I apologize that I'm just writing this review now. I did have a previous one from several years ago of the Royal Suites, but can no longer locate it? As well, based on some of the less than positive reviews, I felt it necessary to post this recent one (not because everyone isn't entitled to their opinion, but rather to try to help those that are wondering about this resort be assured that it's a beautiful place). Let me start by saying that all properties are not for everyone, some things are more important than others to some people. I can honestly say that although we travel 3 or 4 times a year to different islands and destinations, the Royal Suites is our absolute favorite and the only one that we continue to go back to time and time again!!
DH and I returned to RST for the 8th time in December (2012). And have just booked 9th trip in May (6 weeks and counting!!). I won't say that the resort is completely perfect (haven't yet found one that is), but it's certainly great enough that we always leave wanting more...
We arrived Sun., Dec 2nd and used IBK servicios for our transfer to RST. We've used this service 5 years now and I can't tell you how nice it is to be picked up at the airport with a cold Presidente on ice waiting for you!! What a great welcome home!
As always, we requested a 3rd floor room in building #50. We are beach diehards and love the glorious view afforded to these rooms, as well as overlooking the pool in the afternoon, when we've had enough of laying down and want to read/catch up on email, etc and like to sit on our balcony and people watch. Unfortunately, this was not in the plans when we arrived and we were placed in building #51, at the far end. If you like privacy, this location is great--but we like to people watch! Surprising to us, they were at full capacity and couldn't relocate us that night. It was early December and we (wrongfully) expected occupancy to be a little lower than our usual visits of Feb/Mar. Nonetheless, Maximo (from guest services), showed us their reservation system at full capacity and asked us to come back the next day. When we did, we ended up being upgraded to #5038 (we PAID for the upgrade), which is our FAVOURITE room in the entire RST. This was our 3rd (or 4th, sorry, I don't track as well as I should) time in this honeymoon suite...and I cannot rave enough about it. We usually end up paying an upgrade for it, but to be honest, it's the only honeymoon suite that we would like to pay additional for, so we usually wait til we get there to see if it's available--and then we PAY for the upgrade (we don't expect a free one!)
Well, glory days began as we unpacked in our suite...
As usualy, the towel game was in full force. I sooo dislike this about the resort, HOWEVER, it's not only at the RST. We've stayed at several other PC resorts, and it's the same thing. And we've also seen it on a couple of cruises. I think it depends on the clientelle at the time unfortunately. I don't even mind someone reserving their 2 chairs (per couple) for the day. I just don't understand how people come from the beach at 3 and 4 in the afternoon and already have their shaded pool loungers waiting for them. Either one or the other people! There are not enough chairs for every person to have both a saved beach and pool chair, both the sun and shade. This is my only real complaint about the RST, and again, I can't say that it's unique to this resort and I have no idea how they could actually prevent it--other than a suggestion that I have read about each person being given a 'chair reservation' card and affixing it to ONE chair per person. May be something for RST to consider.
DH and I were so eager to visit the steak house and Italian restaurants--as both were new since our last visit. The Italian restaurant was extremely busy when we were there and we weren't overly impressed. That would be no different, however, than if we went to an Italian restaurant here in Canada that was very busy and service was less than you were accustomed to. The food was good enough that we will probably try it again this upcoming trip, we just didn't take the time on this particular trip to try it again. The steak house, however, was ABSOLUTELY PHENOMENAL!! We ordered the chicken wings, albeit a little hesitantly, because of being in the DR and liking my poultry fully cooked, I wasn't sure how they would be--boy, were we surprised. Several times while at the steakhouse, my DH and I said that "you would never think that you were anywhere other than a steakhouse in the US or Canada"--it was just that good!! We also ordered an onion soup as an appie--delicious. We then ordered the Rib Eye and the New York--both were cooked to perfection. We had eaten just way too much to order dessert. We walked out of that restaurant, again saying, "you would never know that you weren't anywhere other than a steakhouse in Canada or the US". Kudos to the steakhouse team!! I can assure you, if it hadn't been our last night of our vacation, we would have definitely gone back again. Even without a reservation and having to wait in line with a 'reservation disk'.
Other than that, we always ate at Le Chanterelle or Royal Gourmet (RG), because their service and menu selection is fantastic. One evening, in the RG, my DH ordered lamb chops. He was a little on the hungry side... So, after he finished his meal, we ended up going to the buffet at the Grand Palladium Palace, so that he could get something else. It was his fault, he decided to not get appies or salad that night! lol Anyway, he absolutely loved his chops, and although he could've ordered another dish from the RG, he was embaressed of his gluttony :) (no offence to anyone!) and wanted to go to the buffet. As we never really eat at the buffet anymore, I completely forgot how good some of the food is. So, while I was 'innocently' waiting for little piggie to put more on his plate, I 'slowly sauntered' around the buffet stations and ended up putting food on my plate--and I was already full from dinner!--but it all looked (and tasted) so good! How people can honestly say that they EVER leave this place and lose weight is beyond me! Our all time favorite restaurant is La Chanterelle, where the Chateaubriand for two is out of this world. We try to deviate from this once in a while in the restaurant and choose something else from the great menu, but it's difficult, because it's just THAT GOOD! On evenings that we don't order it, and someone near by orders it, just the smell of it as it's sizzling coming out of the kitchen is enough to make one's mouth water. :)
We did order breakfast on 2 occassions through room service. We did receive everything that was ordered, although I didn't have the utmost confidence in that. This area is the one place that I find that I struggle with the language barrier. I am not, for ONE SECOND, complaining that they are Spanish and aren't able to speak my English--because I can assure you, if anyone of a Spanish tongue came to where I live, they would likely be expected to either speak/understand English, or 'too bad'. So, my DH and I always travel with the attitude that the onus is on us to make ourselves understood by the natives to whom we are speaking (where ever our travels may take us). But, we always find that easier to do 'in person' than over the phone. So, whenever we call for room service, I am always hesitant about what is going to be delivered. HOWEVER, both times, they were bang on--and it was delicious!!! I will say, however, that the breakfast service at the RG was less than what we've received in the past. On two mornings, we probably waited over 20 mins before our orders were taken and it was extremely difficult to even get a glass of water. I did find that service was hit and miss in this area. As well, and I have read it in a few reviews, I did find that many of the orders were merely taken from the buffet heat lamps...most notably, the hashbrowns. I ordered some every morning, and each time, they were cold and didn't get eaten. However, out of a week of eating at a variety of places, several meals a day, if this is my only complaint, it's still pretty darn good!
We did miss having Danny at the pool bar this year. We're very happy for him, and did see him a few times going from bar to bar, but he was such a great addition to the lobby pool bar. And Octavio, sorry we didn't get to meet up for coffee! Hopefully we will in 6 weeks when we go 'back home'! Thanks again for another fabulous trip to the Royal Suites Turquesa!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Royal Suites Turquesa is an exclusive VIP area of 372 luxurious rooms located within the Grand Palladium Resort in Punta Cana. Featuring private facilities and personalised service, the area includes an exclusive restaurant, concierge service and free Internet in the private lobby, air conditioned bar serving premium International beverages, exclusive pool with built-in Jacuzzis and bar service to the sun beds by the pool and at the beach, and much more. For adults only. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Royal Suites Turquesa By Palladium Hotel Punta Cana
- Royal Hotel Punta Cana