Iberostar Delivers 5+++ Star Luxury In The Dominican Republic

May 31, 2010 | By | Reply More
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The next time you’re craving a luxury Caribbean vacation where you’ll  be shamelessly pampered and treated like a celebrity (all for a reasonable price of course), look no further than the all-inclusive Iberostar Grand Bávaro in Punta Cana, DR. Just when we all thought the development of ultra luxury properties was on the wane, Iberostar Resorts does it again! The Iberostar Grand Hotel Bávaro in the Dominican Republic is a hands-down winner for delivering upscale indulgences coupled with a stunning setting and memorable service.

Linda’s Just Back Trip Report: (You may remember my article on the Iberostar Grand in Jamaica, well the good folks at Iberostar invited me to experience the newly opened Iberostar Grand in Punta Cana – WOW what a resort!  From the moment we arrived and walked through the entrance, I was in awe. 

Iberostar Grand Bavaro ShipPicture magnificent artwork, sculpture and a view that lets you know you are about to be treated like royalty. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be pampered, wined, dined, and have every earthly wish granted? I AM NOT KIDDING! I was all smiles as Juan escorted us to our room, where a quick look to the right produced a heart stopping view of water and a magnificent ship (yes, a real ship) that sits shimmering in a lagoon, serving as a festive bar.  Beyond the ship were meandering pools (yes pools plural) with strategically positioned cabanas for sun bathing.  As Juan opened the door to our spacious suite, the balcony delivered a view that was like an adult Disney fantasy.

Iberostar Grand Bavaro PoolJust like a genie in a Disney movie, Pastor, our personal butler appeared, with the most welcoming smile I have ever seen. Blinking my eyes, I heard those famous words, “Your wish is my command”!  As he gave us a tour of our suite, his warm and welcoming personality left me wanting to pinch myself to see if I was dreaming.  The only thing missing was the magic lamp – but the telephone worked just as well. When the television was not working correctly-Pastor appeared and fixed it.  He was always smiling and had a great sense of humor.  “We are here 24 hours for anything you need,” were always his parting words. Too bad I could not bring Pastor home, but his smile will be with me forever. It took us a few days and reminders from Pastor to realize how wonderful this service could be. I soon learned you could have wine and popcorn as a bedtime snack, and load the in-room bar with any beverage you can think of. By the third day, we enjoyed ordering a snack before dinner – the smoked salmon was addictive, and other guests ordered ice cream sundaes as a late night treat. But the all time best request was a special Jacuzzi presentation complete with flowers, candles, champagne and chocolate covered strawberries, all prepared and awaiting  your return at evenings end.

Dining At The Resort: Iberostar resorts excel in their cuisine. 5 featured restaurants, Gourmet, Mediterranean, Italian, Surf &Turf, and Japanese tempt you to dine.  And If that isn’t enough, there is also a buffet for breakfast and a casual poolside restaurant for lunch. One meal was more spectacular than the next.  My personal favorites were the mouth-watering lobster risotto and Dorado cooked in salt – each meal was a treat.   In addition, guests of the Grand Bavaro can dine in any of the other three Iberostar properties.  The service and presentation were truly 5 star level. If you want something special-you’ve got it, just ask. Even the buffets offered artful displays of fresh salads, grilled lobster and beef delights.

Resort Activities: Let’s be honest, most of us go on vacation to simply relax.  You can lounge to your heart’s content by the magnificent pools or along the wide sugar soft white sand beach.  And once you’re all rested up, there’s a wide variety of water sports awaiting; snorkeling, diving, ocean kayaking, Hoby craft,  etc. There are activities all day long as well; water-exercises, yoga, chess with pieces 3 feet tall, archery, tennis, and let’s not forget golf (more about that later).  Phew, I think its back to those lovely beach cabanas for me!

Need a little more relaxation-how about a Spa treatment?  Here are just a few treatments they are famous for:

  • Couples Wine Ritual-wine scrub, wine wrap, wine soak (you have drink wine while soaking) followed by a massage and you know wine is anti-aging
  • Couples Chocolate Ritual- you guessed it-all chocolate
  • Shell massage – special shells are used to melt your muscles into the ocean.

As our readers know, Spa’s are my thing. I would classify this as a resort with wonderful spa services rather than a true spa destination. The imaginative treatments and the expertise of their therapists set them a step above many properties.   Both Rosie and Esmeralda were incredibly skilled at making those muscles roll over and relax. Their hands move over the body like blades on the ice. We chose the 2 ½ hour Wine Ritual and I can honestly say I felt years younger or maybe all the de-stressing relaxed every wrinkle on my body.

Iberostar Grand Bavaro Golf CourseStill need more?  Let’s talk Golf .  Guests of the resort receive one free round per person with a 3 or 4 night stay, and 2 free rounds with a 7 day vacation. While I was pampered at the spa, Stewart took to the links for an up-close inspection.  Iberostar’s 18-hole golf course has some of the most amazing holes in the Caribbean.  While there, we met Steven Hahn of  The 19th Hole Magazine, who declared it to be “A resort golf course suited for all levels of golfers”. “The front 9 are fine, but the back 9 are some of the most challenging holes in all of the Caribbean,” said Steve. Another guest of the hotel said, “The beautiful boulder-filled lake on 16 is by far the most spectacular hole in the Caribbean.” The one thing Stewart advises is “Bring lots of golf balls, you will need them”.

Iberostar Grand Bavaro Nightclub ShowNightly Entertainment: The on-site theatre has entertainment every night featuring Rio Dominican, complete with audience participation. The entertainers perform Dominican songs and dances, which express the island life. Don’t be surprised if you are welcomed by Cisa – she is a personal ambassador of fun. There are also a variety bands which play in the lobby bar, or perhaps it’s time to be off for some drinking and dancing aboard the replica Spanish sailing ship!

My Tips: If you think I am describing a vacation heaven-you are correct – but there are a few additional tips that will be helpful:

  • The Grand Bavaro is an adults only resort.  If you will be traveling as a family, there are three other Iberostar properties on Bavaro Beach that will entertain the whole group.
  • You may use the facilities and restaurants at the other Iberostar resorts, but the other resorts cannot use the facilities of the Grand Bavaro resort.
  • A major plus are the complementary rounds of  Golf – this is truly an all-inclusive resort!
  • The staff is there to make your stay memorable.  They go out of their way to be sure you are having a wonderful vacation, so don’t be timid about asking for a special request – hint, hint, is this an anniversary or birthday celebration?
  • Oh, yes- there’s a great pillow menu- give it a try
  • It’s helpful to practice up on your traveler’s Spanish before heading to the Dominican Republic.

As you head to your room at the end of the evening, there will not only be a turn down service and chocolate waiting, but a surprise towel sculpture with flowers to welcome you back. We spent four days at this amazing paradise, but felt we had been away for a week.   So if you can only squeeze out a long weekend escape,  the Iberostar Grand Bavaro should be your choice for the most relaxing and restful experience of your life.  Indulge in a full week’s stay and you’ll feel like royalty -and of course, YOU DESERVE IT!

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Category: Caribbean Travel Tips, Featured, Romantic Vacations