Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Emily: One of my best friends lives in Arlington, Virginia, so I don’t see her very often. We met in college and have been friends ever since. The first (and last) time we took a vacation together was to Barcelona, Spain in 2007.
I thought it would be super fun to celebrate my 30th birthday with her in the Dominican Republic. So we planned a trip to 3 locations, including Santo Domingo, Bayahibe, and Bavaro (near Punta Cana) over the course of one week.
Emily’s Birthday Trip to the Dominican Republic Index:
- Trip to the Dominican Republic – Introduction and Planning
- Santo Domingo Hotel – Sofitel Nicolas de Ovando
- Activities in Santo Domingo – Zona Colonial and Latin Dancing
- Activities in Santo Domingo – Casa de Orientacion y Desarrollo Real (CODR)
- Eating in Santo Domingo
- Bayahibe – Isla Saona and Hotel Bayahibe
- Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe
- Activities in and Around Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe
- Eating in and Around Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe
- Return Delta Flight from Punta Cana
- Conclusion and Blog Giveaway
Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe
I booked us for two nights in a Deluxe Room at the Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe. The cost was ~$160 per night and was an all-inclusive rate. The hotel is one of the largest hotels I have stayed in. It rivals a Las Vegas hotel!
There are 11 restaurants including 2 buffets.
In addition, there are 14 bars, a club, and a casino. There are 1,600 rooms and I estimated there were at least 2,000 people staying at the resort.
Here’s a video of our room:
It took us about 20 minutes to check in. It’s a huge resort, so everything takes a long time.
There was a large check-in area. But there was plenty of seating while you waited.
The hotel was modern and had recent upgrades.
The swimming pools surrounded the whole resort.
There was water volleyball…
semi submerged lounge chairs…
and there was a small gazebo for weddings.
There were ping pong tables…
and wind surfers…
The water looked beautiful!
Kristen and I both enjoyed the white sand…
and clear blue waters.
There was also a casino, nightclub…
and lots of places to relax and have a drink.
There was a theatre for evening musicals.
I had emailed the staff to let them know about my allergy and requesting an upgrade, if available, for my birthday.
When we checked in, I again mentioned how excited we were to be here and celebrate my birthday. She said she could give me an upgrade but that the room wasn’t ready yet.
So, we went to the Guest Services area to meet with Claudia, who requested I meet with her upon check-in regarding my food allergy.
Claudia was very nice and escorted us to meet all three of the restaurant chefs. She wanted them to know who I was and to know the chef’s names so I could ask for them when I had my meals. I was very happy that they took my allergy so seriously!
Junior Suite Deluxe Room
We were escorted to our room when it was ready, and were delighted to see that we had been upgraded to a Junior Suite Deluxe, which was one category higher than the room we booked!
On the left side was the bathroom, and the main living area was in the back.
Even with 2 double beds, there was a lot of room in the Junior Suite.
There was a small sitting area.
The highlight of the room was the patio with our own Jacuzzi.
Towards the right, there was a view of the ocean.
The bathroom was also very nice and modern.
There were two sinks, and a walk-in shower.
We were given lots of amenities.
The hotel staff surprised me with a treat for my birthday. I got a selection of white and dark chocolates and a chocolate covered strawberry.