The first time we visited the Dominican Republic, we stayed at Bavaro Princess, and I must say that it almost persuaded me not to go back to Dom Rep at all. Dated, damp rooms which the hotel would not change – the excuse being that ‘First Choice won’t let their clients stay on upper floors due to health and safety’.
The buffet restaurant was a scrum with mediocre food, queues, all the traditional things guaranteed to put you off the word ‘buffet’. A couple of the a la carte restaurants however were exceptionally good. Gardens and public areas of the hotel were immaculately kept, and with an eco-park in the grounds it was a pleasure to stroll around.
The beach was kept clean, there was a scrum for sunbeds and umbrellas unfortunately, but wonderful walks in both directions along the sand. Nice, large swimming pools, always clean. Entertainment – dire, but I think it nearly always is, very ‘high school musical’ but not so good.
Some of the Canadian and US tour operators (Transat/Apple) seem to only book the upgrade packages, with better quality rooms, a larger choice of restaurants, and private lounge – depending on the price, this might make the hotel a worthwhile place to be, but I definitely would not book again through a UK tour operator, who I think have the lowest quality accommodation at the hotel.