In this edition of Covington’s Travelers Tales, the Rodrigues family of Las Vegas traded the sands of the Mojave Desert for the shores of Punta Cana where they enjoyed a luxurious beach vacation at Royalton Bavaro Resort & Spa in the Dominican Republic.
This wasnâ€™t the first time John and Susan, along with their adult daughter, Jessica, headed to the Caribbean for a family vacation. But this time, they chose someplace new â€“ both a new destination to them and the newest family-friendly all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana. John gave us his impressions of the new Royalton Bavaro and shared how the Diamond Club added more luxury to their family vacation.
Our Diamond Club Suite Experience
Weâ€™ve enjoyed the Royalton Resorts in other places and really like their all-inclusive luxury style, so when we decided to check out the Dominican Republic, the new Royalton Bavaro that just opened this January was an easy choice. We upgraded to the â€śDiamond Clubâ€ť and were definitely not disappointed.
The Diamond Club is Royaltonâ€™s premium service level. That area of the resort offers preferred room locations and exclusive restaurants and bars only for Diamond Club guests. A beautiful pool and beach area, both with waiter service, are also reserved just for Diamond Club use. Each Diamond Club suite has butler service, robes and slippers, a pillow menu, and luxury amenities. We enjoyed nightly turn-down service and the in-room mini-bar is restocked daily.
Our oceanfront suite was outstanding. It had two bedrooms, three full bathrooms, a full bar, full kitchen and dining room AND a pool table! Every room had a fully stocked refrigerator and a big screen TV. The balcony was huge with a sitting area, lounge chairs, and a full-size Jacuzzi. The suite â€“ and the fantastic balcony â€“ were highlights of our trip.
The service throughout the resort was exceptional, but especially in the Diamond Club. Our butler took care of absolutely everything. He met us at check-in and had a beautiful fruit platter and champagne on ice in our suite upon arrival. He made our tour reservations and each evening would bring either a dessert platter, fruit platter or a meat & cheese platter to our suite. It was really nice being pampered for a week!
Royalton Bavaro Services
The food at the resort, of course, was plentiful. There were eight restaurants and we really enjoyed several; the Grazie Italian Restaurant and the Rio Brazilian Steakhouse were favorites. Gourmet Marche is a buffet with live cooking stations and unbelievable selections. Everything was very fresh. Zen was a teppanyaki style restaurant where the meal is cooked at the table. We also liked the Beach Club that grilled up everything from shrimp to chicken to burgers for open-air beachfront dining from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. In addition, three food trucks were on the grounds. All of the restaurants, with the exception of the Chefâ€™s Table Culinary Experience (fee), were resort casual with no dress codes.
While there were many guests at the resort, it didnâ€™t feel crowded. Everything is quite clean and there are plenty of umbrellas, daybeds, and mini-cabanas at the pool areas and beach. There was no fighting for space since there was plenty for everyone.
In Punta Cana, the Caribbean is a beautiful turquoise color and the sand is white, but there is a dramatic amount of seaweed on the beach and in the water. When you walk out about 40 yards, the water is seaweed free. The seaweed was our only disappointment, although not the fault of Royalton Bavaro. They clean it up each morning with a tractor, but in an hour or two, it covers the beach again.
You can stay as busy as you want at Royalton Bavaro. They offer a variety of classes on site, and the Spa is very nice. We all got massages and the girls got facials. The spa prices were reasonable plus, as Diamond Club guests, we got a 10% discount on treatments. The resort is very family-friendly with a full splash park and lazy river, mini-golf, and supervised kidsâ€™ clubs for various ages.
Local Punta Cana Tours
We also enjoyed several off-site activities run by local tour operators. On a catamaran cruise, we snorkeled right off the boat and saw fish of every color – pink, yellow, blue, and orange. We took a very exciting zip line tour through the jungle. The course was about 15 zip lines, including one that was a half-mile long and crossed a river! A special first-time experience for us was swimming with dolphins. We spent about an hour in salt water pools bonding with them, getting pulled through the water, and getting kissed. We felt that the facility cared for the animals really well.
This was a really great family trip. Over four or five trips, we have developed a nice relationship with Cindi and she knows our style. On Cindiâ€™s recommendation, this was our second visit to a Royalton Resort and it was another wonderful vacation.
Thanks for sharing your family’s Travelers Tales, John!