Punta Cana› Hotel
IFA Villas Bávaro Resort & Spa
Playas de Bávaro, Punta Cana
Our Rating Neighborhood Bávaro/Cortecito Phone 809-200-2101 Prices Summer: $158 double standard, $168 double deluxe; Winter: $236–$243 double standard, $245–$252 double deluxe. Rates are all-inclusive. Units 652 rooms Amenities Wi-Fi (paid), 7 restaurants, 5 bars, 2 outdoor pools, gym, spa, tennis court URL https://www.booking.com/hotel/do/bavaro-princess-all-suites-resort-spa-casino.html?aid=1254987&label=frommers-hotelpage-deeplink Web site IFA Villas Bávaro Resort & Spa
This ia a budget-priced all-inclusive resort right on Bávaro Beach. Ii is wonderfully cheap, but remember you get what you pay for—not a luxury beach vacation, but an inexpensive one, with decent but uninspired lodgings, decent but uninspired food, bottom-shelf alcohol (beer, wine, and the booze in the sugary cocktails), and some additional payments (for WiFi, safe usages, better wine, etc.). But otherwise it is all included in one low price, and you are in the Caribbean on a palm-shaded beach.
That said, the IFA is a rather long, narrow property wedged between two behemoth resort complexes, with just the one end actually at beachfront, so there is a bit of a walk to the beach from some rooms—particularly the “standard” doubles in their littles one-story bungalows along the cobblestone paths. (Staff-driven golf carts buzz around regularly offering lifts.)
“Double deluxe ocean” rooms in the “villas” are a wee bit larger and nicer (though closer to the action by the pool and hence noisier at night), with French balconies. However, note that, despite the word “ocean” being (somewhat misleadingly) part of the name, only some actually have (a bit distant) sea views; others overlook the pool or gardens.
Still, “superior: rooms do come with a few more amenities, and are closer to the restaurants and beach for very little more money (roughly $10 more per day), so they are probably worth booking. (This will also save you the inevitable upsell from the front desk staff upon check-in, which always starts off a vacation on the wrong foot.)
It’s hard to shake the feeling of being on a mid-range college campus, architecturally speaking. Busy paths curve through grassy, palm-shaded courtyards between the modern, three story brick and cement “villas” with their wide windows. Plus, the accommodations just look a bit like (really nice) dorm rooms: Plain, and definitely showing some wear and tear, but with a pleasant design scheme of red and white and natural stone with modular pine furnishings that would scream “IKEA” if they were lacquered instead of lightly whitewashed so that the wood grain shows (a nice look, actually).