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Barcelo Bavaro Beach Resort, Punta Cana

You know that saying, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” ? Well, we almost heeded that advice and nearly skipped listing the Barcelo, a property we stayed at for four days.

The reasons? They range from difficulties on check-in (literally running from resort to resort at the five-property complex—all at 10 pm after a full day of travel) to a buffet that could best be described as sparse.

But then we decided to list this five-in-one hotel complex. Why? Price, price, price. If you have a limited vacation budget, the Barcelo is a wonderful bargain. Yes, the buffet is sparse (but you’ve now been warned, so pack some snacks). Yes, the service is less than adequate (so pack an extra helping of patience.)

Nonetheless, it does offer an all-inclusive program, a huge beach, nice swim complex, and clean rooms.

The five properties are connected by an open-air tram that’s fun for kids to ride and you’ll be able to enjoy dining or playing at the other properties, with the exception of the Barceló Bávaro Palace, which is the most upscale of the five. (If you stay there, you’ll have reciprocal privileges at the other four, but not visa versa.)

Tel. 809/688-3600, Fax 809/221-0921. Toll-free reservations 800/BARCELO

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