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Premium Level at Barcelo Bavaro Palace 4.5

Bavaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Exclusive resort-within-a-resort on a beautiful stretch of white-sand beach
  • All-inclusive rates also include meals at La Comedie and top-shelf alcohol
  • Spacious, contemporary rooms all have balconies with hot tubs
  • Multiple pools, with kids and adult-only options, plus a water park 
  • 18-hole Pete Dye golf course, plus 18-hole mini-golf 
  • Exclusive Premium Level lounge with breakfast and hors d'oeuvres
  • Lovely spa with variety of treatments and infinity pool
  • Fitness center with spinning and Pilates studios 
  • Extensive buffet and a la carte dining options, ranging from Japanese to Mexican fare 
  • 14 bars plus a nightclub, a theater, and a 24-hour casino
  • Private reception for speedy check-in/check-out
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • Beach can get crowded and waves can make swimming dangerous at times
  • Resort is huge and getting around can be time-consuming (though there is a shuttle)

Bottom Line

Situated on a beautiful stretch of white-sand beach, the Premium Level section of the Barcelo Bavaro Palace is a four-and-a-half-pearl all-inclusive resort-within-a-resort that accounts for 144 of the Barcelo's 1,402 rooms. Guests here have access to all of facilities at the Bavaro Palace, which include multiple pools, a high-end gym, a kids' waterpark, and free non-motorized water-sports equipment, along with 11 restaurants, 14 bars, a nightclub, and a casino (plus free access to La Comedie restaurant -- non-Premium guests have to pay extra). Perks at the Premium Level include a lounge with hors d'oeuvres and a dedicated reception area. Rooms are spacious and all have ocean-facing balconies/terraces with hot tubs. Travelers seeking something a bit less expensive might want to opt for the Bavaro Palace wing of the resort instead.

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Scene

High-end, all-inclusive resort-within-a-resort that's popular with travelers seeking a bit more exclusivity

The Premium Level at Barcelo Bavaro Palace is a resort-within-a-resort concept that accounts for around a tenth of the gargantuan resort's inventory. This part of the property features its own exclusive check-in facilities, which can save a lot of time (as registration at the main part of the hotel can take ages due to its sheer size). Sleek, modern interiors are elegant and inviting, while the sprawling grounds feature manicured lawns, a beautiful beachfront, and attractive pool areas dotted with tall palm trees. Bavaro Palace is one of four resorts on a larger complex run by the Spanish Barcelo chain, and it attracts mainly European and North American vacationers, families and couples alike. Premium Level rooms generally have better views than those at the rest of the resort, and rates will include access to meals at La Comedie, which is a step up from the regular resort fare.

Location

Lovely beachfront location, a 25-minute drive north of the Punta Cana airport

The Premium Level at Barcelo Bavaro Palace occupies a prime beachfront section of the larger Barcelo complex in Bavaro, about a 25-minute drive north of Punta Cana airport. The area is home to a limited smattering of restaurants and nightclubs, mostly in and around the town of Friusa, that offer locals and tourists a change of pace from the dominant presence of resorts. The beaches along this northern stretch of the coast generally see much stronger waves and have steeper drop off than those to the south in Punta Cana. Getting to the capital city, Santo Domingo, takes about two and a half hours. 

Rooms

Huge suites with whirlpool hot tubs, ocean-facing balconies or terraces, free Wi-Fi, and luxe bathrooms

The Premium Level offers six types of suites. They're all large, starting at around 721 square feet (67 square meters), and all have terraces or balconies that look right out over the ocean and are equipped with hot tubs. The contemporary decor is tasteful, if a bit simple, with lots of rich woods in hues of cherry and mahogany paired with cream-colored marble floors and pops of art here and there. 

All rooms are well equipped with a solid array of amenities, including flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, free minibars, coffeemakers, safes, and ironing facilities. Higher categories add computers with printers as well as microwaves, plus whirlpool hot tubs in bathrooms. Bathrooms are luxurious, with walk-in rainfall showers, vessel sinks, makeup mirrors, and robes and slippers. As an extra perk, Premium Level guests are greeted with free chocolates, champagne, and fruit upon arrival. You'll also score round-the-clock room service. 

Features

Access to all Bavaro Palace facilities, plus premium perks including private lounge, top-shelf alcohol, and free Wi-Fi

Guests of the Premium Level get full access to all of the facilities across the Barcelo Palace Resort, with all meals and drinks included, plus free Wi-Fi. Premium guests also get access to a private lounge with a buffet breakfast service and hors d'oeuvres along with premium alcohol and dedicated concierge services and check-in/check-out. 

The palm-fringed beach in front of the property is gorgeous, with clean water and well maintained sands, but the waves can be rough and the beach is often crowded. There are plenty of unshaded lounge chairs and motorized water-sports equipment is included in rates. Guests of the Premium Level get access to the numerous pools at the Barcelo Bavaro Palace, notably a main pool with a swim-up bar and water features, a kids' pool, and a secluded adults-only pool with cabanas and its own bar. There's also a waterpark on the property with slides, bridges, and climbing structures, a luxurious spa with an infinity pool, and a fitness center with a Pilates studio, a spinning studio, and lots of cardio and weight-training equipment. A small boutique sells exercise clothing and shoes for those who forgot to bring their own workout gear. Other resort features include a large theater with shows for kids and adults throughout the day, plus an 18-hole Pete Dye golf course and 18-hole mini-golf.

The Barcelo Bavaro Palace has 11 restaurants, and Premium Level guests get access to all of them, with Mexican, Japanese, Italian, and Spanish offerings. All but two restaurants are a la carte and only open for dinner, though there are a couple of buffet options -- Miramar and Bohio Dominicano -- that are open for all three meals. La Comedie, the hotel's French restaurant, is free for Premium Level guests and costs extra for everyone else. In addition, there are 14 bars, including a 24-hour sports bar and bars inside the on-site nightclub and the 24-hour casino. Room service is also available around the clock.

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Address

Carretera Bavaro, Bavaro, Punta Cana 3177, Caribbean