My husband and I just returned from our wonderful week at the BBPD this past weekend. Overall, we had a really positive experience planning and hosting our wedding. Iâ€™ll start by reviewing the resort itself and then talk a little more about the actual wedding services provided. Iâ€™ve been to a few other resorts in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico and Hawaii and this one was by far the very best! Certainly not perfect, but pretty close.
The beach is great and not too busy. There were always lots of beach chairs available and lots of shady spots to hide from the sun â€“ because nobody wants tan lines on their wedding day! The adult pool is equally great â€“ a nice getaway from busier and louder areas of the resort. You can rent private cabanas around the adult pool for $10/day and itâ€™s well worth it, particularly if you have a larger group. It can serve as a really great meeting point and our group made great use of it every single day we were down there. I didnâ€™t spend a lot of time at the other pools â€“ there always seemed to be a lot of families and teens around the pools and thatâ€™s just not my style. The non-motorized water sports (kayaks, paddle boats, hobie cats) were always available and a great way to spend an afternoon.
The restaurants are good. I always say that when youâ€™re choosing a resort, food shouldnâ€™t be the determining factor â€“ itâ€™s almost always mediocre regardless of how many stars the resort has. That being said, the buffet always had a lot of selection and the local style food was always delicious. Try the fish â€“ every single variety I tried was amazing and perfectly prepared. The a la carte restaurants were hit and miss within our group. The Japanese restaurant was a crowd favourite â€“ coming from B.C., I have some of the best sushi available to me, so I wasnâ€™t blown away with the sushi at the resort, but it was still tasty and the rest of the meal was good and flavourful. The Italian restaurant was also delicious and had lots of variety. The desserts here werenâ€™t great, but they were ok. The Mexican restaurant was pretty good as well. The seafood restaurant got very mixed reviews within our group. I personally never ate there, but many of our friends did and some people loved it while other hated it. Larger groups seemed to not receive as good of meals. The golf course is another option for dining â€“ it doesnâ€™t require reservations and it never seemed all that busy. By far the absolute best restaurant at the resort is the French restaurant. It is an extra $50 for non-Club Premium guests, but it was AMAZING. I could have eaten there every single day!
The other amenities that the resort offers are also great. The disco is fun but the crowd is very young. The casino has quite a few tables as well as slot machines. The spa offers a great selection of services. I had my hair, makeup, manicure, pedicure and massage included in the wedding package and it was a really great experience. Very relaxing and a beautiful space! The theatre was surprisingly not busy; at every other resort Iâ€™ve been too, itâ€™s packed every night. Not the case here â€“ the theatre is huge and there are always seats available, even for large groups. The lobby bar is often quite busy, but the coffee, cigar and rum bar that is connected to it is not as busy and the service there is VERY fast and good. All of the kidsâ€™ activities were a hit with our nephew too â€“ he loved the kidsâ€™ club, which is open from 9am to midnight, as well as the mini-golf, laser tag and water park. The shopping centre is also very large â€“ larger than most resorts. And thereâ€™s a market down the beach that also has great souvenirs.
The rooms are nice. Most of our guests stayed in the Junior Suite Deluxe room category and a few stayed in the Family Suites. The Junior Suites are all located near the beach and the main building while the Family Suites are a little further back in the resort and close to all of the kidsâ€™ activities â€“ water park, mini golf, laser tag, kids club, etc. A few of our guests had problems with their rooms (one room was not clean, some rooms had no doors on the shower, and one room had noisy neighbours, etc.) but all of these concerns were brought up with Guest Services immediately and our guests were moved into better rooms within a day. As always, tipping the housekeepers $1 or $2 per day usually yields a well-stocked fridge and towel swans on the bed.
My husband and I had the privilege of staying in the Presidential Suite for our stay. We had booked Grand Master Suite Ocean Front Club Premium but since the B&G are entitled to a one room upgrade, subject to availability, we were lucky enough to get upgraded into the Presidential Suite. If you can manage to go this route, it is well worth it! You can order any a la carte meals and room service direct to your room, you have a private place to spend with your guests â€“ we had lots of girls days up on the deck and our 6-year old nephew thought swimming in his very own pool was the greatest - you can host private parties for all of your guests every night, there is plenty of room for all of your wedding party to get ready, and your butler will help you make any arrangements for group excursions, parties, etc. The apartment itself was spectacular. It comes with three separate suites, 2 with king beds and 1 with 2 double beds. Each suite has its own bathroom and there is another half bath off of the office. You have access to a computer with Internet access â€“ I was able to Skype with a close relative the afternoon of the wedding once I was in my dress and our guests were able to stay connected with family back home and check into their return flights the day before we left. There is also a living room and dining room in the suite that we made excellent use of. There is also an area for the butler to stay if you would like him to be available 24/7. This area has a large fridge that is always well stocked along with a microwave and another bathroom. The outdoor space is even better. There is a MASSIVE deck that overlooks the entire beach and pool area of the resort. It has a private infinity pool and a large dining table that seats 8-10 people and 2 casual seating areas â€“ one large and one small. There are also 12 lounge chairs on the main patio and 4 more on a smaller patio. This space is absolutely amazing for larger groups. Another perk â€“ whenever you or your guests call guest services to make a la carte reservations from the room, otherwise sold out restaurants suddenly have room for you and when your butler accompanies you to any of the resort facilities, your every need is tended to immediately â€“ you are literally treated like royalty. The only downside to this suite â€“ itâ€™s so big that youâ€™ll constantly find yourself losing things!
Even if you choose not to try for the Presidential Suite upgrade, upgrading to Club Premium for you and any of your guests is well worth the money. The private check-in and lounge area is perfect when you arrive after a long day of travel. The rooms are also a little nicer and have ocean views â€“ a perfect way to wake up in the morning. You can also get access to the aforementioned French restaurant as well as the a la carte restaurants at the Barcelo Bavaro Beach Resort next door.
Our only real complaint about this resort was the occasional lack of service. There are times when we ordered room service and it never arrived until we called to remind them (including our honeymoon breakfast). There were times when the lobby bar was too busy and getting a drink took awhile. But for the most part, these incidents were rare and quickly remedied.
Now for the wedding part of my review. We did all of our wedding planning with the help of a destination wedding coordinator in our hometown of Victoria, B.C. The name of the company we used is SunLovers Destination Weddings by Kim Crosby (