Barcelo Bavaro Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic was my first time experiencing an all-inclusive vacation. The resort has everything you can possibly need: shopping (although quite pricey), arcade for children, the adult arcade (the casino),24/7 doctor available (which I actually visited!), and of course a plethora of restaurants to try. When dining out at an all-inclusive you can’t help but order everything and eat to your heart’s content, but there’s a smart way to do it.
DINING and EATING TIPS to any all-inclusive resort:
- DO NOT have high expectations and expect a fine dining experience. The service is excellent, but food is generally very par with an occasional surprise. I’m not saying that you won’t enjoy your food, but from a foodie’s point of view I’d give everything a 2-3/5 spoons.
- Restaurants are categorized by cuisine so you’re able to choose a cuisine of your liking for that night. My favorites were Sante Fe Steak Restaurant and La Fuente Spanish Restaurant. My least favorite was Kyoto…I would definitely pass on sushi in the Dominican Republic next time!
- AVOID bread. Most are stale probably due to the humidity but an occasional dinner roll does not hurt.
- EAT in moderation. Don’t overstuff yourself! Find what you love and enjoy it. It’s hard to turn down “free” food but you have to realize that you can’t eat it all. Don’t sacrifice how you feel because you wanted to eat everything.
- Don’t be afraid to venture from the resort to try local foods. Although there are a variety of restaurants, the themes and style of cooking tend to be very similar. I didn’t have the chance to venture too far but here’s a list of casual local places that I tried: (reviews coming next blog!)
- El Pollo Borracho
- Los Waffles
- El Churro Charro
- Brush up on your Spanish! It’s not necessary on the resort as most concierge, bellhops, and waitresses are able to speak English, but if you want to explore outside of the resort and speak to Taxi drivers, there’s definitely a language barrier. Definitely pick up on some basic Spanish or try the Google Translate app on your phone. It’s super handy, but let’s hope your phone service is great!
La Caribe (adults only) breakfast and lunch buffet.
La Comedie. French Restaurant.
La Fuente. Spanish Cuisine
I may be a foodie and a little critical of the food and restaurants of the resort, but would I go again? Most definitely! It was such a great getaway and I loved restaurant hopping all the time. How can you say “no” to open bar and open buffets all day? After this experience, I can’t wait to try my next all-inclusive vacation!