairs. It is super close to the beach and tons of space and towels available. It gets crazy in the afternoons. The bar gets full and on some days it was unbearable. Some groups were so bad that they were spilling drinks and food into the pool and I did not see anyone cleaning it up [until the next morning].
I wish they had music at DC pools as well. The other pools seemed to have music and entertainment, DC did not!
Service: The cleaning service was good. We did not experience any issues with that. However, they would not restock the fridge until later in the evening and we always had to call to remind them. They would typically bring M&Ms or chips. Beverages included beer, water, juice and chocolate milk. Front desk attendants were always accommodating. The grounds were always kept clean. There are plenty of towels everywhere you go.
Tipping: This is to be expected however as an all inclusive resort, it states that tips are included and therefore service should not be effected. Yet it was. We find that this is the case at more and more resorts these days.
Market: I always look forward to the market. I like to buy a trinket or two for ourselves, something for the kids and maybe gifts for our families. They are pushy sometimes but if you say ‘no thank you’ they will leave you alone. I never felt pressured so much that I had to fight someone off. They want to sell and they UP the price by 100% – everything is negotiable – TRUST ME. They wanted $50 for a few things my daughter and I picked and in the end we paid $20! So have fun and enjoy. There are markets and vendors on the beach daily. We never had trouble from anyone. If you like walking on the beach, there is an entire outside market just a few miles up the beach – bring your cash!
Beach: Despite some seaweed issues, we loved the beach. The water is so refreshing and beautiful. The sand is so soft and pink. There are miles and miles of shore you could walk and just relax your mind and soul. Rejuvenating to say the least.
Spa: There are many spa services, none of which we used. But if you want your hair braided, there are ladies that will do it on the beach as well.
- I did not like that all of the action was at the main Royalton Pool. Even though we had the list of activities available on TV, I would have liked to see the Vibe team come around and remind people of what was going on that day. We had that at the Royalton Rivera Maya and that was nice. Sometimes you get caught up with kids or just lounging around and someone from the Vibe team would come around and just get people excited for the activities. I saw no one the entire week we were there at Bavaro.
- We usually expect to see photographers come around with animals – nope not here. They were on the beach but because beach is public, we were never sure if they were part of the resort.
- At the other Royalton Resorts the Kids Club was convenient and if there were activities going on, they would come around and invite kids. Not at Bavaro. It is also far from DC. You will never see or hear any of the kids action. I also didn’t feel like leaving my kids that far away from me. At previous resorts if they were at the kids club and didn’t like an activity they could just walk back to us, not at Bavaro [too far].
- Food staff never wears gloves or hairnets. Was not impressed.
- Dinner service. So inconsistent. At some restaurants we waited forever to get serviced, at others they rushed us out in less then 30 minutes.
- Language. We had no issues talking to the waiters and staff but when it came to breakfast, lunch or dinner it was very hard to get what you ordered. 4 out of 7 nights, they would bring the wrong food for our kids. If you order anything slightly off the menu, they missed it.
- If you wanted a ride to the front of the hotel, because it is far and that is where the buffet, stores, excursions, cafe, kids and teen clubs are, you could just text your butler and a ride would be arranged. They have golf carts available. We did not know this until our last day!!
- If you want a coconut drink be prepared to pay $7. They are not free.
- If you want wine other then generic red or white, those are offered at a special price as well.
Overall I give this resort ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Here are some more photos for your enjoyment! You will not regret visiting this resort but go with an open mind. Things are not 100% perfect. You don’t always get what you pay for but whatever you do – have fun and make memories.