I miss my relaxing vacations days at the beach at Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe Hotel Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. My mornings were simple but also quite spectacular. I’m not a morning person during winter, but on summer days or while on vacation, I never want to miss a sunrise. My room was in front of the garden with partial views of the ocean. I would purposely leave the curtains on the balcony half-open at night so that I would wake up with the early sun rays and natural light.
The first thing to do after a cold shower was to turn on the coffee machine in my room. And prepare my coffee just the way I like it: dark, strong and made in DR. Of course, Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe Hotel Punta Cana is an all-inclusive hotel, and I had the option of calling room service for a cup of coffee and breakfast. But I greatly enjoyed the ceremony of making coffee quietly while the entire hotel was still sleeping during the morning silence. The next step was to walk into the balcony with my fresh coffee in hand, to welcome the day in peace and with a smile.
The early lights and the welcoming of the day were magnificent. On one side, I had the privilege of opening my eyes to a new day with such beautiful colors and on the other side, the sound of the beach: calming and saluting me with a promise of a beautiful day. My bedroom was garden view with partial ocean view. The panoramic in front of me was all perfect green landscape, with the birds singing greeting the morning and towards the end of the garden the beginning of the beach, with the most glittering blue-green in motion. I was all smiles and happiness barefooted on that balcony each morning.
Waking up in that room was an abundance of pleasure to my senses, and that filled me with content and joy. It always felt like a ceremony from mother-nature, as if the many forces of nature would align to say thank you to each other with reverential sounds and movement. As I stand there, a quiet witness of awesomeness, with coffee in hand.
The morning walks on that beautiful white sandy beach, filled my heart with gratitude. I crave the connections I made with strangers at the beach. I’m easy to talk to when I’m in a good mood, and at the beach, I’m always full of joy. But what I miss the most, it was how easy it was for everyone else to smile. Sincere smiles and without effort. Just a permanent facial gestures on all of us that probably said: “vacation mode” or “I’m happy to be here and not at the office.” Ha!
Imagine if we all had the opportunity to live our daily lives as if in vacation mode. Unguarded, unpretentious, without an agenda or dress code (my hair was a wild curly mess in the mornings, and I didn’t care.) without needing much (it was just a swimsuit and a book for me and nothing else) no shoes, no accessories and especially no need for cell phones. Just my tiny camera on occasions because mother nature needed to be captured.
Details about Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe Hotel:
The Dominican Republic is a 3.5 hours flight away from New York to Punta Cana. I stayed for seven days during hurricane season at the all-inclusive Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe Hotel, and I was lucky to enjoy perfect weather throughout the whole week. Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe Hotel in Punta Cana is a big family hotel with 1600 accommodations, several amenities, and an excellent spa. It has 1.2 miles of soft white sandy beach, and the water is a beautiful mix of greenish-blue. I searched for the best deal through Expedia, and I was able to get roundtrip flights, airport-hotel-airport transportation, and the Junior Suite at the all-inclusive Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe Hotel and an excellent price. Here is the link to Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe Hotel in Punta Cana on Expedia.
My bedroom was lovely, as you can see in the pictures. It was pretty spacious, and it felt like a small apartment. It was calming and beautiful, and it welcomed me as if it were my home. I was born in the Dominican Republic and this room embedded the relaxing beauty of my born-country. The decoration was a mix of happy tropical colors, the room was spacious with many amenities, and the balcony had a jacuzzi, which I took plenty of advantage. The concept of the bathroom-bedroom was open space like most hotel rooms in the Caribbean, and it had a rainfall shower. Each night I used to enjoy a warm rainfall-shower bath before bed, and I regularly felt sleep like a baby!
There are several bedroom plans according to budget at the Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe. Usually, I make an effort not to book a regular room, and I try investing in an upgrade. 80% of the hotel rooms are located right in front of the sea. My bedroom was a Junior Suite with a view of the garden and partial ocean view. Meaning, not entirely in front of the ocean but since I was on the third floor, I had beautiful unobstructed views of the beach. The upgrade and tranquility on this room were worth every penny.
Now, let’s talk about food. The food was alright. I’m a picky eater, and I don’t usually try all restaurants. My favorite was the buffet because I was craving eating local Dominican food and that’s where I found the most variety (which I loved). In New York, I’m able to obtain food from all over the world, but while I’m in DR, I skip the theme restaurants and stay with local food. Of course, the advantage of the specialty restaurants at Barcelo Bavaro Palace is that the menu tends to be more “gourmet” than the local options. Meaning, familiar food choices on the menu. An advantage of booking “premium” is that you get to be among the first ones to be added to restaurant reservations.
There are 11 restaurants at Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe:
Miramar: International buffet restaurant.
Bohio Dominicano: Dominican buffet restaurant and where I was eating almost every day.
El Coral: Seafood restaurant. Words for you: crab-legs and lobsters.
Santa Fe Steak House: A la carte meat restaurant with a wine cellar.
La Dolce Vita: A la carte Italian restaurant.
Mexico Lindo: Mexican restaurant with the colorful and beautiful decor.
Kyoto Japanese: Sushi and Asian fusion restaurant. Meals prepared at a teppanyaki table.
La Fuente: Spanish restaurant, tapas bar, paella and the best wines at the hotel. My favorite night-time restaurant.
La Comedie: French restaurant with a wine cellar, exclusive to the premium level guests.
19 Hole: Restaurant located near the golf course.
Sports Bar: American style restaurant. You’ll be able to watch sports all day or play pool table.
The next photo is from one of the beach locations at Barcelo Bavaro Palace for romantic dinner for couples. Be subtle with your boyfriend/husband/partner at the moment of check-in at the hotel and “innocently” let him know that it would be an excellent idea for a reservation. Trust me; it is very romantic. He’ll love it too. Ha!
Las Olas: Bar near the water park.
Carey: Lobby bar.
Coffee Rum & Cigar Lounge: Bar near the lobby. Specialty rums and cigars.
Coco: Bar near the main swimming pool.
Cielo: Bar near the adults swimming pool.
Black Jack: Bar near the casino.
Bambu: Pool-bar near the club.
Pools: 4 swimming pools, including an Olympic pool and a water park for kids.
Spa: If you are a fan of the spa-life like me, then you will enjoy the relaxation options at this place. The hydrotherapy pool is heaven.
Sports Activities: Golf, fitness center, soccer field, baseball field, tennis court, beach volleyball, water polo, aerobic, tennis table and pool table.
Water Sports: Windsurfing, kayaking, scuba diving, pedal boats, sailboats, catamaran, and snorkeling.
Snacks: Open 24 hours.
Night time: 11 restaurants, casino, adult club, teenager club, and theater.
Beach: White sandy beach, turquoise water with plenty of chairs and a near beach bar.
Others: Train service around the hotel, church, wedding services, barbershop and beauty salon, dancing and Spanish lessons, bowling alley, shopping center, convention center, and heliport.
Horseback riding, party boat, Wi-Fi access, private dining room, babysitting services, catamaran getaway, professional scuba diving classes, glass bottom ride, banana ride, parachuting, speedboat, local excursions and more.
By the way, check out Altos de Chavon Village and add the visit as an excursion. A charming replica of a 16th-century village, seating above the river Chavon. Designed by an Italian designer and a Dominican architect. A famous spot for stunning weddings and outdoor concerts.
I spent my time mostly on water at the Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe. Between the beach, pool, jacuzzi, rainfall shower, hydrotherapy pool and even a small island excursion. No wonder I came back feeling brand new, calm and relaxed after this vacation. I highly enjoyed staying at this hotel.
Tips for booking a flight to Punta Cana:
December through February: It is the full season and highly priced. Dominicans go back to the country in masses during the holidays to spend time with our family. Tourists travel over there to escape the cold weather and enjoy the warm temperatures and beaches. Hotel accommodations are over-booked and pricey. Following the Christmas and New Year’s Eve holidays, then comes the Dominican Carnival Festival in February. Book in advance to have good options.
March through May: Spring is my favorite time to visit and probably the less crowded. No holidays. No carnival. Most tourists are planning their next vacation during the summer when the kids are out of school. The weather is perfect, and the beaches feel more peaceful since there is less of a crowd. Beaches are quiet, as long as you avoid the Easter week. Easter week (Semana Santa) is when Dominicans take back ownership of our beaches and spend time with the family at the shores.
In the Dominican Republic and the rest of the Caribbean islands, after June starts the hurricane and tropical storm season until November.
June through August: I still recommend traveling from June to August. It is fun and enjoyable to plan a vacation during that time. The beginning of storm season and the risks of a hurricane are still low. However, it is full summer weather, which means the temperature might be above 85 degrees.
September through November: This is the off-season and when you find the cheapest offers to visit Punta Cana. But it is also high hurricane and tropical storm season. If you want to save some money and while enjoying the Caribbean, then try booking during September. The best month when it comes to helping your budget.
Thank you kindly!
With Love, Wen
All opinions are my own. This post is an original article for WithLoveWen.com