Punta Cana is known for its white sandy beaches, coconut-bearing palm trees, and abundance of all-inclusive resorts. But with nearly one hundred properties to choose from, it's unsurprising that not all of the beach's all-inclusives are created equal.
Punta Cana’s upscale resorts aim to distinguish themselves as luxury beachside havens, offering one-of-a-kind swimming pools, immaculate accommodations, and inventive tropical drinks that seem to refill themselves. Here’s a look at one of the destination’s newest additions, the Royalton Bavaro.
Budget Level: Luxe ($450+/night)
Lodging Type: Large All-Inclusive Resort (730 suites)
What You Need to Know
Grand and inviting, the Royalton Bavaro wows upon first impression with a sweeping, marble lobby and pristine, manicured pathways leading out to the beach. At the heart of the action, the main party pool hosts an all-day DJ and daily activities, while the infinity pool, complete with a swim-up bar, is the preferred place to relax. Enough palapas line the resort’s beach to ensure you’ll snag a spot, even if you arrive late in the day.
Touting a FlowRider surf machine, a nine-hole mini golf course, and a lazy river, Royalton Bavaro is decidedly family-focused. Kids have the run of the place, but the resort works its magic in maintaining a balanced, paradise vibe (the free-flowing cocktails across the resort’s seven bars help, though). The DJ’s beats echo throughout the property and local vendors arrive on select days to hawk their crafts, at times a little too persistent to make a sale. For the best adult-only retreat, head to the spa where a large hydrotherapy pool offers a welcome and quiet oasis.
Who Will Love It
Families looking for a luxe getaway will delight in Royalton Bavaro’s mix of fun-in-the-sun and beachfront elegance. The suites are spacious and modern, with 24-hour room service (included). The unlimited reservation-free dining allows for easy access to the resort’s five specialty restaurants (head to Rio first—the Brazilian steakhouse has the best cuts of steak and an unmatched view of the ocean), along with the more casual buffets that overwhelm with variety. The free high-speed wifi is fast enough to stream your favorite shows poolside, a perfect way to unwind after taking advantage of the kayaks and paddle boards on the beach.
Who Might Not
Couples who prefer their paradise in peace will find the resort’s grounds too active. And—while this might seem like an odd deterrent to a beachside resort—it’s important to note that the sun is strong in Punta Cana. Come prepared with plenty of sunscreen, keep hydrated throughout the day, and make it a priority to spend time in the shade. A day in the strong sun, coupled with the resort's unlimited flowing spirits, can quickly upend a relaxing getaway.
The nightly entertainment turns the resort into a Vegas-style showcase that’s fun for the whole family. Cirque-style entertainment, magic shows, and dance performances lead into hopping parties with well-stocked bars that keep the cocktails flowing. Meanwhile, younger guests can indulge in endless homemade gelato at Scoops, open nightly until 11 p.m.
The all-inclusive setting lends itself to the value traveler. Standout perks include unlimited reservation-free dining at seven restaurants, unlimited premium drinks and cocktails, free high-speed wifi, daily entertainment and nightly shows, 24-hour room service, the FlowRider surf machine, a 1,200-foot lazy river, and non-motorized watersports on the beach.
Fees and Extra Costs You Should Know About
The resort fees are included in the price which helps to avoid hidden fees and charges. If you’re looking for top-shelf liquor, there's a modest up-charge per drink. Cabanas by the pool and ocean are available daily, with rates from $80. There’s also the C/X Culinary Experience—a seven-course feast, available for an additional charge of $80 per person. Diamond Club Suites are available for upgrades starting at $85 per room per night, adding luxe amenities that include a personal butler, access to exclusive pool/beach areas, special dinning options, access to the Diamond Club lounge and a 10 percent discount off spa treatments.
How to Get a Deal
Rates can skyrocket to nearly $1,000 per room (for up to four people) during holiday weekends and over the summer. Guests with some flexibility in their schedules can score rates as low as $496 per night in September and October. Because the rooms allow up to four people, there’s good value at just $124 per person per day, considering the generous number of amenities included.
In the Neighborhood
If you’re looking for adventure, tour organizers at the resort are eager to organize ATV treks, horseback riding, and catamarans. Take a relaxing stroll along the beach to check out the many other beachfront resorts, or consider changing things up for a day and getting a day pass to another nearby resort.
All flights come through Punta Cana International Airport. From here, the only way to reach the resort is by taxi, which takes about 30 minutes and should cost no more than $40.
Nearest Public Transit
There’s no public transit that connects the resort to the area and Uber/Lyft are not available. Taxis are the main mode of transportation.
The Bottom Line
A family focused, luxe paradise where the all-inclusive rate comes with plentiful offerings, Royalton Bavaro is a smart stay.