This adults-only haven is a perfect example of how an all-inclusive resort can offer top-tier hospitality without the herd mentality. The meticulous grounds are particularly stunning at night, when the pool sparkles in the glimmering lights. In all rooms the amenities include a pillow menu, turndown service, 24-hour room service, and 26-inch flat-screen TVs. Exclusive suites—duplexes—have floor-to-ceiling windows (with remote-controlled curtains) that open out onto
a terrace with your own infinity plunge pool. At the main pool, you can lounge on land or chill out at the swim-up bar. Besides the exclusive offerings at the smaller Royal, you have access to all the facilities of its sister property, the family-friendly and more economical adjoining Catalonia Bávaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort. Happily, there's a special quiet zone on the pristine beach. No restaurant reservations are needed, even for the nouvelle Cata Tapa, which serves authentic Spanish food. Steps away are a 9-hole golf course run by the resort; at an 18-hole course nearby, guests get discounted rates. Finally, there's nightly entertainment in season at the bar…with a talented piano man and bartenders who help with the fun quotient. Pros: all rooms have hammocks on terraces; three restaurants at Royal, eight at the Bávaro, make 11 dining options; less expensive than other deluxe/luxurious AIs. Cons: even the bi-level suites need some maintenance and better lighting; busier than a comparable boutique hotel would be; the other Royal restaurants are not as wonderful as Cata Tapa.
Playa Bávaro, Bávaro, Dominican Republic