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They say you can’t please everyone — but Lopesan Hotel Group has done a good job of doing just that with its latest opening, set in Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic. The first thing I noticed when I stepped inside the expansive lobby of the new Lopesan Costa Bavaro Resort Spa & Casino was the three check-in areas and a separate desk for checkout.
General reservations have their own designated space, while group reservations and clients staying in the adults-only section are helped elsewhere. Finally, a private lounge is available for guests of the Unique Club, the highest service level available at the 1,042-room resort.
The all-inclusive Lopesan Costa Bavaro is the European hotelier’s first property in North America. Lopesan purchased and tore down an existing resort on Bavaro Beach before completing work on a newbuild in 15 months.
“If you want to be No. 1, you need to be ambitious,” said Jose Alba, commercial director of Lopesan Hotel Group. “It would have been more cost-effective to renovate the existing resort, but that would not have achieved the desired result.”
Lopesan Costa Bavaro was designed with the idea of creating separate micro-destinations within a single property. Accommodations are divided into three sections that cater to the expectations of varying client profiles. There’s an area for guests with general reservations; an adults-only section that has its own private pool and bar; and a Unique Club section with a private beach, an exclusive beach club and a bar serving artisanal food and drinks. Guestrooms are similar in design and size among the different sections of the hotel, but accompanying amenities are distinct.
I stayed in a spacious swim-up junior suite in the Unique Club zone, which featured a walk-in rain shower, a television, a stocked minifridge, eco-friendly toiletries, a private patio area, direct pool access and more. Besides gourmet breakfast and lunch options at the Unique beach club, I enjoyed delicious meals at the buffet, as well as at the Mexican and Mediterranean restaurants.
In all, Lopesan Costa Bavaro has eight themed restaurants, two buffet restaurants, two beach clubs and 11 bars. Not to mention, there are seven pools, including an enormous 31,000-square-foot infinity pool overlooking the beach.
The on-site Boulevard is the place to go for recreation and shopping; here, guests can dress up and go out for a night on the town without ever leaving the resort. The 322,971-square-foot area boasts themed bars, nightclubs, several restaurants, shops, a 790-seat theater, a spa, a salon, a bowling alley, an arcade, an escape room, a massive gym, kids’ and teens’ clubs and a waterpark. A 12,120-square-foot casino will be opening soon.
However, every new hotel has growing pains, and Lopesan Costa Bavaro is no exception.
One challenge this resort faces is training staff to deliver five-star service that matches the five-star amenities.
“We demand a lot from ourselves, so we’ve given every employee a budget for education, and we’re putting resources toward a hospitality school,” Alba said. “We’re here to stay.”
The DetailsLopesan Costa Bavaro Resort Spa & Casino www.lopesan.com