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  • Is there a dress code?
    Apart from the Welcome White Party scheduled on 11/02/2023 (Thursday), where we kindly request guests to wear white attire, there is no specific dress code for the other events. However, it is important to note that the resort does have a dress code policy for evening meals, particularly at the specialty restaurants. The Iberostar website states, "Men are welcome to wear formal Bermuda shorts and a dress shirt or polo shirt. Women are free to choose between closed-toe shoes and dress sandals."
  • Is there anything in particular that I should pack?
    We highly recommend you consider packing the following items: An insulated cup to have mixed drinks made in Pool floaty Hat Sunglasses Sun screen Aloe Swimsuit Waterproof pouch for tip money and room key
  • What can I expect upon arrival to the Iberostar Grand?
    When you arrive at the Grand you'll be greeted with an ice cold towel and a drink. At check-in you'll receive a thin, fabric wristband that will identify you as belonging to the Grand. This is important, because there are three (3) other Iberostar hotels that are part of the same complex. After check-in you'll be guided to your room, where you’ll meet your butler. This is where you’ll want to get some cash ready to tip the bellhop and the butler (if you’re so inclined). At this time you will be able to make reservations at the specialty restaurants, so it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the available options found in the Accommodations sections. The butler will also introduce you to the room, show you how to set and lock the safe, where the iron and blow dryer are located, go over the pillow menu, show you the contents of the mini bar, and so on. Take this opportunity to talk to your butler and let him/her know your likes and dislikes. You may find extra goodies waiting upon your return to the room. One final point of interest about the room is the keycard, which kept getting deactivated. Apparently their keycards are easily demagnetized by credit cards and cell phones. It ended up being quite a hassle to reprogram the key at the front desk each time we needed to enter the room. Therefore, it’s important not to store the key in a wallet or in the same pocket as your phone.
  • Is there advice on money and tipping?
    Although tips are included in the price of the room, the entire hotel staff works very hard and we felt obliged to provide additional tips to those who went above and beyond. If you decide to give additional tips, then the question is raised: do you tip a little throughout the stay or all at once at the very end? Tipping a little upfront definitely has it's benefits, especially if you frequent certain areas of the hotel. For example, tipping the beach attendant $20 on the first day will likely ensure your preferred chairs are always reserved on subsequent days. You may not always see the same servers everyday, so it's a good idea to tip a little as you go when you experience exceptional service. Everyone at the hotel will have a personal butler, who will make reservations at the specialty restaurants as well as fulfill certain requests, like different pillows, restock specific items in the mini bar, reservations for a particular activity, and so on. The butler also tends to the room and will make your stay feel very special. If you tip the butler around $20 upfront, then you may find a surprise waiting for you, like rose petals scattered over the bed, sparkling wine on ice, and a drawn bubble bath. As a side note, if you don’t want to get up early to reserve your cabana by the pool, then you could try making friends with one of the guys at the Pool Concierge. If you slip him $20 and point out which cabana you want, he’ll likely keep it reserved for the duration of your stay. Keep in mind that this is not something we have personally tried and your results may vary. The staff we tipped the most were the bartenders and waiters. The waitstaff appeared to be assigned to one location, as we kept running into the same servers in the places we frequented (mainly the swim-up bar and the buffet). Therefore, it’s probably a good idea to tip these servers well and learn their names at the beginning of the trip so they keep looking out for you. At the end of our stay we tipped the servers that did the best job, gave another tip to the butler, as well as to housekeeping that cleaned our room each day. Everyone in the Dominican Republic accepts American dollars. We recommend bringing a few hundred dollars in cash for tips and in case you want to gamble in the casino. If you run out of cash, then you’ll have to visit one of the ATMs. Unfortunately, the Grand itself does not have an ATM, so you’ll be forced to take the golf cart to one of the other Iberostar hotels. There is a fee (around $5) to withdraw money. The cash you receive is in the local currency, pesos. This was a pretty big hassle, especially if you intend on gambling.
  • Are there any suggestions for getting the best seat next to the pool or on the beach?
    The pool facilities are accessible from 7:00am to 7:00pm daily. To secure your preferred spot for the day, we recommend rising early and placing personal items on cabanas or chairs. Pool towels are available at the centrally located Pool House, just a short distance from the swim-up bar. While towels are usually sufficient to reserve your seat, additional options are available. The Pool House features a bookshelf stocked with old books, which can be utilized for this purpose. Alternatively, feel free to bring your own reading material to place on your seat. It's important to note that the resort's size does not typically result in intense competition for pool and beach seating. There is no need to feel compelled to wake up extremely early to secure a chair. While highly sought-after spots may be claimed quickly, there should be ample availability around the pool or on the beach for you to find a comfortable seat or cabana without difficulty.
  • Does the resort have Wi-Fi?
    We’re iPhone users and staying connected with friends and family during our stay was no problem at all. The Grand had excellent complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel grounds. We turned off cellular service, just in case our phones tried to roam on a foreign network, and we solely relied on Wi-Fi to send texts through iMessage.
  • What amenities can be found at the resort?
    The Grand offers a number of amenities that focus on health, wellness, and relaxation. Facing the beach, the building to the right (above the main buffet) contains a fitness center that looks out onto the ocean. The gym (7:00 am - 7:00 pm) has quite a few options, such as treadmills, ellipticals, and a variety of different weights/machines. Next to the gym is a room with a giant hot tub, as well as a sauna and steam room. In this same area can be found the spa and the salon. Although the facilities are free to use, the services cost additional fees. If you’re interested in these services, then keep in mind that when you arrive at the hotel you will be provided with vouchers offering various discounts. There is an extensive list of services offered by the spa, which is available from 9:00 am - 7:00pm. The salon performs waxing, cut, color, and braids; manicures and pedicures; professional makeup; and more.
  • Is there any onsite shopping?
    There are two (2) retail shops at the Grand. If you forget to bring something from home (sun screen, aloe, Band-Aids, an inflatable raft, etc.), then the general/convenience store should meet most of your needs. There is also a clothing store that has a lot of nice dresses, wraps, bathing suits, shoes, purses, and so on, for women.
  • Do you have any good drink recommendations?
    Being an all-inclusive resort, the food and alcohol come at no extra price. It’s definitely easy to go overboard, so pacing is key. Although you can find all of the standard cocktails (e.g. gin and tonic, etc.) made with premium spirits, keep in mind the Dominican Republic is known for their rum, so don’t pass up the frozen drinks! The margaritas, daiquiris, and pina coladas are all very good, but we particularly enjoy the “Dirty Monkey”, a frozen drink made with bananas, chocolate syrup, and rum. The Dominican Republic also has a national drink called the “Mamajuana” comprised of rum, red wine, and honey that’s left to soak in a bottle with tree bark and herbs (*does not contain marijuana). Let’s just say it’s an acquired taste, but it's worth a try. The house sparkling rosé is also a good alternative if you get tired of beer and cocktails. When dining at the a la carte restaurants there are a variety of red and white wines that are provided at no extra charge. There’s an option to order other brands of wine for an additional cost per bottle, but it can be a bit overpriced. For example, a bottle of La Crema retails for $20, but the hotel charges something like $70. If you spend $100 or more on a bottle, then you can use a voucher to get a certain amount off (around $20-$30). In all honesty, there is so much to drink at the resort that you really shouldn’t spend extra money on wine. The sparkling rosé is free of charge and pairs nicely with seafood. With all the drinking, you’ll definitely need to stay hydrated. Water quality is always a concern when traveling outside the US (or even inside the US for that matter). The hotel filters their own water and you can choose between still or sparking. In addition, room service will provide bottled water upon request.
  • What bars or lounges are available at the hotel?
    Aqua (Swim-Up) Bar The swim-up bar is located in the main pool, open from 9:00 am - 6:00 pm. Servers also walk around the pool, picking up empty glasses and taking orders. This bar features a lot of blenders and it’s where you want to be ordering frozen drinks (i.e. the Dirty Monkey). Everyday around 3:00 pm the hotel hosts poolside bingo. Although it disrupts the tranquility of the pool when they shout out numbers in both English and Spanish, it can be fun if you’re in the mood. If that’s not your scene, then you may want to head over to the beach during this time. Le Mirador (Lobby Bar) The lobby bar serves amazing coffee as well as some snacks; however, this is also a great place to grab a drink. Every night this bar hosts live piano music. The bar itself is open 24-hours. Robusto (Cigar Bar) Next door to the lobby bar can be found the cigar bar, Robusto, which contains a walk-in humidor and an extensive selection of local and Cuba cigars. However, Robusto also serves custom cocktails that cannot be found anywhere else in the resort. Make sure to try their cilantro cocktail as well as a delicious strawberry-mint cocktail that is a the most requested drink from this bar. Robusto is an ideal location for pre and/or post-dinner drinks. Open from 6:00 pm - 1:00 am.
  • Is there room service or a late night menu?
    There is 24-hour room service with a limited menu at night. The late night menu isn’t anything to write home about, but if you’re up and you’re hungry, then you do have some decent options, like a hamburger, club sandwich, Caesar salad, pizza, French fries, and so on. Room service tends to be particularly generous when it comes to ordering drinks. The mini bar comes stocked with cans of beer, mini bottles of liquor, and soft drinks. However, you can also order wine (the sparkling wine is fairly good), and room service will bring you the entire bottle in a bucket of ice.
  • What entertainment options or late night venues are available?
    La Scala Theater Every night at 10:00 pm La Scala Theater puts on a different themed show, featuring variety acts with singing and dancing. You sit at individual tables and servers come by to take your drink orders. The theater bar opens from 9:00 pm - 11:30 pm. The theater is located away from the main lobby. Cala Esmeralda (The Ship) As previously mentioned, there is a life-sized replica of an imperial Spanish ship located in the water along the main promenade. On certain nights there can be found entertainment on the deck of the ship, such as a live band and dancing. The hull of the ship also has a bar/dance club, which featured a DJ playing a variety of dance music. There is a bar surrounded by tables with open seating as well as one pool table. Open from 7:00 pm - 1:00 am. DC-6 (Nightclub) Nightlife at the Iberostar Grand is a little tamer than the other Iberostar hotels, where the cigar bar and the ship close at 1:00 am. However, the lobby bar is open 24-hours. If you really want to hit a nightclub, then there is a proper “discotheque” at the resort, but it is not located at the Grand itself. The DC-6 nightclub can be found at the Iberostar Punta Cana hotel and opens from 11:00 pm - 3:00 am. The Casino Like the DC-6 nightclub, the casino is located at the Iberostar Punta Cana (not the Grand). In fact, if you plan on visiting the casino, then you may also want to check out DC-6, as they are located in the same vicinity. Getting to the other Iberostar hotels is fairly simple, just go to the front of the hotel and ask the valets to call a golf cart to take you wherever you want to go. It’s important to keep in mind the casino ONLY accepts cash in United States Dollars. You cannot use a credit card. If you need to withdraw cash from the nearby ATM, then you’ll get pesos, which need to be converted BACK into dollars before you can start gambling. The casino itself is small, much smaller than a cruise ship by comparison. There are blackjack tables and slot machines. The roulette table is run by a computer, where the wheel is encased in glass.
  • What sports and activities are available at the resort?
    Iberostar is a Five Star resort that offers outdoor sports and other activities, such as: Golf As you enter the Iberostar hotel complex you will drive past the par-72, 18-hole course that features crosswinds and was designed by famed course architect, P.B. Dye. You will be given two complementary rounds of golf with your stay. In order to play on the course you will need to make a reservation. If you want to play in addition to the free rounds, then you will likely be charged a fee. Hours for the course are 6:30 am - 4:30 pm. Tennis The tennis courts are free to use, but do require a reservation. The courts are open from 7:00 am - 11:00 pm. Watersports The watersports can be found on the beach, open from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm every day. The hotel states “all non-motor water sports are included throughout your stay.” This appears to pertain to activities such as water polo, the aqua gym, and volleyball. The website shows activities such as the catamaran, kayaking, and windsurfing have additional charges. This is likely due to the fact this equipment is owned by a third party and these activities take place offsite. Table Tennis (Ping Pong) There is an outdoor table next to the pool that is available at all hours. Billiards (Pool) There are a number of tables throughout the resort. Two tables can be found in a room next to the cigar bar. Another table is located in the hull of the ship.
  • How many other hotels are part of the Iberostar complex?
    There are a total of four (4) interconnected properties that make up the Iberostar hotel complex: Iberostar Grand Bavaro, Iberostar Bavaro Suites, Iberostar Dominicana, and Iberostar Punta Cana. The Grand, being the adult-only resort, is the most luxurious of the Iberostar hotels, in which the food, drinks, and amenities are of much higher quality. It is for this reason the wristband you receive at check-in will grant you access to all of the other properties. However, the converse is not true. For example, if you were staying at one of the other Iberostar hotels (or even a different hotel all together), then you could not enter the Grand without paying a daily fee of $125. Getting to the other hotels is fairly easy. Just go to the front entrance of the Grand and ask the doorman for someone to drive you in the golf cart to the desired location (e.g. the casino). The hotels are all connected, so you are driven on small walkways instead of a road. In theory you could just walk to the other hotels, but the complex is huge and the probability of getting lost, especially at night, seems pretty high. There really isn’t much reason to visit the other hotels, unless you need cash from the ATM and/or want to gamble. We have visited the other hotels and found there was a stark difference with the Grand, which is much nicer and quieter. The other hotels have open-air theaters located in their main lobbies that made for a chaotic atmosphere, which was only compounded by the sheer number of people everywhere and all the kids running around. However, your wristband does entitle you to use all of the facilities belonging to the other hotels, including the buffets and a la carte restaurants. Although there appears to be some overlap in theme with the Grand, it’s likely the quality of the food is not as good. The Iberostar Bavaro Suites has six (6) themed a la carte restaurants: Mediterranean, Italian, Japanese, Cajun, steakhouse, and gourmet. The Iberostar Dominicana and the Iberostar Punta Cana share the same six (6) themed a la carte restaurants: international, Mexican, oriental, gourmet, steakhouse, and American café. If you’re just dying for more variety, then you could check out these other restaurants. But like the a la carte dining at the Grand, you will need to make a reservation.
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