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Punta Cana

9/24/2012 2:41:40 PM

Sue and Gary recently returned from a one week vacation to Punta Cana, staying the first three nights at Gran Bahia Principe Ambar Don Pablo Collection and the last four nights at Iberostar Grand Bavaro.  While both resorts are adult only and all-inclusive, they are quite different, and we enjoyed both of them.

Gran Bahia Principe Ambar, Don Pablo Collection (528 rooms), while located in the middle of the huge Gran Bahia Principe complex (total of 2460 rooms),  had  the feel of a smaller resort.  Butler service available and choice of  four restaurants and three bars. The room was nicely furnished with a partial ocean view with all the amenities and everything  in working order.  We had no problem getting reservations at any of the restaurants and the food and service was excellent and the staff very friendly.  The rooms and grounds were immaculate and they were continuously maintaining all aspects of the property.   The free wi-fi in the lobby worked quite well and was very pleasant.  We also ate at the Italian Restaurant at the Gran Bahia Pricipe Esmerelda and it far exceeded our expectations.  The lunch buffet was good, with lots of choices.  We are picky about alcohol selection.  Included wines were good, not great and they did serve premium vodka and scotch.  Because of the incredibly reasonable price, we did have low expectations, but  were very pleasantly surprised and would definitely recommend and return to this resort.  The only negative was the continuous and unrelenting sales pitch from the Time Share people.  Just saying “no” didn’t work.

Iberostar Grand Bavaro is a beautiful adult only resort with magnificent grounds.  Also smaller resort (260 rooms) within the mega Iberostar complex (1790 rooms).  The layout of this resort was amazing and everything was constantly maintained.  The room, while smaller than other Iberostar Grands was contemporary in design with a very interesting spa tub that faced the courtyard with electric blinds on 2 sides.  Very cool! Butler service was also included and dinner reservations were made by him.  Dining reservations a little more difficult to get, but we found if we checked at the restaurant the day we wanted to dine, there was not a problem.  I think in peak season it would be a good idea to make your dining reservations in advance.  The Italian restaurant left a little to be desired but the gourmet restaurant and the steak and seafood  restaurants were great.  Iberostar is still serving plenty of lobster both for dinner and lunch.   Free wi-fi available in the room and it worked fairly well.  This resort was much newer and contemporary in design.  The public areas were truly unique works of art!  The full sized ship in the courtyard serves as a night club/sports bar inside and cocktails with entertainment on the outside.  Iberostar still has great shows in their large inside theatre.  “Rock Show” was extremely entertaining and we are usually not into hotel shows.   Also serves good wine and top shelf alcohol.  The had Grey Goose Vodka and Stoly.  Again, we really loved this resort, but it is quite pricey.  We would definitely return and recommend Iberostar Grand Bavaro.  They also had time share people, but they were not nearly as aggressive!

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