I’ve had the pleasure of staying in many resorts all around the Dominican Republic and this year I had the pleasure in staying at my first 5 star resort. This five star rating was given to this resort by Funjet which is the travel supplier where I booked the Barceló Bavaro Palace Deluxe. I’d booked us in a Junior Suite Deluxe.
I’ve stayed at another Barceló resort in Punta Cana called the Barceló Punta Cana. This resort is rated 3.5 by the same travel supplier. There are vast differences in the two resorts that I believe have to do with their ratings. I have learned from my experience this year that you do get what you pay for.
The first extra perk came right after check in. We were able to go directly to Guest Services and make dinner reservations for all of the a la carte restaurants at once. At the Barceló Punta Cana, you can only make your reservations the day of and you are only allowed three a la carte restaurants reservations for a one week stay.
Our suite was worth the upgrade from standard accommodations. There was a Jacuzzi for two on our balcony. Our room also had complimentary robe and slippers. The décor was upgraded and modern. Our accommodations at the Barcelo Punta Cana were certainly comfortable and nice. It was not a suite but it was modern and had everything that we needed.
I found that there were a lot more options for food at the 5 star resort. In the main buffet had many stations which cut down on lines. It had 8 (yes, count them, 8) egg stations for your breakfasts. I never had to wait in line for my ham and cheese omelet or my husbands fried eggs for his breakfast sandwiches. There are even two 24 hour a day restaurants; the 19th Hole and the Sports Bar.
I noticed huge differences in spa and gym facilities. The Palace Deluxe had an excellent gym with lots of workout equipment and machines and their spa was incredible with both an inside and an outside dedicated pools. The gym at the other Barcelo was pretty much non-existent and their spa was fairly small.
There are also considerable differences in the shopping options. The Palace Deluxe has a large variety of stores with many high end options. The Barcelo Punta Cana has limited shopping options with very basic shops.
These comparisons are the only ones that come to mind and for most people don’t make a lick of difference. I have stayed quite comfortably at the Barcelo Punta Cana on two different vacations and would not hesitate to go again. I did like all the extra comforts of the Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe and would not hesitate to recommend this resort to anyone. The 5 star resorts are great but come at a price. When searching for your next vacation; explore all options.